Mark Anthony Vigo: “I am Puerto Rico” and “Irresistible”


My full name is Mark Anthony Vigo, but on stage I am better known simply as, “VIGO”. I’ve lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, all my life. I will always consider myself to be, a “child” of Hip-Hop, simply because, I came of age during that beautiful time, when it was born, and it has helped shape me into the person & poet that I am today.  I went to Brooklyn Technical High School from 1979 to 1983. I also did some studying at Brooklyn College and F.I.T. in New York City.  I am currently the Lead Jobsite Foreman for a general contracting firm based in Manhattan.


I, Am Puerto Rican

By Mark Anthony Vigo aka “VIGO”

On the mic I’m known as “VIGO”,
Soy un niño de Borinquen,
born in Brooklyn, New York,
I am what you call a “Nuyorican”!!!
Pero, hay gente,
“people”,
que todavía,
“still”,
won’t recognize my Boricua “props”,
the soul of Puerto Rico rages,

like a river through my veins,
from the blood of my Moms,
and from the blood of my Pops.
And from mi Abuelos,
and from mi Abuelas,
customs & traditions passed down,
woven into my skin like “tela”.
I carry this pride, in my soul, like armor,
Puerto Rico!
Hasta la muerte!
Death before dishonor!
You see,
I am Puerto Rican,
even though my looks can be misleading,
I’ve been throwing ’em off for awhile now,
porque “mi manera” can be so deceiving.
I’ve been mistaken for Samoan, Hawaiian, Mexican, Dominican, & Punjabi Indian!
But I’m Taino,
my great-grandfather, dark!
His features sharp!
Like arrowheads chiseled,

from the blackest Obsidian!
A crystal formed from lava,
under the most optimum of conditions,
like the exquisite mixture of our people,
the beautiful blend of our music & traditions.
We are, “The Rainbow People”,
none more beautiful in all the world,
and if this world is truly an oyster,
then we, most certainly are the pearl!
Puerto Rico!
La Isla del Éncanto!
The nightly song of our beloved Coqúi is heard,
from the barrios hasta los campos!
I’ve smelled her air after the rains,
tasted the milk of her sun-kissed palm trees,
I’ve walked amongst her luscious rain forests,
bathed in her cleansing waters trying to absorb her all,
within me!

Puerto Rico!
Yo te quiero!
Con todo la fuerza del mundo,
body, mind, and soul,
mi corazón lleno de mi orgullo!
Bursting at the seams,
my love for you, knows no bounds,
I’m a child of Borinquen,
a Puerto Rican,
a Nuyorican!
Pero, no matter how you slice it,
Soy Boricua, pound for pound!
Now I’m not Puerto Rican just for one day,
but for every day of my life,
not just on the 2nd Sunday of June,
but all year-round,
all day and all night.
Taking pride in our culture,
from the struggles, we’ve all come such a long, long way.
From El Grito de Lares,
The Revolution!!!
To the Cries of San Sebastian,
To Sonia Sotomayor,
Supreme Court Justice,
of these,
United States!!!
Pa’lante siguimos, pa’rriba subimos!
Surmounting all obstacles, let nothing come between us!
Sí, Boricua soy,
y pa’lante voy,
en la tierra de Puerto Rico estoy.
Donde crecen las cañas de azúcar,
con batatas y yuca,
como quiero esta isla, con la bandera mas bonita,
mas que ninguna!
In honor of my ancestors;
were it not for them, yours truly,
would never have come to be.
Their souls live on in Puerto Rico,
and Puerto Rico lives on in me!!!

“Irreplaceable”

To lose that one thing,
that is such a part of who you are,
in this world;
the foundation,
for all that is good in you,
built, by loving arms,
unfurled,

The years go by,
the changes are many,
we drift,
in stagnant water,
much like debris,
within sight of each other,
but connected by nothing,
like islands,
gently sprinkled about the sea,

I remember,
when my “Wella” said,
“Oye! Mi nieto,
no te apures,
when I struggled,
it was her struggle too,
“Vente Papito!
Nos vamos hacer!”
We can do this!
She’s no longer with me,
to hold in my arms,
but I close my eyes,
and she’s never left,
she’s in the kitchen,
cookin’ up pots of LOVE!
Like pavo, pernil, coquito,
and her pasteles,
mmmmm, were the BEST!!!!
Ay! Mi Abuela querida!
I miss you so much!
That I can’t think of you,
for too long,
the memories,
wreak havoc,
on my emotions,
your love & devotion,
to me,
were so strong!

Your presence,
in my life,
has helped me,
beyond measure,
and till this day,
it still does.
Your wisdom,
your love,
your conviction,
and your strength,
have all made,
an indelible impression on me,
because you, taught me,
what it is,
to be loved.

Amazing!!!
How you always managed to see,
through peoples lies,
with that laser sharp gaze,
of your hazel-colored eyes!
You were the matriarch,
of our once, tightly tightly-knit clan,
my “Wella”,
the glue, that kept us together,
for worse, or for better,
but together we stood,
hand in hand.

I used to look forward,
to the holidays,
simply because I knew,
“Wella” was cooking!
I’d fast the night before,
so I’d be able,
to get in some more!
I’d even sneak a taste,
whenever she wasn’t looking,

But “Wella” knew me better,
than anyone else I ever trusted,
with my mouth,
full of her comida,
she would ask,
“Mira! Esta bueno?”
Damn!
I’d be SO busted!
I’d try to gulp it down,
in one shot,
so I could answer her,
and save face.

But before I could,
did you know,
that she would,
make me a plate,
& then she’d make space,
for me,
at the table,
while the grownups still ate!

She was cool like that,
my “Wella”,
and if anyone,
said a word contrare,
they’d have to get up, from the table,
if,
they were able,
to escape her burning glare!
she wouldn’t tolerate no bullshit,
you had to come correct,
at all times.
If she ever caught you lacking,
or slacking,
that belt would be cracking,
and your ass would be lit,
like fireworks on the 4th of July!
But she did it,
with love in her heart,
to keep us all on the right path,
“Fwakata! Con-La-Chancleta-Love”,
That’s the kinda love my “Wella” had,

What a strong woman,
that old lady turned out to be!
Taught me to walk upright,
head held high,
and live my life,
’cause that’s my right!
Irreplaceable,
is what my “Wella”
will always be to me.

©Mark Anthony Vigo: “Irreplaceble” and “I am Puerto Rico”. All rights reserved.


Where can you follow Mark…

Facebook


7 thoughts on “Mark Anthony Vigo: “I am Puerto Rico” and “Irresistible”

  1. “You see,
    I am Puerto Rican,
    even though my looks can be misleading,
    I’ve been throwing ‘em off for awhile now,
    porque “mi manera” can be so deceiving.”
    Story of my life! How I can truly relate to this…

    Your “Wella” is most certainly irreplaceable. Made me think of mi Mami and my abuela, Mama. this piece definitely warmed my heart.

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