Maria Maria

Hey, everyone! Long time no post.

Quick update on how my semester is going: Sophmore year is going pretty good so far. Taking some really cool classes like one on race relations in America centered around the US/Mexican border. I’ve also assumed a lot of responsibility as President of my university’s Latinx club, La Sociedad Latinx. We’re actually bringing Denice Frohman and Elizabeth Acevedo to perform four our first ever art show that I’ve been working on all summer long.

As many of you know Hurrican Maria recently hit Puerto Rico devastatingly hard. A lot of my family still live in Puerto Rico and I’m still waiting on responses of safety from a couple of members. As usual, 45 “response” is unprofessional, inhumane, and ignorant….. the only way I can make sense of the world is through poetry. This is a poem I’ve been working on since the day the hurricane hit. I’m still as angry, hurt, and lonely as that day. Poetry is the only medium I know that can effectively educate and on hard topics and conversations in an inclusive way. With poetry, everyone is involved whether you are listening or performing everyone in the room brings the poem to life and there for the words cannot be ignored and you can never say you weren’t aware. It’s in its infancy but this is the latest version I finished it today.

♪ Se mira Maria on the corner
thinking of ways to make it better ♪
but the US aint never helped us get any better
only took our ports to make them richer
la isla will be headlining news for a couple days then your president will drown it out
the Red Cross with proclaim themselves saviors and wipe away our blood with Benjamins
turn our pain into currency
make a meal for themselves out of our hunger

♪ Maria Maria ♪
she cries for help
♪ stop the looting, stop the shooting
Uncle Sam pick pocking on the corner ♪
ahora vengo mama cause
her daughters have been uprooted and planted in a different son every year
every year the sun gets a little hotter
and now there’s plenty of water to put out the fire

it’s been a week since I’ve written this poem and nothing has been done
♪ Ni gota de esperanza ♪
F*** Elaine, this shit ain’t a good news story
your satisfaction ain’t shit when my people are dying
when laws are in place to benefit you first before us
this shit is a genocide
people are dying, I don’t know how to say that poetically

like y’all just gonna claim a whole territory and then forget it’s yours
debt be our housewarming present and
the only time we be American is when we’re on the front line
you’re not on our front lines
it’s clear that we are not on your minds cause getting angry about people taking knees for police brutality is more offense than ignoring millions of Americans in need

♪ Maria Maria
she reminds me of a west side story ♪
Of a modern day colonizer
Something like a punishment
A slow pulse
A muted drum line
like the heart of the Caribbean ain’t screaming in an empty all-inclusive resort storage room,
smiling for tips 24/7
while you sip on your drinks 24/7
for the next 6 months there will be no power 24/7
is there any light left in your hearts?

♪ Borikén, you know you’re my lover
When the wind blows I can feel you through the weather
And even when we’re apart
It feels like we’re together ♪

– Amaryllis Lopez

For anyone who wants to help with the relief efforts, I’ve provided a list of articles that will help guide you to the best places to donate. I personally advise against donating to the Red Cross as they have a long history of not providing adequate, consistent, or necessary resources to those in need as well as failing to provide clear explanations as to how their funds will be allocated.

Amaryllis Lopez

7 Responses to “Maria Maria

  • Ceci Lewis
    2 months ago

    Amaryllis,
    Bam! Your poetry, filled with heart and logic, hit harder than any hurricane. If there is one thing we can be grateful for, Maria blew away any pretense that 45 had of being a caring, empathetic individual. The world knows the truth. Thank you for keeping the fire lit.
    As for US/Mexico race relations. Come visit me. I will give you an up front and personal tour. You can stay at my house. I will feed you. 🙂 My house is just about 10 miles away from the international boundary, and I grew up even closer to line than that. As you will learn from Anzaldua, everyone’s border is a bit different. Te espero.

    • Wow… thank you, Ceci <3

      I just might take you up on that offer this winter or spring break. I miss you so much and any opportunity to learn from you is an opportunity that shouldn't go to waste!

  • Ceci Lewis
    1 month ago

    We will look forward to seeing you this year, right here. 🙂
    Ceci

  • AMaryllis,
    Have you hear from Andea Lunsford? Let me know – she’s trying to reach you.
    Dixie

  • Dear Amaryllis,

    I’m going to Allendale this afternoon (10/11) at about 2 – for the first time since Vermont – we’ll spend a few hours together at the Community Center, hear what’s planned for the Southern Education Foundation conference in November (SC rural and Louisville, with Jackie Royster will be panelists in Atlanta in November), meet new BLTN NGLNs! and read “Maria Maria” together. You’ll be there. We’ll also read James’s “Street Spanish,”

    We’ll think about your words and what poetry means to us.

    xxxdixie

    Poetry is the only medium I know that can effectively educate and on hard topics and conversations in an inclusive way. With poetry, everyone is involved whether you are listening or performing everyone in the room brings the poem to life and there for the words cannot be ignored and you can never say you weren’t aware.

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