In the transformation of silence into language and action, it is vitally necessary for each one of us to establish or examine her function in that transformation and to recognize her role as vital within that transformation.
For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding. Because in this way alone we can survive, by taking part in a process of life that is creative and continuing, that is growth.
– Audre Lorde
“i don’t know when love became elusive
what i know, is that no one i know has it
my fathers arms around my mothers neck
fruit too ripe to eat, a door half way open
when your name is a just a hand i can never hold
everything i have ever believed in, becomes magic.
i think of lovers as trees, growing to and
from one another searching for the same light,
my mothers laughter in a dark room,
a photograph greying under my touch,
this is all i know how to do, carry loss around until
i begin to resemble every bad memory,
every terrible fear,
every nightmare anyone has ever had.
i ask did you ever love me?
you say of course, of course so quickly
that you sound like someone else
i ask are you made of steel? are you made of iron?
you cry on the phone, my stomach hurts
i let you leave, i need someone who knows how to stay.”
― Warsan Shire
“creativity keeps the world alive, yet, everyday we are asked to be ashamed of honoring it, wanting to live our lives as artists. i’ve carried the shame of being a ‘creative’ since i came to the planet; have been asked to be something different, more, less my whole life. thank spirit, my wisdom is deeper than my shame, and i listened to who i was. i want to say to all the creatives who have been taught to believe who you are is not enough for this world, taught that a life of art will amount to nothing, know that who we are, and what we do is life. when we create, we are creating the world. remember this, and commit.”
Photo by: Radhika Jit/Cabo San Lucas
I want to talk at length about Men-
struation. Or my period.
Or the rag as you so lovingly put it.
All right then.
I’d like to mention my rag time.
and lovely to the light to look at
like a good glass of burgundy. Suddenly
I’m an artist each month.
The star inside this like a ruby.
Fascinating bits of sticky
The afterbirth without the birth.
The gobs of a strawberry jam.
Membrane stretchy like
saliva in your hand.
It’s important you feel its slickness,
understand the texture isn’t bloody at all.
That you don’t gush
between the legs. Rather,
it unravels itself like string
from some deep deep center—
like a Russian subatomic submarine,
or better, like a mad Karlov cackling
behind beakers and blooping spirals.
Still with me?
Oh I know, darling,
I’m indulging, but indulge
me if you please.
I find the subject charming.
I’d like to dab my fingers
in my inkwell
and write a poem across the wall.
“A Poem of Womanhood”
Now wouldn’t that be something?
Words writ in blood. But no,
not blood at all, I told you.
If blood is thicker than water, then
menstruation is thicker than brother-
hood. And the way
It metamorphosizes! Dazzles.
From the first
transparent drop of light
to the fifth day of chocolate paste.
I haven’t mentioned the smell. Think
But thicker. Think
A sweet exotic snuff
from an ancient prehistoric center.
– Sandra Cisneros, Down There
She is going to find herself
when she is meant to find herself.
In the wrong or in the right place.
In this space or in the next.
Today or tomorrow.
Tomorrow is drowning drunk in love,
In the things she cannot understand,
But there will always be
something happening to her,
and something will always be changing her.
Something to bring herself closer to herself.
She will continue, she will endure and grow.
And the way she will see the world
will be nothing more, but a reflection
And all at once, the search will be beautiful.
The birth of a flower is one to remember,
the moment we all pay attention to her bloom.
– R. M. Drake