Old video from my collection: Speaking at a Time
The Bluebird World
So grateful to have this poem published by The Bluebird Word along with the art of Jametlene Reskp. You can read the poem and see the image here;
The Single Story of a Latinx Pinocchio11 MARCH 2022 / EDITOR
Poetry by Amelia Díaz Ettinger
My Puerto Rican aunt in North Carolina, lived in pearls, three-inch heels, and illusions.
“There is bigotry for blacks, but we are white.”
And yet a woman stopped her car at my aunt’s Corinthian columns
“How much do they pay; I can pay you double.”
The Gucci suit and diamonds was no shield.
Still, my aunt, mi tía, insisted; “ignorance vs. prejudice.”
(A PhD from Columbia in New York assured her notions had to be right).
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“Don’t be impertinent.”
A woman with puffy bleached hair, and a ‘T’ shirt of compassion says,
“Tell me your hardship story,” empathy fills her eyes, and I almost laughed.
I know what she wants, but living in a palace surrounded by cultured men would unhinge
what she expects and I am tired
half a century of talk. I want calm, and I want peace, and I want somehow to fit
in this olive brown skin, so I gift her;
“Born in a shack without water or electricity. It was the slums, el barrio.”
She tearily pats my knee, my father in his grave protests, ‘Remember Caruso and Barcelona’,
he says and I silence him, so I swallow memories in surrender
and I become the Latinx Pinocchio.
It is easy to release a single story,
harder to pretend virtue,
so I talk in a soft voice,
when pain blinds me in anger.
And I work harder,
three times, five times, a billion times,
knowing it would not be enough
I still will be the sleeping effigy
under a large sombrero.
Above all entomb lust under a blue tarp,
along with my ambitions,
my culture, mi gente,
and my nose grows long,
but I can’t bury the rhythm of my hips,
I can accommodate, I can give and I will take, will sigh after I cry, and smile until I make a grimace, but when my children are denied— yes— then, I will justify this constant view,
I will lose my temper.
Time after time, my children were told:
“You can’t write Hispanic in these forms.”
“What do you want? Some sort of privileges?”
“You are white”
I see the pain each time they denied
my part in them.
Now, my grandson is too young to understand,
“Yes!” he screams, “she IS my Nana,” Confusion in his eyes.
To me, carrying them in my arms:
“Where did you go to adopt these children?”
“Tell me the truth, are they adopted? Or are they albino?”
“No! You can’t possibly be their mama!”
This I cannot give.
Here I draw the threshold.
I will cut this wooden nose to spite my face.
Literary Hurricane !!!!
In other news, my short story, The Maid/ La Sirvientta, is published online by Somos en Escrito. If you give it a read, leave us a
Portland Book Festival
HOME & INHERITANCE: AMELIA DÍAZ ETTINGER & TERESA K. MILLER
Sat, November 13 from 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm PST
Portland’5 Brunish Theatre
1111 SW Broadway Ave Portland, Oregon 97205
Amelia Díaz Ettinger, Teresa K. Miller, Erika Stevenshttps://literary-arts.org/event/pbf-ettinger-miller/
House Wren Poem
The shell of a mollusk
Pendleton Center for the Arts presentation
A Girl Like Me a short story by Amelia Díaz Ettinger
Review of Fossils on a Red Flag by The Poetry Cafe
Reading of Fossils for Art Center East video.
Dreams and the Pandemic
What have you gained? What have you lost, in this time of introspection?