Monthly Archives: September 2008


An incomplete list…
I live next door to a boy who drinks red stripe and writes haiku.
My professor closes his eyes and smiles like i do on the dancefloor.
I am reading a book called the Karma of Brown Folk.
I got two beautiful handwritten letters in the mail from SF on the same day.
Bloomington knows how to do Korean BBQ and lemon custard ice cream.
My love is coming to visit in ten days.
I can give my new friends rides home at night.
I can cry when I need to and it keeps my heart open.
I just sold one of my short films to a college library.
I go to a school with running creeks and gingko trees on campus.
I am almost 33.
I can still imagine the ocean in my mind.


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Filed under Academia, food, friends, Inspirations, long distance relationships, love, Pacific Ocean, Writers & Poets

the rains

today for a freewrite i told my students to write about the rain.

What the hell is gonna make it worth being here while the world hurricanes and quakes? While Frisco twists off a cliff one more thick root left. While my godmother’s rage cannot leave the bed or her body and she misses my cooking? While my mom’s eyes sparkle in retirement and she no longer holds her tongue. What the hell is gonna make it worth it if the stories are not coming?

Maybe the tears need to flow before the words do. Maybe each of my words is someone I love trapped in a house spinning inside a gang of hurricanes and I have to walk right through the front door and save them. Maybe I ain’t really shit and most definitely not a heroine and my words don’t need a saving. Maybe I’m here because I chose them and they chose me, we asked each other to the dance at the same time so I show up and my words are late as payback for all those times I flaked. And this dance lasts three years anyway so stop my crying.

Maybe I can finally let all the voices in my head come out and introduce themselves as the separate and divine guides they are, pressed butterflies flat between pages for so long. I’m sorry I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that candles and water and prayers were not nearly enough for you. I’m sorry for all the times I took your breath away, I lowered the sky until it became a low ceiling and you tall proud ones had to bend half your size. I’m sorry I mistook the harshness in your voice for punishment when you were really only an older smoker version of me speaking the wisdom of god. I’m so sorry that I broke my own heart when my heart was the only pair of rollerskates I owned as a little girl. What can I do now to show you that it’s safe and sound?

I will let the words spill out the morning sleep from my eyes.

I will cry to the sweetest music I can conjure up. I will play it for eight hours straight and leave all my doors and windows open so each song sails through as it pleases.

I will not leave you alone even when it feels like I’m the one who’s by myself.

I will make this a place of worship for you, but please be patient I’m still learning how to be humble like that.

The rains here are good and intense. A downpouring tropical rain that washes off the mild-manners of the mid-west. A rain that is close cousins with the ocean. A rain that makes me stay home on a late Friday afternoon and cry folding laundry. I lift my head to catch the sky broken open into many silvers. Steadying me just enough.

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Filed under Academia, Homesickness, Inspirations, mid-west, spirituality, Uncategorized

I heart my ricecooker

it never lets me down. like last night when i came home after class and made adobo, my first bloomington batch. i shovelled out two steamy scoops and topped it off with my extra vinegary sabao. then this morning mixed with green onion and diced tomatoes and then two fried eggs with soy sauce on top. sarap! it’s my own cooking that will now be my comfort food. not mama’s, not james c’s, my own. My rice cooker is my ace-in-the-hole. the part of the meal i can take for granted. i have so much love for the things i can take for granted…

i’ve made a few friends here, but we’re all still checking each other out, taking it slow. No one wants anyone to get the wrong idea or overcommit. To grab on to new friends sometimes feels like it means i’m letting old ones go. So I don’t grab. We’re all here to write anyway. The real task is making writing my new best friend. Figuring out how to stay up late with my writing. How to be loyal and stick up for my writing. But how, against the voices that say I’ll be neglecting my old friends? Who needs a new best friend? This writing is too demanding. And what if we don’t hit it off? Well, either way I have a story due in two weeks that I haven’t started yet. Best friend, enemy, flabby muscle, whatever I wanna call it, it’s time to get crackin. sometimes i wish my writing was like my ricecooker. Easy, reliable, comforting and filling me up. Taken for granted. But in the absence of wishes come true, there are deadlines.

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Filed under food, friends, Homesickness

Since I’ve been here…

i’ve spent two days on my own in my apartment. reaching out to connect with new people i can take it or leave it but always glad when i do. maybe it’s time to learn that lesson soon. it’s all new to me what i do on my own. so far i like where i let the wind take me. the past two days i’ve spent worshipping, cooking, making house, writing, budgeting to Hector Lavoe, Willi Colon, Cheo Feliciano…salsa. feeling it now in a way i never had in a dance club here in Apt 6 at 1516 S. Dorchester Drive. Then in between songs at half volume, but still loud as fuck, crickets and other bugs singing their songs. The people who grew up here almost don’t hear it anymore. Trip.

I rode my bike once. It’s a fast one. Light, too. One arm up the stairs. From here on out a sweaty helmety student bicyclist. With small ziploc bags of mixed nuts, carrots and a sandwich. A good sandwich mind you. At least meat, lettuce, cheese and pickles. I got lost on the way home and ended up on a freeway exit. Gave up and took a bus with a bike rack back to my apartment. Watching Being John Malkovich that night with a ginger beer never made me laugh so hard.

There are other things to mention in list form because I need to get crackin on making a big batch of fried rice for the coming week: garage saleing, farmer’s market, 1st year mfa bbq, contradancing, queen elizabeth the only gay club in town, sunset walk with mike d, feeling my ancestors and i go into my first day at school tomorrow ready and amped.

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Filed under food, Landlocked in Indiana, music sweet music