Puto

Be me. Brown kid called Black or Black called brown, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Be me. Eating Puto.

What did you say?

Puto. I said I am eating Puto.

Be me. Answering the question of “what is that?” to a light-skin Latino boy from Hercules, CA. Be me, trying to understand why he and his friends are suddenly laughing and glaring at me like I said the worst word in the history of lingua. Be me eating puto as my afternoon snack.

What did you just call me?

Jose, I didn’t call you anything. You asked me what I was eating and I said…

You’re eating puto!

Be me. 11-year-old. Trying to understand the difference between a slur and my desert. The sweetness of a rice cake and the bitterness of being hated. Be me, a young queer
Black Pinoy eating puto.

Advertisements

Brazo de Mercedes

your arms are soft as sea foam
yet strong enough to lift
balikbayan boxes
onto airplanes, trains, buses

your arms are sweeter than sin
yet saltier than saline drops
on your nursing scrubs
from ER runs and IV needles

your arms are as warm as fresh rolls
yet colder than a San Francisco summer
where you left for home
leaving me behind

Poetic Form: Anaphora

Anaphora is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning
of successive phrases
Anaphora comes from the Greek word for “carrying up or back”
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning
of successive clauses
Anaphora often resembles a litany
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning
of successive sentences
Anaphora is one of the oldest poetic techniques
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning
of successive verses

Poetic Form: Blackout Poem

A Blackout Poem is a type of found poem (to be discussed later) that is created by taking a piece of text, say a newspaper article or a page from the Bible, and removing words with a writing implement until a poem is formed. What makes the Blackout Poem different from other found poems is its visual and visceral nature. The act of physically redacting, erasing, until all that is left is art, brings to mine a surgeon or a chef cutting out the fat until all that is revealed is a perfect piece of flesh.