journals dont pay me‽
If any readers know me in real life and want to fill out 3 questions anonymously, there’s this:
Nice-sounding words I’ve thought about myself in various times and spaces included: pulchritudinous, good vibe, ratchet, honest, full of integrity, delicious, wacky, awe-inspiring, admirable, incredible, alluring, wise, a trip and a half, brilliant, ho, sloooooW, appealing, attractive, beautiful, smart, bewitching, charming, generous, fun, cute, harmonious, tasty, dazzling, quick, delightful, enticing, revolutionary, excellent, fascinating, foxy, good-looking, amazing, magical, sexy, adventurous, slutty, powerful, weird…
I should be dignified
Red and Brown and Black and White
in so many iterations
India Negra Mulata Mestiza Montubia
y escupen gringa, coconut, white-washed, prieta, chola
hispanic spic beaner wetback prairieni**er latina/o/e/x border-crosser illegal immigrant who swam over
my hair journey?
mis chorros de chorrona, rizos, curls, spirals, ringlets
Curl patterns hair textures hair densities hair porosity proteins sensitivity
3A/B/C curly spirally medium porosity texture density and some protein?
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
Untamed rowdy loud big nappy unprofessional unattractive and unclean hair
Is that your real hair? No way!
Just keep it back and away from our gaze
a body dysmorphic disorder?
talk white, act white
bell pepper nose
Prieta machona tosca gruesa gorda gordita gordota masculina/e machona parece-pata broad shoulders itty bitty titties mosquito bites manly androgynous body of a twelve year old boy flabby flat-ass fat chubby no-neck too masc tomboy fat tight pu**y not femme enough wide fat hands thick fred-flinstone-feet must be Brazilian or Puerto Rican or Dominican
Fuck like a man squeal like a girl cum too fast too slow moan too loud been with too many dudes hides women and gnc guarra dom and sub nympho Queer enough true switch not vanilla thirsty exotic lesbo erotic sensual wild untameable side piece pata the other woman fuckable but not marriage-material dyke sister-like friends-only but with benefits sometimes vulgar uncouth slut commie savage third world porch ni**er welfare queen mequetrefe pandillera hood ratchet gangsta grunge freaky thug asking-for-it always-wants-it
Yes and No
PRIMERA LUZ DEL DÍA
I love learning how to love
I wander and wonder to learn
I like to build community around shared liberation dreams
I am passionate about expressing myself in a multitude of ways
I create, build, nurture, fight, nourish and write along the way about everything all the time on all kinds of surfaces with all different kinds of materials
I sang in choir, played chimes, piano, guitar, ukulele, basketball, volleyball, track, yoga, fútbol, climbed rocks, bouldered, Ultimate, half marathons, football, hike, swim….
My degrees, hobbies, affiliations, kin are not required
EVERYONE DESERVES FOOD CLOTHING SHELTER EDUCATION ART
and always have been
since time immemorial
We are endemic to this continent
We mixed with Africans and Europeans who came just a few hundred years ago
I will not be explaining this to anyone anymore.
Fuck the academicization of my lived experiences
dealing with those trying to project their confused state of being on me
Participation in, with and for White European religions, patriarchy, capitalism, elitism/exclusivity/classism, rules, professionalism, is directly harmful to Black and Brown bodies. The material consequences of having proximity to Blackness everywhere (especially on this Land) includes dehumanizing and violence in many forms (starting in which grade or age):
- name policing (2nd grade)
- phenotype policing (1st grade)
- language policing (speaking both Spanish and AAL is a double-edged sword and then White-accent mandated) (1st grade)
- security stalkers (grade school)
- actual police being called on/about/to deal with me (5th grade)
- being followed by the police in car (20 years old)
- space allocation/removal (grade school-PhD)
- assumed family dynamics (grade school)
- assumed criminal behavior (grade school)
- assumed life path (10th grade)
- stop and frisk (34th bday)
- divestment in my education, health, protection, basic care and concern (birth)
Do I see my experience as the U.S. Black experience? NO
Today I call myself Brown
Our epistemology and ontology is mixed and my family/community are racialized as both and either Black or Brown because race is not objective, inherent, or fixed. That is how and why I am currently racialized as either and both Black and Brown because race is a social construct that is not static. So, do I have Black phenotype? NO and YES depending on who you ask (light-skinned Indigenous folxs told me I’m “definitely Black in Tulsa”; White midwest dude said he thought I was “Latinx” as though it were a race)
It is a miXed varYing experience of Liminal o5ci\\@ting s p a c e s
*People who do not protect or see/hear my body or police my body are unsafe
**You are not allowed in my life
Current mood: Focus: Black Oklahoma
i am here
En tiempos antiguos cuando habia un muerto se quedaban los familiares en el hogar de el muerto hasta el alba. Se les cocinaba bastante aguado de gallina para sostener todos los familiares y para ayudar mantener despiertos los que amancecen con el cuerpo.
En esos tiempos se utilizaba piñon e higuerilla para hacer los jabones para limpiar y para que uno se bañe.
It is a privilege that my lived experiences are not always Black. My life experiences have been marred by physical, sexual and mental assaults due to my proximity to Blackness and my gender presentation. Also, I am sometimes safe due to my gender and racial ambiguousness. This is not an application for the Oppression Olympics, I’m just contemplating how I’ve made it to 35 when so many Black and Brown folxs have not. The average life expectancy of Trans Black people is 35.
How can we nourish ALL Black Lives?
I am very fortunate that I was schooled by my elders plus public and private schools in 3 states and 2 countries. I realize this as schools scramble to now inject some stories (they wrote) about my ancestors to check off the “diversity” boxes.
Last year when I’d wander off – through a lot of autumn – I would end up at graveyards. I sent photos to las Amigas del Alma group and a few other friends. I don’t know how to read dreams completely but I’ve got an accuracy in messages many times in the past including pregancies, births, deaths and divorces and a bunch of silly shit like hook-ups.
