The Blood Poems
112 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Aug 2021

The Blood Poems

University of New Mexico Press

The Blood Poems is one part bloodletting, one part healing, and one part sensuous celebration as Jessica Helen Lopez lays out what it means to be a strong brown woman, a single mother, and the kickass bard that the twenty-first century needs. Lopez openly faces a damaging childhood, sex, divorce, and racial injustice in these poems. She proves that love is as complicated as lovemaking--messy and lusty, raucous and powerful, capable of amazing highs and abysmal lows. She proves that when a woman learns to love herself, she will live a fierce and full life and teach her daughters to do the same.

Fresh, sharp, guttural.'--Ms. Magazine
Jessica Helen Lopez is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop and is the author of four other books of poetry including Always Messing With Them Boys and The Language of Bleeding, which was a limited release in honor of her ambassadorial visit to Granada, Nicaragua.

I Play a Game with My Daughter

Part One. The Parting
Saying Farewell to Nonexistent Fathers, Fuckboys, and Daughters Who Must Spread Their Wings and Fly
Obsidian Knife to Cut the Shit Out
Kicking It with Death on a Sunday
The Small Tinkering Ways I Forget You
Spring Cleaning Post-Divorce
The Invite
Blood Oranges
The Lessening
Almost One Year and a Lifetime After Our Divorce

Part Two. Leap
Across Muscle and Bone
Fire Says to Me
Thoughts of Pear and Jando
Our Transgression
Our Sheets Like a Rogue Oceanic Wave
A Poem for A
An Un-Love Poem for the Guy I Love
The First and Last Pain
Poem for My Beloved
The Last Poem I Will Write for My Lover

Part Three. Changeling
The Transformation
Wolfdreams and Repressed Memories
My Earrings Turned Back to Water and Trickled Down My Shoulders
My Brother's Brilliance
Dreaming of Killing My Brother
Brown Girl in Therapy
The Phone Call
Some Instructions on How to Keep the Mania at Bay
A Letter from Sad Girl
Please God, Don't Let Me Grow Up to be a Chola
All Chola

Part Four. The Hood and Other Origin Stories
How Reina and Gina Get Ready to Go Out (circa 1988)
Malinalli, Goddess of Grass
The Kiss
Red-Breasted and Bullseye
The Arrest of the Paleteros
Manmade Materials
A White Teacher's Lament
A Pantoum for Breonna
Shooting Hoops in the Hood and Hallelujah We Ball
I Hosted a Party

Part Five. After the Words


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