Monday, December 04, 2006


Always a smile
even when delivering the
most serious of news,

the most thoughtful life advice,
the bluntest objections.

I knew Yoda.

For two years, I sat next to him,
listened to his baritone
deep with laughter,

about stories of El Rei playing
bar mitzvahs,

about truck routes that always take an hour
talking smack on corners

and kicking ass organizing workers.

My Yoda
was a Black Puertoricano
who lived off Fordham Rd,

mere blocks from where I ran about
under watchful grandparents' eyes.

Almost took up smoking
just to have an excuse
to hang with him and Cap'n Sunshine
under the awnings on 48th St.

introduced me to the shredded clothes of Hell's Kitchen,
Told me about dancing at the palladium,
and warned me about paying a price
too high
for my heart pockets.

And no matter how he was,
he was always fantastic.

he took pride in it,
being fantastic.

It was his calling card.

He was fantastic, even if he was miserable
or if he wanted to punch you out,
if you asked him how he was,
he'd just smile and say

if you were a foe,
he wanted you to know
he was really doing well,
especially if you didn't like him.
he wanted to use
as a weapon
to pierce plastic pleasantries.

but if you were friend,
it was as if he hoped
by saying fantastic and smiling,
some of fantastic
might infect you too.

Puerto Rican Yoda
left this earth,

although i bet if you could find him
find him watching star trek somewhere,
or replays of his favorite final four games,
and asked him,
he'd smile.
and still tell you



Blogger General Anna said...

a great tribute

6:31 PM  

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