Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"La Oveja Negra"
48"x60"
Mixed Media Collograph print on arches paper
by Julia Lopez
Photo by Tony Rocco


"Graciela"
Excerpt
written by Julia Lopez

Scene 4
Martina

(After Singing Crisitina Aguilera’s“Beautiful”)

Stupid. (Confronting the audience)
Do you know who I am? I am la oveja negra, the black sheep of the family. Ah ha! I know some Spanish. O v e j a negra. Your misguided, misunderstood, sometimes clandestine, pitiful negrita. Not your little black lovely lovely one. No, the negra nobody wants because she’s bad and she’s too black. Wears black clothes, has black shiny finger nails, listens to black music, talks black talk, curses in black, she says fuck you, fuck this, I don’t give a fuck, and she won’t tell what she really means.

(She pauses and finds the scar on the back side of her right arm.)


See this scar…11 black stitches…it took 11. trying to shock I threw myself out of a window…after he… punched me in the head. No. He chased me down the hallway into Nina’s room. She and mom were on the bed, huddled together, holding each other and the wall, for dear life. I couldn’t get the window open. I swear he was in the kitchen looking for a knife. Seriously I thought he was going to…the window was jammed, it seemed like it. Manny looked like one of those evil looking medieval gargoyle beasts perched at the tops of the castle entryways. They were supposed to scare off the evil spirits. I was the evil one? I slammed my wrist through the window pain then thoughtlessly pulled it back into my body. That was a mistake. (Looking at arm)

Everything turned black that day…She walks with a black cloud around her head. Covers all her flesh in black. She has black scars, black scratches on her neck, black bruises on her belly, and has a black crooked walk.
(Martina finds a miniature black box in her pocket. She examines it and smiles with irony. She then recites from Emily Dickinson Collected Poems number XI (Barnes and Noble Books)

“Much madness is divinist sense

to a discerning eye;

Much sense the starkest madness.

‘T is the majority

in this as all prevails.

Assent, and you are sane;

Demur,-you’re straightway dangerous,

And handled with a chain.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

love poem

                                                                                 LA, 2010
I can see    
the stars
the sky is dark
and if I just
face forward
it would be
just you and me


sound of your water
pushing up against me
pushing up
against the
sand and earth


It rained
while we were
eating
the sand is wet
I can
see you
moving swaying
hitting up
against me
my ears are happy
to see you
hear you again


at nite
you are more
alive
more you


not may witnesses
onlookers
pushing you
making noise
too new
too unnatural
modern sounds
your sound
is a million years
old


the darkeness

helps me
remember
you are rough
sometimes
unpredictable
all times
I think I know you
then you change
why do I bother
to leave you
to say goodbye...
just keep
coming back
same circle
and
always sad
when it ends


I keep trying
to run away
from you from me
I love you


every one of us
our own path...
yours is everlasting
you are always in
front of the
moon
in front of me

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Smart Head


Smart head
beat down
starts young






you can't understand
the pain inside
all alone in a crowd
the brain moves
to different places
a zillion thoughts
competing for
one-spaces, the
hands get lost
don't know where
to stand
the eyes close
light too strong
too brite too dark
cant compete
smart head
it used to be
smart head
smart head
used to be
you loved me
loved me
smart head
beat down
starts young
you can't understand
the wire crossed
left right
never to meet
meet too much
in between me
and you
a zillion tears
don't know why
com.
   .
   .
not working
not working
trying too hard
to explain what
goes on in my brain
a zillion...
electric
competing
freezing
seizing
all reasons
to help
me move forward
you gotta focus
they say
focusfocusfocus
its easy, here
are a zillion
ways to organize
your self
more electric
shock thought
running bouncing
running through
my twisted fingers
pain shoots
up down
arms and legs
tense
with the trying
smart head
hurts
beat down
starts young
you cant understand
the pain inside
all alone
in the crowd
smart head
sometimes
i wish
for stupid
slow
oblivious
not caring
empty
no conscious
ness
unknowing
where
easy hard \
doesn't exist\
it is
thats all
all
straight forward
                  smart head
                  beat down
                  starts young
                  the pain inside
                  can't hide
                  from myself
                  smart head
                  head
                  wins

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ReVisit


Carlos And What Happens When Flying JL
10/12/09

Draft 2-today

what can be given
that would be enough
you showed your self
released your you
for one moment
un momento
pueda que sea suficiente
para tener esperanza
tener fe en el amor
que tienes adentro
en el amor
sin condiciones
eres tu
un momento

14 dias de ser
No el que
That blurs reality
With the drugs of the colonizers;
Alcohol relentless
Relentless doubt
The trick that lands
Us in a cage
A delirious fist
That lands in the gut of
A police…man
The cop el policia
Que representa
Todo que no funciona
En tu vida
En su familia
Te conozco
Sin saber
Tu historia
un pedacito de tu cuento

