Saturday, October 31, 2009


Photo © Xiomara A. Maldonado 2009


If love takes the body as its book,
What does this living corpse mean to me
When he inscribes into brown breasts, “Look,
Here’s Inherent Rapability!”?

He sees solely what he wants to read—
An Eden, an Eve, and loving trees
Open to his writing serpentine
Seduction upon our still blank leaves.

He condemns us to wear masks of verse—
Faces created in fantasies
Of housewives, whores, and Miss Universe,
Who parade across his stage unfree,

Then stop, stand upon the auction block,
Knowing it is not enough to think
Of Jacobs’ defying locks.
Like her,

We can rewrite our stories,
Seize our bodies’ natural poetry
From his claims of Manifest Destiny.

© Xiomara A. Maldonado 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

XioMari Rocks

So Krystal (Mari) and I are in Orange County in Nueva York, and it is so orange and yellow and red and leafy quiet and rainy up here. I feel like I have some peace of mind finally.

Getting out of NYC is so important - a stuffy dark apartment and rained upon concrete is rarely more exciting than bright swirling leaves and a roomy home.

For example, if I had never left my apartment, I would have never seen a house with a railroad car outside of it!

And since it's October and Halloween is upcoming, there are pretty pumpkins everywhere!

Yesterday, Krystal's mom took me, Krystal and Krystal's younger sister to Charlotte's Tea Room in Warrick. Here's the sign:

It felt very strange to eat at a restaurant that is a house. And all the banks around here are such pretty houses too! Much cooler than the banks in the Bronx.

Does it not look pretty from the outside? At Charlotte's, Krystal ordered Turkey and Cream Cheese sandwiches with cranberry chutney. We didn't like it. Well, Krystal did until she saw the chutney.

But the Paris tea was great! And we had a chamomile-lemon scone and some fun little cheesecake bites. And I liked the raspberry vinaigrette. Twas fun!

Thank you, Krystal and Krystal's mommy.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Experiences Near-Death

The video clip below shows a male pedestrian running for his life across a street in Russia. Every time I watch it, I am stunned that he missed death by a bus by an inch. And my heart still feels anxious. At the same time, it is really not all that surprising to me, given the number of near-death experiences I have had and seen involving vehicles in New York City.

Any of my friends can affirm this fact: I am TERRIFIED of moving vehicles. I will run instead of walk across a street, three bags in tow, even when I see headlights over a block away. I do it because I know people, like my uncle, who speed up purposely to force people who are crossing against the light to literally run for their lives; and I'd rather run earlier than later. In spite of my so-called preventative measure, I have had dozens of bus and car and truck drivers shake their heads at me, upset that I almost died under their wheels and admonishing me for my foolishness. And every time, my terror of moving vehicles grows.

The way I see it- not only do some New Yorkers not pay attention when they're crossing the street, many New Yorkers simply think that they are invincible and will play a near-death game with drivers on purpose. I want to advise people and myself to be careful, to only cross when you are supposed to and to always pay attention.

As you watch the clip, check to make sure you are breathing. Relief will come.

Share your stories of near-death experiences by vehicle below!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Age of Poetry

I have this 'thing' about my poetry-- I complete ENDLESS revisions. Friends of mine categorize this 'thing' under my "obsessive need" for perfection; and my fondness for revision may very well be partly attributed to my slight tendency towards obsessive compulsive behavior. What most people don't realize, however, is that I spend years developing relationships with my poems. My poems are like my children- always changing and growing, going through stages of infancy and adolescence to reach their adult forms.

The fetus of a poem can grow in my womb for more than 10 months before I even birth it. Like many poets, I must bury an experience in my mind for a while before I can harvest it and write about it properly. "A Clip, a Couple, and a Crack Head," for example, is a poem that I recently recreated from several fragmented versions of poem that I've had saved to my computer since 2007. That winter, during a college year, I experienced this overwhelming interaction with a crack head that kept my pen to paper and my fingers upon the keyboard for two years while I analyzed the situation. I've only just been able to more fully understand the shape of the way I felt in those moments and to put it into words that I can share publicly.

