jueves, septiembre 23, 2010
by Luzma Umpierre PhD
Puerto Rican poet, scholar, and human rights activist
“On Cachaperismos” was originally published on September 22, 2010 on http://luzma-umpierre.blogspot.com/
Tonight, the first night of the fall season in the U.S.A. and a night in which we will experience a harvest moon, another event is taking place in Puerto Rico that signals a passage. Fourteen women will present at Librería Mágica the collection of Lesbian writings called: “Cachaperismos.” For those in the English speaking world, the word “cachapera” is a street wise term that has been used as a derogatory term to call a Lesbian woman a “dyke.” “Cachaperimos,” then, would be the actions of a dyke. I take a moment to pause on the historic importance of this happening.
The Lesbian voice in Puerto Rico has always been solitary in the past. The writers, who preceded this group, wrote, spoke and proclaimed out of a singular and, often times, dangerous loneliness. In an island that wishes to erase Lesbian identity, these older “Dykes” or “cachaperas” spoke, many times, without a peer audience. Tonight, the women who gather in San Juan, will speak in a literary solidarity that has been absent in Puerto Rico until the appearance of the literary group “Homoerótica” and the publication of the book “Los otros cuerpos.” The women writers in this anthology can take strength and benefit from each other’s company and the critical evaluations done in talleres (workshops) that have flourished on the island.
It is good to see this collection appear in my home country while I am still alive to read it and savor the crisp flavor of their work on this first day of fall. In an article published today by Pablo Arroyo in the newspaper “El Vocero,” the women writers of the anthology say that their purpose in publishing was to say: “Enough, we are here. We are a part of you and you are a part of us” (I am paraphrasing their statement). This is a crucial enunciation since it signals the end of an era of writing loneliness and the beginning of the notion of a community of writers. As poet Marge Piercy said many years ago, a movement begins when we say: “We, and every day it means one more.”
In the solitary living room of my apartment near Disney, the company that generated distorted images for young women to follow, as Elijah Snow reminded me recently, images of princesses and mermaids, I take a very personal pleasure in thinking that tonight, on an island at a distance, that whole World-View is being challenged. A group of women cachaperas is changing the “muñequitas” for their daughters and their daughters’ children.
When we are young, we tend to want to destroy the image of the “mother” in literature and in our real life in order to declare our independence, as Nemir Matos Cintrón reminded me today. With age, we come to realize that we did not engender ourselves and that we are all products of a human “entretejido” or weave. At that moment of recognition, we are grateful, even for the detractors and enemies who opposed us, because they made us weave with an added strength in our hands the poetry of our lives.
More than 30 years ago, the fall foliage brought to me an image of despair and loneliness while I drove my car through Shenandoah State Park as I noted in one of my poems. “Live long enough to see things you would have never imagined,” my Nuyorican mother used to tell me. She was right. I have lived to see the coming of the fall season, not in coldness, but in the warm embrace of community and sisterhood in my island-nation. For that, I am grateful.
Nota: Las entradas originales de este escrito han sido retiradas por la sra. Umpierre arbitrariamente en marzo de 2012. Los enlaces URL prevalecen como constancia de que fueron, en efecto, creadas en su momento histórico.
Acerca de mí
- Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro
- "Odio los fluidos que se me salen del cuerpo cada veintiséis días." Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (Guaynabo, 1970). Es novelista, cuentista y ensayista puertorriqueña. Fue elegida una de las escritoras latinoamericanas más importantes menores de 39 años del Bogotá39 convocado por la UNESCO, el Hay Festival y la Secretaría de Cultura de Bogotá por motivo de celebrar a Bogotá como Capital Mundial del libro 2007. Acaba de recibir Residency Grant Award 2011 del National Hispanic Cultural Center en Nuevo México. Es autora de los libros de cuentos, ‘Avalancha’ (2011), ‘Historias para morderte los labios’ (Finalista PEN Club 2010), y ‘Ojos de Luna’ (Segundo Premio Nacional 2008, Instituto de Literatura Puertorriqueña; Libro del Año 2007 Periódico El Nuevo Día), además de los libros de poesía ‘Medialengua’ (2010) y Perseidas (2011). Ha publicado las novelas ‘Los documentados’ (Finalista Premio PEN Club 2006) y Caparazones (2010, publicada en Puerto Rico y España).