Sunday, April 29, 2007


ya soy blondie. i cried after I left the hair dresser's yesterday. I washed it because they put so much shit in it I could have played the terminator on television - fui indestructible - la mujer was so trying to hit the street to go to the last days of (insert holiday with racist history background and a money-maker for a city with little permanent, foundational income) Fiesta!

My mother wanted to see it but I didn't want to go out of the house and she ended up coming over. Cliffy was there and told me she liked it. When my mom arrived, she loved it and said I was guera and could do that - I don't know about that - I told her I was yellow. Rudy/Vandi loved it. I told him I looked trashy and he said "exactly!" as a positive thing. My mother asked me what he'd said and when I told her he said it looked slutty, she agreed in a positive way. Mierda.

La Vandi hits the town! - que caprichosa

My baby, Vandi/Rudy, came into town last night with no notice. The cosmos was working for both of us as he decided he would put aside sleep (he had to be at work at 7 a.m. this morning!) and I, by some miracle, had the little one at my mom's house.

I was in love again. I'd missed my man. We had such good times while at allgo. He is one of the few things that made that experience worth it. And he was looking good! We laughed when this one man was burning a hole into him and, two minutes later, that man's boyfriend comes back from wherever to stand next to the burner.

Then Rudy met potential husband material at the 2015. I got to see Giovanni and John and Terry, surprisingly, showed - she's already had a full day. Then we went driving around to find the bathhouses (which always make me jealous) and then ended up at IHOP, where we made the server giggle - she was getting orders wrong. Man, it was nice to have a little freedom!

I couldn't wind down, stayed up until 5:30 then crashed. Now I'm thinking it's 1 pm. and it's almost 6 in the evening!

Damned, I missed my Vandi!

Pilon: He brought me my (acquired) print of "El Tacon", part of a loteria series allgo did that shows a huge drag-sized red sequined high heel. Beautiful.

Friday, April 27, 2007

new poem : flood

New for me, I've started using visual work as an activator for my writing. They serve as exercises to get me writing if I don't have a set idea when I sit down. I've always used music but haven't found a lot lately that motivates me (though Robin Thicke, Rob Thomas and Mary J. Blige do now have my head).

With that said, I thought I'd share a poem I wrote last night along with the work, by Eric Drooker, which motivated me.


They sicken of the calm, who know the storm. --Dorothy Parker

I am in my work, joyous
when the ghost of our lives together

I turn, not knowing who would tap my shoulder just then
and I cannot say enough - please, I cannot go

easier to force myself out of sleep,
even refuse it in the days that follow

than to return to that moment
and give my back to the possibility

I am disrespectful of borrowed things,
turn library book pages into dog ears

the pages are full of art - if they are
good works they understand:

a painter hears something,
puts those words into images

I am to remind -
the colored canvas, the book itself
they must not just speak, they must also listen

glittered sand left on the stairs, on the bed
you leave these markers everywhere

on the day of the largest tornados in 50 years,
that ribbon of water between two countries

chortles - there should be no fear
those who've passed the water know already

you cannot sleep: this is nothing
the flood is still a long way coming
I love Paulo Coelho's work and found, recently, that I actually like the man too (at least what's present in his blog - I know that blogs don't reveal everything!).

He's brave enough to put the first few chapters of his new book, The Witch of Portobello, online. Bold too, to state his personal goals. Despite a new book coming out, the demand of his time that will follow and the journey each new book brings, his is making himself new:

Time and life have changed everything into something perfectly understandable – and I need mystery... I want to fill my life again with fantasy, because an angry god is far more curious, frightening and interesting than a phenomenon of physics.

And finally, let me look at myself... I shall remain what I am and what I like to be, a constant surprise to myself. This I who was not created by my father or by my mother, nor by my school, but by all that I have lived so far - suddenly I forgot and am discovering it all over again.

I am at that cusp. Perhaps we all are. I had a great day yesterday. I saw an old friend yesterday. We went out (if you could call it that) about ten years ago. To be again face-to-face with myself at 25 was interesting. I remember that time as the first year I committed myself to writing, recognizing the importance, a la William Carlos Williams, of what is found in poetry/what it can provide. My friend told me my voice had changed, that when I'd left a voice message saying "It's me, ..." at first he didn't know who the "me" was. I liked that there was some marker to show my growth. Voice is incredibly important to me as someone who reads her work aloud.

God, I also remember those as the first years I actually let myself open up emotionally. I did it in a retarded way (still do!) - going back and forth, not trusting what I was sensing, opening up too late or being naive in the wrong places, hard in the wrong moments.

