I am sitting here at midnight writing letters to professors about graduate school, trying to develop a graduate school research project on epistemology, and feeling ambivalent about the process (elusive) and what it means to me. I am interested in decolonization, decolonizing my own mind, tracing genealogies of thought and cultural production. (Queer theory, feminist theory, Afro pessimism, and literary analysis). I am interested in philosophical and poetic questions that manifest through art and theoretical entanglements (engagements darling). I enjoy writing to my friends and loved ones.
There is no dichotomy between art and knowledge, both somewhat considered “good”, “valuable”, and “important” in society (depending on who you talk to and how). Ask a nerd what kind of art they like. As a Xicana what kind of art she likes, music does she listen to, or poetry she writes. Maybe her headphones are filled with cumbias, or boleros, or maybe she just likes Belle and Sebastian or Nas.
Maybe she is too old for Tumblr, but too young for reunions, not ready for happy hours, unsure about the rent, cautious when walking the streets late at night.
Maybe her younger friends like beats, pop mollies, and ride the metro until 3am. Maybe they gave each other tattoos dedicated to their favorite passages from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, or Xicana Codex of Consciousness, or lines form Ashata Shakur (“WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS!”).
Perhaps they have never gone to a protest, but they still say “FUCK THE POLICE” and have ducked from the headlight of a helicopter after a late night tagging session (won’t get into details). She might be a brown beer kind of girl, or sipping martini’s vodka is her thang, after class, after finals; unwind.
She might be into hiking, yoga, or meditation. She puts on the CD she found at the thrift store. “Breathe. Feel your body relax. Count each breath. Empty your mind.”
Perhaps she found no reason to empty her mind. The meditation did not calm her heart or soothe (her soul) her senses. Yoga helps to bend the body, but did not make her into a nubile ballerina, or a freaky gymnast. She runs to temporarily clear her head.
She finds herself unable to get up each morning. She dreads each day of work. The. Same. Boring. Routine. She goes to a therapist. She sites in the waiting room. A white woman who is fat and sits in a chair all day greets her. She fills out the paperwork and sits in the waiting room. She is called and comes in to speak to Charles. Charles is another fat white man who looks at ease in a Hawaiian shirt and khakis. He invites her to sit on a fat leather couch. She stares at the clouds through the blinds before answering his questions. “I am depressed and I have anxiety.” He writes a prescription. No questions. No mention of boyfriends (or lack thereof),relationships, no existential fumbling, a couple of questions about getting a job, family history. Ah. Family history. Neurotics on both ends. He nods and scribbles notes into a notepad. Panic attacks are regular. Not good, the brain must be given what is missing. Stimulate the production of serotonin and endorphins. Drugs are in order. To sleep and stop panic. No further questions asked.
She hops out of the office, back to the car, the street, the never ending. Art, philosophy, school. Loans and rent. Due and soon. Elusive and fading, and politics, and poetry. Girls who run marathons and girls who make jewelry, and girls who by some miracle, stop crying. Somehow, the nausea (also, the literal symptons of Prozac) stop. Breathing feels better when you are running on no one’s time but your own.
DIOSA VIDA: An American based recording and visual artist collective based in Oakland, CA led by femcees Jazzminah and Ji La Zand who are of Middle Eastern and Mexican decent. Diosa Vida captures the essence of two womyn embodying bidi bidi bom bom rhythm while spitting Hafiz rhymes down Telegraph Ave. Jazzminah and Ji La Zand summon all mystics from the barrio to stand up.
heck yes too down for this
This sums up my life.
Earlier the month I was diagnosed for anxiety/depression. I am glad to say that a couple weeks of rest and vigorous reading and writing has lifted my spirits and changed how I think. I now feel better about myself and have more hope (and goals) for the future. I am grateful I have a strong, supportive, and compassionate family that understands self care and self-improvement. If people could just take a couple of weeks off between work/jobs/school, then I am sure we can love more and make this world a nicer place.
I am also more focused on my paper and following interesting ideas. I am not always sure where one line of thought to another will lead me, but I am compelled and enraptured by theories on affect, queer futurity, and assemblage ontology. I am inspired by Jasbir Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages and Jose Esteban Munoz’s Disidentifications and Queering Utopia (!!!). Such brilliant and dare I say, creative, weirdly beautiful work from queer and feminist (xicana, post-colonial, postmodern critique!) academic traditions (Duke, UCB’s Ethnic Studies, Rutgers, NYU) I can only hope to one day contribute to. With love and endless admiration; building altares to my favorite radical queer theorists/philosophers— may our subjects always be art, love, joy, and the brave beauty of survival.
Since 1980, 3000 native Canadian women have been murdered/gone missing. Indigenous women are five times more likely than other women to die as a result of violence. Sixty percent of known perpetrators are white men.Justice for all Indigenous Women! by Jessica Sabogal | Montréal
Despite push from the UN for a national inquiry, Canada continues to largely ignore the violence against Native Women. x
I blinked one day and when I opened my eyes, it was normal to have an American army battling Americans on American streets. No one even calls it a war. But it is.
Don’t forget this crazy shit actually happened.
Don’t forget this shit is STILL happening
Metals break and melt into the landscape,
it’s dust floats across the distance,
where piercing particles dissolve onto tips of tounges,
stabbing ashmatic lungs with polluted layers
of industrial substance
caking the earth
in her ruin.
and she can not yet free her body
from it’s own internal disintegration.
The earth, the property, the unpaid rent had different
hands of fate.
She counts the time through scraps collected.
Feelings become unreliable narrators
of her invisible condition.
Collecting dust and memory with pressed roses between pages
where disintegration evades linearity.
Her house is not a home
built of wood, concrete, and lead.
White people treat me differently when I’m out on a date with a white guy. I don’t get it and I’ll never get over it. It’s like, all of a sudden I exist.
There’s a place for us rebels.
Restless and quiet, lying awake in the night.
The tortured loves of the unloved.
Loving with fault, to no avail, unable to teach through or penetrate through the silence that divided them. She never felt further a part, more of a sad image that floated further and further away, revealing nothing. She had nothing to gain from him, two years of tortuous suffering, almost times, unreturned affection. L was unable to look back, yet terrified and too depressed to look forward. The possibilities evaded her, plunging further into ideas of what is not even there.
Depression is choking immobility. Beautiful strong birds who have lost the will to fly.
Pain attacks are waking up to the world spinning, leaving you unable to retrieve who you were before and after. Gasping for air, compressed by the invisible giant of worry.