Monday, April 30, 2012

Where I am From

**Put together from workshops with students from Los Sures for a final performance project and so is meant to be spoken by an ensemble.

Where I Am From
(For the People of Los Sures)

Where I am from the concrete is cracked
And the English is broken
Fire hydrants blast
And boleros blast
While kids run, jump and dance in the street
There are no trash cans around
So the trash stays at my feet
The smell of cigarettes fills hallways
But it does not linger too long

Because it is covered by the scent of
Arroz con habichuelas
Queadillas , mole, enchiladas
Arepas, Empanands
Pastilitos for a dollar
(cough) $1.50

Really? Dannng

Where I am from salons are filled with
Chismosa’s whispers
Under clouds of hairspray and fumes
And hair is blown out
And color is drowned out
Curls are straightened out

(One person touches an actor with curly hair’s hair) “Pelo malo”

Where I am from the streets are loud
With cars honking
Music playing all hours of the day
Viejos and Viejas sit outside, dominos, betting
And the guys on the corner keep sweating
Every girl that passes
(Actors line up and transform quickly into male personas)

“Pssst. Psst. Psst”
“Aye, Ma.”
“You’re beautiful”
“You so sexy”
“Daaaamn girl”

(The girl ignores them)

“Man, forget you then, you ain’t even that pretty anyway!”

Where I am from sometimes can be quiet
And you feel sort of safe
But then get creeped out
Because you were told you’d get raped
If you’re out late
You’ll get jumped
You’ll get stopped
And you’ll get frisked
Where I’m from walking down the street
Can be a risk
And danger lurks from every corner
Making the fun afraid to come out
But it‘s only sometimes

Yea but sometimes is enough
(Actors all agree)

And if you are lucky
You can make it out of here in one piece
Before cops throw you down in the street
Or you get down with gangs on these streets
Or before the drugs get to you
Or the drinking
Or you start thinking that
“If you are Black, Brown, Latino
You won’t amount to anything” thinking

Where I am from
My dreams are not my mother’s dreams
But she wished that they were
Because she had dreams too
But they didn’t turn out the way she hoped
They were washed away with dirty dish washing soap
She cleaned homes that were not her own
And folded clothes that were not her own
And helped raised other people’s kids
So she could raise her own
My mother has dreams for me
That were her dreams
But my real dream is to be…
(The Actors state their dreams)

And I know getting there is not easy
We’ve got debts to pay
And not just ours, but our parents
We’ll inherit them
And these bills and this rent that
Keeps getting hire
Become chains
And all of a sudden we are slaves

Where I am from
We become what we fought not to
This place we come from
Is being taken away
Capitalism is Imperialism of Modern day
Gentrification wiping the brown out
“Cleaning up” our streets
New Thai place around the corner and Vegan eats
And other restaurants and clothing stores
That I can’t even afford

Where I am from stories were written on the walls
They were painted on the walls
But now they’ve been breaking down our walls
To build new ones
That we cannot afford to tell our stories on
Or live our stories in

Where I am from
I call home
We call home
This is home
And it has always been
Where I am from
And no one can change that

Read Me

*The experience of an object- a Book

Read Me

My spine stays stiff
As you open me up
And pass your fingers through me
Knowing exactly which part
You left off at
You stop to adjust yourself
In a postion where you are ready
Keeping your hands steady
Keeping me spread
I let you run your eyes up and down,
Left to right
Inside me
Until you are ready to turn me
Take me in
Pull me closer
Part by part
You build until you reach the climax
And I know
You could go on for hours
But you exhale
And I keep you wanting more
But its time for sleep
So you close me up
And remember your place
But still keep me
Right next to you in bed
Just in case

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am not a starving artist
Because my art feeds me
And sustains life in me
But also because
I make sure I know my work's worth
And I've learn to let the world know it too
Because when I sell my art
I sell pieces of my heart
To keep other hearts beating
And so there's just no cheating, it.

