New Directions: Home

May 24, 2010

It has been a year since I finished graduate school at Sarah Lawrence, and earned a degree that leaves me with intellectual satisfaction and a barrage of questions during unsuccessful job interviews.

Women’s History…why? :::brown suit asks with unfocused neurotic eyes:::

Maybe I’m not sure any more. I’m just sure that I need something to shift, and quickly.

I work two jobs as a College Advisor by day, and College Professor by night; Sounds like some super-hero script…and I love it and detest it all at once. I feel phantasmic and somnambulistic and I think I am developing an ulcer, but its probably something psychosomatic.

I am plagued by money and poverty, and a social class status in perpetual limbo transfixed between an elite-educated class and a poor boy from the Bronx on food stamps. Yes, I buy my lunch at Whole Foods sometimes with my Benefit card.

Whilst I sit transfixed between these borders, I turn to Gloria to get me through. She lets me know it will be okay…and tells me that I have a space.
But I do want to tell her that what I am really searching for is a home. Gloria said “homophobia is a fear of going home after a residency.” Well, where do we locate ourselves during a residency?
My home has been The Bronx for so long…but my dear friend, I think we’re headed for a divorce.

Last December, I spent countless dollars on applications to graduate programs in San Francisco, Toronto, and Montréal. I need(ed) to escape. Despite being accepted by a PhD program in San Francisco (I’m still awaiting to hear back from MTL almost 6 months later, but I doubt I would be able to secure a visa in time should I be offered acceptance), I decided that it was not my time to leave. I’m going to work out something with this city, I am going to find a space that doesn’t leave me jarred and marginalized on a daily basis.

Let’s see what happens.

NewYorkers/Tourists

Un été à Paris

May 20, 2008

Because that is exactly what I will be doing–or rather, where I will be!

My first year of graduate school has officially ended, thereby my summer has finally begun!

I have not been able to go on vacation for some time, due to various financial and personal circumstances, but this school year certainly warrants a brief departure from the monotony of new york city. so, i’m escaping new york city for the entire month of june 🙂 I may seem gloat-y, but, fuck it, I deserve it. I need a break 🙂 For now, my homework is practicing French, Dutch, Spanish and learning some Catalan, since I will not be speaking much English for over a month! Here’s my (tentative) schedule:

27 to 30 Mai: Delaware and Washington D.C.–I will be attending one day of the NAFSA conference to network, find Ph.D information, etc.

2-10 Juin: Montréal, QUÉBEC–this is my second home: I will be conducting some light research at queer and feminist archives, and (hopefully) sitting in on the Queer Feminisms Symposium at McGill University. But, it will not be all work 🙂 my Dutch roomie will be meeting us in Montréal from 6 – 8 June!

11-30 Juin: L’EUROPE!

Paris, FRANCE will be my home base, but I will be making day and weekend short trips to:

Barcelona, ESPAÑA

Provence-Marseille, FRANCE

Fez or Marrakesh, MOROCCO

Amsterdam, NEDERLAND

30 Juin: Arrive back to Montréal, QUÉBEC

1 Juillet: La fête nationale du Canada!

2 Juillet : Return to NYC

3 to 6 Juillet: Independence Day in Dover, DELAWARE

and for the rest of the summer…who knows?

If any of you are in these cities, please send me a note. I’ve been to most of these places, but it is always nice consulting with a local or expat about must-sees’ 🙂

I am so looking forward to it! 🙂

and, btw, I will definitely be photo-blogging this séjour au QUÉBEC et L’EUROPE!

a bientôt!

PREVIEW!:

Ambitious Child

April 20, 2008

Ambitious Child

My grandmother kept two small birds in her kitchen. As a child, I remember being completely in awe of birds. I did not understand how or why they could fly…or rather why I couldn’t. I, unlike those other stupid children I knew did not attempt to fly. I knew it was impossible for a human being to achieve self driven flight. But…I suppose the real question is: how did I know this? Although I did not break my arms, legs, head, neck or any other part of my body in any foolish attempt to soar with the birds, I carefully observed everyone else who did.
I suppose the ambitious child really had a fear of flying…

Absence

March 30, 2008

Sorry its been so long since my last post: I’m on spring break and sick, so I have not even been near my macbook. But I just wanted to share this with all of you before I improve enough to make a full post.

