The first time I saw Noel Quiñones’s read his poetry I was fourteen years old. I had just arrived at a new high school and was trying, haplessly, to identify who I was and what I would be. I was playing football, which I loved, and which I still daydream about. But I was also flirting with what had been an under-the-covers passion of mine: creative writing. Noel was a senior at that high school, four years and four hundred lifetimes older than myself. I first saw him perform at our school’s annual Poetry Assembly. I cannot remember the name of the poem he read or even its content (forgive me, Noel, it was many moons ago) but I do remember one thing: being envious as hell. He was so confident and articulate and expressive. I wanted to be up there on stage doing that. And I did, for the duration of high school and college. But I was never really able to rip it like he did. But that’s okay; no one really can….
*this content originally appeared on Adolphus Press*