Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Rose in Spanish Harlem

Three Characters in One:
East Harlem - Spanish Harlem - El Barrio
© By Alberto O. Cappas

There is a Rose in Spanish Harlem
Hiding in exile until it becomes all clear
A community
Divided unto itself by itself with itself
While other cultures make themselves at home
We stay inside
Like Lobsters in a barrow
Managed by a social service over-dosed mindset
Cultural Centers keeping Boricua in the past
Preaching a strategy of outdated liberated emotions
Perpetuated by poets with words that erase
Possibilities of moving a new generation forward
Colonial chains still in full operation
A living electronic field of rappers and poets
Adding confusion to the meaning
A community consuming, not providing
Electing misguided egos into public policy positions
Cementing the fate with physical evidence:
Babies coming from babies
The young echoing the "N" word as a daily sweet diet
Tattoos carved on human bodies transformed into walking billboards
And slacks placed below the waist line as something very cool
As the poet Pedro Pietri said,
"It is time to visit
Sister Lopez again
The number one healer"
And pray that the spirits
Would heal and guide us out of
Ignorance and bondage
Giving us the wisdom to build A new Spanish Harlem
And Liberate the Rose
Rise Puerto Ricans
Rise Puerto Ricans

About AOC:
A published poet, author of several books of poems, including a self-help book, Never too late to make a U-turn: An Educational Pledge and 15 Questions to Self-Development. He is the founder of Nubian Speakers Bureau, Don Pedro Cookies, and www.aneducationalpledge.com website. AOC is also the director of Community Affairs for the New York City Human Resources Administration. AOC was the student leader that led to the development of Puerto Rican Studies at SUNYAB in 1971. During this same period, AOC was invited to Attica Prison as an Observer to help negotiate prison reform with Governor Rockefeller.

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