chrysanthemums&ink

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ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴏʀʀʏ 'ʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛᴏᴍᴏʀʀᴏᴡ ᴀɴʏᴍᴏʀᴇ.

Message to Readers

this is clumsy and i wrote it a few nights at 3am but there was no other time i could've done it. been hitting a massive block for this piece and if i didn't get it out in this sloppy manner, i'd have never gotten it out at all. really doesn't do sunny.v's piece any justice but i did give a boatload of nostalgia so-

google the chinese pinyin at your own risk.

i only proofread this like once and i did write it like at 3am so typos? yes yes lots of typos. kowtows I'M SORRY- TT

i will not flatter myself and assume you want to write a sequel to this, but due to previous requests of that notion, please do check out and read sunny.v's message box if you are compelled to write something inspired by this.

BRO I FORGOT TO MENTION PINEAPPLE CAKES

dirty daughter of the middle kingdom #childofyournation

June 28, 2020

FREE WRITING

27

i am the child of the dirty sun / of crude oil tainted rain and the pools of petrichor soaking potholes deeper / of dragging a pale wrist across the grey-dappled skies / of walking half a block to the nearest supermarket and riding the escalator past the makeup section and to the produce floor / brushing away the plastic slab doors and / sucking the msg off of pork belly lays chips / of wrinkling our noses at the butcher's corner / stealing away dried squid and dehydrated duck's heart / chinese-branded sprite bottles / and fishnet pears / of a dozen rice cookers lined up in a row / the badly translated english signs on the emergancy exit / and the wan wan cream candy sticking to my molars / . /

i am the little girl of mad crimson mountain pagodas bellowing to the heavens / taoist shrine beats his chest against the yellow sky and offers us cracked-concrete stairs / we take to gratefully, torn nikes slipping against wet pavement / planning on scaling the sky with our aching calves / nongfu spring bottled water label peeling from the clutch of our fingernails / finally grasping the peak, gasping around thin air / the old man minding the mountaintop snack stand offers us water and cheap milk popsicles / sweaty fingers trembling under the weight of china's muted pollution and / comparing the red of the ancestral temple to the red of our cheeks / . / 

i am the daughter of lazy susan tables / revolving plates of lamb and golden-bronze skin of peking duck / the chatter of relatives and friends around the gold-embroidered tablecloth / and the rancid purple sourness of the suanmeitang / tsingtao beer cans emptied into baijiu shots / asian flush in my uncle's cigarette breath / and bones in the fish stew / soy sauce spills dotting clear glass / the smooth clink of square lacquered chopsticks and / cling film wrapped porcelain bowls / we lick the oil off our lips and ask for more / . /

i am the baby born from a bloody revolution / of stone tablets engraved with millennia-old traditional chinese characters and / the faded edges of a dictator's little red book / inherent trauma lingering under the fingertips of our grandfathers and / the cries of the breakfast stall owner selling sweet doufunao and youtiao / listening to the evening news and / swallowing silken tofu whole / of licking the sour tang of beijing lao suan nai from my lips and clicking fingernails against the clay bottle / spitting bitter lotus seeds onto the grass and / biting into flaky peanut brittle/ of the good-natured abrasive consonants the chinese hairdresser spits at my brother / the moth dwelling shadows under my wài gōng's couch and the / hello kitty figurines my xiǎo yí keeps on her shelf / of modern and traditional swirling into one muddled soup and / disappearing into the dirt of the yangtze / . /

 
some sort of crude sequel to sunny.v's elegant daughter of asia except not so elegant? if you haven't already, check it out!
honestly, the one time nostalgia is hard to write because there's just too much. i dislike this piece because it's badly written, but i can't write it any better. there's too many memories. too much baggage to wade through for me to make something good out of it. 
stanza one: a supermarket in china 
stanza two: climbing a mountain shrine 
stanza three: the individual dining table rooms at every restaurant in china ft. lazy susan table
stanza four: almost everything else w/ a little history too. 

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  • June 28, 2020 - 1:00am (Now Viewing)

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17 Comments
  • Dmoral

    holy crap...how do i properly praise this? there's too much glory, i'm just going to leave my comment at this <3 *kisses*


    5 months ago
  • asta

    replying: zuko is best boy!!!! i think about him everyday, god bless


    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    hi, q&a answers are up! thanks for the questions! :)
    https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/175268/version/350056


    5 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    ALL THESE DESCRIPTIONS!!! THE IMAGERY!!! THE PHRASING! This piece is absolutely amazing and i think needs to be read by the world!


