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Luis Chaluisan
Works at WEPAwebTV
Attended Amherst College
Lived in Yakima,Washington
1,476 followers|4,512,844 views


Luis Chaluisan

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Tune in at any time of the day. Number 6 on the National Comedy Charts.
Songs and lyrics from ReverbNation Artist El Extreme "Honking and Shouting" Little Otis, Comedy music from Yakima, WA on ReverbNation

Luis Chaluisan

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Little Otis "Kazoo Blues" El Extreme Luis Chaluisan WEPAwebTV
Excerpt From 'Honking and Shouting': The Life And Times Of Little Otis
Produced by: Maria Hernandez Luis Chaluisan Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle Bryan López Figueroa Tina Chaluisan WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater

Luis Chaluisan

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Honking and Shouting
by El Extreme Little Otis
Honking and Shouting , a Comedy album by El Extreme "Honking and Shouting" Little Otis on ReverbNation

Luis Chaluisan

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Little Otis Grumpy's Tuesday Scene - To Be with You
Viktor Amauri Balaguer's Beautiful Ballad has inspired me to prepare a singing intro for my next appearance at "Tuesday Night Comedy" hosted by Mark Philipp - Grumpy Dave's Pub. Following this three minute piece I have a surprise two minute instrumental ending where I will be playing my "horn" (not included here - it would ruin the surprise - but "trust" I'm aiming to have the house Rocking and Rolling with audience participation on a brutal jump blues riff.) Stay tuned! LITTLE OTIS IS BACK HONKING AND SHOUTING!
Supported by Maria Hernandez Luis Chaluisan Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle Bryan López Figueroa Tina Chaluisan WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan

Luis Chaluisan

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El Extreme Luis Chaluisan Comedy show 03-01-16 at Grumpy Dave's Pub in Bowling Green OH
Presented by Maria Hernandez Luis Chaluisan Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater

Luis Chaluisan

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Espiritu Salsa Navegando Al Cielo Luis Chaluisan WBGU FM
Presented by Maria Hernandez Bryan López Figueroa Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan
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Happy birthday

