Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My book of poems

My book of poems

in the meekness
of the pond…
the child’s eye
knows nothing of refraction

scar the skin
of water,
the fragile trace
of truth

a foggy journal
sealed with lead…
days of waiting

waiting for dreams…
the smoke of failure
and the abandonment
of petals,
all forgiven



I feel, smell, liken him
to a gazelle under the rain,
a warmth that leaves with the mist.
I put him in the column of a poem,
he leaves with the nervousness
of a gazelle frightened
by the hand crossing his moist back.

sake rites

sake rites
celebrating rice and bamboo…
the moon
becomes an umbrella,
moves with what does not return

Japanese fan…
a haiku inhabits my spirit
like a mailbox
full of nostalgia
malodorous of sugarcane and sour snuff

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cutting out his tongue

Cutting out his tongue

The problem is not
whether a poet dies,
or if his hands are stained
with blood, or his body
cornered by maggots.

The problem would be
how to cut out his tongue. 

Enough for today

Enough for today

I’m going to sleep on a piece
of burning burlap, the blade of a mill.

I have a light that dazzles, a reptile,
and a package of fava beans.

I have lost,
but to have an opening, a perfect hole,

makes up for what is lost. When I write
the graffiti of my grief I have the arrogance

to summon a downpour.
That’s why I’m stronger than the void.

I don’t know how banks
made off with my country,

an island
of castaway Jonahses.

Friday, June 24, 2016

It may be but it’s not true

It may be but it’s not true

Sweet, sweet man
you turn on the light and leave,
torn clouds bring fresh memories,
and you so poor
            / inscrutable,
dumped on the breast of fire.
Your wife wants to set herself ablaze,
while a timid bush uncovers your essence.
It is the door through which you breathe the odor
that crowds bands of beast.

Poor boy        stopped in your tracks
            / by the hallucinating blow of       I can’t.
Death never insinuated itself to you more than dust.
It stood like a stone in your way,
while you gathered a cluster
of open, bleeding, dismembered guilt
in the faint-hearted act of resting
            / under the tender stupor of laurels.

No, you never were,
not in the slightest, the wings
the lavish dreams of broken hymen.
You did not feel like grazing
and autumn was a blurred city
in shadows
            / almost limpid,
a rotten pond bursting the grenade
you carry wedged between your legs.

You had no desire to graze
regardless of the bland frenzy of birds
that ripen thorns by pecking.

And they were thorns
            / if not why the blood
that springs from the root of the tree,
which rises like a mound,
an angel-proof grave,

where on the top of the grotto
            / volcanoes burst,
or consumptive beehives are uncovered.

You raised the lamp,
but your face in the mirror was a dim spot,
the fireproof steel was a lie,
quicksilver    a lie,
the rust was a lie.

To Omar - After years of not knowing where you are

To Omar - After years of not knowing where you are

You are
the nothingness
of a transparent mane,
an empty groove,
a torn breath.
and the void of sleep
are what you gain from fate.
Winter nests inside you
like lost bird.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

in my body’s depth - tanka

in my body’s depth
throb fear, water
the enjoyment
of watching your eyes…
clean as dead words

he said - tanka

he said,
love is tiresome…
we looked
at each other, birds suspended
in the same air

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

On my way to Disbelief

On my way to Disbelief

There are times
when everyone remembers the living
as if they were dead,
like time disappearing from noisy places.
I want my life to fade over a globe
I want it to be inspired by the silence
where all things are hushed,
and not even God survives.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I wanted to be - tanka

I wanted to be
a tower crowned 
with seagulls,
the sigh of the wind
through the clouds

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Here lie

Here lie my father
and my mother
each as they were,
separated countries
for whatever reason.
Their ashes
did not end up
in the sea,
their names
came from the wind.
Silence finally reached them.

Future Holocaust

Future Holocaust

My country
is not bread and wine.

My country
are the ruined cupboards

keeping us
from devouring worms.

My homeland
is the rain which made the cupboard

a hotbed of moss.
It is combustion and heartbreak.

My country is us,
the ones formed out of the flood.

Friday, June 17, 2016



Slippery we are
because of self-preservation
sharp words in the waters of goddesses
sinuosity of fishes gets tangled in our body
something is condensed in our rusted presence
something rises as a response to sound
is almost erased when it upsurges
but here we are
wearing the perfect disguise.

