Gurba and Huberg Wedding Selfie
I have a pretty public & heated obsession with Myriam Gurba and her work, and for some reason she hasn’t gotten a restraining order yet. I have interviewed her for My Monomania before, but back then, I asked questions. Real and thoughtful questions. Only you know, I decided that this format (WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE & HOW) really leaves me out of the interview and frees the subject to talk about herself as she wishes, without the added pressure of the self-interview concept. For that reason, I asked her again. She sent the answers last week and I meant to publish this tomorrow, but I am rushing to publish this right now to celebrate the fact that Gurba just announced on Facebook that SHE GOT GAY MARRIED TODAY in Los Angeles, California. She said, “I’m blessed to have been married on Friday the 13th!.” Congratulations all around Myriam and TJ Huberg!
I first found out about Gurba and her work from Kevin Sampsell, whose Future Tense Press published her book Wish You Were Me. That book changed my life. It completely changed my view of what good writing is and why it’s good. It’s vicious and full of itself in the best way. The best piece is about all the things Gurba should be doing to be a better lesbian. It’s brutal and hilarious and pure. I saw her read from it before I actually read it, a few years ago, when she was in Portland with Sister Spit. It’s amazing to hear these things coming from her mouth in real life.
Gurba also wrote some other books: Dahlia Season, Menudo & Herb and A White Girl Named Shaquanda. You can read about them on her Goodreads author page, and buy some on her Etsy page. I own them all & Love them all. I think you need to be as into Gurba as I am, so read this, which is what she did with WWWWW&H. GENIUS.
Who are you? Asking this question makes me feel like an owl.
What’s your deal? I’m an ethnic shifter. Some people assume I’m Asian. Some people assume I’m white. Some people assume I’m Latina.Why doesn’t white get capitalized? Because whiteness has already capitalized itself through imperialism? Is the H silent? No. I consider myself a recreational poet. I write poems but DO NOT TAKE POETRY SERIOUSLY. That would be too painful. Look what happened to Sylvia Plath. She got baked. I also write prose but its not hardcore prose. It’s kind of “lyrical.” A character actor told me that about my prose a few weeks ago. I guess I write soft prose. I’m also a public school teacher and my hobbies include art, succulents, and misinforming children.
Why do people say, “Say when,” when they are topping off someone’s beverage?
Do they really want you to say when? In Mexico, when someone is topping of my dad’s beverage, he tells them cuando when he’s had enough and they look at him quixotically. Quixotic is a Hispanically derived word. It’s linked to the adventures of Don Quixote and one time, my little brother came home from a garage sale and foisted a thin statue into the air. “Look,” he said. “I got this statue of Don Quixote for a dollar at the garage sale down the street.” With his other hand, he foisted another statue into the air. “He came with this fat guy,” he said. My little brother is 34.
Where were you born? This is a question that is demanded of Cheech in the song “Born in East LA.” My dad was briefly raised in East LA but I was born in the small, strawberry-centric community of Santa Maria, California. I emerged from a slit carved into my mother’s abdomen at a Catholic hospital, Marian Hospital. I recently spent time in this hospital, at my mother’s bedside, because her stubborn intestines were on strike. I rode the elevator down to the hospital’s first floor chapel and filled out two prayer request forms. One requested that my mother’s intestines start revving their engines again. The other request was related to the lottery. Also, Santa Maria is known for two things: great tri-tip and being the place where Michael Jackson was tried for molesting little boys.
“Why do you have green eyes if you’re Mexican?” This is a question that assholes have been asking me all my life. People ask it with anger, as if I should take responsibility for their racist assumptions about eye pigment. How dare I defy their stereotypes of brown-eyed Mexicans? I’m such an asshole. Once and for all, (not really, there are more assholes out there ready to ask this question), my eyes are green because I inherited the color from my father who inherited his color from his mother who is MEXICAN. Mexican is a NATIONALITY, not a race. People of this NATIONALITY are the organic fruits of many CONQUESTS, indigenous peoples conquering other indigenous peoples, Europeans conquering indigenous peoples and other Europeans. THERE ARE EVEN AFRICANS THROWN INTO THE MEXICAN MIX BECAUSE AFRICAN PEOPLE WERE IMPORTED AS SLAVES, THEN LIBERATED IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, AND THEN THIS DIASPORA MELTED INTO THE MEXICAN POPULATION WHICH IS WHY MEXICANS COME IN INUMERABLE SHADES OF BROWN THAT NO MAKEUP COMPANY CAN KEEP UP WITH. Anyway, my family’s green eyes probably come from the phenotype of some Frenchman or Spaniard who did it with a lithe Indigenous lady and there you go. You get a bitchy, green-eyed Mexican-American recreational poet. Got it? I hope so. Hope is grandmother’s first name. I hope you buy things from my Etsy page so that I can pay for my plastic surgery.