Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Room of My Own: Chinglish and Connard Tanka

One Hundred Ninety-Ninth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

snaking lines
outside the testing center
a white man
speaks Chinglish at me
I respond with a smile, connard! (French, one of the official languages of Canada: asshole!)

Added: Two Hundredth Entry

a rover
searches the Martian dust
for ancient life ...
a masked shelter cook mutes the TV
then starts chopping bags of potatoes

Added: Two Hundred and First Entry, written in response to Chloé Zhao's Oscar award winning movie, Nomadland

I'm just houseless ...
this social distancing 
between me
and a masked old woman
with an accent like mine

Added: Two Hundred and Second Entry

the smoke
from row upon row
of funeral pyres
streaking the Delhi skies  ...
a stray howls into the night

1 comment:

  1. a white man
    speaks Chinglish at me
    I respond with a smile,"connard!" ("asshole!")

    The speaker reverses the power dynamics (L5,"connard!" French, one of Canada's "official languages) embedded in the linguistic racist discourse (L3, "Chinglish").

    And there is nothing new under the Maple Flag.

    On the day of the WHO pandemic announcement, I wrote the following tanka about anti-Asian racism

    Second Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

    rush-hour panic
    at the subway station
    Chinese Canadians
    dressed in hazmat suits
    chanting "stop the spread of racism"

    NeverEnding Story, March 11 2020