For most of Spring now (Summer viene) I’ve been seeing vultures and various black birds including getting my car shat on by some today. I’ve been dreaming of cats – Tiernx, in particular – probably since last year they were my travel companion and il me manque. Recently I’ve been seeing snakes in waking life and dormant and the other day when I was bonding with my godchild taking a walk outside. I also tend to see lots of birds with my last nibling. They are more empathic I think than the eldest nibling. The eldest has some of our clairvoyance. They seems to be developing a knack for patterns and for reading Pachamama. The eldest and the baby are gnc so far, which is dope – my family is in full support.
I drove 1234 miles to be here for Juneteenth 2020.
Tomorrow is historical and I will testify all that I witness in various formats.
Cambia, todo cambia.
God is change.
#IfIEverDisappear is trending and some of the images are just non-sensical
“We are not fighting for near-death experiences”
If I go missing, I expect everyone who loves me to fuck shit up
Last week I finally went back to running as my foot’s cut skin is crackling and trying to stick together, not fully heal. My ass and thighs are good-sore; I sleep with hot & cold patches and creams feeling some type of way that my body aches because I choose to exercise, rather than it being a necessity as part of labor to create food or resources for my family or community. Though, also, my body requires movement to strengthen and make me more agile and flexible and healthy.
This week I’m in the southwest, ready to be united with others fighting towards liberation.
Do police manage inequality?
Current Mood: Rumble in the Jungle x Fugees, Tribe Called Quest, Busta
Nearly 2 decades of fighting and I’m oscillating between needing to be hidden for safety and shouting I do not give a fuck!!!
I created curricula for and taught Critical Race Theory with 10th and 11th graders at a high school in Shanghai 2013-2014. Today, I realize more than ever that Interest Convergence is more relevant than ever: Black people achieve civil rights victories only when White and Black interests converge (Bell, 1980). Haz mierda todo! Pero, like, we need yt folxs to be generally disruptive of the system that upholds them but also do more anti-racist work in their quotidian lives.
“The curriculum cannot be time-sensitive” I wrote down in bold.
I have 3 more days to go before the stitches can come out. Photographing my sewn foot inspired me to sew a bit so I spent time making protesting toys yesterday (no sewing happened actually – just a lot of cutting, pasting, writing, sticking and tying). I am not in the streets these days the same as before – I’m much more strategic now. For example, as my foot heals, I’m just doing my art with and for youth:
My Manaba mamas guían. Pachamama shook me and literally debilitated me. Change is not metaphorical. We want a literal revolution. But I need to sit this one out, she said. Last week Pachamama sent early thunderstorms here and shook other parts of the continent with earthquakes. Wake the fuck up! dice ella.
Yall need to figure this shit out because I’m tired.
i am exhausted
Tears are coming in waves of pain and joy. Hearing of Breonna Taylor was bizarre – is this real life? Seeing the video of “a beautiful spirit,” George Floyd’s last living moments was also incomprehensible – almost unreal. The popo did not care that they were being filmed. It was almost like Mỹ Lai Massacre photos of U.S. soldiers with bodies they mauled.
Christian Cooper’s story is not incredible. A Black man gets home unarmed after the fuzz is called? That’s unheard of. The whole idea of pigs came with the invention of slavery.
I haven’t slept for days.
Between the sorrow and utter confusion about what supports our thriving – we are barely surviving here – I paused and felt an overwhelming sense of a loving community. There are Black Lives Matter posts from people – some of my loved ones – who usually only post landscapes, food, concerts or friends/kids stuff on their sm. I’m pushy af – pushing everybody to jump in revolutionary fights – I don’t hide it – your kid stuff is cute; social media ain’t that for me. Still, those closest to me, have been listening all along and listening well and they are all holding me up now, knitting me back together. We are each other’s braids – strengthening each strand. I realized this May that I have been studying thriving all wrong. Mi gente got my back. They nourish my thriving; they planted me.
I begin describing in writing what is thriving with us, our narratives of ancestral love that explain how we are best nourished and nurtured but I trail off into books and articles written by Them. I must keep validating myself with their standards; what I know to be true must be witnessed by someone of official authority as bestowed onto themselves. We must be beyond this now. We must be building power in order to derrotar this ludicrous system in which one group of people make all the rules. Curiously, they do not have to follow their own rules. They decide when the rules get altered. We must fight beyond this.
But how do we do thriving? Like literal “beyond survival”?
A high school friend asked me last night if I “felt good that people are changing now; people are really waking up now,” the ww teacher said.
Yes, it does feel good that more people are on board. And also it sucks that video evidence is what it took for some people to believe us. Is that why protests haven’t centered Breonna Taylor
Now we gotta sit here and educate people on how to listen to us so that we can survive? We gotta keep waiting for yall to catch up to the struggle? Those tiny steps some people are taking are not halting the trigger-happy pigs. The 1% is not ceding power
But our seeding is showing some blossoming now just before summer…
PUKEN (tiempo de lluvias) época de la escasez, donde comienzan las lluvias y la tierra se retrae en un periodo de descanso obligado
WALÜNG (abundancia) época de cosechas, de frutos, de aves y animales
We makes sure our community is well-fed, housed and clothed. We find resources, take extra shifts, take collections, donations, groceries, distribute as needed – we are all about mutual aid. No one goes hungry in my community. We make sure everyone is able to experience joy and cleansing even once a year on their birthday or our Año Viejo celebrations or someone’s wedding – we must celebrate our survival. Celebration and Cleansing – enacting joy is a crucial part of thriving.
We constantly thank our ancestors who paved this path for us. We must relive certain times in order to keep seeding the future. Gratitude is part of thriving. We show gratitude by supporting us.
