Tuesday, April 30, 2013



what is a day
but the furnace of my eyes
walking and dying
through mirrors 
of blood—

poor men carry coffins
on their bare backs—

what is a day
but this unique way 
of breathing
saturated with the texture
of discarded silk…

only the dead
can afford to forgive

Thursday, April 25, 2013

By the Railroad Tracks

By the Railroad Tracks

that I met him in a bar
we went home together
to remember
the texture of the leaves
under the moonlight

that I saw him again
when sparrows fell
in the dark
of night, we memorized
the hum of cicadas

that I missed him
his ocean and its foam
against the sky
that there were sparks
behind my eyes

that the rain was driven,
driven into the ground
beside the broken barn
by the railroad tracks
next to the sea

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tanka Published in Skylark Tanka Journal

Published in Skylark Tanka Journal
April 24,
Issue 1.1 Summer 2013

last night
weary eyes blossomed
in the closet            
his cold cotton shirts
warmed by my hands

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


a reprieve
in the day’s hourglass…
beneath our vanity
we love disasters that have
nothing to do with us

Sunday, April 21, 2013


black on gray clouds
how can I tell the story
of men who kill
even the trees are wounded
by the waxing moon

as it begins to rain
the grenade explodes
a few feet away
from the belly of death...
I lie alone in my body

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Published in KernalsOnline.com
April 17, 2013, Editor's Choice

I spring forth
from the ecstasy of being
a lotus . . .
become legend as you hide
in the bosom of another

For this Editor's Choice, I've selected a tanka by Sergio Ortiz of Puerto Rico which is one that also includes elements familiar in old court poetry: association by nature, juxtaposition, meeting, parting, longing and the beauty of thought. It contains self but only in comparison to a lotus in the way perhaps that an old or past love has moved on to another's embrace by choice, or maybe even returned to because of obligation. Either way, the poet/lover has become legend now and what springs forth for readers, is the ecstasy of once being.



Cerberus licking
his stone wrinkle genitals…
A fever of 103
I survive the lecher's kiss,
Continue to swim in light

Pure? What does it mean?
Sharp as the tongues of Paradise
Are sharp
Sharp as Hiroshima rain
Radiation turned them red

Eleven days and nights
Water dissolving my liver
I barely consume any food
It’s the pain of having lost my humility to love
That keeps me from a hospital

Yet Paradise is not an option
The fever subsides like an old whore
Counseling a virgin
And I go to see a movie
Then rush back home to bed

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Chinese New Year 
a woman I don't know 
gives me ghost money

Saturday, April 13, 2013


broken images,
fragments of New York 
twirl inside...
on a crowded street
my thoughts walk ahead of me

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Three Tanka Published in Breath & Shadow

Three Tanka 

by Sergio Ortiz
Published in Breath & Shadow
Spring 2013
Volume 10 Issue 2


Benghazi at dawn
a peaceful dream
the autumn wind moans
through a crack in the window

to say goodbye…
a fraction
of myself touching you
in secret places

burnt bodies
inside a gutted Toyota . . .
spiraling upward
haunt the summer fields

Sergio Ortiz is a retired educator, poet, painter, and photographer.  Flutter Press released his debut chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk, in October of 2009. Ronin Press released his second chapbook:  topography of a desire, in May of 2010. He is a three-time nominee for the 2010 and 2011 Sundress Best of the Web Anthology and a 2010 Pushcart nominee. He was also commended in the 2012 Polish Haiku Competition.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

two haiku

camellias pushing up waiting for a cold snap

maple syrup moon all the love I missed

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