Friday, March 31, 2017

Bare Embers








Bare Embers


You, naked
stretch out on my skin
like a hill bitten by the sun.
The fruit slips, grows, swells,
it's burning. At six in the mirror
you enter me
as the most expectant guest,
simple as a river of light.
You cover me with your man skin.

You, the tongue that runs through my veins
to silence me. You take my eyes off
painfully and give me two other arms
with which to weigh your inner thighs.
Your mouth drizzles on my back.
You scratch my back and write your name.
You talk to me with your bones.
My moan,
the longest sound you’ll hear tonight.

When we are alone, still naked,
when everything is over,

it hails.
The air has just discovered us.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

When the World Reached a Different Age




When the World Reached a Different Age


I pin my astonishment to his lips.
His black elephant eyes bleeding.

I save the light from under his hair.
Sun. Shadows in his eyelashes

bandy like grapes of a winepress.
I rebuilt the fever, and sunset flutters

in his socks. Him, medium in years,
thirty-seven. I tumble off his neck

when under the briefs
two fragile ships begin to submit.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

From the Window




From the Window


There goes the drunken moon
on its way home.

I drink the night like a body
fallen to the cement of solitude.
The rats of the garden 
warm, shelter, and comfort
me with chewed kisses.

Dawn smells
like the bodies consumed
by the waters that fell
into the landfills
of who I use to be.

I do not know if I am or not
who wants the new night
the New Year
this age-old time to end,
and every yesterday turned into a song
warming my night.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Otra





Otra

tal vez la última mentira
que escondo bajo la luna blanca de mis uñas.

Otro, tal vez el único recuerdo perdido
del eco sigiloso en voz de hombre seducido.

Otra, no está vida,
camina mareada 

en el desvelo 
de tu piel.

Desprecio





Desprecio


No dormiré.
Me acostaré inmóvil
hasta que llegue el alba.

Mis pupilas esconden
todo lo desechado.

Tiraré mis piernas al mar
para ver cómo me hundo.

Cuando abra mis ojos comprenderás
que estoy tuerto de sol y luna.

Así soy yo de sangre fría.
He pervertido hasta tu desprecio.

Tegucigalpa





Tegucigalpa


Llegué por aire
desde el gris de la memoria,
a los pinos más hermosos
que continúan pintando
la sal de mis perladas nubes isleñas.

No dejo de inhalar tus fragancias,
Catedral donde cante villancicos

en francés. Brisas soplan alegres,
acogidas a manos inocentes.

Despunta el revuelo
de las aves marcando el alba
y el crepúsculo
con su trova.

Allí aprendí que el sol cristaliza
la memoria. Luna bruja, hechizaste
mi vasija rota.

The Portrait





The Portrait


Night winds coil the sunless hours
as daylight wiggles out of darkness.

A kingly fez, curved by a green turban,
spun round His hallowed head.

Humble, my beloved, the painter
could not gaze into His face.

He took his hands,
so blessed, and smoothed
the crests on His garb.

The painter had no choice,
he bowed in shame.

Nota sobre la mesa - imitando a William Carlos Williams





Nota sobre la mesa - imitando a William Carlos Williams


Quiero que lo sepas
que los mangos que dejaste
sobre la mesa estaban ricos.
Dulces, bien maduritos.

Gracias por el café.
No olvides que Enrique y los muchachos
vienen esta noche

a tomarse unas cervezas.
Ellos y sus esposas.

Ángela llamo, Miguel
salió bien en todos los exámenes.

Ya no hay
que preocuparse por
el cáncer.

Eco de Lluvia





Eco de Lluvia


Nadie te comprende como yo.
Escucho en el silencio de tus manos

aire prendido en llamas navegando
dentro de mi llanto. La estrechez

de mis paredes se derrumba
de solo mirar tus piernas.

Bailamos esta pieza con la muerte
sin recordar que nos prometió la vida.

Reclamo dos suspiros y una guirnalda. 
Si tu amante no regresa

ahogaremos nuestras penas juntos,
cual piedras mojadas, girando

sobre el eco conturbado
de la lluvia.

