Monday, May 30, 2005


okay, so I'm not feeling myself today
and while it may be hormones or Mercury or that I haven't had coffee
I don't understand how there are so many
who can accept someone's gifts/honor/support
but not give it.

I was talking to Ya Vez about how I've never been in a relationship with someone who wants to truly give me a massage or rub my feet or temples. I have to ask for it. But I give that. And freely, until I never get it back.

And I hate to start these mental marks, counting the ways someone doesn't think I would like the things they themselves would like showered on them, but she said something simple. It's got to be give and take. So far I give and others take.

There's a lot of work to be done in a relationship and I'm not all together but I realize that age or experience or even previous relationships are not a determiner for who is good in a relationship. Even talking only does so much because eventually the real us seeps out and we start again in negotiations. And asking ourselves how much we are willing to give up.

I am not feeling well
and right now, instead of talking to me,
everyone who claimed they loved me
is giving me distance.

Friday, May 27, 2005

all my talk

all my talk about la querida syndrome and feeling less than

and all I wanted to do today was call Cliffy

I think about her, have to acknowledge that, and as I sat at the movies and mcdonald's and ruta maya with Little Lion and her best friend, I wrote these small poems to her, like this one fragment:

forget what I said
forgive that moment of strength
when I said you weren't enough

instead give me the nod you do
when you want me to follow you to bed

that nod and I'd already be waiting

la querida syndrome

Overall, it's best Cliffy and I end our doll house scenario because she assumed what it was I wanted. When what I want is community and a relationship needn't look like all the others - carbon copies of straight marriage.

I can't see myself playing "la querida", that figure in latino culture that makes the world go round. The one the male/masculine goes to when they need some loving and little trouble. I realize, in seeing my own daughter play with her girl friends that butch/femme is natural. It's the ideas attributed to those identifiers which create unequal scenarios. Better to search for equal relationships built on sexual connection. I don't feel like playing house, bringing meals to my butch and rubbing her feet when she's tired. Damned if I'm not tired too.


I get frustrated with women who, because of the way we are placed/viewed in this society, we must forget out own drives and follow some dominant idea. I get more frustrated when it's women I care about and love, who cannot do what they need to do for themselves. Who spend their life waiting to start life.

There is some old white guy who talked about the craft of writing - he said that we practice our work over and over again waiting for the theatre curtain to come up only to realize it's been up all along.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

ya vez in extreme like, me dissolving love

Ya Vez called me to tell me she met someone.

I'm not upset, not even jealous. And the protector in me even felt good about this woman, or at least good about the sound in Ya Vez's voice.

I keep telling myself it's not connected - my splitting with Cliffy and Ya Vez's phone call with her news.

But Ya Vez told me she had a dream, after not dreaming for two weeks, about me. Ya Vez was at the office (behind my house) and Little Lion and a friend of hers went to visit. Her friend told Ya Vez that she was in love with me. Then Ya Vez sees me in the back yard with a plow, planting seeds and knows I'm happy and doing my work.

I freaked because we both knew Little Lion's friend was Cliffy but didn't say. Ya Vez asked me if I was happy and I told her I was, but I did not mean because of the relationship with Cliffy. There I was in that dream, alone in the backyard doing my work, and the woman who claims to love me was hanging with my child instead of helping me. It meant a lot in that dream that I was working alone, that my potential partner was hanging/having fun. I want a relationship, like community, where we work together. I realized what I already knew - that Cliffy wasn't an equal in a relationship with me.

So much of me wants to still have her in my life. Enjoy the sex and laughs - but for me it's too late for that frivolity with her. She, at one time, in that first instant and in our first months together, did want relationship/community with me - she promised that. Moved in part to be that with me. Then couldn't give it. If she had just never promised we wouldn't be like this now.

I always hold people to their promise. Don't promise what you can't give.

Cliffy no more

no recovery here

I have had a couple of days of not being able to quite connect with Cliffy and today she came by work to see how I was. That was nice and unexpected. I invited her to dinner and we hung out okay.

I did ask if she'd like to stay since she was going to be out of town all weekend and I thought we could spend a little time together. She said she couldn't. The family she's living with left for out of town again and she was taking care of their dog and house and, get this, had to get back before her friend's partner got home so that she could have a place to sleep as she sleeps in that partner's bed. I was offering her a place and that shouldn't have been a worry.

