Donna Kate Rushin (Lawnside, New Jersey, EE.UU., 1951)
Kate Rushin es autora de The Black Back-Ups (Firebrand Books), antología pionera feminista editada por Cherríe Moraga y Gloria Anzaldúa.
Residente de Connecticut, Kate actualmente es profesora de escritura creativa en la Academia de Greater Hartford de las Artes. Anteriormente, fue profesora en la Universidad de Wesleyan, donde se desempeñó como Profesora Asistente Adjunta y escritora visitante en Estudios Afroamericanos. Ha leído en Hill-Stead Museum Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, el Festival de Poesía de Dodge Geraldine Smith College y Centro de Poesía, entre otros muchos lugares, y ha dirigido talleres para el Instituto Omega de Estudios Holísticos y Cave Canem Foundation. Se ha desempeñado como juez de la Connecticut State University-IMPAC Award escritores jóvenes, la Connecticut Poetry Contest Estudiante Circuito poesía, y la poesía / de la NEA Poesía Fundación Out Loud.
Kate recibió su licenciatura de la Universidad de Oberlin y su MFA de la Universidad de Brown.
Books of Poetry
The Black Back-Ups, Firebrand Books, 1993
Anthologies and Journals
Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, ed. Carole McCann and Seung-kyung Kim (Routledge, 2002)
Callaloo, Volume 24, Number 3, Summer 2001 (The Johns Hopkins University Press)
Callaloo, Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 2000 (The Johns Hopkins University Press)
Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, ed. Barbara Smith (Rutgers University Press, 2000)
Teaching the art of poetry: the moves, A, Baron Wormser and A, David Cappella (Routledge, 1999)
My Lover is a Woman - Contemporary Lesbian Love Poems, Lesléa Newman (Ballantine Books, 1999)
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, ed. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Kitchen Table Press, 1983)
enferma de ver y tocar
ambos lados de las cosas
enferma de ser la condenada puente de todos.
se puede hablar
¿No es cierto?
Explico mi madre a mi padre
mi padre a mi hermanita
mi hermanita a mi hermano
mi hermano a las feministas blancas
las feministas blancas a la gente de la iglesia Negra
la gente de la iglesia Negra a los ex – jipis
los ex – jipis a los separatistas Negros
los separatistas Negros a los padres de mis amigos.
tengo que explicarme a mí misma
Hago más traducciones
que las malditas Naciones Unidas.
Estoy enferma de llenar sus huecos.
Enferma de ser su seguro contra
el aislamiento de sus autoimpuestas limitaciones
Enferma de ser la loca de sus cenas festivas
Enferma de ser la rara de sus meriendas de domingo
Enferma de ser la única amiga Negra de 34 individuos blancos.
Encuéntrense otra conexión con el resto del mundo
Encuéntrense otra cosa que los legitime
Encuéntrense otra manera de ser políticas y estar a la moda.
No seré su puente a su femineidad
su humani- dad.
Estoy enferma de recordarles que no
se ensimismen tanto por mucho tiempo.
Estoy enferma de mediar sus peores cualidades
de parte de sus mejores.
antes de que se asfixien
con sus propias tarugadas.
crezcan o ahóguense
evolucionen o muéranse.
La puente que tengo que ser
es la puente a mi propio poder
Tengo que traducir
mis propios temores
mis propias debilidades.
Tengo que ser la puente a ningún lado
más que a mi verdadero ser.
The Bridge Poem
I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody
Can talk to anybody
I explain my mother to my father
my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother
my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks
the Black church folks to the ex-hippies
the ex-hippies to the Black separatists
the Black separatists to the artists
the artists to my friends’ parents…
I’ve got to explain myself
I do more translating
Than the Gawdamn U.N.
I’m sick of it.
I’m sick of filling in your gaps
Sick of being your insurance against
the isolation of your self-imposed limitations
Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners
Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches
Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people
Find another connection to the rest of the world
Find something else to make you legitimate
Find some other way to be political and hip
I will not be the bridge to your womanhood
I’m sick of reminding you not to
Close off too tight for too long
I’m sick of mediating with your worst self
On behalf of your better selves
I am sick
Of having to remind you
Before you suffocate
Your own fool self
Stretch or drown
Evolve or die
The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
My own weaknesses
I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
I will be useful
"The Bridge Poem," This Bridge Called My Back: de Writings by Radical Women of Color,
Editado por Cherrie Moraga y Gloria Anzaldúa (New York: Kitchen Table, 1981, 1983).
After funerals, everyone goes berserk:
they sell the rings, hide the policies, dig up
the money jar, stiff the undertaker,
toss the antique child’s rocker, the ceramic
pie plates, and the tintypes of all our Indian
ancestors. They kill the roses, disown in-laws
and second spouses, chain the Doberman
to the mimosa, refuse to reveal the cole slaw
recipe, cuss out the woman preacher, junk
the upright piano, and the glass and cherry bookcase.
They unbolt the door for the copper plumbing crooks,
swipe The Bible, and lose the house to taxes.
