In a Far Away Land/ Margaret Elysia Garcia

A story of mine up on Rabble Lit today! Thanks.


They must keep them somewhere, these fathers of sad girls. They are locked Mr.-Murray-tight in a column somewhere, on dark distant planets far away à la Wrinkle in Time. Or perhaps we hope they are. They are trapped somewhere, maybe under falling debris from earthquakes, maybe under the weight of their freedom.

They’ll need three kids at least to rescue them, these fathers, like Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. These fathers who are often missing need us, we are sure of it. If they could live with us day in and day out they’d see how much fun we are, how we could take such good care of them.  We could make them like being in a family; we just know it.

We don’t want to need them. That would just drive them away, in their old beat up cars, with their newer girlfriends at their sides and her…

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National Poetry Month Challenge Margaret Elysia Garcia Style

So far so good. Or so shitty. Does it matter as long as you get down a poem a day?! April 17 and I have 17 poems to show for it. Today’s is pretty horrible but I’m also in lots of wisdom tooth pain so I’m going to give myself a pass on that one. Here’s some raw unedited poems written this month.

Enjoy? Don’t judge…

Poem# 1
It is so simple really.
This thing of loving unconditionally,
Full heart embrace, with no room
For any doubt, barely enough for air.

Poem # 2

April 2: # 2 Poem:
I wake up sore legged
and beat-hearted
as if I ran marathons
in my sleep
My mind kept on that race
even after midnight
even in the morning
which brought train whistles
in the distance
First train stop and you
are not here. My body still
and restless, not trained for
such sorrow as comes
from too much movement
that leads us nowhere
and still no words from you
Poem # 3
April 3: Day 3 poem.
Your Curves
She said you are the
Right kind of fat—
She grabbed the woman’s hips
In the middle of toddler pick up.
She said I just love you big ethnic women
And patted her belly.
He said you look like one healthy girl.
He said you look like you were raised on a farm.
More cushion for the….
She said at least you are an hourglass.
You know, you can wear things.
She said men still want you.
He said, you know, you’re too big
You’re lucky to have me.
He said, other guys might not be
As tolerant as I am.
She said you have a nice, big ass.
They’re sure to love that and tits to match.
He said, I don’t mind.
He said, I know you want me because what
Choice do you have?
And then the woman started losing weight.
And then the woman said wondered why any one would come up to
A stranger and touch her hips and comment on her figure if they didn’t know her
What is this thing that tells them that it’s
Okay to touch you?
Community property
If you are a big girl—
He said, so what you gonna leave me now that you’re small?
She said, just make sure you’re being healthy about it!
He said, it’s not like you can do better.
She said, are you trying to prove something.
And the woman just walked away.

Poem # 4
I never know what to say in public
Is this the time? The place?
The moment when I reveal to you
The things that shouldn’t be revealed?
That cannot be revealed?
I try to stick to hallmark
To the ease of kittens and flowers and springtime
But I never stay there. My mind, my memory.
Before I know it I am giving voice to
The litter box and the broke stems and the cold
Sludge of rained out earth and all that’s buried beneath.

Poem# 5
The girl is beautiful
No, I mean that.
You aren’t seeing it.
The curve of her mind,
The shape of her heart,
The way it all comes together
In kindness and thought
and a messy sort of defiance.
She’ll learn, of course, she’ll learn.
But in the mean time—
In a small valley
In a smaller house
In the smallest of understandings
A switch from the tree
A vein in the forehead
Your truck barreling down the highway
Like an invading tank
This is what you leave her

Poem # 6
Standing in the tall grass that afternoon
The green of Technicolor
The nerves of the young
when no one has yet
to leave a mark of trampling

You were with me
I watched you work
The methodical muttering
Of a man left alone
Concerned only with the light
And I could have been the trees
Poem 7
What was it?
How you answered the question
Perhaps how I asked it
How wide my eyes became
Knowing I was looking at
Not a mirror but someone
Who perhaps saw the world
With the same focus, different lens
How you moved in as if for a kiss
But instead just watched my mouth
As I watched yours

Poem 8
I remember you
When it rains heavy
Like blood, like that autumn
When the leaves were bright red
Against our gray bodies
I remember what you did
How you were going to save me
By making everything worse
And all those grooves in the wood floor
Pacing, splintering, stuck into my bare swollen feet
It was the last time it rained like this
The last time I ever felt helpless
Against a sky full of darkness
and wind and rain.

Poem 9
Tethered by frayed rope
The boy pulls and pulls
Gets another foot or two beyond
Where the rope can comfortably hold
He does this now, daily
Always asking to go beyond,
To be let loose even though
You need a ball and a rope to play.
He can do it on his own terms
This rope, this ball, the whole thing
Being an embarrassment.
What if someone sees? Sees the strain
The fadedness of the rope
The discoloration of the ball
What if someone knows it’s not the best
He hits and misses hits and misses
I want him to win
Whatever there is to win
But without pulling the rope to break.

Poem # 10
He comes home late
And we stop mid-thought
mid crash on the couch
for him and the game
april and it’s always the game
which ever game
I pray all lose quickly.

Poem # 11

You have left for your day
Shared your dream this morning
A chuckle with morning coffee.
Things are changing here
There is no need for a fire, the heater
Our climate simply is what it is
With the damper of endless rain
Lush and green and young
Impossible to walk through
To touch unscathed
So I sit here with the cats on either side
The coffee cooling not unlike us
Thinking of summer fires once more.

Poem 12
He called me Beautiful
As if it were my name
As if those three syllables
Didn’t carry the weight of my world

Poem 13
We drove them passed the city lights
The still holding hands and whispering young
And for a moment
The city didn’t feel like exile
Didn’t feel like abandonment
Impossible and out of reach
Down to the Palace of Fine Arts
Up to Coit Tower in the moonlight
In the back light, into the magic of a night
In a majestic city they have yet to know

Poem # 14
Confessions are uneasy things
I remind myself this as I pick up
The bits and pieces of me
Scattered about the room
I attempt to clean up quickly
Pretend that I haven’t stripped bare
Before the bright lights, before the scrutiny
Prepare the wooden box for the hunter
To take my heart;
for the hunted to bare her chest in dare
but there it all remains
splattered stains
that I cannot take back
Poem # 15
We’re too old for that now
When I asked if they wanted to color eggs
Or hunt for eggs in the front yard
It’s that time between the worlds
When the boy child is still Legos but also girlfriend
The girl child still snuggling but reciting hip hop and rap
Full curse words and gyrations
I gamble on the move towards adulthood
Until their crestfallen faces wax nostalgic
Their empty baskets nudged towards me
Before they go to sleep.
In the morning, for a brief moment
It is old times and they are up at dawn
Eating jellybeans and chocolate
And hunting in the yard for eggs
And me wondering if its one last time.

Poem # 16
New Love.
New passion.
New drive.
All is forgiven.
For the renewal.
For that moment
when we can forget just enough to move on.
He says such words
and I want to believe
That they are words
That could quite possibly
Belong to me.

Poem # 17
It’s too late in the morning already
A day left undone
The head pounding
The bed calling
It’s enough to be here
And that is all

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I posted this up on Medium this morning about a political meeting I went to last night. I’m kind of going to lay off going to political meetings for awhile.

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Vagabond, a year

It’s been a year since I heard her voice.

It was straight and sober for a moment.

But, It wasn’t hopeful.

I said, Happy Birthday–

may you have a better year.

There was a chuckle

A heh heh.

Yeah, you can say that, she said.

It has to be.

That was a year ago today.

There’s been time and space.

Some days I don’t think of her at all.

Some I think of her too much.

I came across a box full of

photos of her: childhood, teens, the early 20s

the times not quite sober but not quite gone either.

In that box was a child of mine. A sister. A friend.

A memory.  Without anger. Without the fear.

Without the tic twitch of the not fully recovered.

Sometimes I wake up wondering where she is

Hoping if she’s alive whom ever she’s with

isn’t overwhelmed; isn’t leaving her.

