Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Posted by Picasa



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Evo-cation





Evo-cation






The first glaciers disappeared in Bolivia
while I was listening to my shadow
repeat that poem about a man
fingering his woman.
How often must we watch animals
going about their reproductive business?
Do we need to stare?

As I heard the rain crowding out of
every cloud in Bolivia a vision appeared:
Habra took out his sword and attacked
the honey-scented silhouette of Fatimah.
She fell off her horse and died soon after.


Bolivia cried: Evo-cation!
The credits read:
Tupaj Katari- dead
Citizens of the city of El Alto – massacred
Coca farmers – Mano Negra,
like all the other anonymous heroes
from from El Sur.
Pututu blasted the longest minute
this year while blood drenched
the Legislative Power, damned butchers
sitting like peacocks on the balcony.



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2006

China moon








A man,
ugly, rangy.
Hounding, daunting, raping.
A sacrificial lamb: Run, fast!
Moon masked.



Poem © Sergio A. Ortiz 2006

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My First Sin

My first sin was
to ridicule the ridiculer,
hate him

with clear adoration.
For in so doing,
I became the beggar

and he the overlord
of my will.
Now I know the devil,

or at the very least
I know Rome in its last hour.
A tax collector sleeps



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009



Published by Flutter Press


Sergio Ortiz’s debut chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk, is as much a celebration of place—the Caribbean—as the identity of a middle age gay man coming to grips with life, death, and love. His poems are street-wise and have a hard edge. They commemorate the imagination.



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Putos Zapatos

mi pobre pueblo
decenas de zapos y reptiles
políticos invadieron su pozo
ahora todos nos odiamos
virus de ranas con putos zapatos
de cocodrilos



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Para Recuperar la Desnudez


Me huele a brea, y a trabajo forzoso.
Me huele a despedida, y a año electoral,
a mulato a punto de perder su reelección.
Me huele a rezo, a incienso
y a San Antonio de Padua naufragando.



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Reseña de Eloy Anello, mi amigo del alma




Eloy Anello nació en Ft. Stockton, Texas, EE.UU. Está casado y tiene 5 hijos. Actualmente reside en Santa Cruz (Bolivia).

Se licenció por la Universidad Estatal de California en Sociología y Estudios Latinoamericanos. Posteriormente, obtuvo un Máster en la Administración de la Salud Pública por la Universidad de Puerto Rico y se especializó en Diseño Curricular de Recursos Humanos para la Salud, por la Universidad de Harvard. En 1966 obtuvo su doctorado en Educación por la Universidad de Massachusetts.

Su dilatada carrera profesional y académica se ha distinguido por sus trabajos en las áreas de la salud pública, desarrollo social y económico, así como de la educación en Latinoamérica, especialmente en Bolivia, lo cual le ha valido varios reconocimientos y premios, entre ellos su nombramiento en 2006 como Doctor Honoris Causa del Consejo Ibero Americano de Educación (Argentina).

Entre sus innumerables actividades y esfuerzos, cabe reseñar su papel protagonista en la fundación y puesta en marcha de la Universidad Nur en Santa Cruz de Bolivia, donde ha sido su Presidente durante dos décadas; su labor como asesor de UNICEF y la OMS, organismo éste último con el que colabora actualmente en el programa de la Buena Gobernabilidad de Medicinas; y su iniciativa en la creación del Centro Andino de Excelencia para la Capacitación de Maestros, donde trabaja actualmente como Coordinador Nacional. A través de este Centro está trabajando, y obteniendo importantes logros, para fortalecer la enseñanza de la lengua escrita y mejorar las habilidades de lectura y escritura de los alumnos de las escuelas primarias en la región andina.

Además de sus logros académicos y profesionales, cabe añadir sus valiosos servicios a la Fe Bahá’í en Latinoamérica. Sus servicios como pionero y maestro de la Fe, como Miembro del Cuerpo Auxiliar y, posteriormente, como Consejero Continental para Las Américas durante muchos años avalan su gran experiencia en los campos de la enseñanza y la administración de la Fe. Él ha sido uno de los impulsores de un discurso bahá’í para Latinoamérica, con especial hincapié en el tema del Liderazgo Moral.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Qué

Qué triste es ver a mí hermano cubano
sin un fusil cargado en la mano.
Coño que aguante, que bolero, que paciencia,
que leche, que hambre, que guaracha,
que solemne pérdida de tiempo.





© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

La Censura: Literatura Puertorriqueña 101

Cuando fue que los legisladores y administradores del departamento de educación puertorriqueños comenzaron a sufrir de esquizofrenia colectiva? Por que el asunto de censura de nuestros escritores a mi me parece que es síntoma de una especie de esquizofrenia colectiva, producida por la falta de identidad propia. Se me hace difícil creer que nosotros estamos tan carentes de imaginación que tengamos que copiar el modelo de gobernabilidad del partido republicano de los Estados Unidos sin examinar apropiadamente nuestra realidad. Señores no sean hipócritas, nuestros adolecentes hace ya tiempo que se están masturbando, teniendo sexo, y hablando como les da la gana. Esa es una realidad que ninguna cantidad de censura va a cambiar. Las culturas corrigen los errores que cometen de formas más creativas que la censura. Digo, las culturas que se jactan de ser libres y democráticas. Yo estoy seguro que ustedes, todos ustedes, en su adolescencia hacían y decían esas mismas cosas que están escritas en eso libros que ahora tan hipócritamente han censurado. Eso es preocupante porque eso me dice que ustedes estarían dispuestos a sacrificar el bienestar, la salud fisica y emocional, de nuestros adolescentes para aparentar ser algo que no somos, como recientemente lo hicieron en Sur África (los políticos) al querer aparentar en sus campañas de salud que el SIDA solamente se detenía a través de la abstención. Nosotros los puertorriqueños no somos castos y no es a través de la censura que vamos a cambiar. Eso se logra a través de una transformación individual que tiene como cimiento la educación que se recibe en el hogar. Si no nos gusta la forma en que nuestros hijos hablan, EDUQUEMOSLOS bien, pero en el hogar. Después de todo, ellos no nos sino el reflejo de lo que nosotros le dimos de comer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toilets


I’m in love
with a homeless man.

Now listen,
we’ve got a lot in common:
H.U.D., lawyers,
politicians.

We have heated discussions
about the face fucking
activity in the toilets
at el Capitolio

but when he stares
at my dick
and licks my nipples

it’s just me
and him.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

Gray and Gay

I’ve thought about being dead,
watched my bloated self in the mirror,
waited for strangers
to take care of the funeral.

I’ve thought about dinner parties,
the theatre: things no longer
in the budget. Sex. Doctors.

I’ve thought about cohesion,
Clairol, Herbal Essence
and Eyeliner. Friends.

I’ve thought about outreach groups,
raisins, peaches, and kiwis.
Still-life paintings in my city.

I’ve thought about American Idol,
churches and meals on wheels.
About competition,

and another twenty years of less,
and less, and less of a line
that does not disappear on its own.

I’ve thought about mangrove crabs
living in mud holes, pushed
back into the closet.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009 First Published in the summer of 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Afortunados

Para aquellos días íbamos a la playa
a practicar tiro al blanco: la seducción.
Aprendimos inglés, o francés.
Leer quitaba un poco
la mancha del plátano así es que
no faltaba el bestseller.
Se usaba el arte de la palabra tersa,
voz sobre modulada, mirada acaramelada.
Éramos los afortunados nacidos
después de la última guerra.
Los que desecharon la zafra. Los que no
aprendimos a matar
y desplumar una gallina.
La turba de futuros empleados públicos
con palancas políticas,
desempleados.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Postcards to Willie Perdomo: November 29, 2008

1.
Willie, baby, when Eloy showed
me the wedding rings I broke out in tears.
He had to get a doctor to calm me down.
I was so innocent, didn’t even know why
I followed him to Bolivia.

2.
“Yo fui la mas callada
de todas las que hicieron el viaje hasta tu Puerto.”


The sky fell. Willie, write me a poem that will bring me
back to life, papi. Be my distraction, or I am going
to find a tall blue eyed angel
with baker hands and lips like James Dean.

3.
“A dormir se van ahora mis lagrimas
por donde tu cruzaste mi verso.”


