Tag Archives: colonization

Post the Ninety-First or Tombs

Fancy ass houses

Sprout up like weeds

Among the desiccated shells

Of homes past


The street corner is still

A battleground

Full of ill-forgotten





He cries

Come one

Cum all

To Free Market


Where all your dreams will come


Where the only person that matters

Is you

Where all your cares can be laid

To rest

(If you are white, rich and exploit the already exploited)


The broken communities

The displaced people

The alienation you feel in your soul

The Crier Cried

Are you tired of your

Perfectly manicured lawns

Your neighborhood associations

Your serene and “safe” home?

Why not

Spice it up!

By moving to this

Low-Income Neighborhood!

(The Natives call it the “Hood”)

For the low low price

Of fucked up racial dynamics

You too can be that edgy white dude

Or that free spirited hipster girl

You can be the face of post-racial Amerikkka!

And for a limited time we will throw in a Black FriendTM

To prove you aren’t

A racist!

(And if the Natives bother you just call the cops!)

Do you

Enjoy flaunting your wealth

In front of the folks

You stole it from?

Do you

Have a burning need

To assuage your guilt

By saving the black and brown children?

Than step right up

I dare you

Come closer

Take a hard


At what you have


Upon yourself


But a putrid emaciated corpse

Croaking feebly

“I hunger.”


Those fancy ass houses

with windows turned






Post the Seventy-Third or For Fierce Brown Mamas

Conflict minerals

As if

The diamonds that encrusted

Her neck

Were not paid for in blood

As if

Someone just argued over them

As if

They weren’t clawed out of the Mother’s belly

By fingers filthy with the gore of greed and madness

As if

There wasn’t a reason why

Our lands and our bodies continue

To be pillaged

She holds her baby tight to her bosom


That the toxic fumes of colonialism

And industrialization

Won’t kill her child


Transfigure it beyond


This is for all the

Fierce Brown Mamas

Who hold it down

Who work two jobs

And raise three kids

Who risk deportation

And rape

Who push against


Of the Welfare Queen

Or The Neverending Strength of

Black Women

This is for those Mamas

Who give

And give

And give

So that her future generations will


Who fight

And fight

And fight

For their family’s


This is for those Mamas who never had kids

This is for all of us

Whose insides

Will never match our outsides

For those of us

That are pursued

By hearts filled with

Avarice and fear

For those of us

Whose glory is unmatched

Saved by the Sun

This is for those of us

Who refuse to have our

Stories and Herstories

Erased or rewritten

For convenience

For those of us

Who refuse to be silenced

For those of us who

Stand and Fight

With glitter, fake eyelash and

High Heel

Against the pollution of our



Is never simple

But it is


Post the Sixty-Eighth or Forced Silence/Forced Speech

My body is like the land

Lush and wild

Untamed and beautiful

The hairy expanse of my thighs

Mirroring the long rolling hills of forest

The smooth perkiness of my breasts

Reflecting the heartbreaking heights of mountains

The soft brownness of my skin

Matching the fecund loam of the earth.

My body was once untouched by the white man’s Rapaciousness

And then

They came with their guns

And their ships

And their Pox

They came with their Great White God

And their Great White Book

They came with their promise of “civilization” in one hand

The lash in the other

Civilization always seems just out of reach

The lash is always too close

 400 hundred years

And 1600 seasons later

She says

I don’t see race!

He replies

Will someone please think of the white Man!

And my head is pounding

 ‘Cause My body is still colonized

The land of my foremothers is still being desecrated

And I am still struggling to survive in a world

That hates all things


Pushing my way against the swiftly-moving river

Of violence and lack of resources

That somehow has managed to make itself invisible

They say that we’ve come a long way

That so many things have changed

That hope has come at last

But now I’m fighting for recognition of my oppression

On top of the oppression itself

And it’s like trying to scream

When your attacker is already at your throat

Like trying to escape a thousand tiny pinpricks

While your whole body chained to the ground

Like having rocks tied to your feet

Being thrown into the sea to drown

And never dying

Say something in Spanish for me

He demanded

As if the language of my people was a

Circus trick

  That I was required to perform at his request

As if my vocal chords were his to command

How’s this

Come mierda y muérete

Colonization is the stuff

Forced Silence/Forced Speech

Is made of.