In the beginning of our getting to know each other, we both felt so strongly that possibility of really being something together. Then, throughout this last month, I felt sad sometimes when I looked at her because I could see/feel the potential we carried - potential we weren't following up on. Today, as she sat close to me (to be close but also to perhaps appease me for not being able to stay over), I felt that the little bit of a relationship we'd conjured and the little bit she was able to allow in was all that would ever be. That realization felt like a death.

I'm left with this feeling of wanting to be held but can't imagine anyone being close to me right now.

All this creeped up in my head after she left so I called her and told her that I couldn't see her because it hurt me every time I did. And that the relationship with me that she couldn't give she was already giving to the family she's staying with. I realize now what Ya Vez said of them long ago. They hold people in place. And Cliffy acknowledges she's gotten comfortable (i.e. complacent).

I told her I loved her but that she was afraid to live her life. She told me she couldn't give me what I wanted. I told her she wasn't allowing herself to give herself what she wanted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

maid whore spitfire

The three roles often relegated to female actors of color: maid, whore, spitfire. I would suggest those are the limitations offered to women in every day life too.

I am praised for my mouth unless I call someone on their behavior. My openness is honored unless I share it with more than one. I have a woman come to the house and find myself cooking and serving while the tv seems the true flirt in my house.

I am working, over these next few weeks, on removing those labels from my own psyche. I am a mothering person, femme and observant, but that does not mean I will be anyone's mother except for the one who came from within my body. And I will say to everyone, nurturing does not mean mothering, and I will really embody that idea. I will not be defined.

Monday, May 23, 2005


I have had this incredible craving for a night of dancing, some cheap beers and a late night stop at arandinas, this taco place on Riverside that Ya Vez and I would go to. Nothing tasted better after all the sweating and beer than an avocado taco and pozole with watered-down coffee.

Cravings - I never had them during pregnancy with Little Lion but now I have them and would like to give in occasionally.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

feeding poets

The jams writing group had a meeting at my house today to plan the coming out/fundraiser and the food was incredible!

I had to share:

beef empanadas
spinach empanadas
roasted new potatoes (fresh from the ground)
black beans

plus a huge brownie and all sorts of latin american beverages.

I've missed cooking. It wakes up the senses. I felt so happy just to be giving quality time to a slow cooker full of sofrito-seasoned black beans. There's so much food left if you want to try some, give me a call!

The conversation was excellent too, as Maggie is always good at opening up her past and making it relevant today - everything from lesbian separatists to communal kindergartens to porn lines.

More and more, I cherish my friends as family. I knew Delhi felt like that too when yesterday, on the way to her ballet recital, she was recognized by some school friends in the van parked next to us at a stop light on 11th Street.

I don't see Austin as my final stop, but I am starting to feel like it's a place that welcomes me. Very different from the major reason for my initial move here.

congratulations MFI!

for being courageous
for getting some/giving some bootay
for knowing exactly what it would be

now if only everyone could just say what they wanted when they called or came to the door of another, no?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

astraea fund dream

I had a dream I won the astraea lesbian writers fund. News about the grants should come out by mid-June. I'm taking the dream as a good sign.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I had the pleasure of reading for Dykeumentary's fundraiser on Sunday. I haven't read in a bar since the old Chicano poet days when my age wouldn't have normally let me into a bar. It was lots better reading for queers at a queer bar. Krissy gave me the idea to hold a fundraiser myself to help with the writing workshop costs. Now just to find a place! One coffee shop can't do it before mid-June and my workspace costs to rent. I'm on the hunt today for a space to hold the reading. If you know of anything, email me!

The writing group has promised to read so it should be a great gathering of some of the city's finest poets.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

miscellaneous tejano

wow, que weekend!

I had the incredible opportunity to hang with Tejanos this weekend for a fundraiser for work which was a huge dance called The Tejano Dance. I realized you have to move your arms a lot more in dancing cumbias than in dancing salsa but it was fun.

