Sunday, October 23, 2016

Untitled Poem

Oh, cage my drooling heart and lose the key
before it makes corpses of you and me.
A starving beast should never be let loose.
If left unleashed, my ravished heart consumes,
infuriated by the howling moon,
without discretion. Predators must eat.

But if my heart’s a beast, what about me?
‘Cause for the Devil I’ve no sympathy.
But from my chest my heart I can’t remove.
So with my heart, I must be locked up too.
I am the demon working in cahoots
to destroy love, my heart conspires with me.

But I don’t want to deconstruct your soul,
so I will wrap a muzzle ‘round my mouth
and sew my lips into a caustic pout
lest I should gorge until grotesquely full.
My stomach’s much too small to eat a bull.
The acids in my gut can’t break you down.
Ex-captives from my belly scream and shout,
“You cannot love that which you’ve swallowed whole!”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My house sits on a hill

Here's a poem I wrote:

My house sits on a hill.
My furniture, on wheels.
My tall, cheap lamp leans on my wall like a hooker in high heels.

I glide across the floor
from my bedroom to the door,
making my way outside, wobbling to the grocery store.

I’ve adjusted to the slant.
Outside I lose balance;
I trip into concrete and stop my fall with graveled hands.

I’ve thought about a cane,
but I might be too vain.

Plus, why adjust to status quo when comfortably lame?

Here's what it looks like in prose form:

My house sits on a slant. The tall, thin, cheap lamp I bought from Target leans slightly toward my left and rests its head against the wall, like a drunken soldier waiting for a cheap hooker or maybe just a smooth ride back to the barracks. An odd amount of my furniture sits on wheels. I slide from room to room in my vintage armchair on tiny, rusted wheels, to my chipped, wooden dresser, sliding down my bedroom floor, making my way out of the door. I’ve adjusted to the slant such that the remainder of the world throws me off balance. I balance along my driveway only to trip into the gutter until my cheek meets the concrete road, and I have to push myself up on my gravel-covered palms and wobble to the grocery store. Sometimes I think about carrying a cane, but what’s the use. I’ll never adjust to the status quo.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

NaPoWriMo Day 1: A Lune

If any of you have ever spent much time on my blog, you know I generally participate in NaPoWriMo but almost never at the "correct" time. Hence, I have decided that my blog needed a little attention, and it was time I got back into working on some poetry. So with that being said, and because I have nothing else to say, here is my poem for day 1. The prompt for day 1 was to write a lune, or a series of lunes, and because I didn't have much time, here's my three-line lune with no title--

Starve daughters; feed sons bullets.
Purge "the other."
Binge freedom behind protective glass.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Terrible Apology

A lot of changes have been happening recently in my life, causing a lot of anxiety and flare ups of my OCD. As part of my self-care, I committed to writing something, so I wrote something about what it's like for me when I'm not totally well.

As I lose grip on my thoughts, the background noises grow louder and louder until I can hear nothing but the maid vacuuming in the room next door, the father outside my room telling his daughter to calm down, the brothers in the hallway, fighting over who will push the elevator button first, the maid turning the vacuum on again, sucking up every speck of dirt while footsteps beat louder and then softer and then louder again as someone runs up and down the hall. I imagine a young boy wearing a swimsuit and holding a yellow, plastic bucket with a red handle and a red, plastic shovel for building sand castles or army forts or whatever else children build with buckets, shovels, and sand at the beach. I imagine him 11 years old because the footsteps do not beat heavy enough for a full-grown body. A female voice yells in what I perceive as Spanish. My first thought travels to the boy’s mother until I hear a second female voice responding, also seemingly in Spanish. Two maids yell across the hall to one another about towels or soap or anything else I’ll never understand. I used to speak Spanish, never fluently, but relatively proficiently. I have functioned in a variety of Spanish-speaking places with different dialects, including Mexico and Spain. I even picked up Catalan in Barcelona. Too bad I failed to learn where to put the accents. I tend to lose the trees for the forest—focusing on the big picture and forgetting about the details. Most law students suffer the opposite affliction—such attention to detail causes big picture blindness. Maybe I never look close enough. That still doesn’t stop me from noticing just about everything except whatever I’m supposed to see. Take those magic eye posters, for example. I notice the blurry mess first, then I can focus hard enough to see the animal or house or whatever inanimate object hides within the patterns, but never once do I stop to actually perceive the tiny, repeating images that make up the bigger picture, illusion or not. Cognitive shortcomings affect perceptions of reality. When my brain begins to loop, and my thoughts jump on that ferris wheel inside my mind, my focus blurs, and I miss things. I miss the patterns. I miss the details. I miss the pieces that make up the whole. And when I miss things, the anxiety grows, and when the anxiety grows big enough, it manifests as frustration, and internal frustration wears the external guise of irritability, which means I become short, impatient, rude, and, worst of all, frantic. So to anyone who has ever suffered the brunt of my sporadic and temporary emotional shortsightedness, I have explanations and apologies to offer, but no excuses. Apologies do not necessitate forgiveness, but I felt this necessary to say. Progress takes work when you’re a work in progress, or something like that, or so they say. Thank you for your patience.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

