My Own War

Mi revolution is silenciosa
Me desvisto con la ropa puesta
Canto y bailo on top de las pestañas del peatón furioso

I am too real to be around

Mis victorias no son Victorias Secrets… son más bien triunfos con panzas y narices redondas
Me mandan a vestirme porque mi personalidad los sofocan
Soy mi propia batalla

I am my own war
and mundo

que buscar dormir en una mata
que gana sin querer
que quiere porque así es
y así se la pasa comiendo una revolución de chinolas en su boca.

Mujer con Voz ©2016


Photo Credit

Enseñanzas

4/30
Teach your kids to do things for themselves; like conquering their fears, crying and wearing bright colors if they choose to. Teach them to carry pride in their eyes, dile que su piel es un legado, que brille aún así lo quieran apagar.

#CrónicasParaDescolonizar

Mujer con Voz ©2016

Never Enough 

Photo by Leo Rivas

3/30
My story is not fascinating like the ones you are accustomed to write about. I think my story repeats in every household composed of immigrants. The kids learn a new language, the one spoken by the parents disappears, and there is this thing, this loneliness, of belonging to two places at the same time and never being enough for any. I am a map ripped apart that still connects to its river, and even if it goes far in distance, always returns to its origins. 
#CrónicasParaDescolonizar

Mujer con Voz ©2016


 

Gossip 

2/30

Me confieso contigo
. I dressed that one day like I want the world to be inside my chest. ¿Qué te digo? No I didn’t want attention, no man spilling their tongues all over me, from far, from there, from across the gentrified corner. I just wanted to dress and feel beautiful inside and out, something these days we cannot say too loud. But the chismosas del barrio, they took each piece of my soul and destroyed it with their bare mouths. Aunque la mona se vista de ceda, mona se queda, look, look she is a prostitute seeking for attention wearing that dress that looks like a diaper instead of clothes, qué Dios la perdone, el mundo se va acabar, la mujeres de ahora no sirven.They didn’t know, how we are slaved in this notion, that the way you dress decides whether or not you are a good or bad member of society, that their words are prisoners of generations that couldn’t set their feet free, they assumed and they brake, they do not fix. The day I decided to feel beautiful for me, was the same day they assumed I was the bitch. 

#crónicasParaDescolonizar 

Mujer con Voz ©2016


 

Playing in the Campo

Caminos 
Caminante 
Canciones
Caramelo de coco
Se entierra en mi frente mojada
Se acuesta en la hambre de los signos zodiacales 
Nadie me acompaña 
Yo todavía escucho a Selena bailar despierta
Se te nota la distancia en la caras que utilizas 
Reza por mi
En cualquiera que sea tu montaña mansa
En la montaña rusa de maletas sin cariño voy
Montaña con nombre de monaliza marrón 
trae el
camino las
huellas de tu sombra las
canciones sin dueño 
Regálame coco con tus manos 
Suspira por dentro, mientras te sueño.

Mujer con Voz ©2016

Photo Ismael Rodriguez @smarodz

Washington Heights, Where is Tío?

Photo by  Joelle Santos 

Yesterday I walked around 175 Street, Washington Heights and pensé en la mirada penetrante de mi tío cruzando la calle y parándose a hablar con todo el que se le atravesara en el medio. I thought about him in silence. Lo miré riéndose y señalando todo los trapos del mercado ambulante y los lugares que ha pisado con su historia -una que comenzó en los 70s cuando Nueva York era una necesidad, no un lujo. Al coger el tren A me despedí de su ausencia, pero el reflejo de su perfume tomó el timón de mi camino, me zambullí en el subterráneo con la esperanza de encontrarlo allí, contando cada parada en una silla de madera. Me falta para llegar, pero estoy conforme de que voy en camino.

Mujer con Voz ©2016

Spoken Word Artist – Poetry in 3D

Photo 

The internet is a great place to meet talented artist, people who put their souls in what they write. I have the honor of interviewing Massiel Felix.  She is a Dominican mother raised in Washington Heights, a spoken word artist, writer, and a creative person who devotes herself to this craft. I hope you guys follow her in this journey of creativity and allow yourself to be induced in what she believes is “poetry in 3D.” 


Who is Massiel? Tell us about yourself…
I am a 38 year old mother of two who grew up in Washington Heights with her fellow Dominicans and now resides in Staten Island. I direct an after school program and summer camp for a non profit organization by day but all of my free spaces are occupied by writing. It’s my greatest passion.

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Massiel Felix

At what age do you began writing? There’s was a particular incident that made you want to write?