Four Saints and a Demon Chewing Tabacco





Four Saints and a Demon Chewing Tabacco


These are the troubled times
of tortured folksongs,
before the last war
ended
and I am no reincarnation
of Dylan Thomas.

This is when I and I get married,
age together, die in Montevideo,
before the last war
ended
and rediscover the secret
of life

reincarnated as Allen Ginsberg
at the wake for Sal Paradise,
tobacco and Sunday paper in hand,
before the last war
ended.

I consider implants,
and reincarnate as Gertrude Stein.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Undertow Tanka Review Issue 11 is open for submissions until April 20th

Undertow Tanka ReviewIssue 11 is open for submissions until April 20th

Send up to 10 of your very best Tanka and/or Haiku to undertowtanka@gmail.com. We tend to favor surreal and modern tanka and haiku.  Surreal art is also accepted.


Shady Checo Man






Shady Checo Man


fuiste
crueldad
armonizada,
apego,
deseo
de
ir
hacia
ti

in-         
cumplido.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Angel of Shiraz - It's Naw Ruz, The New Year, this one is dedicated to all the Baha'i martyrs

.




Angel of Shiraz
At 7:30pm, Saturday, 23 October, 1982
four armed guards pushed their way into Mona’s house.


Graceful emerald with crystal pearl eyes
wrapping the embrace of children to your heart.

Chasing hammer         cup bur-singing
seventeen sonnets of love, so young
it pains the curb.

Three tic-tacs feel like years
searching the drawers.
Closet knobs gripping the guards’ hands
as joyous temperatures rise
to their ruby peek.

“Loop lady, don’t say the emerald
is only seventeen.
Children follow what she speaks
like roses marching straight into Zion.”

I would die for You.

“Furkhundih, azizum joon mama.
Don’t worry. They are my brothers too.”

There are no good-byes
in that blindfolded prison of Sepah.

Leaf Mothers rush
from their heavenly chambers
in anguish to safeguard
the Emerald of Shiraz.
Insults, interrogations,
Bastinado.

The Angel begs for the noose
to let her be the last.
She says: I chant the winds of change.
I will die for You.

Thursday Gypsy





Thursday Gypsy


Linda prepared for bed
confident she could not receive bad news.
It was Thursday, bad news
was announced in dreams on Fridays.

Linda walked over to the drawer
and took out the tied chicken legs,
and rubbed the tattoos, stricken
by the taunt of sailors, on the right side
of her neck for good luck.

Gypsies don’t read each other’s palms.
They understand war casualties, letter writing the fog,
black and white images that make you forget the wind.

She refused to think about the fuzz on his back,
how it spread to his buttocks.

The maid walked in the bedroom with the Acacia oil.
She was as thin as phyllo dough with a huge belly.
The señora wants me to brush her hair?

Wait. Please, wash your hands. My husband
will be home in the morning, I want my hair noticeable.
Look at you, skinnier by the day. Are you certain
about not telling me who the father is?

Señora, he is an important man.
He won’t give a shit about my baby.



Después de cruzar la calle





Después de cruzar la calle


loco con tu piel
pero luego       luego
te pienso más mío

más tiempo
más silencio                manantial
de planetas cósmicos
prestándole luz a mi sendero
salpicando de alegrías

(mis estrellas rotas o tal vez las nuestras)

y aquí estamos
tu sentado en mi lengua de roca
yo recostado sobre tu pensamiento de lluvia
comenzando a conocernos

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Outfits





Outfits


I stopped pushing salvation
on inner city streets after his funeral.

Maples lining the road home took me to the kimono
and the baby, anniversary gifts from my son.

Ruben changed clothes as soon as we got home
from Sunday school: 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.
Ruben, lifeless. We found the first one
outside a Mud Wrestling Bar & Grill.
It had the Lord’s Prayer written on the barbs.
Soon, they were coming from all over the world.
He loved to collect them.

Close, my son was very close to his boy.
Closer than the rope he used to hang himself.
He couldn’t take the impact of Ruben’s passing.

I need to look in the mirror, put on the kimono,
cover my arms with the red yellow leaves of the sash,
to hide my teeth marks.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Martyrdom




The Martyrdom


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.