My imagination's imaginings
Open your eyes and mind,
And have you seeing
My truths truest form coming
From my fingertips
Keep sighs and awe breathing
Through your lips
I'm a creator whose creations
create movements
My art is action
It is active in its community
In creating I create unity

My art acts on all the injustices
My art fights justice it,
Acts on, against, for what it sees
Are these realities our realities
Or is it what THEY want us to believe
My Art exposes the bad guys
It makes you wise
To patriarchal, capitalistic
Imperialist lies
My art wears no masks
No facades
My art knows what its cause is
And causes you to think
And to feel
Makes you want to do
My art is love and truth

I know what value my art has,
Make no mistake.
And because of this, as I give
I know I have to take
My earnings, and
I won't sell-out just to make my
Ends meet
Keep my self on my feet
Keep me off of the streets
Keep food on the table to eat


Because I  choose to let you know
You have to pay for each piece
Because my art keeps life looking beautiful
Doctors save lives, are life giving
But artists make life worth living
So drop the idea to be an artist
You have to starve
That the life of a creator has to be hard
We live for the struggle,
But have to break that struggle
You don't have to always struggle
To live your artistry
Take it from me
I'll take the lead

You have to start
By letting the world know
That art,
Your art
Is valuable

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Dance

I Dance

I dance
When I hear the rhythm
Of beats island to streets
My spirit can't help but
Feel moved
I get down with that groove
Right down to the grooves
Of my toes
Tapping the Earth and
Calling her to waking
And I feel my hips shaking
And there just is no faking
This freedom
I lose thought
I break pattern
I flow until I fly
I feel what its like
To have your body cry
Cry out
Shout out
Wail out
No doubts
No question
No thought
No judgement in ability
Only pure vulnerability
My body in chaos
No reason to be made
I dance for ancestors
With homage to be paid
A warrior of joy
Sweating away
All my fears
I dance with power and passion
I sweat out my tears

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Know I Am Beautiful On the Inside

*What I know and what I don't know

I Know I am Beautiful on the Inside

I know and tell my self
Everyday that men and womyn
Should be equal
That I should not let
Anyone make me feel that
I am not worthy
That even past thirty
It is not downhill for us
That if we just trust
In love for our self
Life be just as generous
In its givings, that I will find love
With confidence and faith
That I don't need to make 
false impressions on any dates
All I have to be is me
And if he's right he'll see
That I am a catch
Be my match
He should, he should see
But in reality
He might not
And I know that

Because I know
And I have heard and experienced
That men need time
They need space
They need to find themselves 
before settling down
That they need to experience other womyn, 
shop around
That its not you its him
And if he wanted to commit
I would be it
But right now its about running with lust
And if we were meant to be I should trust
We will find eachother again in love
I know it is what it is
And that even though I try to say 
"I am Good enough"
Even though I say that to myself
I can't help
But feel otherwise
Because I'm not compelled 
To be with other guys
But he's off
Looking for the next girl to
Be a maybe
And I look nothing like them
I pin myself against other womyn
And feel like its a competition

I know that we take cues from
Man's design
Of what a womyn should look like
Talk like
Act like
That even though I seek to just be me
That maybe
The me I am, that needs 
That little bit of eye liner and rouge on my face
Wears lingerie when I know 
He is coming over to my place
Just in case
And has way too many panties 
To choose from in the first place
That makes purchases
For ageless defence and youthful look
Items that claim they'll make you sexy
and how to please your man books

Or when I go into dressing rooms 
With so many clothes and leave with none
Because they made me look fat
Or made me look flat
Or made my but look small
Or made my hips or my tummy pop out
Made me wish I was tall
And shit I know I'm tiny and skinny
But then that's a problem
I don't want to get fat
but hate that I'm petite
And even though I tell myself 
"I am beautiful"
I still find my defeat
In all of this conditioning
All of this tradition in
Believing I have to be something
That I was told I need to be
To keep my man wanting me

I know that its all lies
That we have been fed 
the need to compromise
Who we are 
And believing is my demise
I know and I fight for
My own empowerment
The same as the young sister
If she came to me and told me
"I don't like the way I look"
She is not good enough
I would tell her in truth
"You are beautiful,
Don't let anyone take that away from you
Don't let anyone convince you that
You are less than the Goddess in you."
And I tell her, to tell myself too
Because sometimes I feel hypocrite
And my whole life I've been fighting it
My whole life I've wanted what she does
Just to be loved,
Not just for who I am
But what I look like

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
But our eyes have been conditioned
Our eyes have us wishing
That we looked like someone else
I don't even know anymore
Why when I see big breasts
Exposed chests
Tiny waists
Big butts
And find myself feeling insecure
I'm unsure
Of myself
I just don't know what
Makes me cringe and my breath stop
When I see a womyn's face
Big eyes, lips pout
Clear skin, slender and thin
I start to hate the skin I'm in
No one wins
7 billion people in this world
And we keep telling every little girl
That she needs to be beautiful
By some standard that we don't all fit
And I'm really tired of it