I was never a fan of spending summers at home all day and often elected to take extra classes in summer school while in HS. One particular summer there was a writing workshop being offered and I thought it would be fun to attend. I still remember the first poem I ever wrote in that class. At the time I was afraid I was with child and was having horrific nightmares about undergoing an abortion. It came out on paper, and it turned out I wasn’t pregnant, which was great! Lol. In college I slammed often at the Nuyorican and was invited to join their team in summer of 1998. We competed in the Love Jones festival in ft. Lauderdale and won! I fell in love with the release of emotion writing allowed and I haven’t stopped since.

Who are you favorite writers?

I am a huge fan of Marquez, Neruda, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, Zora Neal Hurston and Saul Williams to name a few.

What are your writing process, rituals, and routines?

I tend to jot down ideas as they come. Some I develop into full blown spoken word pieces, others remain single stanza pieces that have the strength to stand alone. I use writing prompts to get the juices flowing at times and love participating in prompt challenges on instagram lol. I wake up half an hour early and write down the first thing that comes to mind. It can be a new thought or the continuation of a previously started project. The point for me is to write daily and often to keep my pen flowing.


Which topics are frequent in your writing? What genre do you prefer?

I write about life and everything that encompasses. The easiest thing to ever write about is love- who hasn’t been affected by it really? Lol. I enjoy challenging myself and writing outside that comfort zone to talk about things like identity and race for example. My first love will always be spoken word- I refer to it as poetry in 3D.

What is your favorite thing you have created?

That is a tough question! Lol. I always feel like I haven’t written my favorite piece yet but I do have a couple that I refer to ever so often. If I had to choose though  I would say it is a poem entitled “No Inbetween.” It is the first piece I wrote that had nothing to do with love and relationships, it’s a nod to my Dominican heritage and speaks to the awkwardness of trying to fit into societies boxes and retain your identity.

Do you consider yourself a creative person?

I absolutely do. I have always tapped into the right half of my brain. I enjoy drawing, interior decorating and also have a passion for event design.


 What are you trying to communicate with your art? 

I’m honestly just trying to quiet the noise in my head. If I don’t write I feel heavy and burdened. If someone happens to relate to what I write it is a huge plus.

What type of difficulties have you faced when it comes to pursuing your writing career? How have you dismissed these obstacles?

I have just recently devoted myself to making a career out of my art so there hasn’t been much time to come across obstacles. I am my own worst critic though so I can see that being the greatest obstacle I will have to overcome in the long run. My hope is that with continued growth I will outgrow the fear of inadequacy and failure I harbor and push through to success.

How do we see Massiel in the future? What are your plans? How can we find more of your work? Any advice for new writers?

I see Massiel as a published poet in about a year or so. I am currently working on growing my contingent of supporters on the Instagram page I have devoted to my art : @ihavepoetry and also working with fellow poets to put together and participate in showcases throughout the city. My biggest piece of advice would be to trust your voice, it is like no other and that’s what makes it special. Read read read! Anything you can get your hands on to grow your vocabulary and expand your minds horizons – then let it out on paper. Make time to write daily- schedule it in like you would a meal! Lol.



 

Mente Machista

1/30

— Te diré la verdad… no tienes nada de linda, lo que tienes es una personalidad buena, pero linda no, no eres no…

Pausa 8 o más años para pensar, analizar, y crecer.

—Tu opinión no es necesaria en mi vida. Lo que soy no se define, no es mi culpa que no te guste la bondad de mi sonrisa, y tengas una imagen machista de cómo una mujer tiene que ser y actuar. Tu mente está colonizada, podrida, es patriarca, y me importa un cero. 

#CrónicasParaDescolonizar 

 

 

Mujer con Voz ©2016


Photo credit

When dreamers dream

Se comieron 
las bocas húmedas 
Inyectaron 

paciencia
Ven a cocerte la lengua 

I feel a funeral in my throat

Here is your dinner:
trágate el silencio
Sus nietos gritaron

nadie, puede amarrarles los pensamientos.

Mujer con Voz ©2016

La Tierra Grita

 



                                     Foto por Fernelis Lajara 

¿Cuando es el momento indicado para prestarle atención a los gritos de la tierra?

despeinada,greñu’a, 
          ella 
(She speaks)
cuando nadie la escucha
como una enojada niña
sacude las manos de las hojas
Buscando respuesta 
encuentra el silencio desnudo
Retumba el suelo maltratado
escupido con la basura

¿Escuchan su zumbido, ahora?
¿Quieren sanar su espalda, ahora?

Duerme con el pecho vacío,
partida por la mitad de la sombra
             ella
(She sleeps)
Mañana, 
otra vez, 
cuando los pies del piso se unen a su raíz 
lo ignoraran. 

Mujer con Voz ©2016