Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Five Chicks

Sapo couldn't go to lunch
with his co-workers, who
were taunting him for being
antisocial and reserved

Sapo had other plans,
he was busy with 5 chicks,
who were teasing him
about a new haircut that
he got yesterday in Astor Place
They said, "Sapo, your haircut is phat",
and he shyly smiled

The 5 chicks and Sapo
had a round of Long Island ice tea
to loosen their inhibitions

Right away Sapo started
thinking about sex on the beach
with this other punk rock
chick named Bloody Mary
and the other chicks

Sapo never had two chicks
at the same time during his
wild college days,
he couldn't believe that
he was going to
get lucky with 5

The steady flow of cheap drinks,
the constant ribbing and not to
mention "accidental pelvic" rubbing
bought too much attention
from strangers to the group

Sapo and the 5 chicks were admonished
to leave the premises immediately
without making a fuzz or a peep

Sapo dejectedly drove away
with the 5 chicks inside the
right pocket of his polyester pants
There would be no culmination
this night, not in public
at least

Reo Del Cigarrillo
Salt 'N Pepper


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

But why, I went to college

Contra remembers living in Queens
when the area code was 212 and
a slice of pizza and a soda were
only fifty cents

He never planned for Thanksgiving dinner,
something he learned from his procrastinator
parents. Nor did he ever tell anyone where
he was going after the lights went out.

Contra used to be cool with his bomber
leather jacket, long rock'n roll hair,
Black Sabbath T-shirt and mc boots
He used to impress the chicks with his
bicycle popping wheelies over the sidewalk

Buying one token each way
from college back home
Riding between the subway cars
just to be away from the crowds
The thunderous subway metal pounding
reminded him of a Neil Peart drum solo

Weekends were made for hanging out
at friend's basement or the local mall,
listening to Deep Purple 8 tracks and
early Van Halen LPs,
drinking beer, play some handball until
the Spanish guys claimed the court

Life was sweet and then came work,
starting from the bottom rung of the ladder,
getting coffee and lunch for everyone,
making Xerox copies and pasting cuttings
Contra didn't understand why he had to
pay his dues, after all he went to college.

From "Salt 'N Pepper"


Monday, November 28, 2005

The Fashion of Manners

A worrisome day
I noticed small details
so common that the absurd,
the ridiculous
became the standard
of the normal state of affairs.

I bought a token for the subway,
took off my head to salute you,
lent you a sneezed handkerchief,
avoided mannerisms to extend the wrist.
From the hunger I held, my teeth
sanded the stomach's walls.

With a bent elbow I crushed stale bread
when you had asked to share crumbs,
stuck out my tongue thinking that French kisses
were to your liking.
I opened the door for me and let go for you,
I threw the coat on the pavement to share its coldness.

I crossed a marshmallow bridge
surrounded by fairies and green elves,
I receded my pace to forcefully trip you.
I could never calibrate the fashion with manners,
nor happiness with assonant rhymes.

Original Version in Spanish

Los Modales de Moda

Un día inquieto
noté las novedades
tan comunes que lo absurdo,
lo ridículo
se había convertido en el estandarte
de la norma corriente.

Compré una ficha para el subte,
me quité la cabeza para saludarte,
te presté el pañuelo recién destornudado,
esquivé los modales al extender la muñeca.
Del hambre que tenía los dientes
lijaban las paredes del estómago.

Con el codo doblado molí polvo de pan
cuando pedías que compartiese algunas migas,
saqué la lengua al entender que besos franceses
eran de tu agrado.
Abrí la puerta para mí y después para ti,
tiré el abrigo al piso para compartir el frío.

Crucé el puente de mazapán
rodeado de hadas y duendes verdes,
cedí el paso para tropezarte con fuerza.
Nunca coincidí calibrar las modas con los modales,
ni la felicidad con las rimas asonantes.

Funky Mood

Contra couldn't figure it out,
though once he had the answer
to everything, it didn't matter
what type of situation
or problem. He would
be very dogmatic,
very automatic

He had lost his mind
by speaking what was in it,
instead of being controlled,
thought out, thorough,
and he remembered from
his lost childhood that words
leave scars under the skin
that time can't heal

Contra tried to clear his head,
took a long walk along the shore,
while the tide erased his footprints
left behind
He saw the faces of children
playing in the waves and sand
that he once wore with a smile
He saw the joy of children
running into the ocean waves
as they splashed and tumbled
without a care in the world

Nothing could bring Contra back
from his funk,
not even the naked girls
playing volleyball in the beach,
not even the sight of naked women
taking naps while laying on their blankets
showing off their beautiful trimmed bushes

