José Esteban Muñoz is dead & gone and it makes no sense. I hope this is hoax.
One, two, third poly relationship/person i’ve been invited to join since moving back to Miami. I don’t understand what type of vibes I’m putting out y’all. I want to understand.
Help me to understand y’all. Please.
I ain’t fit to be no mother
I ain’t fit to be no wife yet
I been workin’ like a man, y’all
I been workin’ all my life yeah
There ain’t no dinner on the table
Ain’t no food in the ‘fridgerator
I’ll go to work and I’ll be back later
I go to work said I’d be back later
Lord you know I’m a good looking woman
Lord you know I’m a good looking girl
If you want to give me something
Anything in this great big world yeah
Lord you know that I am ready
for my sugar my sugar daddy
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
I made a new word Empire
When you say it
remember that my body is silent
Then I made another Spectacle
When you say it
my body is pronounced
- - -
I will never understand
how some can fall in love
- - -
(Oh my God
how do we
fall in love
with the sea
- - -
For three months
my mother tried to kill me
when she was done
wouldn’t let me leave
My momma doesn’t believe in forgiveness
Never let her drown
“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.”
7th Avenue tranny body
visit to the free clinic body.
the virus for
positive a sick and ugly animal.
I keep saying funny things to myself
He will tell me what his plan is.
He will tell me what his plan is for me. It is comforting.
It does not mean a thing.
Whining after whining for more breast milk
that they want to give her
I think of male nipples of temples
lost and forgotten
This is our bodies in our final form
A stage of living that happens after living
We want it to be promised
but it is not. We can all be forgotten
without our chance of milk & honey
We will all be
come without purpose.
When I am tired like this
I think of everything that is bone white
dying somewhere in the desert
morsels of fatty meat gnawed on by a grubby fist.
I know there is someone
in this desert
but I always just
miss your footfalls.
You are bullying in your silence
in your lack of reply to my simple request
to head down the street for some breakfast
that is salty & greasy but better
because I would have someone to watch me thumb through the menu
too long, like I am prone to do
There is no time
no time in desert
We chart the passing of days based on how much our loneliness weights.
There was a time you knew my cry
of hunger from my cry to for wanting to soothed
You have forgotten it all
You have sent me here
What happened in the past
it was painful
it sits here and forces me into this sun
This sun that will kill me
One day the grandfather said to the voices in his head: There is no water that can cleanse
you once they have attached the name
So, I am staying here
Feet adorned with bent and yellowed nails
giving way to calves like Poseidon risen from the sea
They were the first part of him I learned how to love
soft as they were
out of place next to his gruff voice
loud stompings through our Bensonhurst apartment
He would sit to peel
each wet & stank sock
leaving his clammy, warm place exposed
I felt he didn’t know that this made him look
like he could be hurt, lanced even
And perhaps I would have hurt him too
But the thought was never borne
in my hands
still in my lap
ineffectual before the changing
swelling tides of my father’s temperament
— — —
The adulterer by any other name is Father
But what a gift
his deep laugh of softness is
Like he carried me in his belly for the duration
in mauve muumuu and threadbarehouse sleepers with fur-trim
A tenor that calls land out of the sea
— — —
The blue boy
was born in the harbor
of saltwater & lightning
his mother drowned in
What the boy
now a man
who carries electricity
in his hands
in the reefs of Île de la Gonâve
if he could
— — —
The blue-white snow sailed through the air to meet
her grey and brown brother on the ground
followed by constant rain
This happened for days
A whole world turned on
I say “Dad, I need
to come home.
For a bit.”
You are lucky because the rain washes away the snow
clears up paths for you
I begin to understand how to stand still & wait
To let my feet
bring me out of things
remind me of what is soft inside
and wanting to stay alive
— — —
your clutter of sighs
about being in love
in the cold blue of it.
All the sweetness
there is to see
at the edge
of the sea.