Race, to go

By Fred Wah b. 1939 Fred Wah
What’s yr race
            and she said
what’s yr hurry
how bout it cock
                                                        asian man
I’m just going for curry.
                        You ever been to ethni-city?
                        How bout multi-culti?
                                        You ever lay out skin
                                        for the white gaze?
What are you, banana
or egg? Coconut
                            Something wrong Charlie
                            You got a slant to yr marginal eyes?
You want a little rice with that garlic?
Is this too hot for you?
            Or slimy    or bitter    or smelly    or tangy    or raw    or sour
— a little too dirty
            on the edge    hiding underneath    crawling up yr leg    stuck
between the fingernails?
Is that a black hair in yr soup?
                         Well how you wanna handle this?
                         You wanna maintain a bit of différ-ence?
                         Keep or mother’s other?
                         Use the father for the fodder?
What side of John A. Macdonald’s tracks you on anyway?
                         How fast you think this train is going
                                                                                                                  to go?      

Fred Wah, “Race, to go” from Is A Door. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Wah. Reprinted by permission of Talonbooks.

Source: Is A Door (Talonbooks, 2009)


Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Fred Wah b. 1939


Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse