Category Archives: biography

Greatness

Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.
I honor you on da daily, Mr. King. Your legacy lives and I thank you and your familia for giving our world the gift of love, especially in the times when it would be easier not to. Malo ‘aupito, ‘ofa atu!

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. “–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one. ” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tagged , , , , ,

Happy Beautiful Birthday Beautiful Gab*Star!


dear world: today is an international holiday! today is Gabriella Callender’s Birfffday!!! yayyyyyy!
for real real, there would be no Me, no moana love, no vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu, if there was not Gabby present in my life!
I am so happy to share with you about Gabby! hip hop hooorayy yay yay: I have known Gabby for 11 years…I know we have known each other beyond this lifetime. Gabby is my best friend, my sister, my creative partner, my jokeStar, most favorite person in the whole entire world, for real real. I love you so much Gabby! Thank you for everything that you have given me and taught me and shared with me! I thank you for your friendship, your partnership, your truth, your beauty, your trust, your amazing food, your generosity, your warmth, your support, your encouragement, your humor, your pranks, your tricks, most importantly your LOVE! you have saved my life more than once. thank you, thank you, muchas gracias.
Everyone I know LOVES Gabby to bits and pieces and seashells and buttons…her whole life and life story is inspiring, courageous and freaking amazing. Born in Wingdale, New York and raised in Hollis, Queens, Gabby moved out of her home at the age of 16 years old. At her birth, she was taken from her biological mother and put into foster care. At age 4 she was adopted by a family in Hollis, Queens. She was sexually abused by her adopted brother for 11 years and she is not only a survivor but a SHERO! She taught herself how to play the guitar when she was 14 years old and has been playing ever since. Today she is the musical director and member of Mahina Movement, which we have performed on over 400 stages all over NYC and over the U.S. of A. In September 2012, we will be performing in Europe in 8 Cities, 5 countries in our “Souljourney Truth Tour.”
To you Gab*Star! Your presence is a gift to all of us! Thank you for making the world a better, happier, more peaceful and more beautiful place to live in! You make a difference for all of us,
with arroz con felicidades y arte, malo ‘aupito! ‘ofa atu my friend! To another year, 2012, we get what we want. yes, yes, axe, axe.

Gabby and the ocean

Gabby singing and performing at El Museo del Barrio, NYC

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Sept. 2011

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Sept. 2011

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Oct. 2011

Listen to Gabby sing and play her song, “Sean Bell,” click here:
http://o22music.bandcamp.com/track/sean-bell

See and watch Gabby and Erica perform “Sugarland” in Union Square, NYC for hundreds of peeps:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIn6MMq4WjY

Gabby performed in the moving, touching, inspiring, one of the best theater works I have seen in my whole life, “Secret Survivors”
http://vimeo.com/29153622

Gabby was part of this project created by Amita Swadhin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMxTsCH7FfY

Gabby is featured in the documentary, “Anomaly.” It has been screened all over the world!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifyKNPXwLPo

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Para Kathryn, LOVE

Tonight, in less than 2 hours I will be heading over to Brooklyn for Kathryn’s memorial/fundraiser.
I’m feeling sad and feeling grief all over again. Feeling loss. holding it. being with it.
love, love, love to you, your family, friends, and community,
we love you and we will always remember you.
‘ofa atu.

TONIGHT SATURDAY DECEMBER 10, 2011; 8 pm
Celebrate the life of Kathryn (Monica Shay)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kathryn was a revolutionary comrade and a ferocious fighter against police brutality.
Kathryn passed away this year along close members of her family. She was an inspirational comrade and leader who brought the best out of everyone she knew.
Today we are going to celebrate a warrior sister, whether you knew her or not, who fixed our eyes on the prize of taking all the power away from this goddamned system & helping the masses hold it.
Come dance, & sing, & meet others struggling to make the world a better place & have a good fucking time while we do it.
This is a benefit. We will be giving all the money we raise to Kathryn’s husband and comrade, Paul.
New friends are welcome. Kathryn was all about meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and putting out our vision of a better world in as artistic a way as possible.
Hip Hop and Hardcore Performances by:
To the End, My Dear (ny metalcore)
The Will (aggressive nyc hardcore)
Koba (hip hop)
Aidge (hip hop)
Moana Love (poet)
+ more TBA
Where: Don Pedro’s Bar
90 Manhattan Ave, IN BROOKLYN (btw Boerum Street & McKibben Street)
(L to Montrose, G to Broadway)


Monica “Kathryn” Shay
Monica Shay, known to many as Kathryn, died on Thursday, July 7. She was 58 years old. Kathryn died after being shot on Saturday, July 2, in her family’s weekend home in Pennsylvania. Also shot were her husband, Paul Shay, Paul’s nephew Joseph Shay, Joseph’s girlfriend Kathryn Erdman, and Kathryn Erdman’s two-year-old son Gregory. Paul’s nephew and the two-year-old child were killed in the shooting. The circumstances that led to this terrible tragedy, and to the police killing of a man said to be the suspect, are not clear at this time.