I also got to talk on the phone with my Rudy, cabroncito de east osten. He's doing well and we are going to go out next week for drinks, some catching up time. I told him he was going to have to find someone to spank me because I have so wound up! Oh, but that's another topic all together... Rudy's great. He's such a wonderful spirit and, with most everything that doesn't turn out, he will tell me "ah, it's alright girl. don't worry about it" and he means it. With Rudy it's not about washing hands or forgiving/forgetting or karma. It's about moving on/beyond.

What a great opportunity Coelho presents - it reminds me of a time with Cliffy, when we (or just me?) were transforming, initially for the best : "Ourselves but not ourselves - so much more."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

one dream from RGV

I am feeling a little ghostly today. Have been feeling that way since Sunday really. Visiting Gloria's grave took more out of me than I realized. Delhi even asked me if I was sad. I guess it was obvious I wasn't in the good mood I'd been in earlier.

Saturday night I had a dream I was helping this guy put together a poetry gathering and we were working on publishing a book. It was good work. It felt solid. You know how good it feels to be productive and nothing be in your way.

Out of nowhere this wave of sadness hit me and I felt like I was being called from San Anto. I didn't know if it was something about my family or Cliffy or my own life now or what. I just didn't like the overwhelming feeling. It scared me. And since that dream I have been upset on a number of levels:

- that I feel held back by family and by those who won't express themselves openly
- that I feel that incredible guilt to stay here despite my desire for continued growth
- that those who are holding me are or have been held back to and I want to show understanding but instead I carry some anger

there are other things - I'm having a hard time verbalizing it. All I know if that the anger, frustration and sadness that I felt in that dream was so profound (like a dark ocean wave thirty feet over my head) and so unexpected it seemed to call me - I remember gesturing to my work, to show how busy and happy I was in all of it. As though get it to understand I was in a good place. I woke up right then so I obviously didn't win that argument.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I had some powerful dreams while in RGV this weekend. I'm still processing all the info too - it's madness.

I will add these in, and a description of some of what I did while in Edinburg et al as I can.

I did find out I am allergic to pepper so I am still feeling the sleepiness and puffiness of that confirmation. It's too bad, too. I don't always like beef jerky but this one was super peppery!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

once again, my child trips me out

Delhi's been reading all these books about the Statue of Liberty. She has a memory that's immense (must be related to her packrat abilities since everything has an important connection to some memory of a past event) - So, she's been recounting facts, including that there are 7 spikes on her crown to indicate the seven oceans, that her index finger is 8 feet long and that the people of France gave her to us as a gift of friendship. Plus, that she wears a size 879 sandal. Talk about having to buy shoes at the drag shops!

So we are talking last night on the way home and she tells me her two favorite women in history are Sacagawea and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. I didn't know she was reading this kind of stuff. I am amazed and think more and more about how she will continue to surprise me with her voracious learning (which her school passively allows) and her ability to truly relate what she learns to everday life.

Somehow related - for me - I had dinner with Terry yesterday at Demo's and we were all surprised because there were belly dancers. I love the music, very bass-driven, with nice syncopated undercurrents. I think I'm going to pull out my old belly dancing exercise tape. That was fun to do. But, in talking with Terry afterward, she told me I was different. That was nice to hear. Maybe because she has met a lot of women interested in what another person can provide them, or because of general materialism - but I told her I used to be quiet about being aligned another way but I see it as a gift.
Part of my trying for an MFA is not just for the hopeful financial benefit for my family but that I was hoping to make a difference in my community with this additional tool for my use. The continued education will strengthen me - of this I'm sure.

An MFA, for me, is also a selfish thing - a way to focus and give me guaranteed space for my writing. As a parent, as a lover, as a working class woman, my writing is always put to the side. Hell, even as an activist, the work is put aside - usually waiting until a fever breaks out somewhere in the body that doesn't allow for any more procrastinating - it just has to come out. But this is akin to my waiting for my head to be really pounding before I decide to take an aspirin.

All this to say that I hope my daughter is selfish for those important things, is tremendous and amazing because she wants to be and won't hold it back. I will have raised an incredible woman if I can support those things in her. I always saw parenting as an obligation to produce powerful and loving people who will walk boldly into this world.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

gonna do the rounds

oh, man, i'm feeling good and nervous about this trip to the RGV (as they call it).

So, because Tigrette has so much energy and i think i still do, we have a couple of "must do"s on our list of what to hit when we go down. I want to visit Gloria's grave.

I first went there a few days after her funeral - we were on our way back from Mexico and we took the long way back in order to visit. Ya Vez didn't care really but she wanted to look sympathetic and the Fifis wanted to go. Lourdes sang a song for her and I left a bracelet with la virgen de cobre on it. I had relied on that bracelet a lot, especially given the mess my relationship was in at the time but I was okay without it after. I had dreams about Gloria from the time she died up until about 6 months later.

