Friday, October 31, 2003

Names and Not Selling What is Yours


I heard Rosie O’Donnell on TV today. This is a trial I wish I had time to follow. I remember when she first wanted to split with her magazine making this argument. ‘Putting her name on the magazine is kind of like having a Pepsi vending machine selling generic coke. You can sell the coke but you can’t call it Pepsi.’ She was going to let the magazine have her money but
she wanted her name back.


Or if you are going to sell yourself, make sure you have a great lawyer write the contract. On TV today Rosie was saying that a corporation shouldn’t have the right to own someone else’s name. I disagree. A company gets the right to use whatever you sell to them. You would have to write laws preventing people from selling their names in order to get the outcome Rosie wants.

It is the willingness to sell that screws so many artist right now. It is hard to explain to the kid from the ghetto that he should not take the thousands of dollars a record company is offering him because then he won’t have the rights to use the words he writes unless the company says so. Record companies end up getting richer and artist, typically black artist, don’t figure out exactly how they are getting screwed until they get older. They just want someone to pay the cost for recording their music and they end up getting the shaft. To the record companies I say beware, your time is coming and I will gladly throw a handful of dirt on your grave.

As for publishers—I was reading a book of poems by one of my favorites and in the book he thanks a publishing house for letting him publish some of his poems in the newer compilation. It pissed me off so much. You should not have to thank anyone for letting you reprint your own work. If you sell it to them though, you have to, they own it.

This ownership thing inflames me. I am working on a book (aside from my poetry). I have had it pointed out to me a billion times that I am one of those stories people love (that is another blog post). I know I could ride the names of my schools and pitch the book to publishing houses and get an advance and not have to prostitute myself (not really) in order to pay for my third year of law school. However, a publishing house could give me an advance, buy my book and then choose not to publish it. They could just sit on my book. And I wouldn’t get to publish it either. The frustration would kill me.

On a bus from my hometown back to the city I sat next to another lawyer/writer. He told me about the wonder of buy back options. I could take an advance for my book and put a clause in that says that if they don’t publish it within a certain amount of years I can buy it back and try to pitch it to another publisher.

I am wondering what Rosie’s lawyers were doing before the litigation started. Where were her wonderful contract advisors? Homegirl has money. Someone should have told her. Hopefully her lawyers are better litigators than they were contract advisors.

(0) comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Culture of Silence

A while ago I went through a phase where all I wanted to read was autobiographies. I read so many but I read a lot of autobiographies of Latinas. I noticed that each of them had the words "silence" or "silent" in their titles.

As Latin women they felt, and I share their feelings, that we are supposed to keep so many secrets. We are supposed to be silent when our husbands go off to other beds, when our uncles touch us, when we see our fathers strike our mothers. Even in the little things we are supposed to be silent. Menstraution cannot be talked about, even as doctors performed unnecessary hysterectomies and sterilizations on us. The culture of silence prevented us from questioning.

Fortunately, I was raised in a time when that is starting to changeand still I feel its weight upon me. Bringing family laundry into the public is frowned upon regardless of culure.

As a writer, I feel it is my responsibility to air my laundry. To lay myself out to exposure so that others will know they are not alone. There are other people who have been depressed, have been suicidal, have locked themselves in bathrooms AND who have somehow manage to get themselves to a better place.

I notice a lot of anger. Anger at the fact that, when a Latina does make it the people who shoved them down are quick to jump up and grab credit. To those people I want to say, if by helping me become a writer, you mean you stifled my voice, then yes you helped me become a writer. I couldn't bring myself to say things to your face so I filled journals. I've heard a lot of writers say that they picked up a pen, so that they wouldn't pick up a razor. I definitely fit into that category.

I do not want silence or silent or mute to be anywhere near my book title. I would rather sin verguenza. I am without shame. I did not cause the wrongs in my life and I will not be ashamed of the people who wronged me, of the people who wronged my mother and my grandmother and my aunts and my friends and my sisters.

Soy la sin verguenza, because I will not be ashamed of airing my laundry in order to help people get out from under theirs.

