a letter to the "lonely heart"

Since we've been talking a lot about weirdo Asian fetishes, "beautiful Asian bride" ads and Alec Baldwin's idiotic mail-order bride joke, here's a cool poem by spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai with a similar vibe. She tells me she wrote it a while back for a panel on sex trafficking, and I think it's pretty appropriate:
Dear Lonely Heart of the Industrially Advantaged World
by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

i know it gets hard
being on your own

you saw in the movies
that Lucy Liu can be pretty,
kick ass, and fuck like a rabbit

and those girls in "The Joy Luck Club"
cry their eyes out in shame whenever
they denigrate the FAMILY

your college roomie brought over
that bright, talented Filipina wife

and for the record:
they are very very happy

even that dull, bad hygiene-d co-worker
of yours got some internet thing going on
with a gorgeous girl from Belarus? Colombia?

the options must feel over-whelming

who knows what to look for
clicking through thousands
of beautiful young faces

even thirteen year olds
for men who are into that sort of thing

all looking for "a lifetime partner aged 25-60"
or "friends 30 and above"

and you fit the bill PERFECTLY
don't you?

a few Aussies you met online joked that:

"it's cheaper to get an Asian wife
than to get an Asian prostitute"

but that's not what you want at all
you want the real thing, a proper wife

you'll pay the broker fees, the airplane
tickets, the legal costs because you're
not like Lester Barney who slit
his Ukrainian wife Alla's neck in front
of their 4-year old child in the parking lot
of a daycare center

you're not like Timothy Blackwell
who choked his Filipina wife Susanna
on their wedding day and fatally shot
her and her two friends while she
was pregnant awaiting an annulment

you're not like Indle King who didn't
want to waste the money on a divorce
from his 18 year old wife, Anastasia,
from Kyrgyzstan and strangled her
to death with a necktie instead

you both agree that you're no monster
so why should you be required to have a
criminal and marital background check or
be screened on the National Sex
Offenders Database?

why these marriages only have
a 20% divorce rate and the fact that
their domestic violence rates are higher
could be total hearsay --

after all, why would the women stay?

i feel you Lonely Heart and i wish
you all the best of luck in love

but if you can imagine for a moment
if your wife already had citizenship,
already had entry into an economically
advantaged world

what would she do if she had as many choices,
as many ways out of poverty, as many English
words as you to express exactly how she feels,
and have the world listen to her as it does to you

i understand this may make you feel
a little insecure about your relationship

but please do sit with this insecurity

emerge from the fantasy

and i wish you the courage and clarity
we all need
to listen and to love well
I think she breaks it down quite nicely, don't you think? You can hear audio of Kelly performing this piece here. Listen and learn. And to learn more about Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30), visit her website here.

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