I also felt so much like an outsider to Tejano (queer) culture - where the women are strong and the men are pretty. I tried to avoid going to the dance with Cliffy because we aren't working within any typical model of a relationship of any kind but we do like each other. Despite my every quiet denial, we ended up going together and I was happy about it. Cliffy clung to me until she felt a little looser (thanks to the free Bud Lights). And everyone asked us, separately and together, what we were up to. The best answer, and the way we both answered, was "I don't know" with a half shoulder shrug and a smile.

Overall, it was a well-organized evening and I cannot thank the Tejano committee enough for the great work they put into this event. Though an outsider, I felt so proud of them. They did this so smoothly every nonprofit should be begging them to take on their cause.

It was great to spend time with Cliffy and a double bonus that Little Lion was visiting Nana. I was able to get some writing done and the JAMS (my writing group) met on Saturday. I always feel recharged whenever we meet, even if they give me a hard time about knowing what's going on in my love life by the poems I submit.

I still remember the first couple of meetings Maggie and I had. She is an incredibly accessible writer (once you corner her!) and gave me the insight to give myself the permission to not hint at what's going on in my life but just put it on the page. She's like St. Michael's big sister, that mujer.

Gloria Anzaldua

I'm not one to honor someone's death day but I can feel the energy of so many women thinking of one of their own: Gloria died today, one year ago, and I miss her still but, when I dream about her, I see she's still doing the work she did while here, only she moves a lot faster.

I still remember the first time I met her. She was so tiny but with eyes truly like flames. I was president of my school's MEChA and she was coming into town for the Inter-American Bookfair. My girlfriend at the time and I picked her up at the hotel because I'd managed to convince her to stay an extra couple of days for a special reading at the university, sponsored by MEChA.

I went upstairs to her hotel room and I loved her so much already. She opened the hotel door and asked me to come in. She said she was ready but had to take her medicine and choose her jewelry. She showed me her rings and had me pick. She had a beautiful amber in silver setting that I chose. She told me a friend had given it to her and that amber was a symbol of longevity - perfect for memory.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

mi fabulosa intern

She's done with me! MFI did her final paper about my workplace and I couldn't even attend her presentation because of said workplace.

Well, her mind has opened ten-fold and I love her for it. Any discussion/hope for programming for the trans community must, if it's done right, include an in-depth discussion about sexism within the queer community and maybe that's one reason trannys don't feel like being participants in areas where the T in GLBT is placed last.

I offer her this quote by a incredibly insightful conservative journalist, Linda Kimball:

With respect to homosexuals and all "emerging deviant orientations," fairness can only be achieved by depriving 98% of the population of their fixed sex: male and female.

While Kimball's article goal was to say that the only way to make queer sexualities normal was to make heterosexuality deviant, I would, surprisingly I know, agree with her - though not for the reasons she holds. I agree because I believe we must question what is considered "normal". I cannot reason that simple majority implies dominance.

We must fight the foundational ideas we hold as truth. Keep fighting the privilege we carry, MFI!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

house of love, spy in the

I have had an incredibly hard week. I am so tired I haven't even thought about sex. And, if you know me, you know that's statistically impossible.

I have gotten a couple of calls this week and my mind is still in the denial of what I really want. I always tell Little Lion, when she is acting up or ugly, that the whole world denies the life we build, that the whole world could swallow our ideals, needs, contribution and belittles us, and so we must work hard to create a house of love.

And, unfortunately, I've realized I want a partner to do that with. Someone to share my life with. Someone who, if they cough in the bed in the middle of the night, I can rub their back and offer water. Someone who can reach for a can on a high shelf. Someone who tells me their day as they cut onions and I stir the black beans.

My body seems to be rejecting everyone who may have expressed an interest in me. I need to start again and those in my past who cannot become a part of these things, who want me part time, must step aside.

I cannot believe the way I broke down into this realization. I have been so busy with work I haven't even had the chance to buy myself a latte at Azul, let alone some milk to make my own coffee. So, when, at 10 a.m. this morning I saw the opportunity to buy a starbucks (I know, I know!) while on the way, again, to home depot for paint for the theatre space, I took it. I sat in the parking lot after getting my coffee through the drive through to actually enjoy a little of my coffee.

At this same time "Caramel" by Suzanne Vega came on the radio and I started crying. Drinking a cup of coffee for me is a small meditation, a reminder of the glorious warmth we have in our lives. The world was telling me to enjoy this moment. But damned if that song didn't say exactly what the past three days of attempted writing wasn't:

It won't do to dream of caramel,
to think of cinnamon and long for you.

