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.
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!
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!!!
“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.