Monday, March 10, 2014

observations en el barrio

The zinc wall behind the musicians has a painted  clock mural that reads
Camaradas el Barrio.

When you hear the raindrops fall on the zinc roof in Puerto Rico, it’s time for un asopao de camarones-- shrimp stew.

The brick wall on the side reminds me that I’m in New York City.  East Harlem.

Long dark haired women can’t resist to sway their hips when the three tambores begin to play. And neither can the men. A slim guy with glasses and a long sleeve black shirt begins to move his shoulders and arms rapidly. Two of the drums follow his move.

Puku tá puku tá Puku tá tá tá

The other drum keeps a steady rhythm.  One of the drummers is wearing a black shirt with various symbols, one the taino symbol for sun and Yankees flat brim.  Nüyorican.  The main difference between this band and one that plays in Puerto Rico is that most of them are wearing beanies and scarves.

A woman says, “That’s my brother!” as she takes pictures of the lead singer of Yerbabuena Tato Torres. She dances side-to-side as she takes the pictures.


The tune of el jíbaro puertorriqueño.  The country farmers sang the chant at dawn as they went to work.

There are about 8-10 musicians. They alternate their roles.  One of the back-up singers wearing a red beanie and sweater took the mic. Her voice raspy and powerful. She also played the drum set. The only members who are fixed in an instrument are the guitarists, the cuatro player and the bassist.

Drink break. It seems that everyone in the crowd knows someone in the band or at least it feels that way. Pitchers of sangria are passed along.

The same man that was dancing with the drums takes the stage. Before he begins to sing he says, “Don’t let anymore white people in.” He begins to improvise. Trovador. He resembles Marc Anthony; but his style is much more traditional and his message much more nationalistic. Puerto Rican folk music.

side- to- side
The whole crowd is dancing.

The bass produces a smooth melody which compliments the high-pitched cuatro perfectly. I’ve never seen a bass and a cuatro together. If it wasn’t for the 10 string Puerto Rican guitar, one could think this band is  Afro-Cuban or from another part of the Caribbean. El cuatro is the sound of Puerto Rico- our national instrument. All across the United States, Puerto Ricans have preserved the tradition of playing it.

This cuatro is either painted red or made out dark red wood. It’s thinner than a traditional acoustic cuatro. The player closes his eyes and clenches his lips as he plays complicated, fast melodies that make the crowd cheer.

¡Que viva Puerto Rico!

It’s amazing how proud a nation can be without sovereignty.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

little spoon

y si te digo que te adoro
que eres mi tesoro
que todo lo que tocas es oro
y de lo mucho que te añoro

yo sé que tú eres de acaricias
de cuentos colorados
que si I love you y te amo
y pues si te gusta, te lo diré

porque yo soy una noña
que no ha sido noñada
estupidamente enamorada
de tu risa y tu barba

asi que volteate de prisa
arropate con la frisa
que tengo el feeling
que quieres ser little spoon

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the lullaby

in the middle of my body
the flesh moves
I inhale life
as all animals do

ground, tree, HA!

to eat
breath? Yes, breath
as all animals do

She said,
“Oh, but what a wonderful breeze against the leaves!
Isn’t it great? Do you want to hear it too?
Open up the window a little more, baby.”

wind, leaves, sounds
what are sounds?
harmoniously pleasing to
the hole in my head

i saw my mate
it didn’t notice the sound
so i moved around with the sound

happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday dear reader,
happy birthday to you.

a tune or a song?
what are these sounds?
does it mean anything?

nothing more than sound
it doesn’t mean anything
it doesn’t mean anything

I said, “Who cares about the breeze and the leaves?
I only want you. Let’s crawl into bed.”

mate looked at me
seems like he heard it too
He signaled the hole in his ear
I looked sincerely in his eyes

music is born
Aleluia, Aleluia, Aleluia

It takes two.

Praising twice to
no one?

Whatever you choose.

my mate and I dance
the most carnal of dances

She said, “Let’s listen to music while we have sex.”
I didn’t care about music, but she does.
I said, “Sure, put on a Pandora station.”

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose#

sharing of the bodies
two become one

She was thinking, “Will he ever make me orgasm?”
I was thinking, “Is she ever going to stop talking?”

you want some of this cup?
he drank from the cup.

