"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Buscando el Puerto Rican State of Mind
Words and Photos: Gary Gutiérrez
“Don t think these are the
Last line cause I still got
Some more, maybe just enough
To even start a war”
Yari Parés - Nuyorican poet.
At 15 he “hanged” out with his"crew" looking for trouble, years later he was looking for an easy way to make money in the barrio where he was sent to live in Puerto Rico with his aunt and uncle in order to get away from the negative elements of the streets and look for salvation in education.
However, at the age of 26 he had obtained a baccalaureate in Literature, a masters in guidance and counseling, is a poet/ writer and is currently working, helping young people.
This is the experience of Yari Parés that like hundreds of thousands of boricuas from the other side”, was born in the United States and grew up in the middle of a society that does not understand them, rejects them, and fills them up with rage, hostility and frustration
But unlike the enormous majority that eventually directs their anger through antisocial behaviors and actions, in the case of Pares, the accumulated frustration from the streets became creative fuel for a talent that he had hidden within…..writing.
As if an escape valve was opened that avoids the explosion of an emotional boiler, the young lost child learned to only manifest his feelings in paper - without order or literary rule, just a way to let out what he felt inside.
"In those days, la pluma y el papel eran my friends, my only real friends”, he expressed in his “spanglish”
(“In those days, the pen and paper were my friends”)