3 poems by Joshua Rigsby

A Tanka for Pupusas

 Pupusas are soft,
much like marbled baby’s flesh.
Round as the iris
of a love-besotted moose.
They’re a vehicle of flight.

 

Times

 It was the best of and the worst of,

Gray Lady and Los Angeles

of London;

The tee you hit, the tea you thirst of,

Medieval, long forgotten, and

New Roman;

Good

Laissez les bons ____ rouler,

and may they ever multiply.

 

Rivers of the World

The Tigris and the Euphrates, where Eden was planted. Crossed by Alexander, Trajan, Suleiman, George V, and Bushes XLI & XLIII.

The Nile, where baby Moses lay floating in a basket of reeds, water he made flow red with blood.

The Rubicon, where Caesar cast his die. Near the Tiber he was stabbed and Saint Paul’s head bounced three times.

The Seine, where they tossed the ashes of Joan from Arc, to be churned and dispersed, to drain her out to the sea. Javert, likewise, swept himself away.

The Thames, where Marlow sat rocking, telling us about Kurtz and the Congo. The Tower sits on its banks, where kings consigned their many wives and conspirators to die, where their heirs were likewise ruined.

In the Ganges, the dead are floated. Turtles nip their flesh.

The Nahi and the Narmada, which Ghandi crossed on his way to make salt.

In Seoul, children are taught the names of the bridges that span the Han. These bridges are new, the old ones destroyed to slow communism and refugees.

The Amazon, where pink, bottlenose dolphins sport in the murky brown. Found last by Orellana, but renamed by him anyway.

The Ohio, where Eliza jumped from frozen barge to frozen barge, hunting freedom from the hounds.

The Mississippi, where Tom and Huck made their mischief and social commentary.

The Los Angeles is drawn in the negative, a waterless river, a concrete husk. Where portions of TransformersTerminator 2: Judgment DayLast Action HeroThe Gumball RallyChinatownThem!The Core, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionIn TimeIt’s AliveL.A. StoryGreasePoint BlankRepo Man, Fear The Walking DeadThe Italian JobPoint BreakGone in 60 SecondsTo Live and Die in L.A.Blood In Blood OutCleopatra JonesBlue ThunderI Got The Hook Up and Drive were filmed.

There is a metaphor in this.

 

JoshuaRigsbyHeadshot.jpg

Joshua Rigsby has an MFA from the University of California, Riverside and has written for Southern California Public RadioThe Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Atlantic.

3 poems by Gale Arcuff

Word

 I never knew what hit me when I died
 that morning–I fell, between leaf and blade
 while I was swinging on a rotten rope
 from east to west–I had my right foot
 in the loop at the bottom of the line,
 like a stirrup, and was holding on with
 both hands until just east-to-west became
 north-to-south as well and soon I rode in

 circles. It was a circle broke the thing,
 the privet limb growing out like someone’s
 arm aiming a finger shooting at the
 Evening Star. I felt the break and was free
 until I landed on my shoulder blades
 and spine and tailbone. Father was sitting
 nearby, in his old lawnchair, reading his
 newspaper. His heard me and came over,
 knelt–I remember that–and put one hand
 on my shoulder. I couldn’t breathe, like one
 of those dreams where you think you’re drowning: you’re

 underwater and you’re drowning, and you
 die and then you’re awake, coughing for air
 as if you’re newborn or have been holding your
 breath but at last you can breathe but you breathe
 as though you’ve never drawn breath before. Catch
 your breath,
 he says. Take it easy, now. Just
 rest while you get your wind back. Are you
 alright?
 I can’t yet speak. I don’t know how

 but it will come. We’re holding hands. His is
 large, like a paw, and swallows mine and
 he grips firmly but doesn’t cause me pain.
 Life, that’s what this is. That’s what I am. I

 remember now, take deeper breaths until
 I roll over in his direction, prop
 myself on my elbow, then my hand. I’m
 sitting. Why did you want to break that rope,
 he asks, but it’s not a question.
 It hurts to laugh. I’m sitting with my knees
 pulled into my chest. To rise I fall, to
 my left, and now I’m ready to crawl. He

 helps to raise me. I’m breathing easier so I
 walk over to his empty chair and sit
 while he goes to get another. We sit
 side by side, the rope like a snake beneath
 the tree. I can’t tell if I’m young or old.
 I know who I am and can count fingers
 and remember my address but something
 isn’t right, or right in an unseen way.

