Surreality

kahlo23

SURREALITY

find me in the garden
of lemon-drop kisses and
candy hearts

where Nazis smirk and steal
the scales of Lady Justice
as winged monkeys draw their bows and
aim for peg-legged Oompa Loompas

where Father Time makes love
to Mother Nature
on a bed of women’s rights and
men’s deepest doubt

while popcorn sunsets
burst into White Russians and
melt into the caramel seas

and love is love is love
until it isn’t

I wonder
at this surreality
would you could you
lose hope with me


The poetry on this blog and Write Bitches are works of fiction, erupting from my incredibly over-active imagination. This piece is inspired by our new (sur)reality in this post-Obama world of despotic white men, Russia, and the shredding of women’s rights. I feel like it ends with a whimsical desire to get lost in a lover and forget it all for a second and that makes me smile. It’s slightly edited, totally unscripted, spontaneous, super loose, and part of a collection of some of my favorite work. These pieces are perfect in their imperfections and I hope you enjoy.

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Don’t Shush Me: The Problem with Feminism

listen

This post is a letter to someone I don’t know who demanded an explanation — how well do you know Kate? — for my Facebook comment on a blog post written by her friend, Kate, an acquaintance of mine, where Kate discussed her white feminism.

Kate has since deleted her post on Facebook, and with it my comments, in what seems like another effort on her part to silence my voice and smother my opinion. She claims the conversation “devolved,” when in fact, the conversation was just getting interesting, moving away from her friends telling her how amazing she is into an honest and brutal discussion of white women and their treatment of women of color.

kateberrio

But I’m a writer and I save damn near anything I write that’s more than two sentences because you never know when you’re going to need it, so I have my comment about Kate, the one that possibly inspired her determination the conversation “devolved”, and am going to share it here.

I’m not doing so to be mean-spirited but rather, to ensure my voice isn’t (once again) stifled by another woman who gets bent out of shape when I share my opinion and rather than listening to what I have to say, acknowledging my truths and my reality, she pulls out her white feminist card and puts me in my place.

I recently read a piece by another woman of color, Jamelia, a British R&B star, where she tweeted the racism she endured while traveling via train with her daughter. In the piece she talks about the comments she received from folks wondering why she felt the need to share her experience, that she had a chip on her shoulder, and that she was attention-seeking by tweeting her experience. Jamelia’s response sums up my reason for this post quite well:

“If I was to tweet every single racist incident that happened to me as it happened, you would be on the floor. The problem is that we don’t tell you, we speak about it amongst ourselves and you get to carry on about your day not realizing you’ve ruined ours.”

It’s about stepping outside yourself because not everything is about you. It’s about making sincere efforts to effect change, not pretty moves that make you look like racism’s caped crusader. It’s about listening and allowing others to speak, even when what they’re saying makes you horribly uncomfortable.


*Moe is also a woman of color

Dear Moe*,

I wondered how long it would take you to confront me. A sarcastic *clap clap clap* to you, too. Now Kate and her friends can feel legitimized by your defense of Kate: the other WOC said Kate’s okay so phew, we’re good. Let them fight it out and we’ll just keep patting each other on the back for being so righteous and aware.

You are absolutely right, Moe – I don’t know Kate. We know some people in common and follow each other on social media. Acquaintances, yes. Know each other, no. Which is why all of this is so interesting because despite the fact she doesn’t know me, that didn’t stop her from coming onto my Facebook page this summer and telling me how to behave. Where’s the section of Kate’s piece where she admits to that? Where’s the section of Kate’s piece where she tells her readers how I posted a piece on how silly I found those safety pins and wow, did that get Kate’s panties in a wad? I didn’t direct my post at Kate, I wasn’t thinking about Kate, I was speaking as a proud woman of color who is unafraid to say she thinks sometimes white people are clueless and those safety pins are the perfect example. Did Kate tell you how she told me now was not the time to “be divisive”? That my discussion of race – my everyday reality as a woman of color – did not work within the paradigm of her whiteness and hence, I needed to be quiet. Because I don’t see her saying it anywhere in her piece or in this thread.

What I see is Kate very conveniently staying quiet and portraying herself as the victimized white woman being attacked by the angry WOC. Even you used the word “attack” without knowing the details of our interaction, details Kate has very conveniently kept to herself, details I would have kept private as well, but since you seem so eager to know them…

I don’t think I responded to Kate when she took it upon herself to shush me, mostly because there’s no point. The Kates of the world are a dime a dozen, there’s nothing special about her and I have better things to do than school white women on how to be decent human beings. But I am a writer and a poet, so true to my art, I wrote a poem inspired by Kate’s need – and white feminism generally – to put me in my place, and then I kept it moving. I didn’t speak to Kate again, and honestly I didn’t think about her at all.

