Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Secret Asian Man

Nick Carbo, author of Secret Asian Man and El Grupo McDonalds, was born in the Philippines and later adopted by Spanish and Greek parents. Carbo’s experiences and struggle influence his poems. Most of his poems are about his struggle to assimilate to the American culture and yet he is mocking about it. This poem portrays one of the many Asian sterotypes. Asian Americans are usually depicted as inferior to Americans. Not all Asians are evil and not all Chinese know Kung-Fu.
Recently on TV, William Hung’s audition video is played over and over again as a teaser for American Idol’s 4th season. This tells us that the producers of the show give importance to a funny-looking (and sounding) little Asian man who doesn’t even speak good English as their means to entertain people and rake in more money. But this puts Asians into the wrong light as well.
Phyllis Cortes

Secret Asian Man
Nick Carbo

He's given a number,
he's given a new name,
he's given an automatic pistol,
he's given a license to kill.
He could be Chinese, Nepalese,
Cambodian, Timorese, Laotian,
Indonesian, Burmese, or Thai.
He can kick higher than Jackie Chan,
he can be as devious as Dr. Fu Man Chu,
he can speak better English than Charlie Chan,
and he can even make a great pot of Moo Goo Gai Pan.
He could be Korean, Japanese,
Singaporean, Malaysian, Tibetan,
Vietnamese, or from Brunei.
He'll torture you with drops of water between the eyes,
shove bamboo strips under your nails, then dip them in iodine.
He'll torture you by tying you up in a wicker chair,
make you watch endless reruns of Kung Fu with David Carradine.
He's given a number,
he's given a new name,
he's given an automatic pistol,
he's given a license to kill.



Anonymous said...

i cant believe no one commented on this poem. its entertaining for me because it is very current and i am familiar with the people that was mentioned. it was also kind of gros, like descriptive, that the reader can actually understand the feeling that the poet wants to convey. -james gatano, friend of melinda yoingco

Nick said...

you can ask Nick Carbo directly any questions you have about his poems at ( is very friendly and very intelligent!