Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 23: Joanna

i never watched a house burn to ground
but iʻve felt it
watch the fire thief a family of place
a father of family
watched daylight fail
iʻve never watched a house burn to the ground
but i know what it feels like to burn
know what stench fires ghost leaves behind
know the way ash never leaves
only moves
chases you
makes sure you remember
what no longer is
and what will never be
because everything was eaten by heat
and the quiet crackle
the quick strike
of a match against
sandpaper skin

Friday, February 22, 2013

day 22: Pae ka leo o ke kai (a revision from yesterday poem)

During my quest for the kāne
i send songs into the ʻāīna before me
scripture composed to the rhythm of your pahu
i imagine the hua spurting roots and rising as kumu lehua

the men and women hear me coming 
prepare puaʻa, kalo, luʻau  
all for for me to feast
i eat the tender leaves and continue
like the ocean tide
to return to your shore

the moʻo 
insist on making an impression
fling their tongues in my directions
flail their bodies as to hint at my destruction
but i have proven
that all those who test will fall defeated

I have finally arrived to find the kapu man dead
i send my voice first 
it lands on the ears of friendly hosts
they claim i am the diety of their dance
the akua they marvel to for this movement 
and yet, 
they are ignorant to the source of this mele
they forget you
do not see the shadows your palms left 
pressed against my hips
don't  feel the cool brush of wind to the sweat collected between our skin
they know nothing of the way you fed me your body
how i drank of you until every step 
every twist was an instinct to praise you 
every kāhea
a song strung from the shift your kino pressed into papa
how you became a kumu only by allowing your body to be laʻau lehua planted in earth
so that you may dance every time the nānāhuki wind blows

they are stranger to you
and our song
and i wonder 
how they might call themselves dancers
and not know your name
not have felt the pressure of your poho to their hips
the wisher of your voice saying, "pēlā" again their chests
the sting left behind by your kiss
they know not how all of this became the dance i would compose to the rhythm of your breath
only that i have been singing the same song ever since

they call me their akua
their kumu
and all i can do is wonder 
as a haumana of your haʻa
as a student of this bend at the knees praise 
if i have spent enough time in your arms 
in the center of your swaying scripture
if i have made a home permanent enough in your body
to bring justice to this ʻami
of this bend and hinge of the hips
i do not know

so I send my voice to you over the ocean
praying for reply
Pae ka leo o ke kai
the voice of the sea sings
Ha‘a ka wahine
the female bends
‘Ami i kai o Nānāhuki
she turns the sea of nānāhuki

reminding me
i have much still to learn of your body

Thursday, February 21, 2013

day 21: the hula deity

while i seek him
kāne with the kapu kino
i send songs into the ʻāīna before me
scripture composed to the rhythm of your pahu

the men and women hear me coming 
tprepare puaʻa, kalo, luʻau for me to feast
i eat the tender leaves and continue
eager to return to you

the moʻo 
insist on making an impression
fling their tongues in my directions
flail their bodies as to hint at my destruction
but all those who test will fall defeated

I have finally arrived to find the kapu man dead
i send my voice first 
it lands on the ears of friendly hosts
they claim i am the diety of their dance
the akua they marvel to for this movement 
and yet 
they forget you
they do not see the showdown your palms left 
pressed against my hips
nor do they feel the cool brush of wind to the sweat collected between our skins
the are stranger to you
and i wonder 
how they might call themselves dancers
and not know your name
not have felt the press of your pooh to their hips
they call me their akua
their kumu
and all i can do is wonder 
if i have spent enough time in your arms 
in the center of your swaying scripture
to be worthy of this praise 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 19: time

its amazing to me
how much time
a girl in love
can need

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 17: Goodnight, good body,

you are skin and nails
i am chockboard and water
we love loud
scratch like salt
cool like snow
we will
until we are backwards
refuse to break
insist on sticking
not even the sun will drive us away

but your edges against my back
make me damn to soften the scratch
no sandpaper skin
nails sliding off black sky
just skin
sliding into black night
just two bodies
blackened by time

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 16: Goodbye

good bye


Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 15: ʻĀpuakea, Kailuas Finest (free write)

"Words are spoken by the rain on hala"
water waking on the silk of skin
call her
kailuas finest
lett her fall from the sky 
unto you
sparkle your skin in sheer sleet from the gods
she will move proudly along
until you wade into her
imagine her body falling over a one you love
how this mist might expand your lehua
imagine the two of them
caught in embrace
how far the love you have might stretch
how strong the two might grow
how many theyd be invincible
to fire 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 14: There is only make