Luis Chaluisan

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I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Philipp and Grumpy Dave's Pub for all the support you have given me. I set out today for a new life on the West Coast by relocating to Yakima Washington to join my son Sammy as he welcomes our new grandchild into the world. This is my third grandchild. Our daughter Chasan (from my first marriage to Carmen Rodriguez) has already blessed us with two grand daughters in Hartford, Ct. where I am a reporter for WFSB TV Channel 3 from 1979-82. My history in Yakima dates back to 1993 where I am the Director of Development for KCJT TV Telemundo and I meet my wife Tina Chaluisan. The last six years in Bowling Green, Ohio are fruitful. I host a successful Salsa Radio show on WBGU FM; Produce two Rock and Roll shows on WBGU TV; Coordinate the International Salsa Magazine Top 40 Fan Favorites Awards (written up in the Sentinel Tribune); Travel to Puerto Rico and Cuba on musical excursions; and participate in the Stand up Comedy Scene of NW Ohio. Additionally, my on line Facebook e-zine "Salsa Magazine" celebrated six years of publishing reports daily while attracting more than 10,700+ subscribers. Gee, who knew retirement could be so busy?
Our move to the West Coast and travelling show "Honking and Shouting" are proving fortuitous for our rebranded ReverbNation site. We enter the local charts in Washington State at the Number 5 position and Number 6 on the National Comedy Charts.
Featuring Material from the show I am taking for West Coast Tour 2016-17.
A musical production featuring a 10 piece orchestra, "Honking And Shouting" is the R&B outrageous life of "Little Otis" (based on 50's Rocker Esquerita - also known by more than a Dozen aliases to dodge The I.R.S.) I know him in NY at the end of his life (1984-86). Esquerita was the stage name of singer, songwriter and pianist Eskew Reeder Jr, originally known as Steven Quincy Reeder Jr. and also known as S.Q. Reeder and SQ Jr. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, he was born on November 20, 1935, and died in Harlem, New York on October 23, 1986, aged 50, of AIDS. He is credited with influencing rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, though the extent and nature of Reeder's influence or vice versa is uncertain. Little is known about Reeder's early career as a secular rock and roll piano player. As Esquerita, he often wore heavy makeup, sunglasses, and two wigs, piling his pompadour high on his head.
It is speculated that Reeder was an influence on Little Richard (Richard Penniman); his look and style were in a similar vein, although Esquerita was much more flamboyant in the 1950s and his music played more wildly than the contemporary music of Little Richard. Reeder did not record until after Little Richard's initial early 1950s recordings for the RCA and Peacock labels and the later hits on Specialty. However, early Little Richard recordings made at WGST Radio Station in Atlanta do not show the style that was to make him famous. According to Richard, Esquerita did influence him and taught him to play the piano. In an interview segment of the South Bank Show documentary in 1988 when the book The Quasar Of Rock was published, Richard states that he saw Esquerita getting off a bus at the Macon, GA Greyhound bus station, but doesn't say which year, presumably in the early 50's. There's a hint of a homosexual connection between the two, but Richard also states that he was inspired by Reeder, and moreover Reeder was inspired by Richard to go into show business.
Little Richard also had not intended to use what came to be his (and Esquerita's) characteristic style during his first New Orleans session for Specialty Records. The session producer, Robert "Bumps" Blackwell had been unhappy with Penniman's initial songs on the session, so, taking a break from recording, he went with Richard to a local cafe, where Richard jumped on a piano and began singing an X-rated version of "Tutti Frutti", in true Esquerita fashion. Blackwell felt that a cleaned-up version of the song with the same style of presentation would be just what his boss Art Rupe was looking for, and this song launched Little Richard's career in 1955.
Reeder's first solo studio recordings came about when Paul Peek got him to record some demos at a Greenville radio station (WESC) around 1958. At that time, Peek was a member of the rockabilly group The Blue Caps, led by manic performer Gene Vincent. Peek even co-wrote "The Rock-Around" with Reeder, and Reeder played piano on the 1958 recording that launched the NRC (National Recording Corporation) label. From these contacts and Paul Peek's influence with Capitol Records came a record contract for Reeder; Cub Koda described the results as "some of the most untamed and unabashed sides ever issued by a major label." At this point, Eskew Reeder, Jr. adopted the stage name Esquerita.
The ensuing years found Reeder cutting several singles with various backing musicians in studios in Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans and Detroit. Capitol Records released the LP Esquerita in 1959, his only album in the traditional sense (that is, not a compilation of earlier singles, or re-issues). Some of the musicians he recorded with during this era included Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and The Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backup singers). His best known songs from this time include: "Hey Miss Lucy", "Get Back Baby", "Getting’ Plenty of Lovin’", "Rockin’ the Joint", and "Oh Baby". In 1963, he recorded a session for Berry Gordy's Motown Records but those recordings were never released.
In 1968, Reeder changed his name to The Magnificent Malochi and signed with Brunswick Records. He played keyboards on "Takin' Care Of Business" by John Hammond in 1970. Shortly after this, he began to fade from the music scene, but Linda Hopkins released a song written by Reeder called "Seven Days and Seven Nights" in 1973. Around this time, Esquerita formed a new group, consisting of Charles Neville (the saxophone player of The Neville Brothers) who then resided in Brooklyn, New York, and drummer Jerry Katz of Queens, New York. They and a few other musicians played a steady gig at Tommy Smalls Night Club on 50th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. Several months later the group disbanded.
According to an interview with Billy Miller and Miriam Linna in the ReSearch book Incredibly Strange Music, Reeder occasionally performed at African-American gay clubs under the name Fabulash during the 1970s. He was eventually tracked down by a writer for Kicks Magazine in 1983 or 1984, who found him performing in second-rate New York City clubs. According to an article ("Who Was Esquerita?") by music historian Johnny Carter in an international oldies magazine, music maven Bill Lowery (who originated National Recording Corporation and was involved in the Peek sessions for NRC) was approached by Esquerita on the street in New York in 1985 after a conference at Broadcast Music, Inc.. Lowery confirmed that Esquerita was down on his luck and was working as a parking lot attendant but was still as flamboyant as ever. A few months before his death he was seen washing car windshields for tips at an intersection in Brooklyn. In this same article, Esquerita's father, Eskew Reeder Sr., said that his son had died of complications brought on by AIDS in 1986. Esquerita's father (who was born on March 25, 1907) died in February 1989, a little over two years after his son's death. Eskew Sr.'s last known residence was Simpsonville, South Carolina.
On March 13, 2012, it was announced that Norton Records was releasing a new single and new album by Esquerita entitled Sinner Man: The Lost Session. These were to include unreleased recordings from a session in New York City in June 1966.
Produced by: Maria Hernandez Luis Chaluisan Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle Bryan López Figueroa Tina Chaluisan WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater
Tune in at any time of the day. Number 6 on the National Comedy Charts.