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

I loved this day! We had so much FUN! We were waiting for the light forever in crossing the street.

KATHRYN is pure LOVE. I will always remember your pure, beautiful heart y soul. Your huge light y inspiration and all the fun and joy you brought to this planet! You are a true, AMAZING SPIRIT to all of us. I miss you, I will always remember and be inspired by your LIGHT!

“I share with you all the deep hurt and sense of loss since Kathryn’s senseless death. Although I did experience a minor health setback brought on by grief, I am definitely on the mend, getting physically and spiritually stronger by the day. Kathryn’s death, though devastating, has strengthened my resolve to do this important work. I am more committed than ever to carrying on her legacy of tireless advocacy and support for victims and families alike. Her example lifts me up. I am the better for having lived in her presence.”
In Solidarity,
Juanita Young
Parents Against Police Brutality and Stolen Lives Project

“I have never had a bad day for a moment when I was around Kathryn. She always wore a wonderful smile. I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas with her, as she has corrected me many times. Kathryn was a standup warrior who stood firm in what she knew was right and fought hard against what she knew was wrong. Kathryn has given me courage and inspiration at times when I needed it most. She told me I was needed in the fight for justice and that lifted me up so much. Kathryn you are a true hero to me and here is why from Arthur Ashe: ‘True heroism is not the urge to suppress all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.’ Yes, you are my hero, Kathryn, and I’ll always remember you for all your powerful service to me and others in our fight for justice. One love my sister warrior.”
– Nicholas Heyward
Parents Against Police Brutality

Tagged , , , ,

Praises to Rev. Pedro Pietri


One of my favorite poems in the whole entire world is “Puerto Rican Obituary” written and performed all over, by one of my favorite poets in the whole entire world, Rev. Pedro Pietri. I am very honored to say that I got to meet him, share a stage with him, and share air with him. Coooool, baaaaaad ass brother human being, inspiring poet to us all! r.i.p.eace,power and perfection. you are one of our ancestors living inside all of us everyday. <insert kiss to the sky!)

Below is taken from this link: http://monthlyreview.org/2004/06/01/puerto-rican-obituary

“Puerto Rican Obituary” was first read in 1969 at a rally in support of the Young Lords Party, an anti-imperialist Latino youth group in New York. Like the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords were community activists, supporting demands for fair and affordable housing and decent health care, and they ran free breakfast programs for children. They linked their neighborhood militancy to a program that called for the end of U.S. imperial adventurism in Vietnam and elsewhere, third world liberation, an end to the oppression of the poor and people of color, and the building of a socialist society. The Young Lords were destroyed by U.S. government provocations in the mid 1970s, but Pedro Pietri continued on as a radical activist and poet—he saw no distinction between these roles. Most notably he helped to found and sustain the Nuyorican Poets Café, an acclaimed center for oppositional arts and literature.

Pedro Pietri was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1944 and raised in Harlem. After high school, he was drafted into the U.S. army, served in Vietnam, and returned to the United States a fierce opponent of that war and the system that spawned it. “I realised who the real enemy was, and it was not the Vietcong in their black pajamas, but the mercenaries who invaded their country.” On fire with rage against the system, he wrote, “Puerto Rican Obituary,” first published in a collection of his work with the same title by Monthly Review Press in 1973, as well as eight other volumes of verse. Pedro Pietri died of cancer, aged 59, on March 3, 2004. The power, insight, and message of “Puerto Rican Obituary” continue to resonate among activists and dreamers all over the world. As the New York Times put it recently “three decades ago, a poem ignited a movement.”—The Editors

PUERTO RICAN OBITUARY
by Pedro Pietri

They worked
They were always on time
They were never late
They never spoke back
when they were insulted
They worked
They never took days off
that were not on the calendar
They never went on strike
without permission
They worked
ten days a week
and were only paid for five
They worked
They worked
They worked
and they died
They died broke
They died owing
They died never knowing
what the front entrance
of the first national city bank looks like

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
passing their bill collectors
on to the next of kin
All died
waiting for the garden of eden
to open up again
under a new management
All died
dreaming about america
waking them up in the middle of the night
screaming: Mira Mira
your name is on the winning lottery ticket
for one hundred thousand dollars
All died
hating the grocery stores
that sold them make-believe steak
and bullet-proof rice and beans
All died waiting dreaming and hating

Dead Puerto Ricans
Who never knew they were Puerto Ricans
Who never took a coffee break
from the ten commandments
to KILL KILL KILL
the landlords of their cracked skulls
and communicate with their latino souls

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
From the nervous breakdown streets
where the mice live like millionaires
and the people do not live at all
are dead and were never alive

Juan
died waiting for his number to hit
Miguel
died waiting for the welfare check
to come and go and come again
Milagros
died waiting for her ten children
to grow up and work
so she could quit working
Olga
died waiting for a five dollar raise
Manuel
died waiting for his supervisor to drop dead
so he could get a promotion

Is a long ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long island cemetery
where they were buried
First the train
and then the bus
and the cold cuts for lunch
and the flowers
that will be stolen
when visiting hours are over
Is very expensive
Is very expensive
But they understand
Their parents understood
Is a long non-profit ride
from Spanish Harlem
to long island cemetery

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Dreaming
Dreaming about queens
Clean-cut lily-white neighborhood
Puerto Ricanless scene
Thirty-thousand-dollar home
The first spics on the block
Proud to belong to a community
of gringos who want them lynched
Proud to be a long distance away
from the sacred phrase: Que Pasa

These dreams
These empty dreams
from the make-believe bedrooms
their parents left them
are the after-effects
of television programs
about the ideal
white american family
with black maids
and latino janitors
who are well train
to make everyone
and their bill collectors
laugh at them
and the people they represent

Juan
died dreaming about a new car
Miguel
died dreaming about new anti-poverty programs
Milagros
died dreaming about a trip to Puerto Rico
Olga
died dreaming about real jewelry
Manuel
died dreaming about the irish sweepstakes

They all died
like a hero sandwich dies
in the garment district
at twelve o’clock in the afternoon
social security number to ashes
union dues to dust

They knew
they were born to weep
and keep the morticians employed
as long as they pledge allegiance
to the flag that wants them destroyed
They saw their names listed
in the telephone directory of destruction
They were train to turn
the other cheek by newspapers
that mispelled mispronounced
and misunderstood their names
and celebrated when death came
and stole their final laundry ticket

They were born dead
and they died dead

Is time
to visit sister lopez again
the number one healer
and fortune card dealer
in Spanish Harlem
She can communicate
with your late relatives
for a reasonable fee
Good news is guaranteed

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
Let them know this right away
Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
Now that your problems are over
and the world is off your shoulders
help those who you left behind
find financial peace of mind

Rise Table Rise Table
death is not dumb and disable
If the right number we hit
all our problems will split
and we will visit your grave
on every legal holiday

Those who love you want to know
the correct number to play
let them know this right away
We know your spirit is able
Death is not dumb and disable
RISE TABLE RISE TABLE

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
All died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Hating fighting and stealing
broken windows from each other
Practicing a religion without a roof
The old testament
The new testament
according to the gospel
of the internal revenue
the judge and jury and executioner
protector and eternal bill collector

Secondhand shit for sale
learn how to say Como Esta Usted
and you will make a fortune
They are dead
They are dead
and will not return from the dead
until they stop neglecting
the art of their dialogue
for broken english lessons
to impress the mister goldsteins
who keep them employed
as lavaplatos porters messenger boys
factory workers maids stock clerks
shipping clerks assistant mailroom
assistant, assistant assistant
to the assistant’s assistant
assistant lavaplatos and automatic
artificial smiling doormen
for the lowest wages of the ages
and rages when you demand a raise
because is against the company policy
to promote SPICS SPICS SPICS

Juan
died hating Miguel because Miguel’s
used car was in better running condition
than his used car
Miguel
died hating Milagros because Milagros
had a color television set
and he could not afford one yet
Milagros
died hating Olga because Olga
made five dollars more on the same job
Olga
died hating Manuel because Manuel
had hit the numbers more times
than she had hit the numbers
Manuel
died hating all of them
Juan
Miguel
Milagros
and Olga
because they all spoke broken english
more fluently than he did

And now they are together
in the main lobby of the void
Addicted to silence
Off limits to the wind
Confine to worm supremacy
in long island cemetery
This is the groovy hereafter
the protestant collection box
was talking so loud and proud about

Here lies Juan
Here lies Miguel
Here lies Milagros
Here lies Olga
Here lies Manuel
who died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
Always broke
Always owing
Never knowing
that they are beautiful people

