Rico Cruz aka Rich Cross






Hello, world! my name is Michael Cruz, though I go by Rico. I am also the Artist Known As Rich Cross. I was born in Bronx, New York and my parentage is of Puerto Rican descent. Marking me as a New Yorican! I embrace this label because its the honest truth of how life started for me. With a more humorous attitude, towards the Latinos who are part of my heritage, I identify myself as a New-Cal-Yorican Okie! As your laughter subsidies, I would like to explain that this is due to my extensive travels and stays in California and Oklahoma. My half century journey of open raw emotion also projects lightheartedness. Yet, when you begin to examine my writing, what you find will reveal what has marked this New-Cal-Yorican Okie.

As you observe my heartfelt experiences through my art, I hope you feel encouraged to produce your own connections that create a dialog between us about the differences each of us has faced in life vs. death, joy vs. anger, and fear vs. peace, and give you permission to recognize your own emotional truths and to reshape your perspective and artistic expression. I want to leave you with a deeper impression to embrace soulful empathy towards humanity, regardless of status. Many of my own views may be simple, but they ask you to acknowledge and accept unknown perceptions you may not have yet found and propose a greater depth of acceptance than your current perspective.

“The value of beauty is truly in the heart, mind and soul of those who appreciate the view.”

I was born in Bronx, N.Y., in December of 1970 and raised by an adolescent single mother and the streets between South Central and San Pedro, California. I believe it would be adequate to say, “I have never met any streets that were kind to my feet.” Yet, a difficult life hasn’t deterred my love of art. Working in multiple media of drawing and painting and utilizing different techniques, I’ve thrived in the joy of being free to create.

My writing is semi-autobiographical, using actual and fictionalized events from life to illustrate a philosophy that demonstrates our apparent physical limits are merely appearance.

Generally, my writing tends to betray the ethos I have continued to live throughout my constant pursuit of spiritual growth. Therefore, the genres of writing I have chosen evolve from inspiration of the subjects, which lend themselves to the creative artery of the heart. As I continue to mature into a writer of great heights, I fly with the seagulls until the world recognizes the words of an eagle.

Until then, I am certainly grateful and profoundly humbled by all of the authors who inspire me to climb upon their strong shoulders.


In Just One Lie
I stumbled into a mess costing my body a life time of freedom

In Just One Lie
They put me in a cage, pray’n for my kids even though I can’t see them

In Just One Lie
I was headed to the pen for a life time of years
Crying crocodile tears, while my family disappears
Taking in stride all the blessing I denied
Out of oxygen and died
All because I took for granted what was given from the sky

In Just One Lie
Everyone looked at me like there’s no hope
Because I was always slinging that dope
Then the greatest of all men came along; He gave me greater hope
From my steep down hill slope
Till I choked
Life sentence
No joke

In Just One Lie
The storm in my mind grew stronger
Remembering everything in my life as a stranger
Including the blessing of my 5 kids wondering if I left them in danger
Oh! Dear God! Show them favor!
Even though I wavered in my behavior

In Just One Lie
I twisted and turned until it was almost too late
For me to listen and learn, that there’s nothing I can earn
To keep me from the eternal burn
Which made me realize the error of my ways
Because in the middle of the storm I was living too fast!
Sinful nature had become my birthright
The truth sought me out, so that I may write
About the living water that gave me new life
From the white lies causing so much strife
Now when my heart is convicted to hold firmly and bold
To the redeeming and eternal labor of Love
Coming from the shedding of Christ’s blood
This truth flows like Noah and the flood
Which touched everything from above.
Now In This One Truth
His salvation has set this captive free
From the mind-frame of flesh
That kept leading to my death

In This One Faith
I am able to worship in Spirit and Truth
Knowing the covering of His Love will mend all lies.


SOMOS FAMILIA (We are Family)

The normal perception of Latin people is we have a strong family dynamic. This may be true for most families, but not everyone has that kind of household stability. Truthfully a more unhealthy norm has been surrounding us for decades. The choices we made has placed mental and physical fences between us and our family members.

Many looking into the dining room windows, can say, we are the product of the cycle we ate. And a part of me rejects this mindset.

Just as I am fighting this perspective, my cousin sends me a picture of my eldest son James, sitting in a restaurant with a drink. I haven’t seen him in years. Looking at the photo it’s really unclear if it was taken when he was a teenager or more recently. The real issue in my mind is the last time I saw him, he was only two days old. The sad thought makes me quickly deflect with a funny one. Knowing he will continue to get carded at restaurants!

As I keep looking at this image of a young man who brings up haunting thoughts. I begin to wonder what does he want to become?

Who does he care about? What struggles does he have in his life? Where have his journeys taken him? I realize I have No Clue!

I desperately want to think hopefully. As I am wondering about all these thoughts that continue to swim against the current. I can see this taller and younger mirror image of myself. The reflective image made me hopeful, because it was a picture of him in front of a window at a family restaurant with No bars or fences.

This hopeful reminder showed me Somos Familia–we are family–no matter what oceans of obstacles.