(how the heart wanders while researching the health profile of Morocco)
I cut some things shaving today. The parts of me I want naked. The parts of me I want to burn, from the inside, so that the healing can happen without anybody knowing, that I'm trying. The way the still-warm sun tea wants to try to escape from the glass, because the ice and the cracking becomes crowded, and...the glass drops from my weak hands, and barely breaks.
There was no blood when I cut myself. Kind of like the time you scraped your knee when you were seven, and only the white just below the surface of the skin showed. It only hurt when you wiped it with your dirty finger, dirty from it being in your mouth the second before.
The mouth wasn't dirty, it was just your thoughts. Not at seven, but when you wiped your cuts at 17, 24, and yesterday.
To be this ready for a band-aid. And butane. Is probably what the sand feels like when it becomes cobalt glass, with rounded edges. There's never a reason for the glass to return to sand. There's a million possibilities for what becomes of glass, in the hands of what we become when we stand naked, in a crowded room.
(The night went like this: Working on paper. Racist Facebook comment. Reacting. Responding. Returned comment. Possible anger building. Frustration. Text. Love of my life listens. Is it listening if it’s not talking. Yes. Oxytocin. I dunno. Better. Feelings. Reminders. This world. But Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay.)
A lovely house will welcome me sometime, when there is no winter. And where there are no coffee grounds in the empty cup of coffee, which I’ll never drink. Because I only prefer summer. But summers don’t exist anymore. And lovely houses can exist without quilted blankets.
I pick up the phone to text the only person that will care to listen. But is it still listening, if I can’t hear you breathe.
My phone says, “no service.” Anxiety has become my best friend.
A lovely house with doors wide open. Hibiscus on the stove. An almost empty jar where the sugar is supposed to go. But I don’t eat sugar. And now I’m feeling sleepy. The hibiscus is boiling.
I’m beginning to think that sugar kept the old me from erasing the ones who say the things that hurt the most. But is it hurt if after I read the last line I’m not crying, I’m just sitting here contemplating the what ifs and when or how these words today will affect our family tomorrow. The echo of it all makes erasing a harsh word to follow. And the hibiscus is still boiling.
And a better bed is one that mimics the cards as they turn, hoping it’ll make the more appealing hand. So we sleep, and somehow forget all about the wanting and the erasing. This moon turns to make a temporary summer of the sun, and the summer becomes morning, and the morning becomes this lovely house where there is “no service” and only listening. I can hear you breathe in this lovely house. And I can hear the almost empty jar emptying itself into the grounds of coffee piling up into the coffee cup. This is what feeling everything feels like. Even on the inside of the loveliest houses.
Monday's mean therapy. And being a little crazy is okay. And yeah, these tears aren't always and only just because Prince died. Depends on who you ask. A lot of us are always too busy worrying about the ends of things, and how they relate to the beginnings of things, we can find ourselves in a spiral without a center. We don't want these things now, to end. Where's the center, where's the center? She reminded me that the truth in living is that there is no one truth in living. Not one idol. Not one prayer. Not one way to pray. Not one way to seek art as redemption. And it's okay to be crazy and to make decisions that lead to nowhere. Because, what is nowhere when we live to 80 in a zillion year old universe, if we're lucky. That's how I made sense of what she said. And i'd like to hold onto that, knowing that those weren't mistakes or reflections of my faults. Not all of them anyways. They were just a little bit of crazy. And she said, "look at Prince, he lived outside of constructs, made his own way." And all I can think of is, "Yeah, but he's dead at 57." And all I can feel is the center. And it's sad and scary, and heavier than crazy.
at the very inside of what we call this, our temporary state of reaching for another state, of unmaking the temporary, otherwise known as memory or
"nothing which has once been formed can perish...
everything is somehow preserved."
and after sleeping for too long, I open today's memory and it reminds me that - un idioma se muere cada 14 días; 107 personas se mueren cada minuto. is it better to be awake than to be honest with one self. they both sound terrifying
and what we end up finding buried beneath our pillows are fragments, not left behind but waiting, to be excavated. the ashes becoming. the archeology of who we don't yet know we are. we are. always about to become. because
"...the only happiness is the satisfaction
of a childhood wish."
(inspired by a conversation between twenty of us neo-astronauts and Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce, under the roof of an exploratory wish machine in Pasadena, CA)
I left the therapist today thinking about oceans, the sand below the surface, and what helps us see past the in-between. And what happens when we get "there." What happens after 34 years of grieving the loss of yourself, and what do we make of the transitions that follow. And how do we make, everything that follows, in those oceans sometimes waves. I'm learning that light doesn't come from above. It surfaces. And resurfaces from the crevasses around and below. And reflects off of those who help us see ourselves better, while making a heart for them to stay in, or just visit sometimes.
