Category Archives: Performance piece

The Blood Of Womyn

I performed at an event last week to help raise awareness towards human trafficking and although it is often thought of as something that only happens in other countries, it is a huge issue amongst us here in America.  Sacramento in particular is one of the cities in America where it is a huge problem, and so this evening was an important way to raise awareness and to connect the artistry of the voices that speak against this injustice to connect with organizations that are already doing work for those that are getting caught up in these trafficking rings.

Anytime that I am asked to do a piece at these events I am torn between that fact that it is obviously not so much a showcase of our talents, as in other venues such as slam, but more so about using our art as a tool towards achieving an ends.  In this case, raising awareness towards an issue that needs the light to be shined upon.  And these are the kinds of events that keep me honest about what I am doing and why I do it.  I started out writing poetry with a lot of force behind the social justice aspect of it, and how poetry was often a powerful medium to speak out against the problems we see in our communities and how we can inspire others towards change.

This piece that I wrote in 2010 speaks so powerfully to the issues that we face as a society in this day and age.  Human Trafficking is a manifestation ,much like any injustices towards women and children (the list is too big to even begin) of the systems of patriarchy that are in place and the power of men becoming an oppressive and destructive force in this world.  And not because patriarchy is evil in itself, but more in the fact that the balance of masculine and feminine energy has become unbalanced and that in many cases, anything unbalanced is doomed to destruction if it cannot find  a way to right itself.

This piece is my attempt at speaking from the  side of men, and recognizing the imbalance that has been created from the structures of patriarchy running wild.  It is my hope, that the men of our society begin to realize the power that womyn have and the ways in which they are able to offer so much in the way of gift towards healing our society, but how can that happen when they are continuously  viewed as inferior to men? This is an invitation to revision of a world view that is so pervasive and intertwined in our dialogue that it often goes unnoticed.  This cannot happen any longer.  There need to be voices that begin to speak out against this imbalance in order for us to get right again.

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Untitled

 

I can see my moment of reckoning fast approaching on the horizon
Night delivers darkness sooner than I can remember
Each day my steps slow going on the highways blend frazzled fractured memories
into recurring nightdreams and daymares of my vision
I feel weary from the burdens I have carried for far too long
Still learning how to wrestle with the monsters
Hidden under shadows of the darkest night of my eclipsed moon
Still trying to dance with the demons of my fear keeping my feet to the ground
THOUGH I know I have the strength to move mountains with the stomping of my feet
Still, Shaking the dust off my eggplant colored heart,
Some people say purple signifies bruising
Others forget our blood is both the color of water and fire in collusion with the air
maybe this is who I am? (play)
A solitary traveler saddled with baggage too heavy for me to carry
My eye fixed on the horizon in the near distance
I know something awaits ready to show me the way
Make no mistake, when that day comes,
I’ll be leaving those bags on the side of the road
And I will never look back

I’ve come to understand that the journey of my life
Resembles a path upon which I set out to discover
the reasons I exist in this world in the way that I do.
A Tender yet strong body,
A protected and vulnerable heart
Lungs mimicking the movement of my prayer
The Inhale and the exhale of breath summoning
Divinity in the subtle movement of hands
Letting go and Holding on
In the closing of fists and the opening of palms
I can feel my way to freedom like it was printed on my heart through psalms
But sometimes raising my fists means surrender
Sometimes opening hands means to resist
Deep in my chest I carry remnants of the bridges I have burned
Just trying to understand the difference
Still, This is the only way I know to how to walk
To Proceed with cautious abandon,
To throw reckless to the wind
Let everything else fall idle to the wayside
How can I be lost going somewhere I’m sure I’ve never been