God’s act, stand back and watch
Devil’s time out
Can’t be timed with no swatch watch
But are we are better now?
What the fuck is thriving?
I see my community hurt more and more every day. My community members assimilate, convert, literally pay to disfigure their faces to be like Them and still are dehumanized, denigrated on tv, social\media, in schools all over the fuckin place.
After 1845 weeks in Pachamama, I say, “Fuck You!!!” I live according to my values, up to my own standards.
I love me. I love me whether you love me or even validate my existence.
There is stuff finally happening with exclamation marks.
I seen the Devil spar with Allah
Mathematics was the key to set my whole race free
You might debate we, a refugee
No harm hurt me
Dying, thirsty from the struggle
To my own hustle bubble
On the low, woe is me
3 years ago woe is me. I wrote about a dating dilemma, Should I BLM on a First Date?, and I’m mostly proud of me. It took a lot to learn how to identify and assess an impulsive lying, stonewalling, silencing, gas-lighting, narcissistic, disgustingly privileged abusive manchild. It took a lot of self-criticism, pain and trauma-confrontation to work through defining how the White supremacist delusion and the colonial cis hetero patriarchy operates. I’m still learning ways that I deserve to be treated and how I can trust again.
It’s not only my age and education that shrinks my dating pool, but specifically being vocal about my abolitionism. My people have been fighting for generations; this did not begin with me in this lifetime. My first fights were in grade school against prayer and pledging allegiance to a flag that doesn’t represent me. Next, I began organizing, mobilizing and protesting during my undergraduate studies when I began US For Earth. The Arab Spring hooked me into worldwide movements and taught me how to use social media. Then abolitionist thinking began for me during OWS & ODOE. Most specifically, when Trayvon Martin‘s life was taken, my commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement was solidified.
I’m happy alone today. I don’t use a lot of those words from that post anymore anymore, or rather, I have updated my language to be more precise:
I am a 35 year old radical educator artivist scholar abolitionist
sapiosexual pansexual gender fluid Manaba
I enjoy relationships with folxs who have similar far left values
it’s extra special if our interests are complimentary
Blocks on fire
Fiends getting higher
Robbing blue collar
Killing for a dollar
See youths get tired
Dealing with them liars
From Brooklyn to Zaire
We need a ghetto Messiah
Since the days of fighting grade school teachers to not do the allegiance pledge each day, I have fought for, on and with folxs of Seminole, Timucua, Tequesta, Piscataway Nacotchtank (Anacostan), Lenape, Kizh, Chumash, oθaakiiwaki‧hina‧ki (Sauk) & Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox), Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, and Bodéwadmiké (Potawatomi) Lands. My first protest of 2020 was for Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action in February. My last protest of 2019 was December 14th at #PariserPlatz #Berlin in #solidaridad with my Indigenous siblings; I got my 7th tattoo (my 1st at home-tat) just after these moments:
I continue to write to exist and seeking #solidaridad. This is #ACallformoreAbolitionists in my life. The goal is still not to punish or exterminate yt folxs but to exterminate the hegemonic.
I write here if only to repeat in as many ways as I can learn in my lifetime:
NEGRX RUNAKUNATA MUNAKUY!
K’ATZ’INEL RI TAQ Q’ËQ K’ASLEM
HASAPA T’A WICONI KI TOKAHE
LII VII NWAYR KISHCHIITAYHTAAKWAANWA
LAS VIDAS NEGRAS IMPORATAN
Current Mood: Hands On The Wheel x ScHoolboy Q Feat A$AP Rocky
坐 坐好 Zuò zuò hǎo! me dijo la Pachamama.
A few days ago I was toying with the idea of wearing fishnets again – I was feeling good about losing weight and being stronger than I was 5 years ago when I began PhD studies. On the afternoon of the 23rd, I was put in my place tho. “Stay the fuck home” was the message I received, “get your shit done” before you go out to play!” I am fortunate to have been able to afford car payments up until now and having the liberty to drive out at my whims. Now I’m confined to crutches for 12 more days on antibiotics and pain meds after getting stitched up with a deep dirty cut on my left pinky toe from a rock off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, where I’d gone to write and for inspiration.
She’d been telling me to stay put
pero no le hice caso
The first injuries to my legs that I recall happened during basketball – marks on my knees remain from grade school. Around 5th grade, we cared after a lab for a while for a paternal cousin. Blackie, the dog and I were playing at one point and then there was a chase. I managed to jump our fence and left my leg was slit open by a sheet of metal sitting at the corner of the fence and our Sanford home. I remember seeing bone for a bit.
Just between jobs, the summer of 2013, with no insurance, at 28, I suffered a debilitating accident just months after a smaller accident where a bus side-swiped me (on bike) into a fence – I had a just a few scratches from that. From Xuhui to Jing’an and back, my newest friend helped me move – carrying bags of my stuff on bike – about 30km. He got tired, naturally so, and I wanted to be done so I ventured off alone (as per my usual) for the last of my crap. On the return, I was t-boned by a moped on a corner of nowhere I knew well (near the cafe 1984, I think). No one helped as I lay on the ground, my left leg bleeding profusely and my arm. Hobbling with my shit, I made my way into a Chinese version of bodega to ask for help with the handful of Mandarin words and phrases I know. 耐心 Nàixīn, me dije. Only three broken toes (including my currently injured baby toe) happened and I was lucky to find a store-keeper who helped clean and bandaged me up. I had a limp after that!
Too damn high, can’t stand myself
I love drunk driving, man I’m something else
Heat on my side, you’re more than welcome to melt
I’m ’bout to finish a pound, you’re more welcome to help
The next serious injuries I remember today happened with Ultimate Frisbee and rock climbing. Always on my left side, I’d fall and get ugly bruises. During a particularly stupid idea, a group of us got together in the middle of a 2015 Michigan winter to toss a disc. During one bad move, I slipped on the ice and went home with an aching hip which turned bluish black and brought my limp back.
