Political personalities putting on a show-
whether their names are Trump, Jong-Un, or Guaidó.
But ‘¡ay Dio!’ is all that comes to my mind,
As another emblazoned nation faces trying times
at the star-spangled hands of imperialist lies,
the bloody game continues of the Lord of the Flies,
they even got a rubric to pull this shit,
oil-rich countries’where they always do this shit:
Step 1: The sanctions, CIA encampments,
Sabotaging the economy and their autonomy.
Step 2: The media, feeding the masses with all the seeds
they need to spin all their dirty deeds,
calling murder ‘peace,’ and all the oppressed ‘freed’,
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS! (built by Yankee greed).
Very few see beyond the headlines, and opinions,
when imperialist media send in all their minions,
and when the time’s right and the stage is set,
we ‘come to the rescue,’ or so they’ve said:
Step 3: Invasion, aka ‘I think this regime needs changing,’
or ‘their leader is crazy,’
New leaders are backed by the capitalist-apparatus
If they’re down to take over, the new puppet for the masses,
And old, defiant leaders, smeared, jeered, deposed,
no longer respected, even if rightly elected.
All it comes down to is who you bow down to,
They’ll either roll in and crown you, or roll you over and clown you. – RSM
Post-It notes, reminding me to eat leftovers in the fridge.
Helping me become a 1000% better cook.
Not letting me stay mad; figuring things out and making peace instead.
Being inseparable on the weekends.
Making plans to travel the world.
When I can make you laugh really hard, about anything, anything at all. – RSM
My third eye’s the only one that doesn’t need corrective lenses,
And I’m betting that I’m spending a little too much attention
On the rocks thrown at the church of my creations and inventions,
But I’m in the last pew just trying to focus on my blessings.
And I don’t fully believe, everything the priest proclaims,
And the rock throwers outside, no, they’re not fully to blame,
Optimism clashes when another stone thrown crashes with the doubters throwing rocks, breaking windows during masses,
I know its all a vision I see through my clearest lens,
I built this church from the ground up, it is mine to defend,
And if it’s all in my head, I focus less upon the doubting
and the shouting from outside my inner spirit’s sacred housing,
In my mind’s temple the lights-go-out, in an instant-silence;
No more broken glass falling, no more riots, no more violence,
Just a silent harmony between my eyes and moonlit-panes
Now the rock throwers are gone, stained-glass all back in their frames,
Then my other two eyes opened, focus, breath, peace of mind maintained,
I’m no longer in a church, but I’m on my couch,
I unfolded my legs, stood, then I blew the candle out,
turned off all the other lights, and smiled at the bright moonlight,
Shining through my kitchen window, like a vessel through the night. -RSM
Our own lives don’t seem THAT long, to us, anyway,
until you quantify your living time different ways,
instead of 29 years and 24 hours,
that 5-digit-long title is my age, in days.
We measure long stretches in years, Earth revolutions,
but how much different would it be, how confusing,
to measure our age in Earth rotations,
adding 1 every day, through all our trials and tribulations?
“New day, new me!” Not a bad way to think
as we wait to turn 7,665 to have our first legal drink
and then later on when you hit 11,000
it’s all about marriage and babies and houses.
And before you know it, your youngest just turned 700,
and 36,500 is a celebrated summit.
Time can play us hard with so many tricks,
it’s easy to forget that its all measuring sticks,
An illusive quantifier that compares and contrasts
the duration of all things that have ever come to pass.
So as long as time rules, and charts up our existence
I don’t mind undermining it’s norms and pretenses;
I’ll keep the whole ‘new day, new me’ thing in mind,
cuz tomorrow I’ll be 10,595. – RSM
It’s been fun – and annoying sometimes – being ‘that guy from New York’ every time someone asks me where I’m from (It’s even more fun being the first person they might have met from The Bronx).
These are some of my favorite New Yorker moments** I’ve had so far since moving to Chicago this past summer:
Literally everyone: Oh you just moved here? From where?
Me: New York.
Literally everyone: Omg that’s so cool!!! I went once like 10 years ago, but all I remember was Times Square. Did you live near Times Square?! Whose pizza is better – Chicago or New York?? What’s riding on the Subway like? have you ever been to Central Park? Have you seen the ball drop for New Year’s? Have you been to the Statue of Liberty? Have you seen the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center? My cousin’s cousin’s cousin went to NYU…
Co-worker from the Burbs: Where you from, Ruben?
Me: I just moved to Chicago, I’m from New York originally.
Co-worker from the Burbs: You’re from New York?
