Rumbos

shoes“Pero no amo tus pies, sino porque anduvieron sobre la tierra y sobre el viento y sobre el agua,

hasta que me encontraron” -Pablo Neruda {Tus Pies, 1952} 

Queria que anduvieras por mis rumbos

Seguir mis pasos en cada aventura

Sentir el dolor de mis pies tras horas de haber caminado

Por Isla Negra, la arena, el metro y la biblioteca.

Queria que estuvieras a mi lado, agarrado de mi mano.

Mis botas dejaron huellas que tu algún día podras visitar

Huellas fantasmales, ya que tu no estabas ahí

 Me hiciste mucha falta, eso nunca lo dude

 Por eso, la próxima vez yo seguiré tus rumbos donde sea que estés

-CSV

Tired Feet

  

We all have busy lives, days when we feel that we are the only ones that suffer or work 13-hour shifts. What we fail to understand is that we are not alone and we are not the only ones. I constantly feel that I have a helmet on everyday that I must wear to survive the grind and when I make it home at the end of the day, my feet ache and pulse, tired. I have tired feet; feet that take me to places I don’t always want to find myself at. 

Fernando sees my tired feet everyday and he urged in me that if I have tired feet it should be because I just came back from an adventure or if I am doing something I love. These tired feet have been to many places across the globe, on different shores and have struggled to walk up trails; never have these tired feet been more excited than now. I am headed to my “fatherland” as I like to call it, because Chile is where my father resides. The countdown is short-lived now as it is four days away. 

My father and sister have been warned that they will be my tour guides so this time my tired feet will be sore and will ache but I will be happy. 

So these tired feet will have new stories to tell, new roads to conquer- until then! 

-CSV 

Literary Elitism

literary elitism

The following is an account on today’s events.

I am Literary Studies major, therefore I still enjoy frequenting bookstores having them be a chain or independently owned. I put long hours into what I felt was my passion: reading and writing. I am the first one to tell you that I have a bookshelf full of books but have only read a third since I am one of the slowest readers you will ever meet. I like to recommend books to friends and most if not all have to do with love and the search of it.

Today, Fernando and I decided to go to a bookstore we frequent for an event on poetry. I was really excited because I love poetry, as a matter of fact poetry is the reason I was drawn to literature in the first place. We went in there, ran into a friend, made small talk and eventually went into the store to wait for the reading to start. We got there a little early so they were still setting-up, but Fernando and I wanted to get a good place (partly because I have trouble hearing) so we sat down. We sat down and the lady that was setting up the chairs and host stand glanced at us and gave us a look as if we were not allowed to sit there. I immediately thought, “Was I suppose to RSVP?” “Are we sitting in the right place?” Fernando felt that I felt uncomfortable and he and I looked at each other without thinking but feeling that awkward sense of ‘we should move’. I told him “hey babe, why don’t we sit back there”, pointing at some chairs all the way in the back closer to the bar. We saw the lady engaging with everyone there, talking about the publication the reading was on and so on. Fernando saw there was a sign up of sorts going on so he went up to the stand and asked “excuse me, is this for the emails?” to which she replied “yes” in a curt manner. She did not engage with him or make small talk like she had with the previous guest or the one that followed Fernando. Truthfully, I then wondered, “Are we wearing the incorrect clothes?” “Did I pencil in my eyebrows too much?” “What makes them think we are not here for the poetry reading?” It was my day off and I was wearing black jeans, flats and a tank top. And then it hit me; I guess we were the only Hispanic people in a very White event. It was sad that in the entire room we were the ones left out when we genuinely were there to support the event and the arts. How is it that such an insignificant moment makes you doubt your worth as a writer and literary junkie? I wanted to go up to her and say, “I studied Literary Studies at UTD, I know about poetry and I have a blog!” Even if I did not have a major in literature or had never written a line in my life, I should not be discouraged from attending events that support literature, books and the arts as a whole.

