Thursday, February 23, 2006

is the name of a new collaborative blog that explores the Filipina pen pal phenomena. This is a poem created by appropriating the appropriator -- the text of one of these "husbands". I'll reprint the post below (there are some notes on poetic form below poem):

--for the husband who penned the essay “Filipina ladies, Asian penpals and my Philippines penpal experience”

When I first started writing Asian Filipina ladies,
I did not know what it meant to have a penpal.

I happened to see pictures of beautiful Filipina ladies
on a website, and I just got this overwhelming desire

to contact them. There is something about a Filipina,
and Asian lady in general, that is so appealing yet hard

to explain at the same time. Is it the traditional values
of a Filipina, or perhaps their beautiful smiles? Or

maybe it is the beautiful long black hair and sweet
disposition that can only be found in an Asian lady

from the Philippines. Whatever it is, once I saw
this website of Asian penpals looking for partners in life

I knew my destiny.

Is this really about my desire to be with an Asian Filipina
penpal, or is it about my dislike for American women?

This is a sore spot for many ladies in this country and I realize
this. Some of my closest and dearest friends are American women.

If you do not believe me, I am sorry but it is true. It is also not
about likes and dislikes. For me it is about compatibility

as a married couple. I just happen to find Asian women more
traditional and less competitive, and that is what I desire.

I know, the old stereotype that I need someone to push around
comes up all the time. Let’s face it, finding a lady to push

around in the USA is not that difficult. I do not need to travel
10,000 miles to find a Filipina for that. What it is about for me

is being able to admit that men and women are different. I know
there are certain things my wife can do better than me, and that

is just the way it will always be. My wife also realizes that I am
better at handling some things. Filipina ladies understand this,

which means there is no need for this constant 50/50 power struggle.

When I went to the Philippines for the first time I saw traditional
values first hand. Asian women as a general rule are very loyal

to their family, so if you want to make it work you better be nice
to her parents, and especially her father. Your pen pal bond

will evaporate into thin air if you make her choose between you
and her family. If a Filipina is forced to choose, you will lose

95% of the time. And even if you win, your life together might be
a living hell.

Notes on Form:
1) The text is almost directly lifted from this earnestly-written drivel as to why Filipinas should be preferred for pen pals from the site “Melinda’s Pen Pals” at
2) At one point, during multiculturalism’s earlier stages, it was common to see conservative critics dismiss much free verse by poets of color as mere prose chopped up into verse via line breaks. So, I took this prose drivel and chopped it up into a poem. Isn’t it interesting, though, how the form of a poem vs prose can facilitate a second look at a text to emphasize just how drivel-ish it is?
3) I wanna belabor the obvious because though I know my collaborators can get it, the occasional Peep who comes here via Google may not “get” how the couplet form fails at the end of each section (by lapsing into one line only or how, in 3rd section, it becomes truncated). Obviously -- it’s a metaphor.
4) Wink.

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