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Poetic License: How I became a poet

By Staff | Jun 7, 2017

They took my dried umbilical cord

And pressed it between two pages

Of a book of poetry by Luis Muoz Rivera.

As my parents told me, they wanted

to save the first lost part of me

in a collection of Muoz Rivera’s speeches and essays

so that I could become a great statesman like he had been,

but that book could not be found in New York City

and so they settled for poetry.

Now gringo, wipe away that snicker

And let me tell you that in 1972,

I became principal of Public School 83

in East Harlem and guess what

the name of the school was?

Luis Munoz Rivera,

the first school in New York City

to be named for a Puerto Rican.

How’s that for post-natal genetic engineering

and long range career planning,

Puerto Rican style, eh americano?