Fernando went up to the lady later and expressed to her in a very respectful way that the glance she gave us and the lack of engagement defeats the purpose of what they are promoting which is a comfortable and open environment to discuss literature and poetry which goes against what the social hype is all about today. He asked her to turn around and look at me to see that we were the only people there that were a minority and how it made us feel. The lady was very apologetic to Fernando and thanked him for his feedback. Fernando came back to sit with me and moments later the owner of the publication came to us to introduce himself and thank us for coming out to the event. It should not take for my boyfriend to go up to her for her to realize that she was off-putting and that it is completely discouraging for people outside of the literary circle to support any upcoming events for them. It is the lack of diversity in that field that triggers events such as the one described above. It should not matter what people’s perception it is of what I do or my profession is for them to allow me to participate on such events or engage with me. I have every right to attend a literary event and give them two cents of what I think about the readings or recommend a poet. We stayed until the end of the reading because that is what we were there to do. So I hope literary elitism ends now, I guess next time I won’t wear a tank top or look as Hispanic as I did today.

Tragedy of the Commons

tragedy of the commons

“I’ve made up my mind to find out all about you minutely. But as I have no one from whom I can find out anything, you must tell me everything fully yourself. Well, what sort of man are you? Come, make haste—begin—tell me your whole history”- Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s White Nights

“This is it”- we begin to think. We have found someone whose common denominator matches yours; have it be a mutual love of music, a shared obsession over chocolate or hopefully something deeper like a similar past or the same vision for the future, we fall in love. The tragedy of the commons in love happens when we fall for the wrong person or we become infatuated with the incorrect someone depleting our chances of giving love a try later on in life when the latter does not work out. We say “fall” because it can be a liberating feeling of sorts and if it goes wrong, it can truly hurt once you take that fall and its reality with its emotions hit.

It happens to the “commons”, the ones who are usually willing to give someone else a chance, the ones that are romantics and not idealists, the ones who have truly loved and who have gotten hurt. The “commons” are the ones who open up their hearts and who are real. This week I realized I have not always been real or truly transparent except when it comes to loving someone. Sometimes I think to myself, why do I always wonder about love, its implications, complications and contradictions? It is simply because in previous years, the lack of love has shown me I was in the wrong place and with the wrong person, but in the present it has taught me to truly open up and trust someone else, and that is the least of the tragedies. So when you realize you are a “common” like me, I hope you have not depleted your chances at loving someone back or allowing someone to know who you really are. Love can be so intimidating, it is so private and personal, not to be taken lightly or for granted. The only tragedy once you both allow yourselves to fall in love is to be dishonest. So be real, love much and never give up.

Guest Blogger: Girl Riot !!!

guest blogger picture

Whether you sway towards soul,rock,pop or psychedelic tunes, Fernando does not judge. A true lover of music, better yet, of all that music triggers and makes us feel, Fernando has since an early age documented the most precedented and powerful moments in Music’s history. He can recite hundreds of albums, EP’s, singles and artists that have made an impact in his life; the following is just a tiny piece of his mind that honors Women’s Month. He presents an album, a book and a writer; all women we should know about that influenced the musical scene. I present to you, Fernando, follow him on twitter @Fivel33 

Aretha Franklin- “Lady Soul”

