Mamita Mala

la Mala at Hispanic Panic NYC Tonite!

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3913934946_0df6370bd7_mI am so excited to be a part of Hispanic Panic tomorrow nite and I hope that some of you in the NYC area can join this fabulous collection of Latino poets and writers that Charlie Vazquez, the host, has brought together.

HISPANIC PANIC! w/ Brandon Lacy Campos, Maegan ‘La Mamita Mala’ Ortiz, Erasmo Guerra, Robert Vázquez-Pacheco, Cristy Road, and Claudia Narvaez-Meza.
Wednesday, September 30th @ Nowhere, 322 E 14th St, NYC, 8PM, 21+

Mamita Mala Spits Her Mami Historia Via Poetry at bluestockings NYC

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It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve stood in front of an audience and spit some poetry and truth me told i have a few new ones rolling around in the space between mi vientre y mu boca pero I don’t think they are ready yet.

I will be reading at bluestockings , Friday September 18th @ 7PM as part of a mama storytelling salon featuring Kerry Cohen, Vikki Law , Jennifer Silverman and me.

Hope to see some of you there.

Mamita Mala is a Powerful Latina

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Just a little shameless plug. Tomorrow nite (Wednesday) I am going to be speaking on the Powerful Latinas interview series about the development of my political consciousness, and how my creation of my media outlets are connected with my politics.

I’m really excited and hope you can listen in!

Sign up aqui to be a part of the fun.

blogging, colonialism, survival

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The only reason I read the post was because of blackamazon and Sylvia.

And tonite after reading bfp and after twitterputeando with her I’m going to attempt to say something that makes sense at least for me. Cuz this space has always been about that, yo, Maegan la Mala working her complicated shit out.

The timing of this latest blogcrap comes at a time when I am struggling. I am a single mami again, trying to make rent, working, writing, fighting to get health insurance and child support and food. My abuela just passed away. Tengo una tia muy enferma and this shit came down when I was actually counting fucking coins so I could buy the cheapest milk I could find in my hood and some white women wanted to talk on how WOC bloggers are colonized? Then a radical woc sent me milk money and I did cry and I am crying as I write this shit.

Porque?

Porque first I get all tripped up over the word colonialism. I carry that word close to my Rican heart shrouded by U.S. citizenship. I wince when I read white mujeres trying to tell a woc how she is being colonized, as if my body and soul doesn’t know what that is. Hell mi abuela muerta y su vientre operada still knows what the fuck that is. As if this cyberworld that radical women of color have chosen to make space on is magically disconnected from the real application of colonialism. As if my being here and the como y cuando is not clear to me.

It’s one of the reasons I have been called a bad feminist for my puta ways, and I’m like, who the fuck ever said I was a feminist?

From my first encounter with NOW NYC after the Rican Parade sexual assaults, I’ve encountered how we are invited to their events, be guests, consider their books etc etc blah blah just as long as we take the radical out as I was asked to for a feminist event recently I was invited to and didn’t go to.

and here’s a confession, I don’t read the feminist blogs in question unless someone I know and love is writing there (and there are a few) and I sure as hell don’t read the comments. When mujeres I love and respect and with whom I have some sort of strange internet connection with decide to blog in those spaces, I don’t think they are sell outs, tokens etc etc etc. Jamas jamas jamas. I worry though the way I worry about all my sisters pero don’t question their motives or wonder in the back of my mind if they are trying to get on some fucking train that allegedly equals success. COÑO.

Mira, 3 plus years ago I was invited to help in the creation of a Latino blog that has changed and moved and that gets some attention and in it’s little niche is somewhat known and as much as I know peeps criticize me and the site for being too commercial, I don’t stress it and I try to balance the best that I can and sometimes fail. Pero that does not mean that I deserve to be called a vendida or be stereotyped by mainstream media as I try and make some sort of a living out of what I fucking love, words y mi gente. It doesn’t mean that I deserve to feel utterly unsupported as a woman of color like I did when covering the DNC last summer. Like I need some outside source telling me when I stand.

Cuz apparently I don’t know. Apparently woc don’t know.

