Monday, December 30, 2013

my mother 
passed away that March—
a loon 
followed me down 
the curved river road

Friday, December 27, 2013

little blue mirror
naked white river face
that turns black
when night seeps
into your bed

Monday, December 23, 2013

Where do children play?

Where do children play?


Their names carved in the keel
of the vessel in which they travel;
their margins, our boundaries,
their songs, pushed to the center
of what matters in our fallible and
sensitive lives, seeking responses
to the unknown.  Position yourselves
next to the mystery of their music.
Where do children play?
In time . . . that abstract glimmer
that does not bond to anything; 
the school of a submissive homeland?

Para los maestros Puertorriqueños en su lucha por un retiro digno.





¿Dónde jugarán los niños?


Sus nombres labrados en la quilla
de la nave en que viajan.
Sus márgenes, orlas de un confín.
Sus canciones, clavadas al centro
de lo que importa en nuestras falibles y
minúsculas vidas, en busca de respuestas
frente a lo desconocido. Ubícate al lado
del misterio de su música.
¿Dónde jugarán los niños?
¿En el tiempo, fulgor abstracto,
inasible? ¿En la patria sumisa?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Poem for Uganda: Our Wealth

A Poem for Uganda:  Our Wealth


It is now illegal to be a homosexual in Uganda.   We went underground to escape the mist of colonialism.  I take off your shirt to tattoo a prism, a machine gun, and a dove dripping blood from its heart.  


be a rainbow
in the gale of life
free
of heavily-lidded eyes
on the battlefield


“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”* Do not answer that middle-of-the-night-knocking at your door without resistance.  We are no longer children of the half-light.


artless fog
man-on-man smithereens
in a moment 
black-on-black blemish
without a purpose



·         John F. Kennedy



Saturday, December 21, 2013

cold air
fills the city
spring is at the end
of a line where lovers search
for joy like peacocks 

Published in The NeverEnding Story

http://neverendingstoryhaikutanka.blogspot.com/

One Man's Maple Moon: Map Tanka by Sergio Ortiz
English Original

if my life were a map
it would be one of a man
in the snow…      
picking mushrooms
at the edge of dread

Lynx, 28:2, June 2013

Sergio Ortiz


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

如果我的生命是一張地圖
它將是一個男人
在雪地裡 ...
在恐懼的邊緣
採蘑菇

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

如果我的生命是一张地图
它将是一个男人
在雪地里 ...
在恐惧的边缘
采蘑菇
never mind
the sting of winter solstice
warm-blooded love
we felt it on the divan
and in the ballroom

Friday, December 20, 2013

Published in the second issue of BAMBOO HUT

an hour’s length
in our noisy city starts
with sadness
and leaves in its wake

Thursday, December 19, 2013

a heron,
bluer than the lips
of Lazarus,
awakens to the harsh cry
of a jealous sea

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I dance on my heart
when stars are spaced
so far apart
that doors opened to lovers
close around them like a book 

Monday, December 16, 2013

accepted for a competition

The poem was accepted for a competition and had to be taken down.  Sorry!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Náutico

Náutico


escarcha
que no se desprende
de mis manos—
entre flor y canto,
rosa y viento, logramos vivir

sonámbulo
existiendo en ambos lados
de una frontera—
las primeras campanadas al alba
en una aldea silenciosa

siempre me halle
en el limbo de las palabras perdidas
el murmullo
cimbró la tierra insular
y fui aires del pasado

que descienden
a nuestras zonas dolorosas
colocando a un lado
la miseria,
la ternura y la violencia

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Woolies and Soweto Gospel Choir: Madiba Tribute



Asimbonanga (We have not seen him)
Asimbonang' uMandela thina (We have not seen Mandela)
Laph'ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph'ehleli khona (In the place where he is kept)

Oh the sea is cold and the sky is grey
Look across the Island into the Bay
We are all islands till comes the day
We cross the burning water

Chorus....

