“Explaining My Depression to My Mother” by Sabrina Benaim
“Ohm” by Saul Williams
“Why are Muslims So…” by Sakila & Hawa
“14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes” by Doc Luben
“Some Things You Need to Know Before Dating Me” by Jamie Mortara
“What Society Says to Men” by Helly Shah
“AmeRícan” by Tato Laviera
“Through the Fence…” by Edward Vidaurre
“America” by Allen Ginsberg
“The Good Life” by Tracy K. Smith
“When a Boy Tells You He Loves You” by Edwin Bodeny
“OCD” by Neil Hilborn
“Peach Scone” by Hobo Johnson & the LoveMakers
“I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide my Fate” by Suli Breaks
“Consent at 10,000 Feet” by Guante
“Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?” by Prince Ea
“To This Day” by Shane Koyczan
“34 Excuses for Why We Failed at Love” by Warsan Shire
“Storm” by Tim Minchin
“Chingona” by Leticia
“Afro-Latina” by Elizabeth Acevedo
“Juan Valdez” by Carlos Andres Gomez
“Dear Straight People” by Denice Frohman
“Poema XV”/ “I Like for You to be Still” by Pablo Neruda
“McAllen Our Rinconcito” by Priscilla Celia Suarez
“Some Days” by Amalia Ortiz
“For the Quiet Kids Who’ve Been Told ‘Speak Up'” by Grace Carras
Your love: a mixed tape the car stereo ate; a sell-by-date, batteries not included, rough around the edges; scentless potpourri
from Chapin City Blues
I started to celebrate National Poetry Month. And I pre-selected each poem the day I made my decision to do this. However, April 29th and 30th were left unfilled. I didn’t know what to put in there. During this time, I discovered (for myself) the poetry of Grace Carras. So I had to give her one of the two slots.
This last piece took me years to write and hours to record and mix. And I hope that you enjoyed this journey as much as I.
I don’t remember when I first followed Grace Carras (@bardic_ghost) on TikTok, but I’m glad I did. Not because of the magnificent cosplay, or the funny pick up lines thrown at her significant other. Because if I hadn’t, I never would have known of the way she uses words. The craftsmanship of her poetry.
I’ve only been given a glimpsed of her work and I’m in complete awe with the few videos she has on her YouTube page. And, of course, my favorite being “For the Quiet Kids Who’ve Been Told ‘Speak Up.'” And I wouldn’t have known about her upcoming chapbook entitled Quiet Kid, which you can pre-order now through Finishing Line Press.
So as we wind down with National Poetry Month, please enjoy this beautiful, powerful poem.
I’m uncertain if this poem will be featured in the chapbook. I guess I’ll find out with you come August 7, 2020.
I met Amalia Ortiz several years ago at the Nueva Onda Poetry Cafe. I loved the way she moved through language. How she molded it. How her words just flowed from her mouth to the mic to our ears.
I was taught well how to purge my pain in private pick myself up off the wet tiled floor and mop away all evidence of anguish and though to many in our society the image of a woman grieving alone slobbering like a child is unattractive to me it is an image of true strength
A little piece of heaven is belonging. It is listening to cumbias and corridos while studying at the library – knowing the best taquitos and papas asadas can be served from a food truck – it is using dichos and getting your point across. Being an English speaker and somehow having a strong ‘che’ accent – it is looking forward to the fall because our Winter Texan friends come home – this little piece of heaven is acknowledging your roots will always holds on.
I purchased my copy of The Poems of Pablo Neruda in college. Since then, I picked it up every once in a while. Thumb through its pages. And read where my finger lands. It’s not always an English translation, but that’s not far away if I need or want to read it.
And in my broken Spanish, I recite his words. And fall in love with the way he used the language.
Today I present to you two versions of the same poem. In the original Spanish and the translation by W. S. Merwin. Please enjoy.
Déjame que te hable también con tu silencio claro como una lámpara, simple como un anillo. Eres como la noche, callada y constelada. Tu silencio es de estrella, tan lejano y sencillo.
And let me talk to you with your silence that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring. You are like the night, with its stillness and constallations. Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.
I started this one poem a day because I wanted to share my favorite verses with you all. How many people have actually listened to each one, well, I don’t know (that’s a lie; I do know. WordPress shares states with its users).
Each of these poems is a part of me, somehow inspiring me to continue an effort to write. Some remind me of who I was, who I am, and who I want to be in this life.
There is a reason why “Dear Straight People” speaks to a past me, but that’s not a conversation I’m willing to have. Not yet, anyway.
During this month, I’ve been struggling to aim my blog towards a new direction. I’m still not sure what that is. But I’m tired of presenting my life as a soap opera. Sure, those posts will continue to appear here. As will the Mackie and Anderson posts, because I need those demons every now and again to remind me of who I’m not. No matter how low I feel.
But that’s enough about me and my plans. Please enjoy today’s poem.
Dear Straight People, You’re the reason we stay in the closet. You’re the reason we even have a closet. I don’t like closets, but you made the living room an unshared space and now I’m feeling like a guest in my own house.
Dear Straight People, Sexuality and gender? Two different things combined in many different ways. If you mismatch your socks, you understand.