In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.

There’s no kindness in your eyes / the way you look at me, it’s just not right”—Hilary Duff

I used to know how to save the world / now I don’t know anything anymore”—Justin Chin


(—Once in a blue moon, maybe several times a week,
I write a truly great American poem;
Here I will tell you abt 8th Street . . .
my rules for American life—:

Generally: TV always; no sharia law; don’t say gay; bathrooms are sacred; no hugging/touching (men); don’t pay attention to politics; really, don’t, they only need you every 4 years; small talk is an art & national pastime; acceptable small talk topics include complaining abt wife, kids, kids’ sports, schedules, Chinese boss; even if you hate sports, you have to pretend; candy corn is the worst; mac-n-cheese is the best side. 

When approached by law enforcement: avoid unprovoked flight, do not call them pigs, do not be black, know your rights (you have none), regret your existence, get a lawyer (if still alive).

Things not to do as a person of color: open your eyes, think, walk, drive, shop, talk on cellphone, glance, gaze, smile (unless directed to by a man), laugh, sleep.  Oh, & this is very important: don’t buy a gun, the Second Amendment is not for us.

There may be limited opportunities for persons of color to feel joy or express happiness.  These include: birthdays, church, watching Black Panther, attending sports games (*certain exclusions apply), graduating from community college, winning the lottery (you’ll spend it all anyway).  Please note that no open displays of bliss are permitted on MLK Day or during Black History Month.

In many cases it is acceptable to be Azn (especially Chinese), but you should only speak out for your fellow poc if it is safe to do so (no accent pls); most of the time, stay quiet & low to the ground;  never question a White, even if (as is often the case) you are right & they are talking out of their ass; it is preferred that you walk close to edges of rooms & become one with the wall; make sure your flag T-shirt is in heavy use; you know what, plaster flags everywhere; we mean U.S. flags, but you knew that, didn’t you, sly dog; when in doubt, play dead.  Azns, remember that you are disposable; depending on the matter at hand, you may find yourselves not colored/White enough; you can have opinions but not too many; strive to be mild, not spicy; you are not the arbiter of anything (not even your own food, as a White once told you where to find “the best dumplings”); you are ancillary, don’t be threatening.  Additionally, Azns are considered highly susceptible to falling in love with Whites; distance from Whites is recommended, horse-blinders are very effective.

All persons of color pls hide your wild & vivacious inner lives; they will steal your ideas & not apologize.  They will dilute your thoughts & impressions like the abomination that is 2%.  If a White says “let’s catch up,” they don’t wanna see you.

Relatedly, pls learn White-approved celebrity crushes.  These include Ryan Gosling, John Mayer, Trump supporter Chris Pratt, Trump supporter & rich child of suburbia Kid Rock, Trump supporter & anal leakage/human pink slime Mario Lopez, Jolie sperm donor Jon Voight, Rick Santorum, Tila Tequila (. . .), that Hot Pockets heiress, Kaia Gerber’s right boob, Presley Gerber’s face tat, & movie theater hostage Maria Menounos (please rescue her with your strong ethnic arms).

