Felix Sierra Montoya Jr.

I sit here and speak to my dead grandfather:

Grandpa, the house you died in is not the same. Your garden replaced by fountains and bird houses—

At dawn, when the world is waking, but darkness remains—I lay out my day

and because I have a tendency to be a fatalist, I think of all the bad things that have happened at me—not to me—but AT ME, because dialogue is everything, and how we speak to ourselves, is everything, and I weep in that half-light dawning, birds sing softly, waking with the sun and I wonder how a world as beautiful as this could be so ribboned with perversions.

How soft the daylight breaks into my eyes and I can tell you stories of how I am loved now, how all the pain you knew existed in me, has almost re-arranged into a fist—how all the rage has altered into laughter, and how you helped remind me that a child is only that if you allow it.

The sunrise peaks through spires—

a sight I never tire of—

You ain’t immortal even if you’re a poet

Quarantined in 400 square feet of, “I’m used to this, it’s home.”

I managed to cook and clean. Birds sing, enjoying the sun.

I sit here, enjoying my solitude.

Declared a pandemic, let us begin by remembering that love is also capable of being this.

Love should always be this.

I am only scared because the calm inside me is yawning.

I knew it’d come in handy to entertain my vibrant misanthropy.

A city in affliction, while precautionary poetry acts like a solution.

There isn’t time for sadness.

A cocktail numbs the malady.

A poem encourages ease.

I gladly see no purpose.

I sleep to get relief.

Automatic Memory

I remember being in a back house, or perhaps it was a backroom at my then babysitter’s house. 

(It was 1985 and a civil war was palpitating outside my door. Aptly named, “the silent war,” which I wrote about here.)

It was hot. 

It was always hot.

Had he picked me up from school?

I wasn’t sure.

He must have.

His wife was in the kitchen, killing a chicken. I could hear its screams. They resembled the screams in my head. He was teaching me how to kiss. He told me it would feel good. I stayed quiet. He promised my parents knew. He promised that they were ok with this. 

I could still hear the dying squeals of the chicken that was soon to be our dinner. I felt like a ripe grape. Easily squeezed. Juices everywhere. I wanted to be a dessert. To be eaten, and forgotten. 

He stuck his tongue in like he was trying to feel the lining of my guts. 

I whimpered.

I cried.

He wiped away my tears and told me to undress and follow him to the shower.

I did.

What else was I supposed to do? My parents knew, I told myself.

They said its was ok.

They were far away in some other town.

Night was far away.

I don’t remember undressing, I just remember being in the shower. Still crying. Tears blanketed by cold water.

His cock was in front of me. I was the perfect height for it. He was tall and lanky.

Sickly.

Chicken feathers swayed in the hot air. Remnants of that poor chicken. The tile, worn and slippery beneath my feet. 

I opened my mouth and he slipped himself inside it. 

It hurt.

My mouth was too small. 

But he forced it in and I kept crying.

He moaned and then I black out.

The next memory is us on the bed.

The bed he shared with his wife.

Still wet from the shower, my hair dampening the bed.

I could smell the chicken soup simmering. 

It smelled delicious and brought a comforting feeling. 

The smells of a kitchen always soothe me.

The promise of bubbling nourishment sounded good. 

His hands on my wetness. 

It feels good.

I moan.

He smiles. 

I cry again.

How are my parents ok with this,” I think inside my small brain.

“How?”

A song plays in my head.

A song that makes me cry. 

I can’t stop crying.

I can barely see through my eye slits.

I fall asleep.

He leaves me there.

Naked and wet.

I wake up.

I eat.

He smiles at me.

A reminder of everything.

I force out a smile and thank them for the food.

There’s a knock at the door.

My parents.

“Did she behave?” they ask.

“She’s a good girl.” he says, patting me on the head.

I’m exhausted.

A migraine is surfacing.

I need my Mormon missionaries to make me pure again.

To anoint me with their oils.

Mark 6:13

And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Come to me.

Come to me…

I write these memories in a child’s voice because that’s the only way I can express it. 

The memories are young, infantile. 

Dry. 

I reference Mormonism at the end, like a salve. Which clearly indicates the amount of brainwashing that had already taken place. 

Send the young virgins to war-stricken countries. Have them learn the language, and swoon the inhabitants with their gold hair and fast tongues. 

Make them believe that God, that Jesus is the answer. The only answer.

That things aren’t as bad as they feel.

That this life is just a practice run.

Eternal life awaits.

My father was an alcoholic and dying by the time the Mormons found us. 

He is forever grateful. 

He is forever in debt.

Other children in church were being sexually assaulted.

I knew because we touched each other knowingly.

We were play-acting.

Reminiscing.

Church was an escape.

Church was theatre.

Church was a means to forget.

Church was a pastime.

Just pay your tithing.

Be a full-tithe paying member and enter the Temple.

The Holiest of Holy places.

Everyone needs some reassurance that they’ll live forever.

Everyone.

Especially the ignorant.

The broken.

The poor.

The sick.

The abused.

The lonely.

I played games with God.

He retaliated by playing games back.

We played hide and seek.

I never found him.

I never let the church imbibe.

I left as soon as I was able.

Fetishized those innocent missionaries, since they were my saviors.

My balm.

My Angels.

A reminder of the innocence I never got.

Event Calendar for March 2020

Pre-breakdown checklist:

Ask yourself re: anxiety consent, order of events, bio

START INTERNAL RECORDER

Welcome to my inner dialogue, thanks for coming out tonight.

I’m Ingrid, your host for the evening. 

We’re so excited to host my lack of self-worth in conversation with my imposter syndrome for the release of my debut breakdown collection of “sighs and the incessant need for napping.

First, I want to give you a peek at some of my upcoming anxieties that might be of interest to you—

*On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7:30 p.m., I’m hosting and urging my agoraphobia to go vote and do her taxes.

*On Wednesday, March 4th at 2:15 p.m., I will need to mentally prepare myself  to deal with people for 8 hours, feed myself, smile, piss, shit, and invest my energy for small talk with people I’d much rather ignore.

For more info check my blog, http://www.notesofadirtyyoungwoman.com, or grab one of my books available through a simple google search.

Order of events – introduction, reading, discussion, Q&A, crying.

Please silence your cell phones.

Ingrid M. Calderón-Collins is the author of 9 books and the incredibly anxious hostess of “They’re Just Words,” a poetry reading series currently as a circus sideshow act, perhaps at a city near you! She is the product of civil war, molestation, rape, cold parents, dead siblings, boleros, drug addiction, self-mutilation, high functioning anxiety, BPD, yucca frita, love, migraines, laughter, Mormonism, hope, forgiveness, marriage and coffee. She never finished college and has made it a point to teach herself as much as she can in conjunction to learning from those she respects. She encourages you to shop at “indie bookstores!”

Day 1 of no social media: pray for me

It is March 2nd, 2020.

First day officially without any social media and so far so good.

I wanted to put some links up in case any of my stalkers want to see how much I’m thriving.

Here’s my portfolio.

Here’s my online store.

Here’s my podcast.

Here’s how to subscribe to my tinyletter.

& obviously you’re on my blog, being sneaky. GOD BLESS YOU!

I’m currently working on two projects.

1.) A year’s worth of poems (and art) every time I menstruate, documenting the changing, aging body and the effects of PMDD and BDD. I’m calling it MENSES.

2.) Yr friend Richard: my penpal friendship with Richard Ramirez. I mean, that’s pretty self-explanatory. There will be art and haikus and the inner dialogue of a sad and disturbed girl. Based on real events.

I think that should keep me busy for a while.