(0) comments

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Lost in Translation

Last night I performed a piece that had a total of four words in Spanish. Before I performed I provided the translation for those words. And hence the great translation debate began.

I had to think, why do I write. I think I write so that I can build bridges. Bridges between myself and others and bridges between other people. I have a few pieces that are only in Spanish and some that are bilingual and some that are all in English. I have lots of poetry books and of those where the poems are in Spanish translations are provided. Others that are bilingual often have little asterics to the translations of the few words that are not in English.

I guess that is where I find myself. I want to provide little asterics, in my writing and in my spoken word. If you don't understand some critical part of the piece I don't feel like I have built a sturdy bridge. As someone who has often felt alienated, I don't want to alienate anyone from my work. At least I don't want to alienate them because of a lack of understanding.

I don't know how often I will provide translation. I kind of have to decide at one point does it become ridiculous. I mean translating several paragraphs is just too time consuming/boring.

I also feel that, when I am translating, I am educated. Even if you hated the piece. You learned four more words of Spanish. :-)

(0) comments

Monday, October 27, 2003

Pro-Life: Pro-Choice: Pro-Me

If you haven't figured it out I am a big pusher of the pill. The pill is like my crack, I use it daily and sell it and think it is the greatest invention since sex itself. If the first one you try doesn't work for you keep trying. It took me three brands till I found one that makes me happy. I take my pill religiously. To date, I have been sexually active for five years and have not had a single pregnancy.

At which point you are like--where is this going

to which I tell you

I do not think people should be having sex unless they can handle the possibility of a child. No matter how much birth control you use there is always a chance.

I went to a woman's college and I stayed pro-life. I am on a feminist law journal. I am like the biggest freaking feminist I know.

And I guess it was inevitable. I recently changed my stance but not by much

I still believe that your choice lies in whether or not you are sexually active (If you are raped you didn't choose to have the sex so my argument does not apply). If you choose to be you have so many birth control options. That is another choice. I believe that a fetus is a human life and having an abortion is murder.

I know several people, male and female, that have huge emotional scars from abortions that they have had or been a part of. I am not a fan of the option.

Recently, I read an Article on Human Reproductive Health in Chile. Abortion is illegal there. They have one of the highest abortion rates in the world. And they have the highest death from abortion rate in the world. Lots of people die as a result of their abortions.

So, I still feel abortion is murder. However, in a lesser of two evils kinda thiing, it is better that one person die than two . I would rather abortion stay legal.

I would still be the person that does everything to try to convince people not to. But I don't want them to die too.

(0) comments

Sunday, October 26, 2003


I am pretty sure I am moving. Didn't think this was gonna happen but I will be taking myself from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side. Being around the law school heads all the time was kinda getting to me. Not that I don't love some of them, but it is like a job. Living three blocks from work hasn't been working for me. I spend too much time at home putzing around and not enough time there studying.

I would be paying less rent for a one bedroom apartment than I do for one bedroom in a three bedroom apartment share. Crazy huh....As for my friends, it'll give you a place to pre-party. You know we all hang out downtown anyway. As for my other friends...it'll give us a place to post-party.

My goal, is to start treating law school like a job. Commute up to work and then when I leave work at night I am done. I can go downtown and have my apartment be a creative space.

A big concern is that this will just enhance the division between Nina and Cristina. I need to learn how to bring more of my poet self to law school and more of my lawyerly self to my poetry.

The place is seven blocks from the Nuyoricans. So, hope it works out for me and I don't regret taking on the commute to Columbia.

Christmas Specials

Yes, two post in ones. There is a Christmas movie on TV. It is October 26. WTF?

(0) comments

Saturday, October 25, 2003

How to Make New York Feel Like a Small Town

I think one of the things that make small towns good and bad is that you know everyone. You hate it when you are a kid but as you get older it seems really great.

