Archive for Cristina Dominguez

Born Again in Me – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

In the place where I once drowned
naked and alone and true I found myself.
The pain that showered me,
a rain that empowered me,
cleansed me of the need to lie, to comply with normalcy,
with laws and facts not true to me–
a life so limiting and narrow light could not
impeach their darkness and find my eyes
in that life I died.

Coming out of the spout life bathes me
fresh, new and free like a baby
cut away from the life that failed to sustain me
I can breathe.
Truth blinding but guiding me,
strengthened from discovery I can finally be
reborn, awakened, adored by me
both mother and the other just born.
Noise surrounds me but not a sound of doubt
can abound the power and purity of the self-awareness
that I’ve found.

Uncovered, exposed, liberated,
what had emanated all along all alone in the
darkness of their ignorance
the individuality of myself and sexuality.

This game of shame and blame
of defeating and beating back and
distancing the different,
that began with race
and now is placed on us
is what goes against grace.

My individuality, my humanity
seeing and being my being
is both the source and the course
of the divinity within me.

Brittany – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

Writing and I’m freed
freed and I’m writing
the need that I keep fighting

Turn the page,
ignore the cage
the cell that I’ve sealed myself in
the sin that it is to keep within
these thoughts and feelings that should be told

the toll
what I’ve done to my soul
out of
yet in control
taking hold
heart beating bold

pain and breath behind sealed lips
Death of my reality
my spirituality
imprisoning what I’m envisioning
not me in my totality

Completely confined
confiding my truth
my root
in the ground
deep down
I hide
I’m blind
I’m dry
without tears
I lie
you died

and now I’ve left behind
the part of me that’s free
am I fighting losing you by losing me?
I can’t let go of the you in me
I hope these words raise you up
how they’ve weighed me down
maybe my liberty
is your eternity

Oh Brittany
Can you forgive that I live on
and you’re gone
Is it really living?
I’m holding on

Let these words touch your face
in a place that you deserve
Can these words serve
to find me
I’m hiding
with these words

First Words – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

Hello, hi
Yes, I’m here..
answering a calling
clamming up,
gathering up the courage
How do I do this?
Is it a choice?
The voice that I use
to sing the hymn
that I choose?

I’d say anything
I don’t want to loose
where this is going,
But I’m already lost
I don’t want to be your token girl
failing to capture
the enrapture;
the love that I have
for them

I hear them
expire as they are spoken.
I’m choking on their meaning
as I aspire to
reach the speech
I’m climbing to give,
the life I’m dying to live
trying to sift through
the bullshit
to get to the me
that you can’t see,
that even I doubt
I can be

The one active-
present and pushing
The pen I explored
implored by
the brilliant beckoning
that forced me to
take on this reckoning
to feel around
in my desk drawer
I laid my head back
and tried
with much practical pride
to ignore
my wants
my thoughts
caught up in
where I’m headed
and where I’ve been

That’s why I’m here,
not out of some
insane belief
that I’ve got
the proof
of a gift
or the truth
or enough wit
to hide behind

I’m new to this
but I’m doing this
Because if I left my story untold
I’d age
be old in a way
that will leave me
in bed with regret,
at rest with the best of me
instead of letting it free

Clawing at the page
scrawling out
my rage
my affection
my craving
for the waves of my words
reaching your ears
and returning to me
ample in amplified intensity
and new meaning

I’m here out of fear
taking my step out there
out where
I’m openly
inwardly broken.
Where spoken word
means I’m heard,
where I’m whispering
my way to a scream

In between – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

The girl
stands at the bar
in the crowd
warming up.
She’s invisible
or too visibly impatient

She waits, unwillingly
to close out
to close off
to close in
for the night.

