Road Less Traveled

Come,
    lay your head
             on my hills.
Take rest
         weary warrior,
before
       venturing out
                  on long strolls,
up, over and through
        my valleys.
                             My tender caresses,
                                    your oasis.
Replenish yourself
           until thirst
                  is no longer an issue.
                           Drench yourself
        in aromatic nectar
                of coconuts
                        and mangos.
                       This…
                 is no mirage
                 dear nomad.
For you
       have finally
                  found
                             home.
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Suburbia…

I grab my purse tighter on elevators

Lock my doors twice when I leave my car

Look behind me when I leave malls and parking garages

Making sure my uncomfortable nature is noticed

Why not?

White people steal too…

I Am La Revolucion

My people del Caribe

 

It’s time to be presente

 

give voice to the caribbean

 

Representing guerreros of yesteryear

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

Oye esa clave/listen

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

El ritmo de nuestra sangre/ the rhythm of our blood

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

Conga sounds making rounds

 

Forging down African veins

 

Plowing paths, middle passaging their way

 

Through misty caribeno plains

 

Ancestros still vividly live

 

In caramelo tones, wide hips, small waist

 

Thick lips, cheekbones

 

Roiling every kinky coil

 

Entwining our DNA

 

Reminding me of my Afro taina heritage

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

How can I ever forget?

 

Hija de Chango I will always be

 

Inciting fire to your lena

 

Cuidado con ese machetazo de lengua

 

Mama used to tell me

 

Great grandmother indigenous to my story

 

Vicious slave ships wandering aimlessly

 

Rigorously beating waves aqua marine

 

Didn’t begin our true history

 

Napoleon colonialism made sure you never see,

 

Hear or read about me

 

Faded Columbus silenced blood written pages

 

Feigned father of civilization

 

Hidden behind true savagery

 

Conquering what was once thought too African pagan

 

In the name of murderous glory

 

Stealing what we once gave away for free

 

Now we fast forward centuries

 

Tousaint L’Overture’s slave revolt overture

 

Freeing the country partially

But today you wouldn’t even believe

 

That it took place, as race identity gets erased

 

As though we don’t have any traces in our face

 

Couldn’t play in the sun too long

 

Or I’d look like an Haitianita

 

Dios te salva if you relished

 

being a Dominican negrita

 

Ebony skin transpired decades

 

of Trujillo white washing

 

Forgotten Hermanas Mirabal

 

original beauty

 

Me? I always wanted to be black

 

So black that I wanted to erase

 

traitorous hate,

 

In my grandmother’s pale face

 

Every time she glared at me

 

My unnatural locs maliciously reminding her

 

Blue eyes and blonde straight hair was a bland flavor to be

 

My sazon a bit too much for her indentured palette

 

My soul too rich for her broken civilized standards

I am la revolucion, without confucion,

 

A toda condicion, by any means necessary

 

Taking back oppressed destroyed languages

 

Coerced submissions birthed AnaCaona in the flesh for this mission

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

Abran paso, make way for the sage

 

Tabaco y ron

 

Bembe’s, bomba plena, merengue, soca y son

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

This will never be televised on Univision

 

La Revolucion

 

Coming soon to an island near you

 

*pa pa tunco ta ta ta

 

 

 

 

The Black Sheep

They know I exist but they don’t see me

 

Talk as though im not in the room,

 

even though I acknowledged their being

 

Frustrating to know I’m not accepted as myself

 

Ridiculed by those who I love the most

 

I am the anomaly in this equation

 

The variable that doesn’t factor into the sum

 

My existence a misprint in the paper

 

A typo that cannot be undone

 

A permanent reminder of what they refuse to be

 

Free of all shackled thoughts and notions preconceived

 

The one who broke free from the flock

 

Deciding to dance happily in my ebony fleece

 

Never question what they’ve been told, if they did

 

They’d have to fight to ignore the impulse

 

It’s not normal to be an individual

 

Seeking approval from those they hate

 

While fitting in the best they can

 

I knew long ago that I was never one of them

 

Hated that I couldn’t understand

 

Why I couldn’t be accepted simply for who I am

 

A person who is daily evolving

 

Someone who sheds stereotypes like reptilian skin

 

Its hard not to want love like mother to child

 

But its detrimental to the soul to follow a shadow

 

when the sun no longer shines

 

I sit back and take comfort within the peace of my mind

 

Knowing that I will never fit in, I’m the better for it

 

I seek happiness while they drown in misery

 

Sorrows too deep for their shallow thinking

 

I’ve decided to stand by the shore

 

To lend a hand to any who decide they didn’t want to drown anymore

 

But usually I’m left alone on the sandy banks

 

So I’ll sit and wait….