So tip #1
FIND A BAR--Not to drink. But finding a bar that you like to hang out in with a good bartender is a great thing. At this point all love goes to Maureen, my wonderfully fabooolous bartender that knows I want a Malibu and Coke with lots of cherries and a wedge of lime. Home girl makes it look like a fruit salad and when I am in need of a drink she puts in so much rum it looks like ice tea. Yes Maureen, I do love you.

#2--Shop. I mean the routine shopping like groceries and pharmacies. This takes some finanical sacrifices. Chicken may be cheaper at the 'other' grocery store but there is something about seeing the same folk every saturday morning that you will find comforting. Especially if you are from a small town. There is something about them knowing that you will want goat cheese that I personally like. Cause you will go back to your grocery store and the clerk will be like, "Hey, Nina goat cheese is on sale." And you will get happy. The guy at the magazine stand will tell you when Foreign Policy has come in and as you drink your tea you will think--wow people are still good.

#3--Be a morning person. I tend to get my grocery shopping and all my routine stuff done between 7 and 10 on a Saturday morning. Crazy, yes. BUT, the streets are empty and they have just been cleaned and there is something about the crispness of the morning. Really, this city may be huge but I guess most of us spend most of our time in the same ten block radius. You will get to know all the morning people and it will be nice.

Finally, and most important, keep acting like you are in a small town. Smile at your grocer, chat with the guy at the magazine stand, be yourself and fight to keep your small town qualities. You will find that your own small town will develop around you in this hectic city.

as for me....I am off to buy my goat cheese

(0) comments

Friday, October 24, 2003

Pelo Malo?

"It doesn't how much money you have, you always have to go to your neighborhood to get your hair done."

I have the type of hair that you can only comb when it is wet. If you tried to run your fingers through it they would get stuck. It wasn't until I moved back to New York and found out about the Dominican salon around the way that I could finally get a hair cut. I know lots of latinas who would constantly be blowing their hair ouf if they had hair like mine.

I do not like blowing my hair out. I think my older brothers locks are beautiful. I love my crazy curly hair even though you can't run your fingers through it.

But now...it is winter...in New York. My hair takes a billion hours to dry on its own. If I tried to blow it out curly I would end up with a big Q-tip head. So I blow dry it straight. And I get compliments, which I hate. And I look in the mirror and I get pissed cause I think it does look 'neater' than when it is curly. I still don't like it though. It is not me.

SO if you see me and my hair is straight....tell me it looks better curlier, you'll make my day

(0) comments

How much of other people are you allowed to reveal in your work? I remember going to a Julio Alvarez talk and she said that her mother had tried to sue her twice. I am not afraid of law suits.

I am afraid of hurting other people by revealing their secrets. Our lives are so intertwined with one another's. Though I have the strength to speak out, others don't. As a writer you put them in the public eye when you place yourself there. Our families, our lovers our ex-lovers they are all brought to justice and are forced to be held accountable for a crime which isn't even a crime. They are forced to be accountable for being.

I also think they over blow who knows what about them. What are the chances that someone who gets a hand of your little poetry compilation will walk into your parent's place of work?

What are you supposed to say to your family? Hey, don't tell people I am a writer cause
a. you look like an ass in some of my pieces
b. I talk about my sexuality and you want to think I don'thave one.
c. I write about controversy.

I mean even fiction authors. Here I am thinking of the son of a politician who is a great writer and working on a novel. Your work not only reflects on yourself but it reflects on those who helped make you. How do you protect them, without stifling you?

As writers we put the heat on everyone around us and they can't exactly get out of the kitchen.

So, what do we owe them?
Email me at ninanuyorican@yahoo.com

(I really should figure out how to put a comments option on this page)

(0) comments

Thursday, October 23, 2003

How to be an artist in law school OR a response to Rich

The greatest dichotomy is that law school is very little if anything like being a lawyer. Especially if you are a law student at a top law school. Especially if you are thinking about being a lawyer that makes a difference.

Law school is three years of your life that you have to sacrifice to get to that end. BUT, I know plenty of people who were creative in law school. They created and they moved things forward, and they did it while maintaining internships and full course loads and clubs that looked good on resumes. They did it with their work AND through their work.

