Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April=Poetry: Nigger-Reecan Blues by Willie Perdomo



Nigger-Reecan Blues
Willie Perdomo (for Piri Thomas)



Hey, Willie. What are you, man?
No, silly. You know what I mean: What are you?
I am you. You are me. We the same. Can't you feel our veins drinking the
same blood?
-But who said you was a Porta Reecan?
-Tu eres Puerto Riqueno, brother.
-Maybe Indian like Gandhi Indian.
-I thought you was a Black man.
-Is one of your parents white?
-You sure you ain't a mix of something like
-Portuguese and Chinese?
-Naaaahhh. . .You ain't no Porta Reecan.
-I keep telling you: The boy is a Black man with an accent.
If you look closely you will see that your spirits are standing right next to
our songs. You soy Boricua! You soy Africano! I ain't lyin'. Pero mi pelo es
kinky y kurly y mi skin no es negra pero it can pass. ..
-Hey, yo. I don't care what you say - you Black.
I ain't Black! Everytime I go downtown la madam blankeeta de madesson
avenue sees that I'm standing right next to her and she holds her purse just
a bit tighter. I can't even catch a taxi late at night and the newspapers say
that if I'm not in front of a gun, chances are that I'll be behind one. I wonder
why. . .
-Cuz you Black, nigger.
I ain't Black, man. I had a conversation with my professor. Went like this:
-Where are you from, Willie?
-I'm from Harlem.
-Ohh! Are you Black?
-No, but-
-Do you play much basketball?
Te lo estoy diciendo, brother. Ese hombre es un moreno!
Miralo!
Mira yo no soy moreno! I just come out of Jerry's Den and the
coconut
spray off my new shape-up sails around the corner, up to the Harlem
River and off to New Jersey. I'm lookin' slim and I'm lookin' trim
and when my homeboy Davi saw me, he said: "Como, Papo. Te
parece como
un moreno, brother. Word up, bro. You look like a stone black
kid."
-I told you - you was Black.
Damn! I ain't even Black and here I am sufferin' from the young
Black man's plight/the old whtie man's burden/and I ain't even
Black, man/a Black man/I am not/Boricua I am/ain't never really
was/Black/like me. . .
-Leave that boy alone. He got the Nigger-Reecan Blues
I'm a Spic!
I'm a Nigger!
Spic! Spic! No different than a Nigger!
Neglected, rejected, oppressed and depressed
From banana boats to tenements
Street gangs to regiments. . .
Spic! Spic! I ain't nooooo different than a Nigger.

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