Post the Third 2 or Sometimes all you need is a love poem

Open

Like the scent of orchids

Open

Like the whisper of baby’s breath

Open

Like

Sometimes I wonder why I love you

And remember the feel of your palm

As it moves up the inside of my

Thigh

My breath catching

Open

Like the way your lips travel

Around my navel

Causing thoughts of oceans to

Bloom

Open

Like losing myself your crevices

Trying to come up for air

But sinking deeper into the folds

Of your love

Sometimes the distances

Seem so insurmountable

The bridge between us

So narrow

A drop more perilous then

Death

But still

You open to me

Allow yourself to be

Vulnerable for me

Let me hold your heart

In my own flawed

Hands

To murmur sweet words

And study the road maps to the

Core of who you

Are

Sometimes all you need

is a love poem

Sometimes all you need

is that kind word

to remember your greatness

And sometimes all you need

are dreams and fairy tales

to survive

But

Most of the time

I need something more solid

Like the weight of your body pressed

Over mine

Or milk and honey spoon

fed under moon

light

Or that one time I had an asthma attack

And you came rushing

Held me close to your chest

And with your kiss

Made my heart

expand

Sometimes I wonder

Why you love me

Then I write a love poem

And remember

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Post the Second 2 or A poem for New Orleans

The city

Is touched by

Madness

The cracks in

The sidewalk

Filled with memories

and ghosts

Walk through the

night

Looking  for home

This used to be

Swampland

She said

Teeming with muddy

Water

and the sediment

of centuries

A sacred place

Where the rains

Of the four corners

would mix

Bringing tidings

Of great things

In land

Far away

How do you mourn

That which

is no longer felt

no longer known

How do you remember

Something

that was never forgotten?

Now the land is

rotten

she said

Buried under layers

of oil and concrete

levees and canals

What once was a home

to many

Is now a barren place

Filled with the miasma

of self-hatred and

Willful neglect

How do you imagine

Something that is real

Manifest something

That can never be

Make love to something

That was never there?

The marrow of this place

She said

has been sucked dry

desicated remains litter

the ground

white shapes savagely

drain

Art Culture Experience

for their sustenance

trying to stave off

the Yawing jaws of emptiness

I must have more

They say

More More More

and their appetites are never

sated

Despite this

She said

We survive

In the cracks of

The sidewalk

Growing up out

of destruction

In the notes that leap

from the Jazz bands

Brass

In the homes

we rebuild and the seasons

we weather

We survive

She said

Because we must

There is no other option

the ancestors that we

Remember impel us

Forward

To claim what is ours

I see now

Where the road

Turns

and resistance exists

even if it is not

known


Post the One Hundredth or On Radical Compassion

This is for the anon who asked what radical compassion means. For me, the common understanding of compassion is that we sympathize with those who are suffering and seek to ameliorate their suffering. Because of their suffering, they are deserving of our pity. We feel bad of them and so we do what we can to help. And while this is all well and good,  there is a very shallow understanding of the root of suffering or why people suffer. Put in another way, regular compassion just seeks to make someone feel better. It is a Pollyanna, “lets all just get along”, “you poor thing here is a cookie” response to suffering. It is individualistic and fails to see the bigger picture. It sees suffering as an unfortunate occurrence that exists in a vacuum that lacks context. Regular compassion is silent on why people suffer.

And those who experience suffering have access to this type of compassion only if they behave in appropriate ways. In other words, you only get compassion if you play nice and don’t make anyone uncomfortable.

Radical compassion, on the other hand, stands in solidarity with those who are suffering. It examines the interpersonal, systemic, institutional and structural reasons for suffering. It seeks to locate the individual sufferer within the greater social context. It understands that suffering is systemic and that those under more axises of oppression generally suffer more. Radical compassion seeks to challenge these causes of suffering and allows the sufferer the freedom to react and engage with their suffering in anyway that they see fit. In other words, those who are suffering are allowed to rage and scream and be angry and still receive compassion. Radical compassion does not pity the sufferer. Rather, it seeks to fight with the sufferer to end suffering.

Radical compassion seeks to end suffering on a systemic level. Regular compassion just seeks to help out the individual sufferer. And that is ok, as far as it goes. But I don’t think it goes far enough.

Another way to describe radical compassion is by saying that it is fiercely gentle. It has your back and understands where you are coming from and seek justice with you.