And no matter how much I know
And no matter how much I grow
In understanding how fucked up it all is
I shake my head in disappointment of myself
Because I still wish
That I could look a different way
Because no matter what they say
The inside counts its true
But the outside really does too

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



4 months in
And I already feel the change
The flow of life has rearranged
Feelin' strange
Trying to focus
There are things about myself
I've come to notice
That I don't feel satisfied
With all that has conspired
In the time that has flown by

That the goals I have set
Aren't even in my grasp yet
Now I'm working in the struggle
Many dreams I'm trying to juggle
And not just mine,but all the youth
Who I'm helping find their truth
And just trying to be there for the people that I love
Sometimes putting their dreams
up above

My own

Because they've grown me
And in their existence in my life
They have shown me
I'm not alone, but I still feel lonely
I've been concerned about other people making it
Giving advice, but never really taking it
Fall in a cycle, I don't know how to break it

The years I've been alive
And I know who I am
I know where I'm from
But I'm more concerned on who I might become
If I don't start taking the risks that I'm scared to
With degrees,
and experience,
This heart should be prepared to
But I'm not, I just keep it on the low
Diggin' myself deeper
With the what ifs, can'ts and no's

Don't get me wrong
Every day I give gratitude
And I'm really trying to change up my attitude
Look to the sun every day
Taking in her light
Goddess and warrior,
with so much fight
In me
My will to change the world
Still fuelin fire in me

Fist up in the air
Inhale, exhale
Breathing through
Beating through
All the pressures and despair
They are not all I'm made of
I've got so much to share
All my talents, all my passion, all the love in my heart
Today past this poem
Action needs to start
With me
I act like I was blind, but I known have always seen
What I've being growing into,
what I'm meant to be
Letting go of fears, setting my spirit free

Sister to the sun
There can only be one
Going to scream it at the top of my lungs
I am proud of who I am
I'm proud of where I'm from
And I know all the things I am destined to be come

I'm 25
The years I've been alive
And I'm not going to give up
Bet I'm going to live up
Every day I am blessed to be
This year I'm shifting my focus
And before all others I'm gonna do me

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Past the Pain

Past the pain
I am a greater being of love for self
I learned to love the Goddess in me
Above all else

Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving You


Loving You

What if you love you?
But only on the inside
The outside counts too

Sunday, April 22, 2012


*Freedom Poem

"Expectation is a prison. Let go and you will be free."- Unknown


Expectations got me cuffed
And I thought I'd have enough
By now
But instead, I'm still waiting
Anxious and anticipating
My patience is fading
And I don't want to resent you
Broke my heart,
You never meant to

But its happened
and again
And sometimes
I tell myself
Maybe its the end
But I breath and hope and pray for you
They always said patience is a virtue
That love is patient
Love is kind
But maybe when they said that
They never had in mind

That at one point
you have to draw the line
I've allowed our relationship
To exist on your time
I'm always hoping you will call
You don't  communicate
I can't understand why you'd
Ever have me sit and wait

And when you finally come around
You know I'm always down
And I'm ready for you
Even though in my waiting
I cry,
Swelled eyes,
I beat myself up,
Tell myself
Maybe I'm not enough,

And maybe I should get over you
You see me smiling and
I never let you know the truth
Of my pain on these days
You come back,
but then you go away
And I'm left just expecting
And I think all my expecting

Is useless
I don't ever want to want
You less
Throw the ball in your court
And I'm defenseless
In disappointment
I find my acceptance
That I love you
but I can't keep doing this

I would give you my all
if you asked me to
But I learned to not
expect the same of you
I've learned to be
Happy with this situation
You and me
Letting go of all expectations
And no matter hard it is for me
To say
I've taught myself
That this is the only way,
I have to let you go set you free
But also let you go so I can
Truly free me

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Reflection of a Best Friend's Wedding

