Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is an instructor at Arroyo Pacific Academy, she is a curator at Beyond Baroque and she is the poetry editor of The Splinter Generation. Those are the things she lists on her resume, but I’m sure she’d rather be remembered for what she is going to read today. Xochitl writes about family and urban life and neighborhood struggle. Hers is a voice that is very much of our time and place and yet it doesn’t seem to be merely hip or topical; rather it is full of craft and artistry. “Me encanta,” “awesome,” “sweet,” “amazing”—these are some things that have been posted about her work.  They have all those qualities but they have more: El Monte and Rosemead and Downey are places for business and labor and TV and work and business  and just everyday stuff, but there’s depth and hunger and joy in those places, too; there’s poetry—and Xochitl has found it.  

Blue Bride

Victor Clothing Company, North Wall
She is blue.
Eyes and fingers blue.
Satin and lace blue.
Why so blue?
Psychedelic ribbon hair curls up
like algae blue,
like seaweed wrapped
around forgotten body blue.
It calls her down.
Trapped in blue.
She is my mother.
She is powder blue ruffled
1971-pregnant in beaded tulle.
A weathered mermaid,
water, weight and shame
crack a left mollusk eye.
She will birth a sea monster
from wet womb.
Not monster, but seahorse,
light and dancing.
Not seahorse, but walrus,
lard rolls protecting
from the chill.
Better, purple octopus.
I will transform my brother
to a fire-orange crab side-stepping
dark water beginnings,
but my mother,
she has always been sinking,
lips sealed, unable to smile.
Lost in blue. 


2011 Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the April 2011 Second Sunday Poetry Series