Song of the Wanderer

Excerpt from upcoming collection Who Owns This Body

There is nowhere to hide from the sun,
nowhere to hide from the opulent sky
and its white withering jewels,

nowhere to hide to close your eyes
and take a shit. Or weep.
There is nowhere to hide from glaring eyes—
you do not belong here.

I am free to wander
boulevard to boulevard,
but there is nowhere for me to rest.

I’ve entered an alternate plane of existence
where I go unnoticed.
Not transparent like a ghost, not a weightless shadow,
just a brown-skinned nothing among the grass and trees.
I say hello,
and they just keep walking.

If you disturb a neighborhood,
a man comes to ask you if you’re lost.
He won’t help you get to where you’re going,
but “you better go.”

The daily commuters,
burdened by the blight of their childless labyrinths,
don’t look much better than you,
but they have something: a destination.

You stand, a solitary figure,
a blemish, palms held out,
and they pray for genocide against the meek.

There is nowhere to work, I tell them,
but they just keep passing around me,
hive of bees
making honey of the sun
while I make dust for nothing.


Poetry Month

Who has time for poetry month,
to search the salt for blood,
to build a house from fire,
to tame the dead with verses?

Parablas de los muertos, you must wait
because the poet must pay his taxes,
do his laundry, balance his checkbook,
be more bones than phantom.

To any poet blessed with time
I left my laptop open glowing white,
that arid fluorescence, that sand of lost mirages.
Face it if you dare.

Perhaps a millipede will scale the screen,
meet that pugnacious blinking line,
and like so many lost before him
succumb to her demands.

He’ll burrow into the portal of diodes
where his body will writhe poetic:

not enough decay to feed me…

ah, fear the toads…

Not knowing what to write next
he’ll coil into himself— like so many before him—
his body will be an emblem of verse—
a spiral of centripetal meter—
a syntheses of flora and death.

Congratulations, this is poetry,
the blue ribbon panel will tell him.
You are the stone incarnate with stars.