Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Puerto Rican Citizen of the United States 

Illuminate Me 
by Las Gallas and Alex Shaw

First Friday Closing Reception 
December 7, 2012
5:30-7:30 PM
at the Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine St.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Most Himself In the Waters 
by Julia Lopez, 
produced by Apiary Magazine
Filmed by NickForrest

Sunday, August 12, 2012

On My Way Home

1 Step
It took a while for the families to remember me. Their great, great, great, great, great grand daughter. 500 years is a long time to wait.
The loose dirt and dust between my toes has settled into my heels. I like to drag my feet, feel the earth. I stop by every door to say hello or to accept an offering of a cool drink. The families have been waiting so long and become impatient with me. "The girl doesn't know how to walk a straight line!"  I look up at the sleeping stars hiding behind the sun, write it down, fingers all twisted, and I lose my way. They try to help me. Throw flowers at my feet to open the path but I can only follow the crumbs. I can be such a pest.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Will Look Up To You
by Damani Gabriel Lopez 7/21/2012
For his mother Julia Lopez on her 50th Birthday

Before it all, there is a feeling
Something that the beating in your chest
Synchronizes to
Something that makes your eyes glisten
Your pupils eager to learn
When the world offers you its body
Can’t you hear the angels celebrating?
Sounds like kisses from your mother
Your father’s vibrato resonating
In the pockets of your existence
Each as warm as a hug from the womb
But what is life without that
What is life, without my mom

I wish to look up to you,
Coming from the mouth of
A four year old boy
Fresh as soap
Standing in the shower
Tears falling with water
Dripping from the tangle of
His curly hair
 He learned that day,
As each second splashed on the floor,
That you can do things in ways
You’d never expect
 She came into the room
“Mommy, why won’t u dry me?”
“Monkey! You stood here so long,
you dried yourself!”

I wish to look up to you,
Even now as I’ve grown taller
And my assumption that you were a loving giant
Has settled into my imagination,
I know that you will always tower over me
 You teach me that I will always be growing
That when I feel I don’t fit in with the world
You show it to me at a different angle
Showing me that there is always a place to be yourself

I wish to look up to,
Coming from the tongue of an elderly man
His granddaughter on his lap
Telling her stories of her great-grandmother
How she accomplished the impossible
All while keeping a smile on her face
And her heart on her sleeve
That when someone mentioned Julia,
Their day didn’t seem so dark anymore
That when Julia walked in the room,
They remembered what love was
And he’ll smile at how much his granddaughter
Reminds him of her

Sweet dreams sunshine,
You’ve outshined the stars today
And you will everyday
Thanks for brightening up my life,
And guiding the way
I will always look up to you

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Later-24 Days

6:59 AM I wake up to start the routine, getting ready to wake up, getting ready to get ready to go to work. 7:55 AM I have a few minutes before I absolutely must slide out of bed, push myself to move in order to be on time. 30 minutes is the absolute least amount of time to be able to make believe like I am making the bed, the least amount of effort, a shake of the comforter, up in the air, floats cumbersome, landing on the bed, covering the majority with few adjustments. Smoothe it out to cover the pillows, the corners and my old plush stuffed monkey. This constitutes the one act of leaving things cleaned up when I leave the house. I grab my towel and head down the hallway to the bathroom, to take a shower. I am painfully aware that I now have 27 minutes to pee and shit, I look forward to sitting on my new toilet seat, good quality. It took me two years to realize the landlord was not going to replace it and that I had to buy a new one, spend 21 dollars and 52 cents, because I deserved to pee on a seat without a crack that pinches my ass if I sit with my weight slightly to the left! 27 minutes to clean my body, arms first, neck, shoulders, breasts, belly, belly button. Gotta get in the creases as I have gained a considerable, perverse unhealthy upsetting amount of weight. Legs, feet, coochie and booty last, brush my teeth-yes, in the shower- pat dry as my 7th grade gym teacher, Mr. Piccinini always said is the best way to dry up. Hang up the towel. Stand in from of the sink, look in the mirror at my tired eyes, ask myself every morning, who am I? Looking like Mami, more and more, as the days go by. Apply deodor-ant, left armpit, right armpit, moisturize with another new lotion that I hope will keep my skin soft and hydrated, apply to face in an upward motion, make believe it will make a difference as the creases get deeper and the wrinkles get wrinkle-lier. Elbows, upper arm flabs, shoulders, stomach, backside-afraid those hair bumps will never smooth out-legs and heals only if I haven't stepped on the floor, which leaves residue and feels nasty on my hands. If I am in the mood, apply eye liner or tweeze out chin hairs or pluck an unruly hair embedded in the corners of my upper and lower lips! I try not to skip any of these steps in caring for my body, what may appear pedestrian, took me 3 years of therapy to create a routine of caring for myself, starting with making sure I bathe and groom on a daily basis, as to not fall into a slump and a slippery slide back down into the black hole that once provided comport and protection from the evils of my past lives. 8:21AM I have to put some pep in my step. I can't miss my Dunkin Donuts run; medium iced coffee, extra extra whole milk, 4 splendas and a bacon egg and cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel or breakfast wrap or old fashioned donut. What to wear? Decide grey or black work slacks, print or black top to camouflage my chichos, lumps, and bumps, or a skirt with a loose fitting top. Shoes for comfort if I have meetings and need to move back and forth from the Kimmel or our admin offices two blocks down the street or heels if I will be at my desk all day. 8:29 AM gotta get outta here! Purse, car/house keys, open the door, cell phone...where is it? Not in my purse! Run to my bedroom at the end of the hallway, unplug, back down the hallway, open Damani's bedroom door, he's had it closed for the past few years now, wake him up to say goodbye, see if he needs anything or remind him of a task he's been forgetting to do for the past month, then luv you have a good day call me with anything or i'll call you later. Down the rest of the hallway, hand on doorknob, open the door, bells ring as they hit up against the door. 

6:59 AM I wake up to start the routine, getting ready to wake up, getting ready to get ready to go to work. Work? It has a different look these days.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Game of Light in Shadows

                                                                                       image by Juan Sanchez

what is this blood, colonialist 
trying to bring me down
it is a part of me yet
it resists me
as part of 

my mother is waiting
for me to discover...
her, myself
for me to close down
the house of slaves
I built on every port
ancient and new
past and present
all the same

my children toiling
forbidden to read
forbidden to know
the glory of the word
the word from all around
360 degrees
forbidden to breathe

a day
a day 
to bring
unfamiliar sounds
bring them down
their feet
no where to grow

they dream
of being
being who they are

sitiing in a room
with no paper
to write on
no pencils
to create

to create
beauty words
words to document
beauty lives
beauty sounds
goosebumps of joy

feet full of sweet meat
brown caramel toes
to feel to walk to dance
with story, with purpose
with history with pain

My mother is waiting
for me

in a house
of slaves
a house
modern and pristine
lux with distraction
things things
none of which
belong to me
all past my arms reach

a game of light in shadows
an unforgiving illusion