It won't do to stir a deep desire,
to fan a hidden fire that can never burn true.

I know your name, I know your skin,
I know the way these things begin;

But I don't know how I would live with myself,
what I'd forgive of myself if you don't go.

So goodbye, sweet appetite, no single bite could satisfy...

I keep hearing from surrounding women that I am a good woman, that I have a lot to offer, have a great writing voice and heart but none of them are at a place where they can/want to start a t a life with me. I mean regardless of what has gone on in our past together. Start fresh. But I've realized that, despite the reasons they may have given for not making a commitment, it all comes to one thing: they don't believe the words they themselves say and so they can't act on them.

I will not be made to feel I am asking for too much. I'm asking to have someone who will hold me as we fall to sleep. Someone who'll believe in bettering our world. Someone who is ready to put aside some ego for a chance. But right now all I see is a clear horizon - I'm not looking to fall into someone's arms right now. There are things I have to accomplish for myself right now. BUT, if the opportunity presents itself, I am ready to work on building.

message for Cliffy - message for all

It's a betrayal to ourselves not to live our lives fully.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I have stopped trying.

I know that I placed a moratorium on Ya Vez but have to say that I felt the shift within myself when I realized I didn't want to try for friendship with her. We were having a conversation on the phone and then she threw out the word "spontaneous".

I realized then that conversation with her will always carry the hurt we placed on each other while we were together. She used to use the word when I would make the first move for sex. She'd claim that she liked to be spontaneous (i.e. she's more butchy so only she could make the first move - if I did she got cold).

Her saying that word left me without a choice. I swear I felt the eraser going across the chalkboard. Everything was gone.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

commitment phobia

I've had an eventful week, most of what happened came to inevitable (self-perceived) conclusions about my marital status/desire for a relationship:

1. you need a girlfriend (presumably butch, presumably who likes to do outside work);
2. you are a good woman and deserve someone who can give you what you want (presuming I know what I want and have told them what that is);
3. you are a nice girl and should settle down.

I may not have all the answers for myself but I am tired of a lesbian culture which assumes we must be coupled. I am also ready to tear down what it means to be committed even if you've bought the idea of coupledom.

Right now I am more concerned with the commitment I have to my writing. Funds may prevent me from attending the writing class in Cali. The price is not excessive and the scope of the classes (people of color writers specifically) makes this an opportunity I don't want to miss. My writing group is considering the possibility of doing a reading/fundraiser for me to attend. Meg says other artists she's known have done these to just pay rent, why not for something from which I'm come back with new knowledge?

Last night's Chile Con Lengua performance was great. I am still thinking of queer poet Miguel Gonzales' suggestion of "surviving behind the saint". A way of working on what I need while living under a guise. Like Virgen de Regla as a cover for Yemaya or Santa Barbara as Chango. I have an ultimate goal within my writing that I've not told anyone. A secret of sorts, a preservation technique to keep me moving/to protect myself.

Part of getting to my goal is to remove/dismiss traditional roles, relationships, judgements and ideas people place on me. These cannot get in my way.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco de Mayo: Freedom and Liberty!

Little Lion came home with a bunch of coloring pages celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Here's the propoganda one of those pages promoted:

Cinco de Mayo in Spanish means "5th of May." On the morning of May 5th, 4,000 Mexican soldiers fought the French army of 8,000 and won. The brave Mexican army beat them in the famous Battle of Puebla.

After the 4,000 soldiers beat the French army, many of these Mexican soldiers came to the United States to fight in the Civil War. Because of their bravery and courage, the Mexicans helped the United States put an end to the Civil War.

Mexicans, you see, never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans. That's why Cinco de Mayo is such a party -- A party that celebrates freedom and liberty. There are two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862. VIVA! EL CINCO DE MAYO!!

It's amazing how America will use a historical event as a footnote for the Great American Mis-Story.

