Friday, April 23

It must have just rained

This week the kind folks at Baggu found my post and not only did they offer to send me a new bag, but they asked to post my picture on their website. Thank you Baggu!

Last week, the writers workshop was really exciting because our teacher was Lorna Dee Cervantes. I have been waiting to take a class with her since I found out she was related to the Precita Eyes family. I hung out with her at one of their events and kept bugging Susan about when she was going to teach a class. We even watched Carnaval, and caught mardi gras beads last year from her writing room, but she wasn't there. With my work I don't get that starstruck with authors since we get to write to them and meet them often, but lately I've been giddy around some of my favorite writers. She had us cut out anything we wanted from magazines, trace our bodies, and make a collage on our body outlines. Then we sat in front of our collages and wrote.
She asked us to work on our pieces and turn them into the group this week before class. I emailed mine in last night and received a prompt response from her, "This is so utterly beautiful and true I am streaming tears." As you can imagine, this is one of my proudest and most revealing moments as a writer. I need to trust myself more and share more. I just can't believe she loved it so much. So I've come to share here too, because that was the whole point of me starting this blog in the first place, to share my writing with the online world, to whoever is reading.

What the body shows

At the bottom, the base, the trunk
At the place that sticks to the ground,

are women.
Women in their hose and comfy shoes
still cute in a two piece suit,
long beaded necklaces.
It doesn’t matter how wrinkly your hands are, when you gossip
you gotta look good.
A woman with her hair done, 40s style, a hand on her hip
a red smile against orange brick.
Are we only strong on the bottom?

Another on the edge of the bed,
boobs hanging, far apart
seen through a button up blouse that she sewed for a party that night.
Two of them, same height, same dark almost black eyes, holding hands in a driveway
white folded socks inside oxfords.

And that’s how you walk around, with other women
carrying each step
landing every jump
cushioning hard clumsy or aged falls.
In your calves, rooting down to the earth
they are the closest to their mother.

Cilantro permeates on stems and grows bushy
like red roses
like a jacaranda,
everything has something to give.
And that’s how it is in the center, the inner circulo
the place that holds you up
and out
are live growing plants
fresh food
food for lunch
flowers for the bathroom
And a chalkboard with a menu on it.
Your body knows exactly what it wants
and it’s just waiting for you
to read the special of the day
Or maybe you contracted someone
to design your chalkboard sign like
the colorful ones high up at cafes where there is no
paper menu.
Or maybe you bought chalkboard paint and
made one of your kitchen walls
a place to write and draw your grocery lists and menus.
You must have had a lot of money that year because you put in
old Spanish tile too. Que fancy
Like an outdoor café
Your plants don’t grow in a garden,
they’re in some airy house
full of sun, pink rays streaming in through
faded floral curtains, an old dress
hung up just to hold the breeze
to see the late afternoon air dance up
and down and hold the birds that sit together
on the branch
right outside the window
the branch the mouse runs down to get in.
This is the view that holds your gold heart
with it’s gold copilli
big, big crescent.
A cradle for this window, that
pumps those pink rays through the whole body.

At the top, the start
the highest reaching point
The place that gets the most sun
hang gold adorned picture frames
with color and cactus,
not the kind from the desert that you’ve never even seen,
but a gift for an illness you endured
and it made it through,
you made it through.
Emerging, more pink lines, green
splashed around
and one gold studded cactus
plump, fat, full of water

It must have just rained.


cinta / sepi / sayu said...

what a colourful idea! Xx

mari said...

It's funny you say that because I did end up using a lot of color in the collage, and so does the poem. Try it out : )


Silvia said...

I love your poem, too.
I made one of these body collages my first year in Baltimore, and I was so sad when I lost it. I think Tom secretly stole it and it's lying crumpled in a ball in the back of his closet or something!