Melt Down 

Llorar parece 
facil
La vieja del colmado aconseja 
que no lo hiciera
su sillas llenas de polvo
son huracanes silenciosos
de cosas que 
ocultaba 
como si es posible pretender
que en la garganta no duerme un 
nudo
y uno no tenga derecho de 
sentir 
como si los violines de lo que 
no se dice 
no rasgan la confianza 
Ayer quise llorar con los ojos
sin ser muda
Y solo me quede con las ganas
ellos 
observan 
esperando 
mi derrumbe

•••

Crying seems easy
The old woman at the grocery store
advises not to do so
Her chairs filled with dust
are silent hurricanes
of things she was
hiding
as if it’s possible to pretend
that in the throat doesn’t sleep a knot
and one does not have the right to
feel
as if the violins of what is not said do not rip the confidence
Yesterday I wanted to cry with my eyes
without being mute
And I just stayed with the desire
they
observed
waiting for collapse

Mujer Con Voz
Poetry book available here 

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Goddess of Words

Recientemente entrevisté a Cynthia Dougherty, una mujer que vengo admirando desde hace mucho tiempo por su magia con las palabras y su personalidad tan humana. Aquí les dejo su entrevista en inglés y ojalá como yo pueda sentirse identificados con esta maravillosa poeta y se animen a seguirla.



Who is Cynthia? Tell us about yourself… 

I am a mother, sister, wife, friend, and colleague. I am a goddess, poet, author, and lover of creativity and art. I am a Hispanic Irish woman who is too white to be Hispanic, and too Hispanic to be white in the eyes of others. My own reflection is true to me, and I am imperfectly perfect to those who know and love me.


At what age did you began writing? 

Before I was enrolled in school, I loved stories. I loved hearing my mother read Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes. In school my favorite part of the day was story time and Library day. Books were my friends, and I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first story at the age of seven. I still have it, and it allows me a glimpse into the child I was.  

Was there a particular incident that made you want to write?
Yes, I loved words, and creating. I don’t think I took it seriously or gave myself any credit though. To me it was a past time, a moment in my journal for my own reading pleasure. However, Mrs. Diaz, the head librarian in my elementary, guided me to poetry and her praise at my comprehension skills made my heart soar. I thought she was the smartest person in my school, and she thought I was a writer. She gave me the first push in taking my writing in a new direction, it has weight and resonance.  

Who are you favorite writer?
It’s hard to choose a favorite writer, some of my most treasured books are written by Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Robert Frost. I, like any writer and lover of books, can go on forever really, but these are a few at the top of my list.

 What are your writing process, rituals, and routines?   
I write when I can, every moment I can, if I can’t write because I feel drained or empty then I read. I read so that I can rekindle the embers of creativity. I don’t think I have any rituals, but I tend to carry my phone like an extension of me. It’s not necessarily for social media or apps, it’s because I am addicted to using the notepad on it. I write on my phone’s notepad or my journal. In social situations when you are expected to mingle and connect, I can’t drag out my journal but it has become acceptable to glance at your phone for a minute or two. In that time I write, a turn of phrase or a word or a thought that has flitted into my mind and I know that when I sit in my room late at night then that thought can turn into more.


Which topics are frequent in your writing?  

Anyone who has read my works knows I often reference goddesses in multiple cultures, my favorite are Greek or Celtic women of power. I sincerely believe that each and every woman has magic, an essence that should be cultivated and nurtured. No matter your age, class, sexual preference, or ethnicity a woman is a goddess. Embrace that light within that will give you strength and comfort you.

 What genre do you prefer?
I prefer dark literature, tones of murder, suspense, mystery, and definitely female empowerment. I am an eclectic reader and read almost anything that comes in book form, from science fiction, urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, mythology, mythic fiction and more.  


What is your favorite thing you have created

I have one poem, which I have not released for public consumption, titled Mi Reina. It is a poem I have dedicated to my mother. I’m still trying to finish polishing it, my mother is a strong influence in my life and I don’t want to fall short of expressing what she means to me. My other favorite, really a writer can’t have just one, is my first collection of works. I put it together back in high school, and though I hope I’ve grown in my skill I know that it will always hold a special place in my heart.  


Do you consider yourself a creative person? 

Yes. We all are. I choose words, others choose crafts, math, science, research, or something else. I create and therefore I am creative. I admire anyone who dedicates themselves to their passion. It takes work, planning, and love to create something from nothing.


What are you trying to communicate with your art? 

I am trying to express my soul. I sometimes feel it overwhelms me, this heavy heart of mine. I am empathetic by nature, I try to be self-aware. I have my faults and cannot bear negativity, but the world will not support my bubble of light and I cannot grow if I stay stagnant. I write in order to purge, to cleanse, to process, and to breathe. I hope that those who stumble across my works can also connect with me on some level. You, the reader, are not alone in your pain nor your joy.


What type of difficulties have you faced when it comes to pursuing your writing career?
 
I haven’t always felt confident in my works, I still struggle with the public aspect of performing my poetry and reading my short stories aloud. Writing it time consuming, and being open to criticism can be daunting. I shake like a leaf every time I share a poem, story, book, or new idea. The niggling thought I battle to silence that says “who wants to read this, really”.


How have you dismissed your obstacles?  

Balance, as simple and as complicated as that. I try to balance the loves of my life, my husband, children, family, friends, and my writing. I work full time as a public high school English teacher as well, and each aspect of my life is important. I try to remind myself that I am important too. I take care of that which takes care of me, and my writing is therapeutic. I don’t think I dismiss my obstacles, I handle them and conquer them. It all requires balance and planning. Don’t lose yourself in the process of taking care of all your responsibilities.


How do we see Cynthia in the future
?  
I see myself as an award winning author/poet. I want to build up my loved ones and love unconditionally. I hope to see my name on the shelves of others.

What’s your plan? 
I plan on writing, singing, loving, living, and being. God laughs at the plans of humans. I live in the moment and dream about the future. Nothing is for certain, and I’m okay with that. All I can do is work towards my goal, and thank the heavens for each day gifted.  

How can we find more of your work?

I am in the process of creating a centralized author website, but in the meantime I am on Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and in my hometown. At this point in time my works on Amazon are “Bleeding on the Page: My Soul Exposed” and “Looking Into Infinity”. I also have the honor of being included in a collection titled “The Rising”. I’ve been published in a wonderful publication called Indie Affair, and I have a few more works out there in the world. I love when my readers contact me, email me, message me. I am an open book about my writings.  

Any advice for new writers? 
Be tenacious, don’t drown in another’s negativity. Your expression, your writing is needed in the world that is drowning in apathy. Share your soul and never give up.

Books:
Looking Into Infinity on Amazon
Bleeding on the Page on Amazon 

Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
My street team: C. Dougherty’s Goddesses
Blog

Enseñanzas Full

“En este país/barrio/apartamento/bajo mundo/ y mundo con mal olor aprendí muchas cosas, como por ejemplo; la vecina del apartamento 5G no es maga, pero sabe barajar sus vainas, los trapos colgados en las ventanas no son invitaciones para ir a comer, no se sabe cuál es más peligroso si el elevador león o la escaleras que se vuelven basureros y sitio de encuentros, que la puerta del frente no se habré con las manos (a menos que te guste el sucio), que esos aires acondicionados que observas desde lejos la mayoría son de lujo, que nadie conoce a nadie, que nadie es tu pana, que no puedes detenerte al admirar el sol, que si miras mucho te comen como chicharrón, que la gente te tiene en la mira, que no se te ocurra decir que aquí hay más que una caja de cartón con miles de cuadros de cristal, que este edificio es una solución que no soluciona, que hay de to’ y para todos, y que si te portas bien tal vez… quizás… no te llenan tu puerta de grafiti con malas palabras.” 
 

“In this country/neighborhood /apartment/ underworld / and world with bad smell I learned many things, for example; the neighbor from apartment 5G is not a magician, but she knows how shuffle her things, that the rags hung in windows are not invitations to come in for dinner, I am not sure what is more dangerous if the lion elevator or the stairs that become landfills and encounters spots, that you cannot open the front door with your hands (unless you like dirt), that those air conditioners that you watch from afar most are just for decoration, that no one knows anyone, nobody is your homie, you cannot stop to admire the sun, that if you look too much you’ll be eaten as a pork, that people will targeted you, that you cannot even think to speak up about how here there is more than a cardboard box with thousands of glass pictures, that this building is a solution that does not solve, that it has everything for all, and that if you behave maybe… maybe…  they  will not fill your door of graffiti with bad words.”

