Issue Six Tease: Vegan Borderlands

Issue six article tease

Vegan Borderlands

The following is an excerpt from a focus piece written by Noemi Martinez, which will be available in issue six later this week.

Being a vegan is as much an identity to me as being a poet, being a Boriqua/Chicana and living on the borderlands, both literally and queerly speaking. It seems only natural that my eating habits find themselves in my poetry and writing. As a single parent, unschooling around the kitchen table is common as well as something I call edupunk, a mix of DIY and punk ethics education. Many of our conversations revolve around food, justice, the environment, oppressions and what it means to be brown bodies living in our society. I am largely truthful about the real world to my two children. The other day I spoke to my son, River, about the high percentage of Latino and Black men in United States prisons and how one in six Latino and Black boys have a chance of going to prison in their lifetime — that is a painful reality check as a parent to a young Chicano. Both my daughter, Winter, and River, grasp that the work I do on domestic violence, DIY (do it yourself) media and racial inequalities is just as important as my veganism.

Dinner for Two

I have not tried one recipe
from the cookbook you gave me.
I finger through it some days.
The foods- elaborate experiments
you thought I’d make
when I became a vegetarian.

It’s just like you
to give me something
of little use,
like flowers that die
when I needed seeds
to take root,
plants in soft dirt,
clay to form words.

Time-the residual effect
can’t be measured by scientific methods
and can’t be seen but
we are as one
even now
when I sense your
brooding thoughts
100 miles away
when I haven’t seen you
in ten years.

Rose Colored Thread

I grew in love with you
around the table
stalking flowers we
couldn’t afford to plant.
We laughed and you let me sleep
instead of touching my hand.
We could have mended
each other’s
bloody noses with
slow nights.

Next spring, there will be time
to tend to this garden
to wake me up,
tell my stories
that make the edges of your
mouth crinkle into a smile.

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