Michella Rivera-Gravage Oct 10, 2008 15:53:30 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 15:53:30 GMT 2
Michella Rivera-Gravage is currently the Director of Digital Media at the Center For Asian American Media. In 2006 she earned her MFA in Digital Art/New Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz, specializing in social and interactive media. Before coming to UC Santa Cruz, she earned a BA in Rhetoric and Women Studies at UC Berkeley. In addition to being the Director of Digital Media, she is an artist that brings together both old and new media to tell personal and public stories. Her work has been exhibited in the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the VC Filmfest in Los Angeles, the MIX Festival in New York, and the Santa Cruz Digital Arts New Media Festival. Her poetry is published in Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers, Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images, and the online journal “Babaylan Speaks.”
Meritage Press/Babaylan Speaks Aug 2008
"Is this your Train?"
Press together by concrete and tweed, two commuters are waiting for a train. Thighs become acquainted, practically inappropriate friction under the guise of crowds and rush hour. We both abide by the quiet denial of each other's presence. The mechanical breeze from the swish of the doors pushes back our hair. It is the way the fluorescent lights in the tunnel cut your face in rapid succession as the train barrels forward that signals you to me. There is a smooth break in the air and I slip out. When I was a little boy I had a profound understanding of the world. Scared of what I could not see, I knew that which I cannot touch would kill me. I quickly learned to funnel my extraordinarily everything. Bit to bolt and tumbler, I tucked the dangerous vigor of my color neatly away and longed for Hollywood pallor. I originated from pulsating neon. Pushing my lips, I worked my mouth around the theatre marquee. “Pussycat. Pussycat.” As a child, I would say it over and over again until I felt the curves of the smooth light sliding outward from my mouth. I am speaking low so that you will lean in to hear me. I gently fill my nostrils with the skin of your cheek, do you always choose this train? I confess, my mother once referred to me as a cross between a tawdry princess draped in tulle and a fragmented reflection of a satirical comedy about racist lust. Subway cars are like confessional booths. We remain anonymous side by side looking languidly forward, rocking with the movement of the train. I trust you. I slide off my sweat-soaked trendy panties made of one hundred percent cotton and place them on your lap. These will be used for the DNA tests. A thousand years from now they will want to know who rode these trains. They will reconstruct this very moment, sculpting us with made up gestures and expressions. The historians will get the outfits right but the anthropologists will miss the verve.