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Poetry by Jason Magabo Perez - The Feminist Wire
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Poetry by Jason Magabo Perez

Loving You, Praxes for

 

1. CORPOREALITY

 

Your thick black hair

is so abject, so tangled,

 

in bobby pins & hair ties.

You are as precious as

 

a rice seedling. In your

marrow, are hungry

 

children who eat boiled

banana. You, on this

 

train, have a chance

to unweave your tangles.

 

2. EPISTEMOLOGY

 

You are as precious

as a rice seedling—

 

you know (the pain)

of intimacy: stone, vein,

 

ephemeral. You, on this

train, have a chance to

 

unweave your tangles.

Your legs ache just

 

before sleep. It feels,

you say, like dying.

 

3. ONTOLOGY

 

You know (the pain) of

intimacy: stone, vein,

 

ephemeral. You wait for

visions, for the right train

 

in the wrong station. Your

legs ache. Just before sleep.

 

It feels, you say, like

dying. My memory,

 

you say, is what fucks

me up…I remember: Things.

 

4. CARTOGRAPHY

 

You wait for visions. For the

right train in the wrong station.

 

There are tenement fires in your

blood, your bones wet of Manila.

 

My memory, you say, is what

fucks me up…I remember:

 

Things. There are women & lolas

locked in your joints for refusing.

  

5. HISTORIOGRAPHY

 

There are tenement fires. In your blood.

Your bones wet. Of Manila. You are

 

the historical moment in which

dandelions hum flame. There are

 

women. & lolas. Locked. In your

joints. For refusing. Has the wind

 

from the Pacific rustled through

your leaves? Have I given?

 

6. ETHNOGRAPHY

 

You are the historical moment

in which dandelions hum.

 

Flame. In. Your. Marrow are. Hungry

children. Who eat boiled banana.

 

Has the wind from the Pacific rustled

through your leaves? Have I? Given.

 

Your thick. Black hair. So abject.

So tangled. In bobby pins & hair ties.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES

 

This poem samples & reconfigures lines from the following: Mila D. Aguilar, “A Comrade is as Precious as a Rice Seedling” and “The Peoples’ Poem,” in A Comrade is as Precious as a Rice Seedling (New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1985), 38, 11; Chrystos, “I Walk in the History of My People,” in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, ed. Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga (New York: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, 1984), 60; Audre Lorde, “Women on Trains,” in The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems 1987-1992 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994), 31-33; Audre Lorde, “Stations,” in Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), 367-368.

 

 

Jason_Perez-bwphoto2Jason Magabo Perez is a writer and performer based in San Diego, California. Perez’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Witness, TAYO, Mission at Tenth, and Vitriol. Perez wrote and performed in You Will Gonna Go Crazy (2011), a semiautobiographical play-in-progress about the intimacies and traumas of racialized state violence, which was first commissioned by Kularts SF and funded by an NEA Challenge America Grant. Perez has performed at the National Asian American Theater Festival, the International Conference of the Philippines, and at venues such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the La Jolla Playhouse. An alumnus of the VONA/Voices Summer Workshop for Writers of Color, Perez received his MFA in Writing & Consciousness from the now defunct New College of California and is currently a dual PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies and Communication at UC San Diego where he is exploring Filipina/o American history and state violence through performance and experimental documentary filmmaking. For updates on projects, publications, and performances, please visit: www.jasonmagaboperez.com