Luis Chaluisan

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"Bluesero Rumbero"
Delta Blues-Spoken Word
Blind Dawg Benny-Guitar
El Extreme Luis Chaluisan​-Word
"Bluesero Rumbero" Spoken Word-Delta Blues
Produced by: Maria Hernandez​ Luis Chaluisan​ Federico Chaluisan​ L.f. Chaluisan Batlle​ Bryan López Figueroa​ Tina Chaluisan​ WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions​ Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ​ 2014 Recognition Awards​ WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater​

Luis Chaluisan

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Excellent New Beautiful Bolero From Mayaguez Salsero Viktor Amauri Presented by Maria Hernandez Luis Chaluisan Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan

Luis Chaluisan

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Espiritu Salsa Navegando Al Cielo Luis Chaluisan WBGU FM
Presented by Maria Hernandez Bryan López Figueroa Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan
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Espiritu Salsa Navegando El Cielo Word, Art, Music and Hope The Complete Nuyorican Renaissance Experience

Luis Chaluisan

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Salsa Magazine Interview/Enrevista
By Luis Chaluisan - 1,472 Followers - 34 Posts - Public
Enrevista is our Nuyorican Version of Interviews
Presented by Maria Hernandez Bryan López Figueroa Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan

Luis Chaluisan

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Salsa Magazine Interview/Enrevista
By Luis Chaluisan - 1,472 Followers - 34 Posts - Public
Enrevista is our Nuyorican Version of Interviews
Presented by Maria Hernandez Bryan López Figueroa Federico Chaluisan L.f. Chaluisan Batlle WEPAwebTV Roughrican Productions Rocker Roller Rican vlɒɡ 2014 Recognition Awards WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater WEPAwebTV - New Edge Theater El Extreme Luis Chaluisan
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Luis's Collections
Luis Chaluisan The Rise Of Salsa Magazine


