Thursday, September 30, 2004

It's There

just underneath my skin. Words. Screams. Pain. Sadness. Desires for things of the flesh and to hurt the flesh. Maybe it's just because my mother has been around the whole damn week , eating into my private writing/working time, sweeping beneath my feet as I try to edit a poem about how I do not translate. Maybe it is because my sister keeps making tiny demands which add up to alot. Maybe it's because I am craving what I keep denying I want , a relationship. Maybe it's reading about some ex's being happy without me and not hearing a peep from others I hope are miserable without me. But it's there. Waiting. I surround myself with activity. Lunches, dates, poems, stories, meetings, activity. Anything and everything to keep that part of my head quiet. But I think it is getting tired of being ignored.
"You can pretend I don't exist but I always have and always will" it threatens.

I haven't had a drink in over a week. I haven't had sex in three.

I don't know if I should ignore it or give in.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Colonial (In)Security

I take my status for granted. As a Puerto Rican born in the United States mainland , I was granted citizenship at birth. My parents, born on the island colony of Puerto Rico, also became United States citizens at birth. My Grandparents, born on Puerto Rico as well, one day woke up as United States citizens. No one asked them if they wanted this status. Yesterday the sick safety of my colonial state weighed heavy on me.

I had to take two young men to the Office of Homeland Security, formally known as INS, and always pronounced in whispers or screams as la Migra. They were to get their permanent resident status as per a letter sent to their home where they live with their parents. The father, a legal resident, was working and their mother, undocumented, wouldn't dare get within a thousand feet of 26 Federal Plaza.

Naively I thought the nervousness energy the boys had was because of excitement until the older boy of 16 verbalized , miedo/fear.

We all knew the stories. We all knew people it had happened to. People called to the glass building on routine business, to get a passport stamped, then taken away, detained, and deported. Their own mother feared it. She feared being taken from her children and the hard life she led here in the United States.

"Who is the President of Puerto Rico?" the 10 year old asked me in the waiting room as numbers flashed and hands nervously twisted around themselves.
"Puerto Rico doesn't have a president. It is a colony so the United States Federal laws and President G. W. Bush technically govern but Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico cannot vote for president or really have any say in the Federal laws they must follow," I replied thinking about the scary faces of the Shrub and Cheney that coldly greeted us when we earlier passed through metal detectors.

The 10 year old proudly told me the name of the president of his country. That's when it hit me, hard, the realization of the terror, the fear, the insecurity.
"I'm scared," the 16 year old told me fighting back tears deemed unmanly.
What if it all was a trick? Yes all of their paperwork was in order. I had made sure of that over the past few years. I had a lawyer make sure all of that over the past few years. But since when was paperwork or laws an impediment to the United States government? They had a country to be sent back to. Their parents, especially their mother, living just under the radar screen had a nation to return to, by force or by choice. I, a colonial subject from the day I was pushed into this world, am relatively safe, free to travel, free to return to an island with no president. Where would they deport a Rican to? I would be locked away for being unamerican (read un-United States ish) or seditious, like so called members of the FALN, like Haydee, Carlos, Oscar etc.

The boys were given their permanent residence and the woman of color behind the Plexiglas counter congratulated them. I heard them exhale.

Later last night I was watching Persons of Interest on Sundance and I cried, sobbed, shook with sadness and fear and anger. People of color disappearing and I think of my daughter and the legacy of disappearance she carries in her bloodstream, from Chilean stadiums to Federal prisons. And I am reminded again, I like so many, can be taken away, hidden in a cell, but they will not, cannot send me away. Not yet anyway. Safety is so relative.



Monday, September 27, 2004

The Date that Wasn't (Dude!!)

Did you ever have a date that didn't start off as a date?

I was uptown yesterday and decided to put a call in to my filmmaker Dominican friend. This is the hottie that came to a poetry show of mine and gave the MapucheRican an awesome paint set for her birthday. We've tapped kissed on the mouth goodbye but that's been the extent. I wasn't/am not actively pursuing anything with him, he's just mad cool.

So I met him at his place in West Harlem where we chit-chatted about RU-486 and other such things (yes he's smart and somewhat political too!!). We decided to catch a film and some food downtown. On the way we discussed being exoticized by ex's who weren't Latino, and other sex horror stories. He was so sweet, he paid for dinner!!

He has this funny habit of saying "dude" way too much so we made a silly game of counting every time he said dude. It was pretty funny.

The film we wanted to see wasn't playing where we thought it was anymore and our second choice started way too late so we went to a bar to grab a few beers. It was nice. We talked a lot about our past, our families, marriage, what we were looking for in partners, motherhood and sexuality. Then before I knew it he kissed me. So wait was I on a date this whole time? Maybe the best dates are dates that aren't dates?

All I know is that I got home after midnight, slept really well and am feeling happy.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Richie Perez Memorial

Sunday, September 26 between 3:00 and 7:00 PM. Memorial tribute to the
life of Richie
Perez

Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
New York, New York 10027
Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday, September 26 will be the eve of the 6th month anniversary of the
passing of our
brother, comrade, friend, and revolutionary, Richie Perez.We, his family
and friends ask you to
join us on that day to celebrate his life and his many contributions
throughout the years to the
social justice struggle.