Sabes que? Claro I want a fucking book deal, in fact a fucking few, and I invite all the feminists to come to my casita, with it’s leaky ceiling in the hood with its overhead helicopter , 7 train, police siren soundtrack and sign up to babysit my kids so I can count my change for subway fare, milk, cereal to fight for health insurance, tutor, translate, and then maybe scribble something down and read some more poems. You all think I’m being cute when I put that shit in my bio? I’m waiting for the slots to fill up.

In the meantime I have work to do and I know who will do it with me.

New Year, New Beginning

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This new year, I have vowed not to keep secrets. To be shameless in my writing and in order to do that properly I needed to reclaim my space to speak, to write, be poetic, be Mala as I reenter single mami’hood and start fresh pero with old knowledge guiding me.

I sucked it up, faced my fear of tech, and purchased my own hosting space and here is Mamita Mala’s new blog casita.

Originally I was at MamitaMala.com pero I didn’t have control over much of the backend. I created a temporary exile tent city.

Recreate with me. Reinvent. Revolutionize, welcome.

Oh and please be patient as I mess with the sidebars, add links, change headers, etc. I am a poet who blogs, not a blogger who does poetry.

Un Año Que Viene, Otro Que Se Va

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It’s that time of year, time to wrap presents, make coquito, and look back at the year that is just about to come to a close and what a year it has been. I’ve traveled more for work more than ever. I committed more time to blogging and writing and relationships ended and started and not in that order. A ver los cambios y plans….

blogging

First off, you will note that I am not even at my mamitamala.com blog because I can’t!!! It’s been a little frustrating pero hopefully in the new year I will have my own domain and server and get back on the mamita mala blogging track. One of my resolutions this year was to blog everyday here  pero I was battling techinical difficulties, work, mamihood, and struggling with how much to reveal/not reveal in this space, including being unusually quiet about things I would normally scream about or the equivalent of screaming on a blog anyway. Me thinks that this new year I will have my own domain, server space and a new design pero also a new lease on returning to my roots as la Mamita Mala, meaning unapologetically honest and naked porque that’s what this space was created for. Not for you who choose to read but for me who needs to write and kind of likes being an exhibitionist.

So I will be working to make this more a regular space, especially now as I enter in single mami’hood again. I want this space to be about negotiating my mami’hood identity with my puta identity with my poeta identity and yeah maybe make some progress on this damn book. At one point during this year

Relationships

Ay so much to say here with so many concerns about privacy and others’ feelings. So mcuh of my blogging this past year was censored. No one requested that it be that way, it was something I chose to do to protect people’s feelings and at one point my own physical safety. In this past year I went from cohabitating, to being physically abused, to having what would be called “an affair” I suppose, to separating and becoming a single mami again. And it’s even more complicated than it sounds.

Pero in all of that I strengthened my own identity. I was able to bond with other radical woc in Detriot, I survived and then some  thanks to the circle of sanity in Denver during the DNC. I recognized how tenuous and superficial some relationships with other artists are especially when they question your Latino cred. I realized how little I have in common with the so called white attachment parenting anti-racist community. I realized how little I want to be a feminist when I am so much more than what that label could ever hold.

My own relationship with myself has come full circle. I disappoint and amaze myself. I fall in and out of love with myself and alot of it has to do with if I am true to myself or not and I spent so much of this year not being true to myself. When I did start to open up to what I really wanted, needed and deserved, the shift in feeling was amazing. That’s not to say that i am not working on a million parts of myself pero I almost killed Mamita Mala this past year, not the blog pero that whole side of my identity because I thought it would be easier than dealing with the backlash. Pero then I realized that I, Mamita Mala was too important to kill off, that I have so uch more to do with so many people. So as I tie up a few loose ends in my life, like making sure I have a roof over my kids’ heads, in 2009 Mamita Mala will rise again.

Writing and Reading

This past year my writing has taken me all around the country, speaking to college students and organizations, speaking at political events and recording powerful poetry. I was inspired to write in Spanish and then translate to English for the first time ever pero no I still haven’t written my damn book pero in the new year it will be because it has to be. I already have readings lined up for January and am working on Feburary and I am planning on maybe speanding the summer out of the city to write away with less distractions.

May the new year bring happiness, light, clarity and justice and love (and some good sex would be nice too).

