Season 1, Episode 010: The Blinded Belong to 24

season 1 of raconteuse radio

Guilliean reads three of her poems; read along with the poems while you’re listening!

Music: The Moonpool from ZapSplat.

Where Do I Belong?

All my life I straight tripped on who I was
Was I Filipino, was I American?
For twenty-eight years, I could not assume either role,
I was never pigeonholed, but I never belonged.
 My accent is Nor Cal born & bred
My height is so misled
I eat rice with my hands
I nosh hamburgers for breakfast
I sing God Bless America with the firefighters
I sing Dahil sa iyo like the Divas
I drive like a maniac on the freeway
But that’s a given, whether I’m brown or pink
 Doing our research made us children of the world:
Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, German, French.
Loose lips sink ships, merchant ships brought lips together
Sharing silly stories, firing up new memories,
A whole new branch to embrace.
 You can feed me cloying words,
Tell me I should feel wronged.
But you would be wrong.
I belong to both, and to neither,
It’s a miracle to feel as lonely as I’ve ever been,
But as safe as I’ll ever be,
Caught between so many worlds,
I’ll always be your girl.

Blinded

If I could, I would give my eyes back to God
Return to sender, address unknown
To remove from me the grief that comes
With being slightly shadowed in everyday situations
These pinpricks of space that adjust appropriately
To the dark, to the light, unto the breach
Can't see the leaf on the wind, watch how it soars
Tired of seeing halfway, can't meet you there neither
I can't get anything right.

twenty-four

twenty four hours in a day
twenty four years since

 riots serenaded the streets of L.A.
that powder keg of corruption

safety of unreality violated
blue and red combined

made purple, united
against the tyranny

of the 5-0
 we lived six hours away

working class neighborhood
southside Modesto

I can see your face cringe
all the way over here

when I tell people where I lived.
 never thought it was that close

until the house down the block
had black and whites

crowding our quiet street
 red and blue lights pulsing

imprinting in my brain
that damned song worming

its way into consciousness
 breaking off my innocence with it.

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Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of Filipino heritage and the host of the City of Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in TechTarget, Nevada Humanities, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Follow her on Twitter.

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