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Telephone Booth (number 905 1/2)

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woke up this morning
feeling excellent,
picked up the telephone
dialed the number of
my equal opportunity employer
to inform him I will not
be into work today
Are you feeling sick?
the boss asked me
No Sir I replied:
I am feeling too good
to report to work today,
if I feel sick tomorrow
I will come in early

Pedro Pietri, "Telephone Booth (number 905 1/2)" from Selected Poetry. Copyright © 2015 by Pedro Pietri.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Source: Selected Poetry (City Lights Books, 2015)
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Telephone Booth (number 905 1/2)

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  • Nuyorican poet and playwright Pedro Pietri was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and raised in Manhattan. A few years after graduating from high school, he was drafted into the Army and served in the Vietnam War. Upon his return to New York, Pietri joined the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican Civil rights activist group. In the early 1970s, he co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Café with Miguel Piñero, Miguel Algarín, and others.
    He is the author of Illusions of a Revolving Door: Plays (1992), The Masses are Asses (1984), Traffic Violations (1983), Lost in the Museum of Natural History (1980), Invisible Poetry (1979), and Puerto Rican Obituary (1973), and the recorded performance poetry LPs, Loose Joints and One Is a Crowd. His work has been widely anthologized. He died in 2004.

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