Remembering Louis Reyes Rivera


Wow! I just heard the news about Louis Reyes Rivera. I first discovered him at African Voices Rhythn, Rhyme, and Ritual event in 2004. He was reciting his Spoken Word with a band called the Jazzoets. He so inspired me to do the same. A year later, I was asked to recite my poetry with the band Hudson Hope. Without seeing Mr. Rivera perform, I don't think I could have done it. I wrote this poem after I saw him perform in 2004. My only regret is that I didn't take his poetry class at Sista's Place. I know I would have learned a lot more. RIP Mr. Rivera.

August 22, 2004: A Sunday Afternoon

August 22, 2004, on a Sunday afternoon,

I was in Empire FultonFerry State Park

taking a break from my volunteer work

for African Voice’s Rhymes, Rhythms, and Rituals event.

I walked across the tamed green blades of grass

and stood three feet away from the flat-black stage; waiting

in anticipation for Louis Reyes Rivera and The Jazzoets.

The emcee suggested that Louis introduce the band.

Louis Reyes Rivera, decked in a pinstriped