in the park

June 25, 2007 at 4:51 am (Motherhood)

aza theresa on father’s dayaza theresa on father’s dayaza theresa on father’s dayaza-fathers-day-2.jpgnull

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she

June 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm (Motherhood)

today we are hanging out.  she is teaching herself to put her hand in her mouth.  she focuses so hard at moments she looks cross eyed.  sometimes she becomes so frustrated unable to satiate her excitement. then i hear the smacking of lips, turn around and she is sucking on her fist, her entire body relaxed for a moment.

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i wanted to be strong for her

June 11, 2007 at 9:21 am (poetry)

i wanted to be strong for her

dredlocked witch

waxy brown skin

sidewalk palm reader closing down

for the night

she held my palm

said that it was difficult for me

to make committments

and not to go home with that man

across the street

but i wanted to prove

that i could take care of myself

i asked how did she do it

see into someone’s heart

with a glance

she said to worship the orisha

the dead and the everlasting

i needed to have strong faith

you think i should take it as a compliment

his crime of passion

perhaps in another life time

we could have been lovers

but in this lifetime

i am enraged scared

trying not to panic

acrid stairs

all i see are the orisha

nodding their heads

and pointing south

i am a bruja by fire

she is kneeling at her altar

we are chosen

we are not made

you asked me:

was it worth it?

yes it was worth holding onto my life

not the martyr beneath the blade

nor the handle of the knife

i am the tree in the window

swinging against the glass

i am a bird without feathers

flying to the border

fast.

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z

June 11, 2007 at 8:36 am (poetry)

a woman
leaps
with joy
to her death
with a hat

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somebody take out the red pen

June 11, 2007 at 8:35 am (anti-oppression, poetry)

Somebody take out the red pen

Somebody take out the red pen
And mark this page up
Set this poem on fire
Make it a love letter to dark alleys
And the neon signs shining
Somebody send out a shout
Let me know you are still there on the other end of this email
That just can’t end
Follow the black noise static
Inkspots on a bleached rocky edge
In my face my death I say
I am a fighter
And refuse to admit defeat
And I am her mother
All of this brown skin cracked lips
Peeling fingernails
And milk stained shirts
And the house the room
In the afternoon is warm
And thick with tree dust
Motherhood is a destination
With our child in one arm
And a machete in the other
Crossing the land of spirits to find our way home

Been burnt before
Fell to my knees
Scratched away from the edge
Refused the cool blade slicing the desert sunset
Like static slicing the alleys between skyscrapers
I have been violated
And I know you have too
Lightening strikes twice
So I carry a thin knife
Between my baby’s heart and mine
Maybe I will never use it
Maybe I wont have the steady hand
The skillful wrist
The flexible arms
But I want a chance to live
Without begging
For somebody

To saveus

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also angry arab translation of musa

June 7, 2007 at 8:34 am (middle east, palestine, poetry)

“O, comrade
My heart is fatigued
and my dreams are dark
My night is cold
and there are only
ashes in my fireplace
Do I sing?
I was singing yesterday
I had a house, and chats
and food
My fields were islands
of goodness, and I was
Sindibad
carrying the crop with
my right hand
and the joy of the folks
were in my left hand
O comrade
Don’t ask about the poems
I did not lose the white poems
They are enamored with my
night, woven with warmth and tales
My lazy beach
is slipping on the morning [like]
mirrors
I have become, and my night, have
from bullets and shrapnels
and my morning is filling coasts
with the remains of victims
and blood is painting my horizons
with worries and disasters
o blood of children,
you have not left any remains
of love
you weave poetry, not
coals for fireplaces
producing warmth and filling
the womb of warmth with poems
o comrade
`Id has arrived, and my children
are barefoot
covering the sun with thin arms
`Id has arrived, and my children
are unclothed
And their nights with the boogyman
are long…
O comrade
For whom is God?
For whom is God?
For them, the conquerers?
to the women of the conquerers?
For the children of conquerers?
I will not pray for a god who
make the usurpers victorious
His face is in the face of my enemies
and his behind is in my face
His hand is giving my enemies
and I have not worshiped other
than Him
O comrade
My God has been lost
among the conquerers
I will not pray for a God
who is lost among the conquerors”

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for whom do i write

June 7, 2007 at 8:32 am (middle east, palestine, poetry)

angry arab

angry arab translation:

