Poetas Pa' Vieques

Bronx Oral History Center
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00:00:00 - Willie Perdomo's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: Vieques, so please if you will just come up and [inaudible]. I forgot to introduce my, my co-host and mi hermana de verdad. She's my twin sister. Please give all your love to Melissa, MelleSoul, Fernández.

MelleSoul: I asked Mariposa if I could introduce the next poet. I actually met him about ten years ago. I was standing, I was looking for this meeting that I supposed to be going to. And I had just come from the library where I had picked up a book of poetry by Lolita Lebrón. And I was waiting, I was in the wrong place, and I ended up standing around. I put my book down, and left. [inaudible] And when I came back, he had the book in his hand, and it ended up that we were going to the same meeting. And ever since then he has been one of the most inspiring Boricua poets that I have ever had the honor of meeting and knowing. And he's very special to me, and so I know that he inspires many people. So it's my honor and pleasure to introduce to you a poet that's been called [inaudible]. Please give it up, I wanna see how loud we can get up in this tonight, for Willie Perdomo . . .

Keywords: 10 lb draw; Brixton; El Barrio; London; Nuyorican; Ponce; bonchinche; conga; dark-faces; dime bag; drugs; marijuana; monkey on the back; salsa; salsero; tecato; troubadour; weed

Subjects: Fania All Stars; Fernández, Mariposa; Fernández, MelleSoul; Heroin abuse; Lavoe, Héctor, 1946-1993; Marijuana; Perdomo, Willie; The Crazy Bunch; The Day Hector Lavoe Died; Vieques Island (P.R.)

00:13:00 - Flaco Navaja's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: Y el proximo is a poet from the Boogie Down. Blessed with a voice, with a voice from the divine in my opinion. Please give it up for Flaco Navaja!

Keywords: El Barrio; Lower East Side; Nuyorican; Salsa; Spanglish; artistic schizophrenia; telenovela; the Boogie Down

Subjects: Algarin, Miguel; Esteves, Sandra Maria, 1948-; Lavoe, Héctor, 1946-1993; Navaja, Flaco; Pietri, Pedro; Piniero, Mikey; Puerto Rican Obituary; Vega, Eddie

00:22:54 - Raul "Gallego" Gonzalez's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: We are blessed to have three poets from Puerto Rico here tonight. So we're gonna give them their time now.

Unidentified Audience Member: Gallego!

Mariposa: Relax. Relax [inaudible] take it easy. Give him the [inaudible] that he deserves. Entonces el proximo, vino de Puerto Rico para la parada and he's here all the way from Santurce. Un fuerte aplauso para Raul "Gallego."

Keywords: Galician; Gallego; Isla de goma; Puertoriqueno; Santurce; Vietnam War; chamacos de la esquina; conga; conga de pierda; el negro; la negrita; la parada; negrito; tambores

Subjects: Gonzalez, Raúl "Gallego"; Loiza; Nueva York; Santurce; corner boys; police abuse; political corruption

00:32:57 - Claribel Rosa's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: This next poet is a sista who was born in the Bronx, at Lincoln. Raised in Brooklyn and moved to Puerto Rico. All the way from Viejo San Juan. She came for the parade. We did a whole bunch of activities as part of Poetas Pa' Vieques. It started on Friday with "Stop the Bombs", a Hip Hop dance concert. On Saturday, we went to see [inaudible]. We went to the 116th Street Festival. We marched. [inaudible] did you get that? We worked on the floats. She made the float [inaudible]. And also, I want to acknowledge the visitors also. Cause we cannot forget, faltan faith alright. We cannot forget our brothers and sisters that are still in prison. The things on that float. On some of it was a four foot replica of the head of the Statue of Liberty with her eyes covered con la bandera Boricua. Una corona de machetes, seven machetes. Each of the prisoners names was written on six of them and then on one was for Don Pedro Albizu Campos. This next poet, she's the one that [inaudible] that one and I have a lot of love for her. Please give it up from Viejo San Juan, Miss Claribel Rosa.

Keywords: Boricuas; broken home; equality; poverty; the system; welfare

Subjects: Migration; Old San Juan; Pietri, Pedro, 1944-2004; Rosa, Claribel; The Question Mark; Viejo San Juan; assimilation

00:46:02 - MelleSoul's Performance

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Partial Transcript: MelleSoul: Especially, especially dedicated to my sister, Marisposa, Esperanza Martel, [inaudible] Cabanas and all the other women who had the forefront. I'm gonna sing this song that Mariposa sings around the house.

Keywords: Boricua; Mariposa; burden; caged bird

Subjects: Fernandez, Melissa "MelleSoul"; freedom

00:48:42 - Raul "Gorras" Moris's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: El proximo, the next poet, is a brother, also from Puerto Rico, from Viejo San Juan, born in The Bronx, and he's done his share of traveling. Has done poetry in San Francisco, Chicago, Puerto Rico. He is, he is the co-director and the host of a poetry series down in Viejo San Juan, every other Wednesday, in Plaza de las Armas . . .

Keywords: revolucionario

Subjects: Fernández, Mariposa; Moris, Raúl "Gorras"; Vieques Island (P.R.)

00:51:33 - Mariposa's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Mariposa: Y la revolutionaria: ¿A donde esta?

Keywords: classism; colonialism; heterosexism; imperialism; mujeres; racism; revolucionaria; sexism

Subjects: Fernández, Mariposa; Lebron, Lolita; Morales, Iris; Pagán, Dylcia

00:54:52 - Jesús Papoleto Meléndez's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Jesús: I know that I was on demand on this day. Thank you. Espe gave me this, this, this pin. I'm gonna pass it on . . . who's gonna be 50 next week? I'm gonna share a poem . . .

Keywords: Hey Yo! Yo Soy!

Subjects: Martell, Esperanza; Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto; Nuyoricans--Identity; Spanglish

00:59:15 - Hector Luis Rivera's Performance

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Partial Transcript: Hector: . . . anyways, that experience was a lot to me. I was only in, in a . . . ah, man, my face is like pins and needles on my hand because I stopped smoking weed . . .

Keywords: AIDS; American Dream; I feel ya; Vieques; asthma; capitalism; colonizers; ghettos; infanticide; pollution; rapists; survivors; territorial invasion; torture; uraniam

Subjects: Bronx (New York, N.Y.); Dominicans; Hunts Point (The Bronx, New York, NY); López Rivera, Oscar, 1943-; Puerto Rican liberation; Puerto Ricans; Rivera, Hector Luis; U.S. imperialism; Vieques Island (P.R.); Welfare Poets