About Roberto Garcia

Roberto Carlos Garcia's chapbook amores gitano (gypsy loves) was published by Červená Barva Press in 2013. His poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Engagement, Public Pool, Stillwater Review, Gawker, Barrelhouse, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Acentos Review, Lunch Ticket, and many others. He is the founder of Get Fresh Books, LLC a cooperative press. His first full collection, Melancolía, is available from Červená Barva Press. A native New Yorker, Roberto holds an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation. His website is www.robertocarlosgarcia.com/

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Trapped In History

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Monday, November 28th, 2016 | 1,050 views

Roberto Garcia

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped inside them.”
—James Baldwin, “Stranger in the Village”

On a recent trip to the Canary Islands I was reminded that none of the languages I speak are native to me. The flight departed from JFK in New York City, would arrive at Madrid, Spain, and connect to a shorter flight that would ultimately land in Tenerife, Canary Islands. A few hours into the flight I asked the flight attendant for two whiskeys. I can never sleep on a plane and since this was a red-eye I figured a couple of drinks might help. I asked for the drinks in Spanish and his surprise was evident. His expression changed for an instant. Almost as if he questioned the reality of what was happening. A part of me can understand that, but another part of me can’t. Part of me thinks he should be used to Latinos by now. That his experience as a flight attendant dealing with countless passengers from across the Latino diaspora would have educated him on enough of our differences as to not be taken off guard by me. Then I got to thinking about language.

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