For Whom do I write by Lebanese poet, Musa Shu`ayb (who was assassinated by agents of the Syrian regime in 1980). His family just published a new collection of his poetry, and I thank them for my copy. (He wrote this about the 1967 defeat, in 1967. My translation):
“For whom do I write?
Do I wrote about you,
o my homeland
Do I write my sadness and bitterness
and the hopes of millions
that were buried without coffins?
Do I write about our history
which is mixed with mold
and on a time
when we lived outside of time
For whom do I write?
If I sob, they would
say a mourning poet
And if I act stoic,
they would say:
a lying outbidder
For whom do I write?
My comrades are
sellers on the market
mercenary right-wingers
leftists on paper
For whom do I write?
And rats are around me
biting what I write…
Because living in my country
is without a price
People in my country die
without a price
I heard a song yesterday
I heard a song on the radio
praising the nation of the Arabs
sanctifying the revolt of flames
spilling over with the curse of eras
I was ashamed that I was
my father’s son
I read yesterday about a man
He is named Che Guevara
He was mourned in my homeland
People cried over his death
in my homeland
They told stories about him…
and said poetry about him
Not one, of the revolutionaries
of my homeland
threw away his cup of coffee
abandoned his girlfriend
ignored the hair of his beard
Not one revolutionary,
threw his chair on the floor
walked toward death
distorting the suns of the equator
in order that flags of liberty
fly over these lands…
For whom do I write?
For the generation of dancing
in dark rooms
for the sick of Hamra street
where the revolution is planned
for Guevara who was named
a legend in Lebanon
So that they appear blameless
he became a legend
And the days of legends
have long gone in this East
For whom do I write?
I will write for the refugees…
for those who carry the sins of
centuries
for those who wash the shame
of civilizations and the sinners
with hunger, nakedness,
tears, and blood
And no homeland except
wind of illusion
and no shelter except
the humiliation of tents
I will write for those who are tired
Sprinkling on their horizon
my exhausted poetry
and swearing by death…
I will not lie.”

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may day

June 3, 2007 at 8:01 pm (anti-classism, anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-sexism, women of color)

this is a post from a beautiful blog that i am borrowing and sharing.

http://atthekitchentable.blogspot.com/

on May Day: Women of Color Making Connections Between Immigration and Rape Culture

Since it is May Day, one day of many to celebrate the contributions and demand the rights of immigrant workers, it seems appropriate to share a historical precendent through which Women of Color in London organized at the intersections of immigration policy and sexual violence.

In November 1982 a broad coalition of organizations came together to put together a one day event (sound familiar yet?). The coalition included English Collective of Prostitutes, Housewives in Dialogue, Women Against Rape, Wages Due Lesbians and others who had collaborated to takeover a community center in their region (Camden). Only a few days after their first big event “Bringing it All Back Home:Black and Immigrant Women Speak out and Claim Our Rights”, the conference attendees supported the English Collective of Prostitutes as they occupied a local church to claim sanctuary from the constant police harassment and brutality they were experiencing. If you can’t tell…I am inspired and thrilled by the bravery of these women (mostly women of color, mostly with threatened immigration status) who not only demanded fair wages for the “private” labor of nurturing, but who also repeatedly took over public spaces and spoke out against sexual violence.

Anyway..at this particular conference Women Against Rape released a statement entitled “Racism is Rapism” which explicitly calls out the way in which sexual assault impacts the most vulnerable among us through the same mechanisms as racism, classism and xenophobia:
“On arriving in another country, we have found ourselves threatened again by the tacism which stems directly from one government after another saying ‘you are not welcome, don’t expect any rights!’ Such policis set us up as easy targets and legitimise every kind of racist attack against us, whether from immigration officers, the police, the courts, employers or individual men.”

They also protest the absurdity of immigration laws that make residency contingent on staying with a husband and explain the complexity on going to the violent state to mitigate intra-community violence.

“We have been afraid to go to the police for help, particularly when attacks have comefrom within our own community, since we have seen how a woman’s cry forhelp has been usedas an excuse to rampage in our community, particularly if we are black.”

and
“We have seen how sexism combines with and reinforces racism….
As women we have all experienced, if not rape itself, then the threat or fear of rape. We know how rape has been used to limit our movement and our lives. We refuse to be locked into our homes or into our countries. A WOMAN’S PLACE IS EVERYWHERE!”

Just another example of the history we move in…
love,
lex
p.s. hey Emily…wanna post that info you were sharing about responses to sexual violence in the civil rights movement?

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