You cannot maintain the mentality that you are too busy to write. You are too busy so you HAVE to write. One of my classmates brings her violin to class because she is still taking lessons. Creating keeps you sane and many people in law school are not sane.

Here is the charge, don’t just be a lawyer, be a lawyer that does worthy work. Then you will have to be a creative attorney. This system changes so slowly that you have to think and create. You have to write briefs that not only express what the law is, you have to write compelling briefs. You need to turn legal briefs into an art form because you are trying to convince somebody that how it isn’t, is how it should be and you have to use the law as it stands to prove that.

If you want to be a creative attorney, you should know that you are not going to be one of the uber rich attorney’s. Uber rich attorney’s get paid to keep things the way they are.

Remember: do not use law school as your excuse. Use its insanity as your motivator. That is how to be a artist in law school.

(0) comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


I read somewhere that when a girl tells you that she is a writer and a lawyer it means that she is a bad writer and a bad lawyer.

Of course, that kinda stuck with me seeing as that is where I fall into the world. The semester starts and I attempt to balance 2d year of law school/working at a small firm/and working on a law journal with my poetic lifestyle. I failed.

I had not been writing up until like a week ago and I hadn't read till last night. Fortunately, I have been working on my book which kinda 'excuses' the lack of poetry production.

Sunday morning found me spazzing cause I just didn't know where I fit into the world. I have not acquired the coveted second summer internship yet, which leaves me in a pickle over how to pay for third year of law school. And I wasn't really producing as a writer. I was wondering if the poet/attorney thing was a myth. I mean were they actually practicing law when they were writing those amazing pieces I love so much?

On the bus home from my mom's house I end up sitting next to a writer who just sold an option to HBO. That same afternoon my boyfriend runs into a judge he knows at a bookstore. The judge is signing his second book. AND last night the feature at Bar 13 was a practicing attorney. Signs...I think so

Oscar asked me what my goals as a writer are. I told him I need to make myself edit my pieces. I have things that have been sitting around for years that just haven't gotten quite there.

Here is my other predicament. I hate slamminig. I have some pieces that are straight poetry, I don't really see myself performing them. On stage, you kinda tailor your pieces to the audience and I don't know, I just don't like the idea of picking which pieces I am going to read in order to win. Sometimes people just need to hear things whether they want to or not.

So, are people hearing me on the open mic? Probably not. That's why it is good that I have this law thing to fall back on :-)

(0) comments

Monday, October 20, 2003

What's with all the affection ?

The other day I was watching Seinfeld and he was in a stink cause everyone in his building had started kissing hello and he wasn't buying it. He refuses to do the "kiss thing" and his building begins ostracizing him.

I was watching the news last night and they were clarifying precisely why players on the Marlins were kissing each other. This was amusing for me.

I am a big fan of the Latin kiss. I was raised with so much affection sometimes I find myself getting stress and realize it is because I just haven't been hugged in a while. Sometimes, for so many people, this city is cold.

Not that I want to be hugging up on everyone. I have this issue with false affection. I hate it when people who knowingly dislike each other hug for the sake of show.

And don't even get me started on kiss and make up. If I am pissed with you, don't try to touch me. At some point we will make up and then we will kiss.

Go up to somebody kiss them, hug them even...."all you need is love"

(0) comments

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Welfare and Education

Welfare is a cop out. The vision it was, and the safety net it is, has been exploited, not by those it was intended to serve but by politicians and by those too ignorant to see the albatross it has become.

Welfare is a way for politicians to feel like they are doing something for the plight of poor people without doing anything. The answer lies in the old proverb, “give a man to fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish he’ll eat forever.” So—why aren’t we teaching people how to fish.

My belief is that teaching is the answer. Educating is what the government should be doing, but it is failing miserable. It is failing because it wants to fail. Right now the system of education is just a tool to keep power in the hands of the powerful. Schools are locally funded and curriculum is locally determined in order to ensure local interest, and the locals are interested in themselves. We are a segregated nation, if we are not segregated by color we are segregated by class. What incentive does a rich man have to educate a poor man’s children?

