Published On: Wed, Jun 15th, 2016

The Poetry of Mario Ponce Pagan: Receta



I want to die en Borinken!

With abuela’s pasteles

Receta tattooed under my tongue.


For the Angels to understand why I call upon papa dios every time I had them.


That her pasteles where a reminder of a place I barely knew


Historias Abuela would weave in the kitchen majando guineo, batata, yucca y yautia

with her hands she made 500 years of Borinken fit in a spoon.


Season el pernil con revolución!

Guayando – yankee sal de la marina!

On her achiote a pinch of Jayuay por si acaso.

Y un poquito de abuelo cortando caña just to make her café con leche sweeter.


A history rediscovered in my 30s

while peeling guineo laying out palm tree leaves

like Yucahu creating sun and moon.


All the while she tells me her father was there when Vidal became his hero.


I want to die.

With the sun on my face


El Coqui playing la Borigueña

en el cuatro acompañado del trío de

Los Poncho’s Albizu in lead vocals.


Palm trees on percussion

rain drops harmonizing

el río en el quiró

huracán en maracas

el picaflor, toasting to me con Mavi!


To be buried a free man not a slave,


Dress mí en Abuelos white guayabera,

pantalones negros, mi pava mi bandera


Pies descarso porque the first thing my feet

Will touch when I reach paradise es la tierra de mi madre

Borinken, bella libre.


March with the ghost of those who still haunt la calle Marina.

sip cafecito con el joven who died on Palm Sunday

before he reincarnated into Eric Acedo.


I want a funeral procession

From Larez to Ponce to rest en Guayanilla

dance salsa with Julia de Burgos

Tito playing el timbal, Héctor singing: A la la la la la la la que cante me gente!


I want Oscar


Rene Perez






To carry my casket while drinking pitoro made by Piñero


Celebrate my life with the fruit de mi tierra

Spread me on palm leaves eat, laugh, canten no lloren.

let the warm breeze and swaying palmas

overcome you with the aroma of abuela’s pasteles.


Fill your belly with gracia y sonrisas

que si el dia llega that I am called before my maker

That I may bribe my way into paradise with her receta.


To find her de nuevo en casa, en su cocina with ángeles

lined outsider her door, el aroma de tierra criolla

del fruto de su patria all wrapped and tied con independencia.

And I will greet her: abuela bendicion are the pasteles ready.


© Mario Ponce Pagan 4/7/16

Mario “Ponce” Pagan is a Nuyorican poet born in Puerto Rico but now calls Brookly home.

The Poetry of Mario Ponce Pagan: Receta