Post the Thirty-Second or Rooted

The History of the World

He said

Is held in my hair

The roots

Digging deep and thick into my scalp

Into three different lands

The long black curls

flowing strong down my back

A river

Connecting African slave

with colonized Indígena

and white conquistador

That meeting

that Connection

That blending

is what makes


My hair


It is that Mestizaje

That frames me

As my hair frames my face

It is this body

rooted in so many places

that frames my existence

And gives power

to my Voice

Post the Thirtieth or Mi Madres

What I am about to tell you is a lie but it is the utter truth. 


I remember when I first encountered the white man. At first, I could not believe the rumors. People with pale skin and hairy limbs, it could not be possible. And yet there they were. I remember the councils that we had before their arrival. Some of us wanted to welcome them and learn from them, use them against our enemies. But the curanderos, the wise ones, told us that nothing good would come of our meeting. If only we had listened.

I remember those first men. White skin that was weather beaten and sun burnt. I remember their arrogance and their hard metal. I remember how they looked at us with disgust and contempt. And yet I could not understand why. We had done them no harm. But most of all, I remember their guns. The sound it made like a relámpago, thunder that could rip the sky in two.

I remembered the chaos that followed their arrival. The pestilence brought by the whites that our curanderos could not cure.  I remember the battles and the pillaging. I remember seeing my people enslaved and fighting against themselves. I saw my people betray our own cause.

I remember the violence and raping of my sisters. I remember my own rape. I remember running, trying to escape my pursuers. I remember the crashing gunshots and yelling in that foreign, guttural tongue. I remember the fear, the terror that I felt as when I knew there was no escape. I remember crashing through the brush and I remember stopping when I saw Her, Mictecacihuatl. She was dressed in rags, her fleshless skull grinning at me and yet knowing that she possessed an infinite sadness for me, for our people.  She knew as much as I that there was no escape for any of us.

I sensed more than felt what killed me and I was off.





            Running. Through the ravaged city streets. It hasn’t been 10 years since our subjugation and still nuestra ciudad, nuestra pueblo, is in ruins. I was running from my white john. He refused to pay me, so I kicked him in the nuts. He didn’t like that.

I could feel him behind me, his sword unsheathed. It seemed like he wanted to enter me a second time. I wasn’t going to let him. I took a quick left, and then a right and a right again. This part of the city was winding and confusing, it would be easy for anyone who hasn’t lived here their whole lives to get lost.

But somehow, my knowledge of the city had failed me and after the second right, I was lost. Perhaps it was destruction that still littered the streets. Or perhaps it was all the white invaders inhabiting homes that had once belonged to friends, family of mine. Or perhaps it was los Dioses, spitting on me again.

I heard the heavy footsteps of his boots behind me and knew that I needed to keep moving. I started forward, narrowly missing a fruit stand. I darted around a corner, hugging the wall. He rushed past me, not even giving me a backwards glance. I grinned. Another white man fooled.

I looked up at the rapidly setting sun and knew that I didn’t have enough time to find another john, nor did I want to risk getting caught. I sighed as I began to pick my way in the direction I thought my home was, knowing that I would go hungry tonight, again.

As I was walking down the ally I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a woman, clad in rags. She was impossibly thin, impossibly old. Her skin was stretched so taut over her bones that it almost seemed as if she didn’t have any skin. I turned my head to look and saw that there was nothing there.

And I was struck once again at how different my life was today than it was ten years ago. And as I remembered those hard years that I suffered and the hardness of my life now, I felt it come on again. That heart-stopping, head-pounding panic that starts in the gut and rips its way up my chest into my head and back down into my heart. I fell to my knees and clutched at my head, leaning against the wall. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. The only thing that was real was the panic, the fear.

I knew I had to breathe.



Por el Hueco

Breathe. It was so hard to breathe. Cramped inside this van, people stacked upon people. No room to move, no room to even think. The heat of the summer sun made the walls of the van scald to the touch; it was unbearable. But the worst part was the smell. The smell of the people pressed together. The smell of sweat, of feces, of fear. The smell of death.

And all the while worrying. Worrying that la migra will catch us. That I will be sent back to my war-torn country with no opportunity to do anything but die. Worrying that I will end up like my brothers, killed or exploited. Worrying about what lay ahead of me, in Ameríca. Knowing that my life there will be just as hard. But what choice do I have?

