What it is mi gente. Writing this with that last bit of 24 still left in me. This ride has been amazing. Who woulda thunk it? Your boy has been all over the place trying to learn what needs to be unlearned and recreated.
25 seems big. I cant even front. It’s like that time that I thought would never come but then sneaks up right behind you and smacks you in the face. Let’s see what I have done.
Been to like almost every spot in NYC. No lies. Well some hotter than others and times I shouldn’t have been there I was. Learned a lot from being around paranoid people. Makes me more focused on what I gotta do. This first statement is no way a priority. It just makes me bug when I think of some of the missions adventures cycles rituals that have happen and keep happening. Jah Bless Me everyday. Karma is wild out. Reflection and building sessions, lessons learnt, laughs, good things in the air, heart pacing fast moments, blackouts that never should happen again. Seen almost like every major event in my young adult growing mature life has coincided with the moments of temporary clarity that might cloud conviction but gives dimensions to your character.
Went to the motherland la tierra Puerto Rico twice and I’m going again in two weeks. I’m excited. I remember the first time I read Where are My Boricuas? There I teared up. Because I always wanted to go since that first time I read Down These Mean Streets and that Boricua Anthology. Remember the first time I touched the white sands of Ocean Park. Beautiful more banging than Orchard Beach Best. I was in heaven hearing the waves crash the shore bringing me back to where I need to return and recycle the spirits within. I need to learn Spanish. Need to get the colonizer off my tongue send him back to suburbia on the 5 train express at rush hour non stop for Andover. Shake that Colonialism out my bones and salsa to sundown and boogaloo to the breakadawn. I wish I could I wish I could.
Graduated from school. What the fuck. I went to school straight from 3 to 23 and learned a lot of useful knowledge and been miseducated on what it is I should become. What I lacked was the real world wisdom and vision to try to make something of all those lessons. Latino Studies and English. The legacy of Nuyorican literature from Piri to Mikey to Tato to Willie to Pun. The lyrical lineage of Slick Rick Rakim KRS One to Nas and Biggie. The short eyes paper. The hector lavoe paper. The Beloved Paper. Comparing Albizu to Munoz Marin. I’m sayin that shit ain’t even the half of where it’s at. Seeing how many of my own friends did not get that same shot opportunity of education and how it has affected their possibilities and it many ways limited them. It has never made them less of human beings. And that was the whole science at many of these places I’ve been lower miseducated at. The saltines wanted me to believe that I was a savage being saved from the wilderness on some Tarzan shit. But I can’t front. I got crazy chances to overachieve and succeed and I’m gracious and thankful for that. It wasn’t easy though. For real though.
Done my thing with the poetry. It has its ups downs highs lows and in betweens. I’ve rocked at the Nuyorican had people screaming for my words. Feels good going to many other places and representing Story Avenue always first. Def Poetry was flavor. Got the chance to meet people who inspired me in so many ways. Writing the book. Amazing process. Finished it this time last year. I remember I was feverishly trying to put the finishing touches on it bring it all together. A year later seems like its in the same place. I’m still grinding. Trying to do it. Balance life on one hand and dreams on the other.
Teaching is something I thought I’d be doing in the long term life sense like when I was a kid, but after 218, I thought it was a wrap. Thank God for the school that’s a church, El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. I’ve found a sanctuary a quilombo where fellow revolutionaries are trying to change and help the world, one teenager at a time. It’s an amazing place and if I’ve been down on the poetry tip, everyday is a performance homey. To say your words is one thing, to get a child to understand be critical engage analyze and rethink is a powerful thing that no slam can ever ever capture. It’s taken me a while to negotiate that, but I’m comfortable with where I’m at. I’m trying to grow learn inspire love appreciate and be humble all at once.
It feels like just yesterday I was up in East Campus, crying my eyes out like holy shit, I;m about to turn 20. I went through like every single life moment in my mind, trying to just just on to them for a second more because I never thought I’d see that. So happy that the sun shined yet another on my face. Try to rub some sunshine your face everyday.
Ha! Here I am 5 years later and I have watched that young man, scared skinny simple yet trying to understand why he is who he is. His family. Knowing his parents as regular people, recognizing my ancestors sacrifice for me to be here, loving the life that has been given to be free with the chance to shape a new world better for our children and theirs them after and just keep it going. I need to remember everything that my family has forgotten because otherwise, What am I doing on this planet? What is the purpose of my existence? To be plugged into the matrix doing backflips for Satan hatin my complexion shape of my body and way of addressing humanity? I had to snap out back front jump climb crawl hustle jive flow freestyle fuck feel hope believe write reflect pray for each one of these precious few momentary breaths that the God blesses me with.
What is the meaning of this change this rebirth this renewal this opportunity? For me it is just that. I call em like I see it. I have to keep this thing moving and pass it on to other who can use it to make something else from this, because where we at right now is nowhere in comparison to where we need to be. Got to get up everyday. Each word has to have meaning. Each breath has a purpose kept inside. Real talk.