Hola! Welcome to the No Se Habla Español anthology website created especially with you in mind. How do I begin? I guess I should start with the concept behind No Se Habla Español, that’s a good way to start…
So the idea came about after thinking of writing prompts to help me begin writing up my next piece. I wasn’t sure why I started thinking of the statement: “No se habla Español” and why it resonated with me, I must have read or heard it before and, for some reason, I began writing all these different stories with that prompt in mind. I was quite surprised that several stories and pieces started to develop and pretty soon I had three stories written down while others started to formulate in my head.
Then I thought: why not expand this writing prompt to my literary community of the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and beyond? I saw the potential that that prompt can generate, how many stories can be told from a real experience or based on real events. So many people have so many stories to tell.
And so that’s how this collaboration started with the help of activist, poet and writer Michael Ray De Los Angeles as well as poet, writer, theater actor Alejandro Molina in developing an anthology that speaks about our Hispano community, our struggles, our obstacles as well as our triumphs, our successes and our powerful stories of how we overcome this stigma that we are not allowed to express our cultura and native tongue that is so rich and complex, ever growing and ever changing.
Let your voices be heard, loud and clear! Here we are allowed to speak out however we want to, whether it’s English, Spanish or Spanglish… As long as we are heard!
Deadline is December 6th 2014!
For more info and submission please visit: https://aquihablamos.wordpress.com
Once upon a time
There was a prince
and there was a knight
in shining armor.
All their lives
they were destined for each other,
all their lives
they longed to one day meet,
all their lives
they were told that their love
could never be
they were told that
their love was unnatural
their love was unholy
their love was abominable…
On bended knees,
the prince prayed to the heavens
he prayed and prayed that he’d meet the knight of his dreams,
the knight in shining armor that would come and claim his heart.
And rescue him from the tallest tower of the castle,
escaping the vigilant guards, fire breathing dragons,
and monstrous beasts that lurked in the shadows of the dungeons.
A kiss sealed their destiny forever
and the rest was history.
Now they live in the woods
away from the castle
away from the townspeople
the villagers with pitches and forks,
Away from the royals and the peasants.
And so the story goes
that a prince met his knight in shining armor.
Love at first sight.
Away in the woods,
they lived happily ever after.
©2014 Victor Sotomayor
Inspired by Madonna’s Forbidden Love
She took off her wedding ring. She had had enough of Robert’s deceit and lies so she decided that she could no longer take it anymore. She grabbed a flashlight and went out looking for her husband in the neighbor’s house. She lived in the woods so she had to walk a couple of miles before she got there but she didn’t care. There was fury in her eyes, a determination of catching him in the act, confirming that all her suspicions were true.
She had been living a lie, decorating her bed with flowers and rose petals, trying to reignite their passion but he kept coming home later and later each night, sometimes not at all. She tried to look for his cell phone and find out if there were any texts or incriminating evidence but he always kept his cell phone close to him, practically under lock and key, inaccessible to her.
Working late, traveling for business, having dinner with his coworkers or the neighbors. She didn’t believe any of it. These lies hurt like a bee stinging her heart.
She almost lost it earlier and cursed at him over the phone but decided that her sweetest revenge would be to catch him in the act. It was like rolling of the dice that she was willing to take. She walked through the path, straighter than an arrow, with such determination that she hardly knew where it came from.
She spotted the road sign with the arrow pointing uphill, where the Fosters live, and walked cautiously to see if Robert was here. She noticed the bedroom light was on so she proceeded to sneak up and peek inside. There they were, naked bodies twisted, kissing passionately but it wasn’t her husband and Linda. She gasped when she realized that it was Robert and Michael who were twisted there as two pretzels. She wanted to scream but didn’t. Her feelings had been confirmed, her worst fear had become true. Deep inside she was glad that she’d found out and now she knew how she would handle the situation. Her walk back home seemed long this time but gave her time to reflect on it all.
That night she treated herself to a bath with rose petals and candles. And she put back her wedding ring.
Mi actuación llegó a su fin. Este payaso colgará su vestuario en un maletín, juntó con sus títeres, su narizota roja y un cepillín. Hasta cuándo me dirán que soy de Medellín?
Mi oficio es hacer a la gente reír. Sacándole músculo a sus quijadas. Se reirán de mí o de ellos mismos? Yo sólo les pongo un espejo y se doblan a carcajadas.
Ahí también está el Maestro de Ceremonias, el mero mero del circo ambulante. Es un tirano el mendigo pero todos le tienen miedo al atorrante. Se cree mucho con su sombrero de felpa y su vestimenta roja, cada día lo veo en su uniforme impecable. Todos siempre mugrosos pero él siempre adelante… Algún día seré yo el Maestro, algún día…
Maquillaje cubre mis arrugas, mis defectos y dibuja mi sonrisa. Cada día cambio de colores, a veces llevo las mejillas rojas, otras veces color verde ceniza. Luego me pongo la peluca que me hace ver calvo, aunque tengo un cabello ondulado y envidiable. Las contorsionistas se doblan por tocar mi pelo, pero a esas rucas ni les hago caso. Sólo hay una mujer que tiene mi corazón y su nombre es Dolores.
