Like We Haven’t Been Telling You

Black and White American Flag Newcastle United

Ctrl-Alt-Right is the new emoji
with an orange face and bad hair
and red a cap saying,
A new America

A place of conflicted interests
and corporate Pinterest
accounts that mark Eurocentric
as newly oppressed

So they took back something
they never lost,
and we blame them
and they blame us

The conserves drink their tea
party like its 1899
and the neolibs cry into
Kale chips talking about…

I never thought this would
be a country of the less free
because my 401k is fat
and it will never really effect me

They call it the New America
I call it the old America renewed
because you can paint shit
red or blue and it will still be shit.

You can stuff it in a ballot box filled with hope
and it will still be shit.

and some of you are surprised
like we haven’t been telling you
all about this shit since Travyon died

LIKE we haven’t been telling you
all about this shit since Katrina

LIKE WE haven’t been telling you
all about this shit since Diallo died

LIKE WE HAVEN’T been telling you
all about this shit since the L.A. Riots

LIKE WE HAVEN’T BEEN TELLING you
all about this shit since the Central Park 5

LIKE WE HAVEN’T BEEN TELLING YOU
all about this… shit I’ve lost count.

(I needed to get this out)

 

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I Never Thought

The pain is still there
a dull sense of emptiness
ever so slight
one could think I didn’t miss you
or the light
I saw in your eyes.
There were two of you
one I buried long ago
the other I left
in a life I had to let go.

I can still hear drops
of tears hitting plastic
one of you were wrapped in
I can still feel my pounding heart
when I got a call,
the second one is with his brother.

I never thought
some of my best friends
would be 4 legged.
I never thought
I would miss you this much.

I see your light in others,
When I walk down the street
and I see you running to me
I blink away the tears
and see you
on the leash of another.

They say that animals have
no souls
but I’ve see your souls and your spirits
in open eyed dreams
of a time lost

I miss my friends
The ones who never hurt me
The ones I can never replace

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A Fine Line

IMG_1254 …at the end of the day I just want to write something.
…at the end of the day I just want to create something.

the question really is, does it matter if anyone reads?
there is a fine line between recognition and comprehension
there is a fine line between love and hate
there is a line between genius and madness

how do I codify the drivel people love?
how does anyone move passed it?

at the end of the day I just want to create something
like an uncommon codex
but does it matter if people read?

the best manuscripts collect dust somewhere
the best minds un-apologetically discuss it
in programs and workshops
but reading is a rainbowed art form that people pretend to like

writing is a pot of lucky charms
that people delve into
in order to get gold marshmallows
that fade a way into the arms of the Amazonian drones

meanwhile, dewey decimals are covered in dust kicked up by
twerking appropriations,
140 characters messages,
64GB must have devices,
pictures of words posted on social media,
and 200-word click bait articles.

at the end of the day I just want to write something
but does it matter if people read?

Fear of the Mic

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Busy is four letter word. Its almost vulgar when I use it because it describes so many things that are going on in one word. Saying “I’m busy” can sound rude but it will always explain why I don’t call or write. Yet, after awhile I hate using this phrase because I think that eventually it becomes a cop out. However, I have been able to do a few things here and there that has made me think about my role as writer/author.

It shouldn’t be too much of a secret that I do not really consider myself a poet. I believe that history will show that I’m more of a fiction novelist. Poems were something that I wrote to get through some tough times in my life and it turns out I wrote more than a hundred of them. I go back in forth, in my head, about want to do about this. Do I publish them or just keep them where they are (which is buried in various blog sites)?

I personally don’t believe they are very good. Well, maybe a small number of poems are decent, but I am certainly no Willie Perdomo. Yet, the way I feel about this did not stop me from reciting one of my poems during a open mic night a few weeks ago (I prefer the word recite instead perform because performance poetry is above my pay grade, but I digress). I can blame it on the energy of the other true poets doing their thing that night but the real reason is that, in my heart, I need to learn to love the mic.

Sure, I can speak publicly. I’ve done it enough times to be used to it. I’ve done enough trainings with hundreds of students in a room, I’ve been a keynote speaker twice, I’ve moderated many panel discussions, and yet the intimidation of reading something I’ve written is real. Even when I did the book signing/reading at La Cas Azul Bookstore of Hanging Upside Down last year I felt so anxious. What if I fumble my words? What if I sound like a complete idiot?

This is when I know the fear has gotten a hold of me. With my poetry it is two fold considering that I don’t consider myself a poet. But, I did go out there that night and recited Blacktino. The feedback was positive and while I messed up just a little, I think I can do this again. The real problem is that its way too easy to decline an invitation or to simply claim that I’m too busy to go to open mic nights. Even if being too busy is true (and most times it is) I know that I have to get behind that mic.

It does feel good to share my creation, particular in poetic form. If you read the right poem with the right inflections, the room becomes yours. Maybe the real fear isn’t just the mic itself nor the the audience. Perhaps the real fear is the ability to let myself go on the stage. Is the fear there because I don’t know how to let go or is it because of the possibility that if I do learn to let myself go I may love it way too much.