*In reflection of a best friend's wedding

In Reflection of a Best Friend's Wedding

As I sit in awe
At this union of two people
Who I have seen live love
Past friendship and lust
In faith, and trust that
Fate brought them to this moment
Two people
Two spirits
Two hearts
I find myself wanting with teary eyes
My own moment like this and I
Wonder where this longing
Of beloved belonging
Began from
Is it in our nature and instinct
Is it feeling or something we are thought to think
Is it learned or are we really beings
Of love in this way, where we are meant to be
Meant to find
Meant to grow in union with one
for the rest of our lives?
Even despite titles of husbands and wives
Are we drawn to one another
Without the language of lovers
If we had no known word to express
Is it in our animal being
To be in love like this
I confuse my self
Of union's truth
Am I supposed to want to give
possession of my heart to another
And allow the take
Without exchange
Of what beats life through me?
To him
To someone, if I think he is
The One
I don't know, but I know what I feel
In this moment
Seeing my best friend take a vow
On marriage's path
That I want with all my heart
What those two have

Friday, April 20, 2012

Facebook Friends


Facebook Friends

With a click of a button
Friendship means that
You add me
Like my status
Share my post
Check my notes
Maybe attend the events I host
Because I cant expect
You will or won’t show
And at the end of the day
You probably won’t go
How do you know her?
We worked together
We attended the same school
We have 7 mutual friends
I thought her profile picture was cool
And when we see each other
Face to face
In person
In real life
We feel disconnected
Its not really expected
That we will interact
Past news feeds, most popular, most recent
And speaking through comments
And message box chats
Its not a surprise to me that
What we know of each other is ideal
Because on our walls and timelines
We can omit what we feel
We don’t want you to know
We can restrict what we show
Make two profiles
One to keep our lives on the low
I have to take a step back
I have to retrace and track
When it was that we lost touch,
To what it means to keep in touch
We forgot that friendship means so much
More than numbers
1,297 friends and counting
But only counting
A handful as the ones who
When I see, I can hold in embrace
Those are the friends I hold true to
Who know me beyond a face

Thursday, April 19, 2012



I still cry
Not every night like before
But the tears still come
They still interrupt my
Being- okay
I still cry
Not for hours or days like before
But my eyes still swell
I drop my head into my hands
And sob and shake my head
In disbelief that
I still cry
Not that I thought it would stop hurting like before
But I thought it would lessen at the least
Instead it may hurt more
Because it’s been hurting for so long
Be still
I still

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mental Touchups


Mental Touchups

My stomach feels hallow
I look at images of womyn
Looking like beauty
And with a sigh of realization
Of what I don't look like
I manipulate my face
With thoughts of
What I wish
I wish
I wish
What I wish my face were


Staring into mirrors
Too long
I just want to like what I see
Every time I look
I wonder if anyone looks at me
And likes what they see
Every time they look

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Playtime (For Shane and Hayden)

*Poetry for my younger siblings

Playtime (For Shane and Hayden)

I steal away to the days
That we would run
Stay out and let the sun
Hug us until our skin turned
Golden and our faces
Beamed bright
From her light
And hold it in our bellies
In laughter

Transforming the green of
Grandma’s garden
Into jungles and forests
Beaches, space, and
Wherever place
We wanted to be
I miss make believing
Until we were really believing
That we were on a mission,
And I took pleasure
In searching for hidden treasure
I wish we could play that way forever

When we could transform
Into mad scientists
Making flubber and goo
And also when you
Would take all the left over liquids
At our table and mix up an elixir
and be proud
Even though your mom would say
That’s not allowed

I love your dirty faces
From rolling around
Digging deep into the ground
And how when you would fall
You would just get back up
Like nothing happened at all
Too busy in play
To let a little scrape take away
From your joy

And Manang Joy
Would get your hands
Sticky with sweets
And she would let you
Climb up on a seat
To help her mix up
All the wet things and then all the dry
And watch them through
The oven window rise
Cupcakes and cookies
Frosted and sprinkled goodies
Chocolate for Shaney
And vanilla for Haydie

But now I see you growing
Past my height and
Your maturity starts showing
In your voice
And your face
And we moved on to playing
Video games
Which is okay
Because I love playing too
And the best part
Is its still playing with you
So we stay with the Wii and PS3
Until our eyes tire
Or our play has expired
Because its time for bed
Because your mom said

I still miss running with you
And tumbling to the floor
But all of your energy isn’t
Just for playtime anymore
You have soccer practice,
And karate and baseball
And your limbs grow longer
And you’re getting so tall
And I fear the day when you
Won't need me at all

But no matter what
I hope you always know
That you are my little brothers
And I will always have the time
Or make the time
To share with you in play
Whatever way
You grow to know it

