Dedicated to Keith Haring
It started with CHERYL BOYCE TAYLOR and BILLY FOGARTY at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe over the summer of '96. It's reading SAPPHIRE and distributing my first poetry postcards at the West Side Highway piers. It's the words of WILLIE PERDOMO. It's LATASHA NATASHA DIGGS, SARA JONES and SONJA SONG at SURF REALITY. It's reading for the first time at an open mike hosted by MATTHEW COURTNEY at BIBLIO's in Tribeca. It's going on a date with CARLO BALDI to see CARIDAD DE LA LUZ, who never showed up and entering to win my first poetry slam. It's creating the REALNESS & RHYTHMS series the third Thursday of every month at A DIFFERENT LIGHT. It's reading DOROTHY PARKER on the L train going back to Bushwick. It's mopping poetry books from the bookstore all summer and completing work on my own collection. It's MADONNA'S BLONDE AMBITION TOUR, PRINCE, TORI AMOS, etc. It's being called a beatnik poet and reading GINSBERG, GIORNO, and BURROUGHS for the first time. It's sharing the stage with EILEEN MYLES, PENNY ARCADE, EMILY XYZ and AL LEWIS also known as GRANDPA MUNSTER. It's not sleeping with other poets but keeping an eye out for publishers and flirting with everybody in between. It's FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FIGHTING PREJUDICE. It's sitting with tears in my eyes on the steps of The Community Center after baring my soul with DELIVERANCE at the P.R.I.D.E. AWARDS. It's TRANCE at Meow Mix. It's KEITH HARING'S JOURNALS. It's JEAN MICHELE BASQUIAT paintings. It's HAL SIROWITZ AT GATHERING OF THE TRIBES AND RENT ON BROADWAY. It's listening to EDWIN TORRES at EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO not understanding a word he said. IT'S RIDING THE SUBWAY WITH A DRUNK TISH BENSON AND A CHRIST-LIKE SAUL WILLIAMS. It's having SEX in the name of ART and creating ART to have more SEX. It's DE LA VEGA messages scribbled on the streets of New York. It's constant change and being in control, THE BEASTIE BOYS, THE BIJOU, THREE-WAY RELATIONSHIPS. IT'S CREATING THE HOUSE OF XAVIER. IT'S THE SOUND FACTORY AND JUNIOR VASQUEZ. It's an old white lady complaining to Barnes & Noble about letting a "disgusting foul-mouthed pervert" like me read at Union Square Park. IT'S LISTENING TO OTHER POETS AT THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT IN BROOKLYN DURING A THUNDERSTORM. TALKING TO POETS. BEING A POET. It's reading a blasphemous poem at ST. MARK'S CHURCH. IT'S MEETING SUHIER HAMMAD AND HAVING HER ASK ME IF SHE COULD BE IN THE HOUSE OF XAVIER. IT'S SOMEONE RECOGNIZING ME AS A POET WHILE DANCING IN A K-HOLE ON TOP OF A SPEAKER AT TWILO. It's looking outside the window of TENNESSEE WILLIAMS ex-lover's apartment on Central Park South. IT'S SPICE GIRLS LOLLIPOPS AND ALTOIDS. IT'S BUYING A COLLECTOR'S EDITION OF HUBERT SELBY'S LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. IT'S DREAMS OF WALKING ALONE IN THE DESERT WITH A HUGE CROSS TO BEAR. IT'S READING THE BIBLE AND WONDERING IF I AM THE ANTI-CHRIST. It's names engraved in the bathrooms of Chino-Latino restaurants. It's the graffitied walls on the Lower East Side by ANDRE CHARLES. IT'S PATTY HEARST AND THE SYMBIONESE LIBERATION ARMY. It's meeting PARKER POSEY, WILSON CRUZ and astrological diva WALTER MERCADO. It's co-starring in an independent film. IT'S JENNIFER MURPHY WINNING POET LAUREAT AT THE LOVE JONES POETRY SLAM IN FORT LAUDERDALE. It's THE GOLDEN GATE PARK AND HAIGHT STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO. IT'S THE PHANTOM BALL AT RED ZONE. IT'S MICHAEL MUSTO'S COLUMN IN THE VILLAGE VOICE dishing it out. It's posing half-naked and leather masks. It's the sounds of el coqui en PUERTO RICO. It's the cholos y serranos in ECUADOR. It's students at COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY studying my work and in COLUMBIA being considered a disgrace. It's RICKY MARTIN on the cover of TIME. It's living my life the way I see fit. It's fuck you if you don't love me and fuck me if you do . . .Y que siga . . . Y que siga la tradicion . . . bajo la luna, maybe . . . pero jamas en el corazon.