Mujer con Voz  © 2016

Get your signed copy of my poetry book that is in English, Spanish, and Spanglish ‘Para Cenar Habrá Nostalgia’ (which the title is translated to “For Dinner Nostalgia’) here or on Amazon. Thanks! 

Recuerda/Remember 

Eres agua, 
eso que no se puede 
aguantar, 
retener,
alejar.

Eres 
ese comienzo 
que se acuesta en las montañas y nadie sabe tu nombre,
solo saben que existes 
y que tienes una fuerza 
incomparable.

You are water, 
that cannot be 
enduring, 
retain, 
keep away. 

You are 
that start
that it lies in the mountains and no one knows your name,
they only know that you exist 
and that you have a
incomparable 
force. 

Mujer con Voz 

Photo by O. González 

Broken

Malcriada
I rest my loneliness
on your sky
Sé que estás congelada con él
y en tu boca bilingual 
estruja las estructuras grises 
en las calles Neoyorquinas
Tú que hablas con las palabras 
cortadas por la mitad 
hidden behind a language 
that’s still sounds malévola 
and you managed to climb 
those green trees 
bringing 
el trópico travieso 
azúcar del Sur
la menta en fundita
hasta aquí 
y me importa un cero 
que tus garabatos de la 
mente 
corran 
Si es que tú, 
mal habla’ mía 
me traes mi suelo
to this country that 
would never be home.

Mujer con Voz ©2016

 

 

 

 


photo credit

Conversations with the Light

I remember
I can feel my lungs doing the work

H e l p M e

Being different is a hard pill to swallow
The tones of nature, coffee, my mother’s prayers live in me
The song is playing, I can’t help but dance
rotating like all those planets and
all those peaceful memories
The night is doing what she likes to do:
make us dream
I know some are scared of the light
And they don’t want anyone showing them
that the impossible can be possible
and that this moment, this moment right here

is what c o u n t s

My dance is my rainbow, sweet metaphor
And you know what is funny? When people see a rainbow in the sky,
they don’t run and say
“Hey! You!
Colorful thing!
Burn out”
I wish people will do the same with
others
If they want to be the light
in this dark place
let them be.

 

I am Poem

I am a poem

él que estrujaste 

él que botaste en la basura

él que did not make it

poema mal tallado y más feo que una foto

metáforas guardadas

lengua mordida

hambre

hunger 

soy tu poema

I am your poem 

él que salió caminando

él que se limpió las nalgas

él que nadie quiso leer pero se leyó así mismo

a poem from a brown soul

metaphors from underground 

A big mouth 

Sed

Sequía 

y poesía

Mujer con Voz ©2016

 

 


photo credit

No hará Ruido Mi Boca

La próxima vez que me manden a peinar…
I will remain in silence

Qué hable mi cabello de trigo y mandarinas

Qué suenen las tamboras del suelo

Qué se niegue a doblarse los rizos

Qué cumplan mi boca con el corazón 

I will not speak, I SAY

Qué cante mi piel oscura

Qué mueva la tierra su ombligo 

Qué sacuda las caderas la historia

Qué se levante el río dormido

Qué el olor a coco les tapé las narices 

I will not say one single word… 

búscate oficio.

Mujer con Voz ©2016


photo by Marius Buzac

A Creative Soul

Photo by Adrianna Calvo

 

Each time I do an interview it reaffirms a very important thing; there’s so much talent out there that one cannot close its eyes and not be inspired. I have the pleasure of interviewing Vicki Gabow – writer, painter, poet, a wonderful woman that speaks in volumes with her creativity, contagious smile, and unique personality that’s shows even in her writing. I hope you guys take the time to learn about her creative process, read her work, and become a fan of her like myself.


 Tell us, who is Vicki Gabow?

