she wears bells : how to support San Antonio-based performance

I am a long-time poet whose work includes essays, plays, and one-woman performance. So much of my work with others in community is aimed at fortifying our spirit through creative work, of healing by placing our words and action out into the world.

I have been fortunate enough to gain new friends and work with established artists in my circle as we have come together for the operatic debut of she wears bells, a reconfigured operetta about the Aztec god Coyolxauhqui and her exile on the moon.

she wears bells is our first effort as a group and will be produced June 26 and 27, 2020 under Jump-Start Performance Co.’s umbrella as part of their INKubator project. 

With your support, this production and others can come to fruition to add more voices to an already rich history of culture and art in San Antonio. By supporting with a monthly gift you are opening the door to innovative and challenging voices within our community.

We welcome you to become a patron through Patreon.

If you would like to complete a one-time donation in support of the artists of this production or to talk about this and other projects complete your donation at or email me at

she wears bells (operetta)

Jump-Start Performance Co. has chosen she wears bells, featuring librettist jo reyes -boitel and choreographer and dancer Giomara Bazaldua, to be produced June 26 & 27, 2020.

About she wears bells: Aztec goddess Coyolxāuhqui appears as the moon, after having made the wrong choices time and again when she followed her own pride and the voices of her own children (who serve as a chorus for the dying world). She is isolated and will flounder unless she opens herself up to transformation and wholeness.

What if the world begins again in splinters? If we are torn apart and our pieces thrown into the sky, to be reconfigured? What if this possibility for a new body/understanding is within our reach, shining our own light back at us, the moon a mirror toward our possibility?

Sometimes we have to be broken in order to reclaim a life. But is an Aztec god willing?

Follow Jump-Start and/or me on Facebook for details. Or, return here for details on ticketing, production info, and location/time details!

M+J Study Guide

I’ve created a general study guide to help with discussions around the Michael + Josephine book that covers worldwide conflict, the role of disaster relief workers, queer love as a form of resistance, and self-love/personal evolution.

I hope it’s of benefit to individuals and classrooms. I am happy to expand on any elements as needed. Reach me at

Michael Josephine study guide

Writing prompts for poets : Coronavirus edition

Either you are able to write or you are not. To presume quarantine allows writing time is classist, among other things.

But poets know the writing will show up because poets show up. Aren’t we the first artists to be called in times of tragedy?

So here are some writing prompts to help ease you in when everything is circling your mind at once. To center you. Or allow you to express what you need.

If they help you let me know or send me a poem. I’ll post a portion of your piece/a quote here.

:: Hand washing is the most important thing to maintain. What do you think about as you are washing your hands? What secret or feeling do you have that only your hands can hear? Whisper it to your hands. Let the bubbles envelop it. Rinse it off. Let it go down the sink.

:: Write an ode to hands. The things they touch. The things out of reach.

:: Now is not the time to lie to yourself. What is the schedule you actually maintain versus the one you hope(d) to maintain? What does this say about humans? What does this say about how far ahead you see this schedule having to be maintained?

:: Write about one beautiful thing you’ve discovered while in quarantine. It can be a moment, a person, an idea.

:: Walk through your home as a walking meditation. With your new vision what understanding do you have about the space you occupy? How are the outside and inside related or not related?

:: Consider that we are all linked. If these are tangible threads and you could send a message, like a vibration on this thread, what are the words you would send? Are they words at all?

Abrazos de lejos ,


#DignidadLiteraria Read-In & Mitote at AWP 2020 : March 7, 2020

Text from the Facebook invitation post:

50 Writers. Free Event. Free Parking. Handicap Accessible.

The first week of March, San Antonio will host the most famous writers in the country. The AWP, the acronym for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, will offer a week-long conference for stellar local and national writers alike to share books and readings, alongside literary agents, publishers, and editors. When thousands of writers converge in San Antonio in March, we want to celebrate the dignity of Latinx stories.

Indigenous/Xicanx/AfroLatinx/Boricua/Caribeñx/Centro y Sur Americanx writers, poets, essayists, novelists, theatre artists, and children’s authors will read short excerpts from their work, filling the courtyard with their words, a mitote of books and stories. Music by Juan & Armando Tejeda, Tallercito de Son & DJ De La O.

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 5-6pm
Courtyard by the Grassy Slope
(River Level) Market Street Entrance
Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center
900 East Market St. San Antonio, TX 78205

Participating Writers as of 2/26/20:
Pat Alderete, Janie Alonso, Marisela Barrera, Xochit-Julisa Bermejo, Irene I. Blea, David Bowles, Violet Castro, Ari Chagoya, Edyka Chilomé, Maya Chinchilla, Bonnie Cisneros, Araceli Cruz, Cesar L. De Leony, Anel Flores, Olga Garcia Echeverria, Maribel Garcia, Tammy Gomez, Elizabeth Gonzalez James, Guadalupe Gonzalez, Virginia Grise, Raquel Gutierrez, Missy Jane, Rossy Lima, Roberto Lovato, Rita Maria Martinez, Pablo Miguel Martínez, Robyn Medina Winnett, Julie Marin, Jasminne Mendez, Maria Minguez Arias, Ed O’Casey, Amalia Ortiz, Deborah Paredez, Emma Pérez, Emmy Pérez, Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Aida Salazar, Janette E. Schafer, Juan Tejeda, Jenna Marie Torres, Jesús I. Valles, Stalina Villarreal, Helena Maria Viramontes.

Free Parking
There are two surface parking lots (CSF 1 & CSF 2) behind the Convention Center, located at 637 Tower of the Americas Way (off of Montana Street). Parking there will be free March 7, from 4-7pm. First Come First Served.

Organized by Alazan Arts Stories & Letters, a todo dar productions, Aztlan Libre Press, Books in the Barrio and Teatro San Antonio, with support from the San Antonio Public Library’s Latino Collection and Resource Center, San Antonio Convention Center, Office of Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4, and Terra Advocati.

New Workshop, November 2019

If you wondered about the novel in verse, wonder no more! I will be teaching a novel in verse course over 4 weeks at Gemini Ink. “Notes to Gilgamesh: Crafting a Novel in Verse” is a wonderful starting point for understanding the form, its history, and its use in modern storytelling. The class will also let you get started on your own novel in verse. Don’t miss this class!

workshop image