Published on Academy of American Poets (


Deep in the Boogie Down—
	the bassinet of the boom bap
	where the trinity is The Treacherous Three,

English is the third language
	behind Bronx and Puerto Rican,
		and I was nervous

because I only speak Catholic school
	and I'm a Red Sox fan.  

I'm just a student of KRS-1, not a son,

on a train fourteen stops beyond my comfort
	zone hiding behind headphones coughing
		bass, and a backpack full of lyrics:

Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, Perdomo,
Run DMC, Brooks, wanting to be real cool,

wanting to be their "dawg"—
	but feeling like a mailman,
		another Elvis

to the students I will lead 
	through a workshop in a language

		I itch to get my rusted cavities around.


From Vacations on the Black Star Line. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Cirelli. Used with permission of Hanging Loose Press.


Michael Cirelli

Michael Cirelli is the author of several books of poems, including The Grind (Hanging Loose Press, 2013).

Date Published: 2010-01-01

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