Mr. Chai Tea
Sutichai (Chai) Savathasuk, or Mr. Chai Tea, is an autistic 3rd-generation Thai-American spoken-word artist from LA. With a background in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Northridge, he blends comedy and poetry, captivating audiences with laughter and inspiration. A Sunday Jump and Palms Up Academy regular, Chai promotes empathy through his unique experiences as a nerd and adventurer, reminding us to find joy in our passions and seek connection. From mics to milk teas, hiking trails or board games, his enthusiasm for life shines through. You can find him at local boba shops and on Instagram: @mr.chai_tea.
My main slang splashed with Thai,
painted with Chinese genes in my blood.
Grew up in a Latino neighborhood,
raised by a Filipino community
who nurtured my artistic identity.
Southeast Asian accent layered by an Aspie cadence,
So-Cali swirl with a Valley style cherry
to top off the melted pot in my throat.
Languages are fascinating.
We all drink the same letters
but spit a plethora of remixes.
I’m multi-dipping in that hot pot with
my rooted tongue
branching to touch everyone.
You can stuff me in Filipino culture
I could tag along to
‘cuz I’d not only stuff myself with Thai food.
My taste buds got taste, bud,
with stacks of spice on racks for seasoning
the flavorful connections,
because that diversity taste better
than flavorless vernaculars
stuck in monolinguals.
I’m a linguistics investigator, cultural connoisseur,
appreciator for dialects my mind’s collected,
appropriate for cross-cultural celebration.
All the communities that raised me,
respective mentors that trained me,
gave me the unique language I speak
to create my slanguage of Chai-
God made me shy and awkward off stage to nerf my self-confidence,
but if I dropped my humbleness to 0,
and raise my ego up to my IQ,
then, hot damn,
AIN’T I AN ABSOLUTE UNIT OF A HUMAN BEING.
My friends call me a fruit cuz I always roll up
My time is like a period, I’m always punctual.
I’m reliable and dependable, my dialogue programmed with honesty,
so call me the IRS because you can always account on me.
I am the kidneys to my people because I flush out toxicity.
I am the hair on my legs, you can cut me down but I’ll keep growing.
I am the sunshine of a sunday afternoon
because i make the world a brighter place.
I am an encyclopedia of knowledge, a dictionary DJ.
If I was a dinosaur, I’d be a thesaurus.
My brain holds Universes of verses
that nobody can versus,
so when you and me converses,
you feel that spectacular vernacular.
I’m a millennial up on all the side hustles.
I’m an engineer and an artist who’s financially stable.
I'm an ordained minister who can officiate your wedding.
I do Muay Thai, so i can kick ass on stage and in the ring.
I’m also a pacifist, so that last line was metaphorical,
but I’ll still pass a fist to hook you in quite literal.
But don’t worry, all the grammas still find me adorable,
‘cuz im capable of carrying all the groceries in one go.
See, I’m a rock climber, my forearms move so fast,
you can only see 2 arms.
I don’t drink, I just carry a six pack.
I don’t smoke, I drop fire.
I don’t get high, I stay hydrated.
I am a skyscraper with tons of stories.
I ran two marathons.
I jumped 1000 feet off the Stratosphere in Vegas,
yeeted myself out of an aeroplane,
call me fly af ‘cuz I’m still soaring.
I don’t fear heights, heights fear me
‘cuz I’m constantly stepping on them.
I’m a proud Asian who don’t raisin, I’m just raising the bar.
My resume is the red carpet before you reach for the stars.
I’m Jacked in All Trades, but I’ve still a lot more to master.
I’ve lived a lifetime before this moment, and I’ve a lifetime after.
My experiences just can't fit within this piece I got here, so, finally,
My name was bestowed upon me by the monks of the Wat Thai temple
that means champion, winner,
because I sure as heck won the genetic lottery to be me,
for my name is Sutichai Savathasuk,
but you can call me
Mr. Chai Tea.