I spend so much time with my poems because I am at my happiest when I am molding written works of art. While reshaping my poems I try to adhere to the following guidelines for a healthy dose of creative revision:
  • Every editing and revision decision must help to create a more meaningful poem.
  • Every word ought to fulfill a purpose.
  • Every use of punctuation must appropriately contribute to the overall tone and message that I want my reader (or listener, in the case of performance poetry) to take away.
I love to spend hours upon hours editing and revising one poem to make sure it reads 'right'. I will not eat as I add or remove commas, periods, dashes, line breaks, and words. I will squirt water into my mouth from a squeeze bottle between multiple readings and revisions of the same stanza within a few minutes. It is like playing with magnetic poetry: moving one word within a set of words changes the entire meaning.

Given my passion for writing, I'd like to argue, therefore, that this 'thing' of mine, my "need" for consistent revision, is primarily fueled by my love of poetry and my love of thinking, experimentation, analyzing, learning and understanding.

In the same way that my mother will always see me as her "baby," however, I feel that I may always have trouble recognizing my poems as adults and just letting them be. Sometimes readers report that they liked an original piece of mine more than the revised one. Usually, I will sort of agree with the reviewer, feel disappointed in my work, return to the various saved versions of the poem along its journey and work on re-revising it.

Then I often become paranoid, wondering if a poem is suffering from my revisionist acts and fearing that this 'thing' of mine is keeping many of my poems from just being the ages they are meant to be. But I'd like to think that the saying "Things always get worse before they get better" is true; that most of my poems are just going through the acne stage of puberty, and I am applying the medication they need to clear up their skin. I know one day I'll let them go.Enter text here. Characters left: 0Enter text here. Characters lEnter text here. Characters le

Saturday, October 17, 2009



About her face she curls her words
A golden crown of woven voice
Every moment her very touch
Carves my tablet with her verse

Sister of artistic spirits
To my knees I drop:
I long to be her muse
As she is mine...

Goddesses who frolic in story
Together we are
Patriots of our own sacred nation
An epic in the making

Copyright Xiomara A. Maldonado 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Clip, a Couple, and a Crack Head

Inhale the man trembling
across the street--
his eyes are on your eyes.

Look out for the cops, he slurs. -A globule
A woman is the Holy Grail, the Holy Grail you see. -of drool
YOU would not exist without HER orchestrations. -slips.

We drag hard on reality;
Your fists flatten as you nod,
and I exhale poetry.

Good lady, quiet lady smiling,
Write this in your notebook--
Man's talk is not for you and me.

I dust my pants of fragile mica
fragments, glittering like confetti,
and bend to clip my words.

His spit shines upon the pavement.*

*Edit: 10/19/2009 What do you think?

Copyright ©2009 Xiomara A. Maldonado

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Remembrance of Warmer Weather:

Median Flowers, 114th Street & Broadway, NY, NY

Riverside Park, 2nd Level, NY, NY

Tobacco Bay, St. George's, Bermuda

Median Flowers, 111th Street & Broadway, NY, NY

Riverside Park, Upper Level, NY, NY

Lower East Side, Pitt Street Tree, NY, NY

Central Park, E. 110th Street & 5th Avenue Entrance, NY, NY

Central Park, E. 110th Street & 5th Avenue Entrance, NY, NY

Tobacco Bay, St. George's, Bermuda
All photos Copyright Xiomara A. Maldonado 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

En el espejo mío

Todavía te siento empujando tu corrupto

pene dentro de estas piernas.

Fiera egoísta, crucificándonos

en tus garras del capitalismo,

todavía te siento golpeando

en mi matriz tierna ¡No!

Eres mi hijo – mestizo – espero que nazcas sin seso. ¡No!

Nunca quería coquetear con la muerte, pero tú,

corsario embutido, cortas mi pelo ambrosial

y mientras comer piel áurea, dices Es para mejor.

¡Baladrón! Mis senos ceden por el cáncer

de tus bombas besando las curvas de mis fincas.

Corporizas el Cornudo. Marchitamos de miedo

de tu verde veneno, y las vaginas violadas

siguen sangrando generaciones.

Corroborado por tu blancura, nos dejas

con una cultura cambiada,

con córneas destruídas –

sin lenguas nativas,

asidas por las gargantas,

rezando por las vidas – ¡Pleese!

Yo soy la cordera corrugada y cortada,

corcovada sin coraza, estrangulada por la esclavitud.

No es mi destino quedar encarcelada

como el Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico.

Friday, October 2, 2009

NYC Shots

Construction Light, Battery Maritime Museum

Biking Roxy, Staten Island Ferry

Old Ferry Docks, Battery Maritime Building

Fly on Bench, Battery Park Garden