A couple of weeks ago @love4mybros shared an intriguing link with me on Twitter, so I followed her links and was pleasantly surprised to find what I could only describe as a collection of post-poems (a form reminiscent of one of my favorite bloggers, Word The Cat.) I enjoyed her personal, but playfully irreverent style, and I asked the person behind the words to add some of hers to these pages. So dear Dutty Artz readers, please meet and welcome Abhayam, with the first of what will hopefully be a series of contributions here on Dutty Artz. – Boima

Non yellow
non lime
non “dollar cab”

Oui?Just kidding. Pardonnez mon français. But
z first time someone suggested we take one of these unmarked cab cars
I thought Esmerelda from

The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was
going to pull up to the curb and sweep us away to JFK Airport.
I mean “Gypsy cab?” WT_?

My how time flies, you become a New Yorker and you forget little shit like that when your days are spent hailing those
unmarked cabs to get you all up down and through NYC’s outer boroughs. Staten Island Whaddup!
And it’s not until some little old Frenchman follows behind you inside the East Village’s
Thompkin’s Square Park calling out
Princesa  GYPSY GYPSY “
that you start to question… Um…
First question
‘Who’s he calling “Gypsy?” ‘
“A gypsy princess,” my friend laughed.

But what the hell was a gypsy  (second question)?
Since neither of us knew–I decided to find out.
Fast forward four years later.
Insert a bibliography.
I won’t but I could.

The one thing to know is those often referred to as “gypsies” call themselves Roma or Romani OR Rroma or Rromani –just so you don’t get their ethnicity confused with some of their ace oppressors Romania and Rome. And this is where you realize that gypsy or Rroma isn’t a lifestyle or mode of operation–it’s an ethnicity to the folks who claim it–complete with a language and multiple dialects –all that wholesome cultural stuff… including persecution and Holocaust extermination to rival that of any stories of horror of which you many know.

I’ve spent countless days and nights studying this for no reason. The research is real.

Thank you, old name calling arse European man.

So when part of me is in Astoria and someone says something about “gypsies” my
ears perk up…curiosity or defense? And they’re just talking about
a cab. Gypsy cab? Why’s it got to be “gypsy?” …And why do I care?
Folks from Melbourne to Mexico, Romania to Astoria and North Bronx and all the planet in-between…including some subway stations and some, ok, a number of
psychic shops in this city is home to the homeless. See, that’s the thing about being Rroma,
gypsy…the roaming.  In order to understand the constant movement you need to understand their nomadic origins which I first discovered on my first visit to Brooklyn‘s Independent
writer reader friendly Greenlight Bookstore.”Gypsies” by Patrick Cariou,. First thought, these folks don’t look like me. I kept turning pages, probably all 192 as I listened to a  bro read from his new book  I stood staring at these dirty-faced folks in multi-colored… getting madder and madder at that old man for calling me a gypsy until I saw the first gypsies…grandma…is that you?

It’s deep with dark-skinned origins…nothing like the faces from
“Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” or “American Gypsies…” everything gets lighter with time or is TV trippin?
But the genesis…word Gen Isis of the word
is … Had a girl gripping her ankh.

“Tramps and thieves”…all the stereotypes aside…and there are many to contest\lay to rest. I’d
RATHER BE A GYPSY THAN A HIPSTER (O wait) I mean I’D RATHER BE A GYPSY THAN A FRENCHMAN! And if I ever bump into that old man again, I’m a tell him and thank him.

*cue flamenco guitar*
pardon my ROMAnticization but
ROMa spelled backwards is just Amor isn’t it?

–Princesa, no Rroma



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