Poetry

Definition: wog (n); a thing

A wog is a word for a thing

a polliwog, a golliwog

a black-face doll –

a sailor who has not

crossed the equator –

with a halo of hair and

a gash of lips, no hips, frozen

in time, a white minstrel

thing, a caricature –

a word from the past

not used anymore.

A golliwog is a doll,

a story, created by Florence K Up-

ton and illustrated –

a face on jam and Black Jack

confection –

a children’s toy,

a ploy of affectation, not

affection –

a germ, bug, infection

or illness of the gut –

something you don’t

want to have or be, ‘pick

her or him, not me, not me.’

A wog is not Working

on Government Service,

a wog is not a Western

Oriental Gentleman,

worthy, wily or wonderful

a WOG is not an acronym.

A wog is a word for a thing.

A wog is a scattermouch,

it is Indian, Arab, Asian,

a wog is a word used for post-World War II

Southern-European immigration.

A wog is not out of work,

a wog is not a boy. Greeks,

Italians, Croatians and

Portuguese use the word

with ease that was once

a racial slur. You get a rise

out of not knowing

where you come from

anymore. A wog was my baba

and deda, my brothers,

father, mother and sister.

A wog belongs to the Empire,

and an Empire likes a wog

that is cheap and for hire,

‘the wogs begin at Calais’ –

and they become a parle,

refugees, fresh off the boat

people, queue jumpers, r/evolving,

speak Inglese, speak illegalese –

a wog becomes a sailor

who has crossed

the equator.

 

Author’s note: The definitions of ‘wog’ in ‘Definition: wog (n); a thing’ are referenced from David Wilton’s Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends (Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 95–96).
deda (Croatian) = grandfather
baba (Croatian) = grandmother

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