Tato Laviera

cantfindit

Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera was born in Puerto Rico, the son of a philosopher and a writer. He moved to New York City in 1960, and was educated at Cornell University and Brooklyn College. Shifting between English and Spanish in his poetry, Laviera addresses themes of immigration, history, and transcultural identity. Laviera was the author of several collections of poetry, including La Carreta Made a U-Turn (1979), AmeRícan(1985), Mainstream Ethics (Etica corriente) (1988), and Mixturao and Other Poems (2008). He also wrote more than a dozen plays, including King of Cans, which premiered in 2012 at New York’s Red Carpet Theater. Laviera lived in New York, and dealt with diabetes and blindness until his death in 2013. Source

my graduation speech

i think in spanish

i write in english

 

i want to go back to puerto rico,

but i wonder if my kink could live

in ponce, mayagüez and carolina

 

tengo las venas aculturadas

escribo en spanglish

abraham in español

abraham in english

tato in spanish

"taro" in english

tonto in both languages

 

how are you?

¿cómo estás?

i don't know if i'm coming

or si me fui ya

 

si me dicen barranquitas, yo reply,

"¿con qué se come eso?"

si me dicen caviar, i digo,

"a new pair of converse sneakers."

 

ahí supe que estoy jodío

ahí supe que estamos jodíos

 

english or spanish

spanish or english

spanenglish

now, dig this:

 

hablo lo inglés matao

hablo lo español matao

no sé leer ninguno bien

 

so it is, spanglish to matao

what i digo

             ¡ay, virgen, yo no sé hablar!

Published:

2014

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

2022

Themes:

Bilingual

Humor & Satire

Identity

Literary Devices:

Alliteration

the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession

Dialogue

conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie