Showing posts from 2009
© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009


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

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
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. Available at Lulu Flutter Press

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

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

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


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

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 escr


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


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

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.

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 aske

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

This is the song that best describes my life experience

I love this song!!

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

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


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 Publi

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


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


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 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 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

Tanka- Jump in Water

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

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


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

For Michael Jackson

encore the King of Pop's blazing moon dance © Sergio A. Ortiz 2009 June 25


el silencio no murmura... grita... penumbras © Sergio A. Ortiz 2009


penumbra sobre los sahuaros bosque de espinas viejas © Sergio A. Ortiz 2009


lindero coqui al otro lado del charco © Sergio A. Ortiz 2009


coqui salta el charco jibaro exilado © Sergio A. Ortiz 2009