Life and Times

Much has changed since the times of over-sized clothing,

A style choice now I look back at with loathing.

Experiences chosen when I choose to reminisce vary,

some bad, but most good, a few are just scary.

 

It’s really those strange nights I can’t recall

that make me wonder how it ended, and what started it all.

Boys will be boys and kids will be kids,

and teens will be teens and everything in between

and everyone loves to think about those times

and then whines, like “Why are those good times gone?”

It’s because good times that never end are only found in happy songs.

 

Age is the universal oxymoron,

the only thing that makes the young want to be older,

the old want to be younger, everyone in between

feeling as if they’re already at either extreme.

 

I take my age as it comes, in years, and in all 26 and 3 months of mine

I’ve learned very much and forgotten even more,

but experience is what kept me yearning to learn more,

correct mistakes, and instead of drown in sorrow,

to make my own life great.

 

So as time treads on, unrelenting by the minute,

I’m grateful for all that I see before me.

For all that life has given me in this time,

I’ve gained happiness from it,

although not void of sadness and despair, far from it.

 

Your life is in your hands, as well as in your eyes,

See it and handle it as you like.

I prefer to describe my life and times in rhyme,

just as beautiful as the sunrise, this life of mine. – RSM

Ambitious Anxiety

It is in the light that we wish to stand,

urges suppressed, trying to keep our bad memories purged and repressed.

Speaking like a politician on Election Day,

nervous like hell but praying it’ll all be okay.

 

It is in the light we wish to shine, and make our lives brighter,

illuminate those around us, be a smile to see with happiness to reflect.

Some shudder at the thought that some days we forget,

and hope to never be the perpetrator of neglect.

It is in darkness we feel guilt, shame, sadness,

as we throw darts at the bullseye over our own faces,

little do we know this bullseye is spinning in our minds

like a hurricane and those darts are missiles being dropped

on our emotions and self-esteem by our own conscience.

In darkness we try to forget by remembering

that 1 time out of 100 we made a noticeable mistake,

and mark that as a the beginning of the end, our fall from grace.

 

When our time to shine comes about, anxiety can surprise us.

Our mind does a search of “How many ways can this go wrong?”

faster and more thorough than Google ever could.

A side effect of success and progress can be high stress.

A mind on edge thinks everything is an all-or-nothing test.

 

Remember why you’re here,

learn to love the way it looks when you see yourself,

and the way it sounds when your own voice meets your ears.

“You have a right to be here,” as Max Ehrmann confirmed.

Don’t think of life as ‘Win or Lose,’

because no matter what happens, you live and you learn.

Who Am I? – Poem from 2010

I found this poem while going through an old notebook from college. I wrote it when I was 20 years old as a junior at St. John’s University. I intended it to be a spoken word piece, but never performed it. It’s interesting to look back at it now, over 5 years later from 2010, a time when my identity was forming in many different ways.

Who Am I? – by Ruben Muniz

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

I am my family, my friends, and all my associations.

I am who I am! Do you need a further explanation?

There’s more to me than the eye can see.

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my family.

My family comes from Puerto Rico, so I must be Puerto Rican,

But I’m from New York, so I guess I’m Nuyorican,

But when I’m outside the country I’m Ame-rican.

American, if you will, born and raised in the USA.

Puerto Rico is under the US’ flag, so I guess I’m American either way.

 

But what is “American?”

Does anyone even know?

Puerto Rican is a mix of Spanish, African and Taino,

Among a dozen other nationalities brought together

by war and political irrationality.

Question: does nationality make personality,

or is it merely a formality?

I prefer the latter to the former, others disagree not so discreetly.

No matter how I put it, if I say it harshly or sweetly:

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my friends.

I am the kids who I grew up with;

Many of them have become the young adults that are my friends today.

I associate myself with good people, so when people ask about my friends

I have no bad things to say.

This doesn’t go without exception, and it all really depends on perception.

Is she doing well? Is he a bad person?

Which actions improve the reputation of someone?

Which actions cause it to worsen?

 

Nonetheless, I am the kids from my block.

I’m the kids from my high school, both the nerds and the jocks,

I’m the young adults from my college, in New York and Europe alike.

I enjoy time with new friends, even more so with old friends,

but my best friends are my life.

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my associations.

I am a New Yorker, I am a Bronxite.

I am the apartment building I lived in my whole life.

I’m a high school graduate who goes to college at St. John’s

I’m a brother to my sister, nephew to my uncle,

cousin to my cousin, and a son to my mom.

 

I used to work at Key Food on my block,

and at Cold Stone in Times Square.

To a few girls, I am an ex-boyfriend…

but I’m not even gonna go there.

To some I’m good, to some I’m bad,

to some I’m happy, to some I’m sad.

Right now I’m my dad’s son,

One day I’ll be my son’s dad.

 

I am me by association.

Whether it’s a person, a thing,

my home, or ancestral nation,

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me. So who am I?

