Limpieza pa’ la Tristeza



Estoy triste
so I’ll light my candles
one by one
and when all the candles are on
and all the lights are off,
i’ll draw the blinds open
so the neighbors can’t see
and the moon can trickle in
to heal the wounds
the daylight sun rays left behind,
i’ll open the window
to change the air in my room
the way doctors change
the blood in a dead body for preservation chemicals,
the way a snake sheds its skin to grow a new one,
and then I’ll light the incense
while I turn on the shower

I’ll take a hot shower, with the bathroom door open, so the steam will fill up my bathroom, and then flood my room, empañando el vidrio, fogging the glass, and with the heat, my pores will open, like cactus flowers in the morning sun, and to remind myself I’m in my body, and it’s all I’ll ever own, I’ll clean it like a cat licking its fur, slowly, to heal, to enjoy it, to move on, to pass the time, to feel, and when I’m still in the shower I’ll scrub my hair with apple vinegar and water to take out the bad luck, spirits and oil like abuela and Reema said, the water will trickle down my face, flooding my wide pores, and I’ll wash off the salty remains with my face looking up at the sky and then I’ll rinse it all off, I treat my showers the way characters in books do, a shower or a bath is rebirth in my high school English class, now naked and still dripping, I’ll step out to the sink, look in the mirror and think how odd my body looks when the steam fogs the mirror, it makes all the colors blur, shapes get confused and I can’t tell where my hips end and where the toilet seat begins, I’ll dry my face to tone it with rose water and lavender extract and then I’ll spray it with the aloe I blended with hand-picked rose petals, I’ll dig up the coffee I don’t drink to exfoliate rub my face my butt my stretch marks, my bloated belly and swollen feet and then I’ll lay on my floor to rest until my thoughts start slipping away into a light dream, that’s how I’ll know it’s time to get up and shower again, a final cleaning to wash off the salt, I’ll rinse with cold water and think about the candles, they have been burning for too long, and I’ll realize my aloe also needs a shower, my journal needs ink, my head needs my pillow, the book on my window sill needs to be read, and my dried flowers need to be hung so I’ll rinse and step out again,I’ll feel a bit better, clearer, more fresh, but before crawling in bed I have one last step, a thick Aztec clay mask, I’ll spread it evenly on my skin, with a brush I’ll pretend my face is a canvas and the clay the paint, I’ll spread it until my face turns grey like the moon on my looking glass, and then comes the music, a fifteen minute salsa freestyle dance between my bed and my desk with a broom sweeping the floor and my hair tucked tight behind my ears and when the last beat sounds, I’ll wash my face with cold water again and then add a drop of maqui berry oil, I picked maqui in Santiago when the days got warmer and my skin got darker, I’ll spray one more time, moisturize in a circular motion with the tip of my fingers and I’ll be fresh, I’ll blow out the candles, read, sleep and I’ll be ready to wake up again.


Image by William Eggleston



& couldn’t we be
softer? flyaways tamed,
cowlicks domesticated, &
all the scallops filed
away. we could make this world

more than His dollhouse,
remind our minted, plasticky
selves of our own
fragility – the shredding
of a nail, temporariness
of skin, disobedience
in the curl of our hair:

rebel. i go
to the salon to be so
mutinous, palms
sweating under hairdresser’s cape.
i come to be beautiful
for my female gaze, eyes seaming
gently shut, as janice

kneads my shoulders. her tagalog rattling
above my scalp, knocking
with anna’s at reception, like a thousand
little cowrie shells. maryam dips

mulchy dyed paintbrush
into a mother’s roots, her arabic basting
the hairdryer’s din. two french women toast
their hands under
hot igloos calcifying
color on their hands quoi,
c’est magnifique, look

how pretty we
arm ourselves. & nobody
but us can ever know
how it feels: “for women only”

once, you set us
apart so we kept
making rooms for ourselves, steaming &
polishing our own kilns,
where we come under
fire, but only for the pleasure
of ourselves. see, the swing

of my smoking mouth, my smooth
jazz hair – this is all mine,
ours, this space where we lacquer
& buff all the edges
you sink in our silkened surfaces: yes,
we’re the paper you toss
after glossing upon, with
all the errors of your hands.



Image by Ciu Xiuwen, documentary still from “Ladies Room”, 2000

Portrait of the Artist by Gabriela Kucuruza

Between painting and poetry, Gabriela Kucuruza is a young Brazilian artist who works with the expressions of bodies, existence, colors, feelings and femininity. Inside the world of paints, canvases and words, her artwork is how she finds a way to breathe. There is no clear distinction between who she is and what she creates, especially when her art is a continuous process of giving life and giving death. Her artwork is, finally, a way to unveil and to explore the identity that is embroidered on her body and on her mind.

Excerpts from the Sisyphus Collection by Golbarg Jokar

The following images are from Jokar’s 2019 Sisyphus Collection. This project displays the hardships of being a woman with only one purpose: doing house duties. These duties include washing dishes, cooking, vacuuming, laundry, ironing, grocery shopping and last but not least, raising the kids. In this project, women wear formal dress, but the housework is integrated with their body and costume – they cannot be separated from their responsibilities. 