On 2 July 2016 I was heading to Chicago with the WT I was dating then. The light at the Howard Ave and Saginaw St intersection just before the 127 turned green and the two cars in front of me went through before a 25 year old White girl driving a car registered and insured to someone else ran a red light and totaled my 2013 Nissan Sentra. A bag of cannabis was found in her car and the insurance status was “delinquency” due to missed payments. Her tears just got her a tiny ticket for running the light – no arrest or fines for weed.
A new kind of poverty came directly from this accident and new/old wounds emerged. I suffered burns and lacerations around my body additional to huge financial debt due to the state’s absurd No Fault logic. I often wondered what would have happened, if the situation was reversed. Would my tears have warranted mercy as well? Would I have been arrested or shot by the popo when they found “drugs” or when they learned the car was not mine? We know rules were made and often only apply to Black and Brown bodies. Ain’t nobody hiding this.
My usual right hand at 6:30 and left on my lap, possibly saved bones from breaking. The U.S. standard instruction was that drivers should hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions, as envisioned on a clock. Now “experts” say that could cost you your arms or hands in particularly gruesome ways if your airbag deploys. Most driving guidelines (most state transportation agencies) now say “lightly grip the wheel at the 9 and 3 o’clock position.” Bad science makes illogical rules that are followed by the masses who have been trained to not question authority.
Think for yourself.
was already my motto when I began driving 20 years ago at 15 I observed the people around me first. I think I was impacted by the way my brother and a friend Canela drove keeping their hand a 6:30. It felt comfortable immediately so I’ve driven variations of this since.
I’m okay with disorder and or chaos if it is naturally the case. I dislike the chaos imposed on me of deadlines, time constructs, forced relationships, fake smiling, arbitrary rules proven wrong, ineffective and inhumane again and again.
I do not want suburban life. I like my lawn unkempt. I don’t give a fuck if you call me uncouth. I do not want 2.5 children in your schools; I’m not even sure I want one. Home or Land ownership is not something I even think about, on principle. This Land is my Land, this Land ain’t your Land…
I do not have the impulse to organize everything in palatable boxes, multiple choice answers, color-by-number/paint by wine nights, true/false or any binary paradigms
You cannot convince me that your way of living is beneficial to/for anyone.
I refuse to follow your rules. Of course, that is particularly why I am endangered.
There is not a word or concept in my culture like the German:
pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.
or the Brittish:
epicaricacy (n) (uncountable) (rare) Rejoicing at or deriving pleasure from the misfortunes of other
Tattletale (Flemmish roots) express to me that ^ mentality, which is fostered in grade school… that research will come later.
This is what is lives inside the Becky > Karen > Susan teachers we’ve all had.
Papi and I discussed language recently, starting with that German concept, doin like an onto-epistemological turn here and there. I wanna learn more how language is shaped by Land (like how some concepts exist here and not there). Also how our senses are shaped by and shape language. My makers don’t usually like to admit it but my creative insubordination is all them. Nil sine magno labore. Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence. No seas metiche.
This is why I write
on most days
to understand how to enrich our collective lives
Am I over-faded? Hell yeah it’s true
Turn a beat on, ain’t no limit to what I can do
See this Top Dawg in heat, but I’mma fuck the world
I’mma be on tunes ’til God re-furls
You sat me down, I’m still tryna get higher
You looked at me stupid when I twisted the fire
This keeps me AFLOAT: The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power
Current Mood: Que se Queme el Arroz x La Reyna y La Real
La Marca me la recomendó un Cubano. Fui solita la noche anterior para ver el lugar y pensar en el diseño. Fue lejos del hotel que nos hospedamos en La Habana Vieja cerca de el parque Guayasamín – eso solo me dio tanta felicidad. Hay un gran amor entre mi Ecuador y Cuba. No fue sorpresa y me dio bastante alegria cuando me di cuenta quien son elles a primera vista:
The art inside was cool and had ideas flowing freely about my mind. I wanted to build off my 2nd tattoo with this 4th one – couple the ideas of solidaridad pouring out of me during the time I spent in Cuba, learning from the beautiful people.
then time restrictions
“On a schedule” ruins precious moments
Stay with the group
Catch up with the group
Don’t get lost
Don’t lag behind
Y un cambio de rutina yo me voy a regalar
Voy a pensar un poquito en mi
Dime si no merezco perderme por ahí
Being myself and not listening to others often brings me lots of joy
As I lay on my side getting repeatedly punctured by a needle, in less than 1hr, “Sur Arriba” was inked over SOLIDARIDAD before I went back to meet up with the Western scholars who stuck to the plan (“10 & 2 people”).
There is much to say about this ink. Here, all I’ll say is that today when I look at my tat, I think about endurance as I relive the peace I felt traveling through the archipelago the summer of 2017. Our knowledges and ways have being have lasted for thousands of years precisely because they specifically intend do right by Pachamama, which we are all. Our rules and regulations exist to support our thriving. The last few hundred years have proved that the invaders brought with them destruction and that their ways of being harms the great majority of living sentient being.
And so we are applauded for suffering under the Western paradigms; we are expected to rise above and forgive, forget, move on from those [yt kristian euros] who continue to inflict pain on us; even as we forcibly assimilate to their hate-full non-sense dog-eat-dogma, they attack at every turn
So how about we Stop asking people to be resilient? We know this game is rigged. It is not just “bad luck” that our bodies are endangered. We do not relate to your arbitrary rules and do not intend to follow you or be like you in any way. We don’t even define achievement like you do. We pay attention to our surroundings and listen closely for the imperceptible to guide us as well. Adding to King’s words, this I believe
if we witness moments of justice somewhere,
there is promise of cultivating justice everywhere
Just when I got back from Cuba, I went on to read more and write a lot more. I wanted to spread the news, the realities I witnessed about La Llave del Caribe – to relearn and unlearn what schools taught. I did not know who to trust with support then. I first turned to a Wwoman who claims (constantly) that she’s been doing “justice work” longer than most of us “have been alive.” She helped only herself. Wish I coulda told her at her own self-congratulatory publication party: Nah bitch, we’ve been fighting yall for hundreds of years – my life doesn’t exist starting with my birth. All of my people been fighting for your people to get up the fuck out back to your homeLands!!
