Selfish Lover

“It doesn’t always have to be about you.”
It is always about me though. You make it about me. You make it about me making it about myself. But it isn’t about me. It’s about you. You take my silence for anger, instead of hurt. You justify your actions by blaming the situation on me. You shrink me, because you can, and when I refuse to let you, I’m being an overactive heartless bitch.
“You started it. You said something hurtful, so I said something even more hurtful back. I had to one-up you. You act like you’re the only one who got their feelings hurt.”
Take some fucking responsibility. We’re not a couple of kids. If I hurt your feelings, fucking say SOMETHING rather than try to hurt me back. Call me out on my aggressive behavior. HUMANIZE ME. Make me see the wrong and why. Don’t belittle me in your reasoning for the hurt you caused.
“Stop being dumb. You started it. If you didn’t say something mean in the first place I wouldn’t have said anything mean back.”
You’re right, but you’re wrong and you know it. That’s why you keep using me as an agent for justification. You think my silence is guilt; that I am not speaking because I don’t want to admit that you’re right. I don’t want to admit that you’re right. I don’t want to admit that I can be a kid sometimes when I get angry. I don’t want to admit that you make me feel like a mouse compared to a lion when you talk down to me the way you do. I don’t want to admit that if I initiate dialogue about any of this that I will start crying. I don’t want to give you the best of me, even though you think you already have it.
 
“It doesn’t always have to be about you.”
But it does. It needs to be about me because you think it’s acceptable when we fight for you to stand over me while I lay down, so that your dick is in my face and its obvious you dominate. You have to be THE MAN, while I be the little woman, who started everything but can finish nothing. It’s your job to finish. You make that very clear and I feel like the cigarette butt you threw out the window, and your feelings are the sweet smoke you hold in your chest that comes out cleanly, precisely, and truthfully.
It needs to be about me because it is never about me. Because you either legitimize my feelings or you toss them aside. It needs to be about me because I am fucking DONE with my feelings only being the truth if you validate them. What the hell does it matter what you think about how I feel? Who are you to judge the hurt in my heart?
It’s need to be about me because this disrespect for my feelings, no matter how petty you think they are, are more important than your god damn ego.

de/romantic revolutions

I remember
the first time I went to the MEChA meeting
he was there
to the side with his Ché mane
sad eyes
and I liked him
                                                                        (no, you don’t understand)
he’s a beautiful brown man
he reminds me of my brother
lost, rocky childhood, angry, charismatic, womanizer
but wants to be a lawyer or politician
do right by his people
                                                                        (his mother)
first time he holds my hand, we’re at the movies
watching motorcycle diaries
his sweaty palm, let’s go
stares and for a moment I imagine revolutionary love
                                                                        (wack right?)
that’s when he tells me I’m naïve
I don’t know anything about people
people aren’t good.
 
He reads Langston Hughes,
I too sing America
I am the darker brother….
and then say’s he’s a feminist
because he believes women should have sex before marriage
                                                                       (sex with him to be exact)
I tell him I’m a virgin, I don’t want to have sex anytime soon
he’s totally into it
until we make out and he gives me a guilt trip
that I’m a tease
“blue balls” to be exact
“can’t you take care of that?” I ask
            “no, it’s not the same” he says.
 
The first time it happens
I’m in complete shock
                                                                       (he didn’t even ask)
I didn’t feel a thing.
Whenever “it” happened
I was never there, it was never about me.
 
I tried saying I love you, once
searched his eyes for a loving gesture
but never found one
I felt my body an object
a woman archetype
to get off
when I finally asked how many women he’d been with
he looked down and said “two”
                                                                       (seriously?)
“I don’t know….14-15?”
he’s 21.
 
“You’re too difficult.”
his response when I plead
for him not to enter me from behind, again…
and when he walks out enraged, I know it’s over.
 
Overdue.
 
About time I realize
 
romance and revolutions
 
don’t mix.

Three Sonorans – blogger/publicist; deception by deflection, attempted polarization, sour grapes- all with underlying misogyny and prejudice

After being called on his misogynist oriented blogging and continued spread of misinformation, some weeks ago, DA Morales, also known as Three Sonorans (TS), proclaimed that his blog would be shut down. The TS absence lasted only a few days and many pockets were lined with quick cash from bets won against his promise. We are regretful to have won the bet! At a New Year’s party, Richard M. Martinez referred to Morales as his “publicist” which simply affirmed Morales’ role. Perhaps the bestowment of his role and title is what propelled Martinez’ promoter to begin TS and what prodded him to once again surface the blog and spew continued misogyny and mistruths.

