Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Faggots of Río Piedras, Unite(d)!
And so it happened that one day a faggot stood in front of a tower. Ah, what a faggot! He did not prance or fly. Nor did he sprout feathers. He couldn’t. He would have loved to scale the tower like Spiderman or Superman but he was afraid after hearing the news about the Broadway musical in which all of the actors flew and fell on the ground as if injured birds, defeathered, poorly flown our flying superhero. The faggot was not a superhero, as much as he’d like. What a dream! A superhuman faggot, as if a Nietzchean, Foucaultian, Derridian, Simone de Bouvoirian, Rosario Ferreian, Talia Cuervian, Manuel Ramos Oterian, Mayra Santos Febrian, Angel Lozadian thing, confusedly and contradictorily Martin Luther King Junioran, Mahatma Gandhian, Malcolm Xian, just like saying: you are mine. You on this Saint Valentine’s Day, day of lovers, you who are standing there, so handsome, so solidary, so close to the tower, so close to the featherless faggot, so ready to fly over the tower, to reclaim it, paint it, manhandle it, respect it, plant it, love it, kiss it, so phallic the tower, but not for that reason less majestic, democratic or Socratic. It was quite a tower. Not exactly made of ivory. It fancied itself to be a journal and who knows, perhaps it was. Ah, what a paper tower, full of papers, with bells, and do we ever love bells, those of us that are this way! Well, let me not over-generalize. So lovely the bells, so preferable to alarms and police batons, to the mute sound of the baton strike that hits a student, that sound of wood that does not fit nor should fit in the tower or in the ears of the faggot, that sound so contrary to the slogans and screams and demands and placards that the faggot prefers when they are just and necessary. Was the tower made to hear the sound of wood hitting students or of plastic turned into handcuffs tying wrists or of tear gas that makes us all cry? What does the tower think of the horse turned savage weapon to trample on and intimidate students and staff and faculty? The tower has seen everything including the blood of death. How many faggots have gone by the tower, through the tower, down its hallways and stairs? How many policemen has it seen, how many students? Is this my tower? The faggot likes it. The faggot has tower fever, a craving, a hunger and thirst. Perhaps the faggot thinks she is Spanish, or is it Moorish? Mozarabic? Visigoth? Egyptian like the pyramids, Egyptian and Pharaonic like the democratic multitudes that overthrew the great dictator. Architect or architectonic, with the enthusiasm of an engineer, or is it for architects and engineers on this day of love? The faggot does not like the tower bathed in blood or dressed in the red of violence. The faggot does not like police that injure students with their batons or ex-presidents that are among the living dead or incompetent and antihuman vice-chancellors or Boards of Trustees that clamor for the return of the days of Rome, of Christian martyrs and slaves sacrificed to the great lion. The faggot is a teacher, what faggot isn’t? The faggot is a teacher of life and that is why she teaches, oh, how she teaches and teaches and talks and talks nonstop, cleaning, shining and bringing splendor, pushing and begging and crying, for one has to cry and scream and sing and dance, especially with tambourines and congas and the palms of one’s hands, clapping them to make them ring. Ah what a tower. Ah what loves. Ah what a faggot. Love each other, my dear companions. Thou shall be loved and are loved back, this tower is love. This campus is love. This faggot is love. And it shall come, the day shall come when the police are love and the presidency and chancellorship and the regents are for love. Mirror of love, tower of love, faggot of love.
(Speech read at the Sit-in/Stand-up/Reading by Puerto Rican authors in front of the Tower of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Monday, February 14th, 2011. Event organized by Melanie Pérez Ortiz and Rafa Acevedo.)
Photo by Ivan Chaar-Lopez, 14 February 2011, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.