Negro, I’ve murdered myself so many times
the effort is starting to hurt.
Someone stole my poetry. They wanted
to teach me to write on paper. Ha, as if everything
I do isn’t already written in blood.
I begged mama to help me die,
but she refused, had to slash my own wrist.

4.
“Todos los ojos del viento
ya me lloraron por muerta.”


Do you think ghosts can ask for asylum in Cuba?
Willie, take my clothes off. Look at my scars
without crying and tell me I’m beautiful. Don’t lie.

Wanting to drink a cup of coffee with you
reading me Ginsberg, Cimic, and Julia.
tuyo para siempre
Sergio



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008 first Published in Rust and Moth

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Julie and Julia





Last week I went to see Julie and Julia, the movie about Julia Child chef and author, and Julie Powell, author and blogger who became famous by following Julia’s recipes in: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I can’t believe it has been nineteen years since I went to chef school and Julia Child signed my copy of her latest cookbook: The Way to Cook. We had just returned from a trip to France at Restaurant School in Philadelphia. .

I didn’t know she was ninety years old at that book signing. She certainly didn’t look it. We were told not to bother her took much but I just had to meet her. I asked her to sign my copy of the book and she wanted to know more about me. I told her had gone to the public library and taken out Mastering the art of French Cooking every week for a year since classes started at the Restaurant School, and that I was thirty-nine years old and changing my profession. Until then, the only thing I knew how to do was teach English as a Second Language. She asked me how I got interested in cooking. I told her it was because of my grandmother. She was a great cook and I was always in the kitchen helping her.

The movie was excellent.  Meryl Streep is the best living actor of this century. It showed a woman with the determination of a bear. I remember Ms Child telling us we had to love cooking or we would be on our way out of the business in two to six years. She was right. After about two years I started teaching French cuisine and by the end of another six years I was out of the business. Eight years, the last two I knew I would not be cooking for the rest of my life. If you’ve got a chance to go see the movie, don’t miss it. Meryl Streep is fantastic in it, as are all the other actors in the movie. It’s great!

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Martyrdom of Quddus


The Martyrdom of Quddus


One hundred and thirty-six mirrors
whirled around him
like a hurricane, the reflection
of his heart on the Hand
that shapes existence.
Mountains gathered around a line
of blood—radioactive chain reaction
dripped from his open wounds—and I
despaired. He left me dressed
in shades of purple, aflame,
lowered back into my coffin.

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2007

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Haiku - Remembering Woodstock

stone aging
Cheech & Chong
happiness

free Tibet
excuse me while
I kiss the sky

rucksack wanderers
hookers gave them a calling
avoid the draft

heading for Woodstock
one generation got old
one got soul


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Smell of Sulfur

The Smell of Sulfur
By Sergio A. Ortiz

The odor of sulfur was as strong
as the company brought to the podium of Titans.
Gaia and Ouranos spat angry epithets to each other
in the oval office of the armory on Boulevard
where the effigy hid bottles of gin.

On television the rib-tickling, righteous Titan
got an opportunity to explain the notion
of drowning in the desert to the nation recently targeted
by terror. The program furthered the graven image’s intent
to build a large metal barrier. Who knew if it was to keep
some out, or trap some in?

Women tip-toeing north through the desert
left an uncomfortable trail of blood too long to ignore,
rivers of pearls buried under the roots of ancient
saguaros on Cristero soil.

Words pronounced by shebang smoking idols
didn't mean a thing to thirty million butterflies.
They were there first.


Copyright © 2009 Sergio A. Ortiz

Collective Madness

Collective Madness
Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone'
Birds At Winter, Thomas Harding




Collectively we are
over exposed driftwood bewitched by the
light, pretty
little cento, an
eclipse enchanted with a rainbow. Our
childhood memories linger like pastoral
triolets about rolling meadows. Luck has nothing to do with
interpreting the
veils with which we choose to cover our faces.
enlightenment happens after we fall.

Madness comes in the form of eyes
appended to blood dripping rocks when our
demons fail to cross the river.
never is where we usually drink tea and
endlessly suck on lemons.
smiles are inevitable when we
spar with strangers yet fail to bring about change.


Copyright © 2008 Sergio A. Ortiz Published in Kritya

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Silent

Silent


A chorus of genuflections filtered through the kitchen
ventilator and knelt beside my bed around midnight.
I knew Georgina was dead. My rocking chair peeled
its mahogany finish in her honor.