I lean on the oak at Mt. Zion , hoard
pencils and Christmas cards, avoid doctors,
take pictures I won’t ever develop.
Going to Canada
In Quebec Canada , Mommy and I climb up to
St. Anne De Bow-Pray on our knees
praying the prayer on the sign on each step.
The alter is a mountain of braces and crutches
thrown away by the healed people.
Daddy lets us stop at the restaurant.
I ask Mommy if they have French food.
Green cheese? The waitress asks.
The big hotel room is all fringes
patterns, textures, carved tables and chairs.
I think Europe must be like this.
The chambermaid picks up my Tiny Tears doll.
She wears a uniform like in the movies
and asks me questions in French.
I understand exactly what she is saying, but
I’m not sure how to answer.
I look at my mother who smiles and says go on. . .
On our way out of town Dad stops for gas;
one giant, squeaky balloon, free, with a fill-up.
Mommy, can you tell me what to say:
The balloon shrivels before the next bathroom stop.
The Tired Poem:
From A Typical
So it's a gorgeous afternoon in the park
It's so nice you forget our Attitude
The one your mama taught you
The one that says Don't-Mess-With-Me
You forget until you hear all this
Whistling and lip smacking
You whip around and say
I ain't no damn dog
It's a young guy
His mouth drops open
Excuse me Sister
How you doing
You lie and smile and say
I'm doing good
Everything's cool Brother
Then five minutes later
Hey you Sweet Devil
Hey Girl come here
You tense sigh calculate
You know the lean boys and bearded men
Are only cousins and lovers and friends
Sometimes when you say Hey
You get a beautiful surprised smile
Or a good talk
And you've listened to your uncle when he was drunk
Talking about how he has to scuffle to get by and
How he'd wanted to be an engineer
And you talk to Joko who wants to be a singer and
Buy some clothes and get a house for his mother
The Soc. and Psych. books say you're domineering
And you've been to enough
to know where you went wrong
It's decided it had to be the day you decided to go to school
Still you remember the last time you said hey
So you keep on walking
What you to good to speak
Don't nobody want you no way
You go home sit on the front steps listen to
The neighbor boy brag about
How many girls he has pregnant
You ask him if he's going to take care of the babies
And what if he gets taken to court
And what are the girls going to do
He has pictures of them all
This real cute one was supposed to go to college
dumb broad knew she could get pregnant
I'll just say it's not mine
On the back of this picture of a girl in a cap and gown
It says something like
I love you in my own strange way
Then you go in the house
Flip through a magazine and there is
The kind where the Brother
Thanks all of the Sisters Who Endured
Way back when he didn't have his Shit Together
And you have to wonder where they are now
And you know what happens when you try to resist
All of this Enduring
And you think how this
Thank-you poem is really
No consolation at all
Unless you believe
What the man you met on the train told you
The Black man who worked for the State Department
And had lived in five countries
He said Dear
You were born to suffer
Why don't you give me your address
and I'll come visit
So you try to talk to your friend
About the train and the park and everything
And how it all seems somehow connected
And he says
You're just a Typical Black Professional Woman
Some sisters know how to deal
Right about here
Your end of the conversation phases out
He goes on to say how
Black Professional Women have always had the advantage
You have to stop and think about that one
Maybe you are supposed to be grateful for those sweaty
Beefy-faced white businesmen who try to
Pick you up at lunchtime
And you wonder how many times your friend had
Pennies thrown at him
How many times he's been felt up in the subway
How many times he's been cussed out on the street
You wonder how many times he's been offered
$10 for a piece of himself
$10 for a piece
So you're waiting for the bus
And you look at this young Black man
Asking if you want to make some money
You look at this young Black man
Asking if you want to make some money
You look at him for a long time
You imagine the little dingy room
It would take twenty minutes or less
You only get $15 for spending all day with thirty kids
Nobody is offering you
Any cash for your poems
You remember again how you have the advantage
How you're not taking care of business
How this man is somebody's kid brother or cousin
And could be your own
So you try to explain how $10 wouldn't pay for
What you'd have to give up
He pushes a handful of sticky crumpled dollars
Into your face and says
You think I can't pay
Look at that roll
Don't tell me you don't need the money
Cause I know you do
I'll give you fifteen
You maintain your sense of humor
You remember a joke you heard
Well no matter what
A Black Woman never has to starve,
Just as long as there are
Dirty toilets and...
It isn't funny
Then you wonder if he would at least
Give you the money
And not beat you up
But you're very cool and say
You tell him he should spend his time
Looking for someone he cares about
Who cares about him
He waves you off
Get outta my face
I don't have time for that bullshit
You blew it Bitch
(Is it suddenly)
Your voice gets loud
And fills the night street
Your voice gets louder and louder
Your bus comes
The second-shift people file on
The security guards and nurse's aides
Look at you like you're crazy
Get on the damn bus
You blew it
He turns away
Your bus pulls off
There is no one on the street but you