 

I’ve got nothing but time on my hands

The Revolution Has Been Commercialized

Revolution has been commercialized so much,

 

That our youth have no clue what it is about.

 

Ignorant in the ways of conflict resolution

 

thinking war is the only conclusion

 

furthering political affiliations

 

Welcome,

 

to the American broken system.

 

Where unity is discouraged

 

Financial segregation as subtle

 

As a hurricane in season

 

So my question,

 

How do we really go about bringing change?

 

How do we surpass the obstacles put in place in order to watch our downfall?

 

How do we become that village again that raises our children?

 

Conferences like Black Immigration Network

 

Needs to be held globally more often but why isn’t it?

 

Its simple, their response;

 

There’s no profit in solutions.

 

It seems as though if I have no monetary backing

 

My plights go unheard

 

My fight unseen

 

Snuffed out by media black outs

 

As police states drown out cries

 

silencing our leaders by any means necessary.

 

dumb down children in order to perpetuate

 

imprisoned slave system

 

keep the revolving door of escapism rotating

 

rehabilitation never actualized

 

for privatized stock options

 

if my name isn’t Chad, Chet, Amanda or Tiffany

 

I’m profiled to be arrested

 

No matter how much of good Citizen I may seem to be,

 

my skin has become the determination factor of my freedom

 

brown paper bag theory in full effect

 

We have unfamiliar pale faces

 

Invading once occupied spaces of the un-free

 

Migration of a culture

 

Escaping gentrified purity

 

Now seeming too equitable,

 

A mockery of suffering

 

As ethnicity becomes a commodity

 

Something to admire, acquire & become

 

but with less flavor, for a more sensitive gluten free tongue

 

Long vowels replace native tongues

 

Habitats become unaffordable

 

Once inhabitants, now paying tourists for their former homes

 

Pushed out economically to make way for the financially stable

 

Upkeep is easier with them out of the way

 

Things look prettier now that the poor are gone,

 

epitome of gentrification…

 

Audacity made fun of by new comers

 

“If they really wanted this place, then why keep it so rundown?”

 

As though the 99% can provide for the one

 

This beautiful melting pot has become

 

A place where financial segregation

 

Has feigned it’s way into forced integration

 

So how do we move forward on a chess board

 

Filled with pawns protecting the hierarchy?

 

Answer:

 

If we don’t feed the predators,

 

eventually they become the prey

 

Averted Identity Crisis

I….

Am not my locs 

Not what you think me to be

Not from Brooklyn

For the umpteenth time

just because I don’t speak English

with a Spanish accent

I am not Puerto Rican  

We are not all the same

There is more than one hispanic island

Scattered about the caribbean

I am the incongruity of that configuration

An enigma to your standard beliefs

I can rock out to Nina Simone, Fania All Stars and The Stylistics

Playing Isaac Hayes

While dancing bachata, salsa and merengue

James brown told me to say it loud

I’m black and I’m proud 

As Johnny Ventura played in the background 

I am the best of both worlds

I am Johnny Pacheco and Jimi Hendrix with a twist

Spanglish my native language

First generation born citizen

Moro de gandules and platanos maduros

solidify I am an American born dominican

I can be stereotypically feisty and fiery

My kind doesn’t submit easily

My tribe be the most coveted

But only few who are brave enough

Can handle this spitfire

I play my eclectic music choices purposely loud

I don’t fit comfortably in narrow-minded boxes

I shift paradigms

Into the spectrum of prisms

Shattering pre fabricated mold prisons

I am not what you want me to be

I am unapologetically me

So…please have a seat and take a listen

My mission

Disassembling lego built prejudices

There’s no second guesses

As to who I am

An averted identity crisis

My bloodline cultivated strong seeds

Deeply rooted in confidence

Nourished with knowledge

Borderline narcissistic genetics

Inherited strength of warrior women

My small stature,

Conceals my larger than life nature.

