I’m Greatness

To everyone who told me I wasn’t shit
Who asked me to leave
Who told me I didn’t belong
All you did was delay the inevitable
My divinity always shines through
And don’t worry I’m polytheistic in thought
Don’t feel threatened by my godliness
Embrace yours

The divinity within me
Frightened so many
Shit it even frightened Me
Poly Theoretically
Embedded deep
I’m heavenly blessed with intense eccentricities
Incapabilities escaping me
I know I kill myself so beautifully
Each breath is life and death
I choose both to be power
I choose to fill every hour
With life and love to fill a tower
I babel when I rattle off thoughts
Embattled with my gifts and curse
Why do you come to me with all your needs
Insanity, it seems my blessings be, coupled with that which is tin sans it’s tee
Phonetically at least
Sometimes I wish I can just be rattling off rhymes to pass the time and find dimes to build comfort and crime
But you always ask more
One more tour in this war for our collective conscious, our soul
Just waiting for the day I absorb into the earths core
Either through meditation or disintegration
My meds is ancient, and this is the greatest
What you’re witnessing is a compilation of constant revelations
Keep ignoring and watch as apocalypse X out all men
Me, I’m greatness

– Sobrevivente

What Matters

When I wake up will I see what I was meant to see
When I wake up will I be what was meant to be
Or will I be to worried about how I’m going to find something to eat?
Always ask me when I’m going add to them bones with some, meat/meet
With my people in my heart, I have little time for these treats
They tell me to be patient
It’ll all come in do/due rhyme
At least that’s what I heard, when the nouns and verbs converge and I merge them into memory, collectively collecting the, remedies for the system, oppressing me, perplexing the, rest of these, but I let them see my words are chemistry, alchemy, changing composition of what matters
 
-Sobreviviente

Reflections On Ego

It’s a difficult feeling when people view you as being transient and replaceable. Indoctrination in our societal structure seems to be coupled with this instinctual urge to be desired, to be favored, to be liked and loved.
We want to empower others but it’s painful when that empowerment leads to you having to step back and remove yourself from a place you felt valued and appreciated at one point. It’s another of life’s many ironies. We want to see others great but when their greatness exceeds their need for our assistance or guidance we are terrified. It’s a strike to our ego. At that point we need to decide which feelings are more important to us, their success or our desire to be needed.
I find that desire to be needed so egotistically driven. Human has the need to center itself in everything. Hence why we thought earth was the center of the universe for so long and killed defending that thought. Watching a movie I once heard a monk character say “our comfort is never more important than the comfort of another living creature, our life is never more important than the life of another living creature. How self centered would that be to think otherwise?”
I have learned that true love comes with the ability to let go. Even if the person you love resents you for it. If you know in your heart that the person is better off without your presence or if there is no longer space for you in that person’s life you must let go if you truly love them. You have done your part in empowering them to no longer need you. Now you must find the next steps in your path. Walking away brings you closer to the true love you feel for that person. It brings you closer to ridding yourself of ego. It brings you closer to freedom.
-Sobreviviente

A Breath of Fresh Air

​After a year where I was able to go to travel to various places across 4 different continents I thought it was important to understand the nature of travel and the things we are often blinded to during those travels. I hope this poem captures that a bit:

A breath of fresh air

A saying that goes without saying
Goes without words indicating
That it is a positive in the life of the person in which it’s permeating
But how different this breath can be

You step off the 747 plane and onto the island of which it’s inhabitants you know nothing of
Fuck do you care you just trying to soak up the sun
Vacation, your breath of fresh air

I wonder how the fuck I’m going to pay my rent this month
Landlord beating down my door
Unemployment rates sore
My son wonder why I never take him to the store
Why the gift flow has slowed
Does daddy not love him no more?
I light up my spliff hoping to mend my soul, it’s torn
Take a breath of fresh air

You lay back on the beaches soaking in the sun
See a cutie wearing little to none
wink your way as she takes her morning run
You smile and take a sip of that pineapple rum
Breath of fresh air

I demean and destroy myself everyday
Not sure how it got here, shit we don’t own no boats no planes
At least with this my happiness is feigned
The only time I’ve seen this much white is when I look at those in power
I pull that powder so deep I can barely see
Through my nose I breath my breath of fresh air

You come back from jet setting
To invest heavy in the oppressed deadly addictions
Fast food, consumerism, and television
Check your accounts and realize that you are set for life
You can retire early and your kids can take their time and find themselves
You done enough dirty to take care of them till they are past thirty
You lean back in your leather chair overlooking the skyline of the city you tear
And take a breath of fresh air

I fight and scrap because that’s the only way I know how
Shit I’ll fight my brother if it means we can move up out this town
Swollen fists, bloody noses, guns, knives are my tools chosen
It’s how I express my intent to live
By any means necessary
My mean is necessary to survive
My cope is so dope no lyric heard, read or spoke could give you this feeling
So I’m leaning back feeling it flow through our veins forgetting all the pain, all the pain,

I breath my last breath of fresh air

– Written from the perspective of Jose Cosme, Jaime “Jimmy” Cosme, and Juan “Lefty” Rivera.

Nuyoricans lost to the system too soon.