A seagull wings across the sea
Broken silence is what I dream
Who has the words to close the distance
Between you and me

Chorus....

Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge
Neil Aggett
Asimbonanga
Asimbonang 'umfowethu thina (we have not seen our brother)
Laph'ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph'wafela khona (In the place where he died)
Hey wena (Hey you!)
Hey wena nawe (Hey you and you as well)
Siyofika nini la' siyakhona (When will we arrive at our destination)

tanka

held in ice
as dancers in a spell
leaves that fell
on frozen over lakes—
New-year bells bicker with the snow

tanka

watching him sleep
in long alleys over a wild
solitude
I assume I’ve discovered
the secret of life

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

he soiled
his bushy muse
with sequins—
he ordered in a trick
and called it dial-a-dick

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

we empty
the dark in the dark . . .
somehow
someone finds by mistake
a need fulfilled

Monday, December 09, 2013

he knew
how to touch fire
and leave
unharmed . . . I knew
how to open every door

Sunday, December 08, 2013

we have rituals
of regret, boys sent back
home in body bags . . .
we lie down in meadows
and leave behind their corpses

Saturday, December 07, 2013

wordless  
as the flight of birds
endless streams
and mountains—

Mandela

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mandela 1918-2013

a quiet exit
free 
Nelson Mandela—
from a prison rock quarry
to the presidential suite 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

tanka

Sergio Ortiz

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Me publican en Mexico

Me publicaron unas poesías en una revista literaria Mexicana;  CUADRIVIO


http://cuadrivio.net/2013/08/naufrago-de-sombras/


Tu sexo


Extraño tu sexo ciñéndose
a mi lengua.

Amo tu racimo de sudores
olvidados,

la gota de coñac que resbala
por tu muslo
con la indiferencia de una nube
que se aleja.

Amo tus claras humedades:
las de tu esperma tramposa
las de tus ojos lacrimosos.

Mi silencio con sus fauces
te rodea.

Monday, December 02, 2013

tanka

I trust that horses
run through vast canyons
though I watch
through the window
with small flutters of fear

Friday, November 29, 2013

tanka

deceived,
once again misled—
it’s the pain
of loving someone
who doesn’t want you back

Thursday, November 28, 2013

tanka

crickets
and dragonflies—
the sage
ask that you understand

there is a beast within you

tanka

touched
by water, a spring...
touched blindly
to dress his wound,
the injury of being

Cuando ya no contestas mis llamadas

Cuando ya no contestas mis llamadas


Al final
tu cuerpo
se apodera
de la memoria.

De una mente
que no existe
no hay nada
que confiscar.

Tristeza

Tristeza

Se funde la luz de tu vida
sin embargo esto no es una plegaria
ni un reclamo de herencia
no consigue ser ni una disculpa, tampoco es un adiós
la casa que me arrancaron sigue viva—


visitada devotamente por sus muertos.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

tanka

page after
page of blank torsos
longing—
even the weathervanes
look happy

Shadows

Shadows


unusual bird
furious to free himself
from his hatred
of moral negligence—
he’ll drift home quietly

his ghost
will darken soon enough
and loom
through new snow,
he’ll sit down alone by the river

whittling a root
he’ll say nothing
as the waters
flow—just think, think
of his wedding day

Sunday, November 24, 2013

tanka



I had surgery on Friday.  Today I wrote this tanka,  it has been changed into a tanka sequence.  It was accepted for publication.  I was thrilled.


Coming Out


shrouded in mist
I wear a torn place
on my sleeve —
turning like a mirror
on a string

a key
in a lock,
I have
no more tongue
than a wound

beads
of an abacus—
the shed skin
of a snake remembers
what it once held

calculating
all the ways I numbed myself
casting minute
after minute into the wind . . .
taking off the mask

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

tanka



the past 
had its magic . . .
its silent, 
yet crowded, shore of ships 
whose freight was everything

Monday, November 18, 2013

tanka

he reeks
of the grave—
a terror
more barbarous than

the hiccups of a dying dog

Friday, November 15, 2013

Caminé

Caminé
para Abniel Marat

Quiero corroer los busques
que desataron la lluvia
con vientos mutilados
para bañarme de sal,
porque soy faro de lo indefinido
y traficó voces de ausencias,
murallas de esqueletos
que contrabandean libertad.

