Jul. 20th, 2017

  • 2:53 PM
pridefall: (the fox with no hound | Gin)
My dad said something today that really struck with me.
I’d told him a singer from a band I knew died recently;
that he had committed suicide, had chosen to end it all:
his final curtain call, the wounds in him too much for
years of success or knowing his music had saved
so many like me—and now, like him, like many,
from doing more than just listening to music
while contemplating exit signs.

And my pops, bless him, he said:
(his hands on the steering wheel, firm as always)
“I keep hearing that from your generation,” and:
“Lately, siento que ustedes se me están desapareciendo.”
Which, honestly? Made me think—if we: us the Gen-X'ers,
the Millennials; the twenty-somethings; the 90s kids; man-children;
clueless 30s; the Net Generation; the Hipsters; Los Pelús and above:
If we have no Great War, no Great Depression, no Stock Market Crash,
no Vietnam, no violent Civil Wars, no Holocaust nor Genocide;
(—at least in America, I mean.) then why have I said goodbye
to so many friends I once thought Invincible; said goodbye to:
friends and family who I once thought stronger than mountainsides,
more enduring; all of them more capable than I;
I: this neurotic mess of words, ADD, and Clonazepam;
why are they all gone, left twice in middle school, 
and six through college; while I'm still here weathering the storm?

I ask my father if he thinks it has something to do with weakness.
Ask him if he thought my generation just couldn’t hack it at life, as if
years of participation trophies (which he hated) and decades more
of entitlement without character building (which he loved) had turned us
into the kind of people who always check out in the middle of things;
whether it be a movie, a book, a series, a song; the go-home-gang,
he called it: always leaving without seeing if things could get better,
us all never interested in the journey or the struggle,
but still always fascinated by
the end.

But, no; instead, he said: “Pues. No sé, mijo.
Things were different when I was a kid.
We looked out for each other. We talked. 
There was—we had community, tu sabe?
Teníamos dignidad.” And that was that, for him.

So simple.

And yet the suicide rate among teens has doubled,
And yet the suicide rate among LGBT youth has tripled,
And yet, just today, I heard the mortality rate of single mothers,
and those brave souls still coming back from a decade of war—
(not a Great one, no; and not one we acknowledge publicly;
much like our single mothers; our homeless youth;
my generation is dying, papi, y no sé cómo convencerte que
mañana yo podria no estar aquí; que sé cómo decirte:

Dear Dad,
I’ve thought about suicide more times than I’ve had birthdays,
and sometimes the only thing keeping me here,
is you thinking I am strong enough to fight.)
 
—my point is, someone I didn’t know took his life, today;
and even though I didn’t know him, his music spoke to me.
Convinced me that, even if tragedy has no face or name,
even if it is only a reflection, only a whisper on the wind;
what he and so many others have gone through
is less a running theme or metaphor, and more
the byproduct of every kid I've ever known, knowing:
suicide rates are the highest they’ve ever been in decades,
while still living a life too afraid to show their scars.

I think I’ll always wonder what it means, his words and his intent:
(Because I could never hold on to anything as tightly as he could)
“No sé, but I keep hearing your generation is dying,” and then:
“I don’t think there’s any reason for it, y'know? No lo entiendo.”
“My friends had it worst, but they—we all got through it.”
(And the pause here is deep, his knuckles still on the wheel.)
“Tu sabes? Your grandfather and his grandfather, too.”

Pero, papi. But dad: I know you’ve always said:
“Life’s tough, get a helmet. Life sucks, and then you die.”

But, shouldn’t this world we live in now be just a little better,
than the one you and your generation were given?

-- it's 2017 and I'm not sure I'll make it past 30 anymore.

Jul. 18th, 2017

  • 12:11 PM
pridefall: (the saddest icon I have | art)
 Attention baby boomers:
Residente Calle 13 no es un prócer di mi generación, 
and Ricky Rat-Face Rosselló won't save yours from what's coming;
Despite what your white savior complex tells you--
(Sorry, call that one Telemundo/Notivision);
--Lo que nos falta, Puerto Rico,
Es convertirnos en una isla de Pelus.
 