 Father fakes reading the sports section. His
 right wrist and hand are shaking. It’s not breeze.
 I want to ask him if he’s alright but
 this is my moment, like a birthday or
 straight As on my report card or other
 job well-done–mowing, hoeing, or cleaning
 out the garage to surprise him when he
 comes home from work and has a place to park
 that’s more like a bedroom for the Chevy
 than a doghouse for an automobile.

 I wait for him, open the garage door
 so he doesn’t have to do it himself.
 Sometimes I stop him at the open door,
 like a traffic cop–thrust my palm forward
 and up and strike that pose. He could run me
 over but he doesn’t, with the car or
 his anger. He plays along. Sometimes when
 I walk out of the way he sounds the horn
 and makes me jump, both feet leaving the ground.
 Then he enters, laughing. I will get him

 when he opens his door–let him climb out,
 then I climb on him. You’re under arrest,
 I say. I pull his wrists behind his back
 and cuff him with my palms but he fights back
 in play and takes control and overcomes
 me instead. Then he lets me go and then
 pretends to chase me. I run away but
 he never follows. All this is love, love,
 whatever love is–whatever love is

 it hasn’t left or died but it’s away,
 somehow, like breath you lose or a garden
 that wilts or a toy that breaks and you mourn
 because it’s hurt, can it feel the pain, does
 Heaven have room for broken toys and lost
 dogs? Yes, Son, he still assures, as I lie on
 my bed, thirty-seven years later. Yes,
 it does–for people, too. How beautiful
 it is–wish you were here with me to see
 it but there’s no rush, take your time. Plenty

 of time
. It’s what he read in the paper,

 I’ll bet. His hands were shaking, shaking up words
 into revelation, what they really
 mean. On the side of the car it is written,
 underneath and over Chevrolet, God.
 The rope on the lawn is the sibilant
 in snap, stun, grace. Ssweet the sound that saves.
 
 
                                –Gale Acuff
__________________________
 
Pillar

I watch my father pour salt on slugs by
the dog’s bowl. I like it too much and he
frowns, Father, that is. A little relish
for death is good, he means, but not too much.
He lets me do it and I pour too much
salt until the slug looks like he’s wrapped in
concrete. You don’t need to use so much salt,
says Father. Salt don’t grow on trees, you know.

I look over at the apple tree. I
look at Father again and ask Just where
does salt grow? He smiles but I can tell he
doesn’t want to. You don’t grow salt, he says,
you mine it, or take it from the ocean.
How, I ask. Well, he says, you dig it out,
or in the case of seas, evaporate
it. Oh, I say. I push my luck–at least
it’s mine, I understand it–what’s that mean,
evaporateWell, he says, watching my
slug harden inside salt, you take some sea
and let it stand until all the water
goes back to the sky and there you are, salt
lying at the bottom of your bucket.
Oh, I say, And you can hurry things on
if you boil the water–the salt remains,
it don’t boil away. I breathe another
Oh. I don’t know what a sigh is yet, not
the word anyway, but that was my Oh
and it sounds sad to me. I don’t know why.
 
When we’re finished I put the salt shaker
back on the kitchen table, alongside
its friend, the pepper. I like to think they’re
married, that Pepper missed her Salt, who went
to work but now is home, and he missed her.
She’s still pretty full but he’s half-empty.
They don’t have any children, however,
and they don’t know how lucky they are.
 