"Nothing is a mistake. There's no win an no fail. There's only make." - Sister Corita

why are we so afraid
to step out from under the shade of expectation
and practice
and almost perfect
in order to do something
almost miraculous
where did this idea of mistake and failure come from
and how has it gotten caught up so deep in our skin

is just a forgotten promise
to try
to dismiss fear
and build
to forget failure
and make
something new
and almost miraculous 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 13: in progress

the day i saw you burning
i happened upon two lehua trees
in the center, a stream, Hoakalei
i plucked the misty eyed flowers to string myself a part of you to wear

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 12:

iʻve sipped the silence from your skin
the bitter taste of it
had me crying til morning
you awoke
another lie whispered past lips
another moment when truth wont fit
and im just waiting for a part of your strength to break
shatter at the center
so all the small ugly words can fall through
and i can know for sure
the kind of fool i must be
to have allowed
a woman
so far under my skin
that iʻve forgotten
how to stand up straight without her

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 11: especially now

we are unlikely
nearly impossible
we are two edges of the universe
not meant to touch
and yet
here i am
holding you
pressed against my chest
here i am loving you
to supernova and back
here i am
not to let go
no matter how impossible
here i am
and especially

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 10: My inauguration speech

There are still holes in our bodies
Caverns created by your discoveries
Wounds never cared for enough to scar
From your bombs
This is not a time for speech writing
Not a time for clever metaphor
And inspiration
This is a time to picture the bodies you unfurled into the abyss
The ones who skin was already blacked before you charred them

I don’t want to hear a gay Mexican on stage
Talk about the light we can all see in mornings mirrors
Don’t want to talk about the way morning breaks over horizon the a promise for progress
Or any of that shit
Mr. president
This is not a moment to revel in our excellence
In a minute to remember or
Disgustingly human
An hour to shatter the glass ceiling of appearances

Black man
Born of woman
Born of salt
And sand
Born of imperialism
Born of bombs
And chains
And ropes
And scars
Born of roots

How could you forget?
The holes your country dug into my body
How could you disregard
The sands that spit you out whole to this world
How could you achieve so much
And remember so little

I know our black is not the same
But our scars
Are so similar
Have just allowed them to paint over your skin
Make you presentable
Make you represent
Something you were never an image of

And yet,
I still feel hopeful
Every time
Its your face
Delivering the state of the union
And yet
I still wait
For you to say something
That really matters

We are all waiting to be recognized
Having casted our ballot for the only body that resembled our struggle
But every time you speak
It becomes so clear to me
That you have no intention
To recognize the way
Your office
Has beaten us
Has broken us
Has made us victim
Has buried us all

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 9: A seed that insists to flower

When attempting to lull a foreign body 
let no seed be left unturned
scatter language over his skin
to nurture a forest of growth he has forgotten
let every song that resists to be put to tongue
come to life in the shake of hips
conjure wahine Hōpoe
sweet lehua nectar that insists on being remembered

As you pass through, in danger
Make wind of metaphor to brush chill against the nape of his neck
Let him not forget the sharp sting of ʻŪkiu rain 
how it would turn to sweat
make sure the seeds will stick

This is the way your voice will be given permanence
How you will be allowed safety in your crossing
That you may return to her

So sing your way through valley and cliffs edge
Bring vision to places you’ve come to in darkness
That your kaona may be memorialized in stone and premonition
insure that women will repeat the words you have written
that you will be remembered
as the wahine
who left Hōpoe’s lehua grove
but never forgot the taste
of sweet nectar on your tongue
a seed that insist to flower

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 8: Horror of translation

i have know the game of being stripped to the core
how the naming of me by those who cannot decipher this tongue
will amputate every limb of my body
these are not moments i wish to pass on to my descendants
the accepting of violent translations
and a world thrust upon them in different dialect
how they will never be welcomed
in their entirety
someone will always demand that they be severed or made small to fit into the back of their throat
someone will always misunderstand their skin tone
someone will always violate them
with the scratch of repeating consonants

i might find them
lighting their body
to be small
and will lose myself in their lessness
someday i might have to remember my own skin
shrinking around my bones
shattering the strongest part of me
until i was putty to be molded by their narration
if i have children i might have to remember
the horror of translation

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 7: poems that dont matter

passive aggrieve me
wants to write a poem saying
youʻre priorities royally suck
but im not passive aggressive
so i wont write it
wont post it
ill just pretend i dont notice
pretend i dont care

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 6: a little courage

i saw small words
to myself
during the shade of night
the cold that comes before dusk
i wake saying small things
little words that help me continue
today i was without
cold only bought silence
the sleek of quiet sidewalks

so i hold the sounds in
not wishing to misspeak
wait for a girl to cross my path
knowing there have been words missing
she will do her best saying,

living in a big city
you just need a little courage"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 5: WInter

bodies frozen to concrete
huddles looking for warmth
a shadow, maybe to hold
even a smile might do
but the sun dont shine these days
aint nobody got nothing to smile about
is cold
is cold

