MaryCarl performs her poem to music (both traditional and original) she had played on the sarunay, which is a metallophone meant to resemble the kulintang, and gandingan a kayo, a xylophone comprised of four wooden slabs. The kulintang is an instrument which has been played for centuries by indigenous peoples rooted in the Sulu and Mindanao islands of southern Philippines and northern Borneo.

 

Poem Transcript:

Someone has written malleable mailable inferior tirelessly servile
doormat sexualized slender geisha-meansAllPinaysAllAsianWomyn on my
forehead again.
The talaga permanent coordinators at the pretentious institutes
for "justice" and people's interest, like the ones that are not for
gender empowerment. A number of profs. Not-chosen blood relatives. So
invested in their power.

Working to uproot poser-empathetic shallowness, white patriarchal
capitalist horrors.
The work is always urgently needed but not in a way where we're
suffering from white privilege fatigue syndrome.
Not in a way where we're:
Propagating the white gospel,
like heteroness for normativity's sake -- all diseases to Our health;
Feeding their expectations for us to believe that
Our stolen, raped,
Our murdered once-vigorously awake and fragrant villages, lands and fams*,
Our murdered billions upon billions of beloved plant,
animal-including-humyn ancestors -- That they are all:

minimizable,
forgettable,
deniable,
erasable,
not worth defending and reclaiming.


Your highness means it's a casual goings on to appoint oneself as an ally
while living out
expertly being an insulting, assaulting facilitator of this despotic,
daunting, death culture.
While you know we need options;
that we're burnt out by cold imperialistic life, cornered for use in your
brutal, disease-ridden slave culture shacks.

Your ruling means centuries of Our censorship and exile.
Not understanding Our enduring, at every turn, are reminders of our
second class skin-status;
Not understanding the terrifying realities of so-called freedom in
unfriendly settler land;
Feeling politically powerless, subjugated to the double standard of
white ethics, white sketchiness, white laws.


Marked into my cannot-forget-intergenerational-psyche-tormented genes:
colonized Philippines.
Grandmodel for all US invasions, occupations into sovereign lands
beyond the Americas.
Our peace craft rooted in an ecology of 7107 tropical islands,
Our welcoming arms to your treacherous-savior-complex
foreshadowing all that would follow to areas of the world that US
imperialism has directly tried to dominate
with support from puppet governments),
from Vietnam, to Afghanistan, and now to Palestine, Ukraine, Latin
America (right now Colombia and Mexico), Libya, and Iraq.


Whiteness loves Our medicines - all artistic, Our cultures,
though doesn't care about:
Our origins, Our pains, Our hardest of times;
nor about ensuring reparations;
nor about undoing border imperialism.

The spotlight belongs to you,
even if you rip off Our already pained, strained, restrained hearts
and traditions.
Giddily, recklessly distracting the world from the white-led colonial
roots of Our ills.
Shaming Our otherized being, Our colours, Our languages, Our wisdoms,
Our bodies.

Dancing to
and taking ownership of Our survival tradisyonal indigenous beats.
Treating Our unhealed parts of Ourselves, the traumatic parts of
Ourstories, like we have a commercial flare to it;
like entitling yourself to subhumanize is something to make a living out of;
Slickily packaging Our peoples' medicines
like we are a web of entertainment.

We're always adjusting to the white groove
and segregated to the 'new' tolerable groove
expected to provide endless, earthier inspiration
so you can lead world class ensembles in all of their arrangements,
written and unwritten, sung and unsung, spoken and unspoken.


Discrimination based on Our Earth tracks Earth origins,
where the sun glistens the skin to black to yellow to dark.

Surviving iyong pervasive omnipresent all-reigning lighter-skin favouring,
rape-breeding-and-willingly-enabling-to-epidemic-degrees western ways.

 

Footnotes:

Kisameng salamin = ****glass ceilings****
fams = ****mga pamilya****
tradisyonal = ****traditional****

 

Poetry and Music: Luyos MaryCarl
Photography: Tony Chen

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