POESIA DE PROTESTA is an exhibition featuring 10 Spanish poems written by Hispanic women. The texts all express a form of protest – political, economic, sexual, or social. Each poem has been interpreted by a visual artist, with curation by Cuban historian and art professor Gladys Garrote.
POESÍA DE PROTESTA es una exposición que presenta 10 poemas en español escritos por mujeres hispanas. Todos los textos expresan una forma de protesta, ya sea política, económica, sexual o social. Cada poema ha sido interpretado por un artista visual, con la curaduría de la historiadora del arte cubana Gladys Garrote.
Written by Silvina López Medin
Visually interpreted by NurArt
Poem That Never Ends
Mama is in bed,
eyes wide open, she doesn’t turn on the light.
Mama at midnight,
cleans the floor with a cloth over and over.
Mama paints a picture that looks like another one, she breaks three brushes, not scared of splinters.
Mama is a daughter
a diminutive one, in the backseat of a car her mother’s taking her away
away from her.
Mama at the door
staring at the red scarf on her mother’s neck.
Mama writes an entire page to the teacher words lean forward
as if towards something they’re trying to touch. Mama writes.
Mama is a teacher.
Mama places a pattern on a piece of cloth cuts around it
cuts a circle on her skin
the scar is a spider.
Mama spins her own cloth
scissors on the side.
Mama turns bangs
into a crooked hem.
Mama teaches me how to draw
trees that bend
Mama: wound, breath, breeze.
Mama demands stillness,
carries on her neck the weight of a camera. Mama has lost the voices of birds.
as if she’s about to have her photo taken.
Mama got lost under a table.
She moves around the living room
lights turn themselves on over her.
Mama waits in the line that surrounds a dance school her father’s body blocks the door.
Mama draws her family on a paper, she’s the tallest one, so tall her head goes out of the page.
Mama draws all the family
Mama paints a self-portrait.
Everything is a self-portrait
she gets tired of.
Mama transports words to another tongue.
Mama changes her own words.
Mama bites her tongue
so many times, so afraid to lose it.
Mama is afraid
to lose it all.
Mama is a tongue.
She splits herself in half because she wants to.
Mama sits on top of someone else
she expands like a drop of ink on a piece of cloth.
Mama closes her eyes
makes up a prayer to put herself to sleep.
Mama is sinking
no one warns her of false darkness.
Mama wakes up dead.
Mama comes from a land surrounded by more land comes on the lowest part of a boat
she sees fish she doesn’t see.
Mama in the ocean with needles on her belly. Mama is a mother.
Mama is a mother.
Mama keeps the beat of a song she doesn’t know.
Mama hugs me and there is always between us a cushion or a stone.
Mama in summer
sleeps in a nightgown soaked in bathtub water. Mama wants to return to that summer.
Mama wants to turn around.
Mama on her belly on the sand,
closed tight like an eyelid.
Her face to the sun
to the sun, to the sun.
she asks: how much longer.
Mama has lost another sound.
how much longer.
Mama paints entire pages.
Mama walks barefoot and steps on the body of a bee. Mama reads other people’s mouths.
Mama lights a fire and places us on top of it she sings a song that escapes her.
Mama lights a fire
places us around it in winter,
paints our names with ashes.
Mama lights up.
Mama takes us by the hands
lets go of our hands.
Mama asks our names.
Mama sees everything hears everything
Mama jumps across a puddle that’s longer than her legs. Mama, from where to where.
Mama, our shoelaces keep coming untied
we keep falling.
Mama splits herself in half
she squeezes her mother’s red scarf.
Mama wakes up to feed us every night.
Mama doesn’t sleep anymore.
Mama sleeps all the time.
Mama is floating.
Mama is sinking.
Mama swims to no shore.
Mama carries us on her back.
Mama cannot see us.
Mama sees everything.
Mama squeezes a scarf,
squeezes our hands
how much longer