I may seem timid, weak

But when I speak

I am a force to be reckoned with

Oya gale force winds

I tread lightly & surely

Cracking concrete with each step

Earthquake tremor heart beat

Hips sway to congas played eons ago

I have my own theme music

Caramel sun kissed tone

I never walk alone

My mind doubles as an edged sword

Master walker of thin lines

Swallowing thunder under my tongue

While honey sweet words serenade you

Webster definition of royalty falls short

encountering the likes of me

Right eyebrow arched

When faced with absurdity

Only fools question my authority

Hated by few, loved by many

The unnecessary not even a concern

fifth element of hip hop

Poetess I be

straight from Quisqueya la bella to Queens, NYC

with no apologies

I

am

unequivocally me

 

Don’t Tell Me I Make This Look Easy

This poem…

Won’t be riddled with metaphors

On how present open windows become

Past closed doors

On the contrary

You’re going to hear how

people think I make this look easy

Wake up; take a shower

Pack the kids lunch at an ungodly hour

Get them up, dressed

Already feeling inklings of stress

This is how most of my days start

Never any gratitude

Only groans and attitudes

Loathing going to work as I hear

The same tune “but I don’t WANT to go to school!”

Work 8 hours a day, come home

To whining complaints

Pissy clothes from non-existent toilet trips

Sleepless nights from nightmares and loneliness

Yelling at kids for being kids

Telling God, “ I cant do this!”

Single motherhood blues

Will never make the news

Regarding bouts with depression and Netflix

No movies Tyler Perry can make

Will properly depict unwarranted guilt trips

When you want a break

We have to walk around stone faced

Fearing people we hate may say

One night stands, flings, self-pity

Never makes you feel pretty

They made sure to let you know youre used property

Dilemma of dating while having kids

Can make one feel worthless

Like an old car with a few dings, dents

Less than market value

One more crash and your trashed like yesterday’s refuse

So you become a recluse

Former shadows of who you once were

It doesn’t matter anymore

Letting yourself go

Stepping on stake cheerios, hard legos

Hoping for death to be swift

Once that wish leaves your lips

Don’t tell me I make this look easy

You wouldn’t want to be me

Dreading the word “mommy”

it drops heavy with responsibility

As you play sole provider

God help me…

Im raising two babies simultaneously

No manuals or medication for the steady dedication

Keeping them happily alive

Keeps my sanity going and out of jail

My will is so frail

I cant abandon what I chose to do

How dead beats can

Because they couldn’t deal with parenting while still dating you

Sacrificed dreams to earn a living

Of premature gray hairs, headaches, couch crashing

Looks of disdain as I board the train with my stroller

If I had a choice my kids would be older

I wouldn’t be here right now

So forgive me if I cant move out the way so easily

As you rudely bum rush passed me to selfishly get a seat

Don’t tell me I make this look easy

With your unwanted advise of how I should raise my kids

While not having any

Its an insult added to injury

We’re not allowed to crack, cry

Commentary from grandma with a dose of side eye

As she sits idly by, judgmentally

Thinking, that’s not how she did it when she raised me

Not allowed to yell, put the kids early to bed

To get a res from reality

Not allowed to have mini breakdowns, not care for one night

Sip wine after the sibling fights, be imperfect

Feel inadequate as a mother

Feel fear, depressed, stressed

The whole world rides on our mistakes

Cry myself to sleep because I too get lonely

Don’t tell me I make this look easy

Because I’m not allowed to raise great kids according to this patriarchal society

Not allowed to say our kids can be little shits

Nothing special about being a single mother

As we balance the world on our hips

Pick up toys with our feet

While balancing on the other

Stir dinner with our free hand

Talk on the phone, give lesson plans

As we try to raise good men

While being phenomenal women

When does it all end?

When are we allowed to question “whats it all worth?”

The crying, sniveling, “whyyyyyy’s”, “ugh! Now what?”