Mi tierra es un poema
que da sombra a los ilegales
pensamientos de una noche
perdida entre tu tiempo antillano, y
el sol lleno de cámaras transita
sobre mi piel como un fantasma
que reclama lo suyo con evidencia.

Caminé al frente de los ecos
de mi huida hacia un corazón
disfrazado de delirios teatrales
con mi historia arrugada y mi
amor negro bailando la intensidad
del jazz.  Recorrí tu cuerpo con mi sangre
revolucionaria dejando huellas
profundas sobre tus ojos color canela.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

tanka

desire falls 
across my body 
like cherry blossoms . . . 
never allowing the traffic 
to smother it with noise

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

tanka

how imprecise 
the smell of desire . . .
my solitude 
is the guise of unending 
repetition of a hanging 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

tanka

thirteen ways
of looking at a skylark . . .
after death
the poor have a better view,
as the dead cross over into song

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

tanka

now and then
a smell of grass
displaced
by fear—no sight,
no sound, no touch, or taste

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

tanka

burning alive
with mad devotion—
is it better 
to anticipate love 
or to age alone

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Nobility of Blood

Nobility of Blood


Dear Lord, this Thanksgiving
all the drug-lords promise
to thank you for AIDS, although
it has not made them transcend
into the 21st century. They are
still caught up in superficial things
like money, BMWs, and killing.
We thank you for tent evangelists,
brothers and sisters alike,
breeders of hate crimes,
that reject the perfect beauty
of homemade remedies
and blood transfusions.
Lord, forgive my arrogance
toward the medical community
and appoint faith healers
to pharmaceuticals. Dear God,
thank you for allowing me to live
on the periphery of society,
where nobody asks yet everybody
tells.  Thank you for the innocent
illusion of my open exhibitions
of affection toward Omar. Thank you
for the rapid spread of HIV 
in Africa, where water, food,
and medical supplies have always
been scarce or costly, where rape
and violence towards women
is beyond control, where children
have no choice but to fight
for brutal warlords, where life
and death no longer belong to You.
Somalia, have you learned to die?


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Me dejó atrás

Me dejó atrás—
Fue la distancia
de tu cadáver
que perforó un agujero
dónde estabas tú.

Fue el imaginarse
esa inimaginable travesía . . .
Mi Ulises
sin cuerpo
sin Ítaca.

Fue ese tácito clima
al que nos referimos cuando
no hay más voz
ni consuelo
en nuestra morada.

Fui yo
al no saber cuál cuerpo
tu tomaste
en mis sueños—
yo, deseando más que una visión.

Fue el no querer clausura,
una memoria sencilla,
el desvanecerse de tu voz,
tus ojos,

la calidez de tus brazos.

Friday, November 01, 2013

tanka

in the hallway of life
you were a bougainvillea
with no thorns . . .
I, the caretaker sweeping
away the fallen petals


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

su mantilla es
encaje de roble negro,
siempre
hay alguien llorando-
mi desnudo yo inflexible
the best part of me 
was always him . . . 
he's moved on 
yet I can't erase 
his face from the starlight 

tanka

in his eyes 
I found the best part of me... 
though he's gone 
I still see his gaze 
in the starlight

Monday, October 28, 2013

tanka

susurrando
mentiras a los muertos—
un jacinto
en la luz otoñal de la luna
ondea mi calma

Sunday, October 27, 2013

tanka

so many ways 
to avoid seeing how 
others suffer 
such wounded flesh... 
a bad moon on the rise