In the buzz
she’s buzzed
brushed by
the brash and bold
on a
who someone already told…

“You’re amazing”
she says.
No gratitude
rude is the attitude
that it takes,
that makes you
that gets you to the

She’s high, she’s into it
she grabs a drink
and attention.
The girl tries to sign–
away this moment,
her movement,
her palpable exclusion,
her denied pride and
limitless unapproved

jerking her.
Tearing her down,
just like this town.
The musician says,

look what someone gave me
look what I’ve found

No clue
but the girl knew
it was bound
to get around.
She holds out
a piece of
words written clean
but meant to be dirty–
In between

Don’t make a scene,
you were slotted for this
allotted this position:
butt of the joke
insert awkward
Was she being mean?
does any of it mean?
does any of it have to
do with

ready to go,
slow motion,
bumping arms like
bumper cars,
not enough space to be
erased in.

They watch the girl leave
but she was never there,
never where
they made her
wrote her on paper
wrote her down
wrote her off
as a friend
to the enemy.
As what they could
never trust

Dirt, dust
in the cracks
underneath their identical sneakers
they sneak
into the pavement.
We grieve their
achieved establishment of her station,
her defamation.

Took down her number
She’s a number
Take a number

She’s crossed the line
She’s out of line
She is the bottom line

Driving down the road,
headed to the closest
thing to home.
She knows
the demise of
the yellow lines,
the peril of their
inconsistent lives

She wishes she
didn’t have to
pass or
cross over
the loophole
of their hold

She lingers
in the middle
in the space;
In between

Stirring secrets – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

I only tell
the slightest surface of my secrets
because I believe
in this world–
a woman has to hide,
to hoard away,
what is hers

Even her words
the culture tries to curb,
to turn into slurs
steering it off course
from the bold discourse
where it was heading.

Heeding it,
cleaning it up,
clearing the story,
the truth
that is hers

It is no secret
that my secrets
secrete an essence that is utterly
They are political acts,
outspoken pieces,
silent but
resiliently kept parts of me
that hold together,
that comprise
and compose
the contradictory complexity
that is me

Why would I tell?
break the shell
curse the elegant abbreviation,
the blurb they call absurd,
articulate the labels I’ve reclaimed
the words they called me to shut me up:


loose with love,
always, BOTH ways
whoring out for more
never taking rest with less

They’ve done their best
to shame me,
can you blame them?
they can hardly accurately name me.
they’re acutely skewed in their view of me,

and I’ve long since taken flight
from the plight they made, for me

I won’t settle
I’m unsettling
I’m obscenely unseen
I’m hiding in the still
In the sanctuary
so they can’t speak of me
I’m hiding where they can’t see me
In and within
among and strung up
hung up on
keeping and seeking
My secrets

SDSU Women’s Studies Department writes to keep UNLV’s Women’s Studies Department open

This is the letter send from the graduate department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which is threatening to close its Women’s Studies Department. Let’s speak out to keep Women’s and Gender Studies departments open!

Dr. Neal Smatresk
President, UNLV

Dear President Smatresk:

We are writing you to express our grave concern that UNLV has announced budgetary plans that include the dissolution of the Department of Women’s Studies at UNLV.  San Diego State is proud to have the oldest Women’s Studies Department in the nation, and from this 40 year experience, we can offer numerous arguments about the essential nature of such departments to their home institutions, the community that surrounds them, and even world-wide networks concerned with equity, human rights, diversity, and the environment..

The interdisciplinary nature of Women’s Studies departments provides an arena for creative negotiations across disciplines and among individuals with varying expertise and experience.  This often leads to new collaborations and productive pathways.  Particularly important to Women’s Studies are scholars concerned with issues of privilege and oppression and ways that these intersect in cultural categories such as gender, race, sexuality, class, and ableness.  Clearly you have a research-productive faculty, including both those tenured and others approaching that achievement who deserve better than to be suddenly cut off.  UNLV has an outstandingly diverse faculty, both in their disciplinary strengths and racial and ethnic experience, making Women’s Studies an invaluable manifestation and even a home for diversity in curriculum and through forms of outreach that sustain and change many lives for the better.   If you end the program now, you will leave a generational gulf in the faculty, in terms both of its diversity and its interdisciplinarity.

