Last year, the doctors deemed her a dead end, but tatiana de la tierra, who believed in the power of metaphors, created an alternative reality for herself. The cancer cells blooming wildly inside her were not evidence of imminent death; they were proof of a metamorphosis.
The best wedding I ever attended was in Guadalajara, where the Chicana bride and Mexican groom arrived at a quaint colonial-styled church on a horse-drawn carriage, like in those classic, black-&-white Mexican films.
I have a fond memory of my father. In the 11th grade, as part of a school fundraiser, I had to sell glazed donuts. I took home 4 dozen with nothing but good intentions, but since donuts are a weakness of mine, I ate one and then another. Originally, this was not a big concern.
Don’t ever lend me a book. Aside from being notorious for not returning things, I have a habit of stuffing what I’m reading into my purse and carrying it around wherever I go. Pages get dog-eared. Words circled. Passages marked. Covers trashed.
It’s Sunday, crack of dawn, and I have a crisis. I can’t post the blog I wrote the night before. My finicky Internet at home isn’t working again. I pack my writing gear and venture out in search of free Wi-Fi.
“It’s interesting, don’t you think, how politicians don’t even mention the working class anymore,” said Elba, a friend and fellow poet. “We don’t even exist. Everything is either about the wealthy or the middle class.”
The first time I ever saw Manuel Acevedo’s work was last year at ChimMaya Gallery in East Los Angeles. Evocative and beautiful, Acevedo's large portrait of a naked man holding a bouquet of roses stood out and pulled me in like a magnet. I was drawn to the emotions the piece evoked and the combination of colors, rich blue and red, popping out against what I originally thought was black and white charcoal.
Banda music in the seven regions of Oaxaca rules. Whether at weddings, funerals, baptisms, first communions, quinceañeras, or annual Guelaguetzas, banda music is the beating heart of every town and every town festivity. It’s music that’s super-winded and oh, so alegre. Te jala de la mano. Te sacude lo gringo. Te cura de celulares y computadores. Sones y jarabes.
Amo a mis libros. The ones I’ve been lugging around since my college years. The Ethnic Studies ones that saved me. Frantz Fanon who helped decolonized my mind. The memoir of a Woman Warrior slaying ghosts. James Baldwin who took me to Another Country. I love Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Langston Hughes’ insurgent verses, "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up…?"
Cardboard boxes, those that transport Cambodian candy, office supplies and Florida oranges, now have a higher purpose: poetry. Thanks to la necesidad, the mother of all inventions, poets and writers till the earth, pick through piles of trash, and stretch the imagination