Ode To Miguelito

Here is a small rememberance of my personal all time favorite poet Miguel Pinero. Miguel was also a playwright, an actor and co-founder of the Nuyoricans Poets Cafe. He was born in Gurabo Puerto Rico and moved to the Lower East Side (LES) of Manhattan in 1950. Trying to survive the harsh inner city reality of poverty, racism, drugs and gangs Miguel turned to crime at an early age and consequently wound up in prison. While in prison he wrote the play Short Eyes which later on was put on Broadway by Joseph Papp and was nominated for six Tony Awards. In 1974 Miguel also won the following awards; Outstanding New Playwright, Drama Critics Circle Best American Play and the Obie for Best American Play. His life was potrayed in an outstanding manner in Pinero by Benjamin Pratt. I loved his passion and the way he could express so eloquently but yet in a highly street wise manner what many in the Puerto Rican society went through in our diaspora to this "the belly of the beast" city we now call home. Here are a few of his works; enjoy…….

Miguel Pinero


Seekin’ The Cause
by Miguel Pinero

he was Dead
he never Lived
he died seekin’ a Cause
seekin’ the Cause
he said
he never saw the cause
but he heard
the cause
heard the cryin’ of hungry ghetto children
heard the warnin’ from Malcolm
heard the tractors pave new routes to new prisons
died seekin’ the Cause
seekin’ a Cause
he was dead on arrival
he never really Lived
uptown . . . downtown . . . crosstown
body was round all over town
seekin’ the Cause
thinkin’ the Cause was 75 dollars & gator shoes
thinkin’ the Cause was sellin’ the white lady to black
thinkin’ the cause is to be found in gypsy rose or j. b.
or dealin’ wacky weed
and singin’ du-wops in the park after some chi-chiba
he died seekin’ the Cause
died seekin’ a Cause
and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him
and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him
and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him
he wanted a color t. v.
wanted a silk on silk suit
he wanted the Cause to come up like the mets & take the
world series
he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted
to want more wants
he never gave
he never gave

he never gave his love to children
he never gave his heart to old people
never did he ever give his soul to his people
he never gave his soul to his people
because he was busy seekin’ a cause
busy perfectin’ his voice to harmonize the national anthem
with spiro t agnew
busy perfectin’ his jive talk so that his flunkiness
wouldn’t show
busy perfectin’ his viva-la-policia speech
downtown . . . uptown . . . midtown . . . crosstown
his body was found all over town
seekin’ a Cause
seekin’ the Cause
in the potter fields of an o. d.
in the bowery with the d. d. t.’s
his legs were left in viet-nam
his arms were found in sing-sing
his scalp was on Nixon’s belt
his blood painted the streets of the ghetto
his eyes were still lookin’ for jesus to come down
on some cloud & make everything ok
when jesus died in attica
his brains plastered all around the frames of the pentagon
his voice still yellin’ stars & stripes 4 ever
riddled with the police bullets his taxes bought
he died seekin’ a Cause
seekin’ the Cause
while the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him
he died yesterday
he’s dyin’ today
he’s dead tomorrow
died seekin’ a Cause
died seekin’ the Cause
& the Cause was in front of him
& the Cause was in his skin
& the Cause was in his speech
& the Cause was in his blood
he died seekin’ the Cause
he died seekin’ a Cause
he died
he died
& never found his Cause
you see he never never
knew that he was the


My Personal Favorite; where Miguelito in his infinite omnipotent wisdom (hehehe) proceeds to dismantle the god delusion.


The Book of Genesis According to St. Miguelito
by Miguel Pinero

Before the beginning
God created God
In the beginning
God created the ghettos & slums
and God saw this was good.
So God said,
"Let there be more ghettos & slums"
and there were more ghettos & slums.
But God saw this was plain
to decorate it
God created leadbase paint and then
God commanded the rivers of garbage & filth
to flow gracefully through the ghettos.
On the third day
because on the second day God was out of town
On the third day
God’s nose was running
& his jones was coming down and God
in his all knowing wisdom
knew he was sick
he needed a fix
so God
created the backyards of the ghettos
& the alleys of the slums
in heroin & cocaine
with his divine wisdom & grace
God created hepatitis
who begat lockjaw
who begat malaria
who begat degradation
who begat
and God knew this was good
in fact God knew things couldn’t git better
but he decided to try anyway
On the fourth day
God was riding around Harlem in a gypsy cab
when he created the people
and he created these beings in ethnic proportion
but he saw the people lonely & hungry
and from his eminent rectum
he created a companion for these people
and he called this companion
who begat racism
who begat exploitation
who begat male chauvinism
who begat machismo
who begat imperialism
who begat colonialism
who begat wall street
who begat foreign wars
and God knew
and God saw
and God felt this was extra good
and God said
On the fifth day
the people kneeled
the people prayed
the people begged
and this manifested itself in a petition
a letter to the editor
to know why? WHY? WHY? qué pasa babyyyyy?????
and God said,
"My fellow subjects
let me make one thing perfectly clear
by saying this about that:
NO . . .. . .. . ..COMMENT!"
but on the sixth day God spoke to the people
he said . . . "PEOPLE!!!
the ghettos & the slums
& all the other great things I’ve created
will have dominion over thee
and then
he commanded the ghettos & slums
and all the other great things he created
to multiply
and they multiplied
On the seventh day God was tired
so he called in sick
collected his overtime pay
a paid vacation included
But before God got on that t. w. a.
for the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico
He noticed his main man Satan
planting the learning trees of consciousness
around his ghetto edens
so God called a news conference
on a state of the heavens address
on a coast to coast national t. v. hook up
and God told the people
to be
and the people were cool
and the people kept cool
and the people are cool
and the people stay cool
and God said
Vaya . ….


Leave a comment