Qualia Literary & Art Journal

This House

I fear that this semester I have been drowned in rhetoric
Assimilated from my authentic identifications
Becoming the appropriate Ethnic Studies major
Those identities were never real to begin with
Only the recognition of them
Growing up with folklore and facts
Trusting neither long enough to be convinced of their power
paper cut fingertip research
It’s all a story anyways, what leads them into still believing
Yes, I know. To be guilty and not guilty but never innocent in this pinche dichotomy
Mestiza consciousness
with the wit and words of multiple realms
I will use these fancy words as frame around my office
Words that require a couple hand claps of syllables
Secretly, I have been using the crossroads of my body as resistance
Upon the bus
A group stumbling, smiling intoxicated college students entered into “my personal space”
boundary, babbling, blasphemous boys
One of them asked me a question, something arbitrary
I wish I still held my powerful dyke fuck off identity
The politics of identity hindering my reaction speed
I play brown using my broken Spanish to avoid conversation
The boy brought out his phone laughing “I have a translation app”
Are you an idiot?
At least I’m passing.
A group of people spread around the bus, laugh listening in another language
We claim the space with our Spanish, laughter and reluctance to participate
At least in a normative sense.
Oh, you Latins, so aggressive.
Oh, you Trans men. So aggressive.
Must be that new surge of male privilege rushing through my veins
At night.
When all is quiet and breathing levels out.
When the dog’s ears flap away to nature, and he snuffles.
At night, when I sink backwards deep into the void of gray,
I pass through the sheets, and through the mattress, down past the piles of shoes,
damp from walking, muddy from the hike, holes apparent.
I pull myself deeper, past the foundations that hold the roof above my head,
to meet myself.
At night,
in the brightest darkness, I become again bare and bold.
Desperation for some “kind of real” clings to me.
I dream of warm kisses, brown skinned mixed up dominance, power bottomed
Words spoken without fingers erected,
I dream of a compassionate warmth. Passed the rage that’s harbored on my edges.
Perceived protection in the essentialized pillows
I rest my head against the ghost of identity politics
I dream of deliverance from this half-life.
At times, I daydream of something drastically different
Sometimes, I miss believing in the color-blind racist schemes
The ignorance that allowed me to laugh and connect
Too proud and angry to find connections at 7pm, on a bus, with a group of drunk minors
My consciousness is not translatable in the academic world, there is a pride in that
Glad to still be able to speak language for myself.
A lexicon of shattered poems and half remembered stories.
I am not a radical except that I am
If radical be willing to confront the unspoken violence in the peace
A sectioning of rations depending on a leaders scale
If radical be walking out of a room because I will not engage in silent passive resistance
Power that I have to walk, while recognizing the consequence of the offense
The door to open was man-made, as the wall, the computer, the title and the house.
I dismantle myself, you and everything else. Laugh in the face of the man that says “there is a truth” that the system can be fixed.
I am not a separatist because I disidentify
Because when you are everywhere based on the dichotomy
I am away from nowhere
And if I repeat myself in sliced phrases and inconsistent identities
Then I am creating my means and my ends.


About the Author
Julian is a Critical Race, Gender and Sex Studies major with an Ethnic Studies emphasis.  Writing is his way of expressing the internal realities of his life, navigating through different spaces and spreading stories that he hopes others can relate with. This year, he is editor of The Cultural Times at Humboldt State University.