A quick review of the traces of the misogyny in the TS blog, finds that this anointed publicist has consistently used his blog to attack/defame many women in leadership roles, including Adelita Grijalva, Regina Romero, Sylvia Campoy, Kristel Foster, Kim Dominguez and Mari Herreras. Clad in 1960s chauvinism – “Chingon politics”, Morales has referred to feminists as men-haters. His disdain for the Grijalvas seems to influence much of his blogging, as does his seemingly hero-worship for some of the men with whom he closely associates. His position on domestic violence is strong (anti) unless the alleged perpetrator happens to be one of his close associates. Then he goes into subterranean denial and full-blown deflective defense; a strategy of calling attention to anything and everything else except the real issue. The more fires that are lit away from their troubles, the less attention to their troubles!

(Does he- or the person he serves as publicist- think that we don’t decipher such exploits?) And… with audacity only an authentic misogynist can muster, DA Morales then writes a blog admitting his ignorance about domestic violence while claiming  his desire to learn about the topic. Of course, this serves only as self-hype and camouflage. (Disingenuous efforts are easily detected when they are so contradictory to one’s repeated actions.)

As if all of these sexist misdeeds are not enough, the topic of sexual assault is one which has been obviously barred from his blog since its very utterance may be counter to “the cause;”  the case; film; and potentially damage fund-raising. Ironically, when Morales became aware that this issue was being openly discussed by women, he suggested that the discourse be taken out of the blogosphere and into a more confidential setting; clearly another sexist miss-step. (News flash: Women do not need guidance on where they may speak on this or any issue and certainly will not be silenced through such artificial gestures.)

Bear with us. It does NOT end here, although we do wish it had, long before this point.

Last week the District Federal Court Order adopted all elements of the TUSD Desegregation Plan, which includes Mexican American culturally relevant courses. Curriculum that embraces Mexican American heritage in the form of history/social studies and literature will be developed, approved by the Board, and implemented in every high school by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.  Many of us have fought for this! In fact, many of us are anticipating a curriculum that is much more inclusive of Chicana authors, poets and a historical perspective which includes the important contributions of numerous Chicanas.  Cause for celebration?  Of course, but not according to the TS Blogs on this topic. Since late December Morales’ repeated chant, likely reflective of those for whom he speaks, has been ‘MAS is dead’. Would such declaration be made if it were possible for Sean Arce to vie for the directorship overseeing culturally relevant curriculum? Likely not, since the Morales position prior to Arce’s arrest was that he should be named the director. Within a short period after public knowledge of Arce’s arrest, the messaging from Morales drastically shifted; it was only then that he proclaimed that MAS was dead. His blog makes it appear as though he has poured over the Court Order in order to formulate his position when, in fact, his position was formulated in correlation to the Arce arrest and proceeding fallout.

The most recent blog of February 11th 2013 is condescending, patronizing and diminishes the contributions made by everyone involved in the process to develop the TUSD Desegregation Plan. Morales claims that the individuals who have been involved in the Plan development are all women. He minimizes the contributions of the women who represent the interests of TUSD’s Latino students and who are part of the Mendoza Party, which- from the eyes of a misogynist- is the way his world works. Morales is wrong on this and many other counts throughout the blog.  He buffers his presentation as perhaps being erroneous, since he was not privy to much information involving the plan development process due to the gag order imposed by the court. Nonetheless, Morales dives right in and presumes to know what happened during the confidential process, guessing which woman did what in the negotiations.  His subtle admission of ignorance of the process is not loud enough and certainly does not hold him back from casting- race and gender based blame and minimizing the contributions of those involved. As was witnessed during the public forums on the desegregation plan and as one can deduce in reading the court documents, several men were involved during the process; but this, like all other misinformation presented does not really seem to matter. The TS blog is filled with assumptions and misjudgments, particularly relative to MAS, and casts ultimate blame largely based on their gender and race. How can a blogger who constantly alleges racism simultaneously exercise misogyny and his own prejudice be viewed as having any level of knowledge on issues of equity and social justice.

