Treasure Island

Bryan Thao Worra

(01/01/1973 / Vientiane, Laos)

What Is The Southeast Asian American Poem Of Tomorrow?


It is not hip hop,
Despite some hopes.

It is not slam.
It is not even an antipoem.

It is not the form
Of old Europeans or
The resurrected ghazal.

The authors' words, I must inform you,
Will not even resemble or recall
The old kwv txhiaj, ca dao or the __________,

Much to our parents' regrets,
Who pray among wats and steeples
For good grandchildren, lucky numbers
And doctors in the family.

If our lovely readers do
Not grow free, we will be
Unreadable.

If our writing is too
Predictable, we will lie
In the ditches unsold.

If our words don't speak
What's in our souls and skulls,

We will forget ourselves,
Our bodies, our shapes,
Our language,

And the true shape of the Southeast Asian
American poem of tomorrow will become

An exercise in modern myth.

Submitted: Friday, July 13, 2012
Edited: Saturday, July 14, 2012
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