Side of the road. Side of my head.

The Vagabond is still roaming.


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The Wearing of the Red

I read this poem I wrote at a rally today:

The Wearing of the Red (on International Women’s Day)

I am the color of …

Anger…of red in the face blush and shame

Of things perpetrated against us that we still cannot name

I am the color of…

Passion…of my own satisfaction…of a longing and desire so deep

that only I have the power to fill and execute the dreams of my sleep

I am the color of…

Heat…of fire and warmth, of rage and indignation

Against the ice and cold shoulder misogyny of our nation

I am the color of …

Good Fortune…a symbol of good luck, the possibilities unbound

With support and education and opportunity found

I am the color of …

Blood…of ancestral remembrance, the cycle of our bodies

Coming round to remind us, that we are not commodities

We are flesh. We are cells. We divide inward.

Our lives, our interiors, as important as any battlefield.

Our struggles the hard muck and guts of daily living

As vital a fight as anything thrown at us.

I wear red. I wear red like a bridal veil. I wear red like a promise. Like a weapon. Like a lover. Like a sister. Like a mother. Like a daughter. Like an honor.

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First Rehearsal Reveals

Listen to Your Mother Show Plumas County show is underway. First rehearsal in the bag. Find out the cast of characters for our 2017 show.

I’m proud to be back directing the LTYM show in Plumas County one more time! It’s getting harder and harder to write about the kids as they get older. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it too.

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Adding my voice

Roar Magazine is doing some important work. They’re posting an abortion story ever day of the year.

I added my voice to this project. Take a look at the sight when you get the chance. Given the political climate, it’s a brave act of honesty.

My Abortion Story. Thanks.

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Reading at Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA Feb. 15th

I’ll be doing a reading at Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA on Feb. 15! Come out and see me.

Throwing Chanclas


Anyone in the Bay Area want to come to a reading? I’ll be there.

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Safe and Secure

“I just want us all to feel safe and secure…”

You wanna know what would make me feel safe and secure?

If I could trust that your people weren’t eager to

probe our vaginas with wands, that you weren’t sticking pens up in there to legislate what can and cannot be in me.

I would feel ‘safe and secure’ if I knew that education wasn’t about to be dismantled

or that you weren’t selling out our country to Russia.

Or that we will all still have clean drinking water.

Houses to live in that we can afford.

I would feel “Safe and Secure” knowing that our country still had scientists and doctors left to do their work unimpeded.

I would feel “safe and secure” if I knew that kids weren’t going to go hungry.

I would feel “safe and secure” knowing that no one working hard and struggling was getting deported on a whim of your pen.

I would feel ‘safe and secure’ if you called straight young white male Christian terrorists on their shit and kept guns out of their hands.

Safe and secure. Safe and secure, my ass.

Do you know what those words mean when 2/3rd of the country can’t sleep at night afraid to look at the news in the morning because of what you’ve destroyed?

Safe and secure while we play china shop to your bull and shit?

I don’t wanna feel safe, I wanna be safe.

Mother Earth is not safe in yours or your henchmens’ hands–

as you begin a constant torture and rape. Burrowing weak men’s holes into her,

filling her with metal and dust and your limp rage.

I wanna be safe in the knowledge that my body belongs to me,

that my brothers and sisters are free to love, free to work, free to live, free to read, free to travel, free to be

how ever they see fit just as long as it hurts no one and that

and that

is what will make us secure.

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The Last Thank You of 2016 — Library Project

Throwing Chanclas

….and it is two days late!

Much has been made of the disaster of 2016, with its notable take down of artists and musicians and cultural points of light and hope.

I kept thinking of Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time when the kids are with the Happy Medium and she is forced by one of the Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which etc to show the kids a happy planet, and a dark planet and then–she shows them Earth. Darkness of course, has  a strong hold on Earth. There is death and suffering and fascism reigning –but there are also those who fight the darkness.

It’s not that part that threw me as a child. I was well aware of darkness. But when the Mrs. W ensemble explain to the children that one can fight the darkness through love and through creation and through art is when my mind was opened up…

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