Co-worker from the Burbs: … so why’d you come here?
(At a friend’s birthday party)
Birthday friend: Ruben, this is another friend of mine from New York, she’s been living here for a few years now.
*NY Friend and I exchange pleasantries*
NY Friend: So how long you been in Chicago?
Me: Like a couple months so far.
NY Friend: Yo deadass I been here like 3 years and I still miss having a real baconeggandcheese.
Me: Wordddd I’ve only seen 3 bodegas out here…
NY Friend: I’m sayin’! And they actually have ALLEY WAYS out here in between buildings!
Me: I know! Like damn instead of throwing mad garbage on the sidewalk twice a week… and the Ventra card is dumb smart…got me mad disappointed in the MTA.
NY Friend: I knoow it’s crazy! MTA is slackin’ OD.
Me: Word like always.
NY Friend: Facts!!
*Me and NY Friend laugh together*
Me: Where you from tho?
NY Friend: From The Heights like 178 and Broadway.
Me: Oh word I used to be right off 152 and Amsterdam!
NY Friend: Oh shit my cousin’s right off 148 by the train! You always been there, or?
Me: Nah I grew up in The Bronx, on 233rd by the 2 train.
NY Friend: Ohh okay I know where that’s at I got you. You know what’s crazy. tho, the other day I was like–
*Chicagoans near us are completely lost*
Chicagoan: One of my favorite rappers is from New York.
Me: Oh, which one?
Chicagoan: Tekashi 6ix9ine.
*Literally whenever the words ‘New York’ are mentioned in a group*
Everyone else: *Turns to me slowly, smiling, creepily awaiting my reaction*
Co-worker: Hey Ruben, I just booked a flight to New York a few weeks from now. I was wondering, what’s your experience with LaGuardia Airport?
Co-worker: So have you always lived in Chicago?
Me: No I just moved from New York.
Co-worker: Oh, that’s awesome! I have a friend who lives in Manhattan!
Me: Oh nice!
Co-worker: I should ask you – do you know any good fusion restaurants in New York? My friend was telling me he was looking for anything that’s a real mix of different cultures, anything that’s really different?
Me: Well… there’s a place called Mama Sushi in upper Manhattan he could look at. It’s a Dominican and Japanese sushi place, I loved it there.
Co-worker: Oh wow! Thanks! I’ll tell him to look it up.
(A few days later…)
Co-worker: Hey Ruben, I’m sorry, I told my friend about the restaurant you recommended and he said he didn’t want to go there… he said it was in a dangerous area, too close to The Bronx.
Other co-workers: *Chuckle*
Me: *Laughing louder, obnoxiously* I was born and raised in The Bronx. I was raised on baconeggancheeses, cuchifritos, and tostones mashed with a plastic cup. I have a pet pigeon. I know how to say ‘deadass’ in 16 different languages. It’s just sad that the people who are scared of going there are the one’s who’ve never been and just believe what they hear… anyways, rant over, sorry about that.
Co-workers: *Nervously avoid eye contact*
One co-worker: *Checks his pockets*
Chicagoans: Can you pass the bottle of pop?
Chicagoans: Has anybody seen my gym shoes?
*Hears strong Midwest accent*
Chicagoans: Wait… so you’re telling me… that some people… in New York City… don’t HAVE A CAR?!?!
Me: Yep. I didn’t get my license ’til I was 26-
Chicagoans: *head explodes*
Midwestern dude : So where are you from originally?
Me: New York, I just moved here recently.
Midwestern dude: Oh, cool. What part of New York?
Me: The Bronx.
Midwestern dude: *Tries to restrain his face, reflexively contorting in disgust*
Me: … *awkwardly changes subject*
Nevertheless, the Windy City has been lovely.
**Some of these may not have been a little embellished. – RSM
A lot of the time I feel locked into old rhymes
Of the days when the ‘Golden Age’ of hip hop shined,
And I try to stay open; I minded my bias,
but young artists in 2018, I don’t buy it.
I try to branch out, but it gets so annoying,
every xanax rapper is so disappointing,
I already used more words this far along
than some trap artists have in their whole damn song.
I don’t really get how their fans got got,
and when I give them a chance, my brain cells rot.
I just get annoyed at the sliding scale
at which rappers are less inclined to rhyme a story, tell a tale,
Paint a picture with your words, make people wanna listen-
instead of simple REPetition-REPetition-REPetition (SKUHRRR)
Kill the noise and convey some real substance,
It gets old to hear about a whole lotta’ nothin’. -RSM