But now back to the Desegregation Plan and Morales’ erroneous statement about MAS and its state of being. Morales does begrudgingly admit that the Desegregation Plan does have many valuable elements but perseverates on the death of MAS. What is in the Desegregation Plan relative to Mexican American culturally relevant courses provides the opportunity for improvement and expansion. The courses are to be offered in every high school beginning with the 2013-14 school year and expansion is also included for the middle school and elementary school level.  Since when is improvement and expansion deemed as a loss or a death of any sort?  Through the eyes of the TS blogger the glass is not half full or half empty; it is empty. No matter how good the Plan, inclusive of the Mexican American culturally relevant courses, it was anticipated by many that sour grapes would manifest from DA Morales and those for whom he seems to speak. If they could not be the ones to deliver a win, then how dare anyone else do so; especially women!

With stone throwers comfortably standing on the sidelines and taking continued actions to obstruct rather than contribute, it is difficult to assess how much harm they may actually impose by demoralizing supporters and convincing some that we have lost. Just two weeks ago, TS printed a piece written by Richard Martinez suggesting that the desegregation money be stripped away from TUSD; $61,000,000 per year. Were this to happen, it would cause irreparable harm to all students in TUSD, most of whom are students of color. Such damaging rhetoric is expected from the extreme far right Republican factions of our state; not from those who purport to support the rights of students of color. The floating of such a proposal on the brink of the Court’s decision on the Desegregation Plan is unmistakably an attempt to deflect, distract and destroy. Some have said that this is the ultimate sour-grapes nuclear attack strategy that has been reserved if certain conditions were not met by those on the sidelines hurling the stones, such as Morales and Martinez. Their conditions have self-imploded! Their strategies have been faulty and have not worked; their case has not yet had a win (and we genuinely hope it does); their fund raising has failed; their man will not head up the department that oversees the work on Mexican American culturally relevant courses; their overall support and credibility is dwindling and their support base has been fractured- much due to the constant display of sexism. None of these failures have been externally imposed; they have all been self-imposed. Yet, their attacks and continued polarization persist. Instead of celebrating a significant “win” for our community; they jointly chant ‘MAS is dead’ or shallowly propose to extricate desegregation dollars from our school district as a means to deflect and distract from our monumental win. Who exactly does this serve? Certainly, it does not serve the students or the community.

TS reflects misogyny, prejudice, anger, mistruths and polarization which is not a foundational voice for social justice. For any who continue to read TS, understand the deceptions you will encounter and search out the facts elsewhere.

We need to continue to celebrate our WIN and acknowledge our individual and unified role in obtaining it – the struggle and work that lies ahead. We must rebuke the propaganda that is being hurled around (‘MAS is dead,’ the idea to extract desegregation dollars from TUSD, etc.).  We must remain engaged in pressuring TUSD to implement the Desegregation Plan and we must not allow for any further polarization.

Calling upon the Chicano Pope to Reflect

How was the Chicano Pope chosen? Did I miss the anointment ceremony? The Chicano Pope proudly grinds the biggest axe to attack those who do not heed his mandates and demand for complicity. This is a call for the Chicano Pope to thoughtfully engage in the issue of accountability.  After all, it was the Chicano Pope who wrote, “What is so frustrating about politics is that there is so little accountability. We can continually screw up as my students would say and are not accountable. Because we as a society are ahistorical, we are unable to sort out the lies that our leaders tell us or correct our own errors…The biggest obstacle to furthering a Chicano, Latino, or anything you want to call it agenda is a lack of accountability.” Wise words but is the Pope exempt from heeding them?

The Chicano Pope feigns objectivity and freely admits that “In times like these I have found myself trying too hard, and becoming a motivational speaker instead of a teacher, relying on what some may call hyperboles to make my point.” He also proclaims that he is “protective of the legacy of the sixties.” Is the Chicano Pope trying to suppress intellectual inquiry that does not fit into his hero making narratives?  Are the accusations that Reies López Tijerina molested one of his children off limits? Or does this history not matter?  A few months ago the Chicano Pope openly encouraged us to embrace another “martyr” by boasting, “Based on my reading of history the stock of Sean Arce will reach epic levels. If he were living in California or Texas there would have been at least a half dozen corridos (ballads) written about him.”  The Chicano Pope has been silent on this issue, why?

Maybe the Pope “dreads” going to NACCS in San Antonio because for the last two years he has used the organization to peddle charlatan leaders who silenced and threatened those who disagreed in Tucson. Or does this history not matter?  People donated to ethnic studies and defense funds because the Chicano Pope had blessed these fundraising efforts.  Are these organizations going to offer yearly reports that detail where all the funds were spent?  The Chicano Pope asked us to donate to these causes and held the collection basket in his hands as he blessed those who reached into their pockets. Where is the accountability?