We do not have royalty in the United States, but we do have a queen. Aretha Franklin was blessed by the heavens and whether it was Gospel, Rock, Soul, or Pop, Ms.Franklin’s musical output is a catalog worth getting lost in. Her voice and elegance has no heirs . She can melt the tar off any roof. She can deliver heartbreaking thunder with whispering vocals. Lady Soul was released in 1968, the same year the Beatles delivered the White album. It is one of the greatest punk albums of all time. Yes I said punk; punk is not a genre, punk is a way of life. Rebelling by mixing Soul, Rock and Gospel Ms. Franklin delivers a masterful set of tunes; shame on those for trying to put Ms. Franklin in any genre. The album kicks off with a “Chain of Fools”, the melody and hook almost makes you forget she is letting you know who is in charge. The album features lyrics and songs by James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles; When the queen comes calling, they come. A soon to be known young song writer by the name of  Carol King contributes by co-writing “you make me feel (Like a Natural Woman).The album also features guitar work by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Make no mistake Ms.Franklin is the star. Her complete confidence and elegant delivery transform the songs into her own. My favorite track is the last one. Written by the queen and her sister Carolyn Franklin. The song “Ain’t No Way” is a statement of devotion to a man if only she can be who she is. The song is important to call out due to the lyrical intent. The queen let the world know, women are not dolls, love means respect. Please keep in mind, here is an African American woman in 1968 telling not just her man but all men the truth. A fun fact about our queen: when Ms. Franklin sings live she requests for the air conditioning to be off. No one or nothing interferes with her voice. Lady Soul is meant to be heard in full. There is not a wasted track. Songs lose meaning when taking out of context. There is a huge difference listening to You Make Me Feel here than listening to it on a romantic comedy soundtrack, or off a greatest hits album. I politely recommend for a full listen. Do you have 28 minutes? The queen deserves that and more.

Kim Gordon- “Girl In a Band”

Kim Gordon is an artist, writer, and poet. Her bass and guitar work, along with her lyrics and aesthetic were a huge part of Sonic Youth’s sound. Sonic youth was a band in every sense of the word but this post is dedicated to Ms. Gordon. Her memoir “Girl In a Band” is out now. The book is an account of an amazing artist and musician. Sonic Youth was one of my favorite bands. They exposed me to so many different musical landscapes. Their legacy influenced Nirvana, Pavement, and My Bloody Valentine. You can hear them in newer artists like the band Mourn and St. Vincent. About a year ago I gave all of their records up, including singles and limited edition pressings. Why? Because little by little news of the band’s hiatus, which eventually became a full break up of the band was due to betrayal. As many fans know Kim Gordon was married to Thurston Moore. Their love by many including me was seen as a statement of true love. That is unfair to them or any couple, and things in life happen. Life is not a fairy tale. More than ever before, romanticizing certain aspects of the celebrity culture is unhealthy, nonetheless we all do it. it was a mistake on my part to part ways with their music ,as one should never act with a broken heart. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Kim Gordon did what a true artist does: arise from darkness and create. Her insightful, brilliant, funny, inspirational, gut-wrenching memoir is not about one incident in her life. There are many wonderful anecdotes in this book. Her memoir is a portrait of a girl in a band who did it her way.

Jessica Hopper- Music Journalist/Critic

Jessica Hopper is a senior editor for Pitchfork magazine. Ms. Hopper like all great music critics lets the art and artist be the main focus. That sounds simple, but just read a couple of reviews and blogs floating around the Internet and that rule tends to be lacking. We love to share about us. Hell, this post is one of them. Ms. Hopper removes the annoyingly wonderful notion of “my favorite artist, book or movies should be your favorites too”.  She writes to inform, guide, explain and establish what the artist is conveying. I compare her wit, structure and observation to a pre-jail Lil Wayne; here is an example: “Pale Green Ghosts is defined by Grant’s willingness to broadcast directly from his hell; he’s a bit of a serial confessor, and the confessions are marked by blitheness that belies just how much he did care, how far from love he has fallen. He sings the songs of a man with little else to lose.” That is a part of her take on John Grant’s album. Her review of Joni Mitchell’s box set is line after line of brilliant observation and wit. The review takes you back, establishing relevance and placing into context the remarkable goddess that is Joni Mitchell. “Her work helped birth a new idiom that was personal and poetic, creating a new space for songs that made artistic statements, unbound by cliché and tradition. Such was the strength of her music that Mitchell’s lyrics didn’t have to make sense. But they did, particularly to women.” Fuck that… every time I think my next line is going to be the one that will unlock my ticket to be a great writer, I read something like that and go back to the drawing board. Just like David Fricke, Rob Sheffield and Nelson George, Jessica hopper is a critic that has influenced and helped curate music I love. Aspiring music critics check her out. Ms. Hopper also has a book coming out; in honor of Pitchfork, I give her reviews a 9.0 like any true pathetic jaded hipster, I don’t give a ten out of spite. Follow her on Twitter @jesshopp .

