Alyssa "Lefty" P.
28 year-old NuYoRican from Spanish Harlem who has a passion for writing, learning, achieving peace, faith, and empowering others. I've established a career as an educator and career counselor for over five years. Instagram: @alyssaleftyp
A Tale of Two Manhattans: The Puerto Rican White Girl from Spanish Harlem
On 108th street and Madison Avenue, they called me “White Girl.” Even though they all knew my name, to them, “Alyssa” didn’t seem quite fitting. I talked like I was “White” according to my friends from Lehman Village, Lakeview, and Villa Hermosa Apartments, all territories of Spanish Harlem which made up my ‘hood. because I enunciated my R’s, my S’s, my T’s, always said “like” as a filler, and, I don’t know, I guess I had an accent that sounded similar to 99.9% of the young white women that I went to school with. For years, I felt like I was trapped in between two worlds, neither in which I felt I truly belonged. At the private school that I attended (the name is not relevant at this time) for thirteen years of my life, I was teased for being a “loud Puerto Rican,” especially in the 6th grade, and was regularly asked if the name-brand bags, shoes, or jewelry that I sported at school was “real.” I was even teased by local private school boys who constantly reminded me I didn’t belong in their community, sending me AOL instant messages to my computer to remind me that I was “poor” and that I didn't belong at the school. (How ironic how some of the same students that teased me were on scholarships as well, huh? Talk about self-hate.) Even when I didn’t even try to be accepted, I was regularly reminded that I would never be so. If it wasn’t within my school community, it was by some young girl who lived in my building telling me that I think I am “better than them” for going to private school, or simply because of how I talk.
Chapter IV Sneak Peak: It's Not That Serious
Excerpt from Chapter IV of It’s Not That Serious ~~~~~~~~ Danny was tired of thinking so much and so hard. He was ready to go out with his best friend and listen to some meaningful poetry and lyrics from people with substance. Danny boy even did some writing of his own at times, but he was always too apprehensive to share this side of himself with the world. Not even his wela read any of his writing. This was a side of Danny that he had to keep for himself. Still, he loved watching other people express their pain, joy, anger, frustration, and peace, because it gave him a sense of purpose in the world. He felt like, when he listened to others perform their poetry or their music, it was his way of contributing to society in a healthy way. In his eyes, people who shared these talents with the world didn’t do it for themselves. They did it with the sole purpose of making others feel.
Alone Again: Poems and Entries I Write in Solitude
“Breaking Up” To my Dearest friend, Loneliness, So we meet again. I always embrace you with such familiarity and comfort, knowing how toxic you can be. You’ve never done any good for me - you try to sap my energy, my strength. Yet I keep welcoming you in every time you knock.