So, they give hand outs, they give hand outs to quell their conscious and they give hand outs to silence the masses. Meanwhile, students sit in over crowded classrooms with outdated textbooks. Even if a child wants to learn and has a will to learn in a crowded classroom, it is near impossible to teach a child of the future when his textbook is from the past.

It is no wonder they need welfare, they are not being prepared for a global economy that spits them up and chews them out. They are not given the resources to fight the machine, because the machine doesn’t want to give it to them. It is only a few that gets through, a precious few.

To those few, goes the greatest responsibility.

(0) comments

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Unenforceable Laws

I have spent the past few days researching the Federa Anti-Dumping Statute (the Emergency Medical and Active Labor Act) and how the statute is applied in New York. Technically, Congress designed this law to prevent hospitals from denying treatment to patients who lacked insurance or lacked adequate insurance. There is some technical jargon that I am really leaving out, but that part doesn't matter.

Why doesn't it matter? Cause the law is rather bullshit.

Why is it bullshit? Cause the standards are too low.

Under the statute hospitals have a duty to screen and a duty to stabilize. The screening standard means that they have to examine every patient in the same way. If an uninsured patient goes in with a stomach ache he has to get the same level of care that an insured patient would get. BUT, the screening standards are low. It is hard to prove any disparaties. All the case law I have read basically says that if the doctor looks at you, you have been screened.

Which brings me to the second problem. The duty to stabilize only applies to maladies that the doctor has detected. Which means that if you get an inadequate screening and they due not detect something life threatening and you die from it, the hospital will not be found to violate the statute.

So, a hospital cannot transfer you to another hospital unless they stablize you. If they don't detect your problem, they don't have to stablize you. They can send you anywhere so that you are no longer their problem.


I really think it was just to shut people up. Poor people were being turned away from hospitals and Congress needed to look like it was doing something. So, they made it tiny bit harder for hospitals to turn people away, they gave hospitals tiny cracks to jump over before they let poor people die. Poor people are expendable if it means keeping other people's medical cost down.

We can't fight all causes, all the time. Pick your causes. Then follow what is happening around them carefully. If you fight for everything you won't be able to keep track of anything very well. You may think Congress has done something when in fact they have done nothing. So, follow what they have written and THEN follow how it is applied.

That way, when a young child gets hit with a snowball and ends up severely retarded cause the hospital that transfered him never detected the brain abscess, his mother will have a way to sue the hospital that transfered him in order to get the money to take care of him for the rest of his life. (see the Fisher case out of New York)

(0) comments

Friday, October 17, 2003

Don't Drink and Drink & The Audience/Performer Theory

I have spent the day laying on my ass in bed with the worst hang-over of my life. Okay, so I have only been hung over twice. Because I am not a big drinker. I normally stick to wine or I'll have like 2 drinks. Last night I had six.

I think I don't drink much because I am rather controlling. Last night I went to Don Pedro's and I am sitting drinking and my friend's (who own the place) kept brining me drinks and I kept drinking.

I remember explaining the performer/audience theory, here it goes:

When I listen to somebody on stage, somebody captivating, I give just as much of myself as I do when I am on stage. Every word, every pause, I get pulled in and taken along by their energy. When I am on stage I exist off of the energy that is given to me. It is such an intimate act. You exist for each other.

How does this apply? I think it applyes to all performers including strippers. So if you are the type that likes to go to strippers. You have no right to get pissy if your partner decides to strip. They are equal activities.

I am going to go eat some Cuban/Chinese food. Reason to love New York 1001, everything can be delivered to you.

Postscript One of my friends has misread my page. I do not want to be a mom anytime soon. I have things I need to do. I look forward to it, but it has gotta wait at least four years.

(0) comments

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Thoughts in class

When you were a kid....
Did you used to spin in circles alot? Like spin around and around
until you got really dizzy and fell down. I remember learning
that if you put your head to your shoulder and spun you threw
your equilibrium off and it made you even dizzier. Often times when I am in class I realize I would rather be doing that.

