Simone Jacobson


Orbit: The Asian American Issue
Volume 15:3, Summer 2014


This is my hand,
my father’s,
my studio apartment
repainted because I
for three years

This is my country,
its legacied wealthiest
on its nouveau richest
class to convince them
it’s the white poor who
they are in the minority
paying them lip service
It, anyways. That’s what

This is my noise,
White like pointed
weapons of mass
colorless wombs
are signed by white
the Great

This is my paycheck,
also like privilege
so many others
because it is pure!
is good work, my boss
If you work for a living,
class, which is all colors:
like a mummy

This is my neighborhood,
your newspaper, Chinaman,
it and not finished yet, even if
and you already told me that
laundry, too. Why aren’t you
said you would, I mean
I just want to READ IT.

This is my poem,
the MacBook Pro
most days the salutation
Chinese? What are you?
where you’re from? No,
to say You know what
the grave of my eyes
the dozen laundry room
to instigate because
have to worry someone
impotent mob wearing

which is white like
which is white like
walls, which have never been
have been meaning to move out
now, between eviction threats.

which is white like all
who are comfortable relying
to strangle and tease its middle
they should hate the poor, and
are really gonna be mad when
when the wealthy really aren’t
’cause they were never hiding
they meant by “trickle down.”

which is white like silence,
hoods unconcealed
something; designs to control
with white legislations, which
hands in this white country in
White Silence.

which is white like hunger and
because I have a job, whereas
do not. So of course it’s white
and good – I know all work
says Doctor or Trash Man:
you’re a part of the working
a white sheet wraps me
every un-white week I wait.

which is white like I will take
even if you are already reading
you are clearly uncomfortable
but I’m drunk and doing my
behaving the way the sitcoms
I’m not going to
Gentrification is anesthesia.

which is white like
I wrote it on, even if
is not Hello but Are you
If you don’t mind may I ask
not Phoenix, I guess I’m trying
I’m trying to say. White like
somersaulting, the dial tone,
brawls I am too scared
when I go outside, I don’t ever
will one day march in an
a t-shirt with my name on it.

Simone Jacobson is a Burmese American writer, performer, and cultural worker. She was born in Phoenix, AZ, and has embraced DC as her home since 2001. In 2009, she co-founded Sulu DC to support Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists and in 2013, she co-directed DC LAPP Fest, a District-wide celebration of AAPI artist-activists from across the country. Jacobson received a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of Maryland and an MA in Performing Arts Management from American University. Her writing has appeared in The Tidal Basin Review, The Root, Gawker, The Pinkline Project, and The Lantern Review. Former Curator-in-Residence at Busboys and Poets and managing editor of Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, Jacobson is currently helping to mobilize resources for AAPI students in order to increase their access to higher education at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. To read more by this author: Mapping the City Issue