Because it’s #ThrowbackThursday: “Snapshot of a Pseudo-Revolutionary Poetry Reading,” circa 1995

A snippet of this poem is also in my book Bird of Paradise

Snapshot of a Pseudo-Revolutionary Poetry Reading

Entered the room full of my brothers and sisters

Beautiful faces

Different shades of Black and Brown races

But those faces hint traces

of hate when I enter the place

Guess my hair is too straight


But I’m Black                                    as Black as my master permitted

From Spain, the man was acquitted

Of the crimes he committed against my ancestors

Against my tatarabuela

But people give muela

When I enter the place                        like I was a disgrace to my race

And welcome me with shade to make me seem darker

Más oscura, que locura

nunca puede ser . . .


I say, “Peace, sis”

To the woman at the door

She snaps, “Whatever, five dollars please”

Like she was my pimp and I was her whore

Funny how our complexions were exactly the same

But she sported fashionable dreadlocks

Host is deep

Eyes glaring staring in confusion

Disillusioned if he thinks

Black is that monotonous

After the show, though

He and other pseudo-revolutionary-Peter-Pan-Africans

Cluster and talk about Black unity at the door

While drinking bottles of Heineken

 Raquel Cepeda © 1995



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