Contra knew something was terribly wrong,
he had no reason to smile
or much worse,
he had no reason to live for,
except his 5 year old daughter,
who was the only reason
that stopped him from
taking his borrowed life and
return it to the giver high above

Salt 'N Pepper"


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reloj Solar/ Solar Clock

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Lizardo has a difficult time
coping with reality,
he lives in a fantasy world
where there isn't any pain
or misunderstandings stemming
from dealing with other people

Every morning, Lizardo lites up
a hand rolled cigarette,
mixed with tobacco and
He inhales it very slowly
and holds in the smoke in his
lungs till it feels like burning
Then he takes a sip of
dark coffee without sugar
(the only bitter thing he accepts)

He keeps a suitcase
filled with clothes under the bed
and walks with his passport
in his pockets, in case he
decides to take a last minute
plane to nowhere

Lizardo is not a friend of the masses,
though he keeps up with the latest
trends: baggy beige pants, Polo shirts,
braided straight hair, baseball cap on backwards,
SUV, DVDs, DSL internet and cellular phone
(though his ape-like hands press more than
one button at a time)

Chinaski would be proud of him,
Lizardo while reading poetry
stained the Bukowski's cover
with cheeseburger grease
and ketchup while reaching
for some cheap warm beer

From Salt 'N Pepper
Osama Been Hiding

Lizardo's former boss gave him a phone call
to help out with a special client who needed
assistance out of the country.

Lizardo used to be a "coyote",
helping out with the export of human resources
from places like China, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Morocco, former Soviet countries, etc,
and import to them to developed countries
like England, USA, France.

Lizardo had friends in Customs and the
local town sheriffs. His fee to transport
the human resource would range between
10 to 15 thousand dollars, depending
on the season, volume and distance to
the border line. A percentage of his
fee would go to Customs and the
local town sheriffs that Lizardo befriended
with his charismatic personality.

His former boss said: "This customer is willing to pay the "coyote"
to bring him across to a safe haven.
His name was Osama Been Hiding and
he is on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list."

The mission was to bring Osama from Kendahar
to Bora Bora, not to be confused with Tora Bora.
Lizardo met Osama at the International House of Fried Chicken
at the local junction of the Main Cave Street
and the White Sand Castle joint.

Lizardo got to know Been Hiding and told him to
put on a "burka", which is something the Afghani women
wear to cover their entire body.
Been Hiding complained that he couldn't see or breathe
inside one of those stupid "burkas", and that it
gets too hot in there to smell his own dusty breath.

Lizardo told Osama that the Americans are looking
to kill him on site and that this is the only way to
escape out of Afghanistan.
Also that he had to shave off his beard. When Osama
appeared, he looked like a tall Geraldo Rivera.

Been Hiding accepted to wear the disguise
and Lizardo shipped him in a Greek vessel
container, full of pirated goods and 250 Turks,
who paid the "coyote" to get them to Germany.

After weeks oversea, Osama arrived at Bora Bora,
dehydrated and couldn't believe how well everyone
treated him. Lizardo said to Been Hiding, "Are you
kidding, everyone is afraid of Gerardo Rivera".

From Salt 'N Pepper

Morningside Drive, Manhattan

I usually carry some change
in my pockets for the meter
or to give to a street peddler

There's no need to jump
the subway turnstile
or to light up a cigarette
with the 3rd rail
or to heat up canned food
with the hotwater pipes
or to open the can with
a rusted knife and eat right
off it

I don't walk with a halo
nor do I light candles
for a wing and a prayer
I lack the fervor of a dying man
though I cherish life and those
who work to save it

I left feral love bleeding in a
park bench at Morningside Drive
It called me back for a second chance,
and it's sinful allure almost enticed me

There are pigeons and squirrels
feeding off bread crumbs
left by a faceless old woman,
who struggles as much to cross
Amsterdam Avenue and facing
her predictable demise and future

I am closer to death everyday
and further away from birth
There will be a time that I will
no longer walk or crawl
and I will be telling you this
not from the dying bed
from inside your head

Reo Del Cigarrillo

Monday, November 21, 2005

Let's make a baby

You unfaithful bitch,
"puta infiel",
I took you out of your
stinking country, thinking
that you would be my loving
wife, and I catch you
as loving nationwide

I got you legal papers,
paid for your airfare
and all associated transactions,
paid for your stupid English lessons,
bought you new wardrobe,
I got you a decent job
to work in an office,

I put you up in a nice apartment,
with new appliances and
new furniture
I leased for you an SUV
with automatic windows and
air conditioner,