There were loud knocks at the door: my neighbors standing
outside packing axioms and any other thing they could find:
guns, crucifixes, shovels. “Hi, we were wondering
about the odor?” It’s not coming from here,
I’m not quite dead yet. Occasionally, I see apparitions
of myself standing by the window, behind the shower curtain,
but I still go fly fishing.

Mother came to me in a dream last night, gave me the password
to a house where boas reincarnate into possessed lizards
catching mosquitoes on maracas. She said: everything spoken
becomes water, blends.

She had me thinking about my space. I am going to stop
talking for seven years, but first let me repeat this a few more
times: Harmonizing the sacred. Harmonizing the sacred.
Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus

Copyright © 2008 Sergio A. Ortiz Published in Flutter

On the Day of the Dead

On the Day of the Dead


On the day of the dead, Pablo put on his pants
one mummified foot at a time. It wasn't
his fault, rain was the true culprit. Clouds
followed his feet for years, poured whenever
he tried to cut bread in the City of Glass.
His soles cracked, sprouting roots.

Julia entertained on her balcony, levitating
intimate secrets. People on 42nd Street
attributed her faculties to a santero visiting
her family on the day she was born.
She stood tall and elegant like the mountains
to the south of Black Island, Pablo's home.
Her face had all the traces of unforgettable pain.

They married; Julia, carried down the aisle
by old lovers, found the last bottle of rum
hidden in the trash before the wedding.
She bled life into a gutter, no one recited her verses.
No one knew she was ambassador to the Island of Poetry.

Pablo was one mummified foot at a time closer
to banging pots and starvation, medicine denied,
orders from the dictator. They are gone
but I keep their marriage vows to read out loud
on the day of the dead.


Copyright © 2008 Sergio A. Ortiz Published in Literary Journal

Intimate

Intimate


You saddle the other me,
the one you empty
each disappearing dawn,
the bulldogger with a bitten lip.

I am crowned with psychedelic
corollas, dreams beyond dreams.
I learn to forget by forgetting.

There is nothing left of my ecstasies,
or the color of my obsessions,
not even the seize of your mouth
on my words.


Copyright © 2008 Sergio A. Ortiz Published in Origami Condom

A Reverie of Horror - Cento

He finds the hallway leading
to death's wrinkled, Garbo legs.

Children standing by their mother's
broken mirror have their own
boleros to remember.

Spiders weave the stench of sour jungle,
a vile outbreak of colloquial monsters.
My father sings a duo with my father.


Copyright © 2009 Sergio A. Ortiz

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Outfits

Outfits

I stopped pushing salvation
on inner city streets after the funeral.
Maples lining the road home took me to the kimono
and the baby, anniversary gifts from Tent.
Rubin changed clothes as soon as we got home
from Sunday school: toreror, mariachi, prime ballerina.
It was difficult to keep a straight face in the middle
of an argument with a little cross-dresser playing
in front of you.

The beginning of autumn, that’s when he started
collecting the feathers.
My baby, fourteen, lifeless.
We found the first one outside a Mud Wrestling
Bar & Grill. It had the Lords Prayer written on the barbs.
Soon enough, they were coming from all over the world.
He loved to collect them.

Close, Tent was very close to his son.
Closer than the rope he used.
He couldn’t take the impact of Rubin’s passing.

I needed to look in the mirror,
put on the kimono, cover my arms with the red
yellow leaves of the sash, and hide the teeth marks.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

At the Church of 80% Sincerity

At the Church of 80% Sincerity

it was no crime to be born a delicate
male, but reaching puberty
while you're opening up a frog
in biology class ruined
your sex life for good.
Games were another gray area.
No such thing as “hard” contact
during basket-ball practice was allowed,
and it wasn't because of the balls,
or the running style.
So, I took ballet three nights a week,
studied sincerity percentages.
It was not easy.
Everyone I knew hid 20%
of their life at the Church
of 80% Sincerity.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008 first published in Children, Churches, and Daddies

India

India

I did not fail to see your shroud cover my hands,
like a mother greeting a son with garlands.
What was this light you possessed
that guided me out of the dark,
wheeled my thoughts in navy blue, tendered
my voice, and spiraled into a dance?

