Rachelle Garcia is a sophomore at the University at Albany and an English major.

 

My passion is writing so much so that I started my own poetry blog on WordPress this year. My favorite author is Rupi Kaur. I hope to one day publish a book like hers so that my writing reaches more platforms and also so that it reaches the eyes of those individuals who might need to read it.

A Little Piece of Me

By Rachelle Garcia

Writing is one of the most powerful tools that we have in this world not just because it is another
form of expression but because it is a form of relief, it is therapeutic, it is one of the most meaningful and richest manifestations of your feelings.

Writing to me is a gateway to releasing anything that is stressing me out or that I can’t communicate verbally, to me it is more than just about words on a paper and ideas...to me it is about emotion and uncaging all the thoughts that my shyness keeps behind closed doors.

From left, poets R.h. Sin, Rupi Kaur and Courtney Peppernell

I am currently a sophomore attending the University at Albany and I am an English major. I am Dominican from the Bronx and I am very much passionate about writing so much so that I have my own poetry blog, “A Little Piece of Me” on WordPress. I’ll be telling you about my most favorite books in the next couple paragraphs.

There are many writers that have revolutionized my world and they have all done in different ways. Every piece of writing leaves a different impression on the reader. I believe that each book takes you on a different journey, some books take you on an academic journey while others take you on an emotional journey.

For example there are some that leave more of an academic impression on me while others really hit home and these are the books that I enjoy to read most, these are usually poetry books. In this list of poets are three writers, R.h. Sin, Rupi Kaur and Courtney Peppernell. R.h Sin has written books like Whiskey Words and a Shovel I, Rest in The Mourning and more.

These books all come with a punch to the chest and some knots in your throat, this revolutionized by view on the world because I felt the fact that other people go through the same emotion conflicts that I do. Same idea goes for Rupi Kaur. The two books I love most from her are The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk and Honey.

These books consist of speaking about heartbreak in many forms, not just that heartbreak that comes from a partner. When reading her poems you feel them, there is a different level of deepness in her words that just changes your view on the world and literature. Her poetry is very simple, it isn’t too intricate or full of metaphors like some other poets would write their poems but to me this aspect of her poems are what makes them so great, the simplicity.

Now there is Courtney Peppernell, who has a very similar style of writing as Rupi Kaur in a way because her pages are filled with emotion. You will finish reading her book and she will leave you with a heart that is at ease or with tears in your eyes. My favorite book from this author is Pillow Talk.

These poets are all inspirational due to the fact that they are not like other contemporary poets, they don’t stick to the classical way of writing poems that we have academically been led to believe is the best way to write poetry. These poets were also the poets who inspired me to write my poems in the way that I do.

After reading these poetry books, I realized that poetry is not about rhyming words together... It's about depth, it’s about the author. I've learned to appreciate these books even more because writing comes with such vulnerability. You let people take a look inside those feelings and ideas that you hide the most, all for the sake of someone else who might need to see they have these feelings too, or just for the simple sake of you and your peace.

There is one poet I have not mentioned yet: Langston Hughes, I mention him now because my appreciation for him is different from that of the rest. Usually when thinking of Hughes, you are automatically brought back to that day in class when you were assigned to read three of his poems to better understand the Harlem Renaissance. When I think of him now, I think of that day in class where poetry about the struggles in our country became understandable, it’s just an appreciation for simplicity that still has depth.

One of my favorite poems by him is Let America be America and this is because it relates so much to the current America as it did to America back then. I too recently wrote a poem for a course I am currently taking in the Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies department.

I also wrote this poem because I have curly hair. It is about how I feel. I know other curly heads going through the same struggles who can relate. This poem is to empower myself and others with curls, to give those who don’t align with the Eurocentric beauty standards imposed on our society some hope, inspiration and liberation. To feel empowered with their curls.

 

 

Pajon by Rachelle Garcia

Mira y ese pajon ?

Proceeding with the lines “ hazme el favor y coje pal salon”

But who told you that I want to straighten my hair

Ma you don’t see that straightening my hair is erasing the history,

and giving them the right to continue to be unfair.

The kinks in my curls, the patterns and swirls

All represent and uphold moments in history even if I wasn’t there

The Mirabal sisters who fought for feminism and got killed in despair

How dare you tell me to straighten my hair?

You tell me I walk around looking like I don’t care

When the rizos on my head are the biggest representation of todo lo que pasamos

Que en los Haitianos confiamos, en los Espanoles tambien

En la visualización eurocéntrica nos asimilamos

To straighten my hair is to let them win again,

Why are we repeating the same things now that happened back then ?

You see to straighten my hair is to reject who I am

To succumb to their views,

Its to let Trujillo buy me and God i’d be damned

It’s to say that I am unsure

That I am not proud in my skin

It’s to let all of those who rejected me for who I am in.

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