Alex Nieto, my Homeboy Carnal, one of my best friends, was born on March Forth, 1986. Today he would have turned thirty five years old. When he was alive, we would buy a cake, sing Happy Birthday, and grill a mean barbeque. He especially loved my marinated barbeque pollo. Alex used to tell me that because his birthday was on March Forth, he was a natural born revolutionary.
We used to get a good laugh at that one, without realizing that it was Pura Neta, pure truth. His energy full of amor became the catalyst for the biggest, most consistent movement ever in United States history to defend the honor of a Latino man killed by the police.
Back in 2013, before he was killed, I created this poem entitled “March Forth,” and I read it to him and the gente at Accion Latina on 24th Street, SFM. In the video linked below, you can see him smiling and getting embarrassed 🙂 Based on one of the lines in that poem, later that year, we bought bags of fresh orange habanero chile peppers and gifted them away on the streets to all the beautiful people who loved our energy.
“What’s up with the movement, Homes?” We would greet each other. He himself became the movement: Amor for Alex Nieto.
Happy Birthday, Brother.
My homeboy Alex born on March Forth
Boasts he is a natural born revolutionary.
Me, I entered existence on the
20th of November, which explains why
I love turkey and mashed potatoes but with
Orange Habanero chile peppers instead of
Canned purple cranberry sauce.
I am not royalty unless you consider
The scars on my head as a crown or
The tattoos on my chest as a golden necklace—
Then I am a king or
Even more of a turkey.
This place is ha ha funny and
I like it.
The smiles, the silliness, the stupid seriousness especially.
We think too much of ourselves—
Our teeth and nails, our eyebrows and nose hairs,
Our ear sockets and assholes.
We are all the same:
This makes us all equally fucked up and
That’s the way I like it
Nice and fucked up
Exciting and tragic
Totally human to fight against
Two plus two and
The illogic and sheer beauty of
Fresh flowers and first steps,
The damnation of good luck
That got me here to this point.
I sing songs with my cracked voice
That confesses my youthful shouts and
I, too, boast of revolution
Though I was not born this way.
I had to earn it through
My own idiotic mistakes.
Click the link to view a summary of the over 167 Amor Actions for Alex Nieto: