beacon

beacon

i hope to shine golden
high and tall
blinking survivor signals

for those crashed and
tossed from the cliffs
of human cruelty.

lay your essence upon my
shore for a moment
weary traveler.

let my shattered soul suns
reflect on you
glory and divinity.

let my love be a golden
mirror. let it show you
only truth and never
shame.

divine grace

warning: this poem may be triggering for survivors of abuse

divine grace

“too often
must dodge & weave
unknown traumas
within my mind
to find my way safely
thru this life”
– maggie grace

we were enchanted children
indigo grrrls
unpaid sex workers
sucking cocks

they shot darkness
behind the curtains
of our throats

children at their banquets
children are banquets
grandfathers hands
knead shoulders, heads

labor labor never rest
soldier children
stiff with one purpose
SURVIVE

this hidden universe
ancient
generational
forbidden to name

they split us
and split us
and split us
and split us

they forced themselves
in every crack
there is no hiding
we knew that

and we broke
we broke
we are broke
broken backwards children

grace you are called grace
grace you are the cracks
grace you are the puzzle
and the web

oh leysh i want to call you
grace. i should have called
you grace. i should have known
you live in these cracks too.

oh leysh oh leysh
oh fuck you oh ayuniz
oh habibtiz oh victims
sacred victims

i call you grace

sacred victim
reviled survivor
we come unglued
we fall through our cracks

we don’t have the power
to go back and have
acceptable childhoods

we thought they had
all the power
we thought they had
the whole world

but they didn’t have the cracks
we live here in the cracks
oh my young artist
learn to love the cracks

this web we are weaving
is held by grace
this freedom we are singing
is loved by grace

grace’s hand on my heart
squeezes til the tears come
grace’s hand on my life
keeps me steady for joy

this art isn’t finished
the enemy is within us
our power is grace
grace be with us

Creating Access Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault with Disabilities

text of the pdf “Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault with Disabilities.” transcribed for accessibility. original pdf here:
http://www.evawintl.org/Library/DocumentLibraryHandler.ashx?id=493

A special information packet produced by
2010
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)
1215 K Street, discount Suite 1100
Sacramento, glaucoma CA 95814
Tel: 916.446-2520 www.calcasa.org
Creating Access
Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault with Disabilities

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
Legal Rights for Americans with Disabilities
The Intersections of Ableism and Other Oppressions
Prevalence of Sexual Violence and Abuse of Persons with Disabilities
The Dynamics of Ableism and Sexual Violence
The Power and Control Wheel: A Tool for Recognizing Abuse of Persons with Disabilities
10 Tips for Creating Accessibility
Suggestions for Improving Physical Accessibility
Outreach Strategies
Prevention Strategies
Appendix A: Key Terms and Definitions of Disability
Appendix B:Resources

Read more

losers

losers

1.
if your story is dull
water on stone
wearing you down until

one day there’s this
deep depression
right in the center of you

and there’s nothing left
to study but that hole
in your middle

and the whole has teeth
and the money never comes
and you find your eyes

they weigh a thousand pounds
the boulder that is
your whole your hole

and it has teeth. rotten
teeth that ache in your mouth
and gnash in your sleep

2.
if your story is horrible
and plain when it lays
beside the pain of the world

and the hole grumbles
and sends its stuff all over
your aching body

and all your friends have
wholes too,
and aching bodies
and terrible stories

and the world is a wave
that crashes on you over
and over on all of you

and you try to keep each other’s
hands but your fingers slip
away from each other

and all your pain and your
aching bodies and the
drone of the wave

it’s so loud
so fucking loud
but you learn to drown it out

with the television the
internet and those hands
hands you maybe never seen

3.
if you fold these ghosts
into your heart between
two delicate leaves

even as the waves are
crashing and the noise
is echoing through you

and the leaves fall away
one at a time or
in a great rush

and your tears fall
like rain and your screams
disappear into the ocean

4.
if you are lonely and whole
and you’ve met the maw
in your inmost being

if you are sad and aching
and loving and fierce
and exhausted

hold on
hold on
hold on
hold on
hold on

equations

the arithmetic of lies
2 + 2 = believe me
2 + 2 = i will save you
2 + 2 = don’t worry your pretty little head
i came to help
don’t fight it

the arithmetic of vengeance
2 + 2 = some kind of better life without you
2 + 2 = this longing is not for you
2 + 2 = give me something for this pain
fuck aspirin
this is existential

the arithmetic of illness
2 + 2 = my shattered nerves
2 + 2 = somebody’s pain scale
2 + 2 = everyone leaves
suitcase full of symptoms
see it dragging behind

the arithmetic of hope
2 + 2 = flowers that bloom and die
2 + 2 = flowers don’t do arithmetic
2 + 2 = what is hope
2 + 2 = the nature of this flower is to die
2 + 2 = withering is part of the deal
2 + 2 = is hope the opposite of letting go

i’m falling
always falling
never landing
never ending
never sure
never promised
never the same
never again

you say it doesn’t matter

you say it doesn’t matter

why they left or came.
did they break like waves on the shores of
Catalina?
where did they land?
where did they come from?
you say it doesn’t matter.

pores are empty spaces on our flesh.
mine are filled with questions about
your grandmothers.
is it true you don’t remember
their names?
you say it doesn’t matter.

i’ve heard your scream in dark houses
with your eyes wide you run through
the hall. oil seeps from your pores and your
smell is sharp and dangerous. i think you’re
running away from the past. and i think
it matters.

which direction were they facing as the boat
sailed west? that’s what i want to know.
what was left behind?

when you’re screaming in the night
i think it must be something big
sliding in the spaces of your pores and
i wonder if you even know what it is.

it matters.

hysteria

this poem may be triggering for survivors of abuse and violence

hysteria

i’m yeshua on the cross
nailed to this unholy body
stiff in my pain
i cry out

father!
why hast thou forsaken me?
mother!
deliver me home!

home home
somewhere i am real
not corroded and broken
fake and inauthentic

take me somewhere there are no stories
no ritual abuse hysteria
no corpses crying out to me
“we are real. we are real!”

i can’t see what other people see
i feel pain. pain!
it’s claws rake into me
children with no hearts
no eyes,
weeping

the brown earth of my flesh
has faded to ash
i am a ghost
haunting the world of facts

facts do not cease to exist
i cease to exist
the facts disappear
chalk streaks on the slate of my blankness

killers and pain
people who don’t matter
lies and liars
i am one of you!

and i am alone on this cross
this hysterical cross
i hear their laughter
at my invisible crucifixion

they are everybody
and i am no one

i am a curse
i am cursed

——————————

from my book, health
fix this mess

no quarter

i was born from a wound
ripped open womb

i was born a wound
from my mother’s engorged womb

we left the hospital bloody
ripe with centuries of battles unsung

no museum documents
this unrelenting war

on veterans day we are not honored
for emerging still living from its trenches

we, the survivors
honor the scars of our breaking

an open letter to rape culture

An open letter to rape culture.

You have silenced too many of us for too long! this is all out fucken WAR, internist man, and you are gonna lose! I am tired of standing in shame, stooped over and eyes closed. I do not weaken in your everpresence, rape culture. I do not let your disease infect me with hatred and mistrust of other human beings.
You are not REAL, you are a product of society! When the powers of love crush oppression, abuse & alienation, you will be so fucken gone cause I will PERSONALLY see to it. You don’t mean shit to me. I refuse to support you or anyone that perpetuates your twisted existence. NOBODY, NOBODY benefits from you! You keep people apart when we are meant to be together. You destroy families, you kill children, YOU ALMOST KILLED ME!
but my spirit is strong, old powerful and wise. I outsmarted you, I now live my life in opposition to you, AND I AM NOT ALONE. God you’re so fucken history its un fucken believable.
You better smoke your last cigarette now, cuz your days are numbered.

love, billie rain

1995

i am not a patriot


if this poem

if this poem was a magpie
it would steal your jewelry
and leave you laughing

and if it was a feather
it would glide gently across
your exquisite face

if this poem was made of gold
my love would melt it into
a luminescent puddle

and if this poem was made of fire
it would keep you warm
all your days and nights

and you would never lose your way
because it would be a beacon
drawing you into your god-self

if this poem was a rose
its fragrance would mesmerize you
and its thorns trace lovely pain trails

and it would never wither or die
and it would always give you
just the right balance of agony and delight

if this poem was my hands
it would happily caress you only when
and whenever you wanted it to

and it would wear leather gloves
whenever you wanted a spanking
and hold you when it was over

if this poem was a balm
it would reach inside you
and soothe your deepest wounds

if this poem was the sea
it would carry you on its back
to all the continents of your ancestors

and it would rock you at night
while you slept with the sea lions
and planned your next adventure

if this poem was a book
whenever you opened it
you would learn whatever you needed to know

if this poem was a chariot
you would always ride in style
and there would always be room for friends

if this poem was a shirt
it would hug you and shape you painlessly
into the boy in your mind’s eye

and if it was a hat
it would keep you warm in winter
and never go out of style

if this poem was my eyes
it would always gaze on you
in wonder and awe

and if this poem was my tears
you would drink them and be healed
of all the shame this world has forced on you

and you would bathe in the saline water
and be cleansed of everything wrong
anyone ever said about you

and you would never believe their lies again
and you would know only grace
so that just your splendor would remain

if this poem was my love
it would fill this city with longing
and no one would go to work

and everyone would wander the streets
searching for the answer
to satisfy their soul’s sweet call
[trigger warning for violence, unhealthy abuse, recipe
and negative feelings about the united states]

i think my first act of rebellion against the united states was when i was seven and in second grade, and i refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance. looking back, it’s clear to me why i had even personal reasons to resent being forced to declare my loyalty to that scrap of cloth and all it represents, but what kind of thoughts does a seven year old think that necessitate such a refusal?

i suppose i’m a leftist, although i spend very little time in pursuit of the kinds of activities commonly associated with leftist politics. out of necessity, i spend most of my time at home, and my activism, as such, consists mostly of this blog and my other online projects. i know a lot of activists who feel anger around july 4th, but somehow the enthusiastic flag-waving just makes me really sad. the united states makes me incredibly sad.

when i was seven, i was already experiencing on several levels the vicious underside of american life. at night, i was abused at home and forced to participate in experiments that involved the torture of people (mostly children) and animals, and was encouraged to feel like a good citizen because i was “helping my country.” and in my neighborhood, the police were a constant threat and reminder that poor and brown folks in this country are second-class citizens.

i don’t know what the heartless brutality of my daily life meant to me, how i interpreted those realities through the lens of a seven year old. i wasn’t aware of the long and sordid history and continuance of settler colonialism, genocide, slavery, oppression, and imperialism that shapes my perspective now. but i do know that the day i refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance marked a beginning of a practice of resistance that shaped my young life and continues to this day.

(something else occurred to me. i wrote this at a time when being arab and unpatriotic wasn’t an actual crime as it is now. that makes me feel a little bit of fear about publishing this. but as audre lorde still reminds me from beyond: “it is better to speak/ remembering/ we were never meant to survive.”)