Willie Perdomo


WILLIE PERDOMO is the author of The Crazy Bunch (Penguin Poets, 2019) The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Poets, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the International Latino Book Award; Smoking Lovely (Rattapallax, 2004), winner of the PEN Open Book Award, and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime (Norton, 1996), a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Poetry, Bomb Magazine, and African Voices. He is currently a Lucas Arts Program Literary Fellow and teaches English at Phillips Exeter Academy. Source

Bad Habits

Petey liked to twist the right end of his mustache when he was

      listening for updates. (Y’all remember Petey. He was always

      on that chuck chill-out tip, but most days he didn’t get

      to choose.)


When he ignited a squabble, Chuna would slap his right thigh to

      get every syllable out with a violent scansion.


Tommy Lee threw rocks at unsuspecting pigeons.


Dwight kept his right hand tucked into the crotch of his Lees,

      steady stunting on some bollo.


Angel bit his tongue when he wanted to ask a question.


Max counted his money and his money counted him.


Brother Lo liked to whistle “All the Things You Are” when it

      rained that Puerto Rico rain.


Chee-wa’s nose used to break out into an anxious table of

      contents when he was skied up.


Papu would dance if he wanted to make a point. So, imagine

      him saying, Nah, nah, nah, fuck that shit, and poppin’ &

      lockin’ on every word.


Nestor hated the words Stop, I was only playing.


Loco Tommy blinked three times, convulsively, and then tapped

      the right side of his face against his right shoulder blade.


Jujo spit and spit and spit and spit.


Popeye had a villainous laugh.


Dre loved to crash revivals.


Chino Chan did back handsprings from sewer to sewer

      whenever he received good news.


Georgie could scratch his ankle straight through a

      graveyard shift.


The first thing out of Skinicky’s mouth was always a feeling.





Literary Movements:

Nuyorican Movement

Anthology Years:




Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


the usage of words in a clause that are repeated in reverse order


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


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work