Nina Marin

Sipping Tea

and smokin weed


watering tomatoes


we gon be broke forever

we want that

it scares them


who will buy

their garbage

when no one



when we’re out

like that


one day

bag and hat


all the skills in our heads

all the tools

in our packs


we’ll be there then

never scared then

we’ll be back


I am a Ghost

if you can see me


I mean really see




you are either also a ghost

or you deserve to be haunted


(boo, when read out loud)


why do we always cry alone?


when we cry alone

we could cry forever


we get trapped

in the moment that feeling


overwhelmed us


forced us to feel the

not deserving-ness of the universe


forced us to forget




forced us to forget that


We can’t cry forever

but we can cry



For me, mental health has always been innately connected to the community around me, the people I choose to share life/time with (joyfully or begrudgingly, willingly or forced). As a child I was not used to having a choice about the matter and indeed a large part of my trauma stems from both being unable to escape and finally escaping to a world that doesn’t fully accept/understand me. As a survivor of nearly 18 continual years of childhood sexual and emotional abuse, when I finally managed to free myself I felt like scraps of meat being thrown to the wolves. I had been groomed to think of other people as potentially dangerous and as always having ulterior motive. Healing that fear became imperative to my ability to function in society.

As a result, a huge part of my personal healing and in turn my poetry, comes from the intentional creation of safe, supportive community in which I could heal my fear. I started writing poetry because of my boyfriend, Luca Rain another homeless queer POC adult runaway who used to sleep next to me in parks and under bushes and on friend’s floors and couches. I kept writing poetry because of Hook Qabin, a queer anarchist collective founded by myself and my lovers and friends for the sharing of tasty food, compassionate listening, and exquisite love and writing.

My hope in sharing these poems with a larger audience is to share the importance and worthwhile-ness of  abandoning convention around community creation and forefronting the needs of you and your people. I hope to demonstrate that the means of production with regards to mental healing need not begin or end with the doctors and hospitals, but with the lovers and friends and bread and poems you hold dear and share with the world.

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Nina Cassadaga Cat is a US Pacific Northwest based queer latinx writer of fiction, poetry and Anarchist philosophy connecting spirituality, personal and community mental health, and social change. An adult runaway and daughter of the Dirty River, Nina Cassadaga Cat hopes to make lasting change in the understanding of what it means to be an American pariah by leaving a legacy of hope for survivors. She holds a degree in Chinese Literature from Reed College in Portland OR. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her cats, her lovers and her own imagination. You can find Nina on the streets of Portland and on Twitter @WoodenMantle.


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