As one of the Staff writers for Latin NY Magazine (1977-1982) and Music Editor (1978-1979) I am blessed to have been privy to many of the events central to the Worldwide Salsa Music Explosion spearheaded by the magazine's coverage of the Latin Music scene (1973-1985/The Golden Age Of SALSA. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be part of world history. Along with being one of the young poets performing at the original Nuyorican Poets Cafe (1977-1979), Joe Papp's Public Theater (1977) and touring with Felix Romero's "Teatro Otra Cosa" (a bomba street theater group housed at the legendary "Teatro Puerto Rico" in the South Bronx 1977-1979) I now look back on those days with extreme exhilaration. At the time it is just the thing to do to survive as an artist. The seventies experiences lay the foundation for me to enter mainstream media when I land at job at CBS affiliate WFSB TV in Hartford Ct in 1979. For the next twenty years I have the opportunity to produce television shows, go to Hollywood, have my own rock and salsa bands, release two LP's, do radio work at the NY State Senate, ride the Internet bubble, and manage a Telemundo Affiliate Station in Washington State. And the roller coaster ride is not over. In 1997/98 I return to my seventies roots when I end up as part of Connecticut's State Team at the National Slam Poetry Championships in Austin,Texas and Chicago, Illinois copping 5 and 7th place nationally out of 200 teams each. (You can catch a glimpse of my performance and the Ct. team at the Nationals broadcast by 60 minutes on the 10th anniversary Slam blowout in Chicago.) Thanks to the support of my family - particularly my brother Ron - I am able to put together my memoirs in 2000 ("Newricane") which in turn (through God's grace) results in the Off Broadway production of "SPIC CHIC" (2001-2004) inspired by a Latin NY editorial written by Publisher Izzy Sanabria in January 1977 also entitled "Spic Chic". That show took myself, Maria Hernandez and Classical Composer David Amram to the Bonn Opera House in 2004. (I meet David while working for Latin NY in the seventies and it is a lifelong friendship since then; without Maria Hernandez (Lola Magdalena) I don't know where I would be today. Her calmness balances my manic being. I'm grateful that my father saw all this success before he passed in 2006. And likewise that my mother is still alive witnessing the next chapter of her crazy artist son's career - telling you this story (contained in the publication of "Spic Chic" as a book of poems and stories covering work from 1975-2009 inspired by another set of great mentors: Cardinal Hayes English teacher Bill Kerrigan (editor) and Steve Cannon (Fly By Night Press/A Gathering Of The Tribes NYC.) And now comes the payoff putting all these elements together: establishing WEPAwebTV in 2001 and reaching back to film a documentary on MR SALSA Izzy Sanabria, which has ultimately become the story I have been searching for during 53 years of a life that sums up an American experience as a Puerto Rican. Pa Que Lo Sepan! WEPA!

LOSalon: A Salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, continue to flourish worldwide through the Internet that provides a new way to collaborate.
I owe a great deal of thanks to my brother Ronald Chaluisan who proposed conducting Salons in the early 1990's when he lived in Brooklyn. He suggested to study the French Salon movement in the 17th and 18th centuries.

LOSalon: Un Salón es una reunión de personas bajo el techo de un huésped inspirador, que se celebra en parte para divertirse entre sí y en parte para refinar el sabor y  aumentar el conocimiento de los participantes a través de la conversación. Salones, comúnmente asociada con los movimientos literarios y filosóficos Franceses de los  Siglos 17 y 18, siguen floreciendo a nivel mundial a través de el Internet que proporciona un nuevo medio para colaborar.
Le debo mucho gracias a mi hermano Ronald Chaluisan? quien propuso la realización de un Salon en la década de 1990's cuando vivía en Brooklyn. El me sugirió a estudiar el Movimiento de Salon Francés en los siglos 17 y 18.

