"Be Heard" by Jeff Weiland
“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
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.