The region will also be impoverished.  Women’s Studies has a special ability to research locally, sharing findings for wider collaboration.  Many of us attended the convention of the National Women’s Studies Association in Las Vegas, where your university was well represented.  The region has much to contribute to understandings of women living in the borderlands, engaging in work related to the gaming industry, indigenous studies and environmental studies­all entered into wider global understandings.

In difficult economic times it is important to recognize that the 40 year history of the discipline of Women’s Studies has made study in this field a treasured part of undergraduate experience.  It reaches not just majors, but many other students who take GE courses, and beyond that the people on and off campus who come under the influence of these students.   At SDSU we have entered an era when women who have studied with us are ready to give back, in terms of substantial donations to the University.  With their commitment to activism, Women’s Studies faculty and students are constantly in the community, forging connections and drawing positive attention to the University. Conversely, dissolving such a program could bring severe criticism of the priorities of the institution.  We strongly urge you to retain this essential Department, not just for the sake of your own university, but for the wider goals of the academy and the community.


Bonnie K. Scott, on behalf of the Department of Women’s Studies, SDSU

The State of Our Union – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

As this ink runs
my mind clears.
what we are,
who we’ve become,
separate and together
and I remember why
In between these lines,
like the words yours and mine,
we don’t fit.

Not suited
to be recruited
into love’s
drone-like roles
or over-done scripts,
ripped from their grip
we’re misfits–
chance and fate,
in reality
each other’s mate.

In these music-less lyrics
I can hear it,
witness to
how you
the beginning
and end
of the songs
that remind me of

The screws that hold together my bed,
the frame of reference
of restless nights
the touch in my hand,
the thought in my head,
in the place where I lay awake
the place that I make
without you
but more near to you
than I’ve ever known

Presently navigating
negotiating interstate
the state of our being,
our meaning
you permeate
the borders that delineate
our divided position.
resurrected by transition
our path isn’t linearly directed
our bond, neither bound nor neglected–
fused in disarray,
connected in confusion,
I confess
we are a mess
but certainly not an illusion

Through the worst of it
or at the very least
we’ve rehearsed it
well versed in it
masters of disaster,
we cheated our way to faithfulness
cleaned up by creating a mess
to begin again
to be new
to renew,
breaking apart
breaking open our hearts
to restart.

I respect
and expect you
to expand your exploration

Midway through the night,
halfway through the day
genius or insanity
who’s to say?
So we’ve ruined their rules
we were never meant to play
their way.
Far from subliminal
but subversive and criminal
I’ll steal their words
to make it worse,
It has been, is, and always will be true
I love you

Different – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

You think of me and decide
Directly you decipher me…
I’m different cause I’m distant
Detached where you distinctly dismissed me
I’m different because I’m damaged so you neglect me
Disappointingly dissect me
Only to reject me
You ignore my dimensions…
I’m different so you detain me
Disempower me and blame me
Disapprove of me and shame me
Because I challenge all you know
I’m different

I’m different so you had no choice to dismantle me
And now I’m on that mantle you see
A haunting memory of a life so distinguished
A life you had to extinguish
But a life you could never diminish
Because I’m different

And now this voice soars higher
Dominating the evil that tried to
Rising embers from ashes
Left behind of a life
Destructively disassembled
But never successfully destroyed
A life that dared to love…

To love the different
To stop lying and denying
To be the different
To dig deep and discover
That different
Is more dissimilar to foreign
And that we are looking
Too far in
To the development
Of a definition
That has no recognition
For the discrimination
In our nation
That drowns any dream of emancipation
And devours people like me
The different

But don’t hesitate
To contemplate that we
The different
Don’t pay haste to the distaste
That does not embrace
We are not disheveled on any level
By those discomforted
Those deaf to the sound
Of our disruptive drumming hearts
That dance to the beat of revolution
And demand evolution

Don’t guard our disregard
Deconstruct this constricting construction
Open the floodgates and wait
Let the love pour over you
Ending the hate that reigned over me

In your own way, on this day…
Stop divorcing yourself from me…
From the different
Stop demeaning our meaning
Be different

Email Newsletters with Constant Contact