We might live in a new land but there’s a reason flags from the old one wave here. It’s not political or rebellious, but what I like to call a cultural understanding. I can see it when I pass another Latino in the street and he gives me a quick nod. He doesn’t say a word but he doesn’t have to. It’s our way of telling each other, “I understand”. America is a land of struggle, victory, and the journey in between. For a young Latino, that journey means knowing where you come from and taking control of where you are going. It means living in a melting pot of cultures and still holding on to the traditions that were passed on by yours. That’s what it means to be a Latino in America.
Book Description: “Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.”