Weirded out? I am too.

It must be weird for regular readers of this blog to be suddenly reading short verses when time travelling used to post short “academic” and travel essays. Just bear with us, we’ll keep the blog active once again when we find time in between fieldwork and daily chores. Short verses, actually more like fragments, are the most we can squeeze in by now, sort of like poetry-on-a-run or a blog warm-up post.  

In the meantime, check out this paper on rhesus macaques where one of us appeared as co-author:

Response of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) to the Body of a Group Member That Died from a Fatal Attack

Anarchist Mangroves


the fiddler crab concurs
that the mangrove is an anarchist,
perfect in its defiance
from that liminal place
between the land and the sea:
trunks bent close to the ground,
roots interlocked like arms in protest
in this creeping war against the tides.
when the sea appears to be winning,
a million middle fingers
shoots through mud,
growing leaves,
extending borders,
giving more life in time.


Boy Aims Gun at Two Men Graffiti

I found this graffiti on a wall of an abandoned building in Hato Rey, featuring a boy aiming a gun at two men. I imagine this artwork as a critique on the pervasive violence in the island. Local authorities reveal that 70% of the 994 murders in Puerto Rico (2011) were all drug-related.

The location of this artwork is in a two-storey building near a Walgreens pharmacy and the San Juan mayor’s campaign office. The main railway of the city train also passes next to the structure. On occasion, a troupe of street performers ply their trade by the intersection.

in a random san juan street
jugglers throw bowling pins in the air,
heroin-addled human statues across them,
to entertain strangers in their cars
so you get
the dark carnivalesque humor and look away:
‘such beautiful caribbean skies..’





Egret by the Road


While taking an afternoon walk, a white egret stood by the road parallel to where I was. I inched closer, crept on the bushes, and aimed my camera at the bird.

ImageThe bird noticed me of course: its long neck extending above the grasses, eyeing every movement I made. A few seconds later, the egret flew away. The spread of its wings was a nice contrast to the pale that the overcast skies gave to the landscape.





The sea is calm today, good enough for fishers casting a line along the dock. Their poles stand erect for now and their buckets empty. I saw a man hauling his net with a couple of small fries caught in the tangle.