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party


Gambia. Alhaji, twenty-one and gay, had been planning his birthday
for months. The guest list carefully locked away; there was that real threat of
decapitation to consider. However, he could no longer find peace by avoiding
life.

how old is need,
how knotted are the corridors
of loneliness?
Imam, there is no angel
with an orange by my bed

His friends gathered by the poolside, each with his past shut in him like the
leaves of a book, eyeing the uninvited guest snapping photographs. 

freedom is a fire
that runs like a staircase
up then down—
my lover's lips the color
of soft-skin mangoes

tanka

for Alhaji, a 21-year-old gay man from Gambia

freedom is a fire 
that runs like a staircase 
up then down—
my lover's lips the color 
of soft-skin mangoes

Thursday, October 24, 2013

tanka

¿Cuán vieja es la penuria,
cuán anudado está el pasillo
de la soledad?
Monseñor, no hay un ángel

con una naranja en mi cama

tanka

coiled 
in each other's blood
they drive 
BMWs & sleek black 
luxury Audis...Caribbean slaves

tanka

used needles
and old skeins of yarn
a tangled tapestry...
madness
or a beginning


Monday, October 21, 2013

Canción Triste para un Adiós sin Remedio

Canción Triste para un Adiós sin Remedio


De la selva huyen cotorras
con las alas en llamas.
Le prendí fuego a la lluvia,
laceré la sol con mi navaja
para huir del tiempo
que agita tu piel como un látigo.

Hoy salvo mis abismos,
huyo del frio que agrieta
mis alas de mariposa
para no disgustarme
con la muerte.

Ahora los peces de tinta
preguntan por ti.
Dime, qué les digo.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sublevado

Sublevado


De que me sirven
tus abanicos rotos,
o el sudor del tiempo
licencioso, o tu espalda
en el ocaso de un abrazo.
De que me sirve la memoria
de tus ojos pardos, o el perfil
incendiado de tus labios tristes.
De que me valen tus pisadas
robustas de anhelos fértiles
e invisibles corrientes
en las aguas sin playas
que contienen las noches
frágiles de un sueño intenso.
De que me sirve la canción
para dormirte, o cien pozos
callados.  De que me vale
un “adiós” si todavía 
te veo arrancando
sombras en la playa
de mi histeria.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I look for him

I looked for him 
behind a line of trees-- 
our flesh 
with colors washed off at last 
opens to the rhymes of sex 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Envejezco entre sueños

Envejezco entre sueños
en los riachuelos.
Éste no es un país
para ancianos.

Cúmulo irrisorio
de partituras anticuadas,
aves cantando
sobre el árbol otoñal

la música sensorial
que todo ignora,
el abrigo andrajoso
sobre un bastón doblado.

Ustedes, adolecentes  
sabios, parados sobre
el fuego sagrado
de Dios, giren hacia mí,

sean los educadores
del canto de mi aliento.

  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

tanka

listen . . .
I'm more than what
you made of me—
you won’t find me trying 
to chase the devil

Monday, October 14, 2013

tanka

broken
by another wave
. . . I feel
the river shift,
the ink on a line

tanka

it started
in the foyer of dusk . . .
him folding
into me with auroras
in his eyes

Saturday, October 12, 2013

El Silencio

El Silencio


Desperté lo suficiente
como para verme
mirando hacia atrás...
Las cosas desechadas
para siempre
me seguían abrazando.
Muda imagen de cera
que emerge intacta
desde la distancia:
corazón, que ya no es mío,
tira la máscara,
deslízate hasta el fondo
de mi tristeza.
No me preguntes
cómo pasa el tiempo.

Published in Ink Sweat & Tears

http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/

Sometimes you touch my body and awaken it…


Sometimes
when I talk     you listen,
stripped of concepts,
and become air
and flight,
and when I am lost
to this world
you force me
to return with soft
streams of words.

Friday, October 11, 2013

tanka

down in the groove
I wear a ball and chain . . .
live
on the street
by a hurricane breeze

Thursday, October 10, 2013

tanka

he left me begging
for the thing most men have
below their belts . . .
looking out the window,
skywriting 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Los siguientes poemas fueron publicados Revista Literaria Baquiana

http://www.baquiana.com/Numero_LXXXV_LXXXVI/S_Po%C3%A9tica_V.htm#Sergio_Ortíz

LLEGAR CON LUZ

hilando fino y sin planear,
soltando amarras,
que los ardores de este cuerpo
me devoren,
allá yo,
allá voy,
allá…
Empezando a darme cuenta
que no siento nada
al escuchar tu nombre
pasearse como un reptil
sin cola
por mi diáfana mañana.
Eres despojo
de infancias, el intermedio
arbitrario de un pasado
cauterizado con la luz
del vientre
de mi madre.


SAL

Caes más allá de tu savia
como un pálido recuerdo
trocado en blasfemia
de lágrimas.
Y en ti mi corazón
es un círculo de fuego
que se torna en sal oscura
sobre tus playas.
Y soy naufrago de sombras,
sueños confusos que guardan
el recuerdo silencioso del agua.


AMANECIDA

Qué escuchas
me pregunto.
Has colmado de raíces
mis espacios,
urdiendo, exhalando
la melodía de mi hambre,
urdiendo, exhalando
la sed de mi piel.
Yo busco mi propia
habitación en este hotel
en ruinas.  Qué escuchas…
Sino la lluvia.


MI SOLEDAD

Calma mi soledad
con el placentero anonimato
de la muerte.

Alarga la vía de regreso
hacia el mar infinito
de mi infancia.

Camina despacio sobre el incendio
de un amanecer que detiene
todos los sonidos.

Oculta la palabra y sus sentidos
bajo el anzuelo desnudo
de tu mirada.

Ignora el temor del bañista
en el turbio eco de un océano
guiado por intuiciones de colores ahorcados.

Separa la noche con tu rostro de hambre
de la estéril lágrima
abandonada al descuido. 

Ay, mi soledad, tertulia insatisfecha,
acertijo de bastos para la ausencia
del lenguaje figurado.


HACIA ADENTRO

Llegaste a mi vida                                            
removiéndome el polvo
de los años,
inundando el corazón
de muelles.

Ahora el mutismo
es la fórmula de tu arrogante
orgullo, y tus surcos
enredan mis pasos.

*

Yo caminaba
a ciegas
sobre mi propia senda
ceñido en el misterio
de no ser hembra.

*

Mi isla abrió de nuevo
sus heridas
para hacerme ausencia
en tus palmeras.

¿Dónde está la muerte?
¿En qué agujero acompaña
al juego de luces de una vela?
No quiero este tiempo repetido,
ni el tímido silencio de una dalia.


CREPÚSCULO

Soy resplandor
de madrugadas fijas,
eco sin tiempo
que vuela al infinito.

Eres el seductor de mi reposo
que escala el acantilado
de mi geografía
donde todo se convierte
en fuego.

Raro que no nos sigan
vertientes de ríos negros.

(Será que el espejo se deshoja
como una emoción refinada
en tus manos…)

¡No hables! ¡Tu silencio
lo quiero salvaje!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Orpheus’s Death Published in Abramelin a Journal of Fine Poetry

http://thegiantgilamonsters.com/abramelin/

Orpheus’s Death


when I wrote
of men folding in their tight skins
like an apple—
apples swelling inside me—
it was a mask

when I wrote of a god
standing near the
window dancing—
it was a mask

there are no apples
filling my hunger,
no god folding
in his skin,
there is only the memory

of my self
torn at birth
by my own music

Sunday, October 06, 2013

tanka

the concert room
forged inside my brain 
hammers
a prelude of its own . . .
tree ferns frame the ocean view

Friday, October 04, 2013

tanka

alone
in the moonlight
a woman
rakes in the shallows. . .
her silence filled with wailing terns

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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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