The New - Nuyorican
by Joy Leftow
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
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This poem is basically a spoof. Sometimes I watch Def Poetry and was just kind of imitating their style.
Wa-Hi is short for Washington Heights, the neighborhood where I live. Dominicai I just shortened from Dominican to make it rhyme with Wa-Hi. Wa-Hi has a large Dominican population of hard working people. Sometimes it makes you wonder if you're on one of the islands because when you go into the neighborhood bodegas you may need to know how to speak Spanish because not everyone always speaks English. This is a strange phenomena because there are actually Spanish speaking peoples in this neighborhood who have lived here for 20 - 30 years who don't speak English. The other thing that most people wouldn't know who aren't from NYC is that we have a famous poetry club hear called The Nuyorican Cafe where they do a lot of def style poetry slamming.
I'm also spoofing myself too; after all we shouldn't be so serious and it's good to have fun.
The New Nuyorican
At first I said I canít read like that
even if I wanted to,
But then I realized, that if I set my mind to it
I could try to read like they do on Def Poetry Jam
But do I really want to read like them,
Will it make me more of who I am
complimenting them and being like them
instead of reading like myself, who I am
Why do I need to show I can read like them
Is it because Iím part of that New - New York Rican
Wa-Hi Dominicai, North Washington Heights group,
The newly named Hudson Heights for all of you people who wonít come up above 125th street,
and I whoíve been living up here my whole life
figure I should be able to read just like Pinero,
having grown up around people like that
my entire life, but try as I can -I just keep
doing my own thing,
I canít help myself, I canít read like him
or anyone else
hard as I try, each time I read,
I just sound more like myself - I give up Ö
Thereís no place to go but back to Joy
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|Reviewed by Gloria Buono Daly
|Wa-Hi? I always wondered what Wa-Hi was. Now I know Washington Heights. My best, Gloria|
|Reviewed by Sandra Mushi
|I would have loved to hear you read this, Joy.
|Reviewed by jude forese
|i went to see DEF POETRY JAM at the Apollo in Dec. 2003 ... had a great time ... performance poetry at its best ...
i use to work in Inwood ... first time i heard of the Wa-Hi ... have to check it out ...
enjoyed your poem ...