Richie Perez was a teacher, mentor, a former member of the Young Lords
Party, and lifetime
visionary and revolutionary.On Sunday, September 26th those of us who
shared his life, who
struggled side-by-side with him, those who came in contact with him in the
many arenas of
work and those who never had the opportunity to cross paths with him, but
share a common
goal and destiny should plan to join in this memorial/tribute to
Richie.Please save the date
and ask others to do the same.


Directions by Subway:

Take trains #1 or 9 IRT Broadway Local to 116th Street. Walk north along
Broadway (passing
Barnard College on the left) to 120th Street (Reinhold Niebuhr Place). Turn
left and walk one
block to (Claremont Avenue). 91 Claremont is one half block north of120th
Street on the left
hand side of the street. If the IRT Broadway Express (#2 or #3 IRT) is
taken uptown from
midtown Manhattan, be sure to change at 96th street for the local train.

Hope to see you there,
The Justice Committee

Friday, September 24, 2004

Republican Lunch

I had a lunch date with a Republican today. Noy just any Republican either, a Latino Republican. I had never had lunch with a Latino Republican before.
Now this young man doesn't look what one would think a Latino Republican would like. He's Bolivian, brown-skinned, with hipster hair, a man purse that is way too high class for me (do the letters LV mean anything to you?) and hip clothes right down to his way pointy shoes. The only thing that gives him away is the Bush/Cheney button he proudly wears. Of course it could aslo be worn to be ironic. Alas he wasn't being ironic.

As we walked in Chelsea to the sushi place we were going to lunch someone stopped him.
"Wearing that could be dangerous, " the middle age white man told him
" I know, " my date said.
"Are you Latino?" the man asked.
My date just pointed to his dark arm.
"Is that a yes?"
When my date refused to answer verbally the man walked away.

I felt guilty by association.

Lunch was ok. It was absolutely painful at times being civil . He's one of those Latinos who feels like if his parents worked hard to get where they are today why should any one be helped. ugh. You know, if everyone works hard they can get what they want kind of tip. No mention of the issues of privilage, history, society, race, class, access. People should just surpass those things. We made jokes at the expense of each other's politics. Pero no se. He's nice but HE'S REPUBLICAN!!!!

Can a Republican and a radical be friends? The personal is the political. My life is political. Hmmm no se.

M




Thursday, September 23, 2004

Exxxotic Poeta

La Fea went ahead of me, acting as my manager, to see if I could get a spot in D'Antigua's tertulia ever though I wasn't booked to perform. Hell I was a hit the last time porque no? I was stuck home till 10 pm struggling with the MapucheRican to finish homework. Luckily the peeps from Fusion Atomica were more than happy to give me a spot in the second set.

I arrived all out of breath (because I ran from la 74 to Northern and 84). CanvasFly y la Fea had secured a table already and were drinking. Upon my arrival Fea ordered a pitcher of sangria which ended up to be more watered down than usual. One of the Fea's crushes came, as did another poet friend of ours.

When I went out to smoke I was greeted by people who saw me perform a month ago. Some repeated lines of the poems I had performed. One called me by my real name, not my stage name, apparently he had gotten it from seeing me on Canal 47 protesting G.W. and the RNC.

My set last night wasn't as good as the last one. I didn't really have time to get really familiar with the news poems I was performing and I was stressed, thinking about things at home. The fact that CanvasFly and Lindo, both poets, were hearing me for the first time made me extra uneasy as well.

The Latino cultural scene in Queens is just as small is it is in Manhattan. I met and remet many people who hang and work at la Kueva, including a few musicians. I am really interested in cultivating relationships and collaborating with artists here in Queens. I just hope that the scene isn't filled with as much bochinche as the Manhattan scene is (it probably is though no?)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Coo Coo's, Vaginas, and Pussies

It's one of those talks every parent, especially parents of girls, needs to have. You know the conversation about their bodies and that people should not be touching it. A key part of making this sort of conversation work is determining what language, words, and vocabulary will be used. The parent needs to be comfortable to put the child at ease.

My pussy, cunt, vagina, etc. for some reason was named coo coo for as long as I can remember. That's just what my mother called it. Maybe that's what my grandmother called it. That's what my sister called it. Of course as we got older we decided for ourselves what we call that sacred space. Now it's mostly my chocha or choch for short, especially.

I'm not one for censoring my language. I curse in the house and in front of the seven year old MapucheRican. My daughter has been to quite a few of my poetry shows and there I curse like a drunken sailor as they say. Over the last few years I have decided not to censor her when she speaks to me. She knows that there are some words that are ok to use with me that the general population would find offensive.