I guess at heart I consider myself a creative; I tend to dabble in many different art forms and often feel pulled in various directions with my creative endeavors. Some days I write poetry, or paint, and other days I crochet or work on mixed media pieces. I lean in the direction that most satisfies my soul on any given day. I believe in trying to make the world a kinder, gentler place, and I hope that my existence contributes to that ideal. Lest you think I take myself too seriously, my sense of humor is some mixture of self-deprecation, mild sarcasm, and immaturity and my favorite breakfast cereal is still Lucky Charms.2. 

Writer, Vicki Gabow

When did your first start writing?

The first time I remember being vaguely interested in writing was in first grade; we had writing workshop days where we went to a room filled with typewriters (I know, shows my age a bit) connected to the library where we could draft and type up our own stories. I remember always being excited for those days. However, it wasn’t until I was in sixth grade that I found a voice through writing poetry. My teacher, Mrs. Cohen, encouraged me and gave me positive feedback. I realized that I could express myself through words and as a preteen that was a really powerful discovery.

What are the most constant topics in your writing? Do you write anything else besides poetry?

I write about what I feel and see; my everyday experiences and the people I come into contact with are my biggest inspirations. I write about nature, relationships, creativity, and as an outlet for the emotions that overwhelm me.

I also write personal essays and creative non-fiction pieces from time to time, but I feel most at home in poetry. It holds an old jeans and a T-shirt type of comfort for me that I don’t find in other genres of writing.

Who are your favorite writers?

I’d have to say I greatly admire and enjoy reading works by Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, Robert Okaji, Shane Koyczan, Heather Barnes, David Sedaris, Lois Lowery, Beverly Cleary, D. Watkins, Bill Willingham, and Garth Ennis. My bookshelves are fairly eclectic.


How do you begin a poem? What inspires you to write?

What inspires me to write? Being alive. My writing focuses on my interactions with my environment, so my poems usually start out with some experience depositing a seed in my mind. It rarely ever starts out with me just sitting down and saying to myself, “Okay, let’s write a poem now.” Usually, I find myself rushing to grab a pen and paper, my laptop, my phone, a piece of junk mail, or even a napkin; I only have a limited time to plant that seed in firm soil before it dissipates into the ether, I will write on almost anything. Like many people, I think my best ideas form while I’m doing some mundane task.

How would you define your writing style?

Free verse is my preferred poetic form. I love playing with imagery, symbolism, and sound devices, and I hate end rhyme. Does that constitute a style?

Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems? What is poetry for you at this present time?

I think my perception of poetry has changed over time. In the beginning, I figured it was just about flowery language, an overabundance of adjectives, and end rhyme. Thankfully, I progressed beyond that stage. As I got older, poetry evolved into a means of self-reflection; as a result, I very rarely shared my writing with anyone. Now, I also see it as a powerful tool for communication and connection with my fellow human beings who might take comfort in knowing they’re not alone. Overall I have a greater appreciation for the power of words. If you think about it, my concept of poetry has evolved to accommodate my changing needs at each stage of my life.


What obstacles have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?

I’ve been my own worst enemy. My fears have held me back so many times; self-doubt can be paralyzing. It has taken me a long time to acknowledge myself as a writer. I’ve been writing for years, but up until this past year, my husband didn’t even know I wrote. I hid it like a dirty little secret. I still struggle sometimes to believe in myself and my abilities, but I am fortunate enough to have a fantastic support network of friends and family.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Writing can be an isolating pursuit; I’d encourage anyone who wants to write to seek out other creatives and work to support each other, and I’m not just talking about other writers. It can open up so many new possibilities. Immersing myself in culture and my local writing community has helped inspire my writing. Also, don’t be afraid to share your work. Go ahead and submit your writing; yes, you’ll get rejections, but that’s okay. Sometimes you’ll also get feedback or acceptance.

What are your current or future projects?

I’ve been working on a chapbook, and I’m hoping to see that published in the next few months. Also, Because of a Word, a collaborative poetry collection that includes two of my poems is now available in print and e-book format on Amazon. As far as future projects, I’ll be opening an Etsy shop this summer where I’ll be working towards my goal of combining my love of poetry and mixed media art to create some unique original pieces; I’m excited to see where this concept leads.

Vicki, where can we find more of your work?