#notmyclinic: A National Women's Liberation campaign against HB 1411.

Rick Scott recently passed new legislation restricting our abortion and reproductive healthcare rights even further. HB 1411 affects all clinics that provide or associated with any other clinic that provides abortion services and also receives federal funding, including Medicaid. The bill imposes new requirements on clinics, including admitting privileges, reporting requirements, and licensing fees, and creates criminal offenses around the disposal and donation of fetal remains. The bill also removes all federal money from clinics that provide abortion services and redefines “trimester.” It is designed to target and shut down abortion providers. For more information about the bill, visit:
The legislature points us to a list of federally qualified health centers as alternatives once the bill goes into effect July 1, 2016 and the clinics start shutting down. These alternatives include dental offices, elementary schools, high schools, and other locations that do not provide reproductive healthcare services and are insufficient alternatives to Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics. For the full list of alternatives, visit:
This is unacceptable. 
As a result, we (National Women's Liberation-Gainesville Chapter) has initiated a social media campaign to demonstrate how these federally qualified centers are #notmyclinic because they do not provide sufficient services compared to the women's health clinics, e.g. Planned Parenthood, which are being shut down due to impossible restrictions.
If you want to get involved in the campaign, visit our Not My Clinic Facebook page for details, instructions, and examples. Below is an example of my video:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Because It Has Everything To Do With Her Gender

I avoided writing this blog post for a really long time because I didn't think the argument needed to be made, but after an experience I had today, I feel this argument has not been made enough.

The first thing I want to get out of the way is my confusion at the fact that society, at this point, has come to a pretty solid agreement that only black people get to say what's offensive to black people, only Native Americans what's offensive to Native Americans, etc.  In short, only people of color get to say what's racist.  That's not my struggle, though.  What I struggle with is why this line of thinking falls short of applying to sexism and women.  Why do men get to tell me what's sexist and what isn't?  Where is the disconnect?  And the scary part is sexism is getting so sneaky that it's getting harder and harder to point out and articulate.  If I experience a sexist microaggression, why don't I get to call it sexist without having to defend my experience to someone who cannot, by the very nature of their gender, understand my experience?  I do not understand this at all.

Second, and very closely related, is the fact that I do believe 100% that the backlash against Hillary from fellow liberals, Democrats, and progressives is sexist, and to experience such sexism from people I thought were on my side of things has been especially disheartening.  Let me see if I can explain.  Bernie is an amazing candidate, and I'm thrilled with his ideologies.  I'm thrilled with where he stands on most issues.  I'm thrilled with the fact that he was "woke" from day one and that he didn't have to change his stance on issues because he always knew the right choice to make.  However, in a time when checking ones privilege is becoming more and more commonplace, it seems to be lost here.  That is why I have found it necessary to check Bernie's privilege.  It is a privilege to be an idealist.  It is a privilege to be an "outsider" candidate and still be one of the forerunners of the Democratic party.  It is a privilege to be a revolutionary.  It is a male privilege...a white male privilege.

