Friday, July 21, 2017



The one who puts another sore
on ulcerated shadows in ruin

who throws arrows at unseen bodies
the one who discovers the path

beating in the palm of their hand
―a design without Oracle

who sits in silence
to listen to the song of birds

and manages to understand the word
with which all fears are written, 

never dies.

What generation is this where shadows feed
the ruins of hungry bodies

and silhouettes rush to embrace 
what comes undone like steam 

where rails conjure up the memory 
of fallen torsos 

and the homeless know 
the ritual of cramming 

into their eyes the shape 
of misbegotten faces?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



Photography has no other task
-shows the void where no one 
molts their skin

Words lit the Oracle 
that no one beckoned
and the street inhabited 
the elusive passage 

Someone left us 
the wrong amulet
and left

In the mirror
my shadow creates 
another shadow

All the loneliness of mankind
in the latter act



carry the shadows 
that break the voice in stones
the loneliness of pens
ink's void

Men hang their mouths 
on oil-free streetlights
with the knot 
that tie's their shoes 
to extinction

Mute word

who knows more
than the taciturn?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ephemeral Hatchling

Ephemeral Hatchling

A bird lands on my garden.
I know thanks
to the discontinuous
pixel movements of its brief
leaps on the grass.
It rummages for supplies
with its childlike beak
between the tiny leaves
on the ground.

The grass, I tell myself, the grass
is where the food is hidden.

I'm about to decipher this mystery,
it’s like the poetic breathe that precedes it.
Always something violent, the breeze
blowing stronger, or the very sensitivity 
of the hatchling
sensing my garden is: a non-garden
a wasteland
a fiction
a reduced green apparition
in the courtyard of the house.

When just like that, the bird flaps,
flits― drawing pixels like it arrived,
and disappears.

Then the house faces
the reality of its troublesome stay.
The common every day trappings
feel enlightened
as if its ephemeral presence
provided them with fleeting certainties
and endless senses.

Burned Memoirs

Burned Memoirs

I've kept them for so long
they smell like scandal.
One after another
they rhapsodized our days
with unimaginable desires,
forbidden wines
that never ripened
poured on the dregs.

Burned in the backyard
they no longer mean anything
only the coal of years
or perhaps your fruit, supposed nest
of tenderness, barely the blade
of a paper flag
blackened by polluted winds.

The photographs responsible
for the ferocity of earth
multiply inside my memory
like your skin once agitated
my breathe.

You're nothing, I'm nothing,
this never happened
and for the time being
the always treacherous memory
will be our dubious shore.

Thursday, July 13, 2017



He gave me
a handmade box

with floral motifs
and four voodoo pins

inside, four tiny children
nailed to my body.

He said: I'm yours
even if required to prick

the bolt between my legs
and that viscera, the heart.

Pessimistic butterflies flew.
I heard their flapping, and

in the shadows. The snap
of a non-existent tongue.

Point of No Return

A dart points at him
from the corner of its eye

his aftershave gives the afternoon
a senseless titillation.

A kiss hangs on a thread
of that invisible line drawn in the air

like the flight of an insect.
Can that faraway flash of the lips,

those bits of ardor in words
be called kisses?

Time passes beyond the two men,
the point zero of love.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Let’s Sail Together

Let’s Sail Together

There are footprints that persist
in the fertile land of silence

and oblivion capsizes
between luminescences

sunrise gathering
on the skin. It was mine,

the dance you denied.
There are dreams

that should never be tossed
into the current or doubt.

We will sail together. Our vessel
can never be sunk.

The Things We Draw on Maps

The Things We Draw on Maps

There are men who write
where men don’t speak

peaceful revolts
which overthrow bloodthirsty kings

business men who give undeserved gifts
music in the middle of a battlefield

strawberries in the woods
people who meet & understand each other

amazing triumphs of love with no strings attached
There are small precarious paradises

along the path we walk
on the shore of a wild monstrous sea

where it smells like grilled fish
& festive laughter

where we play without rules and balance
in unison on large red hammocks

where we embrace & lose track of time.

Where we forget with cheerful vehemence.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The flood

The flood

stopped after nineteen days.
Men emerged from mud.

Built their houses
on vigorous trees

they later called
The Tree of Life.

That's how they worked.
We, chastened crows,

wait for the sun
to solidify the earth.



He arrived from Lebanon
ready to repair and sell carpets.
Gold and ruby fibers
put the mystery of time to rest.

He doesn't know
the twentieth century
will part like a blizzard,
same as every other.

When night barges in
without hands
ticking won't be necessary
and magical mango trees,
will shed the light 
of a lost recollection.

Blood says nothing
of his Maronite prayers
or of his grief in an old
Kobayat alley
where he scattered
his childhood.

But a longing for an Arabic
call to prayer is rare.