Then I turned to some peers who were all too busy to even just talk about experiences in Cuba.
By the time of the 1 year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse shooting, a month after the trip, I took the opportunity to submit a piece for a “community alliance” group about lessons that we could learn from Cuba about actual distribution of resources and power. Humanizing the most marginalized and disenfranchised of society, including Trans Queer non-Christian BIPOC became a national goal decades ago and la lucha sigue hoy. They, my “allies,” censored me to appease to the majority White Christian homo/transphobic Baby Boomer population that have anti-Blackness political leanings. It made no sense, but they urged me to write about my “homeLands” instead, which i visited afterwards. Without acknowledging that my homeLands are not just the borders recognized today – Cubans certainly did not treat me like I was other. We do not separate the south, islands, central and north of the Land mass according to the worldviews of the invaders – that’s preposterous!
I have never experienced and witnessed such earnest commitment to one another as I have in Cuba. The government issuing apologies to ostracized groups? The rich being taxed higher to even out wealth distribution sounds insane to some. Majority women in positions of power with real decision-making is only a dream to the Liberals here.
YUP, ya heard right
These are the moments of justice I hold on to and develop hope in humanity over:
1. Cuba has the highest literacy rate in the world and commits approximately 10% of its gross domestic product to education
2. 36% of Cuba´s budget is spent on healthcare
3.The world’s largest medical school, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) has nearly 20,000 students and every single one of those students is on full scholarship
4.Cuba’s health-care system makes contraceptives widely available, and abortions are available on demand
5.Mothers and fathers can take more than a year off from work at partial pay. A new decree extends those benefits to grandparents
6.The government has reduced day-care costs for Cuban parents with multiple children, and provides tax breaks for women who work in the country’s growing private sector
7. Cuban women are about two-thirds of the country’s professional workforce about (60% of university faculty positions)
8. In 2013, Cuban law banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
9. Sex reassignment surgeries have been available under Cuba’s national healthcare, FREE of charge, since 2008
<more pictures of La Llave del Caribe coming soon>
Today, I’ll put it here ^ and tomorrow somewhere else. I will never stop defending a place that fights for everyone’s dignity.
39 years ago Presidente Jaime Roldós (not a communist nor a socialist) died strangely (history tell us this is the imperialist way) in Lojas; he opposed military rule and U.S. monopolization of Ecuador’s economy.
Trabajo bruto pero con orgullo
Aquí se comparte, lo mío es tuyo
Este pueblo no se ahoga con marullos
Y si se derrumba yo lo reconstruyo
Tampoco pestañeo cuando te miro
Para que recuerdes mi apellido
La operación cóndor invadiendo mi nido
Perdono pero nunca olvido
Current Mood: Blow Up The Outside World x Soundgarden
It is a bad idea
It is super unsafe
It is terrible for your car
It can lead to death
It can kill others
Between gangsta and redneck
Nothing seems to kill me no matter how hard I try
Nothing is closing my eyes
Nothing can beat me down for your pain or delight
And nothing seems to break me
No matter how hard I fall
Nothing can break me at all
Some days we Porch Monkeys would meet up to just sit around smoking and to shoot the shit
On others, we would go way out in the boonies with our Dubbya Tee friends to go Muddin
Muddin is between a sport and what poor kids did for fun. The goal of the sport is to drive a vehicle through a pit of mud or a track of a set length. In competition, winners are determined by the distance traveled through the pit and some other shit. Fer shits n giggles, the goal was to not shit yer pants while you tried to cover the car in mud and live to talk about it.
I’d skip school with my bff, who got their first gun on their 9th bday, to take a chance with mud. After a good downpour, we’d jump in a truck with good track on the tires (best with extra large lugs) – or not – then hop off a main road to a random dirt road. After revving the engines, driving erratically as fast as you can handle, came time to really fuck shit up. You see the trick with muddin seemed to be pullin the handbrake at just the right moment so the truck flails about as it increases the amount of torque the engine puts out. The mud can fuck up rims and unbalance tires or throw serpentine belts off or clog the radiator… what did we care?
I learned the word “prairie n****r” out there after muddin one of those late afternoons where my bff and I fucked around instead of going to IB Shakespeare or some other gross shit. There were places out there where I was not allowed; others where I could enter but not speak until spoken to. Some feed stores seemed chill, others came with lots of questions to explain my purpose in those neck of the woods. It was supposed to be funny – I was supposed to laugh when people identified me as a “red skin” or other slurs that indicated my ancestors had been defeated by Their great powerful weapons. Unaware then, I learned a lot in those days. Proximity to Blackness or Whiteness was a game which had societal expectations – some real weird shit. Even though I was sometimes told, “You’re different; you’re not really one of those people,” I knew to them I was not their equal. It was always the case that my androgynous n-wordass was cause for their lack of peace or need to rile shit up.
Today I thought about muddin
as I was runnin
middle of fucknowhere
if I was seein shit
Is this real life?
Am I gonna make it?
‘Cause long as I’m alive I’ma live illegal
yall know where I stand
Pero, you know
Today a Ram 1500 carried a buzz-cut light skinned male-passing dude
who scared me back to where the fuck I came
when he pulled a rifle from the back seat
Am I the “wildlife” he seeks to extinguish?
