Saturday, December 31, 2011

haiku


old calendar… 
a museum of Mayan 
tapestries 

Your Name


Your Name

It is time
for me to crack open
my skull,
see what’s inside,
invent a new way of looking at things. 
I know I am dying
but why should that make
a difference?
People die one day at a time.

I shall build a house
that will stand forever,
with a smile folding at the corner
of my mouth, and a star sitting
on my tongue
like a stone around which
your name blossoms
distorted

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Haiku


old calendar …
I let the dead sleep
as they deserve

Sunday, December 18, 2011

For the days when the lights switch on and off by themselves


For the days when the lights switch on and off by themselves

and all the voice messages are from enemies
or other people
Only the good old days
lie
between verses
we have already written
For the fruit of fear in each December
Will this be the year
earth refuses
to forgive us with a blush of green
For the assumptions
of next winter’s chill
and for the quiet days in between
Your face mingled
in the poinsettias
after a brief rain  

haiku


waning moon
trying to touch
what matters

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On my Bed Thinking About You


On my Bed Thinking About You


If I could touch
without hurting you
I would run all the way to the river
and back. 
But nothing has changed.

You are voiceless,
crouched
in some long-forgotten childhood
hiding place,
a dark jungle where every tree
looks like every other tree.

I long for your scent,
your knees pushing against
my thighs,
but what is asked for is often destroyed
by the very words that seek it.

My bed is a fossilized prison
where I learn to make love to you forever.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

haiku


window shopping…
the conversations we won’t 
be having

Haiku


shrouded moon— 
feeding a chicken 
to the boa

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eulogy


Eulogy
For Yorelys

Beaten, raped, and murdered,
our child lies in a coffin
brutally deserted.
What monsters with nightmares
hidden in their eyes
do things like this?

Neither day nor night
can heal her now.
Soon the heat will fuse
her lurid eyes 
to diamonds
her sullen tongue
to quartz.  

Then she will fly
and never bleed again. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ghost



Ghost 


A dark jungle, 
looking like a dark jungle,
is where I am never quite myself.
I don't want to trip 
over its silence.


I don’t want a life apart 
from the pain I conceal 
from portions of myself,
from your voice crying 
to someone else 
come play in the rain, love.
This is not the same summer rain.


Our first season of separation
I counted dead roses 
in the back yard.
I didn't write our names on the mailbox.
You couldn't listen to my dreams.
I couldn't question yours.


The scars are there. 
I don’t know how many years I spent 
trying to forget, afraid of how many years 
I spend trying to remember.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Haiku


twilight— 
a hawk builds its nest 
in a windy place

Thursday, December 08, 2011

haiku


new year’s morning...

the hawk builds its nest 
in a windy place



Seasoning


Seasoning

My eyes are rehearsing
for when the winter solstice ends.
As the light wanes I see
what I thought was reluctance covering
my face.  I want to expand
every moment into an emotional chemistry
that includes the smell and texture of
every lover I’ve had.
But the solstice is ending,
old recalled lovers who look
like glasswing butterflies
stretched across other summers
find the pot of gold at the end
of my rainbow.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Litany for Survival



A Litany for Survival
For A.L.


An elephant walked into my bedroom
reciting a litany for survival  
She spoke about her brown mother
and sister having died too many deaths
that were not their own 
She spoke about redemption
and a new religion
She spoke about winter people
taking off their blood masks
and monuments for the children of war
She spoke about hunger and blind feet
trying to find their way to the sun
She spoke about a greedy black unicorn
that was not free
She spoke about having two faces
and a frying pan to cook up her daughters
She spoke about two men with stone eyes
making love in the hallway
they were lying like felled maple
Soon the hallway was covered
with these beggars
and I couldn’t pass over them
Perhaps I wasn't meant to survive

Monday, December 05, 2011

Caetano Veloso


Published Haiku



fading light…
the steady thrum of rain
on the windows




plowed earth…
bullet-riddled boys
littering the streets






vacant sky—
a graveyard angel rising
above the pebbles




hurricane season…
the severed branches
still green




autumn rain...
I collect my thoughts
and turn a page




moonlight moiré …
autumn waves foam
on the sand




shoulder to shoulder
we stand at his wake...
autumn rain




boarding windows
the hurricane moves closer
to my island




autumn twilight...
crossing the river
stone by stone




sloping hills
now and then
a crow caws

Sunday, December 04, 2011

At the End of Night


At the End of Night

I exist
to be conquered
I, set against all other I’s,
even nature, am a stillborn
poem taken out
of  my mother’s pain. 
Once I was immortal
beside the sea
condemned to endless mornings,
empty of the knowledge
of manmade rituals
until out of my mouth that knows
came the shape I was seeking
for reason.  
Now I am lost among 
the stiff trees.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Haiku



autumn deepens …
the taste of rain
and sunset

Friday, December 02, 2011

To the Survival of Lizards


To the Survival of Lizards

Call me
Narcissus for I complain
of being lonely
call me what I miss
whatever it is
call me lizard and arrogant  
nightmare on your blood moon
your itch to destroy
the indestructible
faces of important men.

Call me diseased
with problems of original sin
because of my worries
call me your myth of father
and son
your determination
in the most conceited image
within me
for I am you
in your most moral
assumptions
scuttling through the cracks
created to admit me
in your living rooms
my honor
comes with your hate
by imitation
and your refusal
to live on.

Haiku


red moon 
summer falling away 
from the trees

Thursday, December 01, 2011

That Side of a Shade of Sorrow


That Side of a Shade of Sorrow


My daily crucifixion
is to be alone.  
My voice has that side of a shade
of sorrow,
it is calcified.  Perhaps from the anger
of both
my father and I. 
I dream incessantly
about us working in unison,
but my dreams
eventually turn into nightmares. 
I just realized
my home
is not his house
I am free to come
and go as I please.  The altar
has fallen,
and I shall learn to conquer yes.  
I never loved you,
so free me
quickly
before I destroy us.

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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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