The Chicano Pope has made it clear that, “If people would be held accountable, this would put people on notice.”  Chicano Pope, this is your notice.  You have sold Chican@s short and out.  The paper trail you leave in this lifetime grows each time you lead the Chicano choir in nationalist hymns and engage in perverted reasoning aimed at silencing dissent in order to achieve a “Wonderful Life.”  What you offer is delusion.

Stop using smoke and mirrors to encourage ignorance and to discourage deeper examinations into shameful, antifeminists and homophobic histories. Stop casting stones against your CSU Northridge colleagues, NACCS and anyone who disagrees with you. And, realize that you do not have the power to dictate where outrage should be directed. This message is also a call for the Chicano Pope to examine his conscience. Stop seeking conformity.  Embrace new ways of thinking and listen to youth instead of preaching to them. This is hard to hear because your narcissism gets in the way, but Chican@ Studies will not crumble if you retire. New forms and people will step in and build on what it is and once was.  And, yes, it might even be better. Don’t be a Chicano Pope who presses for the conservative and traditional.

Step aside.

It is time.

Mack Daddy Lopez, Tucson

(To those brothers all along the spectrum of time
who stood alongside us
and if even they fell got back up and joined to our sides,
who know the depth of a woman,
and who we find even in this age, beside us:
A Million Million Gratitudes…….
 
The next poem is not for you.)
 
I twice slept with a man named Macky Lopez
I think a lot of women did
He’s a mack daddy penis-driven cunning man,
Revolution somewhere hiding beneath the piles he left of shit
 
He’s a predatory feel-sorry-for-me type
A misogynist tries-to-break-women man
He should have a sign around his neck like “Beware. Beware. Beware.”
 
He once told me he had the power to “really mess with people’s minds.”
He meant Power in the Indigenous sense. (..You hear me?)
He messed with mine. For damn sure.
He once said “straight is boring”
and by this he meant: a woman here, a woman there, let the chaos rule the hour.
 
He said he wouldn’t be with a white woman –
his particular quota of pain and fuckedupshit
is saved for the brown wombynsisters.
He showed me glimpses of love, care, and depth,
but they vanished so quickly I found myself chasing mists.
He made me crazy, and I hate the rage I spent on him.
I hate too its erasure, its silence –
used and abused.
( ! …Oh hell na. Hell no.)
 
Some people say that womanizers don’t love women
trying to I’s/(mine) her whiles they eyes her,
faking love for lust.
Some people say that a man trying should be given a chance
but sometimes you can tell they just ain’t trying hard at all
and their chance won’t be written on my back,
or on other sisters’ backs.
If a man ain’t trying let him be alone, and not be messing with us women.
 
Sometimes a man uses his Leader-ship like a Throne from which to get Access
Leader-ship getting him into schools, youth and health centers
Throne keeping him from accountability
Access leaving things ever open for him
I saw how easily he hid me, saw how he tried to isolate me from another woman victim.
What at first felt like energy was unmasked to be crazy manipulation
And it leaves me with so many concerns…
He says he’s a community worker but I guess I wonder
in what sense he’s working the community.
 
Once upon a time I thought I was falling in love with this misogynist – Me! ?? !!!?
What was the reason for my blindness? What blinded me from my Spirit?
This ? is full like this women’s movement is full, and getting deeper
!Praise be though! – my Spirit be strong and It called me back from the Grave! !
And I walked away.
Gave Thanks.
 
What I want to say: is you didn’t have the right to pursue me.
You didn’t have the right with her either.
Or her (or her, or her, or her….)
You don’t have the right to lie to women, fuck with lives and deny deny deny.
 
I wish I wrote your name out that’s how much I wanna protect
my future sister from the shit you put us through
But it’s not just you…
It’s not just your name.
And I hope you heal – find the courage to transform
And I want Revolution.
 
Revolution doesn’t just mean guns and takeovers. It means you stopping your bullshit.
It means all of us stopping our bullshit. Fighting our own demons.
What a battle! And a way to honor this life and our place within it.
I want Revolution.
And I want my Sisters to be safe.
 
I want my Sisters to be safe
I want my Sisters to be loved
I want my Sisters to have authentic care, respect, honor, trust, and love.
 
