SIDONIA CDespite the beer bottles, drug dealers standing on the corner, and dried up chicken wings on the ground, we had the luxury of the fire hydrantsHRONICLES: I found my VOICE
My memories of childhood were not all terrible. In 1996 I was walking with finesse and had discovered my consciousness as a young adult. On any given day I could smell “Arroz con Pollos” (Rice and Chicken) in the air from the Puerto Rican homes on the block. I loved heading out to get a slice of pepperoni pizza or steak and cheese sub from Juan’s Sub Shop. The cars would drive by with the hottest songs pumping out of the sound system.
On this particular day, my friend Sasha came through to play a new song that Puff Daddy produced by a rapper named The Notorious B.I.G. In unison we screamed, “I love it when you call me Big Poppa!” This was the hottest song and we stood in the living room and began to do the Butterfly Dance as though we were out of our minds. Truly we had a blast. The day was perfect.
Sasha wanted us to head outside to see if any of our friends were hanging out on the block. Today was a perfect day. Despite the beer bottles, drug dealers standing on the corner, and dried up chicken wings on the ground, we had the luxury of the fire hydrants. A guy named Sway would take a wrench and open the hydrant to let the little kids get wet as a treat. All of the windows in the apartments would be open with the elders staring outside to make sure the children were safe. Of course we were more interested to hang out on the stairs of Lyric Institute. Everyone loved hanging out there because it was the spot where the hottest lyricists, poets, and dancers went. Most people never went inside because they said the owner was a serious teacher who did not take any nonsense from the thugs on the street.
Usually we would all hang on the steps but the owners came out and asked us to come into the building since it was open enrollment day. I immediately told the owner that I was broke and did not have any “Loot” to participate. He explained that payment was the sacrifice of my commitment and dedication to work on a craft. Word had gotten around that I was a solid poet because I would often compete in the local Poetry Slams. I began to recite my poem Angeroid Babies to the owner. I said the following:
Inked with ink blots
Oppressed with anger zones
Intricate with interweaved hatred
Questioning Q’s that may exude from you external or internal?
Here I am
You Tell me
Lying lips pervading wet
Sipping softly from the dry spit dripping down the corner of your lips
Sorry don’t cut the angeroid babies that were conceptualized when
You planted your devil beams into my cipher
Huh? What’d you say?
Or did you mean the oddity of my window frame
Interests you to crawl into my home for a few seconds
You can’t stand to peer like a bee in a beehive collecting honey
You just wanted a Keebler
Lord what would you do with sixty-three minutos?
Rape of the mind
Held in Bondage
Pulsate with time
Pull the dumb bells of intellect into the bosom of a lost Mother
Now when I was finished everyone standing around to listen gave a roaring applause. My friend Sasha said, “Sidonia, you can really speak! How do you come up with this stuff?” I really could not give her an answer. I found true safety in writing, but I did not realize that I had these emotions inside of me. My early life lessons taught me to be silent. I would put pen to paper and somehow come up with prolific poems that spoke truth to my experiences. The owner at the Lyric Institute gave me a full scholarship to be a principle poet on the spoken word team. It was then that I realized the power of words.
Listen to Audio Recording of Angeroid Babies with this YouTube Performance