Transcending Colors: A Performance Poem by Tsen Ga Tsung

A performance poem written and performed by Tsen Ga Tsung.

Cover Image Tsung

A saturated color photo of writer Tsen Ga Tsung performing a piece. Video below.

Yellow and blue, these very hues intertwined so tightly by this social glue

To construe, my expected who

Nah, my self in its whole transcends the colors of the rainbow

Composed of colors beyond the physical

Forget the white patriarch’s painting palette

Cuz what I rep is a holistic reject of his normalized set

Faced with my anti-capitalist and decolonizing third world resisting mindset

My gender’s tied close with my systemic ideological

Identifying as agender

Driving to bend the very laws defining my character

Forget the West’s binary measures that tries to render

Everything and everyone in existence to be bisected and conditioned

Into two locked categorical options

Yellow between white and black

Model minority between the majority and other minorities

Unnamed color between pink and blue

Non-binary between masculinity and femininity

Basically yellow and blue coded for a Chinaman

Forever seen as a fresh off the boat immigrant

A wiz with a six figure profession in math and science

Severely limited in speaking English

Quiet and subservient

With an attitude extremely stern and emotionless

Nature so bitter and cold to womxn

Incapable of loving and being open

Apathy stretching as wide as the Pacific Ocean

Let me stop right here

Even before I, first-generation, traveled across the Pacific Ocean

I was born into this world that’s cornered me to be performing the normative

Nah, I’m more than this

Now, today, I’m unafraid, proud to say

I am part of a community that’s the base of and definition of

The true element of love

Where I no longer have to hide from, run from

My most desired expressions and deepest emotions

To own my own self-identification

And to build warm and intentional relations

The family QTPOC is whom I’ve finally found the beautiful people I’ve sought

Who everyday celebrate the passionate struggle and loving fire of

Womxn, queer, trans and non-binary people

Providing a space where I feel safe to say

Ngo hai guang dung jan, ji man (I am Cantonese, immigrant)

Pan-Asian, pansexual, agender, person of color

I don’t strive for the standard of the Western handsome

At least not the definition most masculine

But concurrently what’s deemed to be masculine, feminine and other beauty

Long hair, short stature, small compact musculature

No longer discontent

Instead of the idealistic of the West

I’m perfect as I am

With my 1st language, jyut jyu (Cantonese)

Ji gaa, jing man meng ngo m jyu (Right now, an English name I do not want)

Discard my title assimilationist made

And reclaim my birth name

I could care less if it’s a struggle for the English tongue to say

No apology for breaking the monotony, call me Tsung

A name genderless and definition, intelligent

Not traditionally scientific with an analytical instinct

But meticulously artistic with a militant intent

Loving so immensely my QT and POC folk

From their ardent storm and my own

I’m an uncontrollable, fierce cyclone

With colors that transcend those of the rainbow

Call me Tsung

 

 

Tsung BIO pictureTsen Ga Tsung was born in Gwang Dong, China and grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their work range from identity, culture to history and community where they tie together the different parts of their life as a non-binary agender individual, community organizer, rapper, youth worker and athlete. They enjoy learning about languages, having deep conversations, folding origami, and standing on their hands.

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