The hands holding up invisible walls,
carried my sail to streams untouched.
Hands that fenced passions and cushioned
the blows each time I fell.

Chant a bhajan melody while the fingers
of my right hand form a crown lotus soaring
in mid air. My left hand imitates
a wave caught in the vortex of fate.
My eyes look away from physical forms
as if all the toiling in the fields
had set them on fire in celebration.

Clattering kartals accompanied
by humming drones, and chiming manjiras,
sitars and nals, complete the circle swaying
rhythms in perfection. Why do you till my eyes
in your fields of saffron?


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

Searching

Searching

We are both close to fear,
my brother and I, boom babies,
witnesses to an age saturated
with violence. Him, a virgin
at twenty-five. Me, used
and afraid by sixteen.

I want to hug my brother
tell him how much I’ve missed him.
Night has not been the same
without a sentinel looking out
the window, searching.

Thank you for understanding
what it is to be a man
without the bling hanging
on my neck or a gun in hand.

I want us to see the dawn
while our faces turn
to each other, and the clothes
we wear burn off.



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

Peak Oil

Peak Oil


We read about the old dying
from the cold. Fifteen days later

there was no food.
When it happened a third time

politicians got mobbed on the streets.
As if law makers could keep away cardinals

perched on the outstretched arms
of concrete scarecrows.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

On the Brink

On the Brink

Merchants of war, you hide in what you wish
were called, “the Mansions of Heaven,”
while a trigger is squeezed to death on the street.

I have a bird that whistles, but it doesn’t stop
me from crying. I heard some students
were crushed for walking in each other’s dreams
at a love-in. Too bad I couldn’t be there with them.

I’m a dada bird on the brink of extinction,
need to get away from Oxford,
Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tanka- Jump in Water


when dawn
remembers to seize your dreams
jump in water
even if you can't swim
or wiggle your ears

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sevenling: Beautiful Ruins






I see a cloud
so old it wants to sail
across the moon and rain.

I tend my garden:
the water, marble,
forgetting which runs into which.

Where is Eden? Is there a hammock there?


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gypsy


Gypsy


Linda prepared for bed confident
she could not receive
bad news.
It was Thursday, bad news
was announced in dreams on Fridays,
After walking over to the drawer and taking out
the tied chicken legs, Linda rubbed the tattoos,
stricken by the taunt of sailors,
on the side of her neck for good luck.
Gypsies don’t read
each others palms.
They understand war casualties, letter writing in the fog,
black and white images that make you forget
the wind. She wasn’t going to think
about the fuzz on his back, think about how it spread
to his buttocks.
Teresa walked in the bedroom with the Acacia oil.
She was so thin she was starting to look like phyllo.
The señora wants me to brush her hair?
Wait. Please, wash your hands. Mr. Puttock
will be home in the morning, I want my hair noticeable.
Look at you, skinnier by the day. Certain
about not telling me who the father is?
No señora, it doesn’t matter. He is an important man.
He won’t care of my baby. Teresa your pulling my hair,
how many oil drops did you put in the water?
It doesn’t matter.
You will work here until you’re due.



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

Copyright © 2008 Sergio A. Ortiz

Friday, June 26, 2009

For Michael Jackson


encore
the King of Pop's
blazing moon dance


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009
June 25

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Haiku

el silencio no murmura... grita... penumbras


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Haiku


penumbra
sobre los sahuaros
bosque de espinas viejas


© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Haiku


lindero
coqui al otro lado
del charco



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Haiku


coqui
salta el charco
jibaro exilado



© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Blog Archive

Followers

About Me

My photo
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Sergio A. Ortiz is a Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sergio A. Ortiz es poeta puertorriqueño que escribe en inglés y español. Actualmente trabaja en su primera colección de poesía, Elephant Graveyard, Cementerio de Elefantes. Ha sido nominado al premio Pushcart en dos ocasiones, al Best of the Web en cuatro ocasiones, y al Best of the Net, 2016. 2do lugar Premio Ramón Ataz de Poesía, 2016. Sus poemas han aparecido, o están por aparecer, en revistas literarias como: Letralía, Chachala Review, The Accentos Review, Resonancias, por mencionar algunos.

Typying