Monthly Archives: May 2014

This Illness

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My body is weak under your power.

I can’t walk.

I can barely stand.

Even breathing is a chore

as you inhabit every part of my being.

I heave over and kneel

with my head bowed down powerlessly

and I remind you

of your unquestionable supremacy

over my mortal self.

My body reaches dangerous temperatures

from your presence.

It blossoms in unnatural colors

because of your touch.

Stark whites

and bright reds

swim from my profile to my eyes

and lunge into the deep purples and greens

that run across my limbs.

Your tight embrace

is relentless

and I feel as though

you’ll never leave my side,

but, soon enough,

the spell you casted

lifts to the air above me.

I look up and your mark is there

as if I was still mid sleep in a dream,

yet I feel my core and my body

to find that you’re nowhere to be found.

Though I thought you never would,

like the rest you came and went.

You left,

leaving no sign of returning once again.

And just like that I am cured

of your torturous illness

that made me forgot who I was

and forced me to succumb to you.

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Writers Never Die

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Yesterday the legendary Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. She was best known for her novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is just as much a literature classic as it is an African American literature classic, so much so that Maya Angelou’s novel became a staple in high school English curriculums all over the country. Maya Angelou was revered as one of the strongest and most influential voices within the Black community, becoming a representative of the African American literature and the entire Black community in general. In the literature world, Maya Angelou was among the most respected writers of the last century and was seen by many as a pioneer in modern African American literature. Her poetry and her writing in general will forever remain as some of the best work in American literature.

Personally, I have always respected her work and I see her as one of the bet role models in modern literature. She had a unique and memorable voice, while also being able to resonate with so many readers, which is hard to do. Like so many others, I applaud and admire Maya Angelou for everything she was able to accomplish during her lifetime. I’m glad she has at least left us with her writing and a piece of her wisdom. I’m sure she will never be forgotten thanks to her work and I’m just grateful to have witnessed her legacy, but, then again, writers never die.

Maya Angelou

English Major Doesn’t Equal Education Major

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I graduated from a four year university with a degree in English. During my time as an undergrad student, I took several creative writing courses, journalistic writing classes, and a poetry class. I also learned about developing theories, different research methods, and analyzing literature through a more critical lens. On top of that, I got to study about British Victorian literature, American minority literature, and happiness in literature. Those are just a few of the English courses I can think of off the top of my head.

The funny thing is I never once took an education class and I can’t recall my professors ever implying that any of us, myself and my fellow English majors, would be teachers, yet, every time I mention my English degree, people automatically assume that I’m going to be a teacher. While in college, as an English major, I was encouraged to be a journalist, do research, or get published, never to be an educator. So to respond to past and future assumptions… No, I don’t want to be a teacher and, no, I will not be a teacher.

I don’t understand how the English course selection can be so diverse, but education is all the average person can muster up as an appropriate career. Yes, being a teacher is a possibility, but there are also so many other possibilities that English majors can pursue. We can be editors, screenplay writers, copy writers, theorists, journalists, biographers, translators, novelists, poets, or essayists just to name a few. Personally, I want to be a published author, specifically, in creative writing, which I’m already pursuing. If I wanted to I could be a blogger for an online magazine, a copy writer at an advertising firm, or I could even translate books from Spanish to English and vice versa. I don’t have to be a teacher.

The other day, I ran into my high school advisor and, after continuously dropping comments of how I should be a teacher, her words of wisdom to me were that the only way I will have a successful writing career is to get my book in the hands of Oprah or Tyler Perry. I laughed it off and thought to myself about how I can’t wait to send her a copy of the first book I get published.

Real. Raw. Unconditional.

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I want a love so wild
that we spend the day
doing nothing
but running from the world.
Alone,
carefree,
no plans,
just us,
And I’ll forever remember it.
It’ll be one of the best days of my life.
I want a love so deep
that you know
every line and curve
on my body
and I can’t hide
an inch of my soul.
That every nook and cranny
in my mind
has already
been discovered by you.
Your mark runs through my veins
and it’s your breath
that fills my lungs.
I want a love so pure
that your smile
brightens my day
and my simple touch
makes yours.
Where we both wonder
what the other is doing
and a day without you
is a day too long.
It is your laugh and whisper
that I want to hear.
I want a love so strong
that I think without speaking,
speak without thinking,
feel without knowing,
and know without feeling,
but it all is so right.
That one look
can tell a whole story
and one kiss
can join two hearts.
I want a love so real
that I don’t feel embarrassed
to call you my love.
I’m just being honest
when I say that’s what you are.
Where I can be giddy and gush
where I still blush and get butterfly’s
where you still sweep me off my feet.
I want real, raw, unconditional love.
I want to be in love
and to be loved.
I’ve never experienced it.
I’ve never touched it.
I want to see what it looks like,
But, mostly,
I want to know what it feels like.
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Honor Our Soldiers

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On this Memorial Day, I want to take a moment to recognize the sacrifices that our military makes each day. I have been fortunate enough to never lose a loved one to the realities of war, but, as a military brat, I understand the hardships that come with being involved in the military. My grandfathers, uncles, cousins, and father all served in the military or still are in the military. My grandfather almost lost his life in the Korean War, while I remember many months as a kid when my dad was away serving in the Army. I understand that being in the military means sacrificing precious time that could be spent with loved ones. I understand the meaning of Memorial Day.