Never knowing
the geography of their complexion

PUERTO RICO IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
PUERTORRIQUENOS ARE A BEAUTIFUL RACE

If only they
had turned off the television
and tune into their own imaginations
If only they
had used the white supremacy bibles
for toilet paper purpose
and make their latino souls
the only religion of their race
If only they
had return to the definition of the sun
after the first mental snowstorm
on the summer of their senses
If only they
had kept their eyes open
at the funeral of their fellow employees
who came to this country to make a fortune
and were buried without underwears

Juan
Miguel
Milagros
Olga
Manuel
will right now be doing their own thing
where beautiful people sing
and dance and work together
where the wind is a stranger
to miserable weather conditions
where you do not need a dictionary
to communicate with your people
Aqui Se Habla Espanol all the time
Aqui you salute your flag first
Aqui there are no dial soap commercials
Aqui everybody smells good
Aqui tv dinners do not have a future
Aqui the men and women admire desire
and never get tired of each other
Aqui Que Paso Power is what’s happening
Aqui to be called negrito
means to be called LOVE

Tagged , , , , ,

nurturing masculinity

“Behind the story I tell is the one I don’t. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear. Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.”
—Dorothy Allison

it’s not like i wanted to hate men. or even hate men now. or hate patriarchy. or hate sometimes the female body i am in. or hate women who serve men and patriarchy. or wish many times i was a boy. or wish many times i could just kick ass on the street. i don’t want these thoughts.
damn, i didn’t want to do all that. i don’t want to do all that now. i do, however, am aware of patriarchy and constantly and consistently stand up for myself in it’s midst. i do not want to be all that hate. be that hateful person. be that kind of hateful girl. that kind of hateful woman. be that kind of hateful human being.
No, i don’t want to be a boy or a man but damn, it takes so much unnecessary energy to be girl/woman many times on this planet. it takes so much energy, so many thoughts, anger, rage, healing, loving, processing, healing again, praying, meditating, affirmations to affirm myself as this woman human being.
i love being a girl in my world where it is safe to be one. i love being a woman in my world where it is safe to be one. and i want to be a woman who wants to be with a man in a world where it is safe to be with one. and be together. sometimes i don’t think that is possible. and this is coming from me, who always says, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g is possible.
i struggle being with a “man.” i struggle even being attracted to a “man.” i struggle being attracted to the masculine. many times i have wished i was a lesbian. or that i was a gay guy. sometimes, i think it would be so much easier to be with a woman. or just be a nun. or just be a man. is it? actually i think i should just get out of the conversation of easier vs. harder. i want to be alive.

yesterday, i was walking down the street in williamsburg, brooklyn and i see 2 young girls, looked like they were best friends, 14 or 15 years old, coming my way. they were happy. i smiled passing them. a few seconds later, i see the 2 older men walking in front of me, looked they were in their 40s, turn their heads and checked out the butts and backsides of theses young women’s  bodies. i was completely disgusted. this happens all the time and everywhere. i see this on the street all the time. i was and still am so disgusted.

i grew up with my father’s physical and emotional violence. first, i was afraid. then it would just continue and then continue. so then i got annoyed with him and his behavior and my mother’s behavior around it all of not speaking out against the violence.  i got annoyed with being afraid all the time. because i got annoyed, i then got fed up. then i wanted to get even. then i told myself i must exhibit “my power, my strength” just like my father and brother: be forceful, be loud, be right there, front and in center.
ahhhhh yawn.
i do not choose that. not now. not from me or anyone else. and not ever. not attractive and not attracting to me at all. …not ever. i know, i truly know, that violence just begets violence. hurt begets hurt. no more. it ends here. dayum, it must end here.

last week i was talking with my great friend/hermana, Margaret and she came up with these terms:
nurturing masculinity and empowering femininity.
once i heard them from her, i said, i’m sharing these terms with the world! please take them, world, take them and share them and make your own declarations.
i declared that night to the universe and with her, that i was attracting and bringing and being nurturing masculinity and empowering femininity into my space and my life. i want to create a safe space for men and women on this planet. i want to stop feeling unsafe on this planet.
i want to stop hearing “men will be men.” i hate that phrase and conversation.

I got to meet Tony Porter last year for a minute. I thank you Tony Porter for your life and your commitment. You create a safe space for all of us to live in. You create a safe space for me already. I feel much more alive on this planet. There is so much more work to do, so much more to write, so much more to say. Please hold me accountable to make this world a safe space for all of us too. We NEED and MUST do this together.
Please share this website and the video: A CALL TO MEN WEBSITE: http://www.acalltomen.org/

HERE WE GO, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, Moana. Never give up on that.

Thank you Marie Varghese for this video!!!

Tagged , , , , ,