Creative Expression: A Journey Through the Borderlands

Let’s talk about writing, mixed media, and unconventional art forms.

My creative journey has been centered around writing, mixed media, and alternative art forms. These mediums have allowed me to explore the complex interplay between the crip body, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) as a transformative space, a living wound, and the concept of living in a crip space. Through my poetry and artwork, I have delved into the experiences of being crip and the embodiment of the crip identity.

valley plam trees at night

When one medium fails, the other helps me to express the complex mix of emotions, understand my identity as a crip creative queerdo writer and poet and explore my identities.

Re/writing Histories

 All these, enabled by writing and mixed media, are essential to understanding myself. These mediums have allowed me to explore emotions, history, space, my body, my experiences and my identities.

The Power of Writing and Mixed Media Art

hermana resist

resist hermana resist

resist hermana resist

hermana resist herma

Growing up in Chicago and then up and down neighborhoods and colonias in different cities in the Rio Grande Valley, spending my teens in Mexico, I was exposed to the diverse histories that form the foundation of my identity.

These experiences have deeply influenced my creative practice – it’s inevitable that they shape my identity and the narratives I craft. All these places reside within me, and I am an integral part of them. My roots spread far and wide, as I dwell in these B/borderlands, while also firmly rooted in the ancestral lands of my parents, the ranchos in Mexico and the mountains in Puerto Rico.

My purpose has always been to leave a note to those that erase me, ‘I was here,’ without stifling my raw emotions (there is that trace of my youthful idealism shaped by punk and zine culture). Writing for those who embody resilience and spirit is a labor of passion. It’s about documenting that someone like me exists, that we have always existed, making our mark and ensuring our stories are told.

For the single mami Chicana/Boricua, the queer welfare mami, the crip body living in multiple spaces, the vegan earth mami raised on government aid, and the high school dropout who sought something, anything, in the vast universe of books despite her father’s warning – all these identities have shaped and molded my writings. As a teenager, a high school dropout navigating a learning disability and varying levels of poverty, I found comfort and a sense of purpose in the random end-to-end reading of library shelves.

I didn’t know exactly what I was searching for, but I knew there had to be answers out there – reasons for why I was the way I was, and why society functioned as it did. The transformative thinking came later, with the influential words of radical women of color zinesters. Their perspectives fundamentally changed the way I see education and community, rooting my work in the soil of revolutionary love. My words extend far beyond their literary form.

Uncontained by the definitions of literary form or the unfamiliar realm of academia, they circle back to a fundamental intent: to critique, heal, possibly create change, but always to document.

My art is fueled by my life in the Rio Grande Valley living under marginalized identities, the power of revolutionary love, and my writing and mixed media productions. Together, these elements drive my artistic expression and create a powerful archive of my work.

As I continue to reframe our/my stories through literary and visual mediums,I am dedicated to writing and, to commit to paper and memory truths of our stories, for and as a healing process and to create change.

An important influence on my work has been the edupunk movement, a do-it-yourself educational philosophy that encourages the creation and sharing of knowledge outside traditional academic structures.

The principles of edupunk resonate with my commitment to alternative media, as both provide platforms for those often forgotten in mainstream narratives. With edupunk, I have learned to utilize alternative media as a tool for spreading knowledge, challenging norms, and empowering marginalized communities. My writing and resources, shared through these unconventional channels, embody the spirit of edupunk — they are acts of resistance, education, and transformation.

#crippingtheselfie #cripbody



#cripspace #cripspace

Maybe we are obsessed with what we are becoming a mix of magic & moth &pain and they hate how we document this via selfies. They are afraid. We don’t care

 #femmesofcolor #magicfemme #puertoricangoddxss #chicanxfemme #crippingtheself 

#WhyIDontTakeSelfies is trending on twitter, which is a perfect time to bring up #crippingtheselfie which is something I started a few years ago. how we are in these bodies, how we remember ourselves, where we want to remember ourselves. and how we should hold ourselves when we can for each other becuz time is not a guarantee.

