My name is Rachel Gomberg and I am submitting three poems I wrote in separate files attached to this email.
A little about me, I was born in Philadelphia to a Brazilian immigrant mother and Jewish father. Although my father is from the States, he speaks Portuguese fluently and has always embraced Brazilian culture—something that has always inspired me and made me even closer to my roots in Brazil.
My father has Russian and Middle-Eastern ancestry as my mother, being from Brazil, is actually also half Paraguayan and has a Spanish surname, despite not knowing any Spanish. Being from such a mixed background I have always felt closest to my Latin American roots and have taken it upon myself to learn both Portuguese and Spanish.
Currently, I am an elementary Spanish teacher working at a charter school in Philadelphia, where I still reside. Starting in my teenage years I became more and more curious about Brazilian culture and would notice my Brazilian family often complaining about their country while stating that life in the United States was a “dream” to them.
When I graduated high school, my graduation gift was plane tickets to Brazil where I stayed with my family. I was finally old enough to understand poverty and imperialism, and I learned about the dictatorship in Brazil, later discovering the United States funded it.
Upon my return, I continued my political education about U.S. imperialism in Latin America and the more I learned the more I felt more aligned and connected with my “Latinidad” and less aligned with being “American” (or being proud to be born in the United States).
That being said, the poems I have chosen are written in each of the three languages I speak—Portuguese, Spanish, and English.
How I’d love to break away
From this boring day to day
Routines and the mundane
The dark thoughts that roam my brain
How I’d love to be anywhere else—anyone else
Anyone who has a stable sense of self
Any day or place that would salvage my mental health
I suck in the nicotine
Sitting idle on my balcony
The view isn’t half as unpleasant
Than my psyche in the present
Or the past that still haunts me
A future of uncertainty
Wishing I could live unconditionally
In a realm where I can be free
But I know everything on this earth is conditional
All other desires are additional
A subjunctive state is nontraditional
In a place non-positional
in this inferno we call our reality.
#Liberdade #Libertad #Liberty
Las frutas de nuestras labores han sido comprometidas
y siguen así
culturas, lenguas, tierra, recursos, y comunidades enteras
tomadas de los quienes nos colonizaron
de manera al continuar las acciones de colonizar en nuevas formas
evolucionando la esclavitud y estructuras coloniales
hacia labor del salario que nunca puede pagar a nuestros antepasados por sus dolores.
y acá estamos
en los barrios donde se olvida el pueblo que los construyeron, que originalmente caminaba la tierra
pero aún tenemos recuerdos pequeños,
que la mayoría de la gente pasa sin prestar atención
pero siguen ahí,
para recordarnos de ellos.
O calor tropical, sentirei saudades.
a vista da cidade quando saio da casa, sentirei saudades.
a chuva que sempre vem, sentirei saudades.
as plantas exóticas, sentirei saudades.
as calçadas quebradas, sentirei saudades.
o povo animado que me deu um sorriso na rua, sentirei saudades.
o som duma língua tão bonita, sentirei saudades.
o som das crianças brincando e rindo naquela escola pertinho de casa, sentirei saudades.
o caminho do trem, sentirei saudades.
o grafite nas paredes, sentirei saudades.
meus queridos amigos e as pessoas que são quase do mesmo sangue, sentirei saudades.
a metade do meu coração que vou deixar aqui, sentirei saudades.