Post the Ninety-Ninth or On White Atheists and Knowledge Production

I recently reactivated my OkCupid account because my partner is out of town and I get lonely. So far, however, I’ve gotten mostly douchebags messaging me. One in particular bothered me. I messaged this guy because I thought we had a lot in common and might get along well. He replies by saying, “I’m not interested in people who believe in pseudoscience.” I was confused, what did he mean by “pseudoscience.” So I asked him and he replied, “Astrology and tarot cards.” Mind you, this person only knows what I wrote in my profile and so I’m a little bewildered why he would write me off so quickly.

I look at his profile again and written in big bold letters is, “I am an Atheist.”

Of course.

I reply, “Wow. Ok. Well, enjoy your patriarchally assigned designation of what is and isn’t valid.”

He then accuses me of being ignorant and that I should go take an upper level physics course.

That’s the problem I have with atheists, and white atheists in particular. They think that their way of viewing the world is superior to all other ways and that if you do believe differently, you are somehow unintelligent and inferior. Only simpletons would believe in such superstitious nonsense! But the thing is, science and knowledge that is produced by the West has just as much dogma as anything else. It is subject to biases, prejudices and injustices. But white/western atheists would have us believe that they are the only ones who are truly “objective”.

Atheist are quick to dismiss any world view that does not agree with their own and yet

The other reason why it bothers me is because white folks/the West is positioned as the arbiters of knowledge. Knowledge is only considered valid if white folks produced it. From academia to medicine to law, the only knowledge that matters is the kind sanctioned by the white establishment. How many times have we seen studies that say, “Hey! Racism is still a thing!” published by white folks? And of course the the only people who are shocked are other white people.  People of color have been talking about that shit forever, but only until it is approved/stolen by white people does it have any “credibility”.

So when white atheists look down their narrow noses on “superstitious” brown people like myself, I know that a lot of that is couched in the white supremacist ideology that knowledge produced by white people is the only objective and valid kind of knowledge.

Further, the kind of knowledge that black and brown folks have access to is considered inferior. PoC, and particularly WoC, are underrepresented in the sciences and the academy. Either because we don’t have the social capital to be visible or we just can’t afford it, a lot of PoC cannot afford to go to school. But that doesn’t make them less intelligent. They just need to learn from different sources, whether that be from the streets or at the knee of their abuela. The knowledge and knowings of survival and hustle that is produced by poor and working class people of color is undervalued and under appreciated.

The production of knowledge by white institutions have constantly invalidated and erased people of color, women of color, queers of color, etc. And many times, the white establishment has stolen wholesale from communities of color and patented knowledge produced by people of color as their knowledge. This is one of the ways that white supremacy, capitalism and heteropatriarchy hold on to their power. Because the people who produce the knowledge, that says what truths are valid, control the way we think and what we believe.

If we want to create a world that is free from marginalization, than we need to take the production of knowledge into our own hands. We need to realize that there is more than one way to view the world and that just because they are different doesn’t make one inferior over the other. We need to theorizing about our own lives and speaking truths that make sense to us. Most of all, we need to throw away the idea that if you are educated in certain things that you are more objective, more intelligent and more worthy of being listened too. We need to realize that we are all intelligent and creative people.


Post the Ninety-Eighth or On Family Dinners and Whiteness

Family dinner is something that my community does regularly. The host of family dinner rotates and everyone brings food, booze or cash. They are integral to community building and safety. At these dinners, we talk about everything from radical politics to what art projects we are working on to the escapades of the night before. We share stories about ourselves and connect with each other in authentic, life-saving, world-changing ways.

I’m not sure how we got onto the subject, but at the last family dinner we talked about the problematic nature of transnational adoption and how white folks are just not equipped to raise Black and Brown babies. The main reason for this being that white folks are socialized to be racist by default. They live in a world that privileges them over people of color and they often cannot, or will not, see it. So, they are just not prepared to teach a Black or Brown child about the harsh realities that this world will subject them too. Further, there is nothing to stop a white parent’s subconscious racism from harming their child of color. Case in point, there was an article in a magazine recently that talked about a white dad caring for his Nigerian daughter by combing her hair out with a fork. A motherfucking FORK.

Needless to say, we all agreed that transnational adoption is the wackness.

However.

