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Poems in honor of poets at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

This image is a trademark of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and it is used only to pay homage

Playin’ with poets: Homage to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Zoom, boom, bally who? Brick wall

Stage where words explode like bombs.

Now a screen shot and you with your

Latest, I mean latest, headphones and mic.

Host lining ‘em up for a four-minute round

Where 240 seconds span a lifetime.

Words tumble like stones thrown from

Bridges hoping for ripples downtown.

Words flicking fast like when tìo tossed

cards with naked women on our toes.

Words somersaulting across the floor,

Doing James Brown splits and more.

Words broad brushing rhyme, begging

You to keep up or wipe up, your choice.

And the love, and the love, and the love,

Warm love, chocolate love, poet love.

Stillness as pause and performance and

Quiet become one, a silent muted aria.

Small change to oldsters, mujeres of the

Finest kind, only hip folk need apply.

Mi hija from the corner building who

Was always playing crazy with words.

Staging her dramas for mamis and papis

And the whole damn neighborhood.

And the love and the love and the love

See what words and poets are about.

Bronx, Brooklyn, and New Jersey Poetry

Voices reciting poetry, angelic parlor,

crustless sandwiches on towered

Plates, cloth napkins, best China “pinkie

Finger up to show class” teacups, sonnets,

solemnity of bible verses read to instill

fear instead of raise up the good faith.

To each her own I say, but I like my

Poetry with a Bronx flair, vowels with

Attitude, volume that can be heard on

The next block, rhyme that does not

Sneak up on you but asks you to dance

On the floor, not ashamed to be seen

Not worried about what people think

Just a spirit and drive that hammer

Like someone putting up dry wall,

Getting paid under the table and

Caint wait to spend it all on that

Chulita, the one who heard you

Slam, who got and felt the words

And the work it took to make those

Words not just sound right but whose

head bop wit and wisdom make the

crowd know that you don’t just run

the streets you read the damn books

too but quoting the greats with the

lens of one who felt the words, voiced

them to get hands in the sky and butts

off the chair and make someone see

what you saw that something they

never thought to think about let alone

visualize, poet as optometrist, who


you knew and preened and performed

because nothing else you can do, the

creative can’t rest once understood.

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