But I will always hold most to
The days we would run
Stay out and let the sun
Hug us until our skin turned
Golden and our faces
Beamed bright
From her light
And hold it in our bellies
In laughter
I’ll keep this with me today and
All our days together after

Monday, April 16, 2012

Home Is Where the Heart Is

*Home poem

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home is where the heart is
But what if
Your heart has been beat
Out of its own rhythm
Playing only the Blues
Bruised black
Forgotten tempo and groove
Like guitar strings
That can’t be tuned
And strumming them
Reminds you of
Your mother’s agony
High screech, then low sobbing,
Deep bellied moans
Unharmonized tones
Leaves your heart throbbing
Off beat
You hide under thin sheets
You shut your ears
But the sounds of her tears
Enter you anyway

What if the crackling flame
Of comfort and warmth
That fired your chest
Has been extinguished by
Sweating tears in exhaustion
Washing flames away
And leaving only embers that
Glow enough to bring you longing for
What you knew
You sift through
Old photographs
Of faces smiling and
Closeness, together they stood
How you wish they still would
But as you flip the pages
You see shifts
And rifts between bodies
And that the colors have faded
The brilliance has gone away
And you remember that day
That he left

You remember hiding at
The edge of doorways
Gripping hinges with
Back pressed against wall paper
Wilting from the stench in the air
That crept through the cracks
Under doorways,
Letting in light
Into a pitch black room
Trapped in shadows of screams
And cracks and crashes
Vibrations shook the walls around you
As the front door slammed shut
And he was gone, he left
And you heard your mother's breath
Heavy, and few
And you pulled your knees close to you
To catch the waterfalls
Trickling down
From the swells of your eyes
And the running of your nose
You knew what this silence meant
Even if your didn’t want to believe
He really went

That your family
Is not a family anymore
That now its in pieces
And they can’t even decide
Which piece belongs to who
Questioning where to draw the line
How to distinguish,
“What’s yours or mine?”
And when it comes to you its
Every other weekend
Alternating Holidays-
As their belongings were split
Yours doubled
Two beds
Two toothbrushes
Two birthdays
And a heart torn in two

And if home is where the heart is
Then in your home
Walls do not connect
Floors are unstable, unsteady
And You stare at ceilings that let the rain in
As you question, alone

Do Broken homes
make broken hearts?
Or do Broken hearts
make broken homes?




"I love you"
You say those words
For the first time
And after that moment
The words have their way of
Transforming into a phrase
Whose meaning when first spoken
Was filled with so much passion
And truth from your heart
But now I wonder,
I question
The loss of these word's meanings
If we say them
Just because we have forgotten how
To communicate our love for one
Another in other ways

How can we encompass
All the gratitude, joy, and respect
Between us
Into just one phrase
I feel myself stretching these words
To match my feelings
To find proper place in my mouth
Before releasing
And then find myself speaking it,
In repetition
In routine
Hoping each time I say them
They can fully mean, what they mean to
And make you feel like
The first time I told you

I wonder about the first time
I ever knew
"I love you"
Who the first person was
That made me connect those words
To feelings
How old was I
Where was the place and moment
What might have triggered me to
Say and feel "I love you"?

I wonder before I ever spoke those words
When was the first time
You knew I adored you,
That you inspired me,
Make me want to be better,
That you make my days brighter
And more joyful
That I am so grateful to have your
Support and guidance and care in life
That I don't see a future
Without you in it
I wonder if you knew this
Before I ever told you
If my breath
Or heart beat
Or the way I hold you
With arms, and eyes
Spoke to you before words could?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I don't know where to begin
My thanks giving to you
To the man who taught me
What a man in his making should be
Before bell hooks and Audre
The biggest feminist I knew
Was you
You taught me how I should be treated
By the way you gave
Respect to my mother
And were true in the way you loved her
In our household the womyn outnumbered you
But you held your place
And held us tight
Right next to you

I remember seeing you
Cry for my mother
When she was in need
Tears of loving
The same tears you cried
That were also my sister's and mine
They flooded through you with pride
When we accomplished
All you told us we could
With hard work and determination
We learned from your example and teaching
Always reaching
For our dreams past any limitations

Even when I was a little girl
You used to lift me
On your shoulders so I could
Touch the sun
On top of the world
Never fearing falling
Because your hands held tightly
Kept me balanced and secure
Because of you, climbing heights
Became so natural

