Austin Tseng
Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Cover Image - Pauline Wu 2017
Growing up Chinese

I long to be offended

To be miffed

Would be so wonderful

To take things personally

To have it be about me.

But I don’t have that luxury

Rather, I’m assaulted

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words command the weapons.

PC may annoy some

But try a Poll Tax

I know not barbs to the heart

But fists to faces.

I don’t hate censors

But the sense, knocked into us

That we need the love of others

By learning to hate ourselves.

I don’t know insults

But orders in a war of centuries

Whose shots are still being fired

By those who call them.

Austin Tseng is currently undertaking a MA in Asian Studies at the University of Auckland. His research interests include Chinese diaspora history and postcolonialism. He divides his time between Aotearoa and Australia.