Yesterday I sat down to discuss her body specifically privacy and safety when she uses the bathroom in school.
"You coo coo..." I began.
"Please don't use that word. I don't like it," the MapucheRican told me angrily.
I told her that we could together pick a word she was more comfortable with.
" We could use vagina, the real name," I offered as a suggestions.
" How about pussy?" She offers.
How about pussy? Did she pick that up from me playing the Pussy Manifesto? Did her friends use it? Did she hear it at one of my poetry shows?
I told her that pussy was probably inappropriate in school and with the family but that if she wanted to use that word with me it was cool.
She seemed happy and we continued our conversation.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Ya se Fue

After spending most of the day making a paper bag puppet with the MapucheRican, I called him to say goodbye and it felt like the heaviest, saddest thing.
Suddenly he seemed unsure as to when he would be back but said that regardless I needed to go out to Cali. , not just to see him but because he thinks there are opportunities for me and the MapucheRican there. Not to mention the warmth (ok where the hell did summer freaking go?). But somewhere deep inside I felt like none of that will happen. That he won't return for awhile and me, with my financial situation, it doesn't look like I'll be traveling anywhere anytime soon.

I looked back at my journals from when we first met, when we dated, three years ago. I was fragile, mentally unstable. No wonder he didn't want to be with me then. I wouldn't want to be with me then based on what I read. Both he and I, pushed our relationship forward at breakneck speed. Maybe him moving was the best thing that happened to us. Maybe it gave us enough distance to heal from our respective war wounds.

No se. And on will go now my life here in NYC.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cuando Respiro en tu Boca

No one was breathing into my mouth Friday night. I guess I shouldn't complain since I had gotten plenty of that Thursday night into morning.

I did put in an application for a gig at la Kueva. Hey if I like drinking and shaking my ass there so much why not get paid to be there??!!! Yeah I really need the money too. I want to be able to go to Chile with the MapucheRican, Puerto Rico to visit my tia, I have friends in Mass. and New Orleans I want to see and two boys in Cali.

From la Kueva it was onto la Oveja where I met la fea and canvasfly to see Lucybell.
"How can you, Ms. starving artist afford such a thing?" you may ask. Well my dear friends were kind enough to buy the ticket for me. I have wonderful friends.

You'd think that at a Lucybell concert, celebrating Chilean independence (SI SI SI , HEY HEY HEY , VIVA CHILE) there would be at least one hot Chilean man for me to flirt with and dance badly with. but alas it seems that I slept with all the hot Chilenos and guess what? They were still in Chile where I slept with them!! Damnit. Oh well at least I could roll my eyes to the back of my head think of bliss from a different South American nation (mmmmm).

The Misfit didn't go, and nice woman that I am I actually saw these three women and thought, " Oooh. He would like one of those,". A part of me is really really angry at him for blowing the whole drunken kiss a few weeks ago into a running theme in his blog and using it as an opportunity to really make me feel crappy about yes the short romantic relationship we had. He wanted to go to the concert and he didn't because of me and fear of me. He wrote that if his other friends were going... Ugh.

And yet , there I am last night, supporting the misfit in a moment of crisis because yes I love the boy to death and not in an " I want to mouth rape him again" way. Hopefully we'll both find some middle ground because we get along...as friends.

Sabado I was terribly hung over and it took me a moment to get myself together. A neighbor borrowed a cup of milk ( I thought that only happened on sitcoms!!) and then put a whole bunch of clothes on layaway in the city. That's right I ain't too proud to say I put clothes on layaway. Ha ha . Ay so ghetto.

The hotness from Medellin leaves to Cali. bright and early tomorrow morning. It's ok to call him today to say adios right? That's not too pushy???

In closing, I want to shout out a reader, a Dominicano from Brooklyn who sent me the loveliest of love notes, in the form of a comment. It's nice to know that there are voyeurs who enjoy this mental masturbation.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Ex-Cellent

If you haven't noticed I've been on an ex roll as of late. Kissing the misfit (bad move), dancing with the Marine (excorts rock), and yesterday into today the Colombian actor (please someone give me a nickname for him).

I was standing in my bathtub,by a tiny window, dressed cute but casually in a tank top and my ass flattering(not flatning)jeans looking for his car to pull up to my block. I was nervous. It had been three years since we last saw each other. I was crying, sobbing the last time I saw him. I wasn't nervous because I expected anything between us although I was thinking about it. Would he still think I was smart, attractive, sexy, etc etc.

We met on the sidewalk in front of my building. His hair needed a cut and he seemed shorter than I remembered but he was still beautiful. We hugged and just stared at each for awhile. As we walked to his car he thanked me for taking him to Hamlet so many years ago and said he was grateful to have me in his life. Sigh.

The entire car ride (omg is he a scary driver. Was he always a scary driver?) he stared at me (maybe that's why the ride was so scary). He smelled delicious but I was not going to just follow my desires and touch him or lean in and kiss him (look where that got me with another ex!). We talked about his acting because I wanted to know what I could see him in. He talked about an upcoming mini-series and some small film roles, so small that they cut .
" I want to be able to rent something , put it on for my friends and be able to point to you and say, ' I've had that'," I told him. He seemed uncomfortable. Damnit why did I have to make it sexual???