Feigned helplessness, shitty underwear, failed potty training attempts,

Stubbornness, dirty dishes, hair that is unkempt

Endless loads of laundry!!

When do we get to say “Enough is ENOUGH!”

“I quit!”, “I’m done!” “Youre on your own from now on!”

…we don’t

we’re trying our best at least

against a realm that has no qualms showing disinterest or no respect

we chose this life…why?

For that golden moment, when youre in all your ogre glory

Your kids say “mommy, I love you, youre the best!”

This is why I do this

Favorite TV shows, shoes, shirts, socks, watches

Hiding those watches so you wouldn’t find it

Reminding me of the time all day

Giving me the minute by minute play by play

“Mommy it’s 11:56, 11:57, 11:58, 11:59”

like its always the first time

favorite songs rewind, ipod on solitary confinement

favorite stories, books

my favorite? Your crooked smiles, priceless looks

goofy dances and laughter

good times yet to master

as blast from the past sequested in old picture frames

capturing fractions of time

as it stood still for a millisecond

remembering a lifetime will never come back

so I keep taking a million picture

recalling first time mom jitters

second time mom experience

proud of my creations, resilience

im no second class citizen, I deserve recognition

don’t tell me I make this look easy

respect me enough to acknowledge that I too an a Human being

 

Stand Clear of The Closing Doors

ALL ABOARD!

The massive subway system of New York City

Where the melting pot of creationistic evolution is boiling and bubbling

ready to spill over on all that seek to sneak a taste

Careful not to waste, but do make haste

there’s about 40,000 of us running late, to that next gate of Hell

Ride away your way to release

Paying exorbitant fees to obtain the American Dream

of debt and regrets because you can’t forget

how it is back home.

Asleep riding in the opposite direction

Diving head first into the plantation hoping to make it rich quick

with these scratch off’s and daily pick lotto tickets

to change your situation.

Tripping over each other to give to corporations

like congregations paying tithes to snake oil salesmen.

Praying for songs of redemption from this capitalistic industry

which sells human decency for mere earned pennies

to be redeemed at the arcade of material things

Telling you to come get you some free while drowning in poverty

because no one told you that this dream is the most costly

No shame we pay for utilities to live and for what?

We have to give it all up.

They conspire against us to not retire, work hard until we expire

like metrocards we hold close in our wallets

more valuable than pictures of our kids.

For a CEO who probably doesn’t have any.

Now picture the imagery of a perfect mutiny

if we had the balls enough to expose, but no we don’t.

Meanwhile, he’s living on not so virgin islands

Sipping blood, sweat and tear martinis

on YOUR dollar and dime

Committing white collar crimes

Lost souls and lives believing the told lies

of what has become of this greedy, seedy money hungry city

come undone and your the one, who supports and proudly purports

that your a great team player.

A decent wage earning tax payer

and still riding these death traps that aren’t getting any safer

built on cheap slave labor.

More diseases and bacteria in a simple sneeze

can change your whole criteria and priority in life

but who gives a shit because we are satisfied

that we can get underground wi-fi

Don’t let it astound you.

They’re bound to confound the surround sounds

of your slowly dying fading out

by the soothing music streaming, screaming

out of your devices.

Have us believe that fantasy is real.

Commercial appeal to repeal truth as they’re plastered all over trains

It’s no mistake, most are eye level

Selling android phones and iPad’s

Needless questionable fashionable fads

to make you forget your ride into oblivion

But….it’s ok, I’m just like you

Trapped, paying fares that aren’t fair for those on welfare

but….who cares?

As day light is enveloped by dark tunnels,

we think it’s our salvation from this damnation

All for $2.50….

Makes no sense, but you still slave and earn cents

Have to go to work to direct deposit it back into the system

Insane cyclical victims

Holding on to depleting futures and deferred dreams

Slowly dipping into our minimal savings

Thinking we’re slipping, when competing

against the have’s as we have not

an ounce of dignity or self respect

None the less…

It’s pure f*cking genius!

Especially to those who hold special interests

And after all this city does, making you cynical

As it strips you of humanity; on the floor as you beg and plead

This stratified society will have no remorse

kicking you out saying

Stand clear of the closing doors please….

Copyright 2013.