Thursday, June 30, 2005

Gay Marriage

as someone in the writing workshops this week said : lordlordlordlordlordlord (all one word)

Spain has passed gay marriage. And not just the idea we can dress up, say we love each other, have two dolls with the same outfit sitting on our cake, etc. Spanish queers can adopt and have rights to inheritance. Wow, real respect comes with this certificate!

Maybe it's my own mistrust of our government but when Spain, with its new, peoplecentric representation within government, decides to allow gay marriage, it feels true and victorious. But when we talk about it here in the US it seems like another little biscuit we gotta beg for - something to occupy the doggie in us who wants love and acceptance, only to find out later we shoulda been keepping an eye on the house cuz they cleaned us OUT. Hmmm, there's certainly a history of them giving a little to someone to better screw them later, or give some only to put so many regulations and definitions on the shit there's no power but lookee here we have an official certificate saying we are good people!

So, if the shit gets really bad, here's a potential list of countries we could move to (that is, if we are queer people with money or can charm our way into other spaces) :


if a "civil union" is sufficient for you and your baby try :

Britain (civil unions take effect December 2005)
parts of Switzerland
parts of US (make this your last choice, girl!)

It would be nice if Latin America or other predominantly people of color nations were more gay friendly but, remember, it's taken its education from the catholic church and from the US. Talk about signing a pact with the devil.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

poc madness

Never did I expect that when I was coming up to San Francisco for this incredible POC writers gathering that there would be such pleito/misunderstanding/change within the writing group I face at home.

We've introduced a new person to the writing group. It does not bother me that she is white. While that did cross my mind, that crossing was more of an observation, not a thought meant to change or question the group's makeup. More than anything, I was and am excited about her work - she has a unique/playful/intelligent voice with a deep understanding/empathic nature which comes through in her work. She's solid. Another writer, however, a white woman, brought up the issue of race.

And so I found myself having to address the issue because I am the only poc person there and because I was the one who wanted this writing group in the first place, planting the idea in another member's mind and because I thought it was going to be a simple dialogue via email. I should have known better. Race can't carefully be discussed by email. Hell the dialogue from the first exchange ever on this planet is still going on with our antepasados. Nunca para.

But let me just say something : no matter what the "other" may mean (ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc.) in talks of inclusion, never try to support or second that other's experience with your own (if you are not of that "other"). Why can't it be enough to hear the experience of those who live the life within their body, who are viewed bodily as living that life, and who must face the hardships associated with otherness?

It never works to bring out stories from high school, work discrimination, how much ally work experience you have or pointing out still another way to be "other" - Lord, let's address one thing at a time.

And this is crazy because I was fine with all the white women in the group. In terms of discussing racism and ethnicity inclusivity, I thought only of continued growth for the group. I thought of questioning, for ourselves as a group, why dominant culture does not foster poc writer/artist voices. And we can admit we are looking for a certain level of craft and ability in the writers who would join our group but maybe mentorship or support of writers who haven't had access to our background or training within the arts is needed. And maybe, as a group, we can foster that growth - take new steps.

Instead, it has turned into a larger issue. The group's changing, yes. And that's not a bad thing but instead of trying to address this by comparing oppressions, we need to more actively live to include and maybe change our ideals for future members of the group.

I'm going through this when I'm far away from my group, unable to see their faces, and immersed, luxuriously, within a very different dynamic - a poc-driven/poc-specific writing group. A fellow poet in my morning class, Robyn, and I were talking about this all when the instructor heard the discussion.

Wouldn't you know it became a discussion on race and class and how we identify (the old argument: as writers of color or as writers who are also of color), and how our culture and background informs and motivates and participates within our writing. So, if we are queer and poc, does the queerness and poc come through actively into every poem? No, but it does color the world we write about and live in.

My instructor looked right at me and said "Stand your ground." I have to acccept how I'm feeling. Really listen then make my choices. Maybe it's good I'm far away. Right now I'm feeling like walking through a sugarcane field with a machete, ready to burn the ground to get ready for new crops. I should wait the next couple of days and see what clarity comes through first.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I've been accused of putting voodoo on my lovers.

Well, in a quiet/incredibly attractive and sweet way, it's been done to me.

Three weeks ago I began conversation with someone, Sunny, who has taken me. I felt like I couldn't say it but I don't care who knows.

And I love it because we both understand that "future" and "a life together" means change - it doesn't mean lifetime.

I have a line from a series of opening lines we had to write for class:

"I counter : the more freedom a woman feels, the more the world tries to kill her".

I have that in my head because there are plenty who won't want to see us enjoying each other. And those vibes are powerful. Despite Sunny's suggestion to keep breathing, part of breathing is to make sure you have good air around you! Nunca para!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

walking back

I recently discovered I walk behind La Deb when we go someplace together. I am not sure when that happened, when I naturally took the subordinant role. I know that I did that with Ya Vez but it didn't seem wrong at that time. It felt more as though I needed some translator or for her to serve as my transition into some social setting.

