Friday, September 30, 2011

haiku


brisa salada sopla
sobre nuestros cuerpos
noche otoñal

The key you have not lost


The key you have not lost
                           

is there between those spaces,
not by or in, but flanked between
the here and there, living like a fugitive
on your skin. It is a prelude to our
memoirs, the text of a poem fused
with nectarines, an exploration
through Copper Canyon, visions
of Haiti’s angels licking my ears,
a hypnotic dance on sands
matching the colors that mesh
upon your hips, an experiment
we refuse to put down, an invitation
to cross the doorway of the home
I no longer occupy.

The key you have not lost
is not the manual for a digital
camera, or calendar entries
for next month’s readings. It is not
the Popular Mechanics article
you wrote to put food on our table,
or a classified add on craigslist.

It wants to be the bungee jump
into the pangs of a deer in heat,
the obituary of bolted doors,
or a listing for all the vacant walls
on which we'll scribble our graffiti.

haiku


from the text of a
slavers journal, words that give
history an iron taste

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Illusion


The Illusion


You punish me to provide
a spectacle of excess—tamp

my testicles with affirmations
of your power. Your mannequins blow

and breathe urgency
like naked bald-hydras morgue

between Santiago and Lima
where desert sands are voiceless.

What is different between us
is the intensity of our attraction.

Oh, how many nooses
I've stretch around the necks of gigolos

at cul-de-sac social clubs
where cellos moan

and mouths wilt as I listen
to tangos and pick up sugar

dropped on the table
trying to ignore the blood
on my recently buffed shoes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Family Days


On Family Days


You don’t try hard enough, she’d say.
All the while, his thoughts grow increasingly gray. 
She can’t smell the fear he inhabits,

a macabre work of art from which he comes and goes,
the run of wind at a deserted murder scene. 
She forgets, as he forgets, control

will arrive soon enough,
and that brachiated spectacle of blame
and praise will dissipate

like hurricanes dispel after they touch land. 
They’ll both be left wondering about the pieces
of debris, the river’s current,

and how much to fix of whatever comes undone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

haiku


we stand shoulder
to shoulder at the wake…
days of long rain

Quilts, Flags, and other Wrappings


Quilts, Flags, and other Wrappings


I started the quilt
when the only reminder
of civility I had was a stuffed doll
whose button eyes fell off.

Sewed while bathing
under the moon’s eclipse
and watched you throw my porcelain spoons—
a collection of gifts, against the wall.

I stopped stitching
when you drove that bulldozer
in sight of all those present

at Jose's welfare funeral
just because he was gay and my friend.
I glared at the tangled patches of quilt
as they threw me into a paddy wagon
took me to jail for protesting
that unwinnable war.

I climbed into bed even as Allen lay
covered with Kaposi’s sarcoma
to calm both our fears, his and mine.

Studied you when a signature
to keep your only brother
        from becoming homeless
made you shudder
at the funeral expense if he died
while the blotch of endearment you gave him
was still warm on that piece
of white insignificance.

Then I added the names.

Mr. Morris


Mr. Morris


Mr. Morris was a tenant
in my house, and a friend.
He wore the night
on his skin, a panther
copiously sprinkled with stars
draped in spider webs.
After a long day's work
he’d sit by the phone
in the kitchen
and counsel dying men
I’d never see.
When the virus spread
and independent living
was no longer an option
he wouldn’t complain, show fear
or pain, even when I’d rush him
to the emergency room.
It was in a sweat lodge with Mr. Morris
that my feathers dropped as he rose
above the cornfield like a vision. 

Lucas


Lucas


We met one last time
before his corpse was washed. 

I couldn’t get past the odor
of medicine, the skin and bones talking
from the wheelchair stopped me cold. 

Lucas?  Lucas… I didn’t recognize
the proud man I once knew.
He said: Come, give me a hug. 
I held on to a chair worried
I’d faint, but I couldn’t betray
the hope invested in an embrace.

He found substance
in the gathering of friends.
I know because I am acquainted 
with my sins, and all the ways
my fears have killed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

haiku


our Sunday feast
at the water’s edge
autumn evening

Dead Willow


Dead Willow


[There is a straw mattress
full of bedbugs under the dead willow,
where the tears of every whore
in town are as open as red hibiscus.
It is the only place left to wait.]

We went our separate ways,
but when I reached the train tracks
I picked up a few rocks to throw
at the racemes of trouble hanging
in the meadow orchard ahead.