Con tus ojos
Plucked cejas
Un abrazo
Eres mi hermano
Mi hijo
Conozco tu dolor
Tu deseo
De conectarse
Con otro, otra
Sin prejuicio
De ser aceptado
Reconciendo las ternura
De tu viaje
Tu sonrisa
Brazos abiertos
No queria dejarte
solo
you and Juarez
on my skin
still

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



La Oveja Negra
mixed media on paper by JL

Graciela excerpt from the play by JL
Scene 4

Martina
After Singing to Crisitina Aguilera’s“Beautiful”

Stupid. Confronting the audience
Do you know who I am? I am la oveja negra, the black sheep of the family. Ah ha! I know some Spanish. O v e j a negra. Your misguided, misunderstood, sometimes clandestine, pitiful negrita. Not your little black lovely lovely one. No, the negra nobody wants because she’s bad and she’s too black. Wears black clothes, has black shiny finger nails, listens to black music, talks black talk, curses in black, she says fuck you, fuck this, I don’t give a fuck, and she won’t tell what she really means.
She pauses and finds the scar on the back side of her right arm.

See this scar…11 black stitches…it took 11. trying to shock I threw myself out of a window…after he… punched me in the head. No. He chased me down the hallway into Nina’s room. She and mom were on the bed, huddled together, holding each other and the wall, for dear life. I couldn’t get the window open. I swear he was in the kitchen looking for a knife. Seriously I thought he was going to…the window was jammed, it seemed like it. Manny looked like one of those evil looking medieval gargoyle beasts perched at the tops of the castle entryways. They were supposed to scare off the evil spirits. I was the evil one? I slammed my wrist through the window pain then thoughtlessly pulled it back into my body. That was a mistake. Looking at arm
Everything turned black that day…She walks with a black cloud around her head. Covers all her flesh in black. She has black scars, black scratches on her neck, black bruises on her belly, and has a black crooked walk.
Martina finds a miniature black box in her pocket. She examines it, open the box, pulls out a folded faded piece of paper, unfolds and reads then smiles with irony. She then recites what she has read, a poem by Emily Dickinson 

“Much madness is divinist sense
to a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
‘T is the majority
in this as all prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,-you’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.













Saturday, November 26, 2011

750 WORDS

 moon rising-jlopez

i start with the white owl 
in the plaza, oaxaca, mexico.
sitting close, next to jorge, another dream. his mouth tasted like puerto rico, tasted like wood, like burning embers in the road, tasted like the south bronx. he said that it was not a usual site. the white owl, never in the trees, in the plaza. the white owl looked me dead in the eyes, for a long time, for what seemed like forever, then i watched him swoop down and pounce, grabbing the scurrying mouse, the owl was hungry and when you are hungry you do un usual things. you do unusual things, when you are happy, when you are sad, when you are desperate, when you believe the moment you are in.
i move on...to the boy who said he was the prodigy of God. he had a crooked penis, that all of the girls at school talked about. so i immediately walked toward him and stayed. he stayed left returned stayed left and returned and i was at his beck and call. another dream. i don't remember him tasting like anything but he was the first boy to bring me a tree for Christmas. a natural born tree not plastic like the trees we always had as kids. we...my brother and sisters. never green, sometimes white or blue, always plastic. during m time with the prodigal son of God, I had a moment. the last defining moment. it was a moment of eternal bleeding. i bled i bled and it wouldn't stop. the emergency room doctors came round, when it was my turn, rushed me into surgery, i didn't understand why...and that is a lie. i thought the ball of blood that dropped into the toilet bowl was a child never to be born. the stitches would disappear on their own. dissolve. it would be as if they were never there. They would live inside of me forever and i will have never seen them. an awful sentence, awful words to put together.
i end today as i started, distracted, distracted reliving remembering the two moments. two boys and things i remember today, to start. i don't feel like counting the words.
This is where i end. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Now and Always

                       'sun behind the clouds' by JLopez

Now and Always
the wire has been tight
high or low
low or high
it is always
stable and sturdy
now and always


Until the landing
forced or willing
it engages
challenges
leading us
forward backward
it comforts and terrifies


This is the way it is
if its not me this year

then its you
if its not you next year
then its me
is there an
end note?

Now and always

Climb the wire
for me

I climbed
the wire for you
all these years
with a smile on my face
my naked bleeding toes
holding on
for dear life
I stood

I stood...
a Neighborhood
a colleague
a leader
...difficult days
a relevant individual

a fellow a gal
a honey a pimp
a him a her a she a he
I stood

I practiced
backward forward
jumping
up down
trying to find
balance
difficult and
exciting days


I practiced
in the air
on the ground
sustaining pain and fear
does it register


Practice
I will
will you...
practice
on the wire

with me
jumping
back and forth
toes bleeding
to be
be a collective force...
or not


I extend my arms
offer respect
positive change
what does that
look like
to you
to me
this is a people’s emergency
it is a non profit
adventure
not just yours
not just mine


Forced or willing
there is no dead line
ourselves...
coping difficult days
high wire days

now and always.

