angry poetry corner: "asian americans" by beau sia

We're getting poetic up here. It's time for another installment of Angry Poetry Corner, a regular weekly spotlight on the work of API poets -- not necessarily angry -- curated by Cara, our Angry Asian Intern.

Because you could use a little more poetry in your life.

In the corner this week, a poem by Beau Sia, from his new book The Undisputed Greatest Writer of All Time:


we're so american,
we ignore the damage of cheese.

we're so american,
we celebrate a false new year with more gusto.

we're so american,
we often get split into being more black
or being more white.

we're so american,
we understand other cultures just enough to get by.

we're so american,
we want to be good at english.

we're so american,
we have fantasies about european travel
(which could never be ours).

we're so american,
we don't see a conflict with vegas.

we're so american,
we obsess over a car's status.

we're so american,
we accept our roles on TV too easily.

we're so american,
we think we can say, “nigga,”
in the safety
of shared ethnic background.

we're so american,
we strategize how to cash in on globalization.

we're so american,
we run from ourselves in the faces
of our lovers.

we're so american,
we attack what isn't the root of our problems here.

we're so american,
we deny that this poem is about us.

we get angry inside that another
would dare
say these things.

we would rather dismiss
on the unconscious grounds of what threatens
our self-image,

than seek to understand the truth of one-liners meant to engage
what is often missing in empowerment conferences.

we're so american,
we could make this poem nonsense
to the next generation
if we wanted to.
Beau Sia is the son of Chinese immigrants from the Philippines. An original cast member of the Tony award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Beau has shared his work on stages all over the world at festivals, universities, and conferences. He is the author of, "A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge," has had roles in the films "Slam," and "Rachel Getting Married," and wrote the lyrics for the hip-hop musical "Krunk Fu Battle Battle." The internet contains the info that couldn't fit in this space. love is his favorite.

angry archive