I am Pasckie
I am a citizen of a country
with no borders, no airports
no basketball teams or beauty queens
no ceilings, no walls, no floors
and I represent a culture
that converges around a bonfire.
The customs man did not know
how to stamp-pad me
so he just categorized me
as a mixed-up universalist.
I don’t believe in armed revolutions
violent struggles and world wars
I just believe in cheap beers,
open mics, laughters,
peace, love and lots of good food.
The political scientist did not know
how to check me in a box
so he just labeled me
as a pacifist who eats a lot.
I am not a member of any organization,
congregation, aggrupation or hallucination
and I don’t eat wings at Hooters
or play nickel slot machines in Las Vegas
although you can see me anywhere
everywhere whenever whatever.
The activist dude did not know how
to figure me out
so he called me a CIA spy
who doesn’t have a house.
I criticize governments, foreign
policies, politicians who praise
the Lord only on election days,
and Wells Fargo statements
and I refuse to vote or work
at a Wal-Mart store
or attend a Church service.
My good-natured neighbor did not know
what is it that I really want
so he called me
a really confused Communist.
I have these kinda weird cheekbones
and long black hair
and an angry look,
so they called me Cherokee;
Now I have this strange accent
and I eat ramen noodles with a spoon
so they called me a Filipino.
Well, I do not know
what people really want to know
so I just say,
“I am Pasckie!”
Asheville, North Carolina
About the author:
PASCKIE PASCUA has read his poetry in various and diverse venues in Asia and the US—mostly in cities where the Traveling Bonfires has organized events: Baltimore, Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, and in his home-city of Asheville. A veteran journalist, Pasckie has lectured and taught “people’s theater” (Brechtian/Boal) and community media in the countryside(s) of the Philippines, Japan, Italy, North Carolina, and upstate New York. He published (and edited) the community paper, The Indie, in Asheville (from winter 2000 to fall 2007).
The Traveling Bonfires is a program of closely coordinated, easy-to-mount, budget-friendly community events that advocate a peaceful convergence vibe—as well as family closeness, neighborhood connected-ness, and multi-cultural harmony.