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: <3 <3 <3


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: Thank you so much for your understanding! Also, the only reason I don't like every one of your pieces is that they often tend to the darker side (which is fine; catharsis is good!), and I just needed to take that out of my regular reading for my own mental health. But I still support you 100%.


    5 months ago
  • The Midnight One

    Replying - Thank you so much! I'll be sure to ask her for permission too, of course.


    5 months ago
  • elliem

    THIS IS SO AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL I LOVE IT SO MUCH <3


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    @ the people asking to do sequels from a sequel to my piece: hewwo pls check out my new message box on the original ty ty


    5 months ago
  • The Midnight One

    I mean, how do you write such amazing prose?

    Like "i am the child of the dirty sun", "i am the little girl of mad crimson mountain pagodas bellowing to the heavens", and "of modern and traditional swirling into one muddled soup and"

    WOW!


    5 months ago
  • The Midnight One

    Wow, this, is absolutely amazing! I love this piece as much as Sunny's for different reasons. I'm not Asian, but this makes me want to visit China, the imagery is so rich and beautiful...

    Your work is incredible. Would you mind if I wrote a poem in a similar style, but about the country I was born in, Australia?


    5 months ago
  • Jasmine_K

    i love this. i love love love this. i spotted so many references and memories and gah, we really are living the same lives aren't we? especially "riding the escalator past the makeup section and to the produce floor" YES yes yes.
    (sunny is viet, so I'll broadly be referring to "asian culture" out of respect.)
    you say it's unrefined, and maybe it is, but that is what adds to it's charm. sunny's piece was pretty and contained so much reverence for asian culture. i was blown away by it. on the other hand, your sequel is grittier, cruder, sloppier (in the best way, i promise.) it's the less glamourous, but just as important part of asian culture. and it's packed full of nostalgia that makes me miss taiwan even more than i usually do on a daily basis.
    together i find that these pieces paint a rich picture of asia's history. it's beautiful and yet so tragic. it's rough and smooth at the same time. thank you for writing this.
    ps: would you be terribly opposed to me writing a sequel to this sequel?


    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    oh this is such a lovely take on sunny's original! this piece is so full of nostalgia and there's a wonderfully subtle longing here. sometimes memories just need to be laid out, no matter whether we think it's sloppy or not so I'm glad you posted this! I can especially relate to the 3rd stanza, it evokes a lot of CNY memories for me & I love how you portrayed those big family dinners :)


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    a wonderful sequel indeed! this is just seeping in personal nostalgia and experiences about culture that it’s just so satisfying! aaaa the lazy susan tables really got me...i have this urge to sit on one one day and be spun as fast as possible. but anyways: that last stanza hits hard! there are some things i don’t recognize and i think that’s the beauty of it. you transport me to your eyes and i’m just like “wow....yeah!” without actually having prior experience, and that’s why this is awesome. *clap clap* such an experience!!


    5 months ago
  • amaryllis

    AHHH OMG THIS I BEAUTIFUL. I know you think perhaps it's unrefined and therefore poorly written, but I think that's what makes it's so amazing. For me, this piece was all levels of relatable, even if I didn't even get half of the pinyin references (hehe, kinda ashamed). The msg, the gorgeous, gorgeous lines describing the pagoda, ACK OMG THE CHEAP MILK POPSICLES (love those, very fond memories), mention of the little red book, agh i dream about youtiao but it's kinda expensive here, and ending it all with china's signature river, the yangtze. I don't think you could've done a better job, because that perfectly describes the culture, the places. Hopefully one day I can write like you do :) Thank you ever so much for this piece, as always.


    5 months ago
  • Eblinn

    Once again, I'm in awe by your words. There is so much to take in and I love that.
    "i am the little girl of mad crimson mountain pagodas bellowing to the heavens "
    "comparing the red of the ancestral temple to the red of our cheeks"
    How do you always transport me to your brilliant mind?! Each of your poems create a whole new atmosphere, downright wonderful <3


    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    chrys, you've done it again. 3 a. m. poetry at its absolute finest. i'd quote my favourite lines but to do that would be doing this masterpiece a disservice.
    i loved how this doesn't solely focus on the elegant or the pretty parts of your culture, but also the simple ones, the ones that ache with nostalgia and the ones that are painful, but are so important.


    5 months ago