Descanse En Paz Piri Thomas

Piri Beso

Goofing around with Piri in the East Bay, July 2009.

It is with deep grief that I share the news of the passing of poet and author Piri Thomas. Through the years we developed a treasured friendship and became family. He really is a beloved Tío.

Tío Piri, as I mourn your passing the hardest thing is accepting a world without you in it. I simply cannot do that yet. I know you are smiling down on me, your laughter and word music still ring in my ears loud and clear. My deepest sympathy to the family, and to your beloved Suzie.

My last visit with Suzie and Piri was about a year ago. I shared a video clip with him for feedback on the progress of the American Boricua documentary film. He cracked a thousand and one jokes (I’m gonna be in your MOVIE? Wow kid, you’re alright! Let me change my shirt, I look good, but I want to look GOOD you know–HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!) and teasing me mercilessly about not being married yet. Then the usual loving complaint that I didn’t visit often enough.

That was Tío Piri.

It is eerie, yet somehow perfectly fitting, that I asked him this question over two years ago:

How do you want the world to remember you?

His answer: As me. As Piri.

He then began another beautiful flow of words, life, and poetry.

It is your generous spirit and love that have kept the fire of American Boricua burning bright.

Descanse En Paz Tío Piri.



One Response to “Descanse En Paz Piri Thomas”

  1. Marlon says:

    It is with great sadness that I read that Piri has passed away. I have only recently began reading his book, “Down These Mean Streets.” I just got the book today and I am already halfway through. I originally learned about Piri Thomas through an old publication of BLU magazine that I recently started reading…again. In the magazine, he wrote a short two-paged piece called, “Forgive But Never Forget.” His words touch on a lot of the questions I myself am struggling to understand. I am sorry for your loss, and grateful for his life. Thank you.

Leave A Comment