The Smell of Sulfur






The Smell of Sulfur


The odor of sulfur
is as strong as the company brought
to the podium of Titans.
Gaia and Ouranos spit
angry epithets at each other
in the armory on Boulevard
where the effigy hides
bottles of gin.

On television, the rib-tickling,
righteous Titan gets an opportunity
to explain the notion of drowning
in the desert to the nation
recently targeted by white supremacist.

The program furthers
The Graven image’s intent
to build a wall. 
Is it to keep some out,
or trap everyone in?

Women tip-toeing north
through the desert
leave 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 the Shebang Smoking Idol
don't mean a thing
to thirty million butterflies.
They were there first.

Postcards





Postcards


Willie, when Eloy showed me the wedding rings
I broke out in tears. I was so innocent, didn’t even know
why I followed you to Bolivia.

Yo fui la más callada
de todas las que hicieron el viaje hasta tu Puerto.


2.
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.


3.
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.
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.


4.
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,
don’t cry. I need to drink a cup of coffee with you
reading me Ginsberg, Simic, and Julia de Burgos.


Yours forever, The Ghost.


*The Italicized verses are lines from poems written by Julia de Burgos

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Intimate




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.


A Reverie of Horror






A Reverie of Horror


He finds the hallway leading
to death's wrinkled Greta Garbo legs.

Children standing by their mother's broken mirror
have their own boleros to remember.

Spiders weave the stench
of his sour jungle, a vile outbreak
of colloquial monsters.

My father sings a duo
with my father.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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 traces of unforgettable pain.

They married. Julia, carried down the aisle
by two 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 vows
to read out loud on the day of the dead.

Collective Madness




Collective Madness
Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone'
Birds At Winter, Thomas Harding


Overexposed driftwood
is what we are.
Bewitched by the light,
pretty little cento,
eclipse enchanted with rainbows.

Our childhood memories linger
like pastoral triolets rolling about 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. 

Silent



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. Neighbors  
packing axioms, guns, crucifixes, shovels.
“Hi, we were wondering about the odor?”

It’s not coming from here, I’m not 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.

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
            Harmonizing the sacred

Sanctus
Sanctus
Sanctus

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My first sin





My first sin

was to ridicule a mocker,
and 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,
I know Rome in its last hour.

Gray and Dead



Gray and Dead


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.

I’ve thought about outreach groups,
raisins, peaches, and kiwis.
Still-life paintings in my city.

I’ve thought about The Voice,
and meals on wheels.
About slam competitions,

and another twenty years of 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.


Toilets





Toilets


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 the Whitehouse

but when he stares
at my dick
and licks my nipples

it’s just me
and him.

Para Recuperar la Desnudez





Para Recuperar la Desnudez


Mi pobre pueblo,
decenas de zapos y reptiles políticos
invadieron sus aguas.
Ahora todos nos odiamos.
Virus de ranas con putos zapatos
de cocodrilos.

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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The End of Night





The End of Night


I exist
to be conquered.
I, set against all other I’s,
am a stillborn poem
taken out of my mother’s womb.

Once I was immortal,
condemned to endless mornings,
empty of the knowledge
of manmade rituals.
Until out of my mouth that knows,
came the shape I was seeking.
Now I want to be
a waterfall of hummingbirds
covering our bodies.

Sometimes I read you
under another twilight.
In that half-light
your voice is different.

When you open your wings
you do not look like yourself
but I know that it’s you.

The Alembic




The Alembic


Soft humid hair trickles
from his torso to his belly button.
I moisten my lips.

When the fruit ripens,
he places it in containers
fashioned

in scented Spanish Oak
and moss. But to me Jerez
is not what gives him

the fragrance of Montilla.
It only forces me to savor
the memory of his abdomen.

Dolphins and Moons





Dolphins and Moons


The sword of perfection is unworthy
of mention in my lovers presence
unless it be drawn with regret.

Bones wear out with age,
fire can be extinguished, but simplicity
is better chained to hearts,
like dolphins swimming around
the aura of a lunar eclipse

a centered pendant.

When my lover touches my hair
I shatter into dancing moons.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

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