The rebirth of a phoenix rising from the ashes,
Is a redemption story unlike many others
With fire blazing from its wings
In an attempt to return to all that it once loved
Turned everything to ashes in the wake of its flames
Even repaired bridges stand no chance at its fury
The Glorious Phoenix consumed in its own passion often rises never to be seen again
But the trees, The trees those burned bridges were once made of
Speak of a rebirth through the shedding of their leaves much like the color of fire
Blazing red, Bright tip flamed Yellow
Leaves glowing orange they mirror a reflection of the suns halo
Why would the wisest ones of all
Season after season ignite their beauty into ashes
Exposing barren branches left naked for the winter?
They’ve got secrets we are supposed to uncover
They tell me, Remember that spring is always around the corner
Trust deeply in the cycles of life you walk
Let the rhythm of your steps stomp into the ground a reminder that your rebirth is told
not only in the purging flames of a fiery phoenix flying into the sunset
but also in the Trees of autumn sacrificing their leaves to feed the soil in which you root yourself down.
So when the reckoning returns, maybe this time I will learn to blaze these wings fiercely without burning everything I love to the ground.

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Connecting the dots.

Hello family! What a unique opportunity we have been given as humans in this life to share in each others creativity, to celebrate with one another in our triumphs of our emotional journeys  and in our struggles with the pain of life and loss but to stand with each other on the other side able to speak about what those moments meant to us and how they taught us to be strong and overcome our fears.  I have been blessed to meet along my journey as a writer so many people that have been inspirations to me by sharing their hearts on stages across the land searching for ways to awaken the spirits of the people to continue on, to move forward with relentless possibilities awaiting us.  So many brave new voices and bold writers speaking truth into this world.

As a poet and as a community builder and organizer I have been grateful to experience life from the perspective of a performer and poet and also from the perspective of learner and student listening to the voices that are bravely inspiring and challenging us every day.

I want to give tribute to these voices and bring awareness in the small little corner of community and space I inhabit.  I am going to post some of my favorite performances and poems from other poets in a series of posts in the next few weeks, some friends, some poets i do not know but nonetheless have become an inspiration to me in some way.  So be on the lookout as I begin posting in the next few weeks!

27/30

Hands shall heal
and create.
You, with your wand
of a brush
with each stroke
you honor
the legacy left by
your mother
and how every sunset
was a palette of
her choosing.

You with your lenses
shooting moments
into stars that come
flying back into
souls breathing life
for one another.
Raising lifetimes
from the dead.

You with fire
from your hands
in the youth of your days
growing beyond words|
that speak to you still
in ways you still have yet to
discover.

You, with healing hands
rising kundalini
from the tips of your fingers
shaking the ground
rooting pain back into the earth.

You, casting spells
in the simplest of movements
brushing trees
tying shoes
shifting gaze
under moonlit night
writing our names
together in the stars.

And we,
magic and all
create with nothing more
than the impulse of survival
finding along the way
that hands can heal
and our beauty can shine
illuminating the darkness.

26/30

For my Niece Reagan Grace Martinez:

The doctors might try to tell you
someday that you can’t do this
or can’t be that.
Perhaps they believe
that your limits are already found
in the tender body you carry
so gracefully.
You are your namesake
and you wear it so proudly.
So presumptuous, doctors
say you will only learn to the capacity of a
3rd grader if you are lucky.
And you are lucky.
Cause I remember how much
I loved the third grade.
And how being all “grown up”
totally cramped my style.
If you are always a kid,
then you are fortunate to never have to see the
world through the lenses
which they force us to look through;
plain without imagination.
And trust me, it isn’t such a pleasant sight
to behold.
You will still see the wonders
of what it means to be alive.
Still know what it means
to breathe the air that gives us life.
Still hold the moments of being loved
deep in your chest.
And when you cry
You will remind us all
what it sounds like to be so innocent.
Cause I remember that being a child
meant the whole world
was still in front of me.
That endless possibilities
were never cut short
by doctors who can’t ever
know what you are capable of doing.
Cause I know
that you can do anything.
And I will always tell you this.
Till you take your first steps to your daddy
and you smile your big smile
I will stand strong to believe that
You are everything you need to be
in that blessed body you carry.

You can do anything Rea Rea.
And I hear you speak this back to me
in the depths of your eyes
the way they shift back and forth
looking past our fears
to see us as we already are.
Your vision is your gift.
The lenses from which you see the world
will be the new focus we need to understand
that You, already know all this.
I never needed to tell you.
You are just trying to get us to believe it too.