I thought we might make it to Don Pedro Jaramillo's shrine but I really need a map before I start planning all these little side trips. With it being a 4 hour drive I'm going to have enough time on my hands having to entertain Tigrette.

Monday, April 16, 2007

new poem : blameless

Tell me, what have I not done?
What part of me is incomprehensible?

What language in me do you refuse to learn?
In talks with me, what words do not come across?

I’m not to blame – each word has its own story
those refusing to slip cleanly from my mouth
must then carry some history with me
and that’s for us to work out.

I may not always be available
but in those reasonable moments
when you work to catch me
you cannot say
you do not know the history of why,
when I say your name,
my voice quivers.

new poem : mathematically speaking

in looking at an equation, love can flower in the chest
warming the spot of contact there

the degree increases exponentially
with continued contact
of the introduced heat source

but the temperature can also grow
with the removal of that warmth

I may have made a C in Algebra
but I understand this formula:

a made squared is full
but when reduced by its square root again
becomes a
and is never the same:
once filled
now understands emptiness

new poem : experiment

1. hypothesis

I would die for you, cabrona, don’t you understand?
I would take you away from here and you would never
see your family again – that is how I love you. I can
give you everything. I can be all that you need. I can
do what others can’t or won’t. You need me –
don’t you know that yet?

2. theory

knees hold my legs down. arms curl down my shoulders,
around my back and to my spine. nails into hips.
hair in my face, lips at my eyes, so angry.
sweat dropping from her forehead,
one at a time, onto my face.
there’s no leaving.

new poem : bocaditos (at the lips)

I take sleep like a piece of cake,
with milk, with longing

but fat tuesday is gone and now begins the lean time –
my body has decided to give up those sweet minutes

happiness seems like everyone else’s
but suffering is unique for each of us, no?

4 a.m. and, for all the santero’s smoke and blessings,
I find your pet, indecision, has moved into the living room,
takes up the couch, bumping the arms of visitors, asking about the cloudy air

I misread you – is that why I search for you so much?
You, sleepy and sick, each day carved neatly for you.

no prayer will bring you to me.
no promise enough but still I try:

I promise I will learn more about you if you sleep next to me
I promise to be good

I promise to cook happiness into the home,
mix raisins into the picadillo - fried crisp
handed warm in a cotton hand towel

watch out
the first bite always releases steam

new poem : banana leaves (an unexpected love poem)

no crossroads for us
the world relatively free
between our laughing fits

how else to explain
the difference between us and them

we who carry hearts on sleeves
versus those who pin them there

the more someone tells you not to open yourself
the more you reveal in those small tufts of air
warmed by your mouth

the more you will find my kiss there
fingerprints at your cheeks and neck
tugging you in from the street

how else to say it

the words for you
rest at the back of my throat
on call

the house makes noises
each time we stretch into each other

the trees outside leaning in
to hear that word for which
there are, as yet, no adequate syllables

the pool outside, waving in recent grass cuttings, mirrors our love :
deep, cooling water no fear of drowning
those lost breaths I face when our cheeks are close
come in

the banana leaves open out to hear

new poem : golosina

you told me you didn’t want to know if I’d done anything while out of town for a conference

I told you I needed you to be at home more than at work

you told me you needed a few days

I told you this was your way of not being available

you took your chest of drawers

left on my bed, I threw out your pajamas too

you wanted your name off the lease but asked for my last work check to pay bills

I cashed my check and filled the van with gas

you walked into the house anytime I was gone, taking one piece of you at a time – there was no hurry

I changed the locks

you sent your grandson through the kitchen window and took the new keys

I found you outside smoking pot and, when I didn’t let you in, you used the new keys to invite yourself in

you stood over me, close to hitting me, and yelled so much a punch would have been nicer

I called the police to get my keys back

you played rational

I recognized the actress in you

you cut off my gas, then in your name

I cut off the electricity, then in the middle of winter

you threw your food over the fence, feeding the dog spaghetti, leaving trash in the yard

I drove by your house in the early morning, jotted the license plates in case

you stole my van, claiming it was yours

I reminded you of my regular income and how it helped your business grow

you sold me the van back for $500

I hated you and loved you

you loved me and hated me

I cornered you to see why this had even happened

you told me you didn’t think I was capable of being so mean, that that’s what hurt the most

I asked why it was okay for you to be so ugly

you told me it was because you were always like this

I did tell you I thought about cheating

you informed me I’d already done so

I couldn’t argue

you always win arguments, you are much louder

I started painting doors and working in the yard

you watched me from your windows

I removed as much of you from the house as I could, put it out on the sidewalk

you held onto everything I threw away, reminding me that things were more important

I asked you why you even started a relationship with me

you reminded me I got a pair of glasses, a trip to Mexico and my new red shoes from it

I asked you if you wanted those too

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ya no/ay no

were you just talking about roller coasters? my belly hurts with the up and down of this last few weeks.

