Tina Yang, born of Los Angeles, grew up in a Buddhist monastery in Northern California where her mother became a nun in 1987. She attended UCLA School of Film & Television where she majored in documentary filmmaking and graduated with her BA in 2004. Since then Tina has studied with “poet noir” Suzanne Lummis & is currently enrolled in the Poets at Work workshop, headed by Terry Wolverton. Tina is looking forward to publishing her first chapbook from Arroyo Seco Press in late 2015.
Her poem, ” Russell Brand, He Looks Like Jesus But He Ain’t,” appeared on this blog on May 16, 2015.
Tina will receive a $25 honorarium for the prize. We encourage readers to be inspired by the process and play along. Each month, we’ll award one $25 prize for the best reader poem we receive.
Tina Yang wrote this poem in response to a prompt by Chiwan Choi:
Russell Brand, He Looks Like Jesus But He Ain’t
Jesus appears in branded potatoes holding bread high
pitches snakes and fish across Pike Place Market each day.
Squeaks, “Hi! That’s the man!” a la Robin Williams meme style
each time he wants a lollipop,
that’s my Jesus and he don’t walk on water.
Jesus sends the Dalai Lama an email each day of dogs
barking, romping across the meadows
they both giggle, snuffle and laugh, they’re men.
They used to play the kazoos and kerfloos but now,
ah now, there’s a drum to glam and YouTube to hang,
Russell Brand to man, Katy Perry to bang–
Grow out those pube hairs, girlfriend;
stand there streaming rainbows,
we all gotta spin dollars out of these dreams, baby;
Made in China dolls.
Tina Yang contributed this Reader Poem based on Chiwan Choi’s prompt:
Our Demand is Simple: Stop Killing Us
Stop all the blasts, the paper pen that shoots souls.
Stop all of the napalm gas disguised as ice cream known as ignorance.
Stop perpetuating the myth that the CIA stands for cooks and FBI for homes.
Stop telling us that MJ is alive and with Elvis on the corner of Sunset and Vine.
Stop telling me to go under the knife, there’s a lamb there that’s my sister.
Stop slicing and dicing up my genitals.
Stop the kissing of babies, they’re poisoned apples.
Stop all the cocks of the Republic.
Stop telling me that Mom and Dad are Die and Pie, they’re ponies but I’m not.
Stop telling me Cardboard is Hardboard and they’re food.
Stop that Vanity Fair bullet train that entered Kurt Cobain’s brain.
Stop snuffling over corpses and start sniffing live bodies.
Stop telling me that this is how it has to be and pick up an ax and shovel,
we all gotta get working and start living for one another.
No, it’s not deja vu! It’s another reader poem by Tina Yang, this time in response to the prompt, “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late”–
Because you’re six inches deep in that sink,
Ole Black Pitch where the light don’t shine.
Because Dick Cavett has thin lips and a tight arse.
Because Stop doesn’t mean, Go Green.
Because big brass generals love up little girls with flowers in hands.
Because Henry Eighth fucked then chopped Anne Boleyn into bits.
Because when that dream screams, HEY YOU. TURN
AROUND. GO BACK YOU BACK TO THE END
your ears fill with crazed laughter and therefore can’t listen.
The best Reader Poem we receive by April 30 will win the $25 monthly prize. Your poems can be inspired by the April prompts or the April fevered writing.
Tina Yang wrote this reader poem in response to the prompt: “The World’s Most Oblivious Driver Leaves Canada”
Don’t cry for me, Vancouver, BC. I’m freeway chasing all the way
to Thompson Falls, MT. For dreams of the plaid refuge
cover cabin in the woods, leaving your painful city of great foodies for his
rasps of cluttered engine that the border cops never bothered to sniff.
Five hours from Seattle and I’m pill popping, high on the North
If you make it there, honey, you can make it anywhere, my family motto.
All right. They’ll never find me buried amongst Little Bear, no not
on Cougar Peak past the streaks of icy curved, rivers as wide as Grand Canyon they’ll find Susie’s curls, tangled with Douglas pines.