This spring, Writing for Peace looks at gun violence, as well as violence against women and other issues of women’s equality.
No es que quiera obsesionarme
by Pilar Rodríguez Aranda
Translation by Rosarela Meza
No es que quiera obsesionarme
dejaré de escuchar
noticias absurdas y violentas
(penetración en todos los orificios)
dejaré de leer
sobre feminicidios irresolutos
(sospechosos en camionetas negras)
La esperanza ennegrecida
Negro el futuro
dejaré de enterarme
de números y estadísticas
(Más años de cárcel recibe un ladrón
que el asesino de su mujer
si se sospecha que ha sido infiel)
dejaré de conocer
los detalles de sus muertes
(acuchillada 57 veces)
dejaré de alterarme
al imaginar su mirada
su ignorancia y su inocencia
dejaré de creer
que para ser mujer hay que negarse
(no salgas, no vistas, no seas)
que si te atreves a afirmarte
te obligan a callarte
te golpean, te matan
y al final
No. No me quiero obsesionar
dejar de pensar
que esos asesinos victoriosos
(que no pueden ser hombres)
existen en la misma superficie
y respiran el mismo oxígeno
Siento que va a caer
una lágrima, pero en vez
bien adentro, algo se endurece
La piedra de la fe, lava
que se enfría
cuando debiera explotar y derretirlo todo
pero para ello, necesitaría un poco más de ternura…
Si no, cómo
podré entonces soltar
esta desesperanza endurecida
para que no me rasgue por dentro
como hicieron con ellas
¿Cómo fue que extraviamos
nuestra alma colectiva?
No hay duda del qué ni del dónde
Aquí y hoy
aquí y hoy
dejaré de sentir
que hoy y aquí
no nos merecemos
México, DF, 2010
I Do Not Wish to Obsess
I do not wish to obsess
will I stop listening
to absurd and violent news
(penetration in all orifices)
In all of them
All of them
will I stop reading
about unresolved femicides
(suspects in black SUVs)
will I stop finding out
numbers and statistics
(a thief gets more years in jail
than a man who has killed his wife
because she is suspected of infidelity)
will I stop learning
the details of their deaths
(knifed 57 times)
will I stop feeling upset
imagining their gaze
their ignorance and innocence
will I stop thinking
that to be a woman one has to deny oneself
(don’t go out, don’t dress up, don’t be)
that if you dare to be assertive
you are forced to be silent
they beat you, they kill you
and at the end
they blame it on you
No. I do not wish to obsess
can I stop thinking
that those victorious murderers
(who cannot be men)
exist on the same surface
and breath the same oxygen
I feel a teardrop about to fall
deep within, something hardens
The stone of faith, lava
when it should explode and melt it all
But for that, I need a little more tenderness…
If not, how
can I then let go
of this hardened hopelessness
so that it doesn’t tear my insides
like they did with them
All of them…
¿When and how was it that we lost
our collective soul?
No doubt about the what and the where
Here and today
here and today
will I stop feeling
that today and here
we do not deserve ourselves
Translation by Rosarela Meza
About Pilar Rodríguez Aranda
Pilar Rodriguez Aranda is a poet, video artist, translator by trade and border-crosser by vocation. She was born in Mexico City, but lived in California, Texas, and New Mexico, for a total of 13 years; she presently lives in Malinalco, Estado de México and tries to commute to the capital city only when necessary.
She originally wanted to become a filmmaker, and started doing video while in college. Her piece “The Idea We Live In,” won first place at the 1991 Athens International Film and Video Festival, in Ohio, and at the Bienal de Video de México, 1992 (plus an honorary mention for scriptwriting); “The Unexpected Turn of Jim Sagel,” was “Best New Mexican Film” at the Roswell Film Festival in 1994, and “Return, or the Inexactness of Centre” was selected for the 2008 International Videopoetry Showcase (Argentina). Her video work has been shown in several festivals and museums in Europe and America. She has received grants from the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE), the National Fund for the Culture and the Arts (FONCA), and the City of Austin Arts Commission, among others.
As a writer, she published her first poem in a student magazine, and since then, she has continued to publish poetry, articles and reviews in various magazines and anthologies in North America, like Voices of Mexico, Replicante, Ruptures, Tribuno del Pueblo, Saguaro, The America’s Review, Bilingual Review, DoveTales, and Mujeres de Maíz Flor y Canto, and Voces sin fronteras II, Éditions Alondras, Montreal, Quebec, to mention a few. In 2012 she published her first book of poetry, Asunto de mujeres (Story of Women), Cascada de Palabras, México. In february of 2013, she received as an award for her poem Nuestras Luchitas, a scholarship to participate at the 8th Annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference.
She makes a living as translator (http://pilartraductora.blogspot.mx), but has also published, most recently in the anthology Cantar de Espejos: poesía testimonial chicana de mujeres (Song of Mirrors: Chicana Women’s Testimonial Poetry) UNAM/Univ. del Claustro de Sor Juana, 2012. She just edited and translated into English, the anthology ¡Esos malditos escuincles!, 25 young Mexican poets 30 and under, for Big Bridge webzine.
She considers herself an “artivist” and is a founding member of the collective Contra la violencia, el arte (Against Violence, Art), and coordinator for 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Mexico chapter.
Writing for Peace News:
Pilar Rodriguez Aranda Joins WfP Advisory Panel
Ever since I understood the positive effect breaking the cycle of silence and bearing witness, I have felt my writing had a purpose. So, I have tried bringing to light subject matters that usually are kept secret (incest, abuse), or that are unpleasant (like femicide) to talk about; I also have felt strongly the incoherence of War and the discourse behind the “reasoning” for its existence. A society that accepts the death penalty or justifies war, is only reinforcing the acceptance of violence as normal. Everywhere I’ve lived, I have become involved with the community, and the themes and concerns have usually been the same: art and culture, women’s issues and peace. However, it really has been in the last 2 years that I have found a way to finally merge my passion and my writing through my participation in 100 Thousand Poets for Change. In both editions I have found myself working (and learning from) the youngest of poets as well as from very young students who are still searching for their calling. After having learned more about Writing for Peace and their work with young people, it seemed natural to follow my “habit” of laying out bridges. I am grateful to be part of this project and hope to bring to it many Mexican and Latin American young voices.
~Pilar Rodriguez Aranda
Check out Pilar’s links here.
DoveTales is now available for purchase!
We are excited to announce that the print copies of DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts, “Occupied” 2013. Support Writing for Peace now by purchasing your copy here.
DoveTales is a full color journal, featuring poetry, essays, and fiction from our contest winners, established and emerging writers, as well as art and photography. Writing for Peace Artist-In-Residence Pd Lietz’s artwork is featured on the cover and throughout the journal. We are grateful for the support of Colgate University Research Council, which provided a $500 grant as a partial underwriting of the initial publication of DoveTales.
In our first issue of DoveTales, writers and artists explored the many definitions of the “Occupied” theme in brilliant and unexpected ways. Contributors include: Chrissie Morris Brady, Andrea W. Doray, Kim Goldberg, Veronica Golos, Nancy Aidé González, Sam Hamill, Denny Hoffman, Michael Lee Johnson, Adam Jones, Ron Koppelberger, Pd Lietz, Paul Lindholt, Cory Lockhart, Shannon K. Lockhart, Ellen Meeropol, Mark A. Murphy, Tricia Orr, Kenneth Pobo, Linda Quennec, Nausheen Rajan, Shirani Rajapakse, April Salzano, Nizar Sartawi, Laura Solomon, John Stocks, Julie Stuckey, Samantha Peters Terrell, Richard Vargas. Contributor biography pages will appear on our website soon.
All proceeds for Writing for Peace publications and products go to support our mission, including future Young Writers Contests, DoveTales and other peace publications, and workshops. We invite you to show your support for the Writing for Peace mission by purchasing your copy today!
Young Writers Contest
Winners for our 2013 Young Writers Contest were announced on May 1st! Check out the announcement here. Winners will be contacted soon to make arrangements for award payments. Every participating young writer will shortly receive a certificate of participation. Finalists will be notified individually and may be considered for future publication. The 2014 Young Writers Contest Guidelines will be posted on June 1st, 2013.
Open Forum: MCH-What’s Going On?
Writing for Peace Adviser, Mary Carroll-Hackett, invites all young writers to join her students in posting and discussing current event articles on her open Facebook page, MCH-What’s Going On?Learn more about Mary Carroll-Hackett’s work here.
In Our Blog~
This spring, Writing for Peace will look at gun violence and women’s equality, two important issues that are often intertwined. We’ll take a step back from the inflammatory gun control debate by exploring the subject through poetry, essays and fiction. Links to previous posts on these topics can be found below:
Silent Day, by Richard Krawiec
What Happens When We Lose Our Innocence? by Andrea W. Doray
Where Peace Begins, by Cara Lopez Lee
Opportunity, and Public Encouragement, by Richard Krawiec
A Stranger in Trouble, Part One, by Vicki Lindner
A Stranger in Trouble, Part Two, by Vicki Lindner
Exit Wound, by Melissa Hassard
Circle Jerk, by Pd Lietz
A Glimpse, by Alexandra Kinias
Every Month is Women’s History Month, by Andrea W. Doray
This is Where I’ll Die, Translated by Maija Rhee Devine
Like Taking Off Boots, by Maija Rhee Devine
The Flaming Cliffs of One’s Heart, by Adriana Paramo
Weary of a Violent Vocabulary, by Andrea W. Doray
Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.