Tag Archives: utah

September 11, 2013

Today he is not afraid to say this is what happened. Today he wants to know more.
He asked me yesterday, “Why does the U.S. want to bomb Syria?”
He listens to Tongan music and the Tongan Radio show in Utah every week. He says he wishes he spoke Tongan. He asks me how my Mum is.
Today he wants answers. Today he wants to know more.
Mo Maui 1
Mo Maui 2
Maui 1
September 11, 1973 Santiago, Chile: He was not born yet. But this is his birthplace. He will be born on Sept. 12th. One day after, 5 years later.Year 1982 Provo, Utah: I am 4 years old. My family move from La’ie, Hawai’i and arrive in Utah. Provo, Utah to be exact. We are here to begin a new life.Year 2000 Provo, Utah: He is 21 years old and leaves Santiago, Chile for the United States of America. Provo, Utah to be exact. He has grown up with Pinochet, Universidad de Chile, and Don Francisco. He arrives here with his sister, Daniela to learn English. They are here to begin a new life.
September 11, 2001 New York City: I was supposed to meet Joy downtown. I do not. I call her a few minutes before the 1st plane hits. Let’s meet another date and time. The clear blue sky is filled with black clouds for days. Thank goodness I am with Gabby. We pray and cry together.
Summer 2009 Provo & Moab, Utah: He meets a Tongan girl, me. He calls me his Tongana, mi amor, mi vida, mi cielo. I call him Maui, Baby, corazon. He teaches me Te amo. I teach him ‘Ofa atu.
September 27, 2009 Provo, Utah: We are married. We love each other. Our union creates Tonga Chile.
Winter 2009 Sandy, Utah: He is 32 years old when he will hear the words–Allende, Coup, CIA, Murder– for the first time, in our bed. We discuss war after we make love. We exchange history as well as kisses. He can not believe the black and white footage we watch together. He envies my brown eyes. He thinks his blue eyes can only see lies. He calls his father, Omar, former General in Pinochet’s army. Papa, is it true? His father tells him, “Pinochet is the best thing that happened to Chile.” I do not sleep that night. He holds me even tighter.
Summer 2010 NYC, NY: We move to NYC together. He wants to go to Ground Zero. We drive around NYC in his truck blasting Victor Jara. He is proud to be American–South American.Fall & Winter 2010: He moves to Manassas, Virginia. I file for a divorce. We do not see each other for 3 months. 3 months of breaking & crying a part. Separation becomes unbearable. We still love each other. I ride the Chinatown bus from NYC to Washington DC and back for 2 years every week. He drives around Washington DC & Virginia listening to Tiro de Gracia. He sees the Capitol Building, White house, and Washington Memorial for the first time.June 2011: I move to Manassas, Virginia so we can be together. I never thought I would leave my NYC. For him, I will. Let’s work things out. Let’s stay together. A South Pacific Islander and a South American in the South of the United States of America.Jan. 2013: We are separated again. I move back to NYC. For myself, I will. He moves back to Utah. I want the divorce finalized. He wants whatever I want. I don’t want him to want what I want. I want him to want what he wants. Loca y Loco. We both want visibility. We both want to be seen. We love each other but we are not together.June 1, 2013 Sandy, Utah: My father passes away. I live in Utah for 3 months to be with my family. I begin a new life. I still love him. I love myself.
Today September 11, 2013 Sandy, Utah: We are both back in Utah. We are friends who love each other. What does it mean to be together? Tonight we start celebrating his birthday. He will be 36 years old tomorrow. He will call his Father, Omar and brother, Claudio in Chile while we, here in Utah, drink Chile from a bottle of wine. He has not been back to Chile for 13 years. We still exchange ‘Ofa atu at the end of every phone call. I go back to NYC next week.
Feliz Cumpleanoz MSQP. Te amo para siempre. ‘Ofa lahi atu.
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Happy Birthday David Niumeitolu!

35 years old.
Happy Birthday to my amazing brother David Niumeitolu, father of 8 children (my beautiful nieces and nephews), husband to the beautiful Ronnie Mailo Niumeitolu, my older brother, and the only son. Thank you for all that you are and have giving us. I’m so proud of you. And of course, you know, you share this day with Malcolm X ~ Happy Birthday David & Malcolm!