I used the day to reconcile my French and Mexican sides. So much revolution in our bloods and we still have so little to show for it - the world swallows our advances, eventually making us all scholarship boys and girls.

new poem :: st. michael's logic

Words are still short today and were yesterday. I'm coming back though, I'm feeling that. And so I wrote this poem as a reminder of my own poder :

st. michael's logic

st. michael is feeling bad ass
has cut her hair and everyone says her ears are
very nice.

st. michael walks around with her lover's old shoes,
left in the haste of the move out.

when st. michael sees her former love

at the bar or the planetarium
she remembers the lover's promise
-I am moving to a time before you existed for me-
and so st. michael does not see her,
the shoes walking her through smooth.

st. michael says if she really believes I don't exist
she shouldn't have to turn to the side to allow me to pass.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I just found out I was accepted into the Voices summer writing workshops for people of color! I was accepted into both writing weeks so I must now decide which writer I want to work with. Money is super tight so I also need to find some cash so that I can attend. This is an incredible opportunity and the staff told me they got lots of applicants so I'm even happier I'll be attending. And it's all happening in San Fran so I'll get the opportunity to see one of my favorite cities again.

This also means a lot for my writing. Because each writing program is limited to ten participants, I am excited that my work has reached a certain promise.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

lost words

I woke up today feeling as though half my vocabulary had been displaced. Funny how I always think of the poetry and writing of Dionisio D. Martinez when language fails me. Ironic that I would find this partial explanation from him of his latest book, Climbing Back. It fits my state of mind:

I suppose I've always been afraid of the literal. Not because it clears things up, but because it __________ them. In Climbing Back more than in any other book, because I've consciously used a character as a device to distance myself from myself, language becomes more _________, especially when everything seems to point in the direction of logic and the predictable. I originally wanted to call it Climbing _________, but it didn't have the weight of "back." Maybe it's no longer an obsession, this collection of sounds, these contrasts between the first language and the primary (second) language; maybe I'm a little closer to the center, where words don't feel the need to be melodramatic or _________. I have a whole poem composed of nothing but _________ to a group of spontaneous and random _________ that I eventually deleted, leaving only the _________ to fend for themselves.


I open my mouth to start a sentence and cannot complete the thing, see only a blank line, or worse, come close to what I'm trying to say but have no inner thesaurus available.

It seems I need a new spark to start the writing again today, as Dionisio says "liberating but terrifying".

Monday, May 02, 2005

moratorium on Ya Vez

starts today.

I'm wiping my tables off.

I'll be posting up some of my old poems about Ya Vez and the end of my life with her (basing their posts on their creation or completion dates) so take a look through the archives for old entry dates starting in late December 2004.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I can say it and the world doesn't blow up into a billion pieces:

I sometimes think of returning to old relationships, or falling into inappropriate ones or allowing relationships that are less than beneficial. BUT that doesn't mean I'll do any of this. My mind wanders, I've always had this ability. It's what's allowed me to write poetry so well. I can connect a piece of bread to the other side of the world to a broken arm to a song from the 1950s.

Fellow writer and friend Maggie would say it was a language translation issue if she heard me say: When I talk about the women in my life, in my past, I use the present tense, even future tense. They continue to influence me and I can't help but honor the choices we made when we were together, the way we split and, above all else, the way we joined. Those are some of the most beautiful moments of all.

Tonight is the night Cliffy returned to me in another form. Still not seeing anyone, still not ready to see me and still needing to work on her stuff but our connection is intact. That makes me profoundly happy.

When I began this blog I sent the announcement to a few people but never thought they'd look at it except for the first few days. Now I realize why blog activists have been so successful. People can't help but read them. I fight the urge now to send a blanket statement apologizing for anything I might have said, might still say. Rather, everyone should be sure to know that I write only a small portion of what may occur in my life. They should also know (no surprise) that I am a little dramatic.

I say all this because now my friends are quoting me from the blog and Cliffy told me she read it and was glad she couldn't always access it. I cannot apologize but I will say she is an incredible woman who reads me like few have - she reads me as the person I'm working to become.

I remember when Cliffy and I met. I hadn't ever met her before but knew instantly who she was. I walked up to her and felt as though I already knew her - some organic reaction/some spirit recognition. Papito/Cliffy, te mando un dedicacion : "Me Siento Guajiro" by La Lupe : el ritmo me cae bien. In honor of the land we hold in ourselves, the home we build within ourselves. It's about time I started building, que no? No more wandering. No more exile syndrome for me.

As La Lupe chimes to close her song:
pa ta pa pa
tras tras