I hooked you up with some
decent friends and
took in your mother too

"So what?
you call this a life,
this is slavery,
cook for you 3 meals a day,
change the bed sheets,
go to the supermarket,
stop by the dry cleaner,
clean the house,
work 40 plus hours,
pretend I like your shallow friends,
and going to boring baseball games,
no relaxation or hobbies,
no real friends, only the
remote control and the vibrator
help me pass the time
in the evening

Lose a third of a paycheck
to taxes, lose 8.50 % to
taxes on regular sales,
Lose sleep to hear you snore,
you are such a bore"

That's it,
let's have a baby

From "Salt 'N Pepper"
Reo Del Cigarrillo


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Llevo los sueños en la manga
escurro el sudor de las palabras
Rabiosos pensamientos inquietos
como animales silvestres enjaulados

La vereda se derrite y
el camino se extiende
le tomo el pulso a la vida y
en ella encuentro ambigüedades
definidas en las ondas del tiempo

Rebosan mis ansias en las honduras
de las vírgenes páginas blancas
Páginas infinitas, horizontales

Soy Colón cuando te descubro
Soy Bolivar cuando me traicionas
Soy Yo cuando me olvidas
Odio no poder conocerte
para moldar vida a la sombra del tiempo

Quiero arrastrar los pies sobre el mar
y quedar bocarriba con los peces


I carry dreams on my sleeve,
wring out the sweat from words.
Unsettled rabid thoughts
like wild caged animals.

The street melts and
the path widens.
I take life's pulse and
find her ambiguities
defined in the waves of time.

My anxieties overflow in the depths
of virgin white pages.
Infinite pages laid out horizontally.

I am Columbus when I discover you
I am Bolivar when you betray me
I am me when you forget me
I hate not to know,
to mold life in the shadow of time.

I want to drag my feet over the ocean
and end up facing the smiling fishes.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hawaiian in Nueva York

A fight broke inside
Grand Cholo Terminal
between Los Guapos and Los Conquistadores,
not over a woman,
which is typical when the
Baccardi bottles are emptied
while waiting for their departing flight,
but over a rhetorical question made by
a white man in the crowd,
“Have you ever heard of a Hawaiian
move to New York?”

Los Guapos argued that they
have seen Hawaiian people move
to NY, and the Conquistadores
said why would anyone from paradise
come to NY. and had strong objections
to that remark

It seems that Los Guapos can’t tell
the difference between a Hawaiian
and a Latin person, and Los Conquistadores,
being descendants from the colonizers,
could tell between cholos, mestizos, and
all different types of mixed bloods.

The argument continued as Los Guapos
and Los Conquistadores boarded
the plane from Grand Cholo Terminal
to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic,
and they all decided to open up
another bottle of clear Baccardi
and relax during the flight.

As the plane backed off the terminal,
the strange white man put on a
Hawaiian shirt and waved “aloha”.


From "Salt 'N Pepper"

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

P u ñ a l


Take the plunge,
follow the marked route
to the heart,
cut the breath of life
in half

Start by
piercing the pores,
the muscle from the bones,
the rib cage and
the light of pain
to freedom

Let the first blood drops
the entry,
knife there’s plenty of it
to finish the journey

Blood is deaf, dumb and blond,
oblivious to the existence
of a soul

In a struggle
between the body and the knife,
the flesh weak
to temptation will succumb
to the ecstasy
of the pain

Stare eye to eye
into the dividing edge,
there is no hollow place
to lay down

Bludgeon the emptiness,
satisfy the hunger of anger,
as the anguished eye is charmed
by your delight

Reo Del Cigarrillo
Copyright Material

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A boxer steps into the ring
and showers his opponent
with rose petals.

The overhead light burns
the referee's toupee while
announcing the start of the match.

Cameras focus in at the Jesus Christ
cross worn in the cheerleader's cleavage,
a fly is saved.

Ordinary men gather to smell and
absorb the violence emanating
from the angry poet's fist.
Attention is given to the price
list at the counter, where credit
is accepted for all purchases.

The prostitution rests, declares
the lazy lawyer vying to get some
action as a sidebar, free, of course.

Line up and escort the shallow graves
while weeping widows drink
waterdowned beer and belch words.
Attention spans are fixed, for at least,
ninety seconds, as the books tumble
and crash on the mat,

it's over.