Everyone needs love, Everybody deserves it.
It seems the thing we miss the most sometimes these days.
I lived for many years with a great man and we loved from an infinite place
to an infinite place.
I know love, a blessing, and I sat under its tree so many days.
Deeply grateful, I want this for us all
Want Revolution
 
I write this for the Young Men:
May you turn from this man’s example.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Be the Revolution in your Spirits
 
I write this for the Women:
May you Heal, Trust Yourselves, DeepStrongProud Sacred Spirits.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Revolution in your Spirits
 
…Anyway, I count myself unlucky in many more ways than one
for having sex with that man cause it wasn’t even fun. (not at all)
It was a bit unnerving
You know what I mean?
 
Mack Daddy Lopez on the make, on the scene.

Night Walk

The light dims in the sky as my endless calls are met with no answer. After calling everyone possible, I realize the best idea is to start my long walk. Seven miles from a location I am unfamiliar with isn’t settling well in my stomach. Before I leave, I notice a rideless friend and ask her if she wants to join me. She agrees and we nervously start our voyage down the path of dark corners, empty streets, abandoned sidewalks and the hungry animals of the night.

Darkness falls as we walk; everything becomes unfamiliar and the shadows transform our surroundings. As if walking on thin ice we become hyper alert as cars pass, attentive when footsteps come near, and quiet when voices are high.  Our glances shift every which way and loud noises cause our bones to shake; we scare each other with our breathing. The first whistle we receive is from a man in his thirties. He pops his head out of the car window while doing some sort of gesture with his eye (that seems to resemble a wink) and goes on his way. My immediate reaction is disgust which is quickly replaced with fear, after all the night is not on our side. There are too many hiding places and way too many stories that are bouncing around in my head. Walking…

Honk, Honk…whistle, whistle.

The women walked through the alley and never came back.

Women walked home and never got there.

Women yelling and screaming with no one was around to hear.

I ignore these thoughts and we anxiously continue. A feeling as though rocks are in my shoes follows me down my path. My friend and I hide our concerns with conversation and forced laughter but our minds are elsewhere. We talk as we approached a bus stop where two guys sit waiting. Their faces don’t seem important enough to remember, after all there’s no set face for danger; it is their gestures that resonate more. As we get closer I see their glances fall upon us and their smiles lift to one side. My friend and I pretend not to notice their piercing eyes as we pass them. Yet it seems as if our non reaction only causes them more pleasure because they stand as we pass and call after us, “Damn girl, you got a nice ass, why don’t you come and have a seat.” The rocks in my shoes grow exponentially and my heart rate accelerates. It is becoming hard for me to think straight. My friend and I look at each other knowingly and continue our walk without acknowledging their comments.

The minutes move like hours and hours like years, the thought of home far gone. Yet I focus on the goal to make it home –if only it were as simple as tapping ruby slippers together! As I glance down at my fitted jeans and blue t-shirt I wonder if my outfit is to blame for the reactions of the night and if I should fear it being my end?  I wonder if these are the final thoughts one has when the night takes over, when finally the animal can’t take more of the taunting.

The braided hair,

Animal licks their lips.

The long pants,

Animals mouth waters.

The plain T-shirt.

Animals saliva. Drip. Drip,

It aims and—

ring, ring. (my phone)

“Hello?” I say.

A familiar voice answers, “Where are you?  I’m coming to pick you up.”

                                                                       

Grandfather

To My Dead Grandfather,
 
I used to wish I could have met you
Dreamed of you reading me bedtime stories and of my potential love for you
After I found out the truth all I have dreamed about is my regret your
Death wasn’t torturous enough to suit your crimes
Physical damage will not satisfy my need 
Piss on your soul; mutilate the fibers of the cross-stitch that
Holds your two-face together
 
I dreamed I could have been there and watched you
Die.
And I wanted to be the one to do it.
To have killed you.
Slowly, carefully, methodically with a distinct purpose in causing you as much harm as possible
I would carve out your half-heart while it’s still beating 
I would endure your screams just for the pleasure of watching you cry
I would tune them out because your tears make me smile
They are payment in the form of droplets of water pouring from you eyes
 
God made hell with scum like you in mind
The Devil was too merciful; letting you die
Alone on the side of the highway
Letting your body decompose until the stench forced someone call someone to dispose of your rotting corpse
Your unclaimed body still sitting in the morgue
Terrorized at night, your daughters had nowhere to run or hide
Tears tattooed beneath their eyes, trailing down their cheeks ending in a haunted stream behind them