3 Poems up at The Basil O' Flaherty

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mr. Man's Man

Mr. Man’s Man

One day I'll know you’re not eternal
and that you don't exhale lavender,

that your sweat isn't honey. I'll learn
your hands don't shape my world,

your laughter doesn’t own my hours.
I'll undergo the loneliness of stars,

the impotence of the sea before the moon.
That’ll be the day my sunsets end.

Martini Barhop

Martini Barhop  

Did you like Waiting for Godot?                 I didn't get it. That guy, what was his                                                                        name?
Godot, baby, Godot.                                    Yeah him, he never showed up.

That's what it's all about. Most people don't understand. Tell your friends at the law firm that you saw it. It'll give you status.

            Let's get a drink.

It is two in the morning.                               You know I have insomnia.
That guy, why didn’t he show up?
Forget it, let's get a drink.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


Poem Up at AMARYLLIS: Piece of My Heart

Piece of My Heart

Ms. Joplin
your voice rips apart
my face, my tie― the mark
of all hanged men.

My remains roll on the ground
and the edge of your voice
blows my Monday into pieces.

I have the hunger of the employee
staring with contempt at the image
of his face in the glass door.

My hunger, a factory of anxieties,
its certainties, is convinced
that nothing will improve,
that this flagship raised during youth
will also sink. My last refuge
will have to be the skin
or the solitary bottle of whisky.

Janis, your voice is a knife
vibrating in the throat of pain.

But now

I have come to the place where
little masters live
and I hurry to annihilate the desire
of damning all to hell.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

sentry - Somonka (two tankas)


nowhere left to look
the rain cleared the way
no dream with open doors
      the only devotee  

outside, night strolls 
on its high heels
I lie in wait of myself
the hours trip 
on what I never say

Spring Birth

Spring Birth

Born in March,
I was never baptized, my parents
decided I should decide for myself.
Grew up in a Wesleyan school.
I have recited Our Father Who
so many times I'm dumb. I don't miss 
the uniform, the ties, or the chemistry teacher.
Now I almost never pray.

I liked not being popular.
But I've had more than five good friends.
Raised in an exclusive neighborhood
of an inclusive city on rice-beans
and pork chops. The first grandchild,
nephew, son. I was, as expected, 

My grandfather was a poet and a journalist.
Grandma hid his manuscripts, 
but I read his poems in secret.
Enjoyed my family, 
although I told them little of my life.

Collected the songs of Felipe Pirela.
Discovered love at twenty, wept for the love 
at twenty-six, confused it with lust 
and transformed it into 
a good many farewells at forty.

True, the best shags are not 
those one-night stands.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Poem Up at Door is a Jar Magazine

Poem Up at Excavation lit journal

Poem Up at Excavation Lit journal, Toilets, I'm so glad this poem finally got published.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

PIN Quarterly Journal just published two of my poems. This is a Nigerian literary journal and I love it!

PIN Quarterly Journal just published two of my poems. This is a Nigerian publication, and I love it!

The poems are: Bare Embers, a gay erotica poem ( breaking ground, since I hear there is a 14 year prison sentence for being gay in Nigeria)
and There Were Windy Street, an anti-Syrian war poem dedicated to the Syrian children.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Canine shadow

Canine shadow

bleeding gargoyles      canine pluslachrymal
amid bastard                contraplayful rubs
of my very absent       margins
Nymphomaniac hawk             with ululation hounding
predream                     hymens.
Viable delucid             canine shadow penumbra
riddled by interrogating          red harpoon cocks,
deep gray ivy              cockeyed weary guest
inside the wrong         apartment.

Poem Up at Psaltery & Lyre

Poem Up at Psaltery & Lyre



Urban Apparition

He emerged
from the underground,
or was it the sky?
Injured by the noise,
motionless, silent,
badly wounded.
Kneeling between
the afternoon
& the inevitable,
veins attached
to horror, the asphalt.
Holy eyes sagging,
completely naked
almost blue, that’s
how white he was.
His bare skin
a nectar petal,
a bipanel chest
of soft full moon,
such echo of my echo,
fuck beats and tides.
Give me your balaa.

*balaa - means “calamity/distress/trial/misfortune” in English



I'm still alone, following myself
& the following,
in another self-engrossed
empty mud pile
on neurdead paths.
Opium hours, chase me
with so many other beautiful seashells 
& erocrazy conchs, 
fleeting deaths, absent memories,
other greasy oozes, constructs that oppose me
while I follow myself & the following,
superfollow myself
from one end to the other
ardently, without being with myself
or the other.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Poem Up at PPP (Poetry Poetics Pleasure) Ezine

Poem Up at PPP Ezine Vol. 1 



Tired? Yes, I'm tired of two lips,
twenty fingers, & don't know
how many words. Of fragmented
grayish memories.

Worn-out of this old
modest skeleton so chaste
that when it undresses
I won't know if they're the same
bones used while living.

Drained of lacking feelers,
of not having one eye
on each shoulder blade
& an authentic cheerful tail.
Of this degenerate
hypocritical little ass.