I had a fantastic fight with my brother where I didn't actually speak much. Unfortunately, my brother was pushing my mother around and I said a couple of words [don't cover her mouth] and that set him off. he ended up kicking my car a couple of times, tried kicking the back window in (but he's getting too old to reach it) and then threatened to back his car into mine. I swear I only said those words. I don't know where I found the strength to just be still.

afterward, of course, I tripped out because I had grown up in abusive shit, had ended up in a relationship that was leading that way and left. I knew this wasn't the kind of thing I wanted my daughter to see. just last week a friend was telling me that she seems really confident, self-reliant. she needs to be - I tell her all the time that the world is capable of so much love but there is a lot of bad out there who will call her out for being a girl, for having a voice, for having a queer mother, for being of color, etc etc etc. there's always something.

so, Iwas angry and shook up over all this and, again, my brother's girlfriend, has to point a finger at me as though I'm the instigator. Normally I might be. I'm ready for a tumbazo if someone's being ugly to a woman but I didn't start anything this time. I really think my brother was just angry because someone was questioning his authority, his right to be macho and insensitive. Still, the finger pointing took me even more time to get over.

Add to that my mother's ankle is injured (she's in pain quite a bit), that my father learned he lost his job when he got back from vacation (and they actually said he was "too old"), then he found a job then that place closed after 1 1/2 weeks but now he's got another job that looks more established...

I worry because I've been feeling scared but pretty proud of myself for making moves toward my master's.

I felt free today when I paid off the $365.17 I owed to the university from the last time I was attending. I sent $10 in to get transcripts, completed my application to SAC to take a class there and, amazingly, the one class I need is being offered as an evening course 2 nights a week. Pretty bad ass - especially when you consider there really are so few options for summer courses. And while I'm feeling doors open, all this family stuff has me happy to be moving from it but sad that I won't be close enough to help.

not that I'm leaving anytime soon. I've made plans to begin my program in Fall 2008. they do offer summer courses that I can grandfather in so if I move with some time I can be better settled into life in a small town to transition the little one too.

One thing all this thinking about a master's has reminded me - I need to get to writing. Now more than ever. I have so much in my head I gotta let it go!

Edinburg, TX - who would have thought. Now just to find the queers!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I am nice!


Earlier in the week, there was this woman looking at me at the CineMujer at Esperanza. I knew she looked familiar but I didn't remember how/when/etc. She was at the barbeque I went to this Sunday and she (her name is Terry) reminded me how we'd met - at some woman's dance years before, where I got her to dance with me. I didn't remember at first. It was nice to hear that she thought I was nice for that. I was more surprised that I did that at all - I always thought I was more shy when I was a young dykey girl.

Also earlier in the week, this one woman on the bus (really pretty, with long straight black hair) came up to me as we walked toward the buildings at work, and told me I always dressed so nice. She asked me where I got my clothes and I told her the number of places. Hey, as a big girl, it means you have to shop around a little. I do try to look decent at work and I'm loving color lately. I can't wear all black like I'd been doing. It doesn't hit the same.

I'm almost finished making a pillow for Carol and starting another one for Lilia. It's been fun to make them. Carol's is a dream pillow, for sleeping and waking dreams, with this deep turquoise silk and embroidered red flowers and this red, fuzzy overlap and green accents. And Lilia's is a recreation of the ideas behind La Virgen's clothing. It's all said to symbolize something.

I need coffee. I went to bed after 2 a.m. and awoke at 6:30. I can't even muster a bad mood - I'm too tired. That's just not right.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I went to a gathering of some lgbt catholics yesterday, who gathered at a local park and had great barbeque, sides, conversation. They were really great people. Tigrette was upset she couldn't have communion. I told her it was because we weren't catholic. So, of course, the whole discussion home was about catholics and christians and why and why and why.

I'll tell you, if nothing else, Tigrette has made me more interested in research. I end up looking things up just to answer her questions. It's helped in my writing too. I'll look up meanings of colors, or the history of an object, or a particular decade and be better informed when I'm writing. I know it doesn't always look it, especially when you see small pieces, but it's all there, in the foundation.

I got to meet this lesbian couple I'd seen before. They've adopted a number of children and it was nice to see they get the need for political expression. Usually, in the parent group I'm in, there's only socializing. That's great but I would like to continue to feel like I'm protecting my children or queers or families by something as simple as a letter or phone call to legislature.

I started this blog entry because I was going to say something specifically, but now it's fallen away. Maybe I'll remember it as soon as I hit the "publish" button. Maybe my head just hurts too much.