(0) comments
I am suffering from a complete inability to do work. That aside, here are my tips on a
Long Distance Relationships

1. You better be sure you want to stay with the person cause it takes a bit.
2. Make sure you have a good cell phone plan. You will think you have a good plan
then you will get a $200 cell phone bill :-o
3. Internet access at home is a must. It helps with the high phone bills
4. Get a webcam. :-) Trust me on this one. You can get a cheap one for like $25. Seeing you partners smiling face once a week rather than once a month is a definite plus.
5. Send cards and text messages and little e notes often. They are kind like virtual hugs.
6. Meet Half Way! I mean it. Meeting half way physically could be a fun vacation but I mean more meeting half way emotionally/mentally. People express love in different ways. You and your partner may want to talk different amounts, one partner may be busier than the other so can't visit as much.
7. Have good friends before you do this. My theory is, if you were the type that spent all your free time with your partner and your partner moves you are gonna be a little screwed. You should have friends anyway, make sure you have good friends if you are going to have a distant significant other.

There are more but the topic is getting kinda boring for me. That was just the 10cent advice column

(0) comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

mom, attorney, nuyorican....

So, one night I was out Samba dancing. Something I rather love to do. I was having a good night at the club with one of my best friends. We were moving and shaking and the band was hot. We met a group of people as often happens when you are Samba dancing. It is just such a friendly atmosphere.

We were dancing with our new friends and as one of the dudes tried to get friendly I told him I have a boyfriend. I just wanted to cut things off at the path.

He started asking about me and I told him here is how the conversation went
Him--So, what do you do
Me--I got to law school
Him--wow that is impressive
me--not really
Him--so what do you want to do, tell me about school
me--I don't want to. it is saturday night. school is my job, you don't like talking about work when you are out do you.
Him--come on you have to know what you want to do
me--well i don't
Him--just one thing
Him--I can't believe you said that I mean you are a latin woman you have responsibilities
Me--and yes I feel that the responsibilities I have to the children I want to have will be my most important. it will be my most important job
Him--But you are a latina, do you know how much pressure you are under
Me--you are pissing me off

And then I walked away. So here it is
Yes I know how much pressure I am under. I live with it daily. I am the only female cousin in my twenties without a kid. Yes I do want to help my people

BUT I do not know how to define my people. All people are my people. All disenfranchised people are my people and they are the people who I will work for

However, no matter what other people think, I believe my potential role as a parent will be my most important job if I am blessed enough to get it.

Maybe if more people thought that way so many jacked up things wouldn't happen.

Having children will not make me forget that I want to make the world a better place, it will make me want to make the world a better place even more.

And that is what is annoying about being a woman. So much of our life is intertwined with our role (or potential role) as mothers. I have to think about this stuff even though I don't plan on having kids for a LONG time. In two weeks I turn 24. I have a a lot of years before I take on that responsibility. But if I do it I am going to do it right

If anybody thinks I am shirking my responsibilities as a Latina Role Model--Fuck em.

(0) comments

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


I have been down. The reasons are all over the place but today I feel better. Last night I went to a concert and it just fixed me. So amazing what music can do.

Last night I saw Mana. If you don't know who Mana is I feel very sorry for you. They are one of the most amazing rock groups ever. They are the best Latin American rock group ever.

I met my friend outside of Macy's before the concert and when we walked in they had actually already started. We went down to some good seats. My view on seats and ticket prices is that they are more of an entry fee and you get yourself to the seats you want.

The next time I see Mana I want to be in the front row and I will actually pay for it. I can't even find the words to express how awesome the concert was.

I felt like I was in Latin American. Their music is so political and so romantic and you just don't find something like that on American MTV. They love their fans. It poured from them. Their interaction, talking, smiling...the love was amazing.

I would have loved for them to perform deseparicidos. But I was late so maybe they did.

