Noel QuiƱones


Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua writer, performer and educator born and raised in the Bronx. He has performed at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival, La Casita, the Nuyorican Poets Café and Apples & Snakes–London, and he has been a featured artist with TEDxSwarthmore, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and BronxNet Television. His poems have appeared in Pilgrimage Press, Kweli Journal, Winter Tangerine Review, Asymptote and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from Poets House, CantoMundo and Brooklyn Poets, where he studied with David Tomas Martinez in the summer of 2016, Quiñones has also been showcased on Blavity, Vibe, Button Poetry, LatinTRENDS and Medium. He was most recently a member of the 2016 Bowery Poetry Club slam team, which placed among the top twenty teams in the nation. Source 

ode to new money

Jeremy says he want

that shmoney,

the kind of language

unwilling to count on itself.

I witness and am witnessed.

The shh of poverty

sinks my lips

into my father’s

shoulders, the kind you engineer

a runaway from.

I always condemn

and yet stay.

A legacy I whisper

in the Bronx,

contain my throat within

Jeremy’s bolted forearm.

I am my brother’s

chokehold. I want

to break him—for all he knows

I cannot conceive.

Even he does not talk

the way my poems need him to.

Upstate, the leaves are the only brown

amongst the deer and foliage,

see, see there, I know the word

for money but not its origin.

In ninth grade I pronounced

the word wrong, not the word,

its temperament, and the air shifts

the poverty in the train car

toward me. I am never the ghetto,

I am the memory which deceives

its repetition. Jeremy knows this.

He has my father’s eyes; I use

them to seal his tongue away.

This hunger for properness

has me renaming myself.

I am the deer no one resents

until it leaves the forest

and its divine architecture—

how all green has a gate choking it

I sell you this again and again,

I am the one

who gnaws on the diamonds

in the arches, who vomits

at company, but comes back

to turn my teeth to knives

as he did,

but my shoulders

they are so soft

and weighted

by nothing.




Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Poems of Place

Literary Devices:


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing