Starfish

On Fridays,

I volunteer to bring food from companies around New York City—

consequently, close to wherever I am to begin with—

and bring it to nearby shelters.

It’s a lot easier than feeling like a shit

as a homeless man walks by on the subway

but what am I, are we, to do?

It’s somehow, in the mess of human history, a collective fault.

One of your great grandmothers or great uncles twice removed

allowed this to happen, god damn it (I wish it was that simple)!

He walks pigeon toed like my brother,

who was bought $3,000 orthotics and attended therapy for years.

He walked past 10, 50, 100 people who look more or less like me

and I don’t care if you’re a Puerto Rican-Italian mix with Brooklyn roots:

You have some money.

You took a shower this week.

You have some way in your pocket or in your chest

to communicate

and be heard…

We are all starfish.

How many do we save?

 

If you want to volunteer to help rescue food from companies and restaurants around New York City, check out https://www.rescuingleftovercuisine.org/. It’s a simple way to make a difference, and you can choose rescues that best fit your schedule. xo

 

March 15, 2019

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Too Much

So –

do you think this neighborhood is too

gay

for you,

maybe too

poor 

for you

and oh, that means too

dangerous 

for you?

Are you just so

uncomfortable

when you see people

who are

not

like

you

because you’re not gay –

gosh, no;

and you’re not poor,

not gonna steal some stuff

off some other soul’s back

because you were left behind

to feed a mother and two kids-

no way.

 

You are just a person,

after all–

you shouldn’t

have to deal

with these feelings,

these

difficult

thoughts.

No —

you can just leave them outside,

let them blow away

in the blizzard,

land on someone else’s

snowy, white

front step.

 

 

January 3, 2018

Stories

Waves of story –

that is an emotional life…

trauma informed you have to mentally be still,

learn to see the busyness in your body, in your mind, practice

often, even though it isn’t fair you were born into a god damned

patriarchal, capitalistic, racist, classist, sexist, homophobic society

that favors my white Latina skin, that denies my queerness,
that pokes fun at my gender
every   single    day.

And stories- stories are life’s meaning that, in their fullest,
most fleshed out form, make us human.

I want this to be an ode to SBU; to HC;

an ode to Bruce,

my body, my breath;

an ode to my throat; an ode to my face;

an ode to my familia, my Kenny, my mother; an ode to my father,
brother, sister, to friends long lost;

an ode to America, to nationalism and Puerto Rico’s remains;

an ode to my pen;

an ode to emotional bodies laying dormant, untouched,

by a warmed soul lingering underneath,

pure animal energy

born in the womb of the Earth, returning to the universe

once I dare to turn each story around…

December 6, 2017

11:11

At 11:11

I will make a wish

that one day

my 11:11 wish won’t have to count,

won’t be some far off, preposterous thing,

that being a person,

first and foremost,

is about existing on Earth

and not in someone else’s wallet.

 

At 11:11,

I will make a wish

that all of my future wishes

come true.

Birthday cakes, eyelashes,

four leaf clovers–

send them all my way

and soon veganism will be widespread,

time machines will be real

and life will come with an automatic “pause” button.

 

I don’t want to leave

this time, this place

just yet.

 

The dollars we learned

to put above ourselves

back in 2017, 1999, 1776– they are far away.

 

Nothing to despair over.

 

It’s just 11:11:

four parallel lines

chasing after each other,

and never meeting.

 

August 27, 2017

“Nature”

“In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it) become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.” –Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed has been an influential text in my own life and the work that I do as an educator.  But there is another, arguably more crucial way to interpret this term, “oppressor.”

We oppress the Earth through the way we live.  Every single day.  Killing this Earth and the life that lives on it.

Balance is the way.  We cannot take and not give back.

There is no refusing this fact.

We must put our energy into changing the way we live as individuals, communities, as a society as a whole.  For there is no “nature”– the term simply separates us from a whole we could never truly separate ourselves from.  There is simply this Earth and the beings that live on it, all depending on balance and diversity to survive.   No matter what we believe, we must KNOW this to be true.  And we must start practicing it.

Perhaps we are not inherently flawed as human beings; we are simply living a destructive lifestyle.

Sadly, tragically, however you feel about it, the Earth will not turn around and “save us.” It will balance itself as it sees fit.  Thus we, humans, the majority of us living in some form of modern society that takes more than it gives, must turn the quote around.  The oppressor must admit to their oppression and not only restore our humanity but redefine it.  Being human should not be about power.

Perhaps it should be about life.

It is much simpler to imagine ways for an individual to change their lifestyles than ways that an entire society can change.  If you or anyone you know has ideas, please share.

January 3, 2017