My laugh began in your belly
And creases that smiled
on the sides of your eyes
Eventually I would grow
With time they would show
A lifetime of happiness like you
Daddy's little girl to this day
You frighten all my fears away
By teaching me to believe
In my own power
In my smarts
In my honesty
And my goodness
That all come from you
So thank you
For making me
Your Pride and Joy
I feel humbled to have you
Hold me in your light in the way you do
I love you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Once Upon a Time

* Once Upon a Time poem

Too many "Once Upon a Times"
Were told to me
To shape my make believing
To leave me feeling
In my playtime
I needed to pretend I awaited saviors
That someday my prince would come
That I needed to be ready
With glossed lips
For True love's kiss
To make me come to life
To make me a wife, complete me
That only with the valor and strength
Of man on stead
Coming to rescue me
Could I ever rise from
Servent to Queen
Without understanding Queen
Really means...
A different type of service
To a man
To a land
To I only can
Because he made me into who I am

Once upon a times, taught me
That I was meant to be
Captured, trapped, held in attic and tower
and locked away with no key
And womyn looked so weak
And their beauty is what men seek
The only way strength was shown
Was if it meant we were
Evil in our place of power
Witches, twisted, and terrible
And deviously unbearable
In a fight to be the fairest since
they longed to earn affections and approval of
A Father, King or Prince
Mirrors needed to reassure us
to bring us happiness

We learned to scream and
Plead for help
To faint in fear
And to run
Until someone would save us
And recognize us as "The One"
That man dreamt up in his dreaming
Of a perfect womyn to make his own
So our wishes needed to be
for True Love's coming and knowing
And freedom was not something
We could have for ourselves,
It needed to be given the key to our chains
The answer to our pains

In play and make believe
All of this becomes truth
And as we leave behind our youth
We bring these ideas to our realities
Only after we were grown
And feeling alone
Could we find that
Prince charming is nowhere to be found
And we needed to wake up from slumber
And the sleep we played in as a child
And stayed in our growings
To really open our our eyes and see
That we have the power to
Find happiness past
What pages have told us
We were meant to be
That we could re-write these
Fairy tales and un-happily ever after stories

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Take My Body, Give You My Body

*Senses- A Poem that has been reworked

Take My Body, Give You My Body

You take my body...
This body is my temple,
and as you enter inside me
my heart and my womanhood are
and broken down
into particles that cause pains
igniting the nerves all over my skin
sending chills down my spine
and warmth in my stomach,
turning a cycle of disgust
as you enter inside me,
you take my body
and with it, my insides are inflamed
releasing into the air a cloud of desperation
that is now enveloping and pressing your flesh
more heavily on mine
and as I feel the weight of my breath that does not fill just my lungs
but my head and my heart and my eyes with tears,
leaving me senseless
I block out your touch, your smell, your taste, the sound of your breathing, the sight of your manhood,
you take my body and then leave me to be present,
as I lay in the silence of this hell born sight
that is a body taken by you.

I give you my body...
This body is a vessel
and as you enter inside me
my heart and my womanhood are
and broken down into particles that cause
igniting the nerves all over my skin
sending chills down my spine
and warmth in my stomach,
turning a cycle of pleasure
as you enter inside me,
I give you my body
and with it, my insides are inflamed
releasing into the air a cloud of ecstasy
that is now enveloping and pressing my soul
more heavily on yours
and as I feel the weight of my breath that does not fill just my lungs
but my head and my heart and my eyes with tears,
leaving me senseless
but so sensual is your touch, your smell, your taste, the sound of your breathing, the sight of your manhood,
I give you my body in exchange for your own
it is present beside me and we lay in the silence of the heavenly sight
that is the gift of our bodies to each other

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Connecting Teaching to Practice


Connecting Teaching to Practice

It always looked like love to me
To have two hands clutching
Strolling down long streets
Where remnants of couples' imprints
Side by side
Toe to toe
Stay, reminiscing romances
Beneath sunshine and moonlight
Two hands holding to me
Looks like love

I have watched
Head leaning on shoulder
Gently kissing biceps in exchange
For kissing foreheads
Locking looks, to locking smiles
And locking lips
Touching faces with fingertips,
Cupping cheeks with palms
Bumping heads and staying
In stillness
Deeper looks into eyes
I sigh because
In these tender moments,
I’ve seen two spirits
Tend to each other’s hearts

And watching these affections
Were my love lessons
And my teachers
Are the wisest lovers I have ever known

My mother taught me
That love is giving
You see, my mother gave her hands to
Making meals and feeding her family
I watched my father enjoy every bite
And to this day I still do not see him
Slouch in satisfaction
At any other table, but hers
He always sits for a moment before
Leaving his seat, and while he filled.
She feels fulfilled.

