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I am from....

Written 06-06-14

I am from
the gleam in my father's eyes
my mother's bowed head

I am from his sermons
her torn vagina

I am from his hope
her rage

I am from
the Tainas
who drowned their babies
The Tainos who hanged themselves
from trees

I am from the Tainos
who fought back
the cimarrones
who ran into the mountains

I am from Marti
with the ball chained to his ankle
Marti lighting uprisings
with his words
Marti riding wounded on his horse


The Young Man and the Sea

Written 06-07-14. Nothing bad happened to him yet he thought and his face had no lines, no signs. Or, he thougt at other times the bad things that had happened were so bad they had stopped him from feeling way before the feelings touched his face. Most of the time he was very quiet. Looking at himself in the mirror he couldn't tell if he was bored, or numb, or what.
He loved to fish. He didn't remember it but before his mother left, she used to read him a Chinese version of Cinderella with a magic fish. He didn't remember the story but he loved to fish.


Visualize a door...

Written 06-06-2014. Visualize a door, who what you see...enter it... Javi and I are in the back room of the house on the Callejon Amargura in Sancti, Spiritus. We stand at the back window of our room. It is a full length window. We grip the metal baars and stick our faces almost through them, watching the pouring rain. We can barely see the Escambray mountains in the distance, where I imagine Joseph with his coat of many colors lives.


Autobiography With One Lie

Written 06-06-14
My father was born in Guanajay, in Pinar del Rio Province, East of Havana, the part of the island that would be the heel if Cuba was actually a woman's shoe.
I used to worry that he came from a place that means turkey, or is similar to the word for turkey, guanajo, in the same way I worried that my name Maritza was already a diminutive, and what would I be called when I grew up?
I worried a lot about things that I thought might mark me as odd, or reveal me as odd.



What do yu do when all of life is making do?
Today Lucas was very happy because he got the walls bilt. "I'm someone who can make fire from nothing." He was euphoric. He's been feeling his way to life out of the ground. What's been missing in his life is room, and welcome.
If he wasn't fierce, a fighter, he'd be dead.
I called him to ask him, "I saw a guy today, driving. What is a guy your age doing sucking a blue pacifier while driving a car he almost hits me with when he left turns?"
Lucas laughed. "It's something people used to do back in the day."


Retreat 10-25-15


02 09 08 Memoir Writing with Alf

Memory of the color red

I remember the frozen blood on the corner of 54th street, on the street side, and on the avenue side. I'd seen blood on the sidewalk before. I always wondered the story behind it, what tragedy, what violence. This was the blood of someone I know, I knew. I can't remember his real name, Orlando maybe. His street name I don't know how to write, DMO. I never feel comfortable with the street names because I'm not a street person. The real names feel too intimate, an invasion. Who was he, somebody in between those two names. He was a little scary because he was so big. One time he walked into my bedroom very drunk, confused, looking for the bathroom. I was told he had a beautiful singing voice and that Lucas had recorded him, or that it was sad because Lucas never had and now he was dead.

01 26 08 Vehicular Suicide

At the wake at De Riso's there's a backroom with three little boys doing cartwheels and two little girls running around. One is the daughter of the deceased, Jason Gonzalez or Sniper. The girl, Briana, is around ten years old. So when she was born he was 20. For many of those years he was in prison. He was good at breaking and entering. But he was especially good at stealing cars. He looked very small in the coffin although I remember him as tall. Was part of the body missing from the car accident? Or broken and put into the coffin in pieces. He died on impact driving fast on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 44th street in Sunset Park at 3 or so on the morning of January 22nd, 2008. That's almost four years to the day after DMO was stabbed and kicked to death on the Avenue around the corner from my house. He dropped dead across the street, maybe trying to get to us for help.

12 25 & 12 26 07

12 25 07
I’m in the breakfast room of the La Quinta Inn South in Tallahassee. It’s an ok motel, a few notches below the Hampton Inn which means the breakfast doesn’t have any boiled eggs or sausage patties. Every single thing here has sugar or corn syrup except the hot drinks and hopefully the juices.

Release time is over


So sleepy I could lie down on the carpet in my office right now and go to sleep.

First day back at work. The Commissioner is moved over to the Bloomberg Family Foundation.

I'm trying to remember jokes


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