Worse is La Deb says that if she walks slower to let me catch up that then I walk slower too to stay in the same position. Well, that's something I'm working on removing now.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

sooo tired!

I am still awake and I have to be at the airport at 7 a.m. to head out to Madison, WI to learn more about media advocacy. Instead of relaxing this evening I made an elaborate dinner for La Deb (wontons, egg rolls, fried rice, chicken mushroom stirfry) and she was so sweet. She knows I have this history of women sitting in front of the tv waiting for their din-din so she offered to help I don't know how many times. This is truly unique/empathic/receptive/hard to find.

Then, I told her I wanted to drive around a little and get a cup of coffee. Well, one grande starbucks and 2 hours later, we'd visited these little towns east of Austin like Bastrop and Cedar Creek. The air was finally cool and, while there were few clouds, the sky was an incredible velvety blue. Elvis velvet blue. And the moon all pearly. Must have been the msg talking there.

I got home to hear a message from a good new friend I'll call White Bread (hey, she named herself! - okay I would call her Sunny) and her question about a particular dinosaur hanging out on the corner of Chicon and Cesar Chavez. We ended up talking until after 1 a.m. while I did pseudo packing.

I can't believe how much I needed those sweet moments. I'm super sleepy now and will lay down for a little bit but I hope to find my energy as I am set for Madison! I want to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian meeting house and the Paul Bunyan murals made by the WPA. YES!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

mediocre karma

I parked my van in the front of the house and went in for about half an hour to enjoy the cool air conditioner, the windows closed - it's been so hot a girl's sandals start melting on the sidewalk!

When I came back out to go get some groceries I reached for my portable cd player and saw it wasn't there. I'd left the windows down because, with them up, the place turns into a gay men's spa in five minutes. Someone reached in to grab it. I'm not upset. I guess they needed it. I feel bad, however, that it's been acting up since it fell out of the slot in the car a couple of days ago.

Funny/curious also is that this morning I realized I wanted to go book buying to read some of the authors suggested by Willie Perdomo, who I'll be taking my class with while in California. (Did I tell you I won't be with Ruth Forman? - more details later.) Well, out of nowhere, I check my mail at work (I'm notorious for not doing so) and find a thank you card and a certificate for $25 to BookPeople. Is that not bad ass?

Regarding Ruth Forman - well, it was a people of color thing - some crazy change because someone misread my email. Still, I accept what some stronger creative energy has in line for me and accepted the Voices writing program director's suggestion that I attend Perdomo's class.

It did worry me because I have this idea of what slam poetry is (more music than message) and also had my heart set on learning from a woman. As soon as I found out I wouldn't be in Forman's class, my body seemed to be changing its frequency. My life timeline altering a little over this change in direction. I'm curious to see if I can do it at all. Perdomo has a great voice. In some ways really subtle and not like stereotypical slam work. His stuff works on the page (and in the mind).

Monday, June 13, 2005

pay back?

I have had one idea in my mind all day : the day Ya Vez visited my house to talk to Cliffy. How shitty to be asking questions about my personal relationships. How very macho and fucked up.

And though I don't believe in Ya Vez' changes, I am still surprised (why am I always still surprised by her actions?) that Ya Vez would dare to bring the woman she's seeing now into my workplace to introduce her to an organization she doesn't much like, and people she's not especially close to. Just to stare at me sheepishly but not be upfront and introduce me to the woman.

There were other opportunities for her to do the tour, or she could have chosen not too come in at all. I had a moment where I wanted to tell this woman to watch out for Ya Vez. I wanted to do the same kind of unsuspecting knock on the door that Ya Vez gave Cliffy. I don't guess Ya Vez remembered I do the mailing list at work and I have this woman's contact information. There are still secrets to be told, aren't there?

But that would make me like Ya Vez. She's honest and an "old soul" alright, when it benefits her. At other times, pure childishness.

While I know it's wrong, I did at least feel better that she didn't look good in her freaky gold lame coat at the woman's dance, or any better today in her drag femme look. I guess she is back to where she was before me - Now she just has to forget how to eat out, kiss with any decency or truly be there for someone without expecting anything (wait, she never did get that one down).

Okay, I feel better.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


La Deb and I have been dating.

She's unlike a lot of women I meet. She's not posing for some potential picture. She is a giver without question. She remembers me and misses me when I'm far away.

Dating seems so foreign but we are taking it slow. I get to feeling a little awkward as I'm adjusting to this unexpected way of connecting to someone.

When we first started going out we joked that we had nothing in common. Now it seems we are complimentary and I still feel free. I don't think I ever had that feeling with another person. I had this dream last night that I was dancing in the mirror in my room and liked that I could move easily, that the steps came to me naturally and that my body was feeling good. That's an incredible freedom. I remember something Jen told me - when all else is unsure, listen to your body to truly see how you are feeling. La Deb makes me feel soft/open/accessible. These are things I already carried but she doesn't hinder those attributes.

