Emma Galbraith is an actress, musician, writer, and climate justice organizer. She stars in the upcoming film Inbetween Girl.

The Pride Issue: Poetry Roundup

Each issue we ask our readers to submit their own pieces of prose and poetry to feature on Overachiever. Here are this issue’s pieces:

The Chutzpah by Anupama Bahadur

A riot of colours wrapped in hues,
Flocking the human streets,
Marginalized communities,
Embarking for their rights..
Striving ahead,
Struggling for social acceptance,
Enduring the discrimination,
With their strong will and determination..
Parading afloat the Mardi Gras,
Marching to the tunes offbeat,
Settling an eye for the critique,
Overlooking the misunderstandings with their feat..
Screeching for justice and legal rights,
Requesting for acceptance worldwide,
Nonchalance perpetuating solidarity and brotherhood,
The pride marches ahead
Head held high,
Feeling proud of their existence
In this non existential world…

Unceremonial by Cat Arisa March

in this gown I cannot run—
only wooden duck shuffle shoeless or with sandals.
I walk wounded in this ceremonial kimono. a silk
coffin an iron cocoon

silk chafes a textured
whisper I whisper back
a conversation this inner ear
fabric seashell pink
I know this language

sweat creeps down the crease in my legs. 
I inhale
obi stiff
seated on a plastic chair
in the honeytrickle heat

I catch mybody
in a nearby window
this crimson mouth
these clasped hands
this robe a garden

all cherry bloom ancestral grace
I hike folds of fabric 
to my waist over the toilet and pray
the crisp bow behind my back 
stays three-dimensional

makes me sit pretty 
a small gentle biped 
with albatross wings
those wide peach horizon
sleeves

mother says obachan must be laughing
from the heavens at all the safety pins 
hidden in the folds of her old kimono
and at the black yarn Jessie braided
tight around my ribcage

I listen for laughing
rosy hem around my ankles
laughing silver bird trill
laughing discordant 
unceremonial sweetness

the two of us tied together in one kimono
obachan’s ghost and I 
laughing laughing laughing 
till it hurts oh it hurts 
how do you cackle in this thing—

What to do with cherry blossoms by Cat Arisa March

First, you pluck as many pink buds as can fill
your pinafore pockets.
in the bowl of your hands 
they are so soft

Second, you float the blooms
in cold water in a little brown ceramic
bowl that should drown all the
insects you do not want in your
tea

Third, you boil the flowers
till they curl in on themselves
and shrivel like cropped umbilical cords
bleeding cherry-dark into the kettle

Fourth, you let the little dog
hop at the base of the smaller trees
to fill her mouth with blooms.
she too understands— 
they taste so sweet 

Fifth, you live far from me in Maryland
and each spring you write, 
oh, the cherry blossoms are out—

oh, the well-aged trees line up
like debutantes by the riverside,
those pastel branches so rich
with flowers that they stoop 
to grace the cool waters
with tiny petal-boats and kiss
their own reflections—

Sixth, the tea is ready
so you pour the steaming water
from the kettle into the painted teapot 
and you sip together
the pretty, pretty blood

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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