In my last visit home
I woke to my mother at her stove
And on the table was a cup of coffee
and bread to its side
Waiting for my father, that morning,
And the next
and the next
But her giving does not end
or begin in her kitchen

Her generosity is beyond daily practice,
My mother gives and rarely takes
And she gives without cause or prompting
She gives to him because
He receives with such gratitude
Which is what my mother has taught me
Is the greatest gift from a loved one we can receive

She also taught me love is speaking
She never hesitated to reveal her disappointments
When my father would forget
Or he would place blame her way
When she knew she was right and
Even when she didn't know she was right
If she at least thought she was right,
She would say so

And she built in my sister and me
A vocal track that replicates her own
That never delays- is always right on time
And not fearful to say the most up front
Honest words of love and of willingness
She speaks her open heart often
Never afraid of the vulnerability that
May bring her aching

Mostly my mother taught me love is trust
Trust in your partner, in your relationship, in yourself
And in what goodness awaits past struggle and hardship.
She worries, and prays often still,
But she trusts in us,
And especially my father
to be by her side
to keep her best interests in mind
to live for her well being
She trusts this from him
because he has shown her
Time and times again
That he sees her worth

My father taught me
Love is patience
Most days my mother's mouth could not resist
Speaking words that I know pushed my father
Past his temper's limits
And though my father would become red in his ears
He kept mindful in his breath and
Silent in these moments
Until he was ready in his will to speak against her
Which ultimately was speaking to right her
In wrong she often is too stubborn to admit
This happens often, but in his patience
My father keeps himself steady
To allow her to release
And then with his nerves felt they need to
He would speak his own peace

My father also taught me love is humor
He never hesitated to bring light and joy
To any situation
My father often made jokes toward my mother
and she would make them right back toward him
She was never as successful, my dad knew it
And she knew it too
My father's laughter is the greatest and
He shares it with my mother often
He never hesitates in his humor
He brings back innocence to their relationship
He brings smiles to her face
He still tickles her until she giggles
And until whines
and hugs her with huge grins
And brought the girl in her out to play
He loves her that happily in this honest way

Mostly my father taught me love is work
All my life I watched my father spend late nights
Grave shifts
3 jobs
To work for his family
And still to this day
He comes home to my mother
and provides her hands to hold
That have been labored to the bone
Finding peace in that grasp of palms
and fingers intertwining
I remember when my mother went away
Months passed and he continued to work
To keep havings for her to come home to
I remember when she was ill
In work he kept on
Providing when she felt she had little work left in her
My father stayed beside her
During imprisonment
and sickness
and in poverty
and he worked for love
He worked because he knew love was her

I know how rare my parent's relationship is
Because these days
I know how rare it is
To commit
To not want to quit
To give and
To speak and
To trust,
To have patience,
To have humor
Because love is work.
But for me, there is no other way
Because my parent's taught me
That love looks like what they have
And I connect these teachings
To how I choose to love
And I feel proud of my parents
For all they are with and to each other
And I thank them
For my love lessons
And for being my teachers
Who are without a doubt
The wisest lovers I know.

Monday, April 9, 2012



She believes
Her body
Does not suit
A man’s desires
It is not full
In lips or tits
Leaving her to pout
And pad
To fill her shirt
And fill her self worth
She sucks in her
Extra weight
And transfers that
Heaviness onto her shoulders
As she carries her discontent
In the curve of her spine
Trying to make her behind
Stick out further
And she walks the line
Right in front of left
Left in front of right
So her hips will sway
And she points her toes
To their tips
Because her legs
Will lengthen that way
She lets down her hair
Fall across her left eye
And raises her chin
Looking in
At her reflection
And she makes herself believe
She is beautiful today
When on most days
All she really sees
Are cracks in mirrors
Breaks in glass
Because on most days
She makes herself believe
Her reflection is something
And no one
Would ever want to see

Open Eyes (For Trayvon Martin)

Open Eyes (For Trayvon Martin)