I’ve been Away

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I took a vacation. A time away from the craziness that is the logistics of a breakup. A time away from the need to post a certain number of blogposts per day in order to reach a certain number of hits, a certain amount of money. A time away from the constant demands of mami’hood and responsibilities to communities.

Vacations are pure escapism yet my vacation in a super secret location was also about living painful realities, sitting with them, hiding from them, and facing them again. It was about sleeping in and witnessing patterns of daily life you dreamed about. It was about long walks under moonlit skies, wine, coffee, nakedness, food, familiar sounds coming from unfamiliar places, breathing in new air, mourning and then hoping again only to mourn some more.

I made a game about not telling people where I was going, about being all clandestina when it wasn’t a game at all, rather a request, a courtesy, a respect for myself and others and I guess a need. A need I still am not content with and resent the same way I resent all the compromises i make. I have started to question when consideration for someone else trumps your own path to happiness and if it should.

Now I brace for the long winter of change, emotionally sleep and hibernate, using my stores of knowledge and experience to survive and wait for the spring hoping it will remain true to its promise of new beginnings and rebirth.

What Mamita Mala Wants

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Last week I was honored with the opportunity to speak at the NYC stop of the This is What Women Want tour.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM5Z74TnSsk]

I had written and chosen my words carefully and well and was nervous pero happy with the reception. I wasn’t ready however to see a woman I admired, a woman whom represents so much of my own struggles as a Puerto Rican woman. I thought I saw her before I entered the theatre where I would be speaking, pero I wasn’t really sure till I was up on stage, all nervous and energized. I knew it was her by all the places she applauded at: at my mention of Richie and of Puerto Rico. You can hear her bracelets moving in the video above. And after my speech, as I stepped down , she was there, with open arms to embrace me. I couldn’t help but cry.
“Do you know who I am?” she asked.
“Of course” I said
She was Dylcia Pagan, former political prisoner, always Rican freedom fighter.

Mamita Mala wants to keep working for freedom.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoGDTmv25nk]

Mi Vida es Mi Trabajo

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My work is not my life pero my life is my work.

It is an extremely privileged position to be in, to make my living with transforming my life into words. It’s a meager living in terms of money, no doubt, pero I didn’t choose this life for the money. I chose this life because I wanted my daily routines to be rooted in me and my values and my community. I am so so grateful for this gift.

That said I am behind on my work. I am behind on my life. I feel like I have wasted time in bad spaces with negative people and influences and I feel that only now am I opening my heart and soul wide fucking open. It’s not easy. It’s even painful at time, not just to me pero to people around me as well. Just as we write and then edit, we live and then reflect and move forward.

My dear prima said I seemed happier and more focused than ever, and she’s right. I am.

Just to share one of my most recent intersections of life and work. Last weekend I was honored to read from a blog piece published in Just Like a Girl.

You can see pictures of the amazing evening here.

You can read the original post here.

What was so amazing that night was that women weaved their tales about their bodies, their loves, their hurts and we all in some way make our lives our work.

Gracias to all who came and supported and the new people I met.

It bugged me out being asked to sign books, sign on the pages where my name was printed. I still need to learn to take ownership and pride in my life/work, tag my name on the paths where I walk porque coño, my life/work leaves its mark. I need to make sure it’s my mark.

Tonight la Mamita Mala Acts Just Like a Girl

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Soy pura mujer: Esa chica walking into the bar that you couldn’t resist, la madre de tu hija x2, twitterputa, blogfresca, Puerto Rican poeta. I am honored to have a tiny pedazo of me inside  Just Like a Girl:

Just Like A Girl is a rough-and-tumble, sassy, kick-ass travelogue through the bumpy, powerful, action-packed world of GIRL. A world where girls and women know how to pick themselves up and brush themselves off. These are the clever girls. The funny girls. The girls who know there is no sin in being born one.

Tonite in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, home of many Malaventuras,  join editor Michelle Sewell and contributors Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Maegan “la Mala” Ortiz, Sara Herrington, Jade!, Ellen Hagan, Tanisha Christie, Penelope Laurence, and K. Coleman Foote for a sizzling, provocative, and boundary pushing reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 – 7:00pm
Bluestockings Books
172 Allen Street
New York, NY

Y mira, not for nothing, the piece I have in the libro, came straight from my blogging, and is hot. Hope to see some of your there.

M