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Adriana Garriga Lopez

Adriana María Garriga-López

Garriga-Lopez is a poet, anthropologist, and performance artist. She has published poems and scholarly texts in Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture. Her poetry and fiction have also been featured in Ad Hoc, The Columbia Review, Beyond Polarities, and Piso 13. Garriga-Lopez was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Literature from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (2000) and she trained at the History of Consciousness Board of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2000-2002.) She earned Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University (in 2003 and 2006, respectively) and she is scheduled to graduate Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University in 2010. She lives in Spanish Harlem, New York City.


 A Cultured Sea


Before the Nile ran Upstream

We used to Wade in its Southern hurry

We were morsels to Gravity

Faltering Oxygen




Traveling the fluted plains
of negative affect

I encounter your shadow
holding court over my own

lobster tail sentiments
full of salty soul meat

a buttery, congealed slime
a bucket of crabs

with no name for your objections
dominating each other

a politics of disencounter for
how to hold difference
and indifference at bay-

they surge in and out-
a desert tide.

Your wild palm tree.
My sack of yellow

stacking remembrances
trying not to break the dishes

wedding gifts from long ago
held in abeyance in garages
between San Juan and New York.

Diasporic plates
the fossils of a mother's life-
the daughter's burden.

Thieves! Do not lift this.
I would like to carry them.




striated longing
my plain white shirt

flute, gyre, gypsy
rolling cart of hope

vagabond hope,
bound to an itinerant despair

a sealed, slithering air
macabre with the call of diseased birds

and in the sunshine yet
the afternoon is hot,

hot & tropical

how humidity can be forlorn
and the torpor too bright

an unbearable fulminescence

a yo-yo,

a dislocated breath ing.

Mumbled- drunk, stumbling into corners
I stub my toe on your discarded pleasantries.

Sending you missives that are
fired at you telepathically
remunerating you with stones

and brindled organisms
brimming with their suffused arrogance
and its implicit fragility.



My reason is wet
but good to play with.

Soggy ethics,
not bound by the strings of some primal guilt
but love exploding

frayed and heavy
above the constriction of
roped penances.

Vulvar resonances-
ignominies of thought, concept, and action.

The uncertainty of rape
the creeping, slow advance of molestation.
One's bewildered silence before it.

The lifeguard from the Westin Bay Resort
a few miles west of where we are bathing
tries to fondle me in the water where we've met.

His hand grazes my calf but
I am an agile swimmer
and having braced the waves, I get away.

Later he brings me an open coconut and I drink it

eat the soft, sloppy meat of the fruit,
and slurp the water.



A pack of four wild beasts
scuttles past.

On the street they shuffle,
their night patrol
a thing of the beach.

A latent moon
coconut stares
at salty dog bite.

Rolling waves,
the inscrutable formations of
air-bound pelicans,

amazing floating devices.

The Caribe Hilton has a floating rock-climbing wall
lolling on their strip of beach
that they bought before Puerto Rico had a Constitution.

Open access. Coconut.
Sexual harassment.



Four dogs,
three in tight formation,
strut past the balconied street.

A fourth lags behind,
bringing up the rear
with less aplomb.

The third dog stops,
waits for the slowest
member of the pack.

Then they
down the street.



What geared, layered rope--
the nestled coves of rubber tires.

Lobster-clawed pants,
corroding on the brain coral.

I'm relieved not to see
-Lola La Picúa-

Great and Fearsome Fish of
El Escambrón Beach

Who had nearly took the right index finger
off my friend Maritza's hand.

Soft blue jeans appear
less threatening

almost natural and

in its underwater weaving,
this worn pair of legs,

undulating forever‌
Or nearly.

blowing back and forth.

Tendrils, tentacles, testicles,

tubular protuberances,
fishy pinnacles of sedimentation.

I wandered among those peaks and their underwater swellings
bruised from the waves,

pondering of eternity and subsumption,
scrape my breast on a rock

the thigh fat touched softly
by a glutinous wetness,

the ocean and my waters reconnoitering,
re-encountering, commingling one and the other

open your mouth
and the salty-sweet taste is
so familiar, so intrinsic.

Those bits of melted plastic,
blue jeans, and
beautiful sea-glass

all condensed into a nonsensical pattern--

a rubric, rather more,
a loose web of meaning--

a cultured sea.

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