Art and poetry on page and stage

gift box


Susan Yung



She'd say
“Always eat in
“N’er do or say violent
things on Chinese
“Stay home & cook the meals,
Do the house chores
& you'll marry someday.”
Even though I felt
like yelling NO!

Daddy was Americanized
who fought in WWII,
North Africa
lik’d gamblin’
drivin’ to the forest
n’go fishin’.
He’d live in the attic
next to his bed,
wantin’ to forget the so–called
responsibility of three children
Just gettin’ drunk
& ramblin’ on & on
to defy racism.

once on Xmas, makin’ a night visit
I heard Daddy whistled & tiptoed
into the house
He set two velvet boxes
on the desk
& I stood up on my crib
“Daddy, teach me to whistle”
He told me to
“Curl your tongue
tighten your lips
& whistle.”
He left behind
one cameo set
the gold wrapped
round the black stone.
the other inset with a
faceted pink glass
in a fleur–de–lis shell
sparklin’ the eyes.
His daughters felt like ladies
of exquisite designs
but never have you heard
my whistled melody.


They argued
while watchin’
“Father Knows Best”
My eyes glued to the screen
My ears filled with their
shouts, their
decision pulling the
family apart
screamin’ of who
knows best
My tongue knotted
Just holding back
as I saw a mother and
a father hug each
other, turn &
smile at their
bubbly children &
then wave to the audience.

She left the Northwest coastline,
once matched, married &
She took her children
to NYC
& she learned to
throw sadness away
We never mentioned the sorrow of
leaving home
because we always
ate in

Susan Yung Domestic–violence; misogynist–hater; anti–racist; democractic–anarchist; ghetto–girl; Chinatown–Harlem; East Village–West Village; homesteader–gentrifier; yuppie–squatter; homeless–sheltered; American–Asian; World–Traveller; Adventress–Common–Law–Wife; Photographer–Videographer; Martial–Fine–Artist; Musician–Drummer; Artist–Scientist; Geologist–Librarian; Mathematician–Designer; Collector–Exhibitionist; Buyer–Seller; Cook–Politician; Migrant–worker; Independent–Dependent; Pacifist–Activist.