Jose Vilson Jose

Wine and Bread

Wine and Bread

Alas, the year is finally over for me. Today was my first official day off from school, and my feet, more than any other part of my body, have been thanking me for giving them some much needed rest. There are wars going on all across the world, dictatorships and coups reigning, unemployment reaching scary levels, global warming bringing its subtle tap on our shoulders to a pounding, and the dollar slowly becoming absolved as a world currency … and I couldn’t care less because school’s over.

My summer plans include revamping my ever-changing website (and I think the next update is going to be the proverbial lightning in a bottle), working with one of my favorite poets of all time, losing a little weight, and hitting up Orlando, Jamaica (not Queens), and Miami / Ft. Lauderdale to see the family. I’ll also have about 9 days of work in there where I’ll be working exclusively to help my school excel in the best ways possible.

In other words, just because I’m not working, it doesn’t mean I’m not working. Right?

Here’s a little tidbit for my poets. Tell me what you think. It was inspired by the aforementioned favorite poet at one of her workshops. She asked us to pick the first word that popped into our heads and get the definition from an etymology dictionary, and use it to write a piece. You know I’m always up for a challenge. Here’s the homework, Ms. Betts.


Protected by religious sanction
Like my first name akin to a slave turned king
Seeking vengeance in reign not death
Or a father of this holy father once removed
From a miracle, a miracle, my Mom’s first name
Like getting baptized, teaching my elders,
Breaking bread, sipping wine, and confirming my own name
In the Holy Spirit, I believe
Like conversations with extraterrestrials and their conduits,
Entrusting that they’ll physically protect your encasing
When your soul’s half risen
Like a kidnapping for more than decade
Where hell existed right on Earth
While outside observers can’t recognize the agony
Like confusing the Father with a father and the fathers
Angels & demons intermingle so fluidly
Like justifying the nuances of life with the handwritten,
Specifically tailored
Man-ifested laws and ideals of a being we’ve interpreted as male
Who can intercept the odds of human events by using the natural or coincidental
Like our metaphors for our first kiss,
Sexual moment,
Minutes of ecstasy and ebullience,
Our triumphs, achievements, & accolades as sacrificial ritual
Before the next person envies us
And in evolutionary fashion, kills us
Survival of the fittest
Like marriage between man and woman and other definitions
Just won’t fit millennium-old standards;
Exponents of polyamory maybe
Like near-death experiences with familiar  faces either screaming
Or singing
Or signaling you home
Like providing for your whole family and obeying your faith
By stripping you of everything but your resolve
Like an extended metaphor for the stories
I was asked to rejoice over while I
Relearned and reborrowed the word ‘sacrosanct’
Like what I plan to name my first child
Upon birthing him, he too will learn this word
At the moment of his first spanking
Like that first cry, sweet and shrill …

Jose, who, believe it or not, went to church yesterday …