Monday, August 29, 2011



No Te Conozco

Julia Lopez 8-22-11 








Te he escrito
I have written to you
mil veces
ninguna carta
ha tenido el placer
de llegar al correo
a tus manos

No te he mandado
las mil cartas
I didn’t send
thousand letters
que definen
emociones de
mil momentos

No te conozco
I don’t know you
y siento que nos
hemos conocido
en un pasado en otro tiempo
vivimos en el pasado
en el presente
en un futuro inseguro
a la misma vez

No te conozco
eres como agua
you are like water
en mis manos
corriendo entre
los dedos

No te conzco
te encuentro
I find you
en una llamada exitosa
despues de mil intentos
Y entonces and then
desapareces con
un llamame despues
una te voy a contar todo
desapareces con
el hablamos manana
la llamame a las 1:30
el despues del trabajo
el despues del trabajoNo te conozco

la en 15 minutos

desapareces
you disappear


el sonido de ocupado
el mensaje de el buzon esta lleno
el clic clic clic
el telefono sonando
the phone is ringing
sin contestar
lo unico que es fijo

No te conozco
mil cartes no enviadas
a thousand letters, unmailed
mil cartas llenas
de suenos y miedos
dreams and fears
de deseos y dejadas
desires and leavings
de amor y passion
love and passion
desilusion

no te conozco
me pregunto
porque estas sentado
encima de mi pecho
tu mano preciosa y pesada
your presious and heavy hand
aprieta mi corazon


Mil cartas en un libro de
cuentos, direcciones
diarios, fotos
y un video
de tu cara
your face
mirandome
palabras saliendo
de tu voca
grabado en la camera
penetrando mis ojos

No te conozco
y tu energia
me ahoga
drowns me
y no te puedo dejar

I have written to you
I didn’t send the thousand letters
I don’t know you
You are like water
I find you
You disappear
The phone is ringing
A thousand letters unmailed
Dreams and fears
Desires and leaving
Love and passion
Your precious and heavy hand
Your face
Drowns me
And I cannot leave you




Daouda and Me

July 17, 2011







End of the nightmares
Termina las pesadillas
la noche
when I saw you
la primera vez

Immediacy pressing
tÚ abrazo es fuerte
Ahoga mi celebro
Y no quiero dejar
La sensación de asfixia

Los besos del
inevitable adios
ahora y en el futuro
to re-unite despues
despues, despues
es mucho tiempo


I am always here
Y tÚ
Siempre over there
Estamos interminablemente
Aqui y Alla
Never ending

Las pesadillas termina
when you arrive…




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Las Gallas 7-2011

Vitoria-Barcelona

Monday, January 17, 2011


Empty Journal
and Procrastination
1/17/2011
11:30:19AM

Monday, January 10, 2011

The New Bar



June 1, 1992


40 ounces 
of colt 45
and hoagie 
to go
but wait 
lets drink in
have some 
ice cream
8 chicken barbecue wings
1.99
another 40 ounces
until my eyes get 
red
and the
world becomes
a blur
at least
I wont get 
sick
my stomach is full
don't drink
on an empty stomach


Tenia 4. 5 meses emabarazada. Sentada en Hoagie City en la esquina de la 5 y Lehigh.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Good Darkness



April 1996

They are alive
they look dead
fare branches
living through
cold wind rain
snow bare 
farely moving
with the breeze
inside alive
roots holding firm
into the ground
earth weavings
itself inside and 
out 
around swirling around
thick threads
planted deep in
the ground
deep alive deep
old fervent
consistent
will live through
many storms
broken branches
may even tilt
a little from
tornadoes hurricanes thunder 
maybe may even be scorched by lightning
but will live 
through / bud 
will bloom
will flourish
please passersby
with fresh
green colors
white pink
flowers
hundreds of
petals
beautiful thoughts
 she is nourished 
by random waterfalls
never complains
about the 
uncertainty of their comings
she craves them
and welcomes them
its surprise arrival
quenches her thirst
and stores extra
for the dry days
Bare Branches
stretched out 
always reaching 
for a blue 
sky to help 
them notice 
her 
alive
help them
remember the 
flowery days
the days of 
sweet smells
+ light wet 
mists
droplets hanging 
on shy anxious 
buds
Those days 
that help you
breathe easier 
let out sighs
take away
the bad darkness
divert any attention
to the desperate 
rendevous in her 
shadows


