Pages From My Skin

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The fourth Thursday of every November has always stirred up a lot of emotion within me. It has inevitably become a day where my family gathers to eat, dance, laugh, sneak extra vodka into their cranberry juice (or perhaps puerto rican rum into their pepsi), talk about a relative from across the room, complain about how nobody knows how to watch their own damn child, argue about who ate the jellos before dinner was even served, cry because the Holidays remind them of a relationship they're no longer in, cry because they're in a relationship they no longer want to be in, and overall great memories. Despite the brutally beautiful moments that have transpired over the years, I cannot seem to ignore the native brothers and sisters who were in every dimension raped & exploited for us to now so naively celebrate a "Holi"day that is so far from Holy. When I speak to people about the history of Thanksgiving or history in general pertaining to other events such as Christmas or...freakin' Columbus Day or anything that challenges mass tradition, they always try to dismiss me as though I'm going on a senseless rant and request that I just get over it and enjoy the moment. But look, you canNOT being to tell the descendant of one of the oppressed and violated mix of people on this earth that what he has to say with respect to who he is...well, is irrevelant and annoyingly past tense. I'm not going to go in on this blog right now but in short, let's just say I try my best to be present everyday but it becomes more and more difficult when the past oppressions of your ancestors consume the cultural fire that ignites your spirit. How ironic is it that we slaughter mass numbers of turkeys every November to represent family love and, in some illogical way, a dinner that was followed with smoked gun powder, dead bodies, and "free" land???

With that said, I have decided to rename this Holiday "Giving Thanks." As opposed to saying "Thanks" for "Giving," I want to "Give" in order to say "Thanks." I want to give thanks to everyone who has ever given a fuck. For anyone who has been there beyond artificial means and stuck it with me when I didn't even know how to be myself. Before I even learned what self meant or words like culture or love or history or Taino or Arawak or oppression or hate or greed or color or lack there of or any/everything in between. I give thanks for my upbringing. For both the joy and pain that it has brought to my life. To the lessons I learn daily and to the new and beautiful souls that continue to enter it. I am eternally grateful. Each year will continue to serve my growth (I believe beyond my own expectations), nonetheless, I will continue to evolve accordingly. In the meantime, I'm done gobbling yo' oppressed turkeys with booty holes filled with dirty fingers and expired seasoning! Word. Stuff that Pilgrim!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In writing this, I just needed a moment to both reflect and I suppose meditate. I am so grateful for the wide variety of spectrums in which I exist. I once asked the origin of this illusioned reality to "murder me good." I still co-sign that statement. Progression.

[Photo by Alex Green IV]

Friday, November 13, 2009


Last night, I brought Penumbra back to SUNY Oneonta. Despite many challenges, the event turned out to be, I think, a wide success. SGE (Students for Global Education) managed to raise hundreds of dollars to help in funding their trip to Ghana. It also raised a great deal of awareness as well as recognition concerning both the cause and the club itself. The venue was difficult to work with considering the lack of lighting capabilities and limited sound equipment. Having the lighting designer cancel the day of didn't help either but we made the best of the space and I think managed really well.

Shouts out to Emily Hooper who helped out with the show...on her actual birthday! Word up! That was really dope! Also to Dan Pneuman for his phenomenal day-to-day grind on making this happen, Hasanai for planting the seeds, Keon, Michelle, Kerri, Chris, Frederick, and the rest of the folks at SGE. I of course can't forget everyone who helped in promoting and sponsoring the show: Robb Thibault & The Hunt College Union, Bill Harcleroad, CUAC, The Student Association, CME, SCC, The Anthropology Club, and Res Life. Also, thanks to Amanda for taking incredible pictures, Mel Levine for capturing video, and The State Times for being so supportive! (I see you JP!) Thanks to everyone who helped out! (Hope I didn't forget any orgs) Much love & gratitude!

P.S. Shout outs to Parrelli & Yanski for driving all the way from Jersey and dropping my ass off in the Bronx! Word. Ya'll are amazing!

[Photo by HorQet Photography]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Humans can never be perfect. That's why you should never be flustered when perfection is not reached."

"She's scared of the depth behind your eyes."

"Perfection is fleeting because it was not meant for this planet."