list of artists that did not get invited to perform at the de burgos center last night (but should have)
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
Raymond Daniel Medina
yeah… i am shouting out my Acentos peeps but you know this crew right here will give you the most kick ass show possible. they all respect the audience and realize that being on the mic is a privilege and not a right. they all would have donated their time if asked. (there are many more talented names as well but i dont know them well enough to know whether they were invited or not to perform last night)
oh, well. i will take this to mean that there is work to do and that its time to do it. i can also take it as meaning that there may be a secular group of artists that dont give a shit as to whether anyone under the age of thirty-five continues said movement. sad shit- i aint even rican! and here i am on the high pedestal maybe i should hook up with the other ecuadorians and come up with the nuyoecua squad or something…
on to better news- for all those who have asked- i got the job. i am now a duly, truly certified immigrant that has to ask if he can write on the other side of the paper when being asked what he does for a living. and who was a big factor in the whole thing?
that’s right- ed garcia. dude, you are the man! lil known story-
“hey, you ever thought about doing that salsa poem for a slam? you should… its a really good poem” puts his hand on my shoulder “it’s REALLY good.”
yeah, ed was the one who made me think that people would get it and all i can say is– thanks, brah. thanks for that and all the advice you gave me early on and just for being there when nobody else was. after guy left, the whole latino contingent was ed and bonafide. on the up and coming list was me and luis cartagena and we had only these two dudes to look up to on the mic.
i remember swearing that i would find all the lost latino souls at the nuyorican poets cafe and instead i walked into a reading at an NYU dorm.
another (as rich would put it) surreal moment was luis coming up to me one day and asking what i was planning on doing about the lack of latinos. me? who the fuck am i? i stutter through half my words on the mic and get roasted every time i put my name on the slam list… what am i going to do about latinos on the mic? shit, what am i gonna do about ME on the mic?
i kinda actually said all that right back to him cuz i really had no idea what he was referring to. i told him that if all the latinos started getting together maybe something could come out of it… maybe.
ray started becoming more of a regular after that and then fish joined the fold… now, of course, it looks like the bx36 bus made an unscheduled emergency stop at union square. add the bowery and nuyo as well.
and where were all the fabled nuyoricans? who knows. certainly not at the open mics that most folks go to hit when they first jump on the scene. for real not at the mecca of spoken word.
kinda bitter? yeah. shit is different now and a young latina/latino can search the ‘net, as most folks are prone to do, and find a reading where you dont have to explain what the two step is, or the magical medicinal properties of vapor rub or the many ways rice can be cooked or what the ladies in front of the stoop are talking about or what danger means or any of that sheet.
and to all of you cats that were around back in the day. come on down- there’s always room on the open mic.