I forgot my way home today
I feared for my life yet again today
because maybe my music was too loud today
or perhaps, because I took up too much public space
I’m at 5’2″ about 150 these days and drive a wagon
I can’t lose too much weight or my “feminine” figure emerges
But I can’t be too heavy cos then I got the body of a young boy
targeted if I’m too Brown-girly or too Black manly
Burrow down in and blow up the outside
Blow up the outside
Blow up the outside world
I saw Chris Cornell solo and as frontman of Audioslave at a Lolapalooza (2005?) once. 3 years ago when I was traveling in Cuba, I learned of Cornell’s death after paying for wifi at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba – only one of my peers had even heard of him and comforted me as I cried there briefly.
is modeled after the concept of Guerrilla Gardening; it’s a middle finger to private property. The act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the “legal rights to cultivate” is a direct civic action. In another form, Guerrilla Discourse infiltrates other aspects of [high]society by introducing uncomfortable concepts in various artistic ways. Art that is considered contested or on contested spaces is a form of Guerrilla Discourse (for example, example graffiti). My favorite form happened during an Occupy Department of Education Protest in which a love song was dedicated to the tune of “This Little Light of Mine;” the lyrics were projected on a school that was set to close mid-school-year and the crowd of a few hundred sang along in solidarity holding each other. Another example would be, blaring “offensive” or censored music or speeches loudly over speakers in areas of which is not permitted. The allowedness likert scale ranges from:
FURROWED BROWS > SCOFFS > KAREN COMPLAINS ABOUT IT TO THE ASSOCIATION > FINES > FELONY > PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
Today I decided I’m done with the transactional relationships
all those phony relationships – I’m too old for that shit – I left in the midwest
I been known better, Maya wouldn’t be proud
12 years ago I left Florida at 23 heading to my NYC, to unlearn some of that ign’ant shit my childhood was full of, to learn my pan/sapiosexual, nerdy, fighter self deeper
Every time I go back, I remember
New York City does not let you forget
You must remember your flaws in NYC
To survive you must be cognizant of who the fuck you be
On the corner of 85th and Lexington I first lived as an adult in NYC sharing a very small 2 bedroom/1 bath with a White woman and her Chinese Crested. The apartment was greatly situated between a world where I could get a bacon-egg-n-cheese for $2, 10 plátanos for $1, a pound of fried Chicharrón at Cuchifritos, my nails did or my hair blowed out for ten bucks
and a world where home-delivered laundry was the norm
there were a lot of fancy outdoor cafes, all with Eggs Benedict
$30 brunch with unlimited Mimosas
Today I ponder
During OWS in 2011 there was constant music and other noise, coffee made from bicycle peddling, food, clothing, housing sharing and distribution, and print screening. Close to Zuccotti Park were many touristy shops, one of which sold cheap I ❤ NYC tees, about $1 a piece if you bought bulk. I had the idea of printing on the famous tees and I loved the look. I threw out the stained tee just before leaving NYC this year not quite knowing the purpose for me keeping it any longer. I’ve been thinking about OWS and that time in my life where I pieced together my place and who I ought be. The journey of this version of myself began there, on my 25th birthday tattooing SOLIDARIDAD on my left rib-cage in red ink (which I am both allergic to and was told would look bad on my skin). I put it there, hide-able, to not be visible to all. This is my anti-colonial journey.
I forget to breathe
I forget to love loudly
I forget that I can interrupt generational trauma by healing
I forget to love myself
So many of you have taught me ways of healing
My Luz and my Lucia, Sam, Ayanna, Ruby, Angeli, Luis, Thomas, Marcos, Brian…
I forget to breathe
Joss told me it’s an air-sign quality
I was born under and Aquarius sun & moon
Someone told me Taurus rising, another told me Libra rising
Yall aint shocked – my movements are not hidden
I forget to breathe
This affects everything from physical wellness
to clarity of thought
At first glance or talk with me, you do not get all of me
My actions are not easily deciphered by everyone
I act out of need, not to show
I don’t interrupt you because I don’t like what you have to say
My brain is overloaded and you’ve just added to that load
I’m not upset with you
I interrupt when I can’t contain what’s in my head
It does not mean I love you less
On the contrary
I love that you’ve given me more to consider
I forget to breathe
I will still fight with you, not always visibly or out loud
Deleting you from social media is not an indication of my affinity for you
it is about safety
some of yall make me feel unsafe
Like my identities are cause for concern
Like my way of life deserves punishments or rewards
If you uphold the systems that oppress me and my people
I will love you from a distance only
I am constantly worried about my safety
YES, it is absolutely tied to all my unsafe experiences
I forget to breathe
this capitalist patriarchy taught me to hold my breath
to think without oxygen
to act without lifeforce
to follow its rules without understanding purpose or reason
I forget to breathe
but today I will remember to inhale life
and exhale the death of that detrimental way of being
Yesterday afternoon I had symptoms of allergies: sneezing, itching
No one else in my cohort felt like Max
I am something painful confusing beautiful right here
- I have never been around such silence among youth
- It was the first time I was paid as an “artivist” (1st taught art in 2011 and 1st sold my art 2019)
- One youth explained his experience at U.S. schools: it was annoying to use titles such as “ma’am” and “sir” – in their culture, that’s not a thing
- Another youth told us that a bible is centered on their flag; while I did not previously know that, I was not surprised by the fact
Afterwards, as my day went on, I shared the heart-warming news of being given such an opportunity with one of my FB communities:
BIPOC communities and (true) White alleys across NYC are invested in mutual aid and are helping feed and care for those most affected by this current crisis exacerbated by the capitalist pandemic. Many folxs are donating their fed stimulus money in order to hire more educators of Color for various subjects that students are usually deprived of (i.e. art). After some of my comrades learned about my struggles with finding work (and being put in limbo by my uni), I was hired as a teaching artist at one school just for this week and I am being paid, literally, 10 times what my assistantship pays me. Like, my paycheck for 4 days (40mins/day) is equivalent to the salary I get for 40 assistantship hours.
