Haiku II: Angel Brown

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ig: snapshotsteve


angel brown beauty

how her song bleeds through her eyes

look down boy, look down

“Angel Brown” 

©Steven Cuenca

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Steven’s Energy

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Yours truly in Bushwick, Brooklyn

The Lords and Lordesses who created me decided that they wanted to give me a WHOLE lot of energy. Doctors told my sweet mother that I should be medicated to keep my jumpy jeans on. She told them kindly to fuck off. This was during a hard time for her; her husband had just been murdered and she was struggling with thoughts of suicide. My hyperactivity kept her mind busy. She thought my energy was a beautiful thing. A blessing even.

Well, the creators also made sure I was introverted enough that all that energy would be transferred into writing, video games, and masturbation. In no particular order.

Fast forward, I majored in Media Literacy (fancy for Communications) and minored in English at CUNY Queens College. I eventually dropped my minor because I wanted to graduate quicker. I shoved all of my required classes into two semesters, and was left with a final semester consisting of three 300 level writing intensive classes. “That’s a big no-no,” said my advisor. She said a lot of things.

I ended up having to write 3 papers a week for 3 months. I’d stay up all night, muster up all of my superhuman energy and jerk off to keep the lust demons away. Then I would write. I would write and I would write. I earned a 3.9 gpa that semester (humble brag). While I was writing, I also worked and worked out at the YMCA. I did that while finding time to run around Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens to take pictures of my pretty city. And I’d do that while finding the time to tutor the YOUTH in mathematics for food, or money if I was convincing enough. On top of all of that, I spent the remainder of my energy on trying to maintain my dying long distance relationship of almost 5 years, such a great investment that turned out to be.

Graduating was a strange thing for me. A lot of these kids do it the right way and intern so that they have a job when they finish. I couldn’t bother myself with all that. So I graduated and moved back upstate with my mother. I bought myself a car and have been trying to find a job. All that energy that helped me excel in school, run around the city, work, tutor, etc etc. is now unspent. That’s why I’m writing again, because video games and masturbation were getting a little tedious.

-Steve

 

Will I Be a Good Father?

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ig: @snapshotsteve

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will i be a good father?
i ask the lord,
my father.
he won’t answer,
he’s busy answering better questions
from better people.

will i be a good father?
i ask mi papá,
my father.
his answer is silent,
as cold as his tomb in machala.

will i be a good father?
i ask my step-dad,
my father.
he might text me an answer.
he loved with his pockets
and when his arms grew tired
he loved with his legs when he
ran to the bronx.

will i be a good father?
i ask my mom,
my father.
she’ll say yes.
she sang:
duérmete mi niño,
duérmete mi amor,
duérmete pedazo,
de mi corazón

my father taught me.

my father taught me how to plead
my father taught me how to die
he died
he died
he died
my father taught me how to flee
my mother taught me how to love

will i be a good father?

duérmete pedazo,
de mi corazón

.

“Will I Be a Good Father?”

© Steven Cuenca

Brown Boy

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ig: @snapshotsteve

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Where do I fit in the conversation? I’m not White, unfortunately. I don’t identify with Black people. I’m straight (enough). I’m healthy, college educated, young, incredibly handsome. I’m not Mexican. I’m versed in Standard American English. I don’t claim a persecuted religion or culture. I’m Steve the fucking gringo, first generation Ecuadorian-American who can’t speak Spanish to save his life.

This puts me in an interesting position. I don’t look the part of the Privileged White Male, but I share more in common with this archetype than any of the others. My voice is a White one. Somewhere before my creation I traded White Guilt for the occasional racial gaze. Go me.

My position in the conversation becomes even more interesting because of my deep connection to the freedom of speech. I fancy myself a writer, a free-thinker, and a competent communicator. I don’t believe in silencing speech, with very few exceptions (child pornography, for example). I don’t believe in silencing people, or removing them from my life because of what they believe to be their truth. My generation has a knack for this mass censorship of ideas that are contrary to what they believe is “right” or “forward thinking.” It’s all very boring. I believe that people can learn from anyone. The racist you’ve dismissed might be a mathematical genius working on more efficient, cleaner methods of producing energy. That homophobic Mormon might run a soup kitchen for the less fortunate. Etc. Etc. And that Social Justice Warrior with the apologetic White Tears might touch little boys on the weekends. Who knows, who cares. The point is that if you’re looking for truth, look for it. That racist really bothers you? Open dialogue with him. Keep your mind open and learn from him. Maybe he can learn from you too. Whatever you get from that interaction will be far more meaningful than dehumanizing him. Also work on yourself, what the fuck makes you so great?

My generation loves censorship as much as it does labels. “I’m a SJW cis male feminist.” Or “I’m a Brown Boy.” Labels are so inaccurate, so limiting, so boring. Do I really need to know you’re a feminist? It’s 2017. What does it even mean to be a Brown Boy? Who’s mans is this? We label because it’s efficient. Why take the time and effort to get to know somebody if you could just make a generalization based on appearance and turn the other way? And why bother putting the effort into being interesting if you could just write HARDCORE LIBERAL on your forehead and wait until you find a matching forehead to speak to? I have a good idea that labeling is a product of evolution. People labeled dangerous animals and plants to know which ones to avoid. Now people are using that same instinct on people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. It’s all very silly. Everything is silly. Nothing matters, the world is dark dark dark.

Know the pieces. Play the game.

-Steve