Our tongues were a pair of matchsticks and we burst into flames trying to ignite enough fire for a second Big Bang. You still kiss me like I hold the entire universe in my mouth. Some galaxies are bigger than others, but this world is far too small to contain us because the distance between / my skin / / your skin / will always be a billion light years too far and people say wishing on stars only results in unanswered prayers. I wished on the Big Dipper when I was younger, asking for someone I could share all my toys with so I’d never be alone. Years later, I recognized the same constellation mapped out in the freckles on your shoulder the first time I saw you naked and woke up the next morning wiping stardust from my eyes. (I knew they were wrong all along.) Destruction is just another form of creation and when our flammable kisses lit up in flames, we destroyed the only Earth we ever knew.
written by "The Arsonists", Kim Visda (via 33113)
Perhaps we dont like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.
written by Sufjan Stevens (via a-prelude)
(Source: spinals, via freudakahlo)
I’m an English major. It is a language of conquest.
What does it say that I’m mastering the same language that was used to make my mother feel inferior? Growing up, I had a white friend who used to laugh whenever my mother spoke English, amused by the way she rolled her r’s. My sister and I tease Mami about her accent too, but it’s different when we do it, or is it? The echoes of colonization linger in my voice. The weapons of the death squads that pushed my mother out of El Salvador were U.S.-funded. When Nixon promised, “We’re going to smash him!” it was said in his native tongue, and when the Chilean president he smashed used his last words to promise, “Long live Chile!” it was said in his. And when my family told me the story of my grandfather’s arrest by the dictatorship that followed, my grandfather stayed silent, and meeting his eyes, I cried, understanding that there were no words big enough for loss.
English is a language of conquest. I benefit from its richness, but I’m not exempt from its limitations. I am ‘that girl’ in your English classes, the one who is tired of talking about dead white dudes. But I’m still complicit with the system, reading nineteenth-century British literature to graduate.
Diversity in my high school and college English literature courses is too often reduced to a month, week, or day where the author of the book is seen as the narrator of the novel. The multiplicity of U.S. minority voices is palatably packaged into a singular representation for our consumption. I read Junot Díaz and now I understand not only the Dominican-American experience, but what it means to be Latina/o in America. Jhumpa Lahiri inspired me to study abroad in India. Sherman Alexie calls himself an Indian, so now it’s ok for me to call all Indians that, too. We will read Toni Morrison’s Beloved to understand the horrors of slavery, but we won’t watch her takedowns on white supremacy.
Even the English courses that analyze race and diasporas in meaningful ways are still limited by the time constraints of the semester. Reading Shakespeare is required, but reading Paolo Javier and Mónica de la Torre is extra credit. My Experimental Minority Writing class is cross-listed at the most difficult level, as a 400-level course in the Africana Studies, Latina/o Studies, and American Studies departments, but in my English department, it is listed as a 300-level. I am reminded of Orwellian democracy: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
written by Monica Torres, “Majoring In English,” The Feminist Wire 3/29/13 (x)
In French, the verb blesser
means ‘to wound.’ In English, ‘to bless’ is to confer spiritual power on someone or something by words or gestures. When children are christened or baptized in some Christian churches, the priest or minister blesses them by sprinkling holy water on their faces. But the modern word has darker, stranger roots. It comes from the Old English bletsian
which mean ‘to sprinkle with blood’ and makes me think of ancient, grim forms of religious sacrifice where blood not water was the liquid possessing supernatural power - makes me remember standing as a boy so close to a scene of violence that the blood of it baptized me. To wound, to confer spiritual power, to sprinkle with blood
written by Gregory Orr, The Blessing, pp. 3-4 (via spiritandteeth)
It is known that whole trains of thought sometimes pass instantly through our heads, in the form of certain feelings, without translation into human language, still less literary language. But we shall attempt to translate all these feelings of our hero’s and present the reader if only with the essence of these feelings, with what, so to speak, was most necessary and plausible in them. Because many of our feelings, when translated into ordinary language, will seem perfectly implausible. That is why they never come into the world, and yet everybody has them.
written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, A Nasty Anecdote (via paradoxicalsentiments)
(Source: outofthedarkness, via paradoxicalsentiments)