A decade after her death, this bawdy Latina lesbian rebel poet is overdue for recognition. A lesbian punk rock legend, she was the first American to use the term “lesbian punk rock”. She is also the subject of an upcoming documentary film starring her longtime friend and collaborator, actress-singing-songwriter and director Kelly Marcel. The film will be released in late August.
In a new interview, Marcel says that he met with poet Sandra Cisneros in the summer of 2000. They met at the annual Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation conference, where Marcel, who was working for the film project, was performing. The former punk rocker was known to be a fierce opponent of sexism in the media, and the two women became friends. Marcel was a huge fan of Cisneros’s work back in the late eighties in the underground gay poetry movement, and the two women bonded over music, politics and mutual friends.
Her poetry was filled with fierce opinions and a raw sensuality. She wrote about sex, romance, abortion, and her own sexuality with the same intensity that she wielded against sexist stereotypes in the literary world. She became famous in the lesbian and feminist community for her angry stances against what she deemed “the usual suspects” and for her refusal to conform to stereotypical feminine tropes. “I felt that I had been conditioned to accept sexism,” she said in an interview with Maria Eliana Carneiro, in 2009. “When somebody said, I don’t want a mother, I want a lesbian, I said, ‘What you mean by a mother?’ ‘The mother is the queen of your body.’ And I said, ‘What you mean by a queen?’ She said, ‘You look, you talk, you move, you fuck, you take orders.’ Her mother is the queen of queens.”
Cisneros herself referred to Cisneros as a “fierce force and ferocious spirit.” But the two women also understood each other at different levels. “Kelly understood, and I