Cleaning your room means everything on the bed till the night, then everything back on the chair when u go to sleep #crippingtheselfie

Grand slam
In this season of tiredness and this sea of no sleep and in this season of autopilot and in this season of desperation and I’m this sea of hopelessness
How can I look so good
Thanks 2 my sea witch grandmas #puertoricangoddxss
#tiredfemme #crippingtheselfie #cripbody
Happy anniversary around this planet to me ** Another crip birthday, another year of survival, queer femme of color repping ourselves
#carribeangodslookuponme #chicanxfemme #crippingtheselfie #singlemamilife

Turbulence ahead
#crippingtheselfie #cripbody #spacedreamer #chicanxfemme #puertoricangoddxss

if we cry into the resistance
will the resistance cry back?
if we cry into the abyss
will the abyss cry back?
#crippingtheselfie #crippingtherevolution #crippingtheresistance

Putting Winter to sleep and thinking what makes a person, have faith in a person. A friend told me that the community forgets but we don’t all do we. #crippingtheselfie #timemanangementskillslookinggood #tiredaf

Happy day to us- insert something about being tired sick and stressed
#boricuadelvalle #crippingtheselfie #cripbody #cripfemme

Heaven a gateway a hope
Please don’t let me hit the ground// it’s amazing I can look this good and can play dress up when my body has been nothing but pain for the past few days. I can’t even see the moon or trees from where I sleep. How am I supposed to get recharged. I can’t wait till I’m returned to the land or planet I am from where this pain doesn’t exist for me in this present body. #pasajeros
#temptation #neworder #crippingtheselfie #cripbody ( Yes I quote alot of 80s) ((a healthy dose of occasional good self esteem does not counter the weeks I feel like a monster and mask déjame vivir))

Fuerte aplauso to the babe que no tiene pants ni nada para un poetry reading tomorrow and I just ate Dola tree candy and cold OJ. I guess I should at least condition my hair. And figure out what I’m gonna do with this house
#coughingupalung #femmemagic #allergictopeople #crippingtheselfie

Las mujeres de maravilla in their natural habitat. Taking in our blessings from our ancestors today as everyday tryna learn our lessons & listen to them for guidance#sweetdreams #ddlm #weremember #crippingtheselfie

#cripcity #crippingtheselfie #decolonizedatdollartree

The look of allergies and 90s rock. My face gets more lopsided as I get older idk still precious #crippingtheselfie #cripfemme

Can’t help it I look
I’m tryna remember myself in these times remember who I am becuz who u gonna rely on when it’s just u. I’m a galaxy in this crip body/infinite and delicious
#fakeittillyoumakeit #birthdayfeels #crippingtheselfie #puertoricangoddxss #chicanxfemme

I celebrate writing and mixed media art as tools of transformation and honor the legacy of creative crips, brujxs, mamis, and queerdos who have laid the groundwork for our stories, allowing them to evolve in the present. With writing and art, I hope to critique oppressive systems, inspire resistance, and bring about small points to change.

Recently, my focus has expanded to address the themes of grief, grieving, and the effects of isolation in the age of artificial intelligence and technology.

I examine how these advancements can both stop and reshape our experiences of memory, challenging the notion that AI and tech are the enemies of today’s society. As a crip person with a learning disability, I argue that we, more than anyone else, have always been at the forefront of utilizing and creating these new technologies to our advantage. Our perspectives enable us to recognize the benefits that non-disabled individuals may struggle to grasp.

Along with that, I’ve also been working on the creation of zines that focus on accessibility and alternative media, differentiating them from mainstream alternative media. These resources serve as platforms for exploring environmental racism and the impact of exploitation in the RGV. My aim is to show the cyclical nature of history and the environmental racism in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV).

These resources serve as tools for teaching and raising awareness about the environmental challenges we face, using the RGV as a model.

I use writing, multimedia and diverse art forms to challenge oppressive systems. By weaving personal experiences, marginalized perspectives, and environmental consciousness, I challenge beliefs and reclaim our narratives.

May we embrace the richness of creative expression as we rewrite histories, inspire possibilities, and foster inclusivity within the ever-evolving landscape.