RIP

Sobreviviente – What is in a Name

Sobreviviente is my nickname.  It is my writing name.  But honestly it has become more than that.  So I want to share with you all a little more about the name and what it means to me:

Sobre
On
About
On top of
Atop
Above
In
Concerning

Viviente
Living

Surviving is about living. Being above what people define living as. Getting in the essence of living. Always being on top of what it means to be living each and every moment. Always concern yourself with it. That’s what it means to survive.

Anytime you pretend you want to be free,
I hear them chanting my name
Sobre
So be
So me
So civil
So disobediently
– Sobreviviente

White people, like banks, think they are too big to fail

The other day I was having a group conversation with a culturally diverse group.  The race was pretty monolithic.  Mostly white American or white Latin.  In this conversation a guy tells us this story.  The story starts with him telling his mom she is a “bitch” in french (I’ll give you one guess as to what his race is).  He then takes his mom’s car and jumps on the turnpike going 120, swerving in and out of traffic dodging cars like he is in Grand Theft Auto.  At a certain point a car “cut him off”, as he says, because the road is obviously his and anyone with the audacity to change lanes going normal speed in front of him must be just the most incredibly self-centered piece of shit that ever existed.  This forces him to switch into the shoulder of the road outside of the lanes to avoid hitting the car in front of him.  He then tries to switch back into the lane but as his tires go over the rumble strip to go back into the lane he begins to lose control.  He begins to very intricately describe to us how time just slowed down, his car tail spins a couple times, hits the median wall, flips, tumbles, rolls, and finally stops upside down where he can see the skin of his forehead lying on the dashboard.  A chopper has to be called to the scene in order to get him to a hospital on time to save his life.  He says it very matter of fact.  

After telling his story I ask him, “so during all that, you never feared for your life?  You never once thought you would die?” He replied, very simply, “no.”  Not much tonality or inflection to it.  Almost matter of fact like, why would he?  I was stunned.  Then he said he hadn’t really learned his lesson.  He said he still goes 120 on the turnpike regularly and that he actually was pulled over a couple of months ago going 120 on the turnpike.  I stopped him again and said “you know that is reckless endangerment and you can go to jail for that, and don’t you already have a charge on your head that you are doing probation for?  You know that a cop can use that you are on probation to do whatever he wants?  He can pull you over and search your car and violate you for just about anything, especially if you are doing 120 on the expressway, and with your existing charge you are looking at years!  Are you crazy?!”  He replied back “I don’t know man, maybe because I’m white cops never really do anything to me when they pull me over for speeding, they just give me a ticket and send me on my way.”  

I was in awe.  Not because I did not already realize that the criminal justice system and police stops are vastly different for white people than it is for people of color.  No, what really shocked me here was how incredibly inherent his white privilege had now manifested itself in him.  He isn’t even from this country but he knows that the police here will treat him different because he is white.  I find that white people from other countries are often more aware of the existence of white privilege and can name it better than white people from the US (I’d love to hear other’s perspectives on this thought in the comments).  He has years on his head and he knows that his whiteness will keep him out of jail.  I responded by telling a story about a time I was in Martin County, FL and got pulled over for rolling a stop sign.  They immediately told me to get out my car and ran dogs around my car to see if I had any drugs on me.  He responded “It’s because of your beard and your color man you look like you can be muslim.”  I couldn’t help but laugh at this now.  

I started to reflect more on the first story he told me though and think, could his white privilege had played a role there?  Who in their right mind can experience that traumatic of an accident and not question their existence.  Not once fear for their life.  Is that another inherent trait of white privilege?  Is there an inherent perceived infallibility of white privilege?  What I mean is do white people think that just because of who they are (some may be able to name it as because they are white but most probably can’t) they will somehow always make it through.  As marginalized people, black, brown, immigrants, etc. we are constantly confronted with our mortality and fallibility.  Second chances for us don’t come very easily so we are acutely aware of how easily our whole world can fall to pieces.  From poverty, gang violence, low quality food, crossing borders on hastily constructed boats, forced engagement in “alternative” economics (drugs, prostitution, etc.), state violence (police, prisons, schools, etc.); something will get us. With white people are they so used to things always finding a way to work themselves out that even death at a young age is something that they think will just “work itself out”?  This was a mind boggling concept for me but at the same time revealed my newest theory:

White people, like banks, think they are too big to fail.

Negative is a myth

Each day I am learning more and more and listening more and more to the people around me who have lived more life than I have and have learned more lessons than I have learned. I am beginning to feel uncomfortable with the word negative and the connotations associated with it. Negative events fill our daily life and can never be removed and only can be limited so much. But these events that we term negative, are they really negative at all? Or do we just look down upon certain outcomes due to societal expectations? I can honestly say that not a single event has happened in my life that I cannot look back on and think about the absolutely valuable lesson that I learned from it and how positively it contributed to the man I have become today and the potential that I have for the future. In complete congruence with the fact that at the time everyone, including myself at times, would have deemed such an event as negative or a failure. Really all these events were God sends. Powerful lessons sent to us by the eternal energy that governs us and guides us towards higher levels of understanding and living. I am eternal grateful of every event and occurrence. Negative is becoming more myth than reality. That’s the life I love.