- untitled fragment of a larger poem.

Jul. 18th, 2017

  • 12:10 PM
pridefall: (Here I lay my Burdens Down | Art)
I went to Peñuelas and came back blacker 
than the hearts of the white men whose
ashes now decorate more of Puerto Rico
(bone skin soul) deeper than my ancestors
ever had the chance to be.

May. 28th, 2017

  • 6:56 PM
pridefall: (ye shall be made to know me | Lezard)
hyenas pick bones clean
never knowing whence
their next meal will be
 
perhaps we pick at scars
newly healed or decades old
hoping for the same

May. 26th, 2017

  • 8:03 PM
pridefall: (Here I lay my Burdens Down | Art)
 IMPERIALISM IS MY MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME NEVER BEING CAPITALIZED
 
IS MY FATHER WORKING FOR THE USPS ONLY FOR A TWENTY-SOMETHING YOUNG GRINGO TO COME AND TAKE HIS JOB AFTER FORTY YEARS OF SERVICE
 
IS EVERY FAFSA, EVERY RESUME, EVERY GOVERNMENT CENSUS FORCING ME TO CUT MY LAST NAME OUT FROM INSIDE OF ME
 
IS THE IDEA THAT I MUST CONSENT TO ONLY BEING MY FATHER'S SON WHEN IT TOOK ROLÓN Y ROMERO TO MAKE ME
 
IMPERIALISM IS NAMING SCHOOLS AFTER PRÓCERES WHILE SKIPPING OVER TAÍNO AND NUYORICAN HISTORY
 
IS GIVING STREETS IN SAN JUAN THE NAMES OF US PRESIDENTS SO EVEN IN DEATH WE ARE STILL FORCED TO RELY ON THEM FOR GUIDANCE
 
IS SAYING "I LIVE WHERE YOU VACATION" WHEN 45% OF PUERTO RICANS LIVE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE

May. 19th, 2017

  • 9:11 PM
pridefall: (You ruined it noncoolkid | Dave)
they call insomniacs nightowls
because like they, we too
spend our sleepless nights
awake, wondering:
who, who,
who?

Apr. 10th, 2017

  • 4:06 PM
pridefall: (You ruined it noncoolkid | Dave)
In Hawaii, they kill coqui instead of letting them sing
And we call that tragedy;
Most days, though--most days?
I hear Puerto Rican's talk about students,
And wonder if we'll ever appreciate the irony.

Apr. 10th, 2017

  • 4:06 PM
pridefall: (an atheist in hell | John Constantine)
I am Africa shaped by how chains and gunpowder color us all equally;
Call me trigueño, call me mulatto;
Cuando yo digo que mi familia es de Ponce,
That's not the beginning of a popular refrain;
It is me acknowledging that the savannah runs through my veins,
And like a hyena I have spent years gnawing on the bones of my ancestors,
Trying to separate the sound of lions from
Spanish so heavy on my tongue.

Apr. 10th, 2017

  • 4:05 PM
pridefall: (Here I lay my Burdens Down | Art)
When I reach the pearly gates,
Let it be known my list of demands will rival God's.
Only instead of stone tablets, I will merely point at Puerto Rico and ask:
Where in the Hell do you get off?
Gave my ancestors paradise on Earth,
but let presidents pave our streets knowing their names would outlast our own.

Jan. 15th, 2017

  • 7:43 PM
pridefall: (Here I lay my Burdens Down | Art)
she is lightning bolts inside of me,
all storm winds, all frantic; my feet:
they cannot stay grounded, will not;
with her, gravity is just a suggestion;
her gentle touch lifts me from the dirt,
and i know it is dangerous; i know this:
that men stuck always looking for heaven,
are those most likely missing bullet trains;
I know this, I know this; and yet, here am I:
a man chasing after thunderstorms, smiling;
for you have made my heart a lightning rod.

