Thursday, April 30, 2009

'my graduation speech'

i think in spanish
i write in english

i want to go back to puerto rico,
but i wonder if my kink could live
in ponce, maygüez and carolina

tengo las venas aculturdas
escribo en spanglish
abraham in español
abraham in english
tato in spanish
"taro" in english
tonto in both languages

how are you?
¿cómo estás?
i don't know if i'm coming
or si me fui ya

si me dicen barronquitas, yo reply,
"¿con qué se come eso?"
si me dicen caviar, i digo,
"a new pair of converse sneakers."

ahí supe que estory jodío
ahí supe que estamos jodíos

english or spanish
spanish or english
now, dig this:

hablo lo inglés matao
hablo lo español matao
no sé leer ninguno bien

so it is, spanglish to matao
what i digo

¡ay, virgen, yo no sé hablar!

Tato Laviera, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe.


  1. I couldn't stop luaghing when I read this poem because I identified myself so much with it. I was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, raised in Philadelphia since I was 3, and moved back to PR. when I was a senior in high school. And It was pretty much how Tato describes it. Spanglish todo el tiempo, y de verdad que uno se jode! I'm about to graduate from collage and I still think in English and write in Spanish!!

  2. glad you enjoyed the poem, 'anonymous' from puerto rico!

    i'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your comment... i'm back in grad school myself now. exploring my own cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary interests.

    can i ask you how you found this entry online? just curious.

    paz ;)