Now listen—;
I had to cancel someone I met in college
She said something real objectionable
It got on my nerves
I won’t bother repeating it
It was offensive
Previously she asked if I got my makeup at the mall,
when I got it at Neiman Marcus
She said she didn’t like Lohan’s new song,
should’ve ended her then & there
I blocked & deleted her ass after her recent infraction
She should’ve come correct
Panicked she kept calling me,
first thru apps & then various landlines
I blocked & deleted her from Insta, blocked her on all major platforms
No, she didn’t leave any voicemails b/c everyone knows I don’t use vm
Anyway she should know that I mercilessly cut ****** off
I’m frightened by how easily I cut a bitch off
(learned that from my ex)
I don’t have time for that nonsense
Moche is French for ugly
Just like I don’t have time to read your shitty poetry
Let me give you a tip, put some money in your pocket—:
No one cares abt a nothing-war in a country nobody’s heard of
The only wars we know are the American ones, thank you very much
(is that 90% of all wars haha)
The only thing we know abt your country are the llamas, boo
We think Fujimori is the world’s greatest sushi chef, ok
Don’t tell us abt the thousands dead
We’re barely concerned with the lives our own state has taken
Jk we don’t care
Don’t talk abt your bones or surgeries or scar tissue
Your pain is asinine & you don’t articulate it very well, anyway
I did not know Mr McCain when I met him
Jk many poets will talk abt Antigone & Sisyphus & the one with the ball of string, sigh
You tell me you feel bad abt x, y, z
I feel bad you went to Rutgers
That’s why they call you the 40-year-old Virgin
You said my centering was inauthentic
Iz okay I like the Pussycat Dolls
You are a yellow cockatiel with orange cheeks
You are lauded for your consumerism
As Hungry-Man says: Eat Like a Man
Which reminds me: I miss Anon Sex Andrew, he likes it raw
So this chick Lea Michele is doing these god-awful ads for HelloFresh
Took a few beats to register who she was
Couldn’t remember her real name
Rachel Berry you are a hack
Rachel claims that she works “14-hour days on set” but we all know you not working gurl
You’re only slightly better off than Hayden Panettiere
who, I was surprised to find out, is only 30 & no longer working
Dam we weep for her hahaha
What do you say when a bitch claims her favorite movie is Titanic?
FOH: f—k outta here
Some athletes need to shut the fuck up
Novak Djokovic is an anti-vaxxer & a fucking dumbass
Rory McIlroy, to the extent you can understand that accent, says Trump has mishandled the corona
He’s just asking to be deported, isn’t he?
Yea Trump’s keyboard warriors will get him
Personally I agree with fellow ENTP Howard Stern
The people who are voting for Trump . . . he wouldn’t even let them in a fing hotel.  He’d be disgusted by them.  Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you.  I’m talking to you in the audience.
The people Trump despises most love him the most
Trump would be disgusted by the MAGA/KAG crew
The man detests the people who support him but will use & exploit their devotion
This has been true of despots for millennia
Trump recently had to explain to his followers that Madison Avenue meant, as he put it, “(Ad Agencies)”
Do they not have Mad Men in Nebraska?
Speaking of which: Antony Leung, Hong Kong’s then-Financial Secretary, bought a Lexus shortly before imposing a new car tax
This dude, a banker worth millions, decided to save a few bucks before resigning in disgrace
Truly shameless
Meanwhile you have U.S. Senators like Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler, Jim Inhofe, Dianne Feinstein, maybe others (yea name & shame them, that’s the tea) capitalizing on privileged information gleaned from confidential briefings
Again, to make a few bucks
Isn’t it a maxim that people get the government they deserve?
Evil’s power increases, Dostoyevsky observed, proportionately to our disbelief in it
The cronyism, the grifting, the retaliation, the treason—it’s all right there
Remember “Individual-1”?
Individual-1 (Trump) orchestrated a felony criminal conspiracy; obstructed justice; retaliated against whistleblowers/witnesses; regularly used mob language like “rat”; got impeached for abuse of power; & has seen his top officials & personal lawyer become felons
But sure the Obama administration is the scandalous one
Yea ok thx
(I will, however, note that human hemorrhoid Jim Clapper turned perjury into an art form, war criminal John Brennan was a waterboarding/extrajudicial killing prick, & Obama made horrible personnel choices like putting in Jim Comey & hand-picking widely-reviled DNC chair & Hamilton fanatic Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  & how could we forget the mass deportations, Operation Fast-n-Furious, Valerie Jarrett, & Saint Michelle’s petty feud with Desirée Rogers?)
—in any case, all ******* ***** does is write abt mass shootings & police brutality & not in an interesting way, some good poems but his perspectives are cliche*
I don’t think he offers anything fresh, he actually used the phrase “now more than ever” in an interview, can you believe that shit
Ultimately he writes from a position of weakness . . .
*This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, events & incidents are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. Names have been obscured to protect the guilty. I’m T-Pain, you know me.  We cannot confirm or deny that the author is as fabulous as they suggest.
Define my poetry?  Caution: Extreme Cuteness
(—I recommend reading it . . . it’s visually arresting, a sensual buffet, bacchanal
Thank you for playing, despite the odds
Wear cologne to bed, you never know who’ll be visiting
I laughed so hard when your boyfriend took your thumb
& unlocked your phone
I cried so hard when your boyfriend took your face
& emptied your acct
When I tell you abt my manuscript
why you gotta assume iz titled <Dreams of Goddess Napalm>
or <Chicken in Hoisin Sauce>
Have you heard the axiom that one American life is worth more than 100 foreign ones?
Maybe if you weigh us haha obesity
Having said that: notice that animal cruelty is still more swiftly prosecuted than crimes against
certain humans & by this I mean blacks
Persons of color still waiting for justice
but you know what they say abt Lady Justice:
overly emotional, very slutty, takes forever to get ready ha
The Golden Rule of America is that you’ll never be enough—;
. . . i.e., straight enough, light-skinned enough, masculine enough, athletic enough, funny enough, pure enough, rich enough . . . so why not have fun & fuck shit up while you’re at it

记得我们有约 • 不见不散
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MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) is the proud recipient of fellowships from Lambda Literary, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Brooklyn Poets, & the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Their writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Vassar Review, Minnesota Review, Santa Clara Review, Summerset Review, Heavy Feather Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Juked, Radar, LandLocked, Poet Lore, Ninth Letter, Hobart, & many others.

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