Featured Palabracita: Gina Marselle

La Palabra is honored to present poet, photographer, and teacher Gina Marselle as our featured Palabracita. Gina has been a member of the collective since it’s origin in March 2012 and continues to remain involved with on-going events and workshops. Gina is sharing three original poems inspired by La Palabra workshops and small compilation of her photography.


Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed, is a New Mexico teacher, poet and photographer. She is also a single mom raising a beautiful and bright daughter who loves dancing, reading, and hopes to become a doctor. Gina is a high school English teacher who sponsors her school’s poetry club. She has been awarded two grants to work with local poets in her classroom.

In addition, she has published poetic work online with The Sunday Poem series, in theAlibi, the Rag, SIC3, Adobe Walls (an anthology of New Mexico poetry),and in the Fix and Free Poetry Anthology.  Gina reads her poetry at local coffee shops and art galleries, and has been a featured poet at the Church of Beethoven (now known as Sunday Chatter). She has one chapbook available, ‘Round Midnight. Furthermore, she has coordinated the yearly “Poetry in Place” event sponsored by The City of Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center. Currently, she is honored to be part of the collective La Palabra: The Word is a Woman.

As well, Gina is a 35 mm film photographer who has documented such events as The Slam Poet Laureate Program, the Prophetess benefit, Tourette’s Without Regrets ABQ, and the nationally ranked 2010 Albuquerque Poetry Slam team. Additionally, her photos of New Mexico poets were featured in the Santa Fe magazine Trend in March of 2011. She also photographed the cover of Jessica Helen Lopez’ poetry book, Always Messing With Then Boys (West End Press, 2011). Gina’s photography has been seen in a number of galleries locally, most recently at Chroma Studios (May 2012). To view more of her work, please visit her flickr accounthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ginamarselle/.

Internet radio show from 3/20/2011 about her poetry and work… hear some of her poems too:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/onword/2011/03/20/the-moe-green-discussion-guest-gina-marselle

To inquire more about Gina’s work please email her ginamarselle@gmail.com


“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” 

~Dorothea Lange (American documentary photographer)

Poetry by Gina Marselle


face : cara

“these fragments I have shored against my ruins.”
– t.s. eliot

in somberness the face unfolds
into fragments
shored against
the ruin
from abuses
because that is the way it is
head down in shame
in giving up
in this is enough
from watching mother suffer
from watching grandma suffer
from a cycle of fear
sear fate
with wisdom
cut a new path
from umbilical cord to umbilical cord
let cyclical wounds unfold
daughter doesn’t need abuse
doesn’t see abuse
doesn’t hear abuse
her face uplifted in youthful triumphant
four faces
four generations of women
merge inside
reflect stories back
one mirror
praise the beauty
of daughter’s face
forgiveness in grace
unfold abuse
as she folds
like silk and origami
dancing the ruin of ancestral faces


beauty mark : lunar

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
– Rajneesh

as rows of corn flitter in the coil
the hot rainwater of my shower
slips around my curves
as if covering the earth’s soil
like a film covering verve
keeping the top soil from layering off
into a zephyr

water consumes me
smoothes the rough c-section scar
marring my round belly
more beautiful than the birthing canal of earth
more beautiful than Athena
than the celestial stars, than Pegasus
more beautiful
more beautiful—

my c-section scar is my only beauty mark
to this day
I try to wash it off
this tale-tell sign
that I am mother
I cannot erase
this beauty
the rough edges
once opened
by a silver
cold scalpel
slicing through layers
of milk-skin, strong muscle, tiny nerves,
flaying open my soft uterus
like a rainbow trout
like the rip of the husk from the cob
blood spurting pools
upon a cold hospital floor
so my daughter could
give breath a try
give lungs a try
give life a try
(give love a try)
her birth
(her love)
my existence—

the hot rainwater of my shower
slips around my curves
inhale moisture
exhale existence
(the moment the child is born
the mother is also born) 


womb :  matriz

“A child in its mother’s womb
is the highest form of all the arts.”
-Bhuwan Thapaliya

my womb isn’t full
isn’t artful
it’s empty
12 years ago
my daughter
was born
now I’m
trying to remember
what it felt like
when life grew
belly full

my womb isn’t ugly
doesn’t define me
isn’t extraordinary
my womb soft
makes me woman
makes me strong

my womb isn’t my soul
still, it unfolds
in some ancient song
even mystery can’t solve

my womb isn’t full
it’s empty
trying to remember
what it felt like
when life grew

Author’s note: I wanted to include this poem that I wrote on 3.12.2012 because it is special to me. It is special because the very next day I found out I was about four weeks pregnant with my second child.

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