 
                                          –Gale Acuff
_______________________________
 
Mature
 
There’s nobody I love more than God save
Miss Hooker, my Sunday School teacher
and more beautiful than God is handsome,
though it may be a sin to say so but
I’ll risk it because I’ve got nothing to
lose except maybe my soul, of course, since
Miss Hooker’s old, 25 I guess, to
my 10. So even if I marry her
her red hair and green eyes and those freckles,
she’ll die on me. When I’m 16, say, and
mature, she’ll be 31 and if we
want to have babies, which we will, then she’ll
be gone before they ever grow up. I
don’t know where babies come from yet, only
 
that you shut the bedroom door and turn out
the light and maybe lock it, too, the door
I mean, and put something over the key
-hole so nobody can peek in, then lie
down on the bed and I guess go to sleep
after you shake hands like you mean it and
kiss each other on all your lips and more
than once and all this gets God’s attention
and a few months later after the wife
gets fat and the husband more nervous,bam,
 
you get a boy or a girl and the wife’s
thin again, and there’s a mystery there
that I’m not old enough to know about.
When I ask my parents they just tell me
to wait a couple of more years. I’d ask
Miss Hooker but she might be afraid that
I’m about to propose and anyway
I don’t want her to turn me down, not yet,
at least not until I’m man enough to
take it. I’ll be shaving and my voice will
sound more like Father’s, or Mother’s when she’s
                                                                 
really angry, and I’ll be driving, and
working if I have to. That’s how you get
money and how you get married, Father
says, but not too happily. But he should
know, he’s a geography teacher. I
can’t marry God anyway–why should I
throw Miss Hooker over for Him? Maybe
I can have both, just love them in different
ways. You have to be pretty wise to do
that. Reverend Horluck’s married and has three
kids to boot. Maybe I’ll ask him why our
 
God is a jealous God, which was what his
sermon for today was about, only
he jumped and shouted so much I forgot
the words he said in between. And cried, too,
there at the end. I don’t know much about
life but I know guilt when I feel it. Me,
I can wait until I’m dead for God to
make it clear just what He’s been on about.
Until then, I’ll worship Miss Hooker, which
may be a sin but it’s His own damn fault.

 

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in many journals and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught university English courses in the US, China, and Palestine.

3 poems by John Grey

THE RIVER’S STORY

I haven’t changed my mind about rivers
even as another body is pulled from the one that flows through town.
I see no need to restate my position – fishing, swimming,
or just strolling along the banks.
Forget a debate, not with so many noisy, whirring
cop cars and rescue trucks cluttering the greenery.
Sure, I’m a little subdued as I watch from a distance.
But I don’t listen to you comparing that lazy old current
of water as a rattlesnake, hissing against the rocks.
I appreciate it for what it is, know that it is capable of many emotions.
You point out the crowd gathering, a charged situation.
Maybe somewhere in there is a mother, worried that it’s her child.
What cares she for catfish? Young boys swinging from a rope?
Or smoking cigarettes in the shadow of the willows?
Or the claim to fame of the kid who swam across and back three times?
But these are the moments that will return once the dead are buried.
Maybe it’s not the best time to bring up these things.
Not when there’s so much law about,
and a sheet’s been drawn up over the body.
And even the dogs are silent, the birds have retreated to their roosts.
Maybe I even know the one that was dragged out,
sloppy and muddy and blue-faced.
The rumors are already starting. It’s a young girl. She jumped from the bridge.
Maybe she was bullied. Maybe she was pregnant. Maybe she broke up with a guy.
Someone heard the splash. Was startled. Called 911.
That guy’s surrounded like he’s some kind of hero
when he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I came down here because it’s my river, someone has to defend it,
even if it’s only with a whisper in your ear, a hard grip of your hand.
This is my childhood. It’s my romantic teenage years.
It’s even nostalgia from the perspective of middle age. It’s not a death trap.
It isn’t suicide’s best friend. It’s just water. Joyful, splashy water.
It flows from s spring somewhere in the distant mountains.
It travels miles to a bigger river and then a bigger river still
before flowing into the ocean. It could avoid this town altogether
but it chooses to run parallel to our Main Street,
like nature come to us rather than having to hike out into the wilderness to find it.
It can’t be sullied by a corpse, by sorrow, by even the worst kind of despair.
The dead girl will have a story to tell and it will be a sad one.
But it won’t be the river’s story. Come to me if you really need to be told.