(0) comments

Monday, October 13, 2003

Thank God there is not a point in your life where you have to decide what you want to do.
At least I don't really see a definative point where someone has to say, I want to be a .....
I'm in law school and I still don't know what I want to be.

As upet as I get sometime, and as frustrated as I get sometimes I realize there are some reasons why I feel this freedom.

1. I have no kids. Right now that is a great position to be in. I have never been sexually active without at least being on the pill. There is an inherent freedom to only having to be beholden to myself. I am a big endorser of the pill. Why, cause I don't want kids yet.

2. I have simple needs. I don't need designer clothes or furniture. I have a terrible habit of eating out too much because I love food.

SO as I sit and wonder what I want to do with my life and where I want to live
The cool thing is I can go anywhere and do anything.

I spent friday night listening to poets. See I ran around to see Martin Espada and then I heard Rich, Oscar and Fish read.

My gears began turning. When it comes to Martin I was just completely floored. When I tried to talk to him I am sure that I sounded like a moron. All I could say was Thank you, you are the reason I felt like I could be a poet at law school...

So I go to see my friends perform and they were great. Watching people grow as writers and performers is such a beautiful thing. The crew has become like family. I feel like my growth as writer has been stunted.

I've gotten caught up on other things. Which, while rather annoying, is okay as well.

It is time for me to start editing my own poems. Everything else is secondary.

(0) comments

Friday, October 10, 2003

The following is a poem by Roque Dalton Title Como Tu, The translation is mine.


Yo, como tú,
amo el amor, la vida, el dulce encanto
de las cosas, el paisaje
celeste de los días de enero.

También mi sangre bulle
y río por los ojos
que han conocido el brote de las lágrimas.

Creo que el mundo es bello,
que la poesía es como el pan, de todos.

Y que mis venas no terminan en mí
sino en la sangre unánime
de los que luchan por la vida,
el amor,
las cosas,
el paisaje y el pan,
la poesía de todos.

Like you by Roque Dalton (translated by me)

I, like you,
love love, life, the sweet enchantment
of things, the celestial
voyage of the days of january.

And also, my blood boils
and rivers flow from my eyes
for those that have known the torrential flow of tears

I believe the world is beautiful,
and that poetry like bread, is for everyone.

And my veins don't end in me
but in the common blood
of those that fight for life,
the voyage and the bread,
the poetry of us all

(0) comments

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Boycott Disney Films

A while ago I realized something and with the release of Lilo & Stitch the realization became overly abundant.

Disney does not want to make a film that has a black main character. I would say that Disney does not want to make a film that has a black character*(see note at bottom) but they have

The slaves in Fantasia that tend to the god Bacchus were half black-half zebra. Those are the only black characters I have ever noticed in Disney films.

Lion King does not count. Those are not black characters, those are animals in Africa. Eddie Murphy in Mulan does not count. That is not a black character that is a little dragon with the black man's voice.

I don't know what percentage of the Disney watching population is Polynesian but Lilo & Stitch just burned me because they took it to Hawaii before releasing a film with a black main character. I am not hating on Hawaii it is Disney's mentality I have a problem with.

THEN I thought surely with all the flops they have had they will finally make a film with a black main character. I mean there are so many great African fables BUT NO it is about a bear. A BEAR!

As a woman of colour I just cannot take this anymore. I don't want my children, who don't even exist, fantasizing about magical worlds that have no black people.

That is not magic, that is racism AND it is time for Disney to change.

(One of my older wiser friends has reminded me about the movie Disney made called Song of the South. A film so racist that Disney does not allow it to be sold in the United States anymore. This really only feeds into my point about racism.)

(0) comments

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

These are Four Post from My Old Blog. The forum didn't seem to fit me. I guess this is like an extreme introduction. And yes, I suck at spelling.

October 8, 2003 Political Condolences

My extreme condolences to the state of California. Okay, so I don't really know what you have gotten yourself into. Old boy may actually surprise us.

I heard a rumor that a Senator Arnie supported is going to introduce a bill that says that non-American born citizens can become President.

