Marilyn Chin Poems
- How I Got That Name I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin Oh, how I ...
- Horse Horse Hyphen Hyphen I hate, I love, I don't know ...
- Altar Why cry over dried flowers? They're meant to be ...
- One Child Has Brown Eyes One child has brown eyes, one has ...
- Millennium, Six Songs Black swollen fruit dangling on a ...
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How I Got That Name
I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin
Oh, how I love the resoluteness
of that first person singular
followed by that stalwart indicative
of "be," without the uncertain i-n-g
of "becoming."Of course,
the name had been changed
somewhere between Angel Island and the sea,
when my father the paperson
in the late 1950s
obsessed with a bombshell blond
transliterated "Mei Ling" to "Marilyn."
And nobody dared question
his initial impulse--for we all know
lust drove men to greatness,
not goodness, not decency.
And there I was, ...