Monday, February 4, 2013

Day 4: Body's Decay

when thinking about disaster
and the bodies left behind
or the ones choosing to stay
the ones 
who the earth was made for
who wait to see earth end
and waters triumph
when speaking of disaster 
as a child might
as you watch the water rise
when speaking of such
of any form is rarely a choice

when speaking of disaster
and the bodies 
screaming from roof tops
cursing god
and looking for a new savior
when speaking of those
not burnt by suns glare
skin as thick as molasses  
remember the way 
their bodies were chained to place
and movement is only meant for the privileged
don't come easy to ocean choked concrete

when speaking of disaster
think of a bodyʻs atrophy
mutations in the muscle
making movement impossible
think of the ones who couldn't get away
whether they tried
or who believe in staying til earths end
and not running 
coward like
to dry land

when speaking of disaster
of katrina
and indonesia
think of the body
remember its decay
not unlike its city 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 3: Remember Hōpoe, who glides

When confronted by the beauty of Punahoa,
seek her body.
An ʻiwa on the crest of oceans mountains
who teases clouds from the waters brush.

Seek her. Body
bending into waveʻs crash,
teasing clouds. From the waters brush
watch her dance upon silver skin.

Bending into waves, crash
memory to minds summoning.
Watch her, dancing upon silver skin
Remember Hōpoe, who glides of golden plains.

When confronted by the beauty of Punahoa
upon woman training tides
an ʻiwa on the crest of oceans mountains
Remember Hōpoe, who glides.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 2: Birth

My mother tells be I was born
during her doctors 45 minute lunch break
That I slid out of her
Like the world had been calling for too long
My body
Unwilling to be held within her safest embrace any longer
She said
They named me
A song
That would fear nothing but the end of its voice
Nothing but silence
And the absence of language
And breath
That would fear
Only its nothingness

She said
I was born
In 45 minutes
And became
Fully person
woman and hers

I remember birth differently
I remember the 5 year old version of myself being told and believing the story of my own desecration
How my penis
Had been severed by a team of doctors
That my mother
So disgusted by the coming of me
Strong and male like
Took a knife to my body
To have me made whole
I remember feeling missing
And the phantom itch of a appendage
Iʻd never explored
How the story
And believing it
Made me paper like
An origami sculpture
Waiting to become masterpiece
At someone else’s hand
And imagination

I remember my first period
At 16 and how it was the first true indication that the story
I couldn’t shake from skull
Was nothing more than imagination
And sculpture
That I was woman and
Would die this way
Having never fully known the itch of manhood
The way I imagined

 And this is why I remember birth differently
As less of the sliding from my mother body
Less of being of woman
And of her
And more of the 24 hours spent contorted on a garage couch
The sting of become a image of my own creation
I remember birth
As giving my body to canvas
As the minutes
All 1440 of them turned
Spent becoming a masterpiece
How owning my body
Was turning my skin into vision
And becoming woman meant
Refusing the restrictions of traditions that would refuse me this honor
Of this mark
Of being able to hold story in ink
On skin

Birth was the hour I spent weeping in from of my bathroom mirror naked
the morning I awake to find my tattoo completed
no longer a work of art
but a work of body
and wholly mine
in both imagination and form
was tracing the phases of moon on my pelvis
and remembering that womanhood is not the absence of a phantom itch
it’s the fullness of expression and the courage to have all dreams actualized
was the moment I realized that my body
was full expression and a courageous dream realized
birth was 24 hours
spanning in 22 years
a woman’s body
her own

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 1: Memory

i remember this feeling
the way air starts to take shape
the way
starts to feel
more and more like
and far far far away
the way your body
is less and less of memory
more fable
and tale
things iʻve read of before
but cant quite put to tongue

i remember the way it all
can fall to the floor and shatter
how fragile this kind of love can be
and how this
if memory serves
any indication
will be the first of many
poems written to mornings awoken

i know these feelings
and the song absence sings

i know your body
and the way it releases me
how the days will pile without our voices bouncing off of each other
how we are made
a symphony of silence
a john cage parade of nothing

tomorrow might be better
but it will not eclipse
the feeling of being struck
by our imperfection
and the way memory seems to pose itself
a warning
a guide against repeat offenses
tomorrow i might not want to crawl into my skin and cry myself back into ocean
but that will not remove
the memory of tonight
and my shell
far too tight for my body to hide
it will not reclaim the memory
of my bones curling into themselves
of my heart
playing small
in fear
of you