Johnny Boy is back in town
A creeper in bruised lives
A trader in sultry secrets
He has absolutely
No right to know
A metropolitan skyjacker
Taking hostage
The stray adventurer
He preys out of emptiness
A modern vampire of emotions
Johnny Boy has arrived
Brought by powers unseen
To change the course
A necessary evil
In a dirty little town
Of ruined directions
Skyscrapers amuse him
Pits invite the taste of his special
Have you seen him?
El Loco Cantinero
Of hyperventilated thoughts
Have you seen him?
He arrived naked at the party
Trying to check his clothes
And announcing to all
He seduces
The confused poet
The isolated lover
The struggling woman
The ambitious teacher
To tell him their stories
Johnny Boy dismisses boundaries
And uses the tragedy
Of a comedian
To ejaculate his venom
He performs on stage
Fully in charge
Sparks fly from
His steel tipped heart
Creating icons
Of indignity
Of impulse
Have you met him?
His eyes tongue a red haze
Of silver spikes and
Black velvet fury
A Catholic boy on
A rampage through Hell
A new-age saint
With a customized Rosario
Who sweats benedictions
As he rides her
On an elevator rooftop
With a pistol strapped to his back
Each thrust setting off a bullet
Up between her legs
Through her stomach
Past her heart
Coming out her lips into his ...
A wild shot of cold-hearted lust
As soot falls on them
Like soft black petals
Raining on both
The living and the dead
A rogue dusky
Decadancing on the edge of razors
He stalks runners with his boy
Yo Yo Montalvo
And tries ways
To avoid their own stalkers
Night bombers in silk shirts
And four-hundred-dollar shoes
Searching for keys broken off
Long ago in forgotten locks
Searching for
The Great Game
While compromising every truth
Along the way
Searching for a way in
He's been speeding so long
Marking time
Paying cops
Burying partners
Tricking queens
Cruising shadows
Whacking even priests
In dreams reality cuts loose
Avenues slice into boulevards
D-D-D-D-D-Dodge City
He jumps into his
Third-world club car
Reeking of polo and reefer
An artillery strapped
On every extremity
He's headed for a
Sell - A - Bray - Tion
Yo Yo is spinning
Dead eyes
Crazy glued on everything
A plastic mask for a face
Fifth in one hand and
Eight Ball in the other
A new kind of pool game
Without a cue
On guard
From what
He supposes
Yo, let's go visit the savages
In Brooklyn
But they never get past the border
Johnny goes for a hit
Takes a drink
Forgets to steer
And BAM!
Rams the highway divider
The savages aren't
In Brooklyn
They're trapped
They're in the car
They're on the mainland
They're here
They're Ussssssssssssssssssssssss
Now I ask you
Have you met him?
Have you met him?
Have you met him?
I have ...
He calls collect
From way

Por qué tú sufres
Si tú no tienes
Porque sufrir
Por qué tú lloras
Si tú no tienes
Porque llorar

Stop Look Listen
It’s now New Rican Village time
On Avenue A off Sixth
Alphabet City
New York New York
Big Butt Lulu
Slides across the dance floor
Earthquake thighs keeping time
With Andy Gonzalez' bass
As Nestor Torres' flute
Unleashes a dance hall trance
With a Valentino smoothness
Hilton Ruiz
The high priest of the piano
Arches in the darkness
Responds with tinkling caresses
That stream in between
The steady clave keeping time
For Jerry Gonzalez' drums
While Papo Vasquez fills with riffs
Notes thrust from
Every angle in the room
Lay sweltering
Just below my stomach
I absorb all eagerly
As music and being
For the climax
Welcome to Eddie Figueroa's
New Rican Village
Loisaida N.Y.
Temple of the New
Rican Renaissance
Lola Magdalena
Mambo smiles
Showing more teeth than Jaws
Yo Yo Montalvo
Swallows the evening
He's awaken to hunt
Billie Zombie passes joints
Laced with dust
And cases club members
To rob later
Suzie Sidewinder hovers above all
Mussolini in high heels
Little Lucie Blue Eyes
Waits for her Man
With the patience
Of a practiced killer
Wilfredo the Anointed Apostle
Is surrounded by a sea of estrogen
A man drowning on dry land
Kept afloat by Santa Ana
The turquoise dressed martyr
As Carmen Baby sits at home
Murmuring her mantras
To saints and candles
Behind blessed glass
And Johnny Boy
"El Malote del Bronx"
Well, he feeds his lovers
A thousand yards of tongue
Stingray shocks his prey
Then disappears in the mist

There’s one who can speak
The truth at all times
In the court
Of the Spanish King
During the days of
The Old Empire:
The Jester.
So is my role in the court
Of the New Empire.
The Light guides me,
I say what's on my mind
And at the end of the day
I dream Truths.
That way when I pass
From this Old World
I'll march right up to
Him in heaven and ask
What the hell was that all about?
And with my luck
The Elusive One will answer:
Do you remember when
We are together then before as One
You ask for IT — A human experience!
Do I deliver on your curiosity?
Travel on there’s more …
Just go ahead through the looking glass.
But, I’m scared Abba.
Trust me I walk with you.

