2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Noise

Be Heard.jpg
"Be Heard" by Jeff Weiland

Noise

Lisa Chu

“What’s your name? No, your real name?”

To the people who think Lisa is too American

As if it’s reserved for Lisas of book clubs and Lisas of red wine

Would you rather just know me by the last four of my social?

I’m sorry to my mother

Who named me after her favorite singer

“Sending you, sending you a blessing that will never be interrupted.”

I’m sorry Mom

That sometimes my own name is taboo

Untouched by tongues.

I’m sorry that I am afraid to say my own name

They say my name sounds like semen

I’m sorry Mom

That I let the Chelseys and the Brads ruin my name

 

“Where are you from? No, like where did you originally come from?”

When our ancestors came to America imprisoned on

An island for Angels

They carved their pain on the walls

Cemented it into the foundation so their souls would never be erased

They were fooled in thinking this was the Beautiful Land

Their pain so great it laced through generations

We have inherited the fear of our great-great-grandfathers

 

“Say something cool.”

For all the times we’ve heard chink and ching-chong

Pai Gwut

Lai Wong Bau

Zhu Cheung Fun

(Did you skip reading those words in your head?)

Words and words that are ignored because our accent is a joke

You want to hear something cool?

How about fuck you?

Lisa Chu is an introverted performer of life. She aims to retire early from her lifelong career as a people-pleasing normie to pursue a new path of baring her naked truth through poetry. A forlorn lover of sunsets and Krave cereal, she is driven by her unsatiated hunger for self-discovery.

Jeff Weiland graduated from UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County in the 1980's and has always enjoyed photography.