Corajuda

The curandera 
laid hands on my belly and said
tú eres muy corajuda, ¿verdad?
I don’t think I was as startled
by her observation of the subtle anger
and hot-temperament
living in my organs as she kneaded them
as I was unnerved by my brain’s response
the brief headline flashing across my prefrontal cortex
shifted from “no, I’m not!”
to “how did she know?”
while my downstairs brain
just put up its dukes
and started to fight.

I’m not as interested
in writing about all the things
I’m angry about
or angry at
and how I have
excellent reasons and outstanding references
at this point giving them words
makes them hotter
expanding their presence in my ribcage
anchored in by hooks that stretch
their resilient mucoid bodies
from one rib to another
inside my hollow trunk
where somehow a heart
still manages a steady rhythm
like a volcano
that makes no sound
yet seethes and cooks
boiling silently
telling itself eruptions
are socially unacceptable
and alienating
allowing the molten toxins
to flow inside instead.

Once my brainstem is activated
it starts yelling over
the stories I tell myself
rational explanations
for why this unsettling
and unjust situation
feels so awful
or why it even exists
in the first place
bracing myself for the repeat
of some past trauma
or abandonment
feeling completely
out of control
unable to affect the outcome
feeling helpless about my own
reactions
and inability to handle
whatever.

So no
I’m actually not
helpless
I’m slowly awakening
from my coma of impotence
But yes
I guess
soy muy corajuda
I do store anger in my liver and bones
you see
I have excellent reasons
and outstanding references.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

4th place in Albuquerque WOW slam championship!

It was a great show last Friday — all the seasoned pros and newbies alike brought their best game, had fun, and supported each other loudly and generously!  I made it to the third round and came in 4th place overall, and also got some enthusiastic responses from audience members and helpful feedback from coaches.  Thanks to everyone who came out (and to those who cheered from a distance!) and felicidades to the winner, the consistently amazing Jessica Helen Lopez who will rep ‘Burque at the national WOW slam in Austin next March!  Click here to see some photos of the event!

I’m in…most likely! ABQ Women of the World Slam Poetry Championship

Hi!  I hope Thanksgiving was a bounteous and restful time for you and yours!  There’s one more slam between now and Friday, but chances are pretty good I’ll be in the lineup this Friday to compete with 9 other women to represent Albuquerque at the international level in March!  Come out this Friday, 7:30 p.m., Outpost Theater in Albuquerque! Click here for more information and tickets!

On Anger

I’m angry
because my parents didn’t want me
like all children should be dreamed and coveted
I was the fruit of duty
conceived one spring evening
after church
I was born
on Sunday

I’m angry
because my mother didn’t love me
like all girls should be
adored and mentored
because her mother didn’t love her
the latest in a long matriline
of hollow faceless dolls
filling their withered daughters
with dry, empty breath

I’m angry
because I couldn’t run free
always the good one
trimmed of messy edges
neat and symmetrical
a patch in the family quilt
weakly sewn together
pulled in all directions

I’m angry
because no one could comfort me
and my self-soothing
dramatic pleas for help
sudden welts
closed-up bronchi
spasmed colon
and fits of self-mutilation
inspired rejection
instead of redemption

I’m angry
because my father didn’t
straighten his back for me didn’t
widen his shoulders for me
never taught me
to stand up protected
my boundaries too permeable
for safety or resilience
letting in all manner of
pestilence
virus, bacteria
free radicals
and human plague

I’m angry
because the world taught me
I’m a girl
I’m not allowed
beauty and brilliance
I’m not afforded
affection and respect
I’m second to any mediocrity in the room
if it has a penis
and a deep voice

I’m angry
because circumstance
was not the way it should have been
happenstance
rarely just or logical
so much imperfection and harm
easily avoided
or remedied

But as I reflect
relax my tightened triceps
accept
everything
was exactly
as it had to be
and I’m okay

I’m free

because
I’m no longer
angry.

© S.Rinderle, 2013

The Thaw

When you don’t know
what good feels like
love burns
like lukewarm water
applied gently
to frostbitten fingers
not the fault of the water
nor the frozen flesh but
still it recoils in shock
traumatic contrast
to the status quo
of dying cells
rigid stone
numbing off to rotted sleep

When you don’t know
what it’s like to feel good
suffering is normal
breathing toxic air
is just breathing
thinking
you’re to blame
for your shortness of breath
failing of lungs
weakness in your
fragile, flabby trunk
that you pad
for self-protection

But one day
a blessed recipe
essential oil
of patience, hope and grace
invites a fresh whiff
an awe-some imagination
of expanded ribs
agile, nourished limbs
you can believe
the once impossible
aided by the persistent kindness
of warm hands
and close-lidded kisses
scales fall from your eyes
tears unclog
and you inhale all the way
into life
revive
a vigor and vibrance
that was awkward fantasy before

gradually
finally
your fingers thaw
and you grasp life firmly
with both hands

© S.Rinderle, 2013

I made it to the third round of the city slam championships!

