*Originally written on a Hyatt Regency letterhead, this poem was turned into a spoken word house music track and released on Fluential Records (UK) in 2002, with music produced by Wilson and Steven Mestre.
It was about 6:15 in the morning I’m drunk and I’m high and I’m in Chicago now, I had just stumbled out of some club, somewhere I can’t even remember, and um I walked to the corner to hail a cab and after five empty cabs just passed me by one finally stopped Read the rest of this entry
today I write my verse not because I want to but because I have to I write my verse to give voice to the voiceless to give sound to the silence around to make light out of dark to bring peace out of war and squeeze water from oil and blood Read the rest of this entry
Wouldn’t it be amazing if Anoushka Shankar could perform a rendition of God Bless America at an MLB all-star game, her Sitar in hand, strumming a world beat, with a drummer at her side, adding color to our song? What about Femi Kuti, there at center field of the Yankee Stadium with his African rhythms? Why can’t Los Juanes love America too, or a Mariachi band? Celia Cruz would’ve been great, with Tito Puente on timbales. Why not Juan Luis Guerra? That might actually be ideal since large portions of MLB players are Dominican anyway. It might make them feel more at home. Ironically, the same people bemoaning that “Mexican” Marc Anthony singing the anthem are cheering for our darker Dominican brothers like David Ortiz and Melkys Read the rest of this entry
This collection of student films was originally shot on 16mm B&W stock in 1994, during a 6 week intensive film course at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts where Wilson Santos studied. After years of lugging a green rucksack full of these old film reels from apartment to apartment, Santos finally rescued them from oblivion, projected them on a screen and re-shot them using a Canon T2i. Although Santos hasn’t produced another film since then, choosing instead to write, produce music, design, study and educate, looking at these shorts and now working as a professor at Full Sail University has inspired Santos to grab a camera and start shooting again. Let’s see what 2013 brings.
*All films were written, directed, produced, and edited by Santos at NYU, 1994.
The Conga Man – 1994
The Conga Man is Wilson Santos. The Wife is Tina. The Daughter is Tina Lanne.
The Chase – 1994
The Thief is Danny Gomez. The little girl is Tina Lanne.
Mary The Widow – 1994
The Murderer is Danny Gomez. The Widow is Mary.
Rain Drops – 1994
Montage of images in Greenwich Village near NYU on a rainy day.
Bill has been on the block since Vietnam, and has seen it go from White to Brown. He grew up across town, in a one-bedroom with his mother, when Bergenline was still Italian. He saw the first wave of Cubans come in the late 60’s, and felt right away this meant trouble. He watched as the Marielitas turned the town Brown in the 80’s, while the Italian exodus moved west to the burbs along route 3, where it was still White. But Bill refused to leave. He was a Veteran and the only thing he knew how to do was to stay and fight for what was his. At least that’s what he likes to tell people. Read the rest of this entry
*This essay was originally written for a Graduate course on American Poetry in Fall 2010.
Walt Whitman’s personal inconsistencies regarding his position on slavery have been the subject of much scholarly criticism and debate. It has been well documented that Walter Whitman, the journalist, political activist and public figure, held dramatically opposing views on slavery and race concerns than did Walt Whitman, the poet, bard of democracy and champion of equality. The latter Whitman used his poetry–particularly the many editions of Leaves of Grass–to indulge in a sense of admiration, identification, sympathy and respect for the “hounded slave,” while the former was an active member of several political parties, composed ideological editorials in a few political publications and was for some time, an ardent opponent of the abolitionist movement. Given his blatant paradoxical ideologies and his transparently polar vision on slavery, how is a twenty-first century reader supposed to reconcile these contradictions? Read the rest of this entry
The sun rises over the drought stricken hills hovering Los Pinos Del Eden, a small farming town borne from the shadows of La Descubierta, Dominican Republic, where Refugio, climbing out his mosquito net, has just wakened from reminiscent dreams of New York City, fantasizing about the corner of 8th Ave and 6th, eating two Papaya hotdogs with sweet onions, ketchup and a piña colada. It’s a bustling New York Saturday night. Fast motorcycles line the Avenue. Women in tight shorts and fat asses walk to Club Bad. The incense man across the street peddles fragrances and who knows what else. Old vinyl records spread across the sidewalk are looking for a home. Refugio is walking tall in tight leather pants, motorcycle jacket, dark shades, five o’clock shadow and mohawk. His Harley is pulled up beside five pimp’d out street bikes. He climbs on his hog, revs the throttle, and shoots north up 6Th Ave toward Washington Heights.
It’s about 6:15 in the morning. You’re drunk and you’re high. And you’re in Chicago. You’ve just stumbled out of some club. Somewhere. You can’t really remember. And you wobble on down to the corner, scanning the streets around you.
You reach out your slumbering arm to hail the first cab you see. He pretends not to see you. But you don’t think anything of it. Again, you reach out. Again, another cab passes and again and again and again.
And you know your neon red jacket is glowing majestic sparkles off the rising sun, so it’s impossible for them not to have noticed you standing there all shiny and shit; your shades silvery cool like mirrors reflecting Jim Morrison before he became fat and sloppy. Read the rest of this entry