Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer. Our current guest editor is Hedy Tripp.
Hedy Tripp is this October’s guest editor. Hedy was born and educated in Singapore. A Saint Cloud elder with the Minnesota Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and retired professor/lecturer, she came to her identity as a poet late in life, she says, “Because I never had time, earlier, to say, ‘I am a poet.’” For the past year, a Central Minnesota Arts Board (CMAB) Artist Career Development grant has allowed Hedy to intentionally immerse herself in what it IS to be a poet, to understand what lyrical poetry is, and to create Black-Indigenous-People-Of-Color (BIPOC) poetry by studying with BIPOC poets, especially Southeast Asian poets. Read more about Hedy and her work as a poet here.
Lyricality guest editor Hedy Tripp presents her son’s poem A Fractioned Man by Comrade Tripp.
Hedy Tripp says this about Comrade Tripp:
This poem is reprinted with permission from #MinneAsianStories 2021: Beyond the Myths & Monoliths, produced by the Coalition of Asian American Leaders. Comrade’s poignant and powerful words touch any mother’s heart.
A Fractioned Man
by Comrade Tripp
The middle ground is still on the ground.
Only above what can’t be seen.
Below what drifts and sputters.
Clearly written but softly muttered.
All squeezed in and pitted against each other,
Like a pomegranate.
Just give me another planet.
I was crushed by this world.
Told to brush out my curls.
There’s no cure to this.
Just emboldened endurance.
A door that shuts when you don’t notice, then cuts you as it opens.
Scratch the surface,
Past what purpose.
These are not scars, they’re active wounds.
I’ve had them since the womb.
Weaved within my creation.
Grown from old cells.
My classmates didn’t believe that I was Asian,
So I brought in my mother for show-and-tell.
It’s a basic art.
We’re confined to the news.
Like a Shiny Pikachu.
I’m first generation.
Son of an immigrant coerced to this nation.
Stuck inside a rehearsed demonstration.
Repeated until it was meaningless.
Wondering why I’m still feeling this.
What actions can withstand this dance?
What of a fractioned man with half a chance?
I don’t get it.
Maybe I need more stomachs to digest this.
I miss my midday nap.
I miss being sad for other reasons.
When it rains it pours, but when it’s dry it’s a desert.
It’s just so much harder to fly without feathers.
It’s easy to show grace under pressure when you’re always under pressure.
I don’t need to earn the truth.
I don’t yearn for that youth,
I don’t call my mom that often.
From where I fall is long forgotten.
It’s a chase within descent.
It’s basic but it’s different,
A choice I’m told to choose,
To act like it’s the kind of thing that I might lose.
Like a Shiny Pikachu.
Comrade’s bio: Written by Comrade Tripp
Born and raised in Saint Cloud, Minnesota; a city as large as it is small. Comrade Tripp successfully escaped to Minneapolis and has since been named one of Growler Magazine’s Comics To Watch of 2020 and has performed in the 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival, The Fargo Comedy Festival, and has taken second place in The House of Comedy’s Funniest Person with a Day Job Contest as well as Sisyphus Brewing’s Funniest Person in Minneapolis Contest, twice. He has never won anything in his life. And he never will. Despite his despondent disposition, He’s a child at heart, insomuch that he cannot be trusted to take care of himself and has no self-esteem whatsoever.