Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Valley

Working on a piece about the valley. Here's my brainstorm so far.

Standing here along the river -
I want to jump
Without thinking into the green
muddy water.
My white feet, clean and smooth,
stand firmly at the bank.

This border does not belong to me.
This border belongs to the
ones who live in fear
of being plucked
(roots and all)
to not survive
on the other side.

This border belongs to the hands
that reach into her dusty earth -
the bent backs and the browning necks
burnt and sweaty.

This border belongs to the feet
rough and dusty, the people
with labored sighs.

This border belongs to those
who aren't afraid
of her muddy green waters,
the spines of a nopal,
the burn of the comal.

This border belongs to those
with roots like mesquites, bending
in the wind on either side
of the Rio Grande - roots
that dig deep into the soil
roots that come back
even when plucked
and tossed aside.

No, this valley does not belong to me
Here - standing and afraid
to baptize myself in her muddy waters.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I'm trying to gather together enough poems about living here to make a chapbook. I'm short a few. I've been thinking, how can I write more poems of place for the valley? What have I witnessed here, in this land, that makes my experience unique?

I was reading a poem by Robert Pinsky, "The Shirt". Amazing image...

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.
One hundred and forty-six died in the flames
On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes-

-The witness in a building across the street
Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step
Up to the windowsill, then held her out
Away from the masonry wall and let her drop.
And then another. As if he were helping them up
To enter a streetcar, and not eternity.

That's so powerful. What can I write about here, the valley, that's equally powerful?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dearest Pessmist Inside Me,

You're just my mom's voice.

I know why you say all of this, and it's because you don't want me to succeed. A lot of people who have read my work have enjoyed it. These people have praised my work when you have refused to. I'm a very talented writer and I know this because my language makes me blush. I can feel the blood rushing just below the surface of my skin when I read my work. It's lighthearted (Sometimes). It's fun to read. It makes me smile.

My writing is about emotion - feeling - having an intimate relationship with the shapes of words. My poetry can make you hard, or it can make you close your eyes for a moment and imagine, 'what if'?

My writing is about being connection, about learning to love - be it the body, a man, food, the page. My writing frees me to be a whore for my readers, pleaseing them in I never otherwise could.

Pessimist - I write to be free. I write to feel. I write to connect. Most of all - I write to love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Katie,

You will never be a writer. Do you remember all of those times when other people praised your work? The time when Mr. Winnard told you that you had a gift, a talent? Or the time when, in a workshop, Carol said that your poem belonged in an anthlogy, because it read like the ones she's seen there before? Remember when your classmates voted you to represent them and read your poetry at the donor's dinner? Remember when your poems were accepted into Gallery, voted the best, and given an honorable mention? Remember when Dr. Belau was upset because you weren't pursuing the M.A (you were going for the MFA instead), but she said that at least you'd be able to write brilliantly? Remember the smiles on the peoples' faces when you read in public, and how - once at a workshop - the gay priest just HAD to read the sexy teacher poem outloud to the class?

Do you remember all of this, Katie? All of these people were just being nice to you. They felt sorry for you because, in reality, your poetry sucks. It's unimaginative - unoriginal. How many people before you have written about vaginas? It's called the Vagina Monologues and it's been done before.

Your language is only sometimes fresh, but you hold onto an image too long until it's boring and eventually dead. You have no right to write about your subjects because you've lived a cushioned life, you have no great experiences and you're only a moderately intelligent white bitch who hides behind her desk all day, whose thighs slowly expand in her office chair, who knows nothing about really living outside her little bubble of love, whose feet and hands are as smooth as pearls because she's never had to really use them. You can't write because you don't know anything. You haven't read enough of the greats, you don't read enough poetry, you don't know the right people, you're too damn shy, you play too much Spore, and above all, you simply don't write or publish enough.


The pessimist inside of you.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today I finally submitted my work to Touchstone.

Its something I've been putting off needlessly for far too long. I've always said I was going to do it, and today, finally, I was out of excuses, out of other things to do. I just did it. It's done.

I submitted:

1. The Martyrs
2. Poetic Release
3. The Common Denominator
4. Traveling West
5. Town of Mistakes.

Now for Breakwater Review...

I'm running out of material to submit, but with so many looming deadlines...

I need to write more. It's difficult to find inspiration sometimes. I'll keep searching.

But for today, I've accomplished my goal :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"We're in Uniform!"

A Co-worker walked by my office this afternoon. She peered in through the doorway, and stared at me for a tiny moment. Then, she smiled and her big eyes lit up. "We're in uniform!" she exclaimed in her high, innocent voice. Huh? I shot her a confused glare. She was gesturing towards her clothing.

I look down at my own. It was true. We were in uniform, both of us dressed alike, as if we were sisters.

But we couldn't be more different.

That got me thinking, and here is my writing exercise for today:

"We're in uniform!"
All of us - our bodies bathed
in different shades of violets, blushing
fucias and baby blues. We
all of us paint
our eyes and brush our lashes,
hide behind our perfumes.

We're in uniform,
all of us, we click
our heels, sway our hips
and wear, delicately -
our worries upon our shoulders
like lavish furs. Hiding
deep within our creases
of our painted faces,
we're all in uniform, together hiding
from each other.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Adding another publication to the CV.

Two of my poems were accepted into Reflections! They were Santa Rosa of Lima and The Double Murder.

This is definately a good day for the writer in me. This will definately motivate me to submit to Touchstone before the 15th.

I've been writing a little bit lately. Here are some of my more memorable images.

These are in no particular order whatsoever.

Your clothing censors your body.
Your eyes censor me from your soul, that part of you body I would never dare to touch.
You clothing censors your body- I'm left afraid of the mystery of what's underneath.

I write with my tongue - salivating in anticipation around each carefully crafted word and feel their movement inside of me. I'm ripe with poetry that's afraid to leave the womb. But one day, I know I'll explode a mess of guts and words here at my desk will be all that remains.

I'm a dirty dirty wife who prefers the chaos of my kitchen to the binding sparkling ring of its tidiness. Oh but it's dirty, Oh by I'm free to love and love and love.

Our desires hide behind the veils of our eyes and my intentions lie somewhere beneath our words - deep inside our intonations. Fear censors me, covers my mouth when my emotion wells up like green slimy phlem from my troat and one day it will shoot out - an orgasm of emotion and you still won't understand how deeply I need you.

My body hides behind these layers of clothing in fear that you just might please her - she doesn't want you to see her raw and naked
emotion or here my soft sighs of pleasure.
So my desires hide behind the veils of my eyes.

I was thinking about your soul - that part of your body I'll never dare to touch -
its just too deep inside of you, and I'm afraid to be swallowed by your rolling piles of emotion or to drown in your forever welling desires. There's never enough of me or you or me.

I have to chisel, and think, and mediate until all of this crap becomes a poem. Hmmm...

but for now, I'm celebrating my success.