what i mean

“The moment the insider steps out from the inside, she is no longer a mere insider (and vice versa). She necessarily looks in from the outside while also looking out from the inside. Like the outsider, she steps back and records what never occurs to her the insider as being worth or in need of recording. But unlike the outsider, she also resorts to non-explicative, non-totalizing strategies that suspend meaning and resist closure. (This is often viewed by the outsiders as strategies of partial concealment and disclosure aimed at preserving secrets that should only be imparted to initiates.) She refuses to reduce herself to an Other, and her reflections to a mere outsider’s objective reasoning or insider’s subjective feeling. She knows, probably like Zora Neale Hurston the insider anthropologist knew, that she is not an outsider like the foreign outsider. She knows she is different while at the same time being Him. Not quite the Same, not quite the Other, she stands in that undetermined threshold place where she constantly drifts in and out. Undercutting the inside/outside opposition, her intervention is necessarily that of both a deceptive insider and a deceptive outsider. She is this Inappropriate Other/Same who moves about with always at least two/four gestures: that of affirming “I am like you” while persisting in her difference; and that of reminding “I am different” while unsettling every definition of otherness arrived at.”  –trinh t. minh-ha, “when the moon waxes red”

Aside

(Hagar)

no judgment came upon them
when they didn’t have mercy
your womb a holding cell

go to sleep, little one

sleep for a while
your mother isn’t here
she went to the market to buy bread

they have no time
no space for your call
no room for your life,
even

edges meet edges meet
knives you should’ve never
summoned

no judgment came upon them
when they marched over your back
humming scripted lies
my chains a mere
footnote
to your text.

i’m not asking you to rescue my history
unfathomable,
the words

your holy is my inhumanity
still

you ask me to bear your generations
when you’ve never cared about my
name
you asked me to bear your
country
then you changed
my name

you changed my name
but in the end I’ll name
your God –

I will name our God
“the one who sees.”

Aside

we are born like this,
into this

kids walking shells
holding rage
anticipating nothing

embracing suffering
to make sense of living
this is hopeful
is that naive?

stuttering over
syllables and nonsense
phrases — who is saying

anything
and where
can we all listen together.

we are born like this,
into this

trembling at contact
shifty eyed at connection
isolated in darkness
our mind
our worst enemy

afraid to make a phone call
or reach beyond the glass

we are born like this,
into this

ashamed of the way he walks
holds his arms by 10
because that’s not what men
do

descending into chaos
or inherited ghosts
we sit here in silence
who will
say the first
word?

“maybe i’m home”

i traced the sky in
tree branches
obsessed with tree
branches reaching to the blue,
blue sky.

i ran along the
dirt path, not
knowing where i was headed
only knowing I was covered
surrounded
surrendered
and grounded
in a past, future
and creation i could hardly fathom.

here i am! chasing nothing i’m claiming
to see, only knowing i am held
and i’m free.

you carried me in darkness
whispered instructions
lit my way
i only waited and
listened.
clutched a blanket
for warmth,
a reminder that
I’m human and still
scared.

you lit the skyline
in orange and blue this morning,
the city is more beautiful when you hold it.

i could even follow the thin outline of a distant
building
its fire escape
dawn.
each step felt full.
even on dusty carpet
even in this cumbersome
body

you set my table
stirred me in sleep
you led me this far
“maybe i’m home”

monster

tame
blind
monster
imprison
blind
monster
the one
who feels
heavy knots
stop the
pillage
death
what to
do
with
these
monsters
screaming
help
to dry
walls
no pores
no answers
decide
right
decide
wrong
watch the
compass
with blank
eyes
watch
the compass
break
and ignore
the breaking
compass.
you don’t know what else to do
but
follow
it
if it’s not

hope
not everyone
can
swallow
that
i can’t
swallow
this is not
helping
i’m not
at the place
of poetry.

 

maintenance

maintenance–
lets sit with this word
.
boring. love you
cook slowly,
smaller loads of
laundry.

deepen–
simple
balance,
care.

love this here and now — this is rich.

what to do
with this sexuality.
powerless to stop being
power hungry.

seducer.

what does integrity look like?

you could avoid marks altogether
do this, don’t do that.

2011, it was abusive at times.

[jorge reminds me to look at the incredible things too]