Israel Francisco Haros Lopez

Above: Isreal’s art: La Llorona

Borderless Haiku: (IFHL)

We have forgotten the names of each other underneath the shedding skin those names written in our blood that have danced to tonantzin tonatiuh before they knew they were lovers. 

Last week I was fortunate to have attended a poetic reading and performance by a remarkably gifted young Mexican man named Israel Francisco Haros Lopez who was born to immigrant parents in Los Angelos. He is both a visual and performance artist, and his work transcends borderlands of all kinds. Israel believes that it is critical to honor and remember the ancestors so that we may once again become one with the winged ones, all those who crawl or walk on this earth, the Four Directions, Earth Air Fire and Water, Tonanztin and Tonatiuh – the Aztec Earth Goddess and the Sun God – Israel’s expression of unity in divinity, and the universe as a whole. His visual motifs are drawn from Pre – Columbian America and his work is an attempt to search for personal truths within the context of today’s world incorporating Mexican/Indigenous stories into the whole.

Israel believes written work or visual work cannot occur without sound or vibration, because all things on this earth embody and express themselves through vibrations. As such his written and oral work is constantly shifting as it is performed or recorded.

Israel’s current body of work explores Mexican, Indigenous and Urban Street Art Identity. He is inviting the viewer to consider their own ancient script and ancestral memory in order to mend racial, geographical divides. The work is also a healing practice, which through his art workshops he invites participants to become contemporary ancient scribes exploring their own writing practices both literal and figurative.

He brings his firsthand knowledge of the realities of migration, U.S. border policies, and life as a Mexican American to his work with families and youth as a mentor, educator, art instructor, ally, workshop facilitator and activist. Even with a 1.59 High school G.P.A., Israel managed to go back to the community college and raise his grades to get accepted into U.C. Berkeley and receive a degree in English Literature and Chicano Studies followed by an M.F.A in Creative Writing. At formal and informal visual art spaces, Israel creates and collaborates with others in an interdisciplinary way that includes poetry, performance, music, visual art, and video making and curriculum creation. His work addresses a multitude of historical and spiritual layered realities of border politics, identity politics, and the re-interpretation of histories.

 

What follows are two of my favorite pieces:

 

  • mexican jazz part 50

 

build that wall we come from the stars

we are the echo of grandmothers

migrating this America when it was just

and always a turtle

 

on mothers backs

more mothers backs

more mothers backs

 

this wall cannot stop the wave

of time immemorial

 

our grandmothers bones are scattered

across this rock

all rocks

along the feathered serpent

dancing with your minimal

notions

 

of what you think

you can stop with a wall

 

build that wall

you cannot stop our d.n.a.

 

  • white liberal antics part 44

 

White supremacy gets tricky when you add white hispanic and spaniard

and spaniard blood is white European blood

where do you think hitler learned genoicide

through the skilled native holocaust

orchestrated by cortez and the sword

and the bible that drives the blood

underneath the asphault

runs through the veins of a city

wanting to continue its legacy

of spanish conquistador

and la virgin de la conquista

running through the rivers

of la llorona

mourning for all her children

red black yellow white brown green blue purple pink

 

how do you interrupt this white supremacy

running through the city

 

running through the rivers

of la llorona mourning

screaming for the memories

of the whiteness of the moon

screaming for the memories

of the whiteness running through

her raped indigenous body

praying for the memory

of her children that were birthed

from this

red black yellow white

brown green blue purple pink

 

begging for the songs

stuck in our throats

 

www.chicanocoloringbooks.comm

www.waterhumminbirdhouse.com

www.newmexicomuralproject.com.

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“In Search of Pure Lust”

In this remarkable memoir one woman’s life is set in the collective context of the women’s movement as a whole, and through Lise’s eyes we get to see the “both and” quality of her struggle to understand what went wrong not only in her personal relationships with women, but between the powerful women who inspired the women’s movement in the first place. We can only heal this wound personally and collectively if we are willing to self – reflect, ask difficult and painful questions, and are willing to take responsibility for our own actions, something that the author is willing to do. By addressing our own mother-daughter betrayals, choosing to respect one another’s differences regardless of sexual orientation, color, race, religion etc. we can finally unite with one purpose – to save ourselves and the planet…

What Lise proposes – namely that Lesbian Visionary Thinking opened the door to women re –imagining women as powerful agents in their own lives even as they became women who acted upon these visions is, I believe, truth. Lesbian visionaries envisaged a woman centered culture and created one. Many of us realize today that without a feminist standpoint, the ravages of patriarchy are going to destroy us all. We have much to learn from reading this story.

I should probably mention that I am not a lesbian. I am, however, a woman who loves other women – a woman who has struggled with the same questions about relationship and betrayal throughout her life and one who believes that every woman needs to read this book because if we are going to shift this deadly patriarchal paradigm into an eqalitarian matriarchal one women must lead the way. And to do that we have to begin to heal what is broken in ourselves.

The publication of this book is also uncannily timely because we are at such a critical crossroad – Women from all walks of life are waking up to the fact that during the last election 52 percent of American women voted for a power –driven, mentally ill, misogynist.

We must interrupt this cycle of women choosing crazy, abusive men over politically astute women who could be in the position to change the world.

Lise’s personal story is a compelling one. Ruthlessly honest, she struggles with a complex web of personal relationships. This book also helps others like me who came to feminism late – as a middle aged woman – experience what it must have been like to have women’s reading circles, bookstores, places where women gathered with joyful abandon to share ideas and re –imagine the world. The depth and breadth of Lise’s honesty leaves the reader without doubts about this woman’s personal integrity. The book is also a page – turner. I finished this deeply moving memoir which ended on a positive note feeling bereft – I didn’t want it to end.

Finally, in my opinion In Search of Pure Lust is Everywoman’s Story whether she chooses to accept it or not.