Isn’t it bizarre that a professional with a B.A. and MS.Ed. and 15+ years of teaching/work experience is being paid just barely $20/hr for “important” work and is currently homeless (no more paychecks after this month)? Isn’t it also odd that folxs being called “essential” workers do not make livable wages either?
To me, it is enlightening and beautiful that my community is concerned and invested in the actual well-being of others and that our actions extend beyond just theory. It felt strange at first, but now I understand, more than ever that
Another world IS possible If you believe this, FIGHT I will fight with, for, and by your side always In solidarity ❤ I will fight with, for, and by your side always If you believe this, FIGHT ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!!
Another world IS possible
If you believe this, FIGHT
I will fight with, for, and by your side always
In solidarity ❤
I will fight with, for, and by your side always
If you believe this, FIGHT
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE
One of my college students linked me to this: Afro Latina
“When you are Black you don’t get to choose if you’re gonna roll with Blackness. Blackness is inherent in you.”
Another student linked Olivares: “...it’s powerful when you begin to articulate yourself…. and speak it out loud…”
And this was linked by another thinker in my class: “Can you still be considered an immigrant if you are travelling to a place that was yours to begin with?”
On some days I ask myself all of those questions.
My internal dialogue repeats The Talk we were given daily.
We are not like them. They are dangerous. We must not cause a scene. They frighten easily and will not hesitate to shoot. The men are very angry. They only want one thing from women. They love their guns.
Survive. Survive. Survive.
Hablales de el papa, les encanta la religion…
Last week, I drove far to be alone. What a privilege! Tuesday the 5th of May 2020 a motorcycle driver revved the engine and got on one wheel as they drove by me through a red light (was red before he hit the pedestrian zebra). I didn’t pay it much mind but I made sure to grab my pocket knife as an extra precaution. During a 30 minute run two trucks full of (what appeared to be) light skin men (some on the bed) made holler sounds, one revved the engine..
Maybe they were lookin for a hoot n a holler…
The following day, my advisor and I talked about the event and I told her that I hate having to be constantly wondering about where I can run, what I’m wearing, to not look too Black, not too masculine but also not too feminine… there was now a second layer added to the usual fear being in the South: covidiots. I admitted that I felt foolish carrying a pocket knife knowing quite well that everyone likes guns here. My MMA skills are mostly bullshit – didn’t even save me from the loser alcoholic ex.
My insomnia has returned but was particularly unsettling last week. Then in the early morning of May 7th, I read about Ahmaud Arbery then Sean Reed then Nina Pop and I was just done with the world for a bit, infuriated, tristapena, sad sorrow…
I grew up within Black Indigenous cultures but was aggressively re-directed by, it felt like, all the adults in my life. When given the option of Black or White, choose White. Native is never an option. Sanford, Florida was poor Black and poor White on one side of 46A and filthy rich on the other side – Orlando magic players, boy bands and other famous people lived in Timacuan, Heathrow…
I never got the choice
in the 8th grade I began writing my autobiography titled
A N***er Like Me
because I didn’t know any mulatto mestizos. I got detention that year with my bff for refusing to pledge allegiance by a nasty man named Crooks. We laughed that the gross social studies teacher’s name was so appropriate, fitting. No matter what any loved one or stranger advised, I do not have European White phenotype and am always stripped of the choice to be othered
By high school I started to be proud-full of my rebellions and begana memoir simply titled:
Today it feels like racialization is an opportunity-rich choice
this disgusts me
Nos quitaron tanto que nos quitaron el miedo
Aqui estamos y no nos vamos!
The fragments of hip-hop culture that remain and sometimes emerge are pieced together with NYC rappers and the cultural artifacts that are not necessarily obvious (to them) connections:
After the beautiful “battle” ^ I got the urge to listen to \/ which I got on cd
I don’t ask myself why, I just try to figure out the associations
today’s The Talk was a bit more creative
Pick different spots because they keep track of patterns
some people have nothing better to do with their time
This is Jill Nelson, she was arrested recently in Manhattan for writing “Trump=Plague” in Chalk
I gave thanks to Little Richard, creator of Rock N Roll at some point
I blared my music a lot obnoxious today and told myself to have a good time, fuck fear
I synced my sister and I today in order to get sympathy pain – she got chocolate flavors due to my incessant chocolate eating today (I didn’t feel guilty since losing ~15lbs recently)… probably a protein deficiency…
This week we got a new family member. I saw how a lot of our children learn our language through food. Little A dice “Pitahaya” a su manera ❤
Coming up we will be celebrating one of my favorite little persons:
Tonight I am at peace here
For this I am truly grateful
Current mood: Thugz Mansion x 2pac
El abuelo Joso se fue hace 30 años. Era un hombre honrado y muy querido en su pueblo. Muchos lo conocían por las peleas de gallo – hasta la ultima vez que viajé a Manabí , me decían la nieta del Joso porque me paresco a el. Los mayores les gusta preguntarme sobre mi aficion a los gallos – se sorprenden que una estadounidense le puede facinar algo asi.
En los tiempos antiguos de Manabí todos los parientes y la comunidad se reunían en la casa del muerto y se solía hacer un Aguado de Gallina para mantener a los que acompañaban el nuerto hasta por lo menos 3 de la madrugada. Los días de luto no eran contados en esos tiempos.
Jaws was on the television somewhere in mi tio Ecuador’s home (we lived in his 1 bedroom basement at one point and the 2 bedroom 2nd floor at another). I now only remember the loud ringing of the rotary phone we had – the call that broke my mami. . The other memories I have of El Joso have been formed from my cousins and the elders’ memories. He was a migrant farmer and merchant; today we’d call him a hustler. Sometimes months would pass without his family seeing him.