This is so difficult for me to embrace right now. First of all I do not want a man with political experience that limited as my President. I mean he wouldn't even engage in actual debates. To me that means he just can't think on his feet.

On the other hand, would I really try to get my Congressman (actually she is a woman) not to sign a bill just to prevent the chance that he would become President? Frankly, we are so xenophobic right now I don't think it would go through. And how many years would you have to live here to be eligible?

I mean it is scary enough that millionaire Americans run for office. I don't want someone from someplace else establishing residency just so they can run for President. And you know someone would try it.

Tears and Parades ladies and gentlemen. People need to feel from their candidates. And sometimes our feelings cloud our judgment.

May Arnie do a good job.

October 7, 2003 Law School Breeds Jerks

I have figured out why lawyers are assholes. Law school is demoralizing--at least this law school is. Let's look at it rather systematically.

The Socratic Method.

First of all it is old. Look at the name, that kinda gives away how old it is. So, a professor calls on you and keeps asking you questions with his x-ray eyes until you just can't answer anymore. They want you to fail, to not know. And if you do know, they don't give you kudos.

There is just one test.

You have no indicator of whether or not you understand what is going on. You can think you do, and you can talk about it with your friends. However, if you are collectively wrong you don't know until you get the grade. By then, it is too late.


Okay, I am at one of the top five schools. Fall of your second year you start this intense interview program geared toward placing you in a top firm. It becomes everyone's obsession. Even if you can keep yourself from stressing, everyone else stressing makes you stressed. It sucks. Especially when offers start rolling in and you don't have one.

I hate this so much and I hate the fact that no one challenges the fact that law school is hated. Everyone accepts it and so few try to change it.

And that is why lawyers become assholes, because we are treated like shit and go through hell for three years. It is dehumanizing. Those who excel at it, well I don't think they are human.

October 1, 2003 Technology and Politics

There has been so much happening in the political world which gives me hope. At the same time there is so much happening that scares me.

(an aside, I am a centrist.)

Howard Dean's campaign strategies are great. I also love the fact that he has admitted that it is an utter accident. He did not know how much power his campaigns rampant use of the internet would have. People feel involved/connected and anything that gets young people involved in politics is good.

Further, technological advances are helping international politics. People so want to feel connected that even where it is not allowed they will find a way to access the internet and get a hold of information. Knowledge of what has been acknowledge as your basic rights is a very powerful thing. Realizing that people, people you don't even know, care about your political situation gives hope. That is a definite plus.

On the other hand, as this power structure changes and moves forth the powers that be are getting scared. They are finding ways to dismantle our rights and challenge our decisions. Money is moving hands and going forth.

I am not going to elaborate on what I mean by the last paragraph. Look around with open eyes and you will see.

September 30, 2003 Dancing on the Beach in a Suit

(This is an edited version of an email that I think says a lot about me. To put it in context I am in law school--but I am not really the lawyer type)

All this interviewing has me thinking about what I really want.

I want to live near the ocean. I have that one down. I want to learn to play the bongos and congas. I want to learn to play the guitar too. When I have gotten sufficiently musical I want to play my instruments by the oceans with stars above me and you beside me.

I want to write poetry. I have not written in weeks and it pains me. I have not even written in my journal, okay I have a few entries but nothing of substance. I just feel like my writing will affect people and right now it is going nowhere.

I just don't know if I will affect people more as a lawyer or a writer. I also know what I don't want.

I don't want one of those lives where I am so tired at night that I cannot make love to my husband. That is so sad to me. I don't want to become selfish and greedy. I think when you work too much you buy a lot of crap cause you have to convince yourself you are enjoying life and it is worth it and you don't have time to enjoy life but you have money to buy things--so you buy things and convince yourself they help you enjoy life.

I want to dance...often...under the stars, under the sun, on the beach, in the house with bottles of wine and mojitos and cuba libres. I want to have blood mary brunches on saturday and I don't want it to matter than I spent the day doing nothing because sometimes nothing is everything and having the ability to do it means everything. Nothing is very important.

(0) comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?