Huracanes secos
letras tras letras
el olor de la lluvia
olor dulce
te ayuda
se queda viva
respira mas facil
con cientos de 
petalos







Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Portate Bien-Be A Good Girl


8/9 or 8/10 2003
Now the mouth 
was transformed 
it grew + grew
twisted with jagged edges
it could no l onger 
hold the gums
+ the teeth that 
had turned into fangs
words spit out 
some caught on the 
side of his mouth
I saw the letters gather 
The g the o, o, the 
d
getting ready for the 
next word drive by
I tryed to duck
but got hit in the face 
Portate bien be a good girl
got hit again and again
with scraps of letters 
embedded in my skin

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Moon In Oaxaca


Brilliant stars
touch the midnight blue
Indigo sky
White wash
Yellow walls 
flowers in pots
large terracotta clay
Rain clouds 
in the distance 
hang over the tips 
of the monte alban
Mountain top                                       9/6/98
minutes away 
clouds puff
sun shines in and out 
over and under 
playing games with me 
hide and go seek
I remember all this 
colors
solid clear feeling
Walking bouncing
through the same
500 year ago streets
walkways
solid firm in place 
the mind once lost
firm in place   during
all  those Oaxaca days
remembering 
lost me found me 
in the 5 peso gardenia bouquet
fragrance of the white petals 
surrounds me 
pushed by the sunset's breeze
through the zocalo spaces
Gardenia breeze
moves me to dance 
once hesitant 
now jiggles
across new floors
time to free the heart
to go to its place 
without guilt
legs hips shoulders
breasts free
filled with the music
vibrations of my islands
(finding) my Puerto Rico 
in Oaxaca ---- nights
memories, circles around
my intimate spaces 
remember the bright 
penetrating star 
thinking about the return of 
a thousand miles away nights + days 
last stars
and fingers 
dreaming in a bed of
Jorge's hair
soft as feathers
as the clouds
goodbye touches
and no goodbye moon in Oaxaca
I don't can't remember the moon
I said I can't remember


Oaxaca en el verano del 98 fue un escape de mi vida en fildelfia de mi vida como madre de mi vida en otra relacion destructiva y demasiado larga. 
Recuerdo que mi hermana y yo no estabamos bien. Ella estaba cuidando a Damani que tenia 6 anyos. Cuando la llamo collect ella estaba furiosa. Yo no podia llamar directo porque no habia un telefono en el cuarto. Algo no estaba bien y me dio con miedo.  Me hizo sentir tan mal que no confiaba en ella para cuidar al nene. Pase el dia con tristeza y miedo de que Damani no iba estar bien. Al fin Evelyn y Paul fue a buscarlo. 



Sunday, January 2, 2011

















May, 1996

I am alone in a house full of people. 
I live as I did when I was a child.
Always guessing, is today going to be
a good day or a bad day? What does 
all the stamping on the floor mean. Is
she trying to get rid of a mouse or 
something else or someone else. who
is she talking to when she talks out
loud? When she curses out loud?
When she screams? Is she capable of 
hurting real bad? Or Damani? Would 
she do anything to him? I can't answer
any of this. I feel like any minute
every minute I'm going to blow up
because I have no peace. No stillness
inside of me. No security I am alone
and lost in the middle of that Blvd. Forging
through across it alone no mother no father
to help me through. No one to hold my hand
while I cross the street. The Blvd that
swallows me up. I don't ask for any 
help + theres no one around to offer
me any.Its too early in the morning.
A little girl-looking at all sides of 
the street make sure there arent any
cars no danger. but she really 
wants someone to hold her hand
Help her across the Blvd. Easy
no rush...no shakes, no stress.

Va ser nueve anyos que murio Mami. Trienta anyos que murio Papi. 
Pase toda mi vida esperando para alguien que me cuidara, que me dara la mano, 
que me ayudara cruzar la calle con seguridad.          
Esa nina de 6 anos cruzo la calle de seis lanes
Es tiempo de reconocer la fuerza de esa nina, el coraje de esa nina, 
el valor y resistencia de esa nina de seis anos navegando ese mundo grande y confuso. 
No puedo descuidar a ella, no mas. Es por ella que estoy aqui, viva.
Es por ella que puedo ver el mundo con ojos de esperanza.
Es por ella que pude criar un hijo sensitivo y creativo.
Es por ella que puedo ver un futuro positivo que veo lo positivo en la humanidad.
Es por ella que decidi no brincar,  
de no realizar la fantasia, 
de liberarme del profundo dolor y ansiedad,
volar de esa ventana, 
en mi cuarto, 
del apartamento en el quinto piso de nuestra vivienda en la 138 y Cypress Avenue en el sur del Bronx.
Es por ella que estoy aqui.