But above all,
weary of being with myself
when the dream ends.
Me, with the same nose and legs
like I don't want to wait for the shoal
in my beach complexion,
offering the dew two magnolia breasts,
caressing earth with my caterpillar belly.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Poem Up at Helen, A Literary Magazine

One of my poems Up at "Helen, A Literary Magazine,"  The House Without Verandas,  and it has a video.

Opus 69

 Opus 69

The beginning 
should have been this

two bodies devouring each other

empty abdomens consumed by fire
devoted to the explosion 
of love & desire

There is a straight inevitable road
leading to the hollow of a dark 
warm mouth 
in which we can disappear 

Love is also that 
a return to the beginning
where we burn with lust 

before turning into stardust

Thursday, June 29, 2017


                after looking at a painting of Remedios Varo

What delirious dream drew your yellow figure,
winged bull, feminine face, horse legs, sad look and mustache
you rise lost in a limbo created by you
expelled from your house, the second in the zodiacal path
away from your earth element
you cross with visible resignation the constellations of the canvas
and there is not enough space for you in catalogs and scholarly classifications
there are no phrases that translate your drama using other phrases
because the astral loneliness that you inhabit is only yours
you come to me with an ignited arrow narrowly missing my eyes
you come from the pit of the past, a dark bird carrying charcoal wounds in its beak
you talk to me about the internal scorch that crying leaves
the tedium that engulfs us for several days making it impossible to speak to others
the links found between the departure of the man I loved (also Taurus)
and your pathetic sovereignty in the void
the memory that moves away slowly like a beggar tired of alms
somehow all this abandened you at last
and blood nebula finally covers your body.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Then there is you

Then there is you
―contained noise,
acrobatic. I fell,
you hurt. I oscillated,
you healed.

Piece of My Heart

Piece of my Heart 

Ms. Joplin,
your rips apart 
my face, my tie ― the mark 
of all hanged men.

My remains roll on the ground
and the edge of your voice
blows my Monday into pieces.

I have the hunger of the employee 
staring with contempt at the image 
of his face in the glass door.

My hunger, a factory of anxieties,
the certainties, is convinced
that nothing will improve,
that this flagship raised during youth
will also sink. My last refuge 
will have to be the skin 
or the solitary bottle of whisky.

Janis, your voice is a knife
vibrating in the throat of pain.

But now

I have come to the place where 
little masters live
and I hurry to annihilate the desire 
of damning all to hell.


You Can’t Trick the Moon

You've wanted to enumerate
every particle of dust, every layer
of sadness, number every blow delivered
by frustration, every trick to fool the noon
that cut your figure in half in its shadow.

But you can't, so you bring your hand
to your head, discover that in that survey
there's an image of yourself. It surprises you
that in its contours & distance ―barely
in its shadow― you still recognize yourself.

Something stops you now. You said too much
& it got you into trouble. The shadow & old pain
that kept you awake shelter your feelings
of revenge. You can't go forward like you want.
The desert you presume to remember is extensive.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Toilets - revised

I’m in love
with a homeless man.

we’ve got a lot in common,
lawyers            politicians

We have heated discussions
about the face fucking
activity in D. C. toilets.

But when he grabs
my dick
& licks my nipples
it’s just me & him.

Monday, June 26, 2017



Me, teacher of the hours of misery, 
unemployed vagabond standing
in front of the carports
of the future, hero & pedestrian 
of instants and surprises.

I await prayers 
of chance & feelings
of thirst, needles in my back
Today, I pretend to choose 
my granted life.

I’m full of vulgar feelings
when I look at hentai, pornography.
I live in a time without shine 
where original art 
is placed in candy wrappers 
& cigar boxes. 

My race has nothing to do 
with being vulgar. 
In this, all races equal me.

Sunday, June 25, 2017



Sometimes I dream I'm on the moon
I do not know how I got there
but I know I'm dreaming

Other times my speech is involuntary
as if I were talking to frogs
as if trees listen & murmur 
my pale secret thoughts

Sometimes I stop thinking 
stop encouraging myself, but I'm not sad
or afflicted or extinguished
I'm just pensive, desiring to dream 
the lives of others, those who dream 
about birds or goldfish

That's why I write my fatigue
& the color of laughter,
steal a little life from night
& not let silence sleep

Sometimes everything changes 
from noon to evening
or one month to the other year
& although it sounds cheesy
when three or more of these things happen

the only thing that does not change
in that butterfly & black ant dream
is the unexpected instant I find light
in the cruel red wasp of your vission

Saturday, June 24, 2017

24-Hour Walkathon

24-Hour Walkathon

Venerate thorns 
along your journey 

Hike without ever 
turning back 

Scramble to find 
the core of censorship

Tie truth around the 
neck or forehead

Drown lies 
in five glasses of water

Advocate for those 
who walk behind you 

Remember streets
have eyes & ears

They’re skilled assassins
invisible to people

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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.