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p.s. come and get it

p.s. i am super excited that peeps are ordering, “tonga provo harlem.” already i’m sending 3 copies to HAWAI’I!
yes, mi gente, come and get it! here is where you can get your freshly pressed, squeezed and made copy of “tonga provo harlem”! CHECK IT! http://moanalovebodega.bigcartel.com/product/tonga-provo-harlem

did i tell you that my goal is to sell 5,000 copies of “tonga provo harlem” by april 1, 2012? like who sets impossible unthinkable goals like that? i do. SUPPORT! READ! SAVOR! LISTEN! READ ALOUD! SHARE!

now i am at: 4,997 to sell
one step. at. a. time. folx.
nice. one step. at. a. time.

huge shoutoutz, props y hugs to Craig Santos Perez for posting this on his facebook–and he tagged me–and hence mine, it made my day!!!

PACIFIC LITERATURE: support one of the most talented Pacific poets ever by pre-ordering her chapbook! Tongan writer/artist/activist/performer/mover shaker Vaimoana Niumeitolu is coming out with the third edition of TONGA PROVO HARLEM. can’t wait to read it and teach it! dig it here: http://moanalovebodega.bigcartel.com/product/tonga-provo-harlem

ahhhh, fenks beautiful brada!!!

get it!

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what i will write

day 6
“Write the story that you were always afraid to tell. I swear to you that there is magic in it, and if you show yourself naked for me, I’ll be naked for you. It will be our covenant.”–Dorothy Allison

what i will write:
i will write my family’s story. our migration from tonga to hawa’ii to utah. then at age 18, i left on my own to nyc with a $1.76 in my pocket. how my family moved to hawa’ii when i was 3 months old. how at age 2, i already got the story, someone told me that my brown skin and my culture was inferior to white and asian culture in hawa’ii. how my family landed in salt lake city airport during a blizzard. i remember looking down at my feet and i’m still wearing my yellow flip flops from hawa’ii with pink hibiscus flowers on them while walking in the snow. how we first lived in someone’s basement for a few weeks/months (?) before moving into Brigham Young University’s housing: a trailer park. growing up in provo, utah. growing up mormon. growing up hating myself, how i looked, how i felt, where i came from, my family’s ways, all the violence and dysfunction, wanting to be somewhere else, always dreaming of other places, things and people. always dreaming of nyc. dreaming of leaving. going somewhere else. my mother’s story: leaving tonga to go to new zealand at age 16 on a full scholarship: academic and athletic. the death of her father at age 16. the first time she had sex was in a back of a car and she thought nothing of it. the second and last person she has ever had sex with,  is with my father. how she has never liked sex. and still doesn’t it. how she has never had an orgasm or maybe does not even know what one is. how i have not not had an orgasm in the past 8 years. how i still do not own my own body and sexuality. how i still hold onto and carry all this shame. how i want to be the one to break and stop all the negative, shameful, violent, addicting, drama y trauma cycles in my family from our ancestors and how it is a struggle. how i am still holding onto my mormon upbringing, rules, regulations, judgements, illusions, truths  y fantasies. how i struggle to express my sexuality and its not clear to me today. how today my Mum is proud of her curly curly hair for the first time in her life. how back in the days she relaxed her hair everyday. how she was not proud of her curly curly hair. how i love my curly long hair. how sometimes my curly long hair gets in the way. how i want to be seen as a person, as a human being. how i want my family to be seen as people, as human beings. how many times i don’t see my family as people, as human beings. how much transformation is needed in my family. how i want to give up on my biological family. how i have given up on my biological family. how much hurt i still carry. how much hurt i have released. how much love i have for my family. how much love i have for the world. my father’s story: 73 years old today. how brilliant he is. how violent he was. how violent he may still be. how much honor and respect i have for him. how many times i despise him and want to punish him. how much i love him. how much i am like him. how much i see myself in him. how much i am working on myself to not be like him. how much i love and i am very proud of all the ways i am like him. how i have created a beautiful family and community and home in nueva york city. how much i have grown. how far i have come. how close i am to you. how much more hills, mountains there are to climb. how many more countries i want to travel to. how much i love people, culture, art, food, plants, animals, stars, elements, science and our world. how i am infuriated now because i am not in the place i want to be with my art, my creativity, my calling, my journey. how its hard for me to accept what is and how easily it is for me to accept what if. how i want to prove myself. how i want to express myself. how many different types of ways i want to eat chocolate. my happiness. my joy and my freedom. these are just a few things of what i will write.
thank you for your listening. and reading.
‘ofa atu.

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