I took him to the spot where I had done a poetry gig a few weeks ago. We ordered beers and sat close in a comfy sofa. He apologized for not being able to accept the unconditional love I had given him three years ago and he expressed his fears that I would be angry at him. I was angry at him. I was sad. But not today, not for a while. The drama and the tears I had put behind me. Now we were e's having a drink.
Until he said I was beautiful, over and over again and leaned in and kissed me. It felt wonderful to be told , even in hindsight, that I wasn't obsessive and intense. No , he, was not able to accept my love. That's right it really was him, not me!! Ha!!!

He asked me when I was going to go to California to visit him (obviously I am in high demand on the West Coast) because he felt that he was on the verge of success and wanted to share that with me and help me. He said there was much for me to see and also that my powerful writing would be welcomed there. When we kissed again it was more passionate and a moan escaped from him. The rest of the night someone could have easily told us to get a room.

After two drinks, yes only two, we both wanted to be out of that place and alone together. As we left the actor took a purple votive holder from the table. Outside he presented it to me as a souvenir of our reencuentro before pressing me up a tree and telling me he wanted to make love to me. Did he also say he loved me? I had forgotten how verbose he can be to the point of losing the point.

By the time we got back to my place we were exhausted and ended up just falling asleep. Sometime later we woke up and did make love and yes that was as good as I remembered it too. There is something about having your name moaned in Spanish. Being kissed in Spanish. Cumming in Spanish.

I had forgotten how he snores softly.

I offered to make the actor breakfast. When we were dating he would make me arepas on the morning afters. He just accepted some juice and stayed a bed a while longer before getting ready to finally leave.

His mother is having a hard time dealing after her mission in the Congo (she works for the UN) and the actor will be with her the rest of the weekend until he leave early Monday. I had also forgotten that he is a big mamita's boy.

I've been smiling all day. I have had enormous patience with my child and my students. I have an interview tonight and then a concert.

I will not get swept away by this

I will not get swept away by this

I want to get swept away.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ex-Pectations

I have hesitated writing about this for a few reasons. Ex's and men I am currently dating read this blog and once I put finger to keyboard I forget that and just write. I don't know if the ex I am writing about reads this blog. Also my writing reveals my pathology, my fucked up patterns, and that is painful for me to put out there because then it forces me to look at the choices I make instead of just making them, over and over again.

An ex of mine is in town from California. He is one the most beautiful men I have ever dated and I mean that in every way possible. He is physically beautiful. I mean his face and his body. He is intellectually and culturally beautiful. He is politically beautiful. Of course there were warning signs that he would be an ex from day one. He is an actor/model. He is an activist. He is a Latino. We met online. In my life all these things are blindly bright flashing lights and deafening alarms but I chose to ignore them. He spoke like a philosopher and poet. He spoke to me in Spanish. Fate I think tried to give me one last warning before meeting him when he gave me the wrong address on the day we were to finally meet face to face. I traveled nearly the whole city by subway, getting off at nearly every station to call him. I didn't want him to think I stood him up. It never even occurred to me that he might have stood me up. He seemed too perfect a man to do that. I had blisters on my feet when we finally met that night. He had flowers that matched the dress I was wearing.

It was late and we decided to just go to his apartment. He played Silvio Rodriguez and served me pasta with no sauce because nearly everything in his fridge was expired by at least a year. I ended up performing poetry for him, on top of him, naked in his bed. We had incredible sex. The next morning he showed me pictures of his travels throughout the world and we ended our nearly 24 hour first date with take out Chinese in his car in front of a park.

High points of our relationship included loud, sweaty sex that was so good for me that his neighbors complained of him watching porno movies too loudly. I took him to see a production of Hamlet. We took my daughter to Flushing Meadow Park. He bought us ice cream and came home with us to watch a horrible Disney movie. He would cook for me. I met his friends. He would make up songs about me on his guitar. He introduced me to Buddhism.

Low points of our relationship included his emotional unavailability and his not being over his ex who was in South Africa.

He left to California to pursue his acting and I was broken hearted. We kept in sporadic contact over the years via telephone, email and instant messages. He fell in love in California with an actress but never stopped telling me how special I was (noticed the pattern yet).

He called me saying we should get together and just hearing his voice got me excited, sexually, intelectually, politically, spiritually. But he has been back in NY before and told me we should get together before and it has never happened. So I am not really expecting to see him. I have been in this place before as well.

Speaking of ex's, the darling misfit was invited by my best friend to come to a concert with us tomorrow. He declined and cited me as the specific reason. Ouch.

tomorrow I will be celebrating Chilean independence at la Oveja Negra with LucyBell.



Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Yo Mami Wears Fishnets

and I wore pigtails too. Maybe that was why the teacher, unsure if I was over 18, asked how old I was when I went to pick up a neighbor's kid.

The first executive Parent's Association meeting had left me with heading up a new activist front (most parents saw me on television protesting the RNC and Bush) specifically to fight discrimination the ESL and ELL ( English Language Learners) are facing with all the new high stakes testing rules being rushed into effect like this latest from Bloomberg. I'm looking forward to heading this stuff up since orginizing is what I love and doing it in the MapucheRican's school, where I have already been fighting for access, is easier in many ways. So the Mayor and DOE better watch their backs (hee hee). I'm also gonna be putting out the parent newsletter (which is going to be multilingual from now on as well. As if I didn't have enough shit to do already.

