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Miscellaneous Debris by Nick Mansito Copyright © 2013 Published by BlazeVOX [books] All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission, except for brief quotations in reviews. Printed in the United States of America Interior design and typesetting by Geoffrey Gatza First Edition ISBN: 978-1-60964-128-3 Library of Congress Control Number: 2012919049 BlazeVOX [books] 76 Inwood Place Buffalo, NY 14209 Editor@blazevox.org

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An Introduction ~ after Stephen Dunn Trust me. I’m much more eloquent on paper. In person, words are like answers: I can never find them. I’m completely convinced aliens inhabit the earth disguised as women. Listen to my tears and they will tell you this world is not the work of a real God. Beware: I would like for you to fall in love with me, make you believe I can spawn a revolution. If I were a porn star, I’d have a three-way with a birth canal and a coffin. At parties, I’ve been known to steal everyone’s lighters. I once told the DEA my real name was Raphael Doobie. Sometimes, at restaurants, I pretend I have Tourette’s. My father once beat me with a 2 X 4, which probably explains my unusually stable mind. I’ve dreamt of being a secret agent, a military killing machine, but I don’t believe in working weekends. I run because I smoke, or do I smoke because I run? Be careful: I would have you believe I am lying, have you believe I’m telling the truth. Did you know it takes 776 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?




Ode to Those Who Have Come Before Me Mansito, Vergara, Perez, and Arrazola – these are the names of those who have come before me, of those born in Cuba and Colombia, their signatures scored into my blood, a blood that runs through American-born veins. I would like to tell you that my story is like theirs: that I struggled, that I was poor, that I know what it is like to abandon my home and my language, that I know what it is like to have to choose between cultures, but I can’t. Their stories are their own. Mansito, Vergara, Perez, and Arrazola – these are the names of those who have come before me, of those born in Cuba and Colombia, their signatures scored into my blood, a blood that runs through American-born veins. Nicolás Mansito Sr., El Viejo, you who sailed away from the charging shadow of Castro’s beard, you who marred your hands daily building furniture for those who ridiculed you in an indecipherable language, you who starved to save money for a boat ride for your family only to have half of them killed by a hurricane before ever reaching the democratic shore they so desperately yearned for. Maria Perez, La Gorda, you who faithfully followed your husband to a land that promised with an unknown tongue, you who sewed your blanket of American dreams with the thread of your own blood, you whose songs were never understood, you whose countenance never showed one sign of sacrifice, you whose voice never trembled with turmoil, you who buried it all in another’s grave and walked hand-in-hand with me through the gardens of the future.




Remberto Vergara, Querido Abuelito, you who spent your entire life cultivating a battleground, you who somehow escaped the infected political labyrinth, you who stood before the jungle with two fists raised and challenged the death dealers it mothered, you who loved me as if we both were born from the same earth, you who set in motion within me the current of a culture. Rita Arrazola, Querida Abuelita, you who had the courage and incomprehensible wisdom to bring nine children into a world that could not even feed you, nine children you knew were destined to make a change, you who recognized the power of numbers, you who birthed a magical army of passionate souls. Esther Mansito, Madre Mía, you who left them all behind, you who traded-in your language and home for my future, you who made sure I would never have to choose as you did, that I would be born fully armed into both worlds, you who made Colombia an immovable stone within my heart. Nicolás Mansito Jr., Papi, you who have blessed me with your name, have imbued me with the essence of those before me, of their strength and character, of their determination and relentlessness, you who have sacrificed more than I will ever comprehend so that my children and I are spared our ancestors’ miseries, you who truly are the American Dream. Mansito, Vergara, Perez, and Arrazola – these are the names of those who have come before me. Their stories are my beginning, and their images will forever live in my words, for I am their mirror, their immortality on earth.




First Love Last night, while you were sleeping, I stole a piece of you and threw it into the sea. You drifted into darkness like smoke through a keyhole. I dove in to get you back, but the sea wouldn’t let go.




Where Socks Go It’s no surprise to me that socks, because of their nomadic nature, constantly get lost in the universe of our drying machines. Many underestimate the power the universe in our drying machines has over the explorative instincts of our socks. Like a Siren, this universe calls to them, and they in turn can only follow – acquiescing to a force within them they do not understand, nor care to. Through a dark tunnel they travel zombie-like. Some, assuming that they are dying, imagine a light at the end of this tunnel, while others, those who have spoken to the ghosts of their ancestors, know there is no saving, spiritual light – only a lava lamp at the end of a starless universe, speckled with the lint of those whose structures could not withstand the ardors of the journey. It is not a death, merely a crossing, a passing if you will, onto the dance floor cut into this universe where socks of every shape, color, and size waltz the afterlife.




Santorini, Greece: Hotel Artemis, Room 47, 4:16 AM So much ouzo, beer tastes like water. She always chases her orgasms with laughter. Do you want to barter? she mumbles in her sleep – this kamikaze blond snoring like a beast.




Instructions for My Son In your life, you will have to make choices. Some will be easy; others will seem too difficult. There is always only one choice: Choose to do good. It will be more difficult than its alternative, but there is honor and respect and courage and love in it. And that is all a man needs.




When I Grow Up I want to be a Jedi Knight battling evil in my whipping, crow colored robe; every furl a sharp snapping wave; black leather belt with gold dragon buckle below a pitch-black chest plate. My pecs and six-pack screaming intimidation, long gleaming ponytail swinging with every strike of my shrieking, crackling, blue light saber; a powerful space samurai with a stunningly perfect Fu Man Chu goatee as I unleash my wrath of good. I would walk into the cold of the Millennium Falcon, curious to see



if it still had that “new car” smell, funnel beers with Chewbacca, and bet Han Solo I can chop that beer can on Yoda’s head in half blindfolded. I would break into jubilant drunken song around a raging campfire in the giant forests of those cute, furry Ewoks. Maybe even hit the hookah with Jabba the Hutt, and fall to the floor in laughter at R2-D2’s erratic pops and whistles after I fill his oil intake with LSD. Can you



picture C-3PO hobbling around babbling, Oh My, Oh My! as he gives chase? I would use my Jedi mind tricks on Obi-Wan Kenobi; fooling him into thinking he was dressed, chuckling at the sight of his chicken legs and white wrinkled ass out there for everyone to see. And just maybe, if I’m lucky, a little bit of the old in-and-out with Princess Leia, but only if she’s barefoot and wears that sexy leather bikini.




My Town In my town they work long days n’ drink ‘em away at night In my town they pay too much for gas n’ think wars are for freedom



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