A Journey's Roadmap

Reynaldo Macias' Where I'm From is poetry in motion

By David M. Jones, II
Published on LatinoLA: April 16, 2005

A Journey's Roadmap

I felt like I found the 6th golden ticket. There hasn?t been such a turbulent, sometimes whimsical and sometimes dangerous, journey since Charlie took that stroll through the chocolate factory. The more I read, the more it felt as if I fell into the river of Reynaldo?s soul, like the fat kid fell into the river of chocolate.

In "Where I?m From," Reynaldo Macias holds nothing back, as all his demons are loosed and howl through his pen. If you didn?t know him before, one read of his poetry, and you will begin to understand this complicated man. However, that one read will only achieve a surface-level understanding. To truly be rewarded by what Macias has to offer, you must study his writings. My copy of Where I?m From has the look of an old textbook that has been passed down from year to year with underlined passages, hand drawn arrows, and the occasional question mark.

"Where I?m From" takes the reader on a journey, not only through Macias? life, but also through his development as a writer. Macias starts the reader at ?Point of Origin?, the first section of the book, where he explores and connects with his Black/Brown-American heritage as highlighted in Credits for graduation don?t survive the middle passage (?a phone line to the most high operators called Ancestors?, ?higher learning means learning ourselves?).

The journey continues with a trip down ?Scenic Drive?, the second section. "In Loose Demons," Macias gives the reader a great insight into what exactly writing means to him. In one word, writing is ?Ecstasy?. In a few more words, writing allows the writer to excise all his demons through his pen.

The Journey makes a ?Pit Stop? in the third section of the book. I couldn?t help but feel a little guilty reading this group of poems. I felt as if I was peering, not in to the window of his soul, but the window of his bedroom. Love, Making Love, Love Lost, Passion, Intimacy, and Sex is what you will find at this Pit Stop.

This fantastic voyage called "Where I?m From" naturally concludes at the ?Destination?, where Macias in, They call me?, takes the reader by the hand and guides her through his own personal journey of self-discovery. The vehicle he chooses for this discovery is something as simple as his name. From Tony, to Tonio, back to Tony, on to Antonio, and finally Reynaldo, what people choose to call him conveys what they think about him and consequently what he thinks about himself. However, most important to the author?s self image is what he calls himself. Reynaldo Antonio Webb Macias. You?d better recognize because the Force is Strong in This One.

With this excellent freshman project, we can only hope Where I?m From is actually just a point of origin, and that there will be many more books that will take us on the journey that is the soul of Reynaldo Macias.

Where I'm From, the first book of poetry by Reynaldo Antonio Macias, is available at www.cafepress.com/homeofthejedi.

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