recommendations rock. giving them out to fly poets and also receiving them from fresh wordsmiths. the following folks have told me i HAVE to feature John Murillo at Acentos- Raina León, Aracelis Girmay, Tara Betts and Martín Espada.
works for me… now bring your hotness!
Coming from Manhattan: Exit by the last car on the 6. Take the exit to your left, go up the stairs to your right to exit at Lincoln Avenue. Walk down Lincoln about 5 blocks to Bruckner Blvd, turn right on Bruckner past the bike shop, the Bruckner Bar & Grill is on the corner. For more directions, please call 718.665.2001 or click here for an e-map
John Murillo is an Afro-Chicano poet and playwright, originally from Los Angeles,
CA. He is a Cave Canem fellow and a former instructor with
DCWritersCorps. A coach of D.C.’s 2001 National Teen Poetry Slam Team,
John has performed his own work in venues from The Kaffa House to The
Kennedy Center. The 2002 and 2004 winner of the Larry Neal Award for Poetry, John is the author of the chapbook, Aluta, and the forthcoming collection of essays, A Poet in Havana, both from ZuluAzteca Press.
FOR MY NEIGHBORS WHO WALK WITH PURSES, LIPS, AND ASSES CLUTCHED TIGHT AS THEY HURRY PAST ME ON THEIR WAY TO STARBUCKS WITH A CELL PHONE IN ONE HAND AND A LEASH IN THE OTHER
--after Martín Espada
I have awakened to the rumble of stampeding bulldozers
flattening skulls of black Barbies under hoof.
I have choked on jackhammer dust in the shadows
of ten story skeletons and billboards that trumpet your coming.
I have watched potholes vanish and stop signs appear
next to shiny new health food markets.
I have witnessed tribes of drummers communing with God
pushed from parks like Navajos from their native ground.
I have seen the chiseled noses, Duke Ellington’s
mural, a sphinx on the wrong side of Giza.
I have zig zagged to work between the yapping
end of your leash on the street’s one side,
and the curbed furniture of an evicted family on the other.
May the Saints of Dilapidation cave condominiums
in on the flaxen strands splayed across pillows.
May the Gods of Rain Gutters deploy a sewer rat battalion
to gather and execute all poodles.
May the Spirits of Foodstamps sneak into your wallet
and turn all your Ben Franklins to Bushes.
May the Angels of Government Cheese curdle your latte
and send you hurling ass first toward porcelain.
May your sleep be disrupted by visits from Biggie, Pac,
and Big Pun singing Pavarotti and P-Diddy remixes.
May your furniture float. May your walls bleed graffiti.
May your house speak in Robeson’s voice. And may your
leather couches become housing projects for cockroaches
until two-headed albino alligators buy their way
into your living room.
© John Murillo