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We are Nomads…

Pasckie (see here https://danielromo.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/the-blues/) and I wrote a collaborative piece to read referring to our group- Nomads of 4th Street.   We simply said to write about who each of us is.  This is my portion.

(from We are Nomads” –collaboration w/ Pasckie Pascua)

I.  Old School

We are observers, bleeding into students,
Materializing into doers,
Who learned the art of poetry
Not from unyielding high school
Honors and AP English tedium,
But from freestyle, KDAY, and the
“Golden age of hip-hop curriculum.”
And our teachers didn’t go by the abbreviations
“MR” or “MRS,”
But from the acronyms: “EPMD,” “DMC,” and “KRS.”
And we equate “ladi dadi”
With “liking to party,”
And “throw your hands in the air”
With redundant apathetic care,
Pouring what’s left of our commercialized
Watered down moonshine on to the lyrical graves
Of Pac, Eazy-E, and Jam Master Jay,
Paying our last respects to what’s left
Of the art we lost our innocence to.
We are observers, bleeding into students,
Materializing into doers who
Pay homage to where it all began.

II. Middle Ground

We are third-generation Mexican-American,
Abuelitos of Abuelos who raised seven kids
On twelve acres of Artesian farmland,
Blending into three bedroom houses
On Main St. into mainstream
With vernacular and skin lit just enough
To pass for suburban tans.
But pitchy pigment unable to gain access
And credibility into tough Watts barrios
Asking ourselves—
How can we be whitewashed when we dream
In hues of brown,
Murky muted resident of a picket-fence town,
Surrounded by supercilious soccer moms,
We stalwartly bite vexed tongues
While balancing chips on proud shoulders,
Because grandpa never blamed anything on race.
We are third-generation Mexican-American,
Abuelitos of Abuelos who raised seven kids
On twelve acres of Artesian farmland,
With socially arthritic hands unable
To catch breaks or 22s.

III. Rapid Eye Movement

We are realists who live by the credo—
Ain’t no such thing as free ice cream,
It even costs to carry a pipe dream.
Remnants of rocky road and galvanized steel
Engrained between our idealistic fingers
And our pragmatic palms,
Singing psalms of unyielding determination
To revitalize and keep the obligatory “it” real.
We are, how we feel.
And with sincerest apologies to R.E.M.,
To steal their line,
“And I feel fine.”
We are realists who live by the credo
Ain’t no such thing as free ice cream.,
It even costs to carry a pipe dream
And someday we’ll be able to find our stars
When we can’t see where we’re going.
And someday clarity won’t be too far
To leap without knowing.
‘Cause we’ve never been ones to go skinny-dipping
Far out into the sea.
We are we.

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About Daniel Romo

Author of When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

3 responses »

  1. ahh i love it. the old school one is tight, & the rapid eye movement

    Reply
  2. Wowww This is fabulous.

    Reply

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