THE DAY OF THE DICTATOR

People
saluted me,
bowed even,
without even being prompted

I was amazed.
I was shocked.

I’d been pushing
loyalty and obedience
at them
in an extremely
controlled setting

but here,
in the open air,
nothing was different,
nothing had changed.

They looked up to me.
I was their leader.

It was as much
disconcerting
as it was gratifying.

I began to think
they’d be willing to do
anything I asked of them.

Maybe they’d bring me my coffee
in the morning.
Maybe I could lead them
into war.

POWERLESS

Here comes the needle.
I open wide.
He tells me about his latest vacations,
makes jokes
that aren’t funny, thank God,
because my laughter’s
out of commission.
Then he starts on politics.
The jab into my gums is very political indeed.
So is the following numbness.

Under Novocain,
I feel like the populace,
unable to respond to what we’re told,
afraid he might somehow hit a nerve.
There’s a waiting period
in which he slams the Red Sox,
before the drill arrives,
digging into me
with a sound like burrowing
into hell
and I can hear the cries of the condemned
while he goes right on
mining my teeth.

It takes all of fifteen minutes
though it feels like a lifetime,
my impotence
versus the monologues of so many –
I could name a thousand instances.

He tells me
to avoid eating on the left side
for the rest of the day.
Was there ever a man
who’s spent as much time
chewing on his right side as me?

JohnGrey 8.jpg

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, Poetry East and Visions International.

 

 

3 poems by Pablo Leal

for even in your finite and never-ending expanse lies
no escape from such an end to it all
and that which in strange aeons has come to pass will truly remain nothing
as it once sung, knowing as few do the true permanence of
the eternal veil casting in and of itself in its eternal slumber
or not, for that which has perished decries no foul and ceases
its extant hum forever to be and not
and in it all that is and ever will
• תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ

contours flay these bitter
storms in such foregone
clouds – a dulled out blade
no less baleful screams out a million names
howling anger dense
a trillion-forth found askew
tears it all in many ways
and in many more nothing says
• ~1.25m M☉

floundering thus is
thine way as furtive glancing
foretold in ways of old–
anew! brought into the fold
to mend old habits such
as them perishing young
fowls spread across these
strung-out scorns
for praise lied not—
merely masks chanting
slights of past
or ways of present?
• メガタワ

Pablo Leal is a ‘poet(a)’.

3 poems by Bob Stout

Perhaps

If it was a competition
then I lost before it began
but I didn’t mind
because Richard was older than me,
more confident, and I was shy.

He’d been to college, I hadn’t
but because of the war he’d enlisted
and so had I and we wound up
on the same Air Force base.

Sunday night youth group
at the Baptist Church.
Glenna was the prettiest
of the highschool girls
and the most open to flirtation.

I was attracted but hesitant;
Richard less so. He had a fiancé
in San Diego but San Diego
was four hundred miles away
and Glenna was in Merced.

He didn’t describe what they did
together and I didn’t ask
although he knew that I knew
that they’d become lovers.

It wasn’t a long-lasting affair.
Richard’s enlistment was up
and he headed back to San Diego
to finish college
and marry his fiancé.

Glenna and I became friends.
She seemed older than she had
when I first met her
but she was fun to be with
and I got to know her parents
and enjoy the time I spent with her.

But we never made love together.
Perhaps I was too shy or perhaps
I needed a friend more than I needed
a sexual adventure. Life’s a here
and gone thing for a lonesome G.I.

