03 April 2016

Letter From the (Text) Editor 2: On The Creation


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胡了,兄弟。自摸,光板。哭吧大哥,照照镜子,咋么两个,早就死了。

DEAR READER,
(and myself, of all things that can/may be addressed) Of all the things I could possibly describe about the blog, maybe the most important and most fitting topic would be its creation, its inception. Especially now the blog has been up for more than a month. More than a month more than I’ve ever kept a journal or a writing habit outside of pointless poetry analysis or historiography or absent poems or methodical prose exercises.
I can start from the beginning of my thoughts or I could start “as a chink in America” or “for me” or even “I began” or I can start with a young thug line, maybe lil yachty, but I’d rather start by showing you the process it takes for me to begin writing. As much as a reader needs clarity and direction, I need to relay to you the disorientation and confusion of being who I am, so you, reader, can get something, so that I have not wasted your time. And the best way is to jar you. To remind you of the strange process of finding a reason to begin. You don’t need to be and shouldn’t have to be, or shouldn’t expect to be, or shouldn’t demand to be, or shouldn’t deserve to be comfortable in reading as ever you will read. The process of creation then begins with feeling. In my moment, a moment extending through months, facilitated and shaped by the days before them, the blog begins. The blog then seeps in around me and all the things I’ve thought about or thought about thinking of for extended periods of time. When they percolate to the fore, then I can begin. And often I will edit this out of blogposts, I will hide the process of my mind looking for a beginning.
And so, the beginning I looked for did not come to me. The beginning could not exist in someone else’s form, in someone else’s complete urging, in someone else’s ways, in someone else’s comfort. The beginning for me then had and has to be a regulated system I order for my self. It’s not because I couldn’t see myself writing, but rather I couldn’t see myself reflected and I didn’t think I could sustain myself in all of it.
So I began in late February because I didn’t want to think of Shakespeare, or Stevens, or Powell, or any other people. Definitely not other people, the people I know, these the worst of white folks. The worst of 鬼老, the best of whom are no better than the worst, the whole of which is the same as its part, the negligence and indifference of which is no more distinct than its empathy. I started from a moment where I wanted to think about myself.
And you, my reader, will choose to listen and read what I want you to know about how I feel about whatever comes across my mind. I’ve hid behind dense language; I’ve hid behind broken language. I’ve hid behind foreign language. But what I want you to hear is in the form of the language. What I want you to think about, what I want you to react to is in the shaping of this blog. I want you to feel outrage as I tell you how it feels to be me. But the problem of the matter is there is no “me” you will accept or listen to without legitimization. The “me” you want to hear is the “me” who will invite you out, who will help you read something, who will recommend you a book, who will pretend to be the “me” of you when I’m with you because I don’t have enough of “me” to show it when I’m with you, reader. That’s why the blog is different. That’s why it needs to be written by a detached persona. That’s why I created it. That’s why in the process of that creation, it may not seem like the speaker you read of is “me,” the person readers already know.
That person most readers personally know is a young chink who wants to do his best and often misses the mark and offends everyone around him. That person is a young chink who once before hated every part of being “a chink” and having to do the same things you, reader, have to do, without the grace of not being “a chink.” That chink didn’t want or know what it meant to preserve himself, to keep quiet and to maybe dull the edge and the yellowish sickness being “a chink” means in our world. That chink then started finding mirrors in books and mirrors in absence. That chink started loving himself because of all the types of him existing inside those books, the types of chinks existing in China and most importantly the types of chinks existing in absence. In absence, a chink didn’t have to be a chink.
In absence, a chink could make his own lists. The reasons on why he didn’t exist in it and no chinks do, but the best and worst of white folks created the absence:
·      a chink does not see types of what he may become, mainly just types of what he was in the past
·      new chinks don’t need to exist, because these new chinks wouldn’t be chinks at all, they would be westerners with a chink face
·      these new chinks would be nothing like me, these new chinks would be the type to change their names
·      these chinks would be the type to be offended the same way a white person is offended
·      these chinks would all be little emperors of their own kind, the emperors that didn’t realize they were chinks because they just did what people expected them to do
This absence is an empty foil that reminded me of everything that I couldn’t become if I ever wanted to take back “me.”
            So, directly, if I could ever have the urge or ability to throw out some of those bluntly beautiful socio-political notes, or perfectly puzzling aphorisms, I would say that I write this blog to find “me.” Not to find me, but to find “me.” But, I’m not Santayana, or Stevens, or Ice Cube, or whoever. I’m more like a broken down Eazy-E who’s had it good for most of his life, better than most of the other chinks. But there’s not point in being just happy. I am self-indulgent and for the most part, pityingly self-loathing, or trying to find pith. Maybe the whole point, in trying to create, is you, the reader hears it, that a collaborative other does away with me and helps me create a “me.”
            So, I speak in concepts, because Vincent Chin was before me, because Chinks on Nigger Alley was more than a hundred years before me, because Peter Liang is further from me than my self. I can only talk about the way I think of myself and conceptualize the “me.” And in that process, I hope to try to speak of what other chinks can and can’t speak of. And I hope that people will hear their own “me” in it. Because it’s not enough to play the whiteman’s game. It’s not enough to be a nice person who lets it all go besides a couple days on chink new year’s, or when you see your parents, reader. Because, reader, a chink’s biggest enemy isn’t the whiteman or anyone else. A chink’s biggest enemy is his self. And if I can separate my “me” from me, I’ll be a better chink for it. Reader, you, however, are, wholly, culpable, whether you admit it or not, of making yourself, your enemy, of helping create an enemy, our "me".
They’ll never find me fine. I’ll always be that chink boi who is rude, who is too snarky, who doesn’t care enough, who doesn’t want to be nice, who doesn’t want to just do what’s good, who, for all appearances, doesn’t even want to do good for anyone. But I don’t have the right to be selfish. I don’t have the right in my family. I don’t have the right in the “home” I left. I don’t have the right in the way I behave around you, reader. You, as a reader, expect me to try to help someone with the blog. I have to make it so it speaks to someone else, so it may change someone and empower them. Maybe then, it’s good, but still, it’s a meditation and a way to distinguish “me.”
And if you, reader, are still, and have been, a reader, the reflection of “me” is enough so it also reflects you. That’s where the creation of the blog begins. It’s when you can accept that a chink can have himself on a page in print, that a chink does not have freedom to do so, because a chink is too intent on hating his way out of “me.” And when you can see me and when me can alter the way you see you, then the “me” I hate has worked. Because reader, there’s no way you come out liking yourself and certainly not me. There’s no right for anyone to feel comfortable or happy. There’s no reason for you to like yourself. That’s why you look in this mirror. That’s why you read this reflection. But again, you, reader, and I, editor, cannot collaborate, create, a way to love yourself. Because you can’t and I can’t love “me.”

And I can’t sustain this voice for much longer. The more “me” speaks, the more it takes me, the more, you, the reader, hates it. The more parts of me and you slowly split away and there’s no more creation.

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