About the Writer

 

I’m just a girl in the world.

I am a spoken word poet and writer/artist in general.

Writing is kind of my thing.

I’ve been interweb “blogging” sporadically for a decade now on the same site, same journal. It’s currently set to friends only for personal reasons that have much to do with how much the last ten years of my life have been a whirlwind of surprises and lessons in survival as well as strength. Access to that journey should cost money for the prices I’ve paid to get through it all! Someday, it will; when I have time and space and comfort to organize the documenting I’ve saved along my path.

Before technology opened up an ocean of possibility and exploration to welcome my unicorn-mermaid freakish miraculousness though, I was able to cling to survival the old fashioned way…I journaled in notebooks and wrote endless poetry in every spare moment from the age of 9 on. Recently, I’ve been experiencing a long list of chronic health issues that baffle many medical professionals. One issue is the the lessening of mobility in my hands due to cramping in my fingers and severe pain that radiates from my palms. It’s not arthritis and I doubt carpel tunnel. Whatever it is, it took me two years to even acknowledge and come to terms with the fact that it is a real issue that I’m going to have to face since it is not going away. As a writer, this has severely impacted the motivation I’ve been able to muster up when even thinking of writing as practice or therapy or gawd forbid, an attempt at actual art! (And that explains why my posts are so spread and 98% are not new to this site- meaning they have appeared or been previously performed elsewhere in the last 1-15 yrs.)

The other half of this dichotomy that is me is fiercely dedicated to community organizing. A lot of my analysis is influenced by this work and my love of social justice in all its pursuits.

I am a queer identified, two-spirit indigenous Chicana with deep ancestral roots in San Antonio, Texas (all of my great grandparents were born there). I, however, was born and raised in California’s Central Valley. My hometown was small but on the map for various reasons. Cesar Chavez brought national attention to the plight of farm workers from the same vineyards and orchards my grandparents worked in. Later, when the mostly migrant inmates of California’s prison system felt that they were being ignored and losing power to advocate for their needs via the avenues “prison politics” were originally set up, they went on strike and created a similar movement from inside the prison system. This separation of priorities and eventual restructuring of mostly Chicano and Latino relations, split the race into two separate factions who then became their own separately run street governments. Around the time of my birth, the Northern and Southern groups were at war and the line between what was what in the state, was drawn on the southern border of my hometown along the same almond orchards that migrant workers had organized in a decade earlier with the United Farm Workers Union under Chavez. This is my personal and family history – the different generations stuck in constant unnamed and largely ignored or forgotten civil wars in order to demand and reclaim their dignity from those said to be their own communities. I come from Delano, CA. My hometown built two state prisons before it built two high schools despite the desperate need for more educational space and the priority that should have inherently held.

I took what I saw and learned from every crevice I could squeeze knowledge, history and personal stories of diverse experiences from in order to enrich my understanding of what was underneath the violence, poverty and grossly underachieving educational system of my community. I developed my own perspective and analysis naturally. However, the hugely overwhelming nature of dysfunction that permeated that same community I loved so deeply could in no way foster the expansion of my growth and dedication to learning and organizing for change. So, five years ago, I moved to Seattle and have plugged perfectly into social justice work/advocacy and collectivized reform efforts with other community organizers. I knew I was meant to live here from the time I was a young teenager – a full ten years before I decided one day to do it. It took me 6 weeks to land a job, a home and a plane ticket here and I’ve only thrived in my line of work. My spoken word poetry has also made it into an internationally acclaimed anthology and I perform large venues regularly. So, to keep the momentum going, I have decided that ten years from now, I see myself living and working in New York.

The last thing that I will say, is that my writing is super trigger heavy and needs to be prefaced by saying so. I write only what I know, see and feel through experience. Mostly I write as a way of understanding myself and my relation/positionality to the world around me and my work. I hope that by sharing in this way, my light connects with others who may know similar darknesses that are commonly the catalyst for my writing and my messages (and vice versa)!

Thank you for stopping by,

cy

 

Queer Shakespeare

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