Do this in remembrance of me.

it was like when nature gets mad at us
except we controlled nature
as all people do

Duba bada baba dada badababa.
You’re gonna sing this song tonight
and maybe for days to come du daba.
It’s a trap. You didn’t hear that, right?

and it all turned bright
I felt warmth all around
we lifted our arms and danced

pauper, pauper servus et humilis
pauper, pauper servus et humilis#

with fire came light
with light came knowledge
with knowledge, temptation
and then there was sin

“Repeat after me,”
the teacher continues:
“We’re all sinners.”
The children repeat:
“We’re all sinners.”

Vivo sin vivir en mí
Y tan alta vida espero
Que muero porque no muero.#

Her eyes closed, she moaned and I knew
she reached her peak. I could tell by the
fainting squeak. I said, “Baby, did you reach?”
She smiled and didn’t answer.
When she doesn’t talk I know it’s real.

water drips from my eyes
it hurts to think of the
one who bore me
where is she?

Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas#

Do you know this sad song?
Are you familiar with the pain of Brel?
Do you even know your own pain?
Does it hurt when I talk about death?

You shall never know my pain!
Don’t try to understand me.
Hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!

I am the first to feel
to know about pleasure
to know about pain

I keep asking myself
is it better this way?

My hand has discovered all the
curves in her body. My tongue
has explored all the caverns within.

She must die. I have no option.

a mystery
is there another life?

When I woke up, she wasn’t there.
A cold stare did not love me.
She was gone and I contemplated
leaving with her.

To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub.

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I took her away, away, far away.

the first to feel
is the first to know death
the first to know death
must take everyone away

away, away, far away hay dolor más grande que el dolor de ser vivo,
ni mayor pesadumbre que la vida consciente.#

I’ve created a lullaby if you want to hear it:

“Sleep tonight, sleep tomorrow.
There will be no more sorrow.
Stop your breathing join me,
there will be no way to flee.
All your loved ones will join
  no need to feel alone.
You won’t see a new day.
I will take you away, away,
far away.”

What a wonderful song wouldn’t you say?
I’ve perfected it through the years.
I sing it to all that die.

I screamed, “Take me! Don’t leave me here.
We had a promise to die together.”

Silly man, your pain amuses me.
Why feel in your ephemeral existence?
There is just one absolute faith.

in the middle of his body
the flesh stopped to move
he exhaled life
as all animals do

Monday, October 22, 2012

voto ausente

somos el pensamiento que a ellos les falta,
somos el futuro que el corrupto espanta.

nos tratan de esconder,

hacer de nuestros sueños,
otra cosa a corromper.

pero no nos pueden callar.

los pensamientos no se borran,

siempre los vamos a hallar.

si existe la necesidad de un mejor mañana
juro que mi tinta no me falla.

somos el fruto del pensador,

de un jibarito, no un Cobrador.

escucha mi verso amigo trabajador:

cree en tu país, 
en su futuro,
en el bebe que nace hoy.

educarlo es nuestro deber,

salvarlo será tu honor.

bienvenido a un Mejor Mañana.

bienvenido a lo que hace

anímate si lo que quieres es seguir en marcha.

que nunca más la Perla del Caribe quede en manos de piratas.
que nunca más la Isla del Encanto sea maltratada.

marcha azul,

marcha rojo,
marcha verde,
esto no es de partidos o rebeldes, 
es de pensadores---gente decente.

by: cami and carms

Sunday, November 27, 2011

algunas cosas no cambian

dejé que fuera cristal

no me tomaste

me tenían de adorno

me miraste

te gusto

me deseaste

pero me opacaste

me mentiste

y casi me rompiste

pero sabéis que no soy frágil

aunque sigo siendo cristal

Monday, February 14, 2011

a mi no me dan flores

Ciertas cosas son imposibles
Como la imposibilidad de un nos
Me he pasado todo el día pensando
Que nunca habrá un y entre tu, yo

Sunday, December 12, 2010

on december 12 i woke up

i inhaled inspiration
and exhaled this poem
it was sporadic
i shared an emotion
and like (that!)
it came back.
the need
the desire
to write.