Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Humor in Nuyorican poetry

"Problems with Hurricanes" by Victor Hernández Cruz 


Problems with Hurricanes (transcription)

A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it’s not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I’ll tell you he said:
it’s the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.

How would your family
feel if they had to tell
The generations that you
got killed by a flying

Death by drowning has honor
If the wind picked you up
and slammed you
Against a mountain boulder
This would not carry shame
to suffer a mango smashing
Your skull
or a plantain hitting your
Temple at 70 miles per hour
is the ultimate disgrace.

The campesino takes off his hat -
As a sign of respect
toward the fury of the wind
And says:
Don’t worry about the noise
Don’t worry about the water
Don’t worry about the wind -
If you are going out
beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things.

From Maraca New and Selected Poems 1965-2000, by Victor Hernández Cruz
Copyright © 2001 Victor Hernández Cruz


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