There was this white Latina there who asked, “But what about all of the Black children in foster care who need parents?” Basically, she was asking why Black folks don’t just take care of their children.

This lead to a shit storm of frustration and trauma. Instead of having a nice pleasant dinner with familia, we had to spend the whole time trying to get her to shut up. She even had the audacity to say, “If you don’t like it, why don’t you do something about it?” As if building community and coming together in solidarity and talking about our experiences wasn’t “doing something”. Because its not like we live in a world that wants to silence and erase us. Its not like speaking our truth to one another is not a revolutionary act. No, according to her, we were just sitting there with our thumbs up our asses griping about the world.

She went on to say that the solution of racism is education and that she, the daughter of two Mexican immigrants, worked hard to get scholarships to go get an advanced degree. She, a teacher who works at a private school, thinks that if we all got our education we would be just fine. She worked hard for what she had and if she could do it, why couldn’t everyone else?

The only thing I could do at this point was laugh because she was so ridiculous.

The thing is, even though she is Latina, she was still hella light skinned. In fact, I didn’t know she was Latina until she told us that she was Mexican. And it was clear by the bullshit she was spewing that she walked through the world being perceived as white.

That’s the thing, just because you are Latin@ doesn’t mean that you don’t have white privilege. White Latin@s are a thing. They exist. And white Latin@s benefit from white supremacy. Their prosperity is often made on the backs of Black and Brown Latin@s. And more often than not, white Latin@s take up space in the ways that Anglos do. They have been socialized to think that they are entitled to all spaces so that when they do enter PoC-centered spaces, they often are the ones fucking up. They are the ones dominating the conversation and what was once a safe space is now a battleground.

So I implore my fellow Latin@s, check yourself.


Post the Ninety-Seventh or Make Love to Rage

The words

Born from my fingers

Glitter like blood

In flames

Forming visions

That cause my heart

To freeze

Wings alight

On the lids

Of my eyes

Femme Fierceness

She says

Is a birthright

To power

And sorrow

Dressed in the color

Of glory

Walking through worlds

Watching

Waiting

With eyes the darkness

Of space

Chief Spence

Sits

In her tipi

Filled with legacies

Of betrayal

Her belly

As empty as the promises

Made

By white men

But she stands

Tough

With iron encased will

Femme Fierceness

Can topple

Empires

I want

To get married

To shields and spears

Wear a wedding dress

Made of morning stars

And a veil

Of daggers

Make love to rage

And bust open

Across six continents

Revealing the dismembered

Bodies and

Broken

Land

Holding it all

Femme Fierceness

Does

Not

Flinch

My friend

Stands there

Shaking

Trying to

Re

Move

Trespasses

That mark her

Mascara running

Nose bleeding

I hold her

Imagining

The most exquisite

Revenge against rapists

Femme Fierceness

Does not

Take

Prisoners

Terror

Is a familiar

Bedfellow

The threat of violence

A constant companion

Pale shadows that

Dance across my body

Following me down

Alleys

Up streets

Into home

And

Soaked sheets

Twist around

My face

Femme Fierceness

Feels fear

But

Never backs

Down

I am

A fierce femme

A big

Scarlet fuck you

Ejaculated across

Masculinity’s face

They do not own

Me and my

Silence cannot be

Bought


Post the Ninety-Sixth or Its Starting to Feel

Never

Understood the point

Of posturing

Moving through

Life

As rote

The store clerk

Approaches

Big white and gay

Self-important vacancy

Searching

For meaning

Beady eyes

The color of a tidal pool

Attempting to scrutinize

My every move

To him

Suspicious

It’s always

The stupid ones

Who think

They are

Intelligent

Riotous paper chains

And gaudy lights

Obscure meaning

Plasticine smiles plastered

Over bleached

Faces

Full of emptiness

Crying

War on Christmas!

War on Wholesomeness!

War on Goodness!

They wonder

How to stop it

How to protect

Themselves from

The encroaching Brown

Masses

There is a war

Going on

But they are not

The casualties

Beige mouths

The size of football fields

Gobbling up resources

And my people

The Indigenous

Queers

Trannies

Black, Brown and Red

Are left

Outside in the heat

Fumbling for scraps

Sometimes knowing

Is not enough

I under

stand

Now

The reason for

Posturing

Is

Easy

Deceptive

Destruction