331 West 39th Street

In New York, we run to opportunity, we look for kind people with kind hearts to grab on to and hope for important moments and generous faces. We like to ignore the violence and the piss stained sidewalks; bow our head down when others ask for help and raise them back up to accept it. We, New Yorkers, are fast paced; we cry for the attention that we shy away from. An ego of New York, a big ego that we carry around, even the ones that think they might not have one. Imagine a New York artist- that’s a show, a show of an ego. The most innocent ones can carry it too. And it isn’t a bad thing, we wouldn’t put our work out there if it wasn’t for others to cherish. I sure like the acceptance as an artist, a New York artist. The ones that are lucky enough to go to school for it, learn from the best of the best, we are told that we will find a connection, an outreached hand to grab on to. The student loans build but our hands remain scarce. We look for work and hope and ride the dirty subway. We just need to make a new connection, a new hand, we just need to have someone believe that we can be young with little experience but sure as hell put up a fight. New Yorker’s know that almost everything is too good to be true and if it is truly good, it is truly a price. We know that once we walk into a new environment, a new space of the city, we aren’t in for anything, we’re just in. Young, we remain with hope, but desperate nonetheless, we get a response from some marketing agency that is looking for immediate hires. You know, I’m not looking to work in marketing but I definitely love to write. Maybe it could be something new. I get an interview. I must dress business formal so I wear my beautiful, tired black boots with a slack my legs grow in. I want to prove I am making every effort for work, every part of myself committing to my success. I am told the building is across from a tree? What does that even mean? Are trees really that scattered in New York that it can be a GPS function? I wait on line. Yes that’s right, I wait on line outside of the building where a singular tree is potted parallel to the door that reads 331. I wished for running shoes. I sign in with a young woman most likely my age, get a form with some strange font and take a seat next to over 30 others, could have been 40. Some sweet jams play on a speaker hung on the wall. I think to myself, this is young. I begin filling out the falsely-fonted form: my name, my address, my number, my interests, my hobbies? What is th-? A woman comes out of one of the rooms after her interview and goes straight to the young girl behind the desk, the one I signed in with. She says, this is a scam, give me my information back, the young girl refuses. This goes on for a few minutes while I break into a sweat. What will happen? Am I okay? How do I leave if the doors are blocked by people? I take my form, rush out. Never a text saying I missed my time allotted interview, nothing. I look at the company’s website once more, their address is linked to New York City Hall. What a funny joke New York played. I find on reddit a list of companies that have used this space, 331 West 39th Street, to scam, re-route banking information, begin pyramid schemes. New Yorker’s do not trust, but we hope and sometimes that can be just as dangerous. I will not stop hoping, just hope in a pair of running shoes.


Metastatic Breast Cancer

I wrote this piece on Metastatic Breast Cancer when my aunt, Lena, was recovering from breast cancer. She passed away about a month ago. Reading this piece back I remember how strong she was and how much bravery and strength I learned from her. This passed weekend, I went to her house in Mt. Pocono and tried on her clothes. She was very petite like me and loved to wear beauty as if it was a feather, light. White hats, thin t-shirts, silk, lace. She shone down light. I sit here writing in her rainbow turtleneck, she brought me joy. My father told me, no one ever leaves us if we keep their memory alive. I will hang her large white hat on my wall, I will think about the days at Emerald Lake, how we laughed in the light sun while I played with her hair. 


я люблю тебя лена. 


Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day


A lot of women like myself fear the words ‘breast cancer.’ It feels like an unknown, knowing there are stages and knowing I have women in my family and in my girlfriends family who fought it was the extent of my knowledge. I spoke with my girlfriend’s mother on the phone last night and I brought up the words ‘metastatic breast cancer’ to her, asking her of its meaning beyond the one I already knew. She told me that it is aligned with having stage IV and it used to be untreatable. This breast cancer spreads to another part of the body. It can spread to your lungs, brain, liver or bones. It made me fearful reading about it and hearing about it. 


Although metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer cells have spread to another part of the body, it is still treated as breast cancer would be. I read a study from 2011 that said that 1 in 4 women with stage IV breast cancer do not live longer than 26 months after the diagnosis. Now, eight years after this study, women can live the rest of their lives in remission following the proper regimens to keep the cancer cells inactive. 


My great aunt is living with metastatic breast cancer. Lena is a beautiful being who has always been a role model for me whether it be in baking or in how she carries herself. She has been in and out of the hospital the past few months but I know how hard she’s pushing. Women are incredibly strong beings, almost constantly fighting for what they deserve in their lives. Breast cancer is just another thing that they might have to battle and they put their full force into it. 


On metastatic breast cancer awareness day today, let’s just focus a little longer and a little harder on our female role models, think of our big love for them and their big hearts. 



Love Letter to Jennifer

To think I met a girl who would wake me to show me the sky
Damn, lucky me my vision intensity on pink, purple sky 
Extraordinary girl like the sky bright too soon in the night 
A warning not only to look but I felt, what a joy being around you is, extraordinary girl
A wide smile you wear below a gaze that rings in my closing eyes with uneven brows that tease me, you wave 
A hello gets me giddy, I met you, an extraordinary girl, passionate loving lady
Excitement rising in your gazing eyes while I removed my slip to lay naked by you, oh so enchanting how my body sings against your breast 
A fucking beautiful breast, I can’t believe 

.

Your lips lay pressed against my head loving my being

I fell in love with, my love, extraordinary 


Feminism and Pride aren’t for Corporate Greed

I am told that I am being empowered by corporations who take my money and claim that I have aquired the “tools” for feminism. I am empowered because I bought the correct underwear, I am empowered because I bought a dress that the designer says will make me tough. Corporate Feminism began when major companies decided to turn feminism into profit. We’ve seen companies give themselves new slogans, new claims of having pride in women without giving women the chance to become the heros. Shouldn’t we let women own their feminism as opposed to thinking we are handing it to them in the form of a babydoll dress?

Along with feminism becoming profitable, during the month of June we see many companies have also turned their attention toward Pride. Ah, the month to celebrate LGBTQ rights and honor the memory of the riot at the Stonewall Inn and each passing June, more and more retail shops are painting their benches rainbow and adding Love Is Love signs on their doors. Like clockwork on July 1, these signs of Pride suddenly disappear. I am tired of seeing these temporary signs of Pride. Research found through Reboot Online shows that only 64% of companies that advertise for Pride during the month of June are donating to the cause. Pride Month has become too expensive for many of its people to even celebrate as a result of corporate involvement. There are cover charges, parade tickets, and gear that (in theory) supports the cause, but many of these companies aren’t making enough of a profit to generate donations. So I’ve started to question my purchases: When I buy a t-shirt with a Pride Month logo, or when I buy a workout set from a company that claims to “support” women, what is my money actually going towards? Are we supporting the right cause just because we own something with FEMINIST or LOVE TRUMPS HATE written on it? 

Now, some companies do it right and have actually achieved the mission of helping these causes. By creating a profit that goes directly to the group in question, some brands really do make women the heroes instead of just themselves. We are moving in the right direction though with a spike of 29% of companies in 2019 began to even show their Pride. It’s time we started making sure that all brands are empowering women in an authentic and beneficial way. While they’re all likely well-meaning, I’ve had enough of the empty gestures, I want my feminism and pride minus the corporate greed, which means that marketing yourself as “empowering” should come with responsibility to actually do just that. Celebrating women isn’t just for a sale, it’s for the greater good of us all.


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