- force of nature, i

Dec. 29th, 2016

  • 11:36 PM
pridefall: (an atheist in hell | John Constantine)
she asks of me poetry.
i think instead of castanets.
think rhythm and heartbeats,

one-two-three, one-two-three;
think of gunfire. think tides. think

--inevitable. revolution.

she asks of me poetry and i think Span-/ish/, tongue heavy with words left unsaid. i think untransliterate. think of doors left open in hurricanes and coqui like fireworks--incessant but not enough to sleep. i think empty train cars and miles of road. think selfish.

think syllables. tongue. teeth. lips.

she ask me for poetry and i think of beating hearts, chest to chest; i think tango--not regimented Argentine or orchestrated waltz; i think criollo, think dirty-sweating-clumsy-swearing-unpracticed fumbling; think Carmen and violins; think cannonade; think, think, think;

one-two-three, one-two-three;
one--two: laughter and moonlight.
two---three: anxiety and sunrises;

think three, four, five: mil pasos,
y yo: sentado aquí escribiéndote

tonterias sin verso.

-- "this is not a poem, this is a work of art,"

Dec. 29th, 2016

  • 11:35 PM
pridefall: (I'm a super hero! Really! | Invincible)
no sé nada,
pero nada del amor;
pero contingo, pues:
entiendo.

Dec. 25th, 2016

  • 12:13 PM
pridefall: (Truest Words Ever Spoken | Anis Mojgani)
Poem for the new year:
every resolution I make,
will begin with myself,
and end far away from you;
each promise to the road:
a step in the right direction.

Dec. 11th, 2016

  • 9:38 AM
pridefall: (Only Data Streams | Tron)
Day 81,
I am making you disappear.
No rabbit, no smoke;
Abracadabra; alakazam.

Nov. 21st, 2016

  • 4:45 PM
pridefall: (I'm a super hero! Really! | Invincible)
Some days
You are the passenger seat
And every mile beneath you
Is the tangled road to El Dorado;
Call this night Graceland
Call it Perdition; Call it Home
We climb into cabs and trust
Absolute strangers with our lives
Hoping they can all get us home
And that every road leads to
Some place or one
Where we belong

Nov. 20th, 2016

  • 11:28 AM
pridefall: (Here I lay my Burdens Down | Art)
soft. like raindrops, or candle-light;
like your favorite dog-eared book,
and her most perfect cup of coffee,
quiet every Sunday morning; gentle
like peaches washed by tender hands,
or daffodils swaying in the breeze; soft
like fingertips finding one another magnetic,
always drawn together in hallways, in pictures,
at speakeasies, fidgeting under tables,
pulling apart, after; us hiding love, hoarding it,
both of us embarrassed we're not sixteen again
and unafraid of hickeys, or fucking up, fucking up again
not afraid of hurting each other with--not afraid, punto.
soft like her breathing, the slow rise and fall of her everything,
and how her hair pools in your lap, gentle: an ocean at rest;
soft like heart-beats. (th-thump, th-thump.)
like thumbs ghosting knuckles and rib-cages and thighs,
fingretips fluttering up your side;
you are a sparrow hiding from a storm and i but two hands
hoping they can hold you right; you are soft like a first kiss
never given but always longed for; soft like poetry, like
tonterias whispered in the shell of an ear, like promises,
me forever hoping words can make a difference in you,
reach where nothing else can touch. you are sakura in bloom;
you are bubblegum; you are leather and spice and
the smell of violets after a lightning storm; ozone and earth,
you are gentle like the touch of winter in the dead of night,
like cotton-candy, pop-rocks, and dates with redheads;
i know i am filled with knives and shattered mirrors,
with broken windows and glass stained for all the wrong reasons;
but in you, i see how even someone made up of sharp
can still reflect rainbows and fireworks
all the way up to the sky.

- "soft,"

Nov. 15th, 2016

  • 8:16 AM
pridefall: (You ruined it noncoolkid | Dave)
It's quiet this morning;
Like the scene of a massacre,
Like the ocean at dawn,
Like church after service,
Like hallways at airports,
after every plane has left
the building.