Then lo and behold the other night she messages me that she “wrote a thing” on our interaction re: the safety pin and she attached it for my perusal. I read that piece that in NO shape or form acknowledges her behavior but instead discusses how she made me “feel so much less” – wait, what? Huh? When did that happen? How did me speaking my mind and her taking umbrage with that turn into her making me “feel so much less”? – and it’s nothing but entitled drivel wrapped in white Privilege, tied with a bow made of my brown skin. Exactly what I would expect from someone like her, the kind of woman that goes on another woman’s page and tells that woman how she should conduct herself. THAT is the kind of woman Kate is. That piece is self-serving nonsense and Kate is just one more woman congratulating herself for being wonderfully white.

But you know what? Even though I wanted to publicly shame her for writing that nonsense, I didn’t. Instead, I replied to her message privately and gave her my brutal opinion. I let her know exactly how I feel, exactly how [some of] my black and brown sister’s feel: we don’t need white women to amplify us. White women do not legitimize us. I told Kate she needed to understand that, she needs to hear what I’m saying, and only then is her work sincere. You know what Kate did? Nothing. She never responded to my message, ignored every single word I typed to her, and posted this piece of garbage anyway, then basked in the glow of The Kates telling her how amazing and wonderful she is and how glad they are to have her to teach them. (Which is so funny because I told her that was exactly what would happen.)

Kate is not special, Kate is a narcissist wearing cutesy twee clothing. Kate sits on my brown back to paint her self-serving picture of her woke white feminism. That’s who Kate is. Keep her. Keep defending her. She’s all yours.


Kate has since edited her post and deleted the “feel so much less” language — it now reads “feel even further marginalized” which is no better in the dripping-condescension- and-oozing-white-privilege department and still utterly bizarre since I cannot figure out how me posting a piece on the silliness of wearing a safety pin has anything to do with her. At all. Either way, it’s an interesting move on her part since she never acknowledges editing-after-the-fact on her blog, she never once contacted me and said wow, your words made me realize this phrase is so not cool and I’m going to edit it. Nothing. She has not spoken to me since and has in fact, unfriended me on Facebook.

Instead Kate claims she edited it prior to publication, that it was still private when she sent it to me, but that’s not true because soon after she sent it to me, I sent it to all of my friends and we ALL read that “feel so much less” language, and we all sat there and said WTF, so that piece was very much in the public domain. Kate’s actions are telling in that they undoubtedly make me look like the crazy WOC to her friends and fans. And that’s okay – let Kate live with her revisionist history. What’s not okay and makes me sad is the fact neither Kate nor any of her friends will glean anything from her interaction with me. They’ll walk away from it thinking I have a chip on my shoulder and wondering, as one of her friends did, why I can’t just be nice.

THIS, all of this, is precisely why women like me usually keep our mouths shut – what’s the point, white feminists only like to hear one thing: their own voices.

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*update 1: in my letter to Moe, which was originally a comment on Facebook to Moe, I mention that the safety pin and Kate’s need to shush me took place in the summer when in fact, I believe the safety pins are post-election nonsense. I wrote that comment at 6:17 in the morning, so please forgive that error in detail.

*update 2: I’ve tried to reach out to Kate on Facebook Messenger and her blog piece – which is still live – and she’s yet to engage me in any sort of conversation. Which is cowardly, and is also ironic. NONE of this would have happened had she not sent me her post in the first place. There’s a Toni Morrison quote that is quite fitting for this situation – it reads:

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being…”

That has been my exact experience with Kate and The Kates. So now back to what matters: The Kid, The Pup, the bearded dragon, my family, my friends, and my words. Always my words. Ciao.

Poetry: Wondrous Women

wondrouswomen-momandme  wondrouswomen-dashandme

Wondrous Women

on a too-many-miles-away-to-count
conversation with my mom
in the midst of catching up
she paused and commented
on new ink across my hand
I laughed and replied
how did you notice and
she laughed and replied
I know every inch of your skin
I birthed you and learned you
and will know you always
days later I glanced at my son
paused and commented
on the new freckle on his wrist
he laughed and replied
how do you see these things
and I smiled and thought to myself
because I am like my mother
and she is like her mother
and we are magic beings
in the most wondrous
of ways


The poetry on this blog and Write Bitches are works of fiction, erupting from my incredibly over-active imagination. This piece is inspired by mom and really, women in general – goddamn we are wondrous. It’s slightly edited, totally unscripted, spontaneous, super loose, and part of a collection of  some of my favorite work. These pieces are perfect in their imperfections and I hope you enjoy.

