Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thee Eternal

I sat on the balcony to laugh at myself and Carlos and all of us gays, eternal denizens of Santurce, who have polished these sidewalks like crabs back and forth and sideways looking for machos, watching out for machos, or simply drunk out of our minds, out late, arm in arm, laughing jubilantly at the cars passing, shouting at us: fags! And us, raising out arms up high like beauty queens, shouting back at them: cocksuckers! And off we go to oblivion, holding hands, swishing all along Ponce de León.

-- The Vampire of Moca, from Mundo Cruel by Luis Negrón.

It is summertime.

I have been being read as a woman.

I have been being read as a trans woman.

Long and sublime femininity.

I am excited for my courses to start, although I must wait a bit over a month.

Water, with a million ice cubes and at least three thick slices of ginger root, has become my favorite thing.

All of these truths, are beautiful.


(image: Roommate in Her Chair, Boston, 1972 by Nan Goldin)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wishes On the Wall: A Passing (of Time)

It's night time.

I just parked next to a semi truck in the far reaches of a parking lot of a motel just outside of my hometown and, as I'm walking up the slightly rotton wood staircase that leads to the second and only other floor, I am carrying a bundle of photographs of my dead friend.


Eddie's hands. The cuts and callouses all over them. The sunburnt face. The momentary blush of shame of not knowing "the right word for" what he was trying to express. You know the exact fucking words for what you want to express. The rip in his boots that exposes the dirty padding of it. The lull a few years back in construction, and how it meant that he would be the one to care for her when James needed to work and her kids needed to get to school.


I met up with my recently-dead friend's brother in a motel.

There were two beds. There were five lights. There were the floral, slippery, nylon-type comforters found in such motels covering the beds. We sat on the beds like chairs, and faced each other.  There wasn't enough room to sit down like you're supposed to.

He went through photographs of her, still wet and sticking together from when the firemen had come in to drench his burning room. (How is it that things like this happen so closely together?  Your family's small house begins to burn down and, a week later, your sister is dead.)  He told me the story of each of them.  Paused only to peel them apart from each other.


Later that night, I dropped him off at the long term temporary colonial-style apartment complex that his family is staying in while workers repair their burnt up house. It was dark in the lot of complexes. Dirty miniatures of The White House all lined up in a row.

It was watching Eddie fumble for his keys in the dim light outside of this unfamiliar waiting home that it finally hit.

Something about imagining his mother, forever reading romance-novels from behind her seventies, half-tinted glasses sitting on the couch behind the door of this temporary home.

Something about imagining his father, his short temper and stocky self- always in dress pants (unstained, but not pressed) for the reason that every man of his class wore them.  Proving something. Hiding something. Habit. Some men will never have hair past a close cut, and it will never be about style as much about an evasion of judgement.  But that, too, will be hidden. In language of diligence, and of jobs.


Let me tell you about how my bones shift when I am home.

Let me tell you how the things I have hidden in the past ten years come to bare themselves when I hear the familiar angles of the local pronunciations; when I see the things I try and hide and want nothing more

than to covet them.


(Title is a slight reference to the snippet of a lyric from Wish Fulfillment, by Sonic Youth. Listen to it if you can. It sets the feeling for this post, or, has at least informed it. Listen, here: It's my favorite shot of you: You look so pretty - your eyes were true )
(image: Frida J via Untrustyou Tumblr)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Release and Thirst : An Exercise in the Stripping Away of Excess and Ettiquette (Springtime Edition)

Things are so strangely directed as of late.

Difficult, fun, exciting, challenging: All at once.

One of the things I've been most happy about is home. Well, the physical one I reside in, but also the little nest of support and love that the person I live with have infused it with, too.

These things matter.


Recently, I received an absolutely brilliant story from a friend of mine, who turned his story into a beautiful and exactly-detailed zine. I've asked him to make a short handful of them to send to me so that I can pass them on.  It's *that* kind of good: The kind that makes you think that people are missing out on a crucial part of life if they don't get their hands on it.  And so, you  make sure you get your own hands on it in order to pass it along to hands you care about- both known and unknown.


It is springtime, and it is day.

And although I aimed to avoid all of the typical ways that spring is talked about and described I will say, simply:

The proverbial cleaning,
the discarding or simply not-allowing of the bad kind of bad treatment and filth to fill my halls and corners,
feels and smells as fresh as my fingernails after pinching the skin of a sun-shined lemon.

It is springtime, and soon enough, it will be night.


be well
be loved
be willing to let your teeth sink into that which you must have.

Surely it is only but yourself

that keeps you

from having it.


[Listen to the music of this, and WRITE. See what comes out of you. For me. Because. An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite]

(image: Inside Christian Dior Haute Couture via notordinaryfashion tumblr)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Desired Destruction: The Breaking of a Shell to Reveal What Matters

There are many people in my life that I admire and am moved by, intellectually. The majority of them are not academics, and the rest of them are academics that have wide-spreading roots in community organizing.  It goes beyond just the words of "analysis" and "intersectionality" and "praxis" and, and...

It's something more that that.

Something that matters.

Something that is not just abstract theory.

Something more than important but regurgitated and slightly too fixed (as in, static) texts of recent history, or beyond.

It is the living breathing chest of now, of then, and of future.

It is the turning of soil and the spreading of deeper, richer understandings and connectedness of immigration, of sexuality, of race, of AIDS activism, of sex work, of disability, of language, of power, of colonization, of neurodiversity, of mass incarceration, of gender, of class, of the medical industrial complex ~  all while actively engaging with the communities around them, and around the world, in a multitude of ways.


This year has been a good one.

One that has been teaching me a lot and leaving me thirsty for more.

Thank you to all of the people who keep me grounded and searching.  All of you who collectively emphasize and reprove that dusty books and unbreathing theories serve as nothing more than a lazy, self-satisfied mirror that will eventually suffocate,

or that already aids in suffocation.

Here is to respiration. The kind that topples the dirt piling upon our chests as we lie still on our backs at night.


(A perfect song to listen to after reading this from 1998, here: Escúchela- la ciudad respirando)

(image: via witchesxsabbath tumblr)