 

To you, that depends on who you are,

and how you see me.  – RSM circa 2010

 

Fall Back, Spring Forward

So the time for rhyme has climbed through the grime

of despair and clarity has shone through the calamity,

singing and dancing along the streets and the beach

means Summer’s on the way and it’s here to stay, but

a personal war cannot be forgotten, a powerful enemy

slain and put in chains, making every blooming flower

a sweet reminder of a personal victory so fervently fought for.

What a horrible Fall, only to Spring back up after a long hibernation.

All is in order and the horizon has no sign of the sun setting, or letting

the demons of Autumn return to rule so unrighteously.

Frightful were those times, but they have since passed, and although left us weary,

leads me to heavily believe in the fruits of slingshot theory:

Hard times don’t mean the world is done,

couldn’t be further from the truth;

Hard times may hold you back for a time,

Only to spring you forward, into the sky, through the roof.

An Ode To My Past Life

Living with my nose in the air,

sniffing for the latest party to find,

a chamber of lost souls come together

like birds of a feather to have some wine.

Much more than that is had, though not thought bad

by the patrons who attend, but of course!

This is how parties are had,

and they could be worse.

Yesteryear was that without fear.

No inhibitions that would let you miss one night,

nor any one of your societal chains

with the various forms of funny poison obtained.

Yet no matter what it was with who,

those times are over;

even for the master of ceremonies himself.

A time comes when we all grow up and grow out

in all directions at once like a blooming daisy

in the springtime, no more juvenile guile

that makes all of it worthwhile.

 

The party is done. There will be other kinds to come

yet none so dangerous as to warrant worry.

Let’s live long.

And I’d Do It All Over, For Her

When life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.

When life kicks you down a bad rabbit hole,

you have no choice but to go with it.

Flying down a rocky wonderland that’s anything but wonderful

as the different mythical beasts nip at your heels,

it seems even day-to-day now that hope is futile

instead of one of two of the only people and things

that kept me afloat on this river of tears and

emotional lava:

 

Hope and Her. She and my own prayers.

My family was there and so was she,

standing in league as the only human beings

I cared to see and often still see now; How

curious it is that I took her for granted,

but all my personal sins I’ve recanted

and I would run a million miles through

it all again with a smile on my face as I panted

to get to where I am now; a place of solace,

a wondrous peace that although sometimes

disrupted is a far cry from the volcano

of my mind that one time hath so

violently erupted.

 

And I’d do it all over for her,

she is my Christmas Eve,

I’d do it all again, the suffering,

the ups and downs, highs and lows,

For all the unrestrained ‘I love yous’

and kisses we now share in return.

 

And I’d do it all over, for her,

I’d do it all over with a smile on my face. – RSM

What Music Does To Me

A light string strummed on a cold day,

A percussive mastermind strikes

while sitting on the hard pavement.

A playlist on Spotify sets the tone

for the rest of the time that passes along

before the sun sets and the moon plays her song.

 

A band on stage captivates the crowd

as the young women flock to the forefront.

Moshers behind them let out their aggression

while the sound guy takes a drink to forget past transgressions.

A million minds in their own little world

as music activates their soul’s ear.

 

I sing, I dance, I play some myself

whenever I feel that time allows.

I yearn to float like a rain cloud that pours

so when I feel the music vibrating my bones

I spill my heart out on the people below.

When they feel my rain drops they will know

what music does to me.

The Best Philosophy

I just need to chill.

Everything is as it is

and things could be shitty,

but things ain’t so bad at all.

 

Call me one of the few and proud

who likes to dance and sing it loud

my ring says ‘True Family Love’

for reasons that speak solely

to my old friends and my soul, G!

I never forgot who I was no matter where I went

be it Europe, Queens or down the block

I’m still the happy-go-hardworking-

indifferently-relaxed spiritual being

in a human’s body I’ve always been.

Nevermind sin, I’ve lived

like the mentally rich pauper,

occupying more skies in my dreams

than a thousand flying saucers.

Que sera sera, Murphy’s Law,

YOLO, What goes around comes around,

Lo que paso paso, I’ll be running through My Town.

I’m not done living, I’m just rethinking still.

The best philosophy of all is: Just chill.

Words and Melodies

A smoggy night throughout the metropolis

brings harmonious sounds to my ears.

The trumpet sounds; I smile.

The next track plays and I’m a child again.

 

Talk of the future and past begs the question

of what my life has become.

The tacky 90s keyboard reminds me of my sister

and her piano lessons in Westchester back in the day.

Lollipops and 35 cent chips remind me of 5 girls so Spicy.

Another song comes up, one I haven’t heard before,

Tres Carib.

It makes me think of beaches I’ve never been to.

 

A new morning emerges as does the sun with it

and an unexplored playlist heightens my spirits.

It is with unabashed optimism that I dance with words,

then I stand tall and let my feet do the talking.