It is clear that bliss and envy - they are the numerator and the denominator of the fraction known as happiness.
—Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (novel)
It is clear that the whole of human history, as far as we know, is a story of transition from a nomadic mode of life toward an increasingly settled one.
—Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (novel)
“You eventually erase her contact info from your phone but not the pictures you took of her in bed while she was naked and asleep, never those.”
- Junot Díaz, This is How You Lose Her
It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.
—Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Too often we’ve been taught to speak with caution. It’s only when one speaks with ease that others heed the words projected on them. We listen without ears and snap without fingers.. lingering only in the depths of assumption. We assume that our words are truly free, but freedom can only gleam when words are spoken with ease.
Join RAW Poets at Nuyorican Poets Cafe for our upcoming poetry, art and semi-open mic night: ‘The Speakeasy’. Submerge yourself in a scene where there is no longer a prohibition on free, inspiring and/or intellectual words. Feel free to speak easy. Purchase your tickets at:
“You’re getting divorced?”
“Where are we gonna live?” I said, staring up at Mona.
It was instinctive and unintentional, but Dad took it as me choosing sides and reacted in a fit of rage. He slammed his hairy fist down on the table, causing a crack that trickled across the glass like a raindrop falling down a car window. The four legs underneath held the tabletop together, but no dinner was ever served on it again. For years I practiced drowning his voice out and for the first time I was successful. It was like my fifth sense was disabled. I couldn’t hear a word he said, but I could feel the spit leave his lip and land on my nose as he hovered over me, screaming white noise. He waved his fist above my head, but I felt no need to flinch. The empty sound of his words made it so much easier for me to feel no fear. Even after he punched me with brute strength in my left ear, the sense never came back. Blood dripped from my ear onto my Champion Orlando Magic jersey, covering Shaq’s last name in red. As I fell to the ground, my fourth sense checked out and I went blank. I couldn’t see anything, only shadows of Mona wrestling with my father. Dad was strong, but in that instance Mona had Mom-strength that would allow her to lift a truck to protect her baby. I saw him fall to the floor and pick himself up slowly. He let her have the last word, but would not leave without giving her at least one black eye.
excerpt from short story Mona in my upcoming book:
Leather: A Short Story Collection
The “men” aboard these piagua’s were not “men,” they were not Caribs, they were not human; they were not us. Their skin, their hair, their tongue. The sounds that left their mouths soared over our heads, swept down to our feet, and looped around our bodies, losing all shape and meaning by the time they reached our ears. Our calls of greeting were unheard by them, overrun by the echo of tides colliding with the timber of their vessels.
Our Kacike foretold of this date. He warned us of a time when the sun would reach its peak and, for the first time ever, would not retreat at the sight of darkness as it did every night. Instead, the sun would stare down on us as our Gods stood face-to-face with us. I imagined the zemis would be larger, cleaner, undressed, without metal… without weapons.