Detroit and the Dominican Republic

Thu, 05/23/2013 - 18:19 -- Ida

(poems go here) Hey What are you doing here in the airport?
I just got back from visiting home, the Dominican Republic.
Cool! I just got back from visiting home too. Detroit.
I didn’t even say hi! Hola!
I’ll greet you in my native tongue too. What up doe? So, what’s up in the DR? What folks go there for?

The tropical beaches, Caribeno breeze that makes you feel at ease
The sun's powerful, welcoming rays kissing your skin
Sapphire waters rising and falling like lovers in the night
A group of men sonando sus guiras. beating their drums, shaking their maracas Creating the traditional music of a Dominican beach
Monstrous cotton candy clouds dancing on the sky
Constellations of stars glittering in the sky along with the full
Round luminous moon above wobbling palm trees drifting with the wind.

In Detroit, our abandoned buildings wobble in the wind
The unseen force travels through empty car factories
Turning fields of knee high brown grass into graceful hula dancers
Stinging the cheeks of those who stay with its icy kiss
Coney dogs for everyone
We even have a mini-Rockefeller Center called Campus Martius
But what Detroit is really known for is the


Wait till you swoon to Aventura's romantico, sensual lyrics
"Quitate la ropa lentamente hoy quireo amanecer contigo..."
Or glide to the Asian Dominican beat of Juan Luis Guerra's
"Bachata en Fukuoka"
Sway your hips, move those slender arms to the ritmo of bachata
Groove your feet to the un, dos, tres pa
Let your body keep up with Fernandito Villalona’s fast-paced merengue
You gotta


If you can’t do it and you’re from the D
You might as well turn in your Motown card, dog
From the smooth crooning of Marvin Gaye to the head noddin’ Slum Village beats
To the scatting and riffs of jazz and soul greats that have yet to be discovered
This is the sound of Detroit
The sound of the DR can be like a carnival, full of joy and laughter
A celebration were time’s presence does not affect us
Life there can be suave, easygoing
It’s like laying in a hammock with your hands beneath your shoulders
But it can also be tough living…

You know, when I think of the Domincan Republic
I think of hair



The thrust of their hands and their magical blowouts
Can have anybody’s hair silky straight

I mostly stay in the Big Hair, Don’t Care Club
But Detroit divas stay with their “hair did”
In colorful sky-high configurations that require
With the skill of an engineer or architect
Not to be outdone, the fellas dumb out too
Pinstriped pastor/pimp suits
With coat tails that practically touch their alligator shoes
In every color of the rainbow from Easter pastels to


Spanish barrios , full of obnoxious curses and yelling,
Adults shuffuling cards, playing bingo
Cars blasting reggaeton songs to its fullest volume
Viejitas going to the colmaditos with their hair rollers on.
Hatian vendors chiming their bell
“Esquilmalitos, Esquilmalitos!”
Luring squealing chamaquitos with their packs of icies

In my neighborhood, our ice cream truck had gold rims
And it played hip hop instead of “Pop Goes the Weasel”
Go into any grandmother’s house
And it smells like mothballs, cherry blend Black and Milds and greens
You might slip on toys, empty condom wrappers or old lady pantyhose
The product of grandmothers raising their grands and great-grands
Solid brick homes paid for with auto plant checks

Lawn mantaince and utilities paid for with that side gig
Detroiters are nothing if not


I know some hustlas in the DR and not the good kind
Government full of corruption, gobbling down taxes like a pack of greedy vultures
Not fulfilling their duty
Sparking angry question marks
Where did our money go?
Under the wrath of these bandolores
Who rob, kill, or rape innocent, honest people that work hard to make a living
Government that needs men with tight pants
Not pants to the ground showing their pitiful, useless shames
Stupid, taunting discriminations against Hatians. Injustice Mass deportations of Haitians. Why can't we be good neighbors?
Never ending blackouts that earned an anthem song called Se Fue La Luz
"Pa ra papan se fue la luz. Pa ra papan se fue la luz."
Broken wings, broken dreams because of the country's contaminated education
Excellent education will break down the heavy chains of ignorance and poverty in D.R.

Detroit politicians tend to suffer from a poverty of integrity
Looking at you Kwame
Public schools that are little more than gigantic, deteriorating babysitters
How can we expect our children to do better
Call the police and it takes four hours if they come at all
Citizens feeling like prisoners in their homes
Not feeling safe even with their window bars and alarms
My city deserves better
But even with all of that, I love my hometown

I know you what you mean
We have pride in our tricolor roots
The colorful mixture of AFRICAN, SPANISH and TAINO blood!
Our patriotic hearts never stop beating hasta la muerte!

Shooot, Detroit all day till the day I die
Detroiters are always the coolest mofos in the room
You know a Detroit playa when you see one
People say hello on the street
Women tell kids they don’t know to act right when they seem them acting the fool
And the creative energy in Detroit is immeasurable


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