I just hope that I'll be able to afford to dye my hair pink again in time for when I am tutoring in the classroom again and running for the school leadership team.
Part of it really is just my crazy sense of style. Another part of it is a deliberate act of trying to change what people think a mama should look like and yeah sure there is a little bit of wanting to shock people and make them uncomfortable. Plus it's great fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Campaigning

Monday, September 13, 2004

Back to Routines

Yes it is delicious to settle back into the MapucheRican's school routine. This morning she woke up happy and nervous. The first day was much better organized than last year although I wonder how the hell the school expects 7 year olds to carry pounds and pounds of school supplies, I mean mi pobre hijita was nearly going to fall over when I put the backpack on her, and that is without mention of the shopping bag she had too!!!!

She doesn't have the teacher I expected her to have but the teacher she does have seems nice enough and maybe Latina (she pronounced my daughter's name perfectly!!!). I am not thrilled with some of the classmates my daughter has, kids that I know caused problems in other classes last year. She does have a few friends on her class which is good.

But for all my talk and elation at having some childfree time, as soon as the MapucheRican walked through the doors I began to cry. I wasn't sobbing, just a few tears but still. I can't believe I have a 7 year old in second grade. She enters the school with all the older students. She exits with the older students and she eats in the big cafeteria.

I grabbed an ice coffee and a pack of Camel lights (the breakfast of champions or at least of artistas). I did a shitload of work and even did pilates. I got to shower and pee uninterrupted (if you're not a parent you won't get just how special that is).





Sunday, September 12, 2004

Mi Escuelita.....

Sadly no not me. I cannot afford even one class anywhere this semester but tommorow my daughter begins second grade and I couldn't be happier. Of course I am excited about all the things she will learn and all the friends she will see again and new friends she will make. I am not looking forward to potentially dealing with the whole bullshit ESL situation again. I truely hope she passed the exam last spring that will get her out of an excellent program (hell I am an ESL tutor in the school) but it is something my daughter doesn't need. But I am more excited because she won't be here, beside me, breathing down my neck as I write on my computer.

Because I couldn't afford summer camp, the MapucheRican was home with me all summer. It was exhausting and made for a most uncreative period. Have you tried getting any writing done with a then six year old around.
"What are you writing?" she would ask , getting as close as humanly possible to me without being a part of me.
"Can I read?"
She would read anyway.
Or the best is when I thought I had a block of time to write (an exciting half hour while she watched a cartoon or played) and she would need something. Water, food, attention.
At the end of the day I was so exhausted that I would crash when she did.

Don't get me wrong we had wonderful times together. We did awesome things this summer. But to have a few hours a day to work, alone??? Why it is nothing short of a wet dream come true. But being a single writer mami is hard and I say goddess bless escuela.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Excorts Tumbling Down the Blvd of Death

After bidding fairwell to my Tio last night and putting la MapucheRican to bed, it was off to dance and drink.

Last night's cast was la Fea, the Marine, Canvasfly and me!!!

We all met at Oveja which had no cover but um also no people. We had a few drinks and la fea made up a new word!!!

The word of the day is excort- an ex whom you are no longer dating but who escorts you on a night out. Used in a sentence: Last night the Marine was my excort. It is highly recommended that you do not kiss your excort (ha ha ha).

Maybe Oveja was so empty because everyone was at la Kueva. We grudgingly paid the $10 cover (actually my excort paid...I paid for the movie the last time we went out). But inside it was packed and people were dancing and the music was way better than what was playing at Oveja and what was playing last week at la Kueva. Well until the band played and started playing cover songs. But we all danced, drank excessive amounts of wine, and had a great time. The Marine went to high school with the lead singer of the band. Um la Fea was throwing herself at said lead singer and at my excort as well which bugged me a bit. I don't think I want to be with him dating wise but I think it would bother me if she were to kiss him or something.

We closed la Kueva down then stumbled our way down Queens Blvd aka the Blvd of Death. At one point we decided to cab it to a diner. As la Fea went to cross the Blvd. she tripped and fell flat on her face. Sad thing is that it would have happened even if she hadn't been drinking. I may trip over my feet and my words occasionally but la pobre is just clumsy in huge dramatic ways. What was even sadder was the way the two boys just stood on the sidewalk and laughed. I was the only one who ran into the Blvd. to make sure my girl didn't get hit by a car.

We all ate well at the diner before going our separate ways. All in all it was a fun night.

I suppose I should say something about it being Sept. 11. I was downtown on 9/11/01, stuck in a smokey unlit subway car for hours. My mother worked in the WTC and escaped. Many people I worked with died. It sucks to say this pero it is true....while yes 9/11 affected all of us as a Ny'er, as a person who was there, I send warm peaceful wishes to all of those that were personally touched by what happened. Second, 9/11/73 must also be remembered especially in light of the fact that 9/11/01 came about because of the US's imperialist policies across the globe. You can't do things like create a coup d'etat in Chile and essentially murder an elected president and not expect consequences. No one that died in either Sept. 11 attack deserved what happened to them but they are related and it is important to make such connections especially when the US is currently occupying nations. What goes around comes around and I ask people to think about that as we approach Novemeber 2, Election Day. As the madre of a ChileRican (MapucheRican), as a woman from a nation occupied by the United States, as a woman of color in this third world within, 9/11 has many layers.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Adios Holbrook

My sister and I used to cry so that our mother would let us stay there. It was a palace compared to our apartment and the huge green grassy yard in the back was like our own Eden. My Great Uncle and Great Aunt's house in Holbrook no longer belongs to us, except in memories.

I spent weekends and weeks in that house. I celebrated my first communion in that house. I have slept in every room in that house. Rummaged through my Tio's old porno mags and giggled behind his bar upon discovering glasses in the shape of breasts. My Titi would give me books to read and would point to passages that were still in unknown Spanish, passages that were proof that my father's side of the family were one of the first families to conquer Puerto Rico. I used to play with the children that lived next door and swim in their pool. My uncle grew eggplant that always seemed to resemble penises. My Titi grew tomatoes, peppers, and flowers. My Uncle would make pancakes that were too big for the plate or many many tiny ones for my sister and I. They used to have a parrot named polly who would sing the theme from the Godfather. That house in Holbrook was the place for Fourth of July bbq's and Labor Day parties. One of my Aunts celebrated her wedding there. Many of my cousins got drunk there. The whole family would cram into the small family room to dance. When my Titi became sick I would sit on her bed with my own daughter. The parrot was long gone and about a dozen cats took over the backyard. The house in Holbrook was a shadow of what it was. My Titi passed away on July 4th. The irony wasn't lost on any of us.

tomorrow my Tio R. will leave to Puerto Rico. He will move into a house that my Titi L. and he designed before breast cancer spread throughout her body and helped kill her. I say help because it was also a bitterness towards life and the sense that she never had enough that made her ill as well.

Upon her deathbed my Titi Lucy made my Tio promise that he would care for her sisters who moved in with them when it became obvious the cancer was going to defeat her. Mt Uncle agreed but with my Titi gone everyone needed to take responsibility for what was theirs. My Uncle couldn't bare to live in the house in Holbrook without his princess as he often called my aunt. Besides her sisters were nagging. He couldn't walk around in his underwear without being called a pervert. He couldn't curse without being called a desgraciado. He couldn't have a beer without being called a borracho. Worse of all he couldn't mourn and heal. So he broke his promise to my Titi and decided on moving to Puerto Rico where all is family pretty much is.

yesterday my uncle handed the keys to the house in Holbrook over to a new family.

There is so much I can write about, negative shit about family members who have tried to and many who have taken advantage of my uncle. I could rant about how my sister and I are really the only ones here in the states who have a right, via blood to ask him for anything and we why we never would. I could curse the irresponsibility and selfishness of some of my older cousins. Pero instead I will just say adios to Holbrook. It's like saying goodbye to part of my childhood.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ay Papi

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Birthday Expectations

Last year I had money to give the MapucheRican two birthday parties. We had a small family gathering on her actual birthday in the apartment. A week later I shelled out hundreds of dollars to have a party for her friends and cousins. There was even a clown.

This year I barely had money to do the small familial gathering at home. The MapucheRican didn't ask for much, at least not from me. Partially because I didn't ask. There was no money for much from me beyond a cake and some decorations. My mother and sister however made sure to ask the MapucheRican what she wanted and proceeded to buy her useless toys that she would be bored with probably within the week. I was however appreciative of the clothes she did recieve, just in time for the start of the new school year.

It seems that no matter how hard I try to what I can the best I can, it will get fucked up. Last week I took the MapucheRican to pick out the design she wanted fro her cake. She picked some Strawberry Shortcake design. When I sent my sister with the money yesterday to pick the cake up as I hung streamers and balloons, there was a major problem with the cake. Instead of doing the design as we has asked based on a picture from a book, they literally took a picture of the picture of the cake from the book, and superimposed that on the cake, complete with binder holes on the picture. Ever heard the one about a family being so poor all they could afford was a picture of a birthday cake. They didn't even bother to write "Happy Birthday" on the cake. Thankfully I wasn't there because it would have killed my mood for the rest of the evening. My mother and sister refused the cake that was made for us and chose a simple one with happy birthday on it. Thankfully for me the MapucheRican understood and wasn't too upset with the cake problem.

The best gift by far , in my opinion, was brought by a latecomer, my friend, a beautiful talented Dominican man (nope we're not dating or sleeping together). He brought the MapucheRican a paint set, a real one none of that fake ass crayloa shit. It comes with some acrylics, a canvas, and a palatte for mixing colors. He said he would teach her to paint because well I'm a whole different kind of artist.

Now the apartment is a mess, paper and boxes everywhere. So pretty much all is back to normal.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

So This is How it Feels or Blog Wars

When I write in my blog about people. When I write in general, it is always very personal. I don't write thinking about who is going to read it or even how they will react.