There are two things
God knows that
Carmen Baby knows
She is beautiful
The value she places
On her life
And on the lives
Of the ones she loves
I glide precariously
Alongside her path
At once tender
Then off-center
When touched by
The moonlit madness
That fuels my mind
Two binary stars
Dancing in the night sky
Drawn in and then out
Held together by the magnetism
Of our daughter Chasan
The ark of the covenant
Wherein Carmen keeps my soul
Three universes drawn together
By a special mystical plan
Which I manage to corrupt
With the panache
Of Foghorn Leghorn
On steroids:
I Do I Say I Do I Say I love you
Carmen replies You say You do
But at night I cry and
No tears come from my eyes
Carmen prays
And drifts to another place
In that world
Chasan is safe to roam
I am at ease
And she is free to love
But those dreams are corrupted
By my impetuosity
Corrupt fascination
Bent Brilliance
She doesn’t lose her temper
She finds it
And yet she still loves
Because she has the
Blue Eyed Ark with her
Because she has
The Princess tucked away
As I travel the byroads
Writing my lines
As a Dantian reporter
From the underworld

An unbroken cowboy
In love with
The open ranges
In love with
Small town
Dance hall girl
Known as
“Delilah Blue”
A sensuous comet
Streaking across
My sky mind
22 Raven
On her hip
In her pocketbook
A stiletto hidden
By the prosthetic
Of her Little Leg
The sun rises
Every time
Delilah’s eyes open.
She speaks
And my soul is fulfilled
Delilah can figure out
My little boy secrets
With her spirit
We meet
In a mountain desert
But are far
From being dry
On our first date
I ask Delilah
Hey Baby
How you lose
Your leg
She wryly responds
I tire of it
It weighs me down
Bathed in incense
And the
Bittersweet smell
Of love-making
I peek into
Delilah’s soul
Witness a lifetime
Of breaking
And resetting
A body that God
Does not quite complete
One leg shorter
Than the other
A spine
That can’t support
Her height
Which rises
Above the turmoil
The final straw
Comes at the hands
Of five drunken marines
Who rape
Torture her
At the hospital
The doctor says
We can save your life
But maybe not the leg
Cut it off immediately
Cut away the past
Walk into the future
I cry that first date
Hearing HER story
And lay the foundation
For a year of
Twisty Love
I understand her wildness
She consecrates my abandon
Our need to
Be bad
Be with each other
Be in love
Outweighing the risks
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art
As I dive into the torture
Of Van Gogh’s face
Delilah robs a Belgian tourist
Of 3000 dollars
Presents it to me
Here Poppy
Here’s my dowry
Past indiscretions
Come calling
For Delilah and me
During a
Rum and cocaine-choked
Of our first
Year anniversary
I find Delilah
On the bedroom floor
Boozy sighs pouring
From her lips into my ears
Oh, poppy
The pain is so bad
Even my conscience hurts
It’s spring
We’re blind
I know I have to act
And lay a path
For Delilah to escape
And save myself
Who can always figure out
My little boy secrets
She walks into
A local bank
Makes a .357 withdrawal
Leaves me a note
Flies back west
To rest
Under the Volcano
Thanks for the star-spiked rodeo
But I’m fatigued
It weighs me down
I cry reading that note
But understand
Because Delilah shows me
By her example
By her courage
Cut away the past
Walk into the future
You see
You can’t enjoy
The light of reason
Unless you first
The Dark Night
Of the Soul.

