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Tea Leaves: a memoir of mothers and daughters by Janet Mason (Bella Books April 2012) is now available -- click here for more info

“There is something here for everyone who has ever loved someone else or plans to. I highly recommend “Tea Leaves” just because it is so real and so beautifully written.”–Reviews by Amos Lassen

check out Janet Mason's author blog

read Janet Mason's latest piece in The Huffington Post --Chick-fil-A: What Would Gandhi Do If He Were Gay? ('s) features Philadelphia Poets 2010 poet -- Awilda I. Castro Suárez


Hitching To Nirvana, a novel of midife and adolescence by Janet Mason is now available on-line and from bookstores


   --to Virgilio Dávila

“Mother, Borinquen is calling me!
This country is not mine!
Borinquen is pure flame,
while here I die frozen.”
            -Nostalgia, Virgilio Dávila


I dreamed of a savings account,
a house,
a white picket fence,
a dog,
a garden,
clean streets.

I migrated to the cold jungles of William Penn,
the trucks throwing salt in the streets,
the squirrels hanging from cables,
the Pagoda covered with snow,
the train cars scribbled with graffiti,
the six cold months,
the gloves that I always lose.
Now I dream of
the fonda that cooks Hispanic stews,
the bodega with cilantro and recao,
the radio station playing El Gran Combo after a reggaetón song,
the one dollar guavas
this nostalgia that never warms me completely.

I dream of the rain showers flooding Puerto Nuevo
while the snow accumulates in the gutters of my house,
the papaya shakes at the farmers’ market,
the traffic jams in Buchanan,
twenty-five murders on a long weekend,
the Spanish cakes of La Ceiba,
the bus driver turning up the volume to hear the dirty jokes on the morning radio show,
the beggars at the street lights,
the loud music blasting out the speakers of a political campaign van,
the blue colonial bricks under the sun,
the Coronas on the Boricua Bar on 100 hundred degree nights,
the drums in a Saint Sebastian party and my body moving with the rhythm,
reading Benedetti in La Tertulia,
orgasms against the colonial fortress,
my fist in the air dreaming of freedom,
eating Vienna sausages during the hurricanes.

“Mother, Borinquen is calling me!”
loud and constant,
I dream with my invented country,
built with fondness, out of shortages
and retouched memories fitted to my longing.
“Mother, Borinquen is calling me!...
and in here I die frozen.”
The weather forecast temperatures below zero,
but I can feel her warmth inside me,
dissolving the wintry mix,
like salt thrown on the sidewalk.
As long as I have memory, I may feel cold to my bones,
but I will never die frozen.

          Awilda I. Castro Suárez
          Reading, PA

Philadelphia Poets featured on


Philadelphia Poets 2009 poets -- Annie Rachele Lanzillotto and Lili Bita

Rosemary Cappello, editor and publisher,
Philadelphia Poets

featured poet and artist



click here to read to read a woman alone poems by Janet Mason -- first place winner in the Fourth Annual John and Rose Petracca and Family Award from the 2009 issue of Phila Poets