I suppose that is how most writers write. So why did it hurt me and anger me so much to see the misfit blogging about me? Karma and payback are a bitch huh?
I don't mind so much him writing about he felt about the whole kiss. Today his online reaction to a comment someone else made about the situation, someone he doesn't even know, someone who doesn't even know him , and then apply that to how he is going to act towards me, downright pissed me off.

My friend was trying to console me and while I agree it wasn't in the nicest way that's what it was. I already apologized for making the misfit uncomfortable and promised to be more mindful . I accept the fact that everything would have been better if I had not gone with the impulse to kiss him. What else can I do? I like the misfit. Yes I am incredibly attracted to him but I like him as a person. He's sweet and funny and loud, and fun to be out with. He's a talented writer. And it would be a tragedy for us not to try and be friends after everything. But I have no control over other people or what others will say.

That said I'm backing off. If I am called tonight to do that last minute poetry show tommorow night, I will invite him, as a friend and he will go his way at the end of the night and I will go mine. I value his opinion of my poetry not of my ass. Hell maybe he'll bring one of the hot chicas he's talking to(although now that I think about it I think he has a date on Wends.). Who knows maybethe damage has been done. Maybe we just need to back off for a while.

On another note. Today in the MapucheRican's birthday. I have ballons to blow and streamers to put up. I feel old having a 7 year old daughter. I feel blessed because in spite of how I am and all my issues so far I've raised a pretty well adjusted kid. For those of you that know where I live...come by to say happy birthday and have some cake! I will blog about the whole birthday experience and issues that has raised tommorow.




Monday, September 06, 2004

Expectations

When I decided to listen to my impulse, as opposed to my brain on Friday night, I ended up leaning in to kiss the misfit on his beautiful mouth. I did it with no intentions, no expectations. He just looked yummy.

The next day I felt horrible. Not because I regretted the kiss ( I don't regret anything ever). But I realized it probably wasn't the best idea. And I thought about it
all day and all night. And I was reading French existentialist writings on loneliness and cried. I haven't cried in a really long time and I hated that me spinning my wheels around the idea of one stupid fucking kiss could get me like this. Then I wondered what he thought about the kiss. It didn't take long for me to find out.

Sunday morning in the misfit's usual fashion, via instant message, he brought it up. He said the kiss made him uncomfortable because he was sick, because he doesn't want to do that with anyone (hmm ok except maybe his ex and um the Peruvian chica he wants to fuck), and because he wants to be my friends (and I guess friends don't kiss friends on the mouth). He asked me not to do it again if I felt like it. I know he wasn't but I felt like he was yelling at me. And I felt stupid. I didn't apologize for kissing him. That would have been disingenuous. I did however apologize for making him uncomfortable and promised to be more mindful. He asked me

I'm ok about the whole thing now after crying and throwing a mini breakdown in my locked bedroom after my conversation with the misfit about it. I just wish that my impulses would listen to my mind. I mean shit here I was thinking I was getting better and I fuck it all up.

I'm starting again. I need to begin again.

Sigh

I need therapy





Sunday, September 05, 2004

Ego Stroke

If no one else will say it, a computer program will

I am still working on something about the personal aspect of Friday night.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

We are SudAmerican Rockers

My never ending quest to find cool Latino rock bars and clubs that have a South American feel that I long for ever since I left Chile 7 years ago last night took me toe grand opening of the bar/club portion of la Kueva 2.0

La Fea and I got the bug for dancing last Sabado when we went to D'Antigua and saw Locos por Juana. We decided that Friday we would go to la Oveja Negra to mover out culos. Even though I've been to Oveja only a handful of times, so far it is my favorite latino rock spot. However Oro Solido (y en ingles..Solid Gold!) was playing and that wasn't the vibe we were looking for.

I used to sometimes go to la Kueva back when it was a narrow, hot, space on Steinway Street. It was the first Latino rock place I ever went to here in New York City and it felt like heaven. So when I found out there was no cover for the opening of the bar/club portion (the cafe portion has been open for a few weeks offering menu items named after Juanes and LIBIDO!!!!!) that became the spot to go. I even convinced my dear ex, the misfit to come with his two friends.

The place looked huge from the outside most of that space inside turned out to be dedicated to tables for the cafe. The dance space was pretty much the same size as the the space the old club had and the bar space was equally as narrow as the old bar space.

Beers were five dollars which made the boys happy. Big glasses of red wine were six dollars which made me happy.

The DJ sucked. The music kept skipping and he had this bad(lazy) habit of playing two songs in a row by the same artist.

All in all I wasn't that impressed with the Kueva 2.o. It was like they were trying too hard to make it upscale. They need a better DJ. Next week there is suppossed to be a live band. For some reason I think I'd rather be at Oveja.

Ok now I know my readers (you comment or email me if you never have. I'd like to know who is out there) want to read about the personal details like who we ran into at la Kueva and who I kissed at the end of the night.

Te cuento despues.

un beso
la Mala





Friday, September 03, 2004

My daughter and I , the terrorists

In the New York Times Bloomberg says: "It is true that a handful of people have tried to destroy our city by going up and yelling at visitors here because they don't agree with their views," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Think about what that says. This is America, New York, cradle of liberty, the city for free speech if there ever was one and some people think that we shouldn't allow people to express themselves. That's exactly what the terrorists did, if you think about it, on 9/11. Now this is not the same kind of terrorism but there's no question that these anarchists are afraid to let people speak out."