My feet, undefined wanderings
of a bite, were in pain
as I suspect they will continue
to be until my time spills over.

I knew there was a mystic
in the ordinary—(à la Rilke) that would carry me
(Oh Orpheus sings!  Oh tall tree in the ear!)
through the rest of the day,
like that first cup of coffee,
or a prayer said in the
distant past.

Haiku


he listen’s
to bamboo creaking overhead
harvest moon

Snorting Through His Ass


Snorting Through His Ass

He is a medical student on his way to Spain
with his intestines full of plastic bags
containing cocaine.  He is so good-looking,
un sol that thought about little else except his cut. 
School became unimportant, la familia didn’t matter.
There was nothing he could foresee, not even the possible
prison term in a Spanish jail: that is not going to happen. 
There will not be any consequences if I keep calm,
cool, and collected.  

But things don’t always work-out
as planned and the beads of sweat are a dead giveaway
after a six hour plane ride with your ass stuffed. 
Then the “what if” one of those bags ruptures before
you pass Customs and you start feeling cold.  Your heart
begins to race, suddenly you’re sweating profusely
and everything is turning around at 60 miles an hour.
You know you’re going to need a hospital, but mother
doesn’t know where you are and you’ve arrived
with a quarter of a kilo getting sucked by your intestines.
So he starts talking, begs for an ambulance
even if his medical career is over.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

haiku


morning news:
child hit by a stray bullet…
head wreath and veils

My Palace in the Shade


My Palace in the Shade


I’ve spoken to my hands before,
whenever I’ve had visions

of Hitler in hell with a hose up his rectum;
my laugh reaches new limits.

Why—peeping through Hoffman’s camera—am I 
more alive alone now than when I am with another man?

I know people have nightmares about blood,
if not blood, roots.  It’s an excuse

to keep dying, or ask for the time.  My palace
in the shade is full of books packed with questions. 

Is the law, cops rubbing their eyes, and its curvature,
an American sentence?  Does it have the right
syllable count?

Is it true doves demand they be allowed
to go to war in heaven?

I’ve become a saint.  My grace has
a catheter in its nadir.

poem


head wreath and veils
child hit by a stray bullet...
morning news

Saturday, September 24, 2011

wet stones


wet stones



no one understands him as I do
i hear fervid winds in the stillness of his hands

no one rubbed my narrow walls as he did 
we danced to death's song without any recollection of another life

i claim two sighs and a large garland 
but if he's never to return we'll drown this grief together 

wet stones
orbiting restless echoes in a drop of rain

What I Recall of Madness


What I Recall of Madness

there were wheels, and they spun with a roar
there were sparse, but crucial moments of masochism  
those made me want to end the journey with a surprise
there were blue skies, and lapses of memory
those felt like trickles of light disappearing
there were substitutes for affection
but they made me round and ordinary

there  was medication, but it never seemed 
to be enough

Haiku


blown against one another...
the color of the sky
in autumn

Friday, September 23, 2011

poem


blown against one another... 
blue, the color of the sky?

at the beach


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hiaga

deleted

Monday, September 19, 2011

dragonfly haiga


dragonfly haiga, originally uploaded by saore2010.

Autumn twilight


Posted by Picasa

Haiku


autumn twilight... 
crossing the river 
stone by stone 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

haiga


Posted by Picasa

haiku


morning raga—
who would listen to a sparrow
chant a Ghazal 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Haiku


autumn rain
I collect my feelings
and turn the page

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


roflbot picture, originally uploaded by saore2010.
This is a haiku

Haiku


Posted by Picasa

haiku


wild flowers 
begin to wither—
crying quails 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

photo


Posted by Picasa

haiku


empty cemetery
junk-shop seraphs safeguard
the coke cans

Monday, September 12, 2011

haiku


jugando 
alrededor de tu tumba 
para luego llorar

haiku



vacant sky— 
a cemetery angel looks 
after the pebbles

Friday, September 09, 2011

haiku


barefoot
crossing the river
stone by stone

haiku


summer night
rain and silence
deepen 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Haiku

deleted

Sunday, September 04, 2011

haiku


pizza delivery...
he knocks on my door
just about now

Friday, September 02, 2011

Skylark


Skylark

She waits for the early morning mist
to cover the valley— the flower of tranquility.
Her arms full of a timid light weight down
the air as the western stars begin to fade
into a trail of broken hearts.

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About Me

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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.

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