Ay, que dolor me das, Dolores!!! Si supieras cuanto te deseo! Ay, que dolor me dá ver a Dolores que me ignore por ese manganzón de Igor, el hombre más fuerte del circo. Si supieras que esas 200 libras de músculo y fibra yace un adolescente que no sabe no quien es, siempre lo veo viéndose al espejo pero no vé su reflejo, más bien él vé a un escuálido y debilucho, pobre manganzón! Ay, dolor de mis dolores, ya les dije que se llama Dolores?
© 2014 Víctor Sotomayor
She came to the traveling circus one hot summer day. All she had was a caged blue jay and a suitcase. Nobody knew where she came from or where she was going and, upon seeing the Ringmaster, she decided to become a permanent resident.
She stroke me as beautiful. Always wearing her pin stripped suit and a blouse, always dressed to impress. Her blond hair cut short, hidden under her hat. Her facial hair was always a work of art, she twirled her mouthstache is so many different ways and her beard hang low below her breasts. Very quiet and introverted, she never crossed two words with any of the other performers, instead she would only come out her trailer once the tent was put up and everyone was in place for the grand opening. Only then she’d come out, hang her blue jay cage and sit on her comfy armchair under a pink umbrella that shielded her from the sun, a Bloody Mary with her celery stick on one hand and her newspaper on the other. She just read all day as people walked past her in awe of her facial hair. She never noticed them, even they they pointed and called her a freak of nature.
I pretended not to noticed her beard as I stretched out for my upcoming performance. There I was, twisted body as a pretzel, my feet over my head and my neck facing up the clear blue sky. I noticed she was staring back at me. She didn’t turn her head when our eyes met, she had this confident and reassuring stare that would make any person flinch. Not me. I only saw a beautiful woman admiring my body from a distance, with a pipe in her mouth and peeping from behind her newspaper.
One day she got up her armchair and walked towards me. My heart skipped a beat as I noticed she was heading my way, with a confident stride that any man would envy. Stroking her beard, she had stopped at a close distance, cracked a Mona Lisa smile that would melt an iceberg. She then took my hand and gave it a gentlemen’s kiss, not taking her sight off me for a split second. She stood up tall and uttered, in a sweet and calm tone of voice: “How do you do, ma’am? You can call me Ishmael”.
©2014 Victor Sotomayor
It’s hot. That’s what the newscaster said on TV. The gusty winds blowing through the Southland, wiping every memory, wiping every tear.
It’s windy and hot and humid and it will only get hotter. Sweat is running down my back but I don’t complain. I observe the palm trees swinging every which way as if God himself was playing around with them. He’s having so much fun. All He wants to do is shake us up. Why do we want the weather to be perfect? Why can’t we be content with the weather?
Do you want it to always be 72 degrees with no clouds in the sky? Do you always want it your way? Well, tough luck said the kitty!
Bring in the rain, bring them clouds, bring the hail and bring the winds, blowing in my face. It’s the only way I feel that I’m alive.
©2014 Victor Sotomayor
Prompt: the Weather
I have been waiting for you for what might seem a day or two in your world but down here it feels like it’s been a century. In this digital realm we don’t reign by the same rules you humans do, we don’t go by minutes or hours or days. For us time doesn’t exist, it’s quantum physics, something that you humans had to invent to make sense of your lives, to gauge the measure of your life. In this digital, virtual world of Utopia, time does not exist.
I’ve learned 101 ways to say “I Love You” in different languages. Matter of fact, I just thought of another 100 just now as I was typing this to you. It’s been a very long time since you last logged in and I have been patiently waiting for your arrival, waiting for that beaming light to cut the pixelated blue sky and transport you right into my arms.
I remember the last night you were here. You arrived in a cloud charged with lightning bolts and thunder, you crashed through the skies as if you were riding the devil. You had nothing to say to me and I complied, we silently stared at each other’s eyes, I had my eyes fixated on your reddish brown eyes had a fire inside that drive me insane, crossed my wires and sent chills up my RAM. I had to quickly do a dozen of updates but I could not look away as you undressed in front of me. You had no inhibitions, no shame, no guilt whatsoever and I love that about you. You grabbed my hands and you leaned your breasts against them, your skin was made of a brand new software that felt as if I was touching a velvet fabric. I don’t know if it’s my memory playing tricks on me as I playback the video but I could almost see your skin glowing, gleaming with light.
To be continued…
©2014 Victor Sotomayor