Bonus: Cinthya Salinas- Blogger, Writer & Photographer

Cinthya as you know has a passion that leaps off whatever device you use to read her insightful posts. She is a woman proud of where she comes from and appreciates the beauty of her present. She bares and shares what others fear. She writes about love; the love of her country, the love of her family, the love of her favorite books. In a world that is full of cynics, she is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Her tales and adventures come from courage. She doesn’t settle. She has traveled the world and follows the rhythm in her heart. When words are not there, a photo taken by her delivers the same impact. So keep coming back and share her work with others. I tell her what I’m telling you, the evolution of women’s rights like any complex social issue is always ongoing, always improving and evolving. Hopefully this post provides insight to some great women out there. Follow her on Instagram: eloquentgalblog and Twitter: @cinthyassv .

MY PATH

IMG_0104 - Version 2(From left to right: Myself, Danya, Paulina)

Is having children on your priority list?”
“I’m not going to answer that question. I’m not mad at you for asking that question, but I’ve said it before: I don’t think people ask men those questions.” —Zooey Deschanel

Being the youngest of my siblings I was constantly surrounded by older members of my family and or friends of my sisters. Ever since I could reason and had an opinion of my own I felt that my future consisted of a career, a significant other and a puppy. Throughout the years not much of that checklist has changed, I graduated college, live on my own, have a loving significant other but no puppy yet. Is it so wrong to not include children in your future? Why do women get graded on their worth based on whether or not they’ve had children? I respect women that decide to create a family and raise a child, but it should not make me a bad person to not want that for myself. Also, women should not be thought as good people only because they had a child; I know horrible mothers out there who neglect their children and should not be deemed great.

I feel that it is completely hurtful and ignorant to target other women that decide not to have children. There are several variables as to why one might not want children, perhaps they don’t like children or maybe they cannot have children, to each their own and they reserve the right to not be scrutinized for making such decision. It is hard to make a decision like that knowing that people will deem you strange or that you are going against nature; people it is not that complicated, just because I have a different stance or opinion than you, does not make me a bad person or should not make me a pariah. I love children, I may be incredibly awkward around them, which is why I was the worst babysitter ever. I respect and love my sister Danya for having had Tyler and for having Ella on the way. She is an incredible mother that has and will continue to show those beautiful babies what loving means. I respect my sister Paulina for giving all her love to my nephew and for helping my mom raise me. I look up to my mother who raised three crazy girls and we turned out to be normal loving human beings. I admire women that decided to have children whether it was their own or through adoption and I believe that women should root each other on instead of beat each other down. Let’s be nice to each other instead and respect each other’s opinions and lifestyles. Simply put, I do not think I was born to be a mother, and you should not have a say on that.

“It’s like, ‘Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?’ With kids, your focus changes. I don’t want to go to PTA meetings.” —Stevie Nicks

-CSV

Hoarder of Words

“Cachurera”

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When I was around
four or five years old
I grew this sensation
with my dad’s paper scraps
that he would toss away,
old receipts or invoices
from work. I grabbed a
big plastic bag and pretended
it was a fancy briefcase. I would
take that plastic bag everywhere,
drag it through the entire house
and pretend I had top-secret
important documents in my
posession. Truthfully I just
wanted to be like my dad, I would
mimic him writing, even though
I did not know how to yet and
I would feel so important. I would
steal my dad’s pens because I
thought they were special and magical.
And so from an early age I fancied writing
not knowing that twenty years later
not much would change. The term “cachurera”
in Chile means hoarder; I was and continue
to be a hoarder of words, quotes and
books and there is nothing wrong
with that.

CSV