Reo Del Cigarrillo
Copyright Material
The Dukes of Hazzard

Contra went out on a date,
He was wearing a new t-shirt,
“Don’t shoot, I am not Afghani,
I’m Italian”

Contra couldn't recognize and
much less make out
with his chick, she had on
an Israeli gas mask, and
when she took it off,
her powdered lips
tasted like Anthrax

It is just the sign ofthe times:
bomb threats,
false alarms, tight security,
nervousness and apprehension
of flying next to someone
while brown

Contra finds it difficult not to
move his booty now that he has learned
new dances: The Rockthrower Intifada,
The Rosebush Hezbollah,
TheAfghani Power Vacuum ,
ThePakistani Shortstep,
The NorthAllegiance Taliban Sidestep,
The Jihad Building Slammer
and many others that he learns
from CNN

Contra has not been swept by
the recent rash of emotions
emanating from the flag bearers,
who try to backfill their sadness,
remorse, fear and guilt by displaying
the good old red, white and blue,
nor does he plan to get a tattoo
with the NYPD or FDNY logo

He's not sure if he is just tired
or jaded by everything -
he's seen the images replayed in
every newscast from dawn to dusk
on the Al Jazeera channel

He'll go back to his pinball machine
and relax while watching re-runs
of "The Dukes of Hazzard"

From "Salt 'N Pepper"
Copyright Material

Friday, November 04, 2005


A river's born in a room,
blue pear tree blossoms;

at dawn a violin trembles
as a coach exits the hen coop.

Folded newspapers inside a wheel's
pocket blindly navigate
in search of the actor's interview.

The rumor propagates the wood's fire
surrounded by foremen mounted
on cranes with airless bones,
a bee kisses the skinny model.

Naked remains the toasted
boundaries by the solar ray,
pastimes play musical chairs
and the donkey's tail
strums the strings.
The doll's bolts
exhibit the apple's imperfection,
the gallery's frames punish
the nails of each coin.

Original Version from "COLOR"


Nace un río en la sala,
brota un árbol azul de peras,
tiembla el violín en la madrugada
al salir el coche del gallinero.

Periódico doblados en los bolsillos
de la llanta navegan a ciegas
buscando la entrevista del actor.

El rumor propaga fuego de leña
alrededor de albañiles montados
sobre grúas con huesos desinflados,
una avispa besa a la modelo flaca.

Desnudo permanece el ámbito
tostado por la luz solar,
pasatiempos juegan a las sillas musicales
y el rabo del asno rasguea cuerdas.

Las tuercas de la muñeca
exhiben la imperfección de la manzana,
marcos en la galería castigan
a los clavos de cada moneda.

Available in:
Jackson Heights Scenes

The day looks gloomy outside
as if it is going to rain hard
and I keep thinking
about sunny and lazy days,

but something calls me
to the neighborhood

In the streets of Jackson Heights
there are scenaries that constantly change:
vendors pushing carts with ethnic food
others selling pirated cassettes and cd's
and phony clothing with false labels

The train above drowns the drama
it's high hell on pounding steel
there are no words to be heard
only the screeching sound of the rails

Gypsy cabs cruising for fares
gays walking from bar to bar
and into the unisex salons

Fruit stands with green platains
I thought I heard a rooster
in this congested place,
maybe from the yard behind the building
where drunks stench the alley with their vomit

Young Latina girls walking by
I look and wonder what it would be like
to have them in the crib
if only for a quickie

Latino boys wear their soccer shirts
ready to play in the fields of Flushing
by riding their mountain bikes
through the congested Roosevelt Avenue

Flower pots hanging by the window sills
Young dark skin prostitutes
in low light rooms with rotating doors
wait for anyone except the man in blue
Money flows into travel agencies
to send over to beloved ones
far away from this surreal place
I will be free if I slave away for some years

Loud salsa music blaring from a Toyota
It has tinted windows and chrome wheels
easy for the driving
ready to pick up girls in skirts


Thursday, November 03, 2005

La Tarde

Si la tarde tuviera un entendimiento de ambular por las calles de una ciudad desconocida, con los pulmones inflados de yeso; la tarde entonces callaría y no llamaría la atención de las palomas ocupadas en el oficio de corregir las imperfecciones de la vereda o de los peatones buscando la felicidad bajo una falda tibia; la tarde no calumniaría a la mañana por las irregularidades calcadas en la butaca del cabaret fantasma y de los cigarrillos que han fallecido en un cenicero de fósforos viudos. Tan solo si el mesero trajese la cuenta para aclarar cualquier duda que la tarde deja antes de entrar la noche.

From "Reservorio" -
A man walks through life
till he reaches a point
and has an epiphany.
He still has time to recover
and enjoy the rays of wisdom.
A younger man had
the realization of his epiphany,
only to continue walking
in the tempest of his making.
Poor torment chaser.
At times, there is no difference
between a blind or sighted man,
only he who has found peace
remains balanced.