Category Archives: Inspirations



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Filed under 90s hip-hop, Academia, dreams, Inspirations, love, music sweet music, Uncategorized, Writers & Poets

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Filed under Inspirations, love, music sweet music, the dead

Path by Jack Hirschman

Go to your broken heart.
If you think you don’t have one, get one.                                                                                                     To get one, be sincere.
Learn sincerity of intent by letting
life enter because you’re helpless, really,
to do otherwise.
Even as you try escaping, let it take you
and tear you open
like a letter sent
like a sentence inside
you’ve waited for all your life
though you’ve committed nothing.
Let it send you up.
Let it break you, heart.
Broken-heartedness is the beginning
of all real reception.
The ear of humility hears beyond the gates.
See the gates opening.
Feel your hands going akimbo on your hips,
your mouth opening like a womb
giving birth to your voice for the first time.
Go singing whirling into the glory
of being ecstatically simple.
Write the poem.

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Filed under Inspirations, literary universe, love, poetry, solitude, Writers & Poets

Dreams (revisited)

some dreams i wear everyday. on good days, i inhale them like a fragrant corsage on a lapel. on others, i suffer them like an expensive favorite pair of ill-fitting shoes. some are guarded by angels who pour me whiskey and roll out red carpet at the back door. some are muscle turned fat. some are a ship that just left the dock i stand on and don’t care about my neatly packed suitcase.

this is a throwback blog i just stumbled upon. i actually got to spend time this past week with the inspiration of this post, adia, and meet her sweet baby girl. it had been almost two years since we saw each other last. adia is still all that she is and more. her dreams and her pursuit of them never fail to look me in the eye.

July 2007

I filmed my girl Adia’s dance rehearsal tonite. She’s one a them beautiful crazy genius people that has to turn her dreams into dance routines or else she would lose her mind. Her dances, the lyrics to her songs are like collages, each word carrying the weight of her ancestors and the pregnant future. Pieced together across continents and landscapes—South Carolina to South Africa to San Francisco.

My girl Adia moved to New York seven years ago to pursue her career as a dancer. She went to Alvin Ailey Dance School, studied her roots, started her own dance company, Ase Dance Theater Collective, and is now getting gigs internationally to dance and choreograph. She would sometimes use her grocery money for dance costumes and studio rental fees. She has gone hungry for her dance. She has given herself to it completely, paid incredible dues and tonite I keep my eyes open for her lesson. She’s becoming a master.

I am realizing that I have had a hard time letting my loved ones go for their dreams in the past. I get jealous. I think, who do they think they are? The chance of success is so slim…

When Adia left for New York seven years ago we were running an organization we had founded together. A dream we shared. She left to become a dancer and I felt abandoned. How could she leave me behind? A piece of me held on to that feeling because it already fit in the space in my heart. That five year old little girl in me who got left. Like a rubber band ball in my heart, I add a new band each time I find evidence of abandonment. So it grows bigger and casts a shadow over my dreams.

As I watched her choreograph tonite, I saw her doing the work that I struggle to arrive at. Her dance is a resistance story, a family secret on blast, an unborn child come alive in a dream, a plantation field of sugar cane on fire, a tongue that grew back without a scar, a gyration that winds back to the woods and spills onto the floor of a grimy dancehall, the speed of a hummingbird and the strain of a throat that has not swallowed honey,

inbetween going home and never ever coming back. Roadmaps and blueprints and star navigation line each movement with a destination. Resilience.

She’s doin that sacred, odds-stacked-against-us, delicate, hardcore work of preserving and pushing forward her culture at the same time. Tonite I got to document this work as evidence that it can be done.

I tell you, some of my deepest lessons can only be seen from behind the camera.

I am realizing that it’s getting easier for me to witness my loved ones go for their dreams because I have grown a space in my own heart for faith. A spider web visible only when the light hits a strand from a certain angle. As I watched Adia and her dancers move, it glistened and reflected rainbows from all the light cast upon it.

My dreams? I have so many it overwhelms me. To write them here, to write them anywhere is dangerous. But I need a push like a shy girl needs when she can’t ask her crush to dance and the song has already made its way to the chorus.

I dream of writing books

that don’t come easy

and living near a warm ocean that speaks

when I enter her

I dream of making movies

so audiences cry in the dark

to let go of their pain

and ache for the possibility of love and


I dream of taking photos

that make it hard to look away

I dream of passing down

more language, more recipes, more tools, more maps

to my children than were ever handed down to me by my parents

I dream of sewing myself together whole

with the needle and thread of my legacy’s best mistakes and tiniest victories

I dream of creating

in the company of geniuses

who carry both a push and an embrace in their arms

and show up on time to catch the sunrise

even when the fog rolls in

poetry gets frozen in me sometimes

I’m slow to warm up

mostly using outside sources

not the fire inside me

for heat

This is me

tina inbetweena

standing beside it’s too late and

it’s never too late

to follow your dreams

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Filed under dreams, Inspirations, poetry, San Francisco, spirituality

night lesson

Oh stars
as i stand
beneath you
amongst the trees
so still
after the storm
i can’t help
but notice how
we all reach
for you.

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Filed under Inspirations, Night, origins, Philippines, poetry, solitude

On Becoming an Ex-Writer: A Personal Essay (part 1 & 2)

Blessed and honored to announce that Part 1 & 2 of my non-fiction essay “On Becoming an Ex-Writer” just went live at Doveglion Press! Many thanks to editors Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo for the shine. Shout out to coming out and coming of age in the golden early 90s in Frisco, writing on walls, bombing partners and falling in love with words, one at a time. Trying to connect the dots before they fade…
Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Filed under 90s hip-hop, blues, childhood memories, community organizing, friends, getting politicized, graffiti, Inspirations, literary universe, origins, poetry, San Francisco

Love poems

Each time you open
the door after looking
through the peephole
I leap across the threshold
into your steady arms.

My love if this apartment
is too small we can break
the lease and find a home
with more room for your

Taking Turns
You and I are
in the kitchen
making midnight

snacks. Sometimes
I have a sweet tooth
when you are craving salt.
Sometimes we are missing

an ingredient (and if you cannot
beg me to the store in my pajamas)
then we improvise to make it

tasty. But whoever cooks
does not have to clean
and we never go to bed hungry.

The crook
of your neck
is hiding precious
jewels. Rubies, diamonds,
emeralds, mother of pearl.
Don’t bother trying to cash
them in. I made a deal with
the crook of your neck
to stash them there just for me.
Don’t worry, you will forget
they are there once I bury
my face in them.

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Filed under Homesickness, Inspirations, long distance relationships, love, poetry