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#Writing Contemporary Romance: AMAL, Part 10

love-triangle-l

You might notice I changed the name of this series to #Writing Contemporary Romance, instead of the original An Experiment in #Writing Contemporary Romance, because words matter – at least to me they do – and I felt that my words, at least my original words, suggested something negative about writing contemporary romance when the truth couldn’t be further from that.

I love contemporary romance – shit, I love ALL romance – I read it all the time, I was raised on it, I’m just not very good at writing it, hence my use of the word “experiment.” And I’m not good at writing contemporary romance because like I’ve said many times before, humans bore me.

But sex does not bore me. At all.

Nor does romance.

And so I created Amal and Jackson and Andrew. To push me out of my writing comfort zone and into something altogether new and challenging and where I might not do that well, but am giving it a shot anyway because this life is all about growth and what better way to grow as a writer than to work on something difficult?

It’s fun and a little scary and kind of crazy but so is anything worth doing.

I spent my New Year’s Eve alone with my laptop, writing myself into 2017. It was wondrous and empowering and felt the most magical way to kick off this year’s journey of words. AMAL is one aspect of that journey – a journey filled with love and sex and poetry and magic and strong-willed women and mayhem and filthy words and vulnerability and murder and Debussy and heartbreak and dirty-mouthed men and warriors and Nina Simone and poison-blades and nine lives and romance romance romance.

Because for real, in my world, it’s ALL about the romance.

So yeah, this is me #Writing Contemporary Romance and it might not be as good as The Sanctum Trilogy or The Keeper Series, but it’s dirty and sexy and romantic and fun. And it’s growth.

Happy 2017 – write on!


CHAPTER SIX – AMAL

“Oh fuck,” I moaned as his fingers traced circles under my skirt, over my panties, against my pussy. My fingers tangled in his hair, as I pulled him closer, needing more, wanting everything.

“I still don’t know your name.”

CHAPTER SEVEN – AMAL

His fingers kept working me, that soaked slip of my panties, circling my clit, touching me just like he promised, just like I loved. 

“My name’s Andrew,” he kissed me as his fingers slipped inside my panties and traced up and down my swollen lips, “Andrew Maynard, if you must know, Ms. Naipaul.”

I opened my eyes and met his stare, watching him as he worked his wicked magic on my body, making me forget everything, and I mean everything, but him and his fingers. He moved up my pussy nice and slow, his fingers drenched with my desire, his breath kissed along my skin.

“We’re back to mizz, are we?” I gasped as he flicked my clit and made me see stars. God, this man played my body like an instrument he studied for years. 

“We are,” he dipped his tongue into my mouth, fucking me slowly, then pulled away and smirked, “because I’m still not certain your punishment is complete.”

He rubbed my clit and slipped two fingers inside me, working my pussy on that dark terrace while a party raged inside, and it took everything in my being not to cry out his name at the top of my lungs, his hands felt that good. His everything felt that good – his voice, his confidence, the way he demanded my attention, commanded my every thought. Without knowing me at all, he waltzed in and shook my foundation, unearthed all I had become accustomed to, and offered everything I had ever desired but was too afraid to acknowledge. With him, I didn’t need to acknowledge anything because he knew. He took one look at me, understood the situation, then claimed me as his. 

It was dangerous and terrible and unforgiveable and still, I couldn’t say no. I didn’t want to say no. Instead.

“Oh god, don’t stop,” I begged as my legs shook and I leaned into the wall for support as he obliterated my senses with his perfect fingers, each one pressed and thrusting in just the right place, at the perfect tempo, with the sweetest touch. My blood heated to fire and everything tightened and I was going to come everywhere, all over him, hard. 

“Do not come on my hand, Ms. Naipaul,” he growled in my ear as he continued working my pussy, his exquisite touch torture, my heaven and hell wrapped up in one tatted, taut, beautiful package, “I’m still not sure you learned your lesson.”

And then he stopped touching me and all the molecules that made up a very horny, just-on-the-cusp-of-coming Amal Warrier Naipaul screamed no, goddamit, no. I opened my eyes and met his mischievous smirk, a snark-filled comment on the tip of my tongue, ready to read him the riot act for taking me all the way to the edge of my orgasm and then leaving me dangling the way he did. 

Then I remembered. 

“You waited for me,” I whispered when I was somewhat settled and able to speak again.

He twisted a curl of my hair around his finger and almost-smiled, “I did.”

“Why?” I dared ask, afraid of his answer and what it could mean.

He cut his eyes and broke our stare then smiled, “If nothing, I am a man of my word. I told you I would be in the bathroom.”

I studied him as he stood there in the near-darkness, really seeing him for the first time ever, unafraid to let my eyes linger on every detail of him, drinking him in like a woman denied water for days. His dark eyes danced with lust and confidence and a touch of je ne sais quoi, his hair needed a cut to seem more respectable but I hardly doubted that was a concern, and his mouth. Fuck. 

I reached out to run my fingers along his full lower lip, wanting nothing more than to stand on my toes and kiss him when he caught my wrist in his grasp and shot me a dangerous glance. That simple movement, so fast and direct, made my skin flush and my pussy swell. He sucked on the finger that just seconds earlier traced his mouth then began pressing a slow trail of hot, wet kisses down my arm, beginning at the sensitive skin on my wrist. I pressed myself into the wall, needing to ground myself somewhere stable while the rest of the world flipped upside down before entering full topspin. 

“Andrew,” I moaned, his name crossing my lips for the first time, marking a distinct space in the timeline of my existence.

“Say it again,” he demanded as his lips pressed to the inside of my elbow and his voice tickled my skin.

“Andrew,” I hissed, more demanding and urgent because while he played my body like his favorite instrument, a work of art he knew intimately, everything felt more demanding and urgent. My mind raced with a million sensations but also felt completely blank and focused on nothing but his beautiful face and his goddamned mouth. My body felt ready to burst at the points where his lips met my skin but also between my thighs as I longed for his hands, his mouth, his anything. And my heart twisted and turned, so tormented by everything happening and not happening and would be happening if I had just listened to him in the first place and taken my ass to that goddamned bathroom. 

And just like that I froze. 

What the fuck, Amal? Since when do you listen to anyone but yourself? Even more to the point, since when does some man, a stranger really, have the power to make you do anything? 

“Hey,” he moved into my line of vision and spoke, but I wasn’t focused on him because all I could focus on was myself and the realization that yes, up until this moment in time, this smouldering and sensual and incredibly hurtful and deceitful moment in time, I listened to no one but myself. And then he spoke, Mr. Downtown, Andrew Maynard, spoke up and claimed me as his, for how long and for what reason, I had no idea, but he did it and I loved it, I needed it, my mind and body craved it. 

“You still in there somewhere?” he touched my chin and searched my eyes and for two beats of a second, I could swear all of this mattered to him. I wasn’t another pretty face in a sea of pretty faces offering themselves to him, no questions asked, no promises made. For two beats of a second, he saw me.

That sound on the terrace right then, that loud thump. It was my heart, landing at his feet. 

“Yeah,” I replied after several long moments of losing myself in his stare, “I am absolutely still here,” and I touched his hand that held my chin and guided him back underneath my skirt, up my thigh, and pressed him into my wetness.

His eyes heated and he hissed in a breath as my fingers guided him, never breaking our stare, so deep in it with each other we moved as one.

“I’m sorry,” I closed my eyes and gasped, our fingers drenched with my desire, “but if your punishment includes not touching my body a second longer, this is me letting you know I can’t take it, I need you to touch me, Andrew. Please, touch me.”

“Good god, Amal,” he kissed me hard as he moved my hand and continued trailing his fingers through my slick lips, parting them and finding my clit, rock hard and throbbing, “open your eyes,” he demanded, the certainty of his voice making my body heat as I arched into him, leaving myself completely open and at his mercy. He continued his slow and purposeful dismantling of my defenses, spreading me wide, commanding my every move, “Amal, look at me.”

I met his stare while I grabbed his wrist and my body shook, “I’m going to come, oh god, Andrew, fuck, I’m going to come.”

He circled my clit and fucked me with his fingers as his voice rumbled through my body, “you are going to come, Amal,” he smiled and looked so fucking ravishing and deadly, “and you’re going to do it all over my hand.”

“Fuuuuuuck Andrew,” my body tightened as the most intense orgasm built in my toes and worked its way to my pussy, to his fingers on my clit and inside my pussy, to the tiniest point in my body that felt ready to explode everywhere, “I’m going to come,” and it was going to be all over the hand of a man not named Jackson Rashard Davis and it was going to break my heart into a million tiny pieces and I didn’t know how I was going to repair the damage but it didn’t matter because all that mattered at that moment was Andrew and me and our bodies doing things that felt so fucking good on so many levels.

“I’m coming,” I cried as he watched me and I watched him and I came undone everywhere, my body bucking against his hand as I lost myself and closed my eyes, “oh god,” I sobbed as wave after wave of pleasure and pain rolled through me, pounding every atom of my being, pulverizing me into submission to the hundreds of sensations and emotions coursing through my soul, “oh my god, Andrew.”

It was only when he kissed away my tears and wrapped me in his arms that I realized I was crying.


I firmly believe every woman should be finger-fucked to orgasm by a sexy man on a dark terrace. That said, I also firmly believe Amal is in a bit of a pickle after that little rendezvous.

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