MamaBlogger365 – Stretch Marks by Angela Kariotis

I want to be an artist, not in spite of being a mother but because I am a mother. Especially operating in the hip-hop aesthetic, an art-culture that has been demonized and also has been suppressive to its women, I’ve been hard pressed to access successful models of mother-artists. So, in creating my third solo show, I created STRETCH MARKS. I am my daughter’s example that you must find ways to combine your worlds, you must continuously develop your skills, dreams do not have an expiration date, and if you want to do something you must find ways to bring the people you love with you. We work on this together. Stretch Marks is playing in New York City May to June, 2011. A MamaExpo event.

‘Stretch Marks’ is more far-reaching, tackling issues of birth, heredity, culture and identity. All of it punctuated with hip-hop’s trademarks of an eclectic soundtrack and non-stop athleticism. ‘Stretch Marks’ represents Kariotis’ resolution of the challenge of stretching her identity to accommodate her daughter.”
–Kathleen O’Brien, The Star-Ledger

An excerpt from Stretch Marks by Angela Kariotis

Plato is my mid-wife
I spit into his hand so he can conduct an amniocentesis
I’ve got the right idea
It’s just not coming out
I’ve got to think things through
The idea
is in breech presentation
everything is coming out back-ass-wards
An XX over my cartoon eyes
I won’t cry over spilled colostrum
It’s congenital
I’ve always been like this
Writer’s block is an abnormality
Alice Walker taught my birthing class, she said, “There is no such thing. The idea isn’t
ready yet. You don’t want it to be a premie.”
When the time comes, my water breaks,
there’s a stream of consciousness running down my leg
A train of thought-A train of thought-A train of thought-enters the tunnel of my throat
crowning at the tip of my tongue
My mouth is dilating
Plato uses a Doppler to check the logic of my argument
It is irregular There’s a murmur
He advises, “Don’t push. Let, let. When it hurts, you’ve got to moooove with it.”
My identity begins to hemorrhage
No matter how tight the incision, I’m coming apart at the seams
Lightening strikes my core
I miscarried before
I starved the placenta of my perspective and fed it the scraps of my ego
Nothing can survive under those conditions

I push-push to let-let
I will not bury this one with the others
I hold on tight and keep my feet planted on the pelvic floor
Oxytocin drip-drips into my eyes and I can see clearly with love in my heart
I push-push to let-let
My biggest idea yet flossing her teeth with the umbilical cord
The re-birth of cool
She/I looks just like her/my mother

+=!? remix a fetal heartbeat and bust an amniotic flow
written & performed by ANGELA KARIOTIS
Playing in New York City every Thursday May 12 to June 9, 2011
Visit for tickets and info
For artist info visit

Bio: Angela Kariotis’ first solo show, Reminiscence of the Ghetto & Other Things That Raized Me, was described as “Inspiring, enlightening, funny, heart-breaking and boundry-breaking” by Angela has taken her unique performance style across America, playing in venues such as The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA-Live), Contact Theater in Manchester, UK, Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center in Chicago, and New York City with the Hip Hop Theater Festival. She is winner of a Puffin Foundation grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, and Tennessee Williams Theatre Fellowship. Stretch Marks was is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project.

MamaBlogger365 needs you! Tell us how you’re re-framing motherhood and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

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