La Gringa

13 Apr

Mirame a los ojos y dime de donde vengo
quienes son mis padres y cual es mi nombre

Lupita Maria, me dices, bella como tu madre
pero disculpame, como diablo se pronuncia

el apellido de tu padre? y cuando
abres la boca nadie te entiende

People look at me and ask
where do you come from?

and I know there will never be
a simple answer to that question

my face does not match
my name does not match

my voice does not match
it’s a trifecta of confusion

you must be Native American
I say I am of the tribe of New Jersey

But you don’t have an accent,
what exit? they smirk

105 and 109, I reply
with authority and pride

So where did Lupe come from?
It’s my mother’s name

Is she Mexican?
No, she is Ecuadorean

Oh, that explains it
the Incan connection

your English is so good
I’ve been speaking it since birth

but their eyes have glazed over
and they will never really know

who I am, and most importantly
where I come from




12 Apr

En tus ojos nacen cielos
nos miras desde arriba

con tu dedo largo
dibujas sobre la tierra

trazas lineas vagas, garabatos
dando forma a tus ideas,

el desierto tu papel periodico
esta tierra tu cuaderno borrador

Y si al final estas satisfecho
solo basta una palabra: Nazca!


Líneas de Nazca, Nazca, Perú, 2015-07-29, DD 52

In your eyes skies are born
you watch us from above

with your long finger
you doodle on the earth

tracing haphazard lines, scribbles
giving form to your ideas

the desert is your newsprint
this land your sketch book

and if at last you are satisfied
only one word is necessary: Be born!


12 Apr


is an acquired taste, 16;
is the difference between dreaming and doing, 16;
means the same in French, 18;
not to be confused with aspiration, 18;
served her well, 26;
she had been accused of having too much, 21;
the perfume she wore, 19;
was her brand of courage; 28;
was her middle name, 35;
you can still see it in her eyes, 44.



a : intrepid boldness (Merriam-Webster)

Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo for Day 12 is to write an index poem. I invented mine, and included page numbers that actually reference certain points in my life, to add a little biographical flavor to it. My index is in alphabetical order.

Sevenling: Dances with words

10 Apr

I love the way you rub
parts of words together, the friction
of a tango, a waltz, a samba

It’s not so much
about the vowels, or the consonants,
but the implications in between

You spin me right round, baby, right round.


A Sevenling poem for Dverse. Just something new.



7 Apr

At twelve
my teacher said
“Your story has promise.”
I never forgot, her words fueled
my dream.


A cinquain that I wrote yesterday at a workshop with Yvette Hyater-Adams in Jacksonville, FL during the Jax Poetry Fest. This form is really interesting in that it uses 5 lines, with each line having a different syllable count. Generally, the form, which was devised by Adelaide Crapsey, encompasses a story arc, where the first line talks about beginnings, the second line is about pursuit of aspiration, the third line has a twist or a conflict, the fourth a resolution, and the fifth provides insight.


16 Mar

Thoughts of you are
warm sun rays through
wintry windows

I touch the glass
and my fingers flinch
at the cold pane.


14 Mar

The moon is a shy
smile, breaking into a blush
of velvet wanting


Summer Time

22 Feb

Screen door slam
lemonade fan
night reaching forever
into lush trees
everything echoes
lightning bug time
cricket star chime
warm evening
slow, honey
suckled breeze

Piedra y Palo

31 Jan

No todos los latinos son mexicanos
y no todos los mexicanos escriben
sobre la migra y sueñan con el norte

No todos los poemas son sobre la dura vida
mi hermana vendiendose para comer pan
en manos de chulos que no se la dan

No todos los poetas son chicanos
ni tampoco son todos ellos pandilleros
de rodillas los domingos en el prisión

Si es asi, quienes mismos son la gente culta?
Viven en urbanizaciones a puertas cerradas
Cual es tu apellido? No lo reconozco.

Siempre busco los niños pobres en el barrio
para unos momentos sentir su sencilla felicidad
Pelotas de piedra y muñecas de palo.

Curiosos sobre todo pero sin comprender
que sin zapatos y ropa limpia nunca
van a superar. La vida es dura.

Hay demasiados niños. Sus risas innocentes
me duelen hasta el alma. Entiendo
el lenguaje de su dulce niñez

Pero no todos los latinos hablan castellano.
¿Son latinos entonces? o que?
Gente ajena con quien no identifico.

Ayyyy, Lupita, no se preocupe
la navidad lo tapa todo de luz y de blanco
la virgen siempre nos protegerá.

Pero vaya pidele al cura
dame un poco de su pan esta noche.
Mija, lo siento, no hay mas.

A mud hut.

A mud hut.

Process, Discipline, and Sharing

25 Jan

January has me writing new things, with new projects in mind, and a new approach to writing, which hopefully will bear fruit soon. I had to take a step back again and reassess my process. Let me explain a bit what I mean …

I have put together two manuscripts and submitted them to various places, with hopes that my poems will resonate enough to motivate an editor to want to publish my work. It is crazy hard getting this done. I just have to trust what I have put together and trust where I am sending it off to. Take deep breaths, and keep moving forward while I wait.

In the meantime I MUST WRITE. It’s the only thing I can do. But unfortunately, I’ve learned from other poets and some editors that I have spoken to that I can’t post poems on my blog anymore. Nope, not if I want them to be considered for publication in a magazine. Which quite frankly sucks, since a huge part of my process has been this wonderful blog, which I love and has loved me back.

So, I can’t post new poems on here. Which leaves me at a loss of what to do. How can I get feedback? How can I test my ideas and be brave, which is the most important thing for me? How can I get help with my poems from other readers?

The only answer to that right now is to write and write and write, set aside, look over, and edit and write some more. It can’t be self-gratifying, as this blog has been, since I can post a poem and within hours receive lots of “likes” and comments, and even follows from Word Press readers. It has to be more disciplined and consistent. It has to be a committment.

I promise, though, that I will continue to read and record my new poems on SoundCloud. I will post the readings here so at least they can be heard, if not read. I enjoy posting my poems on SoundCloud. It helps me in the editing process, and helps me tune my reading voice.

A new thing that I have begun to do, and hope that it will stick as a habit and part of my new process, is writing morning pages. Morning pages are exactly that: writing a set number of pages freehand every morning. It’s supposed to be like a freewrite, but the most important rule is to write every day. My college pal Kartik Singh, who directs films and writes screenplays, shared this with me, and I just knew when he told me about it (three and half years ago, gulp) that I had to do it. I’m finally doing it Kartik!

The other thing I am doing is submitting more. Oh, gosh it is so hard to do- submitting poems and hoping against hope that some will get published. When the first one finally gets published I will be so freaking happy! Yes, I will certainly blog about it.

Lastly, I have been applying to writer’s workshops and fellowships. This is in lieu (for the time being) of actually getting an MFA. I am not opposed to getting an MFA, but I have to consider the time that it will take away from my family and work, not to mention the expense. But, I think I know deep down that I need something like that. I need to learn more and to hone my craft, something I feel is still is in it’s baby-stages.

I still don’t have enough poetry in my life. I don’t think I will ever feel like I do. This is a contant thirst and it gets satiated at times, but never fully. In order to keep my blog alive with poetry though, I am going to start sharing other poems, poems not written by me but that help fill my poetry void. Hopefully this will help create a discussion about poetry that will inspire and motivate my readers.


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