Do I wish Hillary didn't play the game as much as she did?  Of course.  Do I wish Hillary weren't so cozy with corporate finance?  Duh.  But do I believe that Hillary could have gotten this far, as a woman, without playing the game as methodically and calculated as she has?  Absolutely, 100% no.  Politics are sexist.  Society is sexist.  Women do not have the privilege of being an outsider, idealist, revolutionary politician and still stand where Hillary stands today.  And if you don't believe me, please, for argument's sake, show me another woman who has gotten as far as Hillary has without playing the game.  But Hillary is the first and only woman who has ever gotten as far as she has, so if you think she could've gotten this far without playing the game, I think you couldn't be more wrong.  And it's not a hypothetical conjecture either.  It's reality.  Hillary is the closest a woman has ever come to the United States presidency.  She didn't get there by accident.  She got there by being exactly what she had to be to get there--a methodical, calculated political operative.

I just can't get behind the idea that if she had been anything other than what she is she would've made it this far because I haven't seen it yet.  No woman has.  If she were some other woman, you'd vote for her?  Well, she's not.  That other woman you'd vote for hasn't gotten as far as she has.  And like I said a second ago, that was not an accident.  The fact of the matter is, sexism has made Hillary the candidate she is today.  So you may not be basing your decision not to vote for her on the fact that she's a woman, but that does not mean her gender has nothing to do with your vote because her gender has had everything to do with her career, her candidacy, and her stances on the issues from day one.  Her gender has played a role in everything she has ever done as a politician because THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN.

Being a woman means your gender has everything to do with the way people expect you to present yourself.  White male is the status quo, the baseline, the norm or "neutral."  Woman is "other."  Otherness is pervasive and cannot be removed from the self.  Maleness is neutral and does not come into play nearly as much, if at all.  If you are the status quo, you get to believe whatever you want.  If you are an other, you have to play the game, or you will be stepped on and silenced by the ones in charge.  I'm tired of hearing that it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman because it's always had everything to do with the fact that she's a woman, whether it's overtly stated or not, whether people know it or admit it or not.  Hillary has been reminded of her otherness her entire political career; that is what she means by the fact that she can't be part of the establishment.  And no, that's not sexist, for the same reason that reverse racism isn't a real thing.  So if you're anti-Hillary stance has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her ability to play the game, my only counter is her ability to play the game has always had and always will have everything to do with her gender.

I could go on, but this will probably fall on deaf ears anyway.  And since I don't have the energy to fight the way Hillary does, I'm giving up here and casting my vote with the strongest woman I know (besides my mother).

And in case you think I'm the only person to feel this way, and this is all unfounded:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

it's a riddle

I wrap it around me when I'm drowning in responsibility, turning myself inside out and using my flesh as sheep's clothing and my emptiness as a bubble that floats me to the top of my ocean of emotions...emoceans.

I drag it behind me with one hand while the dirty thumb of my other hand sticks out of my drooling mouth and dust flies around my baby bald head, and adults still make no sense no matter how old I get.  Womp womp womp growls obligation from the the pit of my empty stomach.

I lean on it when my knees buckle beneath the weight of the multiverse as I hobble through time on one leg--the ultimate thigh gap.

I need it like a drug lord needs cocaine, like a suburban housewife needs Xanax, like I need your love and my parent's approval.

I attack with it, wearing it like spikes on a porcupine or poisonous, blue rings on a really rad octopus.

I protect myself with it, and I painted Medusa's cackle on it like Perseus' shield, but she laughs because they failed to understand that if the window to the soul lies in the eyes, they can never know her, and what one does not know, one can never truly hurt.

I keep it like my friends' abortions or my mother's pain or that time I let a friend pressure me into stealing another girl's bow in preschool, and I never gave it back but instead kept it in my closet for years before throwing it away because I felt too guilty and scared to ever wear it or give it back.

I lust for it, I consume it, and when no one is looking, I bathe in it.

I do whatever I want with it because I own it.  It is mine, and no one can take it away from me.

It is female jouissance.  It is nothing.