During one sad period – a four year drought – El Joso struggled to make ends meet for his family. Another story I’ve heard time and again is of a snake murdering the horse of El Joso and his children seeing him cry for the first time in their lives. Mi primo Javier told me stories of our grandfather, he “el Joso had huge muscles bigger than my head,” the charlatan of my cousin had said.
It is fair to say that death, grief and mourning are difficult for most people. I’ve suffered tremendous losses that include friends and family killed purposefully by another, in accidents, due to disease and suicide. When I was 9, I learned about the deaths of a friend, Heather, who was shot with her 2 siblings by their severely oppressed and abused mother – I questioned religion starting then. Mi abuelo Manuel died of a fatal fall which was caused by a careless nurse who left him unattended after he suffered a stroke. Kurt Cobain was claimed to have shot himself by pulling the trigger of a shotgun in his mouth with one of his toes. I also learned that the song “Waterfalls” by my favorite group TLC was about heroin sometime in 1994. Liza and I spent hours memorizing Lisa Lopes’ rhymes – I sometimes forget about my elementary school adventures with rap battles.
Between summers of 1996 and 1997 we lived in Spain and I began to piece together death, racism, colonialism there on that strange land among those strange people customs and ideologies that were not our own. Relearning Spanish was such a pain. I refused to mispronounce my sister and our maternal surname in favor of the lisp
‘z’ and ‘c’. Why don’t they know what are aretes ? Why is “la regla” not a ruler but one’s period (which I got that year)? Why is goma eraser and not glue? We grew up pescatarian and pig legs just hung from buildings there – I used to hate the flavor of pig! We were teased for eating animal food (choclo) and yuca, peanut butter and other items were nowhere to be found. I remember my father visiting with suitcases of our food and mailing us platanos. I was called Marroquí as a slur and then Sudaka. My best friend Marcela (from D.R.) and I learned to skip school (school hours were 9am-12pm -> siesta -> 3pm-6pm). Mid year, the Spaniards became interested in my English because I could translate songs for them. The kids were so stereotypical – the males liked rock or punk and Spice Girls for the females. I hated the Spice Girls (still do) but I appreciated the feeling of fame I got, or perhaps power, from deciphering their vapid lyrics.
During that time, at 11 and 12 years, I began contemplating death through music. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton and Gone Away by The Offspring were some of the artists whose lyrics I turned to. That fall was when Tupac died and a few months later Biggie was killed too.
I think just after high school, I decided on my funeral song:
We still visualize places, that we can roll in peace
And in my mind’s eye I see this place, the players go in fast
I got a spot for us all, so we can ball, at thug’s mansion
Fast forward: I spent the summer of 2012 in Ecuador just before my big move to China. On a solo trip to las islas Galápagos between bodies of water I learned so much about myself, my culture, and my psyche. I also learned about safe lies. We are instructed to fit in with the culture of Ecuador and try to conceal our gringo ways as much as possible for safety. When traveling it is avised to say I’m from the coast to Inka runa and the gringo-wannabes in the city of Guayaquil because chances are they’ve never traveled to our tierras. During one meal on Isabela, a bar tender asked about my accent and I tried to trick him. I gave him my father’s tiny town (the most remote place I knew), Santa Ana. Serendipitously, he was from there as well – he’d hidden on the Island and eventually made it his home. I regret not spending more time with this gorgeous Manaba!! He taught me about the safety of the archipelago when I took my bag to the bathroom with me.
“Es que aqui no se puede cometer crimen porque no hay donde huir,” dijo el.
On one excursion on another part of the archipelago, I stumbled on what seemed to be an abandoned beach. A guy was sitting in the beach just sun bathing and he offered to let me borrow his kayak for a few bucks. I had my waterproof camera and was excited to capture sharks and other wildlife in the area. Everything was unimaginable – how does one describe heaven to people who only know earth?
Because of the incredible conditions of both Pacific and Atlantic waters meeting in the region, there is an abundance of food that makes animals act favorably, sometimes sympathetic even to humans. My own father and some of my other relatives have stories of swimming with sharks. Still, on this trip I was distrustful of both those shared memories and of the man on his own private, endless beach.
Ain’t no place I’d rather be
Sky high, iced out paradise, in the sky
Ain’t no place I’d rather be
Only place that’s right for me
Chromed out mansion in paradise, in the sky
After a few exchanges, this time I was interrogated about the purpose of stealing from me. Pero que tienes tu que no tengo yo? Then, I got in the bright orange kayak and ventured out to explore. The one must-do was swim over a pool of sleeping sharks. I cannot do justice to trying to illustrate what I encountered when I found them. I lean on some rocks to get my hands in the water to attempt to take pictures. I was terrified and thrilled (a fantastic combination of emotions). As I leaned over, the kayak flipped and I scraped my leg going under. There was no order of event. No real life at this moment. All logic riding in the wind. I kept thinking even if sharks are well-fed and or sleeping, even one drop of blood can make them hungry. Is that correct? Did someone teach me this at some point?
Facing shark faces is my GOD MOMENT.
It was amazing to see different species of sharks swimming in circles
It was also one of the most terrifying moments of my life
I wore -7 and -6.25 contact lenses at the time, and between fearing for my life, trying not to touch the sharks or let them sense me and get the fuck out of the water, I just have fragments of memory, which include trying to breathe again and trying to stop the blood from the cuts on my limbs from dropping into the water. In the moment, there was harmony. A serenity I’d never felt before.
That peace I simply refer to as “god” today.
I thanked my abueles Jose, Manuel, Asturia and Alina (who died April of 2012) that day for helping me stay alive and protecting me through my stupid moves.