Categories
latina literary mental health

Quarantine Poem

Watching

I watch the site

Incessantly.

Cases: 64,675.           

Deaths: 910.

Bookmarked on my laptop.

My editor called:

First our hours were cut

Then final time cards due

Third for unemployment instructions.

It’s late afternoon. Refresh.

Cases: 65,564

Deaths: 929.

I try to do

Something.

To not waste a moment

Of this weird freedom

To be home

Without end.

I checked for symptoms.

It’s before bedtime. Refresh.

Cases: 68,568

Deaths: 1,035

I try to read

I try to write

I try to remember who

We were before this.

Categories
latina literary travel

Places Like Home

literarykitchen.net

Head over to the Literary Kitchen

Up at http://www.literarykitchen.net you’ll find the anthology that I and the other writerchicks I know have always wanted to see: places like home –an anthology of stories that saw their first sparkle of light in the writing prompts Ariel Gore gave us in her online writing courses we’ve taken over the years. Check it out. A chapter of the novel I’m working on is in here! Yay!

Categories
latina literary

On the Eve of the Fifteenth

This poem of mine came out in HipMama Zine today! Such a cool way to start a new year with a poem published on the first day. Many thanks to Ariel Gore for that.

http://hipmamazine.com/margaret-elysia-garcia-on-the-eve-of-fifteenth/

Categories
latina literary

Nicked Named (a poem)

Two days in

And they give her

A nickname

Two syllables instead

Of three—

Her given name too full

Of beauty, of vowel, of nuance.

High school begins.

Fresh start.

The time we throw on new identities

The time we suppress the old.

I’m not allowed hugs

What makes me think I can have names?

Two syllables–

A name I didn’t chose for her

Something short, ugly

More American. Joking. Fun.

They don’t mean nothing by it.

Easy to remember:

Like knowing one’s place.

I have to be silent on this one.

It’s not my battle.

I spent a lot of time on that name,

Nine months as she turned

And kicked and got ready to be born.

I am reminded of crossings

When one of her grandfathers crossed over

having his Mayan name chopped in half

to make it easier on everyone

but the one erased.

Categories
latina literary Uncategorized

Daughter Lands Borders

I’m from the land of no apologies

of no forgiveness

of something you did when you were seven being held against you

from set bed times and daily chores:

that one load of laundry, empty the trash, sweep the floor

nothing in the sink; nothing on the floor perfection

A family of Latinas who call each other deep die cut names

imprinted and wrong on our light and dark skin equally

white girl.  brown girl. both.

I’m from households without tv or  Spanish

with loud Mexican music on a Saturday morning

to accompany cleaning

playing on an exquisite stereo

I’m from you don’t retire

you work until you die

from you aren’t supposed to have bills; pay cash

i’m from trust no one

i’m from generosity doesn’t call attention to itself

pristine vehicles and manicured lawns

because no one is going to call us out

i’m letter writing

taking it to the streets

making sure the powers that be

change their minds

whether they want to or not

I am dark lipstick

and hoop earrings

of never going outside in sweatpants

I’m on the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe

and she watches over us all

standing up to the darkness

blue robed; gold starred

a force field of prayers

both answered and still asking for more

(with apologies to George Ella Lyon’s I’m From)

Categories
arts & crafts literary Uncategorized

Blue Sky Freedom–Rabble Lit

Blue Sky Freedom/ Margaret Elysia Garcia

is my newest personal essay up on Rabble Lit. I love this journal and the work they publish. It continually makes me feel like my perspective–my own working class background now has a voice and I appreciate that. I’m glad they wanted a piece on teaching in prison.

Categories
literary

Leimert Park Anthology

 If I was in Los Angeles tomorrow, I’d be reading in this. I’m unfortunately not going to be in town. However, if you are in Los Angeles—do yourself a favor and go. You’ll hear some amazing poets that will blow your mind away.

Happy to be in the same pages as these poets. An honor really.

Categories
literary

Rabble Lit & Happy May Day

When I first heard of the concept of this journal I was all in immediately. It’s something my work has always had to struggle with. Where do you fit as a literary writer when you’re kind of punk ass at the same time? Can you be academic when you’re throwing out references to children’s literature? Can benign neglect be a motif?

I do a good deal of writing about children in one way or another–maybe because I identify with being misunderstood and grossly misinterpreted and of all creatures on the planet, I think they own this more than anyone else. We are shaped by what we are born into –setting, family, etc. I happen to be born working class and I see no reason to shed that skin.

Rabble Lit acknowledges that and that American stories do not always have to be men contemplating their navels on the subway of an Eastern city with a paid off student loan or none at all. Thank you for providing space, Rabble Lit and its wonderful set of editors.

This short story of mine is up there now on their launch day–May 1st. Happy May Day! I’m humming the Internationale.

In a Far Away Land/ Margaret Elysia Garcia