No matter what age, rank, or gender a fallen soldier is still a soldier who have their life to serve their country. They deserve every citizen’s respect, but, mostly, they deserve for their death to not have been in vain. If a person is going to sacrifice their life to serve their nation, then it is up to us to ensure that this country is worth dying for. Each day is an opportunity to improve yourself and your surroundings. Don’t destroy our nation with violence, greed, selfish ideals, and ignorance. Instead, do what you can to build this country up. As citizens, it is our duty to help protect the nation’s integrity, lifespan, and value, so that our soldiers are not falling for a dead cause. I know nothing can bring those soldiers back and that lost time can never be replaced, but we should do what we can. We should reflect on what we’re doing to make sure that we’re doing our best as a whole and as a country.

There

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I’m sitting alone in my car
driving down the highway
as speeding lights pass me,
passive beams follow me,
and my headlights lead my way.
The night’s sky watches over me.
The full moon glows
and is beautifully accompanied
by an army of stars.
Dark clouds blanket
the midnight blue above
and the wind lets out
a sweet purr into the air.
I am in the moment,
aware of where I am,
where I’ve been,
and where I’m going.
I’m at peace,
yet also in a whirlwind.
Something tugs at my chest.
It comes from within,
grabbing onto my heart
and suffocating my lungs
slowly and softly.
My mind goes back to a memory
that I don’t quite know,
a place where I haven’t been just yet.
That’s where my body is pulled to.
It’s where I need to be.
I don’t know how
and I’m not sure when,
but I don’t belong here.
I need to be there.
What am I doing?
Where am I going?
Whatever the case,
just make sure I’m going there.
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The American Dream

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I was born in Puerto Rico and I’m from a small town where hardly anybody leaves. You never hear of a sabaneño doing big things on the island or anywhere else. People accept their lives for what it is and they’re content with that. They live in their island style cement homes, go to work, pay their bills, and go on with their lives. There isn’t anything out of the ordinary there. Nobody steps out of their comfort zone. Nobody dares to think outside of the box.

Thankfully for me, my parents left Puerto Rico and we’ve been living in the U.S. ever since. I’ve gotten a good education and have gotten great opportunities. I’ve been exposed to different kinds of people, places, and cultures. I live in America for goodness sakes. Anything is possible. I can live the American Dream. I can make my dreams come true, be successful, and be encouraged by the optimistic, ambitious Americans who surround me, right? Well, not so much. It turns out that most people I’ve met are still stuck in the mindset that there’s only one way to be successful and live the American Dream.

The formula is you have to go to college and preferably graduate from a Master’s program or more, make sure that whatever you’re doing is in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math are the way to go in America), and find yourself a stable job with benefits. In about 10 years, you should be making the money you want with a nice family and a house under your name. That’s the formula. That’s what works. That’s how you live the American Dream.

How else do you explain young females who once hated school pursuing nursing or individuals who didn’t know what to do going into computer programming? But what if you hate anything under STEM? What happens if you have an idea bigger than climbing up the corporate ladder? How can a creative mind secure success if they don’t fit into the American Dream formula? Well, just how they would do anything… By thinking outside of the norm.

It’s hard for a person with a real passion to live the life that another person has paved for them. It’s too confining. It’s frustrating. A nine to five kind of job is just not for the creative types. We can’t do it, so we make our own way. We make art, we create businesses, we make something out of what we truly love… our passion. That’s when something magical happens. The motivation, ambitions, and drive are all unstoppable to the point where success is inevitable. That’s how you get billion dollar businesses, Pulitzer Prize winning novels, and legendary records.

If the creative minds had given up on their passions and decided to follow the leader, then there would be no Andy Warhol, no Pharrell, or no Langston Hughes. Fortunately, they all chose to pursue their own American Dream and pave their own way in the ground. They all gifted us the art they’re notorious for and proved that you don’t need STEM or a doctorate to be successful. You simply need dedication, ambition, and passion.

However, most people find it hard to have this vision. They can’t see anything beyond the clear path to success. They think anything outside of that is too risky and simply not worth it. They might say that it won’t work and that your plan B will ultimately be all you have, but I don’t think so. I think that when a person is truly invested in their passion, then success is certain. Living life and finding success in the thing you love most, now that is the real American Dream.