As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs—Poetry

“Latina creo en ti” or  “Everything we do, say, inspire, is sacred!”

Latina creo en ti,
I believe the cultural
dissonance that separates
you from
the rest
is an inner Escher,
a path less traveled
Fibonacci spirals
in the dark…
which only you can decipher

The cold you contracted from
will make you
The spiritual symptoms
to recover your soul
have been sent express
to your mind
by other women you nurtured

Creo en ti
porque las researchers
have made it
a priority
to research
themselves at least once on their path to
their strength and uniqueness

Your cards have been
the ancestors
bet on you,
they worked hard
so you could
the thunder of your thoughts,
recycle the memories
of your foremothers
into what they dreamt
for you…

Your quehaceres
are inkscribed
on books
and electronically filed
in the future
no longer mops, cash registrars,
no longer only drops
of sweat on the foreheads of
forgotten destinies

Now they are
your exercise
in certainty
your exercise
in empoderamiento
merely your
library downloadable mantra:
“I will always give more than I am given.”

Your soul is a country
visited by the future.
In it
there are
women who
need you as a symbol…

The corners of the academic table
are padded by the papers
of your hermanas,
you cannot hurt your forehead,
lean on them.

You are not alone
because lavender, orange and yellow
are situated within the
color scheme
of telescopes, words, numbers and bibliographies
phyto chemicals, nutrients, proteins and especially elements
surround the work
that embodies your essence.

You are not alone,
the music falls from
buildings with your name
and high rise universities
are raining women who will guide you.

As I fly in the plane of opportunity
I see which clouds are water,
which clouds are vapor,
which clouds
are there
for you to glow
and cleanse your sometimes withered soul

Up in the clouds
you are all colors
and all consistencies
because you are not alone…..


 The Statue of Liberty is a Woman

¿Have you noticed the rust of repetition?
She is not that!
¿Have you marveled on the beauty of materialism?
She is not that!

She is not the tortured broken torch light of razors on a women’s hairless legs
Or the tricycle not given
The bicycle not taken to see the beach
Or the frisbee that can never be free
She is not the unforgiveness of frustration
Or the dark passion of an interred Japanese man in a WWII camp

The picnic basket bottomless filled with pleasure she is,
She is the bookseller who sent books home every day with karma for a court

She is the noisy pedal boat that leads a child to infinity
She is the garden the Japanese man planted in the 50’s
when he finally felt the future touched his greenhouse.

Like the statue of liberty, she’ll take you to a place you’ve never been, inside your house

She is the pixel of multiculturalism stuck on each page of race, the medal won by speaking the language of loyalty,
the friend who like a lake transparently improves you.

She was there when feminism used to be a hippy
Purple pelos punk sticking up against authority

She is here when feminism is the present
Walking on the shallow waters of Buddhism
Embraced by the Pope on a good day
She is the internet of freedom when she is the statue of liberty.

The Cheerleader

A lamp with which to dance rhythmically
Around arteries of hate
Secrets, envies, power people parades
:”professional life” people who still don’t feel
and they have finished the rat race

Wisely, you knew a cheer would subvert
The unimportance of importance
A cheer would succulently
Jack up the level of life into a dance
No longer wisdomless-ashed, but powdery pride,
Chalkboard pride
To feed the students
On a dark, obscured theorized day
The hierarchy of white men, leading dark men
A dying amigo who hired us
To put us in the trunk of his car
To not hear our noises: munching books
Repainting the white fences
Painting them the color of chipotle sandwiches
Polka-dotted functional
“I am not the palpitating moment of your fear.”
A cheer, a guiding sky
Escaping a dust devil head on
You, a power puff girl, Bubbles
Lifting me by the soul
Inside the dust devil
Where we  eat Phö
At the  Tan Brothers, making jokes
Ilesas; undamaged

And then she was…
And then she was an illusion,
her imaginary climbed on closed doors,
infested rat nests, railroad tracks, fields~ toilet bowls, books,
pathways from Tierra de fuego to New York.
Wild waves permeate their humid maps on people’s souls,
Disintegrate pain, and convert it to one of five kinds of mangos,
walk the streets of New Jersey,
in sleepless liquor stores,
rest only in red light districts,
collect hair in bathtubs, for rosary beads
Pray and are prayed in poetic hotel stationary.

Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs is the author of several books, including being first editor of the revolutionary Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. She has authored multiple articles, poetry collections, encyclopedia entries and in 2015 was awarded the Provost’s Inaugural Award for Scholarship, Research and Creativity at Seattle University, she was also recently selected university-wide as the Director for the Center for the Study of Justice in Society. Her collection ¿How Many Indians Can We Be? is forthcoming with Mango Press in 2016.  Also forthcoming is The Runaway Poems with Finishing Line Press.

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Issue 3February 14, 2014
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