Oh my!  My goal tonight was to not get cut in the first round (of four).  Not only did I not get cut in the first round, I came in 6th out of 10.  I advanced to the second round and placed 3rd out of 7!  Then I went on to the third round and came in 4th of 5!  Does that mean I’m #4 in the city?  Wow!  It was a great night, everyone was on their game, and the crowd had fabulous energy.  Damien Flores got the title (felicidades!) followed by Zachary Kluckman and Mercedes Holtry.  I’m just stoked to have been included on the stage with some of the poets I most admire in this super-talented city.  Today was a good day — buenas noches Burque!  🙂

This too…

Sun set long ago
indigo twilight
rain falling like conversation
precise, round, insistent
solitary me
in the solitude of a song
patient under a tree
minutes like hours

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

Compacted dust softens to mud
mud yields and liquefies
unexpected deluge
landscapes shifting
rock faces crumbling
identities changed forever by the flood

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

Sobbing heart finally cracks
its sour juice oozes up
into throat
metallic and guarded
squeezing out of tearducts
in waterfalls of grief
certain their source is infinite
this ache permanent
this loss unsurvivable

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

I made the city slam finals!

Hi!  Happy Friday the 13th!  Much to my surprise, I made the finals for the Albuquerque city slam championship and the chance to complete for a spot in the Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, WA!

Come out and root for me and my other fabulous competitors next Saturday, September 21, at ArtBar in downtown Albuquerque (Gold & 2nd).  Doors open at 6:30 and admission is $7 ($2 for club members, and under 21s permitted with parent or guardian).

This city’s slam poetry talent is super sick.  Sacrifice poets are local poetry giants Jessica Helen Lopez and David Maile, and event is hosted by the eminent Don McIver.  I share the competition stage with ridiculous poets like Sara Roman and Jesus Lucero — also local slam champs Brooke von Blomberg, Mercedez Holtry, Rich Boucher, Damien Flores, Zachary Kluckman, Emily Bjustrom, and Gigi Bella!

Not too bad for someone who’s only been slamming for a few months!  🙂

See you there!

Great show on Sunday!

It was a wild time on Sunday! Great crowd, positive bar & patio vibe! I got to show a sexier, sassier side of Susana … and share the spotlight with the likes of local poet geniuses Don McIver, Damien Flores, Tanaya Winder, Rich Boucher, Bill Nevins, and the Host with the Most himself … Carlos Contreras!

Thanks everyone for coming out!  If you missed it, check out the videos (thank you Jesus Lucero!)  and take a look at this gorgeous photo (thanks Mark Fischer!).

Maybe I’ll see you at the next slam?  🙂 xoxo

A Cougar’s Manifesto

First
you should know
that I know what I want
I want to meet my Beloved
and live happily ever after
But in the meantime
today is my birthday
I’m 43
I’m sex-positive
I’ve been celibate for 2 years
and I need help.

I don’t need your money
just your generosity in bed
I don’t need your validation
but your recognition and caring
I don’t need your sperm
just your semen
and I don’t need your pity
‘cuz you should get as much out of this
as me
and there’s nothing pitiful
about my life
just occasional loneliness
chronic horniness
and a longing for male warmth.
You feel me?

Second
there are rules
safety first
no means no
we respect each other’s boundaries – and
the unspoken one – no sleepovers
You see, I’m not interested in
jacking off with your body
but a connection
and I’m super prone
to falling in love
and jealousy
so this rule keeps some distance
as does my declared non-monogamy
even though there’s no one else right now
and the truth is
I only want you to myself.

Third
now that it’s been a month of
“hanging out” and
“chilling”
I need to clarify that
I don’t wanna do all the work
I do that all day and
I need to feel wanted, so
I’d like you to make more dates
with a specific time and place, no
“hit me up when you get back” or
“what are you up to?”
I’m waiting for you like we agreed, fool!
And my return date isn’t a surprise
it’s paid for!
I’m a busy professional, dammit
I’m 43!
I don’t have time to wait around
plus it drives me crazy
I prefer light planning plus
spontaneity

Oh yeah that’s right
I’m supposed to be getting my needs met
by more than one man
and this is supposed to be more
physical than emotional
but the sex isn’t good unless it’s emotional
and I don’t feel so turned on by our
political discussions
I adore your brain
but I don’t need you to have those
so don’t be so shy and hit me up
or sext me
from time to time.

Fourth
don’t call me “dude”
‘cuz dude, I’m not your “bro”
and that’s not sexy
nor am I a “girl”
do I look like a child to you when I’m naked?
I’m a woman, and that might take some getting used to
But you can call me Baby, Sweetheart, or even Susana
until the day
one of us decides
not to honor
this Manifesto.

© S. Rinderle, 2013