by Emanuel Xavier

It’s JOYCE JONES ON PERCUSSION. It’s passing the blunt and deep conversations on the stoop. It’s having other poets walk around quoting, ‘YO, MIRIAM, THROW DOWN THE BABY.’ It’s understanding religion. IT’S SOMEONE WHISPERING ‘FAGGOT.’ IT’S POETS DEGRADING PERFORMANCE POETS AS ‘NOT REALLY’ POETS. It’s not reading anything but REAL POETRY all summer. It’s poetic ‘prose.’ It’s reading between the lines. It’s making a decision for yourself. It’s rhythms and syllables and words. IT’S WORDS UNSAID. Traditions, culture, spirituality, time. IT’S DRAMA! IT’S THE PAST MANIFESTING ITSELF IN MY PRESENT AS I WORK TOWARDS THE FUTURE. It’s MIGUEL PIÑERO at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. It’s feeling inspired and inspiring others. REVOLUTION-EVOLUTION- PEACE-FREEDOM. It’s PRINCESS WALKING RUNWAY. IT’S WILLI NINJA VOGUING. IT’S BETTE DAVIS AND JOAN CRAWFORD FILMS IN BLACK AND WHITE. It’s the BRONX ZOO. It’s reading FITZFERALD’S THE GREAT GATSBY IN A SOUTH AMERICAN BEACH AND IN BROOKLYN LIVING OFF ARROZ CON HABICHUELAS Y GHETTO JUICE. IT’S PEDRO ALMODOVAR FILMS.

It’s cruising pieces at the piers. IT’S CONVERSATIONS OVER THE INTERNET WITH JUSTIN CHIN, WHO’S ‘NOT BITTER JUST DESCRIPTIVE.’ IT’S BEING ON THE CAFE CON LECHE FLOAT FOR GAY PRIDE. IT’S ‘THE PHILLY, THE PHILLY, THE PHILLY, THE BLUNT.’ It’s wearing all black once a year to protest police brutality. IT’S PAMELA SNEED asking me to read at NEW NEUTRAL ZONE. It’s touching the lives of gay and lesbian youth. IT’S PERFORMING ‘CHELSEA QUEEN’ AT DUMBA WITH BILLY AND CARLOS DOLLS AT GAY SHAME. It’s everything that goes around comes around. IT’S PICKING UP THE POETRY CALENDAR TO FIND OUT WHEN THE HELL I’M READING. IT’S THE INSANITY OF MY LIFE. IT’S POETRY IN MOTION. IT’S A BOOK CALLED PIER QUEEN. It’s acknowledging my strengths and weaknesses yet having the audacity to self-publish the book anyways. It’s a vicious review in THE NEW YORK BLADE. It’s watching other poets get too big for their own britches and keeping a distance. It’s running into the drug dealers you used to work for and giving them an autographed copy of your book. IT’S HARLEM IN THE SUMMER. It’s BASKETBALL DIARIES. IT’S THE BOYS AT KINKO’S. IT’S JULEE CRUISE’S ‘INTO THE NIGHT.’ IT’S PASSIONATE SEX WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE. IT’S FALLING IN LOVE. IT’S EXPRESSING ANGER AND PAIN AND LETTING IT GO. IT’S MOVING ON. IT’S SPIRITUAL GROWTH. IT’S BEAUTY IN DARKNESS. IT’S WORDS THAT DON’T RHYME. IT’S ART. IT’S POETRY. IT’S KEEPING IT REAL. IT’S SPRAY-PAINTED IMAGES TAGGED FOREVER IN MY SOUL.


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