Golbarg Jokar is an Iranian visual artist who has formally studied painting and textile design in Tehran. 

Floralscapes by TIC

Born in 1982 in Salinas, California, Tammy Ikram (known as TIC) has maintained a studio in the broader Los Angeles area since 2013. She has also taught private drawing classes in both Orange County and London, England. Tic has exhibited in Hollywood, San Diego, Orange County, and Beverly Hills, and has upcoming exhibitions in the The Oculus at World Trade Center in New York and Tokyo, Japan. She will also have her paintings heavily featured on Season two of Selling Sunset on Netflix. She currently lives in greater Los Angeles with her husband, son and new daughter.

“My paintings explore space, movement, and the ideals of femininity. The fantasy of escaping from the mundane into a world filled with vibrant colors and verdant gardens of elegance captures my imagination.The sense of freedom I feel in that space directly feeds the emotional energy of my paintings. I use floral structures as my compositional framework in order to take the viewer into a state of wonder, beauty, and seduction.”

Hard Candy
oil on linen, 24 in x 36 inches, 2019.


Wabi Sabi
oil on linen, 18 in x 24 inches, 2019.


Crowley’s Garden
oil on linen, 30 in x 40 inches

No Vagina Required: Testament

Thou shalt not tolerate the bullshit of man
Thou shalt bare nipples in response to shame
Thou shalt release the clitoris from captivity
Thou shalt interrupt a trampling of a fellow non-male
Thou shalt denounce any and all venomous cocks
Thou shalt burn the corsets and pinch-waist mannequins
Thou shalt condemn the taxation and price of a uterus
Thou shalt raise thy voice, when the men come to make phantoms
Thou shalt refuse invisibility
Thou shalt not be complacent or tolerant

You must defy.


Artwork by Eero Lampinen “Girls”

I no longer knew Xinyu, and her red boots

Reclining Nude by William Scott (Oil paint on canvas).jpg

two girls were born last night
I helped them put on red underpants right
away, I dressed one in red boots
before she could even walk
the girls ran around the yard:
Come find us! so
we sang a little
song while circling the lychee tree,
but not everyone recognized the song

she wore that pair of red boots only
I have red cowboy boots
flaunting to the neighbor’s kids
the muds couldn’t fall off the soles
some girl spread the word
that Xinyu’s red boots were buddies with feces
a jealous girl, must be she
was from the Blue Water village

our house was in the Red Temple village,
just the toddlers and the wheelchairs
one time there was, the house
was packed with grown-ups
Are they your children?
I forgot to answer her question,
while standing next to the slaughterhouse
her grandpa always took care of the cleaning procedure
I made tea and Niú Zhā Táng, but the French
call it Nougat

Grandma, grandma!
my mind drifted off when Xinyu asked me the question,
sometimes that happened, not because of her question
certainly not. I told her yes, and continued to observe
my daughter-in-law, and her leather jacket
the black leather jacket
How come they call you auntie instead of mom?
I shushed her, straightaway
that was no question to ask, never

Xinyu used to call her mom, the lady on television
whose job was to communicate
words from the party to us:
Anarchy does not work in human beings’ reproductive process
but only until her real mother came, my daughter-in-law
always in leather jacket, or military uniform,
unwomanly did she behave, who came to pick her up
I saw, her, taking Xinyu away, running very fast towards the buildings
I lost her… together with the other twelve children, and grandchildren

Five children were born
the first twenty years, one died
followed by the second,
twenty years

I have a pair of glasses, and I read anything:
my grandchildren’s comic books
the back-cover of the snackbar boxes
and the newspapers
there was very little to read forty years ago
therefore a lot easier to remember ——

Revolutionary, regions and State
State to on Family of Association
Ministry the and Fuel I to hope
carefully is beings anarchist
There be an Chairman many Comrades must
populated other must this in-depth
late planning actions in areas to
fourth significant within

she never listened to me
at this moment, two is can and must
but she doesn’t care, Xinyu’s mother
who dragged my hair and pulled me to the wall
quality not quantity
nonsensical speeches
her modernity fails in

I finished cooking gizzard for Xinyu
she changed her tastes after twenty years of urbanization
less oil, less sault, less spicy
I watched her eat the food, drink the soup and leave the table
but her iphone was on
I glimpsed at the title of the article that she was reading:
Raising Fertility: A New Task for China’s Population Development in the New Era

I will dream about them
men and women, under the age of 40
lining up to pay
pay, pay, pay,
for their maternity fund
the self-operation of the two-child birth subsidy

the line craws next to me
there I see
a small girl comes up to me
black hair, double tail, pink hairing
she drags my coat, and cries
don’t let me go…
I won’t!
please don’t throw her red cowboy boots away
please don’t throw away her red cowboy boots


Artwork by William Scott “Reclining Nude”