From My Blood-Red Orange: “New York City”

“2008” acrylic on canvas, 54 x 107 cm
In private collection
Where I live there are no ice cream parlours,
no snack bars on the beach,
no fast food on the harbours.
Where I live the food is nasty, hard to eat,
the water tastes like piss,
the fruits smell like sewer rats
that before you bear their teeth.

Where I sleep the air is not conditioned cool,
or warmer during frozen days.
My mattress is a cardboard box,
I'm up as soon as I feel the first of that yellow ball's rays.
My breakfast, in the dumpster on Eighth Avenue and Fifty Seventh Street,
If I can find anything after all my neighbours eat,
'cause they're bigger and they're meaner and they never let me pass,
I guess when I turn ten or twelve I'll get something at last.

Yes, I'm from right here, Manhattan, Midtown,
but I was born in the Bronx,
and when I was just a baby my mother crossed the river
and New York's been my home.
My mom?
Lying in an alley, just west of Ninth and Forty Second Street.
She's been there for a whole day,
can't rouse her from that sleep.
But I don't care, I never knew her well,
she brought me to this island city
where the devil seems to dwell.

I was remembering a song by the Beatles, that Paul wrote and sang that started like this: “Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?” The song, “Eleanor Rigby”, was released as a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine,” in August of 1966. Both are from the album Revolver.

The song is about two lonely people, Eleanor, an old woman who exists in a world of her own, population one. Her main purpose in life is nothingness. She “picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” The other is the priest, Father McKenzie, who preaches in an empty church and whose sermons “no one will hear.” Eleanor dies and he buries the old woman. To her funeral, nobody came, just him, seemingly caring little for the lonely people, “he walks from the grave.”

“No one was saved, all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they all belong.” The cycle of life and death among the “lonely people” simply begins again…

What do you think? As an artist, I encourage all others engaged in the creative arts, or not, to get involved. This is our world, this is our problem. I have been focusing on two very serious conditions found in the world today, mainly poverty and the plight of immigrants. I think that if we all do our part, we can begin to change things, even if we have to do it helping only one person at a time. That is one less. It’s worth the effort.

If you agree, please share, comment and hit that like button. Let’s discuss these topics. Whoever said that topics such as politics and religion…or others also considered polemic…should not be discussed was lying. Such topics should be the source of discussions and conversations perpetually on everyone’s agenda. Of course, only through civilised discussions, no fights, no argumentum ad hominem, let us argue only the facts.

You can see my artwork…like the one above…drawings and paintings, on my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries, featuring my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” at (you can browse, you need not purchase anything)


From My Blood-Red Orange, Valencia: The Invisible

Although I live in a city where not too many homeless people roam the streets or sleep on the beaches, church plazas and parks, we still have our share of those who do live under the naked sky. The homeless condition is, of course, global. In Europe it is growing. I don’t think governments exert much efforts to reintegrate these often maligned unfortunates back into the work force or try to find ways to turn them into productive members of their communities. So the homeless do what they can. They know that surviving on the streets is a matter of luck. It’s a Russian roulette they must spin every day as many dangers abound. Yet, if we should even take the time to notice them, it’s only for a few minutes and then we forget them.

They are invisible to almost everybody. Hardly anyone notices…or gives a second thought to…these people. But they are also part of our society. And a part of you, for we all share the same DNA. You see them when you are about to enter a church. You cannot ignore them for they are right in front of your path. Your eyes meet and you feel a certain strange sensation. Is it pity? Perhaps that drives you to reach into your pocket or purse and give the homeless beggar your change. And you wonder, have I done enough? You comfort yourself inside and thank God for your family, for yourself.

As you walk through the busy streets downtown you focus on your problems, your plans for the day and on the million things that you have to do. You try to ignore those who are living on the very sidewalks you’re walking on. And you know they are there. The homeless crowd the corners of your eyes. You finally take a look and wonder who these people were at another time in their lives. Where they always so poor? Did they loose everything? Why are they here? Why did they pick this corner, or that alley? It’s an uncomfortable feeling because that leads to wondering if that guy or that old lady could be me one day? Then you quickly push the thought aside and focus again on everything else that’s really important to you.

These pictures are from Valencia, Spain, where I live. I don’t believe these people are invisible. I think that although most of these homeless people that live in our streets are foreigners, they arrived in Europe with hopes and dreams. Yet something happened. I don’t know their stories but I plan at least, to document their existence in pictures. This is the first of a series.

If you like this topic, or others like the ones I write…and illustrate…about, please like, follow and share. And of course, please leave a comment. If you find this issue important, I do too, let us start a discussion on such social issues of pertinence.

I am an artist living and working in Valencia, Spain. If you would like to get to know my artwork better, (paintings and drawings), please go to my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and to see my new 2019 collection titled “JaZzArt en Valencia” you can visit…browse only, no need to purchase…my online galleries at