Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why I Married Myself... (and this ain't a poem, not really)

On this day,
many years ago i married myself

because that morning the sky opened up and it rained butterflies
because the drums called my name
the names i was given at birth
and mariposa
the name i gave myself
all the names i've been called
and the names i refuse to repeat
all of who i am heard
because my heart was enraptured with my own being
because I was in love with life
i married myself

because after years of questioning my own worth / i realized i was worthwhile
because behind my pretty face / i was enraged / and engaged
in a fight to the death with demons
who sought to oppress and annihilate me
because winning is the only option
i married myself

because the sky rang music
and rolls of thunder echoed the voice of my ancestors
because the four directions, the sun and the moon wanted to be acknowledged
because in the face of so many choices
the honest choice was me

and music

because i wanted to have my cake
and eat it too
and did
a three layered cake
with only the bride on top
negrita como yo

because i wanted to gather at least one hundred members
of my family and friends
and throw a big party
and did
and a fabulous party
it was

because i didn't wanted bridesmaids but warrior women goddesses
twenty one in all
and one warrior woman of honor
the woman who was born with me
into this world
and we marched in
not a slow death march
to sound of organs
but to the sound of life
drum drum
drum drum

because i wanted to conduct a mass wedding for single women
who wanted to vow with me to love / honor and cherish themselves
and celebrate their lives and all the people in it

because i wanted to dance with my father / the father - daughter dance
(unforgettable...that's what you are, the Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole version..and we both cried)
and my mother and madrinas
(salty was there and madrina and mami and we danced to vivir la vida)
and my brother and sisters
(and i'll be lovin you always...Stevie... oh what a moment it was!)

and because i wanted to mock the whole charade
and oh i did!
had pictures taken of me putting on lipstick in the mirror
(my mother: hurry up your guests are waiting!
me: it's my wedding and i'm nervous. don't rush me! i'm the bride!
my mother: well i'm the mother of the bride and i'm nervous too! hurry up!)

because i wanted to do something crazier than marrying someone else
because i wanted gifts
new panties
something old
something new
something borrrowed
something blue

oh! and we danced
and partied
and released doves into the south bronx sky!

and it was real!
i did it! i tied the knot!
celebrated my life and everyone in it!
oh! there were celebrities
and anybody who was anybody
in the south bronx was there!

part ritual
part performance
part mockery
real nonetheless
all art
all me
all beautiful
and fun
and fabulous
my wedding day to myself

because there is no such thing as being jamona
or a spinster or an old maid
or unwanted or unloved
because it's impossible to really love anyone
until you can truly love yourself
because prince charming was never gonna come
and shining knights on white horses only exist in fuckin fairytales
because this life of mine is blessed
because the heart of this woman beats with passion
because my hips swing to the song of freedom
because butterflies are free and free forever
because i am a woman
who is free
and never alone
the obvious choice
was to marry myself

Friday, January 30, 2015

Reverse the Curse

I'm into leaning this way, even though I'm hard pressed to think of any part that might not creak off of me.

I'm properly propped, letting gravity do the work, becoming mattress sediment.

Habit and relaxing into the next chapter of discomfort. 

This Is Just A Corner

Between oceans

the diaspora of friends
thrown far apart
or landing haphazardly there
far off

There are two worlds

The native one and
the one of the colonizers


the one where you are good and stay awake
and stare at the back of the man's head in front of you,
because you cannot see the screen of the movie about
the natives and the colonizers and
the one when you are bad and let yourself fall asleep
listening to the words of another language
hoping to still glean all the important messages


the one where you read all the books
and understand how things are connected
and see big meaning in not just people in the sidewalks
but in your own small grievances and
the one where you sketch an imaginary apartment
layout again and solve more problems that don't exist yet


a time of traveling in packs
tight knit sweaters
ready to tense up a shoulder
against any naysayer
and draw in closer
the breath of inner circles
was not all without ripples
but a ship was set with certainty
tides of doubt not yet lapping
 at our helm

Winter stars

frozen garbage outside the school
thrown about by 
the wind presses a scrap paper
with the negative space of a heart
against the fence

I had thought the tumors

some perpetual state of wondering
of the bad things an ache might be
a tilted tooth
and so many more years 
to live in this body

Thursday, January 29, 2015


What I'm not seeing when the sun is not streaming through the patio door, what I'm refusing to imprint when I wake up and it's not there and I kick a cat bowl across the kitchen, the kitchen that is only grey tile and a step above the living quarters and I twist my back reaching over the counter for the radio switch and for what, World Service, service the world for Christ's sake, stop scaring me into a stupor, Quaker laughing at me from his perch on the oatmeal tube, daring me to fill a pan with water, boil it and start my food cycle over.

Nouns to Verbs

Writing past the boundary's resist
Resisting disorder in the  house
Housing a welter of memories
Remembering a laugh in the dentist's chair
Chairing a committee I have forgotten
Forgetting an unskewed self
Self-centering on the views of others
Othering the random ole' gene pool
Pooling funds to scrape off the film
Filming it over in my head
Heading for years I never imagined
Imagining it as I write.


can we talk?
is it the breakup talk?
is it the let's get more serious talk?
the what is this thing talk?
the what are we doing talk?
the you hurt my feelings now apologize talk?
the i'm just so scared cause i like you so much talk?
maybe we just won't talk.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Doing a Thing

Doing a thing instead of enjoying what a thing is.
Hands on hips, cocked head, Wisconsin sass.
My ambivalence, my lack of engagement,
my terrible justification.
My not living, 
my not even doing a thing.


In the closet is a vacuum,
that sucker is a considered a prized possession.

Lasagna Nights

we spent our nights
in the kitchen
as i taught you my lasagna technique
we'd cook meat because that's how you liked it
we'd cook kale because that's how i liked it
you're not here now
so i cooked alone
a meatless lasagna
with kale insides

night sledding

night sledding in the park
meet by the arch
tromp through the packed down snow
adults line the hill
broken sleds and garbage pail lids scattered at the top
soggy cardboard boxes and rubbermaid covers discarded
his first run down the hill
dodging trees
slams his back into the dried up fountain
her first run down
spinning out of control
slams her leg into a fence post
the pains, the aches
don't stop them
as they climb back up to the top
and slide back down again