So, is this what Rakim was talking about about when he says, to me M.C. means move the crowd? That’s a question you should ask yourself, Megatron. 🙂

Poem: Starlight

Space
and time
miles away
all things
in between
physical gaps
are obstacles
that are overcome
one challenge at a time
at the end
of it all
is her

A star
the light of my life
A star
the shines bright
from long distances
that warms
the very skin
that contracts
making follicles
stand to attention
when she is in my presence

My star
that I follow
that lights my way
when I am in the dark
My star
that shines 4 times
brighter than any other
i bask in it
and travel toward it
wanting her starlight
as much as she wants me
because we share
the space
the time
the miles

I am the Moon
to her stars
and she is the stars
to my Moon
together we are
a part of something bigger
and yet apart
by miles
space
and time
which is just an obstacle
but the path through it
that is shown
through her starlight

A Pale Shade of Green {Poem}

They say we
are one with the universe
we live in a country
that is diverse
and being brown is a curse
being black is worse
yet I speak this verse
wondering what it’s worth

I see a future
that is not about you and me
that is not about black or white
but a color we can’t afford
a pale shade of green
is the only color line
that will exist

Imagine crossing that color barrier
with the yellow police tape
that will surround the ghettos
and the non existent
middle class because
this is a disaster area
but FEMA isn’t coming for us

We will be the migrant workers
picking the silicon fruits
to make the new i-Human
because even we become less valuable
like the almighty dollar that turns
black when it burns
they chose to burn the economy
when the president became black

400 and something years
and the economy built on African tears
finally falls in the future that I see
and you may laugh when I say
we’re STILL in a state of slavery
just look at the west sides
just look at the east sides
you will see that pale shade of green
become a dark shade of red

We the people
will eat each other
and then get taxed on that food
before the rich eat us
and get a tax break

this pale shade of green
people worship the symbol it means
in god we trust became
in banks we distrust
with its mighty white pillars
and CEO preachers who 
tell us to believe
but as far as I can tell
green is the new shade of hell

Being (Afro) Latino – the poem

When we talk about being Latino
and what that means to me
I speak with certainty
and a bit of specificity
when I talk about Afro centricity
in saying you are black
and you just look at me

like it was blasphemy
because this has to be
an act of stupidity
to ignore the ethnicity
of your origins
but fortunately
there is no death
to orginality

Skipping the formality
read the history
African blood in the DNA
that is a reality
maybe you’re just mad to see
the facts as it is meant to be
Latinos as a Nationality
is just as black as can be

With the rhythmic personality
of the congas and beats
the food and the tastes romantically
link a slave with taino in history
a shared ancestry
through misery
that you refuse to see
so there is no mystery
you bleach your hair and skin
with a sense of fragility

Where is your responsibility?
to maintain that sensibility
to not make us a joke, racially
We are Latinos, of any color
we have credibility
we have grown in number, drastically
so our color is heavenly
and our culture is immortality

My 70-year-old self

If I had the power
to talk to my future
what would he tell me?
I can imagine
a wiser
better man
than my current
would he have
gotten all the answers
to the things I have
chased and longed for
would he have achieved
the happiness and
conquered the pain?
or would he have
battle scars from the
wars lost?

Would he tell me that
everything that happens
is worth it?
Would he tell me that
he is happy and ended
up being with exactly
the person he
was meant to be with?
Would he tell me
that he almost wasted
his youth
worrying instead
of doing?
Would he tell me
his biggest regrets?
the things he would
take back or
Would he tell me
that every thing has
a purpose…?

My future is
my fate unraveled
in events that
are created by
decisions and indecisions
that is so hard to
think about the what if
and it is so hard
to forget about what was
that the what could have been
is a fleeting thought
that our brain synopsis’s
keeps replaying over
again like a injured player
of the field that sprained
his heart while trying to score

My 70 year old self
may just tell me that
if he had the ability
to guide me
he would not
fore I may be just on
the right path to becoming him
a man that I have
strived to be despite
my short comings
and my lack of vision
a wise man is something
I can be if I just learn
From letting go
and letting fate
guide me to
my future self

Poem #21 Dead End

It has been said
so many times
this is a dead end
no going back
there is no future
no reason to
walk that path
that has been
worn out by
steps already
been stepped
trampled memories
and crushed spirits
filled with judgmental strides
weighed down by fearful prides
that road has been
crossed over and over again
why build yet another bridge
only to see that “progress” burns
we take our turns
lighting each fire
and adding gas to it
it is over
it is so much over
that we come back for more
and reminisce about the
clouds of smoke
we created and
we think we can take
those ashes and save them
just to remind each other
who burned what bridge
who trampled on what road
and in the process
we build yet another path
with another outcome
that we refuse to believe exists
because in the end
we know that this road
has to lead to another dead end
a dead end is the only outcome
possible because this path
is not paved perfectly
there are too many exits
and not enough lanes
there are two speeds:
fast and stop
and the judgmental police
are always watching
waiting to render a
opinionated ticket for
something they have no clue
so we take the next exit
and destroy any trace
of this path because
it was simply not in the plan
and besides its over
even though we do
kinda need to
reach the other side
of this huge hole we
just created with all the
other roads and paths
we left devastated
it would only make sense
to help each other
get out of the hole
this one last time
because it is over…
right?

Poem #20 Block

I stare at the
blank piece of paper
the thin blue lines
that separate
spaces where words
should be
I stare cluelessly
not knowing what to say
because haven’t I
said everything
that need to be heard?
have I not given
this page
everything I possibly can?
I would write in
blood if I had to
just to let it all out
instead I am forced
to write this poem
with the only thing
that I can possibly
have left
my tears
the only ink
that I can produce
that will allow me
to break this block
that holds me
this block
that controls me
this block
that remolds me
so I need to
unblock me
I need to let myself flow
and stop letting
fear block my
dreams that are
more attainable
than what I first thought
and stop being caught
up in trying to fill
the spaces in between
the thin blue lines
that make up my
empty paper heart
that yearns to filled
with more than nerves
to be filled
with more than words
and I cannot help that
every time I use this
pen to unblock
i feel better than I did
the minute previous
so just leave me this
feeling…
that maybe on day
i can remove me
from the block
so I can fill that space
with something more
than words