I spend my days
Making vertical and
Horizontal calculations
Along crooked streets
Of lights and shadows
Possessed by an
Arrogant ambition
To read
The mind of God
But there's a price to pay
Pain the toll
As I divide my time
Between chasing God
And chasing the Dragon
Combining lethal doses of
Horse beat with cane
A perverse boy meets girl
The gravity of my situation
Bending the light of reason
Cut off from others
Oblivious to their
Opinions and prejudices
I remain
A child at heart
Asking the simplest of questions
But obsessed
With the human equation
How did God make the universe
How did God make it right
How does one plus one equal
Solitude my choice
Because no one
Can take that from me
But as the temporal music
Of my solitude unfolds
So come
The visions and the voices
I listen and I’m transfixed
I am here before it starts
I am here after the end
I’m a hidden treasure
That desires
To Be Known
I create you
The Creation
In order to be known
Trust me
I walk with you
An interior illumination
That allows me to see
Through my soul’s eyes
Becomes messages in “g” forces
That rip the air around me
Becomes a deep well I fall into
Eagerly drinking from its waters
Making a lasting moment
Out of a singular incident
Becomes a shrine
All have access to
I am exhausted
After all that spiritual stuff
I lay down
Perfumed in stolen flowers
Sodden lust
Rocked to sleep
By the cadence of
The Elusive One's
Here's the secret
You have to know life
To recreate life
One more thing
I love you
I love you all


The Literature of the Latino/a Experience and its Relevance
in the English Classroom WEPAwebTV

The literature of the Latino/a experience in the United States of America closes the gap on education in the United States. Voices of concerns have been depicted in newspapers, websites and statistics across America. On November 30, 2003, Fox television featured a segment on its series on education to vividly document stories of children with problems with standardized testing. Even the United States Department of Education has opened an Office (White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans) that is designing, coordinating and finding ways to improve the educational excellence of Latino children. The American educational system is looking for answers and embarking on a journey of redefining its solutions. An alternative to the teaching of literature is the integration of the literature of the Latino/a experience in the English curriculum. 
According to the 2000 United States Census statistics, there are 35.8 million people of Latino origin living in the United States mainland. The ones that migrated to the United States before, during and immediately after World War II, and those who were born and grew up in the United States have come out of the melting pot and have become a vital force developing a voice in American letters today. Latino/a authors have developed a literary voice of their own and are being anthologized by mainstream publishing houses like never before. Piri Thomas, Esmeralda Santiago, Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Tato Laviera and Abraham Rodriguez have become household contemporary names that are not only being published and read in American schools but have broken paradigms by interacting, sharing, reading and positively influencing young adult audiences in schools and colleges in the United States.
The study of literature is the only real academic situation in which students have to explore issues that are relevant to their interests. Latino/a literature combines the language, history and the cultural _expression of the Latino/a experience that allows students to examine these themes and make language their own by making personal connections with their lives and background information. The characters in the story, the settings within the conflicts and the poetic language all express the experiences of the recently arrived, and even portray universal situations that all teens go through. Themes include education, identity, varied approaches to race, self-acceptance, self-esteem, peer-pressure, family, domestic violence, sex, mother-son-daughter; father-son-daughter relationships, just to mention a few. Effectively used and integrated, Latino/a literature may improve academic outcomes and provide the preparation needed for students to enhance their scores on city, national and state testing requirements.
Although Latinos have been migrating to the United States since the middle of the 19th century, it is not until the publication of Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas in in 1967 that their presence with a literary awakening became evident. People from all the Caribbean, Central and South America came to the United States inspired by "job opportunities, low air fares and the expectations of those that had already pioneered the way (The Nuyorican Experience, Eugene Mohr p.25).” The sudden and unexpected growth of the United States Latino population brings forth interesting yet unanswered questions. How will present and future governments address the staggering high school dropout rate amongst Latinos? What specific educational proposals will be developed to empower American Latinos to face critical social, economic and political issues in the up-coming years? What strategies, methodologies and innovative ideas will be developed to help Latino teens improve their scores on city, national and state testing requirements? In order for Latinos to have an active role in the world of cyber-space, high-tech and global entrepreneurship, the educational system must produce critical thinkers who can become pro-active participants in society.
Today’s critical thinkers are required by the educational system to be pro-active and master reading and writing skills. Recent studies indicate that there is a strong relationship between reading and writing. Two scholars in the area (Noyce and Christie, 1989) state that the mind assimilates information to explain the missing link between skills and reading/writing. The new Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will have three sections: reading, writing and math. The changes will provoke spontaneous and widespread curriculum changes in the United States that will without a doubt affect the education of Latinos and other American teens as well. Therefore it is up to teachers to include additional instruction to help students fill in those missing links. Closing the gap on standardized testing means going beyond the classics and traditional literature. The classics will always be part of our curriculum, but Latino/a literature provides children with choices and helps create interest in reading and writing which will in return augment scores in the nations report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress
 Additional research in the study of young adult literature demonstrates that language is learned through use rather than through practice exercises. Second, children need to be given opportunities to make language their own by making connections with their lives and background information. Finally, A well-designed reading and writing program should provide opportunities for diverse daily reading and various types of writing. There is no need to hide or deny that recent arrivals are confronted with the issue of assimilation.
Assimilation comes in different forms and different colors. In Piri Thomas' short story "The Konk", a young boy straightens his hair to be accepted by friends and family, but once he meets their standards, he is faced with hostility and rejection. In the process of assimilation and belonging, Latinos are faced with situations of race, identity and culture when they adapt and adjust to a new way of life. American Jewish Puerto Rican poet Aurora Levins-Morales explores multiple identities in "Child of the Americas":
I am a child of the Americas
a light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean
a child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a crossroads

