>, Poetry, Prose>Janice Lobo Sapigao, excerpts from microchips for millions

Janice Lobo Sapigao, excerpts from microchips for millions

the clean room

in order to come in,
you must first put on:

1.
hairnet

2.
shoe covers

3.
gloves

4.
mask

5.
hood

6.
cover-all

7.
boot covers

8.
goggles

9.
gloves

when you exit,
you must discard:

1.
gloves

2.
goggles

3.
hood

4.
mask

5.
boot covers

“no, you cannot bring
anything inside the room.
no cell phones,
no watch, no nothing.”

“you have to go
to the changing room
before you go in to work”

“i always wear my head band.”

“they don’t like you
to wear sneakers.
they like you wear
the shoes they give you.
my feet is hurt”

“it’s hard to breathe,
sometimes. oh my god”

“you can only
call me on
my break, okay?
8:30 or 12:30”

“i can only wear t-shirts.
the loose kind for work.
it’s better because
you sweat a lot”

“i can’t, balasang. i can’t”

“you have to wear
a suit. goggles.
everything
is covered.
everything.”

“you can’t touch anything.
you have gloves. they will
get mad on you”

the praise

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010
my mother builds
the backbone of the silicon valley
you can say she’s
single-handedly responsible
for the microchip revolution


my mother                 is a step ladder

is a spine
                 is a skeleton                  is a muscle

is a labor force is vertebrae is a staircase

is the key to a multi-millionaire’s business

is a person.

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010
all hail
the silicon valley
may you all
endlessly
power up,
aggregate the future,
sip the coffee made
by your interns,
and allow me
to ask sincerely,

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

“why

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                are 

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                                  you

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

        killing

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                         us

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

        this

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                         way?

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

                                  0111011101101000011110010000110100001010

the cry

the cry
                                          ma,

tell them we go to church on sundays
tell them spending christmas together
                             is a tradition we need to start soon
tell them about the blisters behind your ankles
              or the calluses that outline your step
tell them about your queendom
              that you can’t preside over your people if you’re not home
tell them buildings are a poor substitute for sunlight
tell them about living paycheck-to-paycheck
tell them about your arthritis
tell them that i ripped your beltloops when i was six
              clawing onto you because i didn’t want you to go to work that day
tell them about how starting your shift is a sentence and
              punching out your timesheet is freedom
tell them you’re sick today
              that you’re sick of them every day
                             that work is not a place without a place to sit
                                                  that free snacks and more hours don’t fool you
tell them that microchips don’t have feelings
tell them about your garden
              and how soil reacts to water
                      how you chip off thorns with uneven fingernails
                             or how your orchids finally bloom yellow, pink and purple
tell them they can’t automate your spirit
tell them they can’t outsource your humanity
tell them dignity is priceless
tell them you miss the mid-day radio
tell them you miss the price is right
tell them that it’s confidential
tell them some things are better left unsaid
tell them machines performing over 1,000 chemical reactions are dangerous
tell them they’re hazardous
tell them what the doctors said
              how your knees creak
                      how dad massages your feet every night
tell them we don’t care about who they are
              since they do not know us
tell them in ilokano
tell them in tagalog
              or vietnamese
                      or spanish
                             or khmer
tell all of your co-workers, my aunties
tell them to say no
tell them you say no
tell them no
              you don’t want to
              you’re not going to work today
              you’re not going to work
tell them that today
              the silicon valley resigns
                      tell them you run the town
tell them that they work for you.
tell them 01101110 01101111

                                                             NO

the valley of toxic fright

Janice_Sapigao-1

Janice_Sapigao-2

Janice_Sapigao-3

Janice_Sapigao-4

Janice_Sapigao-4b


SapigaoJanice_photoJanice Lobo Sapigao is a Pinay poet, writer, and educator born and raised in San José, CA. Her first book microchips for millions is forthcoming from PAWA, Inc in Fall 2016. She is also the author of the forthcoming chapbook toxic city (tinder tender press, 2015). She earned her M.F.A. in Critical Studies/Writing at CalArts. She co-founded an open mic in Los Angeles called Sunday Jump. She lives in the Bay Area and teaches at Skyline College and San José City College. Please visit her website: janicewrites.com

2016-12-21T06:15:40+00:00