Wednesday, April 18, 2018

She Had Brown Hands

She had brown hands that lead her five-year old in a dance
She had brown hands spotted with brown dots like a flour tortilla
She had brown hands that trembled as she counted rent money knowing she had $10 left over for the month to feed her babies
She had brown hands hinchadas cómo una concha recién orniada, calientes después de planchar lavado ajeno.

She had brown hands con uñas rojas y puntiagudas como un pincel doing their brush work against the rough skin of her back setting it afire. Red, fire-rivers ran from her shoulders to the small of her back.
She had brown hands fuertes like a tortilleras, got into her, despertando sueños profundos.               
She had brown hands delicadas like an abuelas, caressed softness she didn’t know she had like the laughter trapped in between shoulders blades.
She had brown hands, brown hands that covered her eyes, cupped her mouth, restricted her breath; fit perfectly around her throat.
She had brown hands perfect for collecting her offerings, shiny, silky, sopping, ejaculates that erupted cause…
She had brown hands

She had brown hands, gripping black hands, and white hands and olds hands forming a human chain of resistance, cutting the 101 freeway, refusing to let another jail go up. #JusticeLA #BlackLivesMatter
She had brown hands that balled and shot into the air in protest, “POWER TO THE PEOPLE!” Angry punches against injustices, the polluted LA air ricocheting off her chants.
She had brown hands, wiping beads of sweat, her palms also moist from the August heat, the energy urging to change the course for young men of color was palpable.

She had brown hands scarred from scorched metal. A hot metal star branded on the backside, a moon on her middle finger, viper teeth on her wrist.
She had brown hands that liked punching walls, hitting just enough to pull back not all the way broken, hidden childhood habits that she kept too much in contact with
She had brown hands that weren’t able to block, protect, embrace.
She had brown hands that knew how to lose her down a trail of cuentos
She had brown hands that gave her the courage her mouth often suppressed, emboldened with a grip of the pen.
She has brown hands that don’t want to hold back

*Inspired by “She had some horses” by Joy Harjo

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tacos de sitio y lengua

Who wants tacos?? :-)

Here I sit rejecting colonial ideology
con mi tortilla en la mano
de maíz of course
the physical and spiritual sustenance
de mis antepasados
affirming Chicana space con mi taco
taco de lengua speaking my memories
not of molestation,
spatial memories
in my Amá’s kitchen, I see it
the big cow tongue in the sink
waiting to be cooked then coated
with cilantro, cebolla y salsa roja
my patriotic taco in my hand ready to fill my
mouth but not plug it up- soy hocicona!
Hoy ya no como lengua I just SPIT it
like al pastor,
verse after verse, after verse
con un onion on top,
cause I can make you cry.
My lengua pocha cooked in a single parent
houseold filled with problematic corridos
dancing around con Amá.
ignoring los chillidos de Delgadina
like los once criados.
So twisted
like a pretzel
dando vueltas
she goes
vueltas a estas ideas
para armar
mi perspectiva
disque teoría
o no se que!
Pero como la vez
es mi estilo

de aesthetic también.

Note: Sitio y lengua, Space and Language, a phrase coined by Emma Perez which speaks to the Chicana imaginary as being one that “rejects colonial ideology and the by-products of colonialism and capitalist patriarchy- sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Paradigm Shift!

Image Credit: Maga Lintzin
It’s a new paradigm!
Chicana and Chicano studies started
it when they gave me the path
to this expressive arts track
and here I lay tracks
as a means to keep
of my ideas
Chicana subjectivity
cracked- decoded.
I stand so firm
in my Chicana standpoint
that my hips are tight.
Can’t be afraid of the future
don’t shy away from the past
that will get me there
can’t lose sight of myself.

I’m the mother of the Teortilla!
Centeotl god of maíz listened
to my payers blessing me
with a cosecha to share
this wicked wiki
a paradigm shift.
Just wrap your mind around it
like a rubber band around your wrist
you pull N snap it each bad thought
you get, like
“Ew, this is bad.”
“Her shits not theory!”
You deny me the connectivity
of this literary device to lecture?
Here I conjecture
no longer looking at my fractured parts
in the mirror
Baby, Bhabha
wishing, desiring to be whole
but my face is a kaleidoscope
changing the medium
changing the delivery.
It’s all theory!
Revisionist poetry
to tell my story
politicizing the personal
like scholactivism
you can take the scholar out
of the barrio but you can’t take

the barrio out of the scholar.