Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BlogTalk Radio With Disability Activist Maria Palacios

image On Sunday, Monica, Allison and I had the honour of interviewing spoken word poet and disability activist Maria Palacios.  She spoke candidly about the high rate of rape disabled women face, the challenges of raising children as a disabled mother, dealing with an abelist world and shared her latest poem with us. This was quite the honour as it was the first time that it had been publicly performed. You can find the episode on our show page at Blogtalkradio.

With her permission Maria has allowed me to post the poem though I really must recommend listening to the podcast, it was an incredible interview.


Maria R. Palacios

The lovers

who blessed my life

have been many

and few...


who came like a breeze

and a few who stayed with ease

behind the scenes

of my life.

The ones who sailed through my ocean

came to the shore

like sailors in uniform.

They were never meant to stay

no matter what I might say

or how much I may claim

to love them.

They simply came

like an April moon


of promise of spring

the kind

that made my heart sing

as it broke.

Those are now the memories

that make me drink

and make me smoke.

Poem by poem,

metaphor by metaphor,

they bring out

the masochist in me,

the wild beast in me

the desperate lover

in me..

You know what I mean...

because no matter what,

all of us have once been



in that desperate lover mode.....

when you want to be loved

by somebody

who doesn't





and you lie in bed alone

staring at the phone

staring at the ceiling


full episodes of your own life


if there will ever be

a next time....

No... I don't mean just sex....

I mean sex



the fire that devours you

makes you kiss and makes you claw

the flesh of a lover

over and over

because you have to hold on

to the memory of that body

next to yours...

...the memory

of that body





is the desperate lover mode.

Been there

too many times

sailing with some passionate stranger

until his sails follow the wind

to where my words

can't follow his

or wouldn't

even if they could.

Some things are not meant to be.

It truly is

as simple as that.


there are the lovers who stayed

for some time


for a lifetime

because everyone I once loved,

I still love

just not with the same passion

as before.


of the lovers who stayed

brought peaceful love,

filled my life and my bed

with the comfort of routine,

we boxed ourselves in

into twice a week sex,

and moved on day to day

in a monogamous wheel

one that involved more than sex

it brought worries and bills,

the “Not tonight I have a

headache” line

in my pocket

my “get out of jail free card”,

the absence of romance,

table never just set for two,

no candlelight

no full moon

but the security of someone's arms

that kept me warm at night

and made me feel

like a “real” woman.

Yes, a real woman. Real as defined by a culture,

that sees someone like me

as the black sheep of the family,

the one

with a dark past

and a dark side,

the one who has loved

more than once

and lived


the hot-blooded Latina

who broke the mold

of the perfect daughter

and the perfect wife,

the perfect woman,

perfect this and that

all women are expected to be




we manage to squeeze

our battered identities

into yet another outfit of preconceived ideas

about what roles we play

and what we say....Who are we?

And why

are we


And we swim upstream

like a desperate sperm

trying our best

to survive.

But we're always

too fat

to thin

to white

too dark

to short

to tall

to old

too young

too something

What the hell is wrong

with us?

I guess,

in my case,

I was considered too crippled

for some things

I was never expected to grow up.


Sex education?

For what?????”
And so I learned to exist

on my own.

And on my own

I learned

about sex and love

and confused the two

at times

as I was forced to wear

labels that define womanhood

in the white, able-bodied, heterosexual

socially acceptable way

and I was raised to believe

I will never have sex

never get married

never have children

never grow up to be

a “real”


But I am one.

And I have never been

the sweet little thing,

breakable, fragile, helpless

needy female

waiting to be rescued

by anyone

but especially

by a man.

Instead I am



Pancha Villa

Female Chegue Vara

Woman of color

who has grown poems

and children

in her womb....







So.... the girl in a chair had a lover

then a husband



She had one child

then two

It sounds like the same old tune

because I'm just a woman


what women do


like women love

with all my senses raw

until the hunger

is gone.