19 December 2008

"all I want is my body"

I wrote this poem in the Tongues Afire creative writing workshop. I've been wanting to write this poem for a very long time but I didn't have the words, the courage, da wibe... but the workshop, our synergy, and incredibly powerful space helped me to write this. I also have been sitting in this fantastic course at NYU on Race, Gender, & Sexuality with Gayatri Gopinath - (I presented my research in her class and ended up sitting in for several more class sessions because it was so thought provoking and relavent to my work) - and the readings and conversations added other dimensions to what I had already been grappling with in my head about the body and gender and sexuality. So anyway, here it is:

all I want is my body

I carved in my body
memories of rape and coercion
control and no-other-choice sexual relations

spirits of Black women, Brown women, Yellow women,
women of color, sing to me of blood and torn tissue, and
split psyches, remember, what I had to do, was made to do

breeding (of slaves), denial (of rape), benefits (of war)
unfree being capital, non/being, object of desire and hate
crossing borders woven inside my body, then ripped and divided

I carved on my skin
(re)memories of present and past, out of rhythms and vibrations,
haunted, fibrous sketches of time, spread across earthmemory

Slavery, Internment, Reservations, and so many Wars and Occupations,

I see women of color, praying and organizing
I see women raising fists, voices, & pens against men, power, & state
I see women loving women, as radical, against these silences
(taking back my body)

18 December 2008

odds & ends

The end of a year & beginning of a new one bring much reflection. I have so much to be thankful for this year - graduating, the postdoc at NYU, and the time/space I've needed for my writing, research, & creativity these past four months in New York. And on top of all the intellectual activity at NYU that I've been a part of this fall semester, I've also been very fortunate to be in this amazing creative writing workshop with R. Erica Doyle for the past two months - called Tongues Afire at The Audre Lorde Project in Brooklyn.

I have learned so much... and I feel I have truly improved my creative writing, process, & craft in many ways. We ended the workshop with two readings, which were very inspring, beautiful, and powerful. I feel so grateful to have shared work and space with my brilliant fellow writers in Tongues Afire... I wrote several new poems, revised quite a few others, and started a new project, a collage / graphic novella thingy. I submitted a number of poems for review and possible publication. And I've been writing on my blog somewhat regularly, and one of my goals for the new year is to write weekly on my blog... at the very least biweekly. We'll see how that goes :) I will be teaching and so my schedule will be more hectic... but it will be hella cold in NY so I may become a shut-in outside of teaching and work :-)

I'm home now for the xmas holiday... enjoying time in the warmth, great food, and my crew of family-friends... re-connecting and catchin up wit' all my peoples... remembering all the things I love and being reminded of all the things that are difficult and painful... nevertheless, really happy to be home.

more musings to come & will be sharing some of my new poems very soon on this space of conscious vibration.

p.s. Two of my poems have appeared in the Journal of Caribbean Literatures (Volume 5 Number 3). This is the summer issue, but I recently received my hard copy of the journal about a month ago - so exciting to see my poetry in print! It is so very inspiring and also a much needed incentive to keep getting my poetry out there.