Ash and Dust - To the Westboro Baptist Church

Ash and Dust - To the Westboro Baptist Church

Their tongues are hurting me.
We levitate at dawn
and return to the ground at night.
Dirt and silk. Silk lasts three generations,
dirt is forever. My bones burn under my skin,
but my flesh is asleep, like a rosebud, a house
to live up to the standards of the gods.

—I didn’t come here to be illumined.
—I saw fanaticism sheltering them in a blizzard of prayers.  

Their mother is a cow.
Look at the cow, your second mother!
Isn’t it a delight to gaze inside a mirror?

Ash and dust.
It could happen anywhere.
Hill is not the same as jungle,
or wild the same as mind.

Your shadows cuddle
on horizontal time to extol calamity.
Marble and horoscope,
a sign for your empty mouths.
Is this where you consult the future,
the transformation of the children,
the hidden flower of sin?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

To the Westboro Baptist Church

To the Westboro Baptist Church

You come to buy poverty in Orlando?
Who makes a home in dignity’s house, luxury or filth?
Notice: the cow, pushing through the thicket
of the immaculate. Everyone prays
in the temple, but you pray to the elements
of your body while walking burdensome paths,
and crossing dust storms, surrounded
by the smell of dry blood. You buy
poverty with your eyes and pay with words.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando 2016 - It rained lead

Orlando 2016 - It rained lead

It rained lead
on night’s silence.
Frogs jump
from my mind.
The crescent moon is dead,
it drowned in blood
the guiding star
once sheltering Rumi
while he dreamed
his lover.

Llueve Plomo

Llueve Plomo

llueve plomo
en el silencio,
saltan ranas
de mi pensamiento,
muere la luna creciente,
se ahoga en sangre
la estrella
que alguna vez
arropó a Rumi
mientras soñaba
con su amante.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

You and I

You and I

You, dressed in snow
within my nocturnal pages,
Full moon in the black lagoon.
I, vortex of shadows
curled up on your white lap,
Alabaster coal seam.
You, pupil of mourning
in the white lead of my eyes,
Obsidian teardrop in the sand.
I, quiet lotus
in the darkness of your sorrow,
Night pearl petal.

Under the skin of an oak

Under the skin of an oak, in its emaciation,
my heart is also naked, stripped of bark,
it tests the white calligraphy of oblivion,
cuts the veins of desire already in a drought.
Under the dark skin, the driest light,
I open the channels for your fast-flowing rivers,
and follow the footsteps of your efflorescence
through the paths of a soul no longer mine.
I’ll orient myself to bird and sun
so that my voice is warm and loud.
I won’t reveal your names.
I’ll write an empty                concave poem                   
so you can pour into it the honey in your eyes.
I’ll wait for your rain without moving.
Immerse me in your calm waters.
I’ve walked towards your high twilights
like moss that decorates
the forgotten crevices of a wall.
Make me your hollow bowl of love, your nursery,
plant peaceful oaks in my heart.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016



this house
has windows to look in
from without. . .
the only freedom here

is my confinement

night passes by with high heels…
one is left hanging to oneself
eyelids never collapse
I move forward groping

I bump
into the furniture
that time forgot,
the door of the room
we will enter without keys

Monday, June 06, 2016



siempre fue Eva
y siempre busco
a su otra Eva
con la clarividencia húmeda
de alcatraces.
Nunca se arraigó
a la lluvia,
ni se acostumbró al vuelo
de pájaros traicioneros.
Pero perdió
su memoria y se arrimó
al interés personal
de tetas secas
que nunca la quisieron
porque haber amado a Eva
era pecado.
¿Ahora, que está 
sola y demente
cuál será su destino?

Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time

Dawn is burning,
it illuminates the ruins of my heart,
the wide vaulted corridor of my heart,
the passageways of earth inside my heart,
the marshy floor of the cavern of my heart.
I look for my sinking body,
a body already missing from my body.
Is piety reborn from shock?
The gate opened and it did not manage
to move me, my feet have forgotten how to walk
without the weight of fear.
Weightlessness scares me and joy
moistens my parched lips with silence.

Saturday, June 04, 2016


the terror
of flickering years
in the capillaries  
of my father’s eyes…
forgiveness and dread

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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.