Time with her is becoming more important.

Friday, June 10, 2005

reminder dream

When I saw Cliffy the other day I looked at her as though I couldn't recognize her but I was also upset with her for leading me through her fear/insecurity. I had a dream about her the evening before (appropriate, huh?) where there was a line of the people I had dated or had a relationship with and she was at the front of it. Her face was blushing and she wanted to look me in the face but couldn't. She wanted to say something but her words were jumbled between uhms and huhs.

And I was red in the face with frustration because she couldn't give me one word about missing me. Her last email to me, worse of all, was about how she would miss Little Lion because we weren't talking. Yes it's true - every single mother wants to hear that the person who claimed to love them will only miss that person's child (especially if you don't ever mention missing the person who introduced you to the child - hmm, who was that?).

I'm not quite sure why Cliffy keeps coming up. I suppose it's because La Deb asked me about her, how I felt about her while we were going out. I'm not angry. That's not complicated enough a sensation/emotion. All I want to be sure of is that I don't make the same mis-read ever again. I also don't want to be in a relationship and be processing the last woman.


Part of why I started this blog was to find the strength in my voice. Part was to process without killing off my friends with my constant search for answers to the changes happening at the time. Part, yes, was ego.

While I've been busy with gay pride and other work duties, and the JAMS Spread fundraiser really kicked my butt but I'm feeling good. The lack of writing isn't entirely because of these issues. I've been truly living it and so I haven't wanted to stop, analyze and put down my well-planned thoughts. I wanted more of the living. Fuck, I deserve it.

Little Lion's at my mother's home for a couple of weeks for the summer so I've been working more to prepare for my vacation time, and working on a manuscript. I've been hanging out with someone and it's been an interesting experience but, for once, I don't want to talk about it. I'm feeling incredibly fortunate in that I've been meeting a lot of women who truly are what they say they are and give what they say they can. La Deb, in particular, has been incredibly sweet.

I appreciate the wave of good women coming around me because the last few weeks saw me dealing with Cliffy's inconsistencies and her eventual realization she's not ready for a relationship, as well as Ya Vez's newfound rose-tinted glasses. She professes change and I can support that but only after I got past the hurt of her again acting/looking/behaving like she did when we first started going out (this time for someone else) did I realize change is not the outside stuff.

I remember realizing this when she came to the house wearing some purple lacey shirt and told me she was in touch with her femme side now. That's as true as trans women saying they are women (within societal contexts) - no, I'm not dissing the women but you don't become a woman (or a femme) overnight - that's true for genetic women too. It's culture/persona/spirit that must signify our identifiers and the change is slow. Ya Vez looked a little like a drag performer wearing that lace and it's because, beneath that, she was still the power-dominant person. A friend of mine told me long ago that she isn't lesbian - she's an agressor.

Last night was Fandango, the pride dance allgo hosts and there was so much gorgeousness. Besides that, Cliffy showed. While I can't say she can't attend, it seemed the cosmos was asking for a bump-in-to because I actually bumped in to her and said excuse me before realizing it was her. I was going to walk away after saying hello but thought it was rude to do so. It was difficult to see her because I feel like I want to tell her something but can't even imagine what words would come and what those words might be.

All in all, my writing is again moving. Mostly, it's processing stuff so it's not all good - it makes me happy to be writing it, nonetheless.

The dance was great - all the jotos rejoicing make my work worth it - but there was also racism - lots of white boys came in and, in finding out they had to pay for a dance, wanted to know who it benefitted. Once told, most of them left. Others haggled over shirts/not wanting to pay full price or claimed sponsorship and wanted freebies or just walked around subjectively inspecting. It's interesting to see how it feels every time allgo does some sort of larger event meant to address the general gay community - it's not selling out but it is feeling less secure. We are out there for mainstream gay consumption and, somehow, exoticized even more.

Friday, June 03, 2005

JAMS Spread

It's on!

JAMS Spread
[poetry and performance]

sampling the great writers jelled as the JAMS writing group
a fundraiser for one of our own to learn under Ruth Forman

Friday, June 3, 2005

7 p.m. sweets/munchies/deliciousness
8 p.m. scripted reading


Abbie Green
Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman
Maggie Jochild
JoAnne Reyes-Boitel

9:30 special invited guest poets/performers/entertainers
- Central Texas' finest -

Sylvia Manning
Carole Metellus
Moises Silva

Entry: $5/Donation/more or less
1308 Haskell Street, Austin 78702

also available: the desirous table
take what you want, pay what you can in exchange
(donations of treasures appreciated)
& chapbooks by the featured writers

for more information: or 512.220.5416

it must be jelly cuz jam don't shake like that