excerpts from TENDER BIRRIA: A Series of Telepathic Letters, Text Messages, and Other Curryosities Sent to Grrrtrude Stein by a Late 30s Mixed Chicana de Ojos Verdes
Dear Grrrtrude Stein,
I don’t have to introduce myself to you because you already know all about this bitch. I am communicating to you through the Oujia Board of my mind. Isn’t that hot? To think of the brain as a Ouija Board? My brain picked you to correspond with and talk deep shit with since you are a famous, dead queerdo and because you also had the face of a Slavic butch grandma. Babushka. Babutchka.
Kiss me, babutchka.
Grrrtrude, there must be a cosmic reason your name starts with the same letter as the guaddess’s. My last name starts with the same letter as yours and the almighty’s, and that makes me feel inferior since it’s not my first or even middle name blessed with that letter. Still, at least the three of us, you, me, and the guaddess, have some alphabet in common.
We’re all Gs.
Ain’t nothin but a G Thang.
A Rosie O’Donnell is a Rosie O’Donnell is a Rosie O’Donnell is a Rosie O’Donnell.
Intrude. Extrude. Livelihude. Boyz in the Hude. Attitude. Beattitude.
Where do unanswered text messages go? I imagine them as lost words, hanging out in outer space with other lost things, mostly unanswered text messages. Like there goes a sock and there goes Where r u? Lately, I’ve been shedding a lot of hair. Prolly cuz I had to go off my bc for some blood tests. There is no hair there.
An upheaval is happening in the mother cluckin’ Balkans of my body. I’m aware that this statement sounds “showy,” but if you could see what I do for a living, teach modern world history to sophomores of color, you’d realize that instability in the Balkans is a standard part of my curriculum. We covered it yesterday and today. History textbooks call the Balkans the powder keg of Europe, they characterize the Balkans as a land populated by emotionally unstable microethnics, and the Balkan trivia the kids get most pumped about is that a teen shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand, thus igniting World War I. When they learn about this killer, Gavrilo Princip, who looked like a drunken Chicano, kids think, “Hey, wait a minute. I could affect history, too. I could start a World War, too. I might be a force for change.” For the first time, some of these teens start dreaming BIG. The Balkans in their bodies swell, shift, tingle, dingle, and jingle. You can smell the teen assassin fantasies percolating. These daydreams fog my classroom windows so that you can lift your finger to the glass and write things in them. Your name. Your lover’s name. The name of the gang you belong to. Or you can just draw penises. These teen assassin fantasies also emit smells. Corn chip smell. The spiciest parts of free lunch smell. Lust with lint all over it smell. Pubic and public smells.
a text to (Gertr)u(de Stein)
Send me a dick pic.
There is no there there.
Walt Whitman + Juan
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is Juan
Edgar Allan Poe + Juan
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some Juan gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Shiki + Juan
As Juan who loved poetry
Margaret Atwood + Juan
The days are gone.
Only Juan day remains,
the Juan you’re in.
Wislawa Symborska + Juan
A thousand and Juan remains a thousand,
as though the Juan had never existed:
Sylvia Plath + Juan
I come to Juan bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies.
- H Auden + Juan
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every Juan
Dorothy Parker + Juan
By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Lady make note of this —
Juan of you is lying.
John 3:16 + Juan
For God so loved the world that he gave his Juan and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John Lennon + Juan
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only Juan
Alice in Wonderland + Juan
`But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, `to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make Juan respectable person!’
Wallace Stevens + Juan
Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are Juan . . .
How high that highest candle lights the dark.