I think this is an incredibly disrespectful statement. Not just to those have been out in the streets over the past week, especially those abused and thrown in jail, but too all New Yorkers who were personally touched by the 9-11 attacks. Seems Bloomie is taking a page from W's playbook in exploiting 9-11 to his benefit. Of course what Bloomberg fails to mention is that his administration was held in contempt of court for it's handling of the release of those rounded up in the protests.

I urge people, not just Ny'er's to send a letter to the Mayor in protest of his statements. You can also snail mail him at:
City Of New York
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007




This is what a terrorist looks like according to NYC mayor Bloomberg.  Posted by Hello

Goodbye RNC, Goodbye Bush

I went down to Union Square to check out a vigil that was supposed to be happening organized by United for Peace and Justice. I chose that over the ANSWER coalition's rally near MSG because of problems I have personally had with Worker's World and other WWL (Wacky White Left) orgs that form the central committee of ANSWER.

Union Square was packed. It was strange though. Some peeps were just selling tees and buttons. A group of people were chanting, at times led by Rev. Billy. There were cops and metal barricades surrounding the park. It didn't strike me as incredibly organized and while I recognized a few peeps , it felt strange being in a rally that I wasn't a part of creating. Hell it felt strange being in a rally where I didn't know the organizers. A lot of the chanting felt a little too hippy-ish for me and me not being a pacifist, I couldn't bring myself to scream for peace. I did happily however scream happily against the war in Iraq and the administration that started it. Also I could not bring myself to chant for Kerry. I am not voting for W, that's for sure. My maybe voting for Kerry still feels scary on it's own however. While the crowd was very diverse, the people leading the chanting were overwhelmingly white. I stayed for a little over an hour before heading up to 34th to see what was happening. All the cops and me all my lonesome in my Racial Justice Day tee made me want to get on the subway.

It was awesome however that so many people have come out, regardless of their affiliation. It was powerful to see such a mix of people in the street, putting their freedom on the line in the name of true freedom. It was thrilling to see how the People of Color rocked and represented. It was beautiful to see all the babies and children including my daughter participating. It felt great to be a part of that with people I know and love.

It must continue however. People can't go home and be like it's over. It's a long way(well not really) from now until election day and then the day after the election. What happens then......

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Bush Tries To Sneak in Through Queens

When the MapucheRican heard the news, that W was going to be in Queens, she was so excited. She was kind of disapointed that the Resident of the White House wasn't at or anywhere near the huge United for Peace and Justice Rally on Sunday.
So we made a sign that said "Queens Kids Say No to War, No to Bush" . I wrote on my tank " Mami Against Bush".

I got into a little arguement with my sister when I asked if she would watch the MapucheRican. Originally I wasn't going to bring my daughter for safety's sake but I thought the idea over again and decided that it was important for her to be part of these events. My sister refused to watch the MapucheRican anyway. As my daughter and I prepped to leave my sister was yelling at me about what an irresponsible mother I was for putting my child in such a dangerous situation blah blah blah. Like I'm a protest newbie.

The subways were shut down at 7:15 so we had to walk the mile or so to where Bush would be. The protesters were penned in across Queens Blvd. from where Bush would be exploiting 9-11 (again) There were about 100-150 people. Some people inside the pen, some outside. The groups was diverse with lots of people of color, lots of young people. Organizing in Queens has always been difficult because of the large number of undocumented people who for very good reason are afraid of coming out to activist events.

There were police cars at every corner and helicopters flying over head. Tons of undercovers (who obvuously weren't so undercover....sheesh). There were snipers on rooftops. The MapucheRican asked if they were going to shoot us. This is what a police state looks like.

I personally was interviewed by Channel 47 (spanish language), Local Fox News Channel 5, and the NY Daily News. 47 showed the interview. I missed the channel 5 clip and it looks like the Daily News decided not to mention any protests in Queens. I did post something on IndyMedia and called into ANoise. I really want to make my own radio station/newspaper.

Going home or trying to go home pissed my daughter off. Every street was closed. Barricades were being put up. What should have been a 10-15 minute walk home turned into a half hour walk home. Most local residents didn't even seem to know that Bush was in town.

Tonight the MapucheRican and I will be somewhere in the city. Most likely at the vigil in Union Square.

Say no to Bush....especially tonight



Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Details on Queens Bush Booing

NY1 reports he is expected at Italian Charities of America Social Club, 83-20 Queens Blvd, Elmhurst, Queens 8PM.
Lets give him a real New York welcome!

Say no to Bush in Queens

Resident Bush is going to be in Queens tonight.
I will be there...so should you!!!

Bush will be in Elmhurst, Queens this evening.

To welcome him, arrive early outside 83-20 Queens Boulevard, at Van Loon Street.

Easily accessibly by subway, take the R/V/G to 65th Street in Queens.

Be there.


My Favorite Protest Tee So Far