I am a US Puerto Rican Jew
a product of the ghettos of New York I have never known
An immigrant and the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants
(Latino/a Literature in The English Classroom, Manuel Hernández, p.318)

The so-called new literature is like a mirror where teens will be motivated to reflect upon and analyze personal experiences. Before students develop reading comprehension, literary appreciation and written communication skills in another language (English), the student makes a personal connection first. While they develop interest, the appropriate literary environment is created. Then, the transition is established, and Latino/a literature becomes a tool/facilitator whereby the changing in literary lanes occurs systematically and spontaneously with the encouragement and support to drive across the bridge to the other side: the classics.
The literature of the Latino/a experience is not only a bridge and relevant but also essential in the English classroom. I strongly suggest that it should be used to supplement classical literature in the English curriculum in the United States. It is time that this new literature (1967-to the present) be studied at a higher level of literary appreciation and analysis. Especially, over the last twenty years, the stories, poems, novels and plays written by Latino/a writers have become overwhelmingly popular not just in schools and colleges in the United States, but throughout the world.  Just a few years ago, Nuyorican writer, Miguel Piñero was the central figure of a motion picture, and short stories, poetry and essays written by Latino writers frequently appear in major magazines and in numerous classroom anthologies and textbooks. Julia Alvarez's novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Josefina Lopez's play, Real Women Have Curves have become major films. PBS recently documented Piri Thomas’ life and literary contribution in the nationally acclaimed; Every Child is Born A Poet. It is time to integrate Latino/a writings to those reading lists in high schools. Secondly, I suggest that the SAT’s should also include at least one or two writings (Latino/a authors) from the reading lists in the exams. If students read them, why not test them on the subject. Finally, I strongly recommend that educators rally and become advocates of Latino/a literature. This is not the work of one, but of many working together to provide teens with the opportunity that by grace we have all received; an education.

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Managing Editor, Published Author, Off Broadway Perrformer, Television/Radio Producer, Subject of Documentaries and Included in various anthologies
  • Amherst College
    Theater Arts, 1975 - 1986
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El Extreme