“These Dreams” they say
“Will not”
“By YOU-
Be realized”
Their words, their looks,
Have taught me
The realest these dreams can be
will only come with closed eyes

See in sleep, in daze,
when I check out from reality
I move beyond what they say is all
I’ll ever amount to be
I’m everything I want to be, I’m free to be.
But with my eyes wide open all around,
Are young brothers and sisters like me
Without enough attention
Thrown in detentions, prescriptions, suspension,
Until the world only makes mention
Of brown skin behind bars
On corners of streets
Babies having babies and bloodshed at our feet
We were born into this hood,
Bred and beat in homes made no good,
Not fit
Not suited to live

Where struggle is written in the stars
and planets align
To sketch out what runs through
in the flow of our bloodline
We connect, from shackles, to cuffs
To writs that are cut
We bleed so we can live
and so others can live,
so the white man can live
On this land they’ve made their land,
not your land or my land
Although we work and labor it
and don't get enough pay to live for it

The books still say so
The dollars say so
They run us, they rule us …
so they say so
Because here a cover is judged
and privilege can’t look past what they see
We can’t even walk down the street
Without being suspect
And with a raise of a hand
their expectations are met
That we're violent,
we're drugged up,
its fucked up
And made even worse 'cause
we got a hoodie on?
Turn the corner with a blink and
brown brother, sister
is gone

Self defense, don’t make sense
See, he asked for it
And, she asked for it
And they asked for it
So it’s no question- Just,
Don’t question, Just,
Don’t mention, Just-ice
Serving us and our dreams

We’re still seeking plea bargains,
second chances,
serving hard time
Because the same people who
set the punishment
are making up the crimes
Even our black president’s outer tone has shown us
That there is still no real change..
Our dreams are only as light as our skin is these days
our dreams are still locked up in chains…

So just how can our youth ever rise
the moment they fly, they're shot down
and fall toward reality
And with open eyes
their dreams just die…

How to Love

*How to Poem

How to Love

Always tell your truth
Even when you fear it
You are most likely scared
You know your truth
Can only do one thing-
Bring more truth
And we just don’t want
That sometimes
We would rather pretend
To be okay
When really,
We are
We would rather keep it
When really
Hiding our truth
Puts us in more danger
We would rather not complicate things
When really
The truth is much simpler
Than reasonings
The excuses
The lies
You have conjured

If I have learned anything
About how to love
It is to
And be
Your truth

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Family She Built

The Family She Built

My grandmother told me
"Anak, I don't have anything
to leave you
If tomorrow
death comes
to take me,
All I can give
Is the knowing
My good family
will live
Long after me."

See, she built this family
Foundation, up
She used her hands,
Her heart, her will
To fill
The lives of her children
And their children and theirs
With so much joy
And overwhelming
That carried our bloodline
Over Pacific Ocean currents
No matter which way
The tides took us
She taught us to find home
In each other

The callusus and growths on
My grandmother's hands
Are the markings
Of a master seamstress
Sewing endless hems and linings
That clothed children
From mainland and island
And sewing seeds
To grow greens
To clothe her own children from
The little she was paid
For long hours she stayed
Needle to thumb
Thimbled numb
She counted few dollars
And count many working hours
For the many mouths and hearts
She fed
Who counted on her

She moved with
the movements
Of birth giving,
13 grandchildren
Into her arms and care
She lived for us
And the little girl who she
Spent most of her living with
Could not help but cling to her

She would sit me beside her
In kitchen
To watched her
With waves of her hands
No measurement
Just memory and mastery
I was meserized
As she sizzled and baked
And boiled and deep fried
To not only nourish us
But make us come back
For more
For our fill
For she fed us
Her love and her warmth
She cooked to perfection
And she passed down
This magic
Giving all of self
In all you do and all you say
All you cook
She showed me the way

And to this day
Granddaughter creeps to
Mama's bedroom
Where she curls into her bosom
And her heart beat holds her
She still looks to her
Sinking into the gentle blue lining
Around her deep brown eyes
"That's my wisdom"
She told her
Like the whites
atop her head
"That's my wisdom"
She told her

She taught her
The greatest wisdoms
She knew-
Of kindness
And generosity
And gratitude.

This is what she built
This family from
And linked us together
With everlasting love
And today she reminds me
In our moment of parting that
With no material gifts
To leave me
She'd leave me
With something else so great
The happiness in knowing
That our family
This family she built
Is a good one