After centuries of economic co-dependence and exploitation, there was no choice. My country is a war-ravaged slum and my only chance at living a life that I want, without fear of death by starvation or worse, is to go North. And the only way to get there is by risking my life.

But I had hope. Hope that, despite all my worrying and the hardship that I knew awaited me, I would survive this harrowing journey and arrive in Ameríca. I had hope that I would be able to make my own life for myself. I had hope that I would happy and most of all safe.

I had hope.

Sometime later, we stopped. The heat had abated so I knew that it was dark. Something didn’t feel right. I felt like we had stopped too soon. I heard voices outside and my heart nearly stopped. I couldn’t tell if they were the voices of the truck drivers or of others. I could feel the tenseness of the van triple. The stopping and the voices could only mean one thing.

We were caught.

The door flew open. The sudden brightness of the flashlight, after so much darkness, blinded me. People were being pulled out of the van roughly. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to escape too. They grabbed me by the arms and shoulders, hauled me bodily off the van and dumped me unceremoniously onto the ground.

The night was clear. The half moon already high in the sky, providing some illumination of the surroundings. Desolation and scrub land as far as I could see. When they got all of us out they told us that they were leaving us here. That we needed to walk the rest of the way. They had guns pointed at us, to emphasize the gravity of their words.

But I had had enough.

I had enough of being thrown around like some rag doll, with no say or input into what was to be done with me. I was through with others controlling my own destiny. I was finished with being powerless.

I pulled out the makeshift knife that I had hidden in my boot and cried that there were more of us than there was of them, that we could take them and force them to take us further North. We wouldn’t be stranded here to die.

I rushed forward and stumbled, for the enemy that I was rushing had suddenly become Her. La Santisima Muerte. Our Holy Lady of Death. I stopped, agape. I heard the gunshot, but I did not feel the bullet enter me. I collapsed to the ground and it seemed that her bony hand caressed my face. I felt no pain. And as my lifeblood spilled upon the earth, I was at peace. I felt myself rise again and take Her hand.

And I wandered




Wandered. Through the corridors of academia. Wandered lost through rooms full of white liberal academics that told me the way things were, the way things are, the way things will become.

But their story rang hollow in my ears. For their stories were not my stories. They did not tell my story. They could not tell my story.

They could not understand what it meant to be colonized, for they were the colonizer. They could not understand what it meant to be subjugated, exploited because they were the exploiter. They could not know how it felt to die a thousand little deaths everyday because they were the murderers.

And yet I clung to it. I clung to the structure and the proponents of that structure. Because it was safe.  I clung to it because I was “accepted”. I had numbed myself to all those small deaths. I felt comfortable in that nagging discomfort that something was wrong. That nagging thought that, yes they said they accepted me as their equal, but they acted in these subtle ways that told me that I was still their property, their play thing. They were humoring me.

But most of all I clung to it because I had forgotten all the old ways of knowing. I had forgotten all of the olds ways of being. Forgot the memories and the scars that my body held, down the deepest strand of DNA. Forgotten the feel my mi madre teirra underneath my feet. I forgot where I came from. Forgot the miles that my people traversed to get here, so far north. Forgot the Diaspora that comes with colonization.

Olvidé a mi famila.

But this state of numbness, this state of forgetfulness could last for only so long.

In a dream, She came to me. Dressed in sumptuous robes the color of midnight; she touched her skinless finger to my forehead. And I remembered.  Remembered the lives of mi madres antepasado. The lives of those strong women on whose shoulders I stand on. Remembered the truth of my blood, my body, my spirit. In that dream, I was awake.

Now awakened, I could not return to the sterile, white halls of academia. I could not return to the cold, dispassionate nature of those people, those rooms. I needed the warmth of family, the heat of community.

I needed the understanding of those who know as I know, who feel as I feel.

And I knew, in that family, in that community is where we can truly decolonize our bodies. It is only when we remember our beloved dead, when we reach into the past and know as they knew, feel as they felt, live as they lived, that we can heal the wound that colonization has inflicted on us. It is only by returning to that point of spiritual origin that we can throw off the chains of mind and soul.

And reclaim what is ours.