martes, noviembre 13, 2012

Arroyo Pizarro's Poem included in 'Letters to my bully' Glover Lane Press Anthology




Raza
By Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro
Poem included in 'Letters to my bully' Glover Lane Press Anthology
 

When I was eight years old
I was already astute
a smart worm
a perceptive cactus
who knew at that point
that during school recess
in order to prevent
my classmates jokes about my hair
my skin color
mis bembas grandes
big lips
big hips
I must get into the bathroom
to hide
or to picnic there
to write novels
to talk to my imaginary friends
there were many
legion
to laugh
to recite poems
to practice what I was taught in class
to review the math test
to fancy the teacher
and imagined she was my girlfriend
to conclude my science project
to inhale the albuterol medicine
for my asthma attacks
to cough
to perform an invisible kiss
waiting for it to happen
I learned to see my world
stuck in that bathroom
of Colegio San Vicente Ferrer
spent many years making this place my den
my cave
my hideaway
 
I also knew
that once I sat in class
if Mrs. Guzmán mentioned the word "Africa"
while teaching Social Studies
I was supposed to wear a stoic mask
pretend it did not happen
assume an I do not care attitude
thereby obviate the long awaited reaction
of José Manuel or Eliseo
or anyone else who joined in the harassment
there was always the cry proclaiming funny
Yolanda, you are African!
you are so black
so ugly black
so bembetrueno
big lips thunder
big hip hurricane
while the teacher tried to scold the commotion
dios castiga sin vara y sin fuete
(silent children
show respect for others
remember that God punishes without rod and no whip)
while she tried to implement bullying policies
that have not yet been invented
by 1978
I learned during those hard years
to stand up for my roots
 
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (1970, Puerto Rico). She is the author of Caparazones (2010), the first lesbian fiction novel written in Puerto Rico, published by Editorial Egales in Spain.  She won the National Institute of Puerto Rican Literature Prize in 2008, the Woman Latino Writer Award Residency from National Hispanic Culture Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2011 and the PEN Club Prize on 2010 and 2006. Arroyo Pizarro is the Director of Puerto Rican writers participating in the Second Puerto Rican Word Festival attended in Old San Juan and New York on 2011.

 

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"Odio los fluidos que se me salen del cuerpo cada veintiséis días." Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (Guaynabo, 1970). Es novelista, cuentista y ensayista puertorriqueña. Fue elegida una de las escritoras latinoamericanas más importantes menores de 39 años del Bogotá39 convocado por la UNESCO, el Hay Festival y la Secretaría de Cultura de Bogotá por motivo de celebrar a Bogotá como Capital Mundial del libro 2007. Acaba de recibir Residency Grant Award 2011 del National Hispanic Cultural Center en Nuevo México. Es autora de los libros de cuentos, ‘Avalancha’ (2011), ‘Historias para morderte los labios’ (Finalista PEN Club 2010), y ‘Ojos de Luna’ (Segundo Premio Nacional 2008, Instituto de Literatura Puertorriqueña; Libro del Año 2007 Periódico El Nuevo Día), además de los libros de poesía ‘Medialengua’ (2010) y Perseidas (2011). Ha publicado las novelas ‘Los documentados’ (Finalista Premio PEN Club 2006) y Caparazones (2010, publicada en Puerto Rico y España).

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