Nov. 9th, 2016

  • 12:19 PM
pridefall: (the saddest icon I have | art)
I woke up this morning,
Like most,
To the song of gunshots
And school bells ringing
Like Gabriel's horn at the fall of Jericho
--Apropos, then
That our next president
Will make gunshots
and the counting of hours
A reality.

- i am afraid

Nov. 7th, 2016

  • 1:27 PM
pridefall: (an atheist in hell | John Constantine)

If This Be Blasphemy

The first time we fucked, I saw God.
—and no, that is not a metaphor to explain how:
that night, I learned both Braille and Scripture
at the tabernacle of every bruise and bitemark
my lips drew like penance from between your thighs;
That night, I was not Baptized at the mouth of your river,
nor born again, resurrected virginal and absolved of sin
like every faux-penitent atheist before a plane crash;
Madrigal, my God’s-honest truth is this: with just one word,
you moved me. Brought faith to the faithless, you soothed me
like every great parable should; you renewed me:
slowly, at first; your gentle hands took consideration of:
each quiet space others had left ragged within me;
I came to you a shattered wreck, drowning; but you,
you reached inside and nailed fistfuls of wood and iron
around my heart like you still believed in saviors;
you are no saint, but in your soft ministrations,
I found myself: that self still yet a shipwreck, yes;
still lost, my hopes and dreams stretched thin like sails,
battered and worn from a lifetime spent seeking my
True North—not for myself, but in others; love,
before you? I was just wood better left for kindling,
simply a boy hammered into the shape of a man,
but after? Though I am yet still a warship, sinking;
your name sieves from my lips like floodwater, and I
I am a man drowning that still believes in anchors.

this is not a prayer, and I: no pious Franciscan,
no irreligious Pagan seeking benediction for:
how your nails etched the words "Holy Christ,"
into the length of my spine; it did not take me
years of study cloistered in your embrace to come
to and understanding of the language of your teeth
—only practice. And patience; for in our holy parapet:
I found God waiting both prodigal and ancient,
Her only Rule of Law to go forth and conquer
every inch of you between: the door, my desk,
the wall, the floor, the wall, my bed, the shower;
my teeth as plowshares; my tongue a blade;
my hands Conquistadors, each mad to claim
your temple as my holy ground. In your sighs,
I knew Her Sole Commandment dealt more with:
drawing my name from your lips, eyes shut and
heels digging, fingers clasped tight between mine;
our bodies a Testament written to reconcile two truths:
this—what felt a mutual Inquisition, but instead became
our unironic retelling of every Spanish occupation;
you: Cortez by way of Quixote, lionized by word of mouth;
and i: every brown skinned boy looking wide-eyed for God,
only to find Virtù and redemption in all the wrong places;
love, we do not ask one another for forgiveness
in this: our war against all common sense,
because the language we speak by candlelight
has no word for “impropriety,” only:
"Yes," "More," “Right there,” and "Oh God, please—fuck me."

you are the Walls of Jericho, fortified,
and I: Jerusalem by way of Scheherazade;
my words exist only to prolong the inevitable,
for I know that every church crumbles, and
not even Lucifer could adulate perfection
without the want of something more; us
we want love with a knife in its hand,
we want love on a mountaintop, all truth,
its edge poised to smite our non-believers;
but I see you, and think hymnals; think Maria.
Think Eve. Think Savior. Think of shoulders, and
holding the weight of someone else like a cross
never meant to be borne in anguish; we fucked, love
and every Sunday thereafter, I have known Heaven as:
waking up to the smell of coffee, and her:
barefoot and hair still a mess, her outline dripping water
as though it knows there is nowhere else it would rather be.

Nov. 6th, 2016

  • 4:28 PM
pridefall: (But that would make sense | Spider-man)
i am an ocean of meaning,
but humans, ah; we cannot
subsist on tidewater