This is what happens on Saturday nites at diners in NYC! (I’m the one in the black shirt and short hair, my youtube debut)

I’ve been thinking a lot about performance and politics. During the “Black Power, Black Feminism” conference at Sarah Lawrence, I attended a panel on the Black Arts movement and I was provoked to start thinking differently about art and politics. One panelist noted that during the Black Arts movement, dancers were not respected as a “serious” art in terms of social politics. Dance was perceived as frivolous apolitical action—and not a true art in light of the movement. Yet, the panelist argued that dance was by far one of the most politicized art forms during the movement, and also one of the most accessible considering that the only tool required is the body. Something else that only requires the body is sex, but this action is hardly understood as an art. Sex is certainly a performance, no matter how many people are involved. And art is certainly also performative, but what about pornography? Can pornography also be art? Before I even begin to consider this question, it is critical to start with deconstructing what we even deem as pornographic. In light of the performative scope of my inquiry, I would like to commence with a videographic introduction.

He has a point. Let us embody this problematic as the foreplay to our work…But I’m going to take this slow.

My first love.

March 7, 2008

In 1989, I began a love affair that has lasted 19 years…with Janet Jackson. As a five year old, I was enthralled by the heavy base beats, soft voice and amazing black and white music videos of Rhythm Nation: 1814. I was not totally aware of the depth of the album’s lyrics, but as I grew older, I not only developed a better consciousness of her message, but a soundtrack reflecting the limitless highs and bottomless lows of my lived experiences.

Four years later, I danced alone in my room to janet. I released my pre-adolescent worries singing everything from “That’s The Way Love Goes” to “Because of Love”. I was shaken by the naughty lyrics of “Throb” and “Anytime, Anyplace”…those songs always required me to don my headphones out of embarrassment. I even broke the wall one evening while practicing my choreography 🙂

Last week, Janet’s lastest album, Discipline, was released…and its amazing! I definitely suggest for everyone to check it out on iTunes (this is a greener and cheaper option to CDs).

The music video to her second album single, Rock With U, was just released yesterday. I am in LOVE with it. Janet is definitely giving me everything I need. Especially from 3 minute 15 to 3 minute 22. Check it out!

Audre

March 3, 2008

During the first night, I was terrified of the novelty of my new surroundings. I attempted to breathe in the exotic chilled nocturnal breeze, but my lungs lacked the capacity to accommodate such a miraculous air. I sensed my body being galvanized a revolution of unimaginable sorts. I was not in control. A warring sense of chaud and cold began to encompass my entire being—it was a most extraordinary feeling of euphoric panic. I was outside of my domicile, experiencing the first of my many panic attacks in Canada. The air was the catalyst of my culture shock. My body, without any knowledge of this alien environment reacted irrationally. I vomited on the driveway.

I wrote this last year. But something has transfixed me. I’m not blocked…

I want to transform my writing.

I need to find the voice to speak, simply. Where can I locate the words to set me free from this complex? I’ve been thinking about tools. Audre warned us about the tools–they won’t dismantle that fucker’s house. But I am filled with fear that I have been overcomed by that fucker–he raped the voice out of me. and I’m not going to let him have it for one more second.
Audre, cuentame, how did you do it?

Volver

February 26, 2008

Running, running, running in Brooklyn
pack of cigarettes in my hand
I stumble
side to side
the last glass of wine hits me
I’m free
ready to kiki on the corner
sustenance meets me there

Vice

I am compelled to return from the obscure.

This past year has been shit–but it’s going to fertilize the flowers. And in their blooms, colors of my memories shall sobrevivir.

I miss my grandmothers. They were my histories. I yearn again to feel my father’s laughter upon my ears. He was my heart.

This is the time to return–like a refugee from the war on terror, I’m here: kicking and screaming.

Let’s start this shit.

Nascent

June 25, 2007

La Verdad

I find myself returning to the past in hopes of finding the future me. I dream of the present wishing to move beyond my circumstances. This is where I commence, trying to locate my beginnings.

Yo… Yo he experimentado la mayoría de mi vida en los borderlands.
Desde nacimiento, me introdujeron a un terreno extranjero.
Un terreno constantemente luchando contra mis historias.
Todo que es white, male, heterosexual y upper-class debe ser desear-todo era primitive.
¿En vista de esta situación perniciosa,
cómo encuentro
la voz
para transportar mis experiencias?
Travel has transformed my consciousness.
I travel not out of convenience or luxury—I travel simply.
I have lived in parks and palaces.
I have sustained myself on stale bread and sour wine.

I find myself returning to the past in hopes of finding the future me. I dream of the present wishing to move beyond my circumstances.
Together shape the present Pablo.
Time and water divide them
Yet, they rendez-vous in my being.
I jump over the horizon
and transverse waves of clouds with memories of years ago.
 Shift