I left thinking that it's maybe good to let go of the lost, and all of the findings that happen along the way. To swim up for air. Those findings don't belong to us forever. We belong to us forever. Everything else is set in place to help us understand that. Maybe. And maybe's are okay. And Be's are okay. But that's for next week.
we use to hide all of the secrets in the pockets of walls / the creaks trying to remind us that the pain we feel, isn't in vain / tomorrow they'll understand our secrets / & they'll find our recovered bodies / on the roofs of those same houses, trying to hold them down / because secrets are too heavy for winds to carry, and our bodies are worth more than the houses we hold onto / and our bodies are worth more than the everything we hold onto.
"The industry thinks we're foreign," said musician and veteran actor Rubén Blades,
..."We are culturally excluded."
And this pisses me off so much. I have something to say.
My hero for a majority of my life was my [step]grandfather who was an actor. He'd go over his lines with me, he'd tell me crazy Hollywood stories about his interactions with other Latino actors. He, along with my stepfather, also made sure I understood the history of Hollywood and the art of Cinema, from the Mexican perspective. When talking about other actors there was either, "so-and-so" or, "so-and-so from Chihuahua." As a kid I had the impression that Latinos had a special place in Hollywood. So naturally, in my teen years I fell in love with Cinema partly because it was in my "blood" and it became kind of an honor.
And then I grew to see the landscape change. Tata was gone. And so was this Latino Hollywood. I worked in entertainment management and then at a theatre/acting school - Latino Hollywood was non existent. It was like someone erased that specific Brown from the color spectrum. And yeah, the absence of any Asian/Pacific Islander representation was even worse. But I knew it wasn't that there weren't folks trying to work as actors. These actors aren't afforded the resources or opportunities to even walk through the door. If it means it's in front of the camera.
Tomorrow there's a great chance that Chivo will be acknowledged for his mastery - for the third time in a row. Another Mexican will be written in history as one of the greatest cinematographers of all time! And it's exciting. But what does this say for representation of Browness in society, as actors reflect the world we live in. What does it mean that we're culturally excluded from sight and sound, but not from the technical aesthetics of Cinema. It's okay that we can be the greatest directors, photographer's, writers, even comedians and silly tv show hosts. But to represent the 'American' culture and people. Not if it's not a movie about Selena.
When you live in a tiny teeny apartment you'll do anything you can to make space to welcome his mother home for a visit. I'll warm the comal too, she's never had my homemade tortillas! But, it's not like she hasn't been here before. I could be sad that I'll never physically meet her, or that my love misses her the same way he did when he was 10, or that my family will never meet her, or that our future plans together, as a growing family, will never include her in the photos. It could be so sad that each cut I make into a shape for the altar's papel picado would turn into a small cup of tears. It could've been so sad, if that wasn't when the sadness became something else, magic. At that precise moment is when Mictecacihuatl takes the steering wheel and watches over the body [the body as tierra, earth, or ash] so that the spirit is safe to join us for even a brief moment. That cold chill. That dancing monarch trying to kiss the top of your nose. Some of us consider the tears to always be sad ones. Yet one of the beauties of being gifted a Mexican heart is that we understand that long past the childhood confusion, through the memories, and to heal from the withoutness as an adult we can invite our loved ones back to where we call home. To say hello, catch up, and to celebrate the past and the present, in truth - and a little chisme. We're all lucky that way. And there's enough Mexican heart to go around. And when we've found the love of our life, one of the very first things we do is meet their parents. Good or bad, one way or another. And we share their stories, and we learn while trying to forget, or remember, and build new families, and the circle continues, the way it's continued for thousands of years.
I'm excited to welcome Irene home when she visits us here in the San Fernando Valley, but shhhh - I'll tell her it's the heart of Los Ángeles, home of the Mexican heart...for just a few nights! ;)
You don't even know that that round of applause is validating the very thing that is trying to delete you. When other people's erasure of otherness erases the other we embrace in us...it would be best to not clap your hands. But you can do what you want. But other is no one else's to erase but our own. Own. Clap your hands only when everyone understands what it means to own, to author. Otherwise the clapping will destroy the brown and black in the us they're trying to erase.
In beginning the process of publishing my first book, I've removed many of my blog posts that have now become poems, as part of my first collection of poetry. I've left the images up, if they belong to an accompanying image, many of which will be printed in black and white or won't be printed at all. This is exciting news. An exciting time in my life. Excited to be a part of this particular press, in a new way. And I can't wait to share this experience with friends, family and readers interested in some poetry on journeying, roading, breaking, mending, living, loving, and beginning again.