Jack Agüeros was born in Harlem in 1934. He became a community activist and writer, concentrating on issues surrounding immigration, specifically identifying and exploring the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. He acted as Director of El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem for eight years. His published books of poetry include Lord, Is This a Psalm? (2002), Sonnets from the Puerto Rican (1996), and Correspondence Between Stonehaulers (1991). He also translated Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos (1996). Agüeros’ work has been published in Revista Chicano-Riquena, Nuestro, Sombra, the Portable Lower East Side, and Borinquen. He has won numerous awards and still resides in New York City.
Sonnet Substantially Like the Words of F Rodriguez One Position Ahead of Me on the Unemployment Line
It happens to me all the time--business
Goes up and down but I'm the yo-yo spun
Into the high speed trick called sleeping
Such as I am fast standing in this line now.
Maybe I am also a top; they too sleep
While standing, tightly twirling in place.
I wish I could step out and listen for
The sort of music that I must make.
But this is where the state celebrates its sport.
From cushioned chairs the agents turn your ample
Time against you through a box of lines.
Your string is both your leash and lash.
The faster you spin, the stiller you look.
There's something to learn in that, but what?