Saturday, August 29, 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,

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Postcards to Willie Perdomo: November 29, 2008

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.

“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.

“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.

“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. Don’t lie.

Wanting to drink a cup of coffee with you
reading me Ginsberg, Cimic, and Julia.
tuyo para siempre

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008 first Published in Rust and Moth

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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 asked me how I got interested in cooking. I told her it was because of my grandmother. She was a great cook and I was always in the kitchen helping her.

The movie was excellent.  Meryl Streep is the best living actor of this century. It showed a woman with the determination of a bear. I remember Ms Child telling us we had to love cooking or we would be on our way out of the business in two to six years. She was right. After about two years I started teaching French cuisine and by the end of another six years I was out of the business. Eight years, the last two I knew I would not be cooking for the rest of my life. If you’ve got a chance to go see the movie, don’t miss it. Meryl Streep is fantastic in it, as are all the other actors in the movie. It’s great!

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Haiku - Remembering Woodstock

stone aging
Cheech & Chong

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

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