"The white fathers told us, "I think, therefore, I am" and the black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel, therefore I can be free."- Audre Lorde

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When I answer the phone, strangers still sweetly ask if they can speak to my "mommy or daddy".
It's awkward.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


When I turn 70, I plan to be a nudist.

Monday, January 18, 2010

remember when you'd find me here... waiting in silent anticipation. you'd sit beside me.i'd sit beside you. backs leaned up against the rock. naked toes in the grass. you'd try to sing, but i wouldn't let you. i'd try to cry out but you'd hold me, and say "Here I Am".

Saturday, January 16, 2010

to remember rose

Around last year at this time, she came to me in a dream.
It was the type of dream that leaves you unsettled and shaky for days after. The kind of dream that you wake up from because your sobbing in the middle of the night. The kind you swear wasn't really just a dream.... but instead, a foot step into a thin place-- the mysterious realm where the spiritual and the normal meet. That's where I met her-- in that thin place. She was wearing that turquoise dress- the one I always seem to picture her wearing, though never actually seen her in. That dress was before my time-- it was before her body fell apart. Before each breath hurt, and every laugh ached. She was in this dress and she was beautiful. She came to me, in my room as i slept and held me. An embrace so real, so warm and so close I felt her presence for weeks afterwords. She told me she was happy. She could dance. and breathe. and laugh again. She talked of freedom. She talked of forgiveness. She held my hands in hers, looked into my eyes and whispered, "don't be afraid shannon. everythings going to be alright". and I believed her. i still believe her. then she left me. and i woke myself up at 3 in the morning, from the sounds of my own screaming and sobbing.
It's a strange thing when your body convinces itself that a dream is real.... and when you start to believe it. It's a weird thing. Seeing a loved one again.
It's a creepy yet beautiful thing, when this sort of dream happens on the exact one-year anniversary of her death.
The next day I discovered that the bookmark, in her old day-by-day Bible, was left exactly under January 16th-- the day she had died. The day, a year later I had this dream. And what's amazing/uncanny is that the passage it marked was all about how God spoke through dreams.
maybe he still does.

* * *
I was there when she died. We all were. We held her hands. We stroked her hair. Though the Doctors were unsure if she was conscious enough to hear us, we talked to her anyway, for the hours leading up to her last breath. They, her sons, my dad, my uncle, told her the untold stories of their childhoods. Who really carved their little sister's name into the window sill and blamed it on Tammy even through she wasn't even old enough to spell yet. Who snuck into the dandelion wine. We laughed together even though we all knew what was about to happen. We painted her fingernails one last time-- and told her they looked pretty. Even though her eyes were closed and tubes and wires were keeping her with us. We sang to her. We sang songs about a wooden Indian named Kawliga who fell in love. We sang funny songs. sad songs and sweet songs. That's when she died. In the middle of a song . we held her and together, as a family we cried. It was surreal-- haunting yet beautiful. I don't think I was able to imagine freedom, until that day.
What was left on her bed, was no longer my Grandma.
Who I saw in my dream was.

* * *
She always use to tell us this story about how one day at a wedding her panti-hose gradually started slipping down... until eventually without even realizing it, they were wrapped around her ankles! Then she'd laugh. and laugh. and laugh. until you could hear it coming through her chest like the rolling anticipation of thunder.
I'd never experienced this with panti-hose before....
until the day of her funeral.
Both my Mom and I.
We were walking down the aisle, towards her coffin to lay a rose on it.
As we were walking, both of our panti-hose started gradually falling off. Until we had to waddle. While everyone else was mourning, we both started to giggle.
I'm certain she was too.
* * *

Thursday, January 14, 2010


When my Dad shaved off his mustache I cried for a week.
I was around seven.
I remember he had just walked through the door, and i caught a glimpse of his naked upper lip,
through the corner of my horrified eye
and i screamed.
I screamed as if i had just witnessed a bear violently tearing the face off of my little pet dog.
I screamed as if I had just found said pet dog's ripped up corpse under my pillow.
I screamed. i ran. i hid. and then i cried. i cried inconsolably until i started choking on my own snot.
i grieved his missing face hair. i mourned its loss. i ached. i bellowed. i roared.
i somberly vowed life would never be the same with a mustache-less dad.
life as i knew it would end.... until he grew it back.
he never grew his mustache back.
i still secretly wish he would.
im not very good with change.
infact, i suck at it.
i wish i could still hide away under the blankets. i wish i could still scream and then cry until i choke on my own snot, whenever change happens.
i wish the loss of fatherly mustaches were the only things i'd ever have to mourn.
but their not.
and that's hard to accept.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

golden calf

i have a strange and mystical relationship with the wallpaper in my bedroom at Grandma's house; i've secretly worshiped it for the past 18 or so years.
when i was a young'in about 5 years-old or so, i remember feeling quite distraught and unsatisfied with the idea of God being a "man".
i concluded that it would feel much better if i had a god woman to talk to instead. so, one night during a heated prayer, i negotiated with the heavenly father to reveal to me a good hearted spirit mother instead.
Several weeks later, I found this image on my grandma's wall.
Despite its obscurity, I swore and continue to swear that the leafs and flowers form the shape of a lovely nature woman face.
For years and years whenever I slept at my grandma's, i prayed to this mysterious face in the wallpaper, until i fell alseep. sometimes id pray until i cried. and then cried until i fell alseep.
she was the woman side of god.
and i dug it.
It's odd because it wasn't until this month that I realized that this spiritual relationship with wallpaper is sort of bizarre....perhaps even "pagan", as andrew so kindly pointed out...
but as strange as it is, whenever i see that face i am reminded of a time when i couldn't fall alseep unless i sung god a little song into my pillow. i couldn't dream unless i gave my praise to the creator. when tears ment gratitude, not pain.

i miss those times.

and as strange as it is, before going to sleep the other night, i caught myself praying to the wall paper again.
im secretly comforted by the fact that i can see she-god on the wall beside me.

snail coitus makes me smile