Each issue we feature pieces of poetry and prose from Asian women around the world. Here are this issue’s pieces:
Graceful Inhumanity by Carla M.
“O, Gather Me the Rose” by William Ernest Henley
Till time is far from reach, lasso beauty, For bliss, will early spring. Value it is, but abruptly tow, O ne’er neglect fate is blessing.
Becoming ignis fatuus, Beam til the ave dream fulfills, Atrocities be riotous, Raze resistance yet it upfills.
Seldomly I ache for your affinity, Seldomly, my beau and my swain. Withal hold, not to rise yours truly, Perpetual sleep ever wanes.
Fairness perceived by sight or glare, Become one among muses. Chimeras nonchalantly come aware, Yet oblivion diffuses.
It’s Springby Camryn Smith
Oh the possibilities If I could be a buttercup and honey girl Less hard scrapes and more dewy sweetness The kind you like to show your mother or friend Instead I find myself here with wax burns Each tug was like when I was yelled at for trying to be someone. It’s hard to have a face.
(of color) by Sharon Pasia
Blessed with my papa’s shade, My skin was sunkissed Before her beams even reached me
I was born with a gift A natural colour That inspires these wanna-be POC white girls Into burning themselves to a crisp At your local L.A Tan
This is a love letter to my peeps of color To all my friends that have been described as Exotic Tropical And Foreign
Where people compare your shade to different cups of coffee Because in reality, they’re thirsty For this Caramel Cocoa Hazel Bronzed Beauty And they’re lowkey begging to take a sip
This is for the ones That have people playing the guessing game of where you’re “actually” from Or have experienced the common American Greeting of, “…Do you speak english???”
I’m sending soo much love to those whose shade cannot be erased with Pond’s Obagi Nu Derm Papaya Soap Fair and Lovely Or any other skin bleaching agent your mama gave you for you to feel “beautiful” at the tender age of 12
I see you. And I’m so proud of you Because embracing your color isn’t easy.
It takes a different kind of strength to finally hear and challenge the toxic whispers, tucked away into your subconscious that started with a cruel game of telephone- Passed down from colonizers to thousands of bloodlines Eventually making its way, from the mouths of your loved ones To you
Who knew words like Savage Dirty Ugly Ratchet and Trashy Had the capability to crush a human spirit And brainwash generation after generation Normalizing cultural self hate?
But we out here we’re killin’ it- Nippin’ the self hate from the bud, Tearing it into shreds,
Cutting and unraveling this unnecessary tight rope Of standards you shouldn’t have to balance on in the first place
Finally hanging up that stupid-ass phone, breaking a poisonous record that was once on repeat For almost half a millenia
And HOLY SHIT I am so proud of you. For finally basking in the true light, Unapologetically and unafraid. Planting the seeds and spreading new words of self love for generations to come.
So please, Take up all the space you need. Bask in this garden that you’ve helped create. As the sun welcomes you with open arms Because you deserve it- You always have.
And to those still hiding underneath their parasols- I see you too. And friend, I honestly can’t wait for the moment when you’re ready to finally embrace the sun’s glow
What do you find most attractive about people? Well, lots of things But what I like More than anything in the world is when they are smooth
Smooth like honey Their words roll off The tongue A smooth, deep mellow I like them smooth
I wish I could be so smooth So velvety and tender like The sounds I love to hear I’m deep, alright Rigid with canyons that I love to douse in Smeared makeup and boiling hot water
I pluck and jab and bleach and sting But no amount of torture and fortune And self-care can bring me The smoothness I long to be Reciprocal of the smoothness I love to hear.
I stopped listening to them The trials and tribulations of this jagged world And I started listening to me, her, and The sounds I love to hear I forget about me I’m as smooth and tender as I want to be
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.