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Hooded underneath a freeway overpass late-night, Arthur brags in
East Los limelight, “I ain’t never been to no college, but I got a MFA
in spray,” feverishly shaking the Krylon can relishing the rhythmic

ticking tickling his ear, as if readying to empty the psychedelic stream
of his 17 year-old psyche onto the parched wall. But if this were a
college course, it would be called something like Advanced Appreciation

of Our Song: Words White America Doesn’t Want to Hear or Read.
The prerequisite—to hurl oneself into a maelstrom of 80’s gangsta’
rap, head bouncing up and down affirming gritty lyrics chronicling

real-life ghetto hardships. Nurse a 40 oz. while viewing a 90’s movies
marathon where the signature line of each film is, “Either they don’t
know, don’t sho’, or just don’t care about what’s goin’ on in the hood.”

But to Arthur college is as far off as Iceland, or the distance from his
street moniker to Wall Street. A voiceless life of invisibility, just another
lamenting Latino held down by The Man with sunny skin and a fat grin

destined to a life of leaf-blowing, or laboring in fields adjacent to So Cal
freeways picking strawberries for upper class’s cornucopia. But maybe
the class is basic Philosophy, or Humanities, as Arthur says, I think ants

are a test from God to see what kind of people we are. Check it. If we
expect them to take from us and smash them assuming they’re gonna’
steal our comida, we’re going to Hell. But if we accept them believing

they have as much right to the table as we do (especially por que they
clean up the mess people leave), Heaven. Except for red ants. Them
Mother Fuckers are the devils teeth
, before spraying an American flag

on the wall, a white stick man in the middle, eyes closed like death,
palms compressing ears sealing in status quo, ensuring no bug will
ever crawl in.

(Originally published at Whsiper and SCREAM)

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About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

2 responses »

  1. Wow. Thanks. Damn that’s a good question… The only thing I can say is I try to be witty and relevant. Wish I could give you a better answer, but I’m not sure I know one at this point in my writing career. I will get back to you though.

    Reply
  2. This is so totally outside my experience and so totally close to heart at the same time. How do you manage that?

    Reply

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