Discoveries: Veracruz, Mexico, 2018 

Those with Perla María watch her place
the short-handled shovel she’s been using
beside her open pack and tug her jeans
over what once was a youthfully sexy figure.
“Cuántos más?”—“How many more?” Not a question
that seeks an answer. But “Demasiados”—too many—
Joaquín murmurs. As though fondling
sacred jewels he lays two portions
of a broken skull and a splintered piece
of collarbone on a ragged piece of bedsheet.
Eyes half-closed, lips torqued downwards,
Perla María reaches towards it, then lets her hands
drop into her lap. “Just those, nothing more?”
“It was a shallow grave,” Joaquín pronounces professorially.
“Shallow because others are under it,” María del Carmen
grunts. A big woman, wide-hipped, big breasted,
sturdy despite three husbands, motherhood,
sixty years of work, she hands Joaquín a moldy piece
of paliacate they’d found beside the skull pieces.
“Campesino,” Joaquín murmurs. Young,
don’t you think?” “They’re all young!”
Perla María snaps. Then, almost inaudibly,
“Salvador was seventeen.” María del Carmen’s fingers
seek the younger woman’s shoulder. “Si quiere..?”
but Perla María shakes  her head. “We need
to go on.” Lips tightly together she forces
a smile. “Like Joaquín says, we can rescue
them from nowhereland. Rescue ourselves—”
“From not knowing,” María del Carmen murmurs,
Forcing smile of her own. Joaquín nods,
glances at his watch and picking up his shovel
suggests, “We’ll dig a little deeper,
maybe find another body further down.”

Perla María 

Her desire, her deepest desire,
was to have a gun, kill someone.
Narcos. Police. “You can’t trust either,”
her husband admonished. “Those who protest
become victims themselves.”
“Then I’ll take them with me!”
But she’d never fired a gun,
never owned one. The police laughed
when she demanded they do something.
One of them suggested they’d be glad
to do something sexual. Mexican justice!
In the marketplace she burst into tears.
“I can’t stand it! I hate it! I wish
I was dead!” she told the woman
who tried to comfort her, “you don’t—!”
then saw pain in the woman’s eyes.
“My daughter,” the woman murmured,
“two years ago.” “And you haven’t—?”
“We’ve found others,” the woman
shook her head, “by digging.”

Perla María still fantasizes having
a gun, killing someone. Narcos.
Police. But the digging helps.
Fosas clandestinas. Unmarked graves.
Hundreds of them. With the others,
each of them thinking The next one?
Maybe the next body will be Joselito’s?
Olga’s? Agustín’s? she marks the locations,
breathes in the smells, shares being
parent of a victim. Shares doubt
that there exists a God who cares.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-27 at 9.39.09 PM(1).jpeg

Robert Joe Stout is a Mexico City College graduate who works as an freelance journalist in Oaxaca, Mexico. His poetry has appeared in over 200 journals and magazines, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Slant, offcourse, The New York Times and Poem.

 

3 poems by Eric Paul Shaffer

First Grade Art

In the first grade, I failed: I couldn’t draw. I worked
my narrow palette of crayons to fashion curved lines
in the shape of a cat or a rocket or a dragon or a tree,

but none came to me that didn’t disappoint my visions.
I was confined to a two-dimensional paper universe
where the best I could do was create a crooked family

of rectangles and ellipses beside a white box with a red
triangle roof and blank quartered cubes for windows,
a waxy house whose dimensions were always too small.

The bottom of the page was a smear of green, and the sky,
the whole sky, took all my blue and darkened everything
but the swollen yellow and orange sun I had never seen

so big and brilliant but in my own childish illustrations.
Even the stick figure I saw as myself was drawn too large
to turn the moonish knob on the slant-framed brown door

and enter the darkness within, unseen and uncolored.
A green ball on a brown stick was a tree that didn’t
stand in our front yard, and on that steep-sloped roof

was a chimney aswirl with the enthusiastic black smoke
I knew from fairy tales always promised fire within.
I trimmed my little life with a box of eight cramped colors.

The miracle was my insistence on stars, not only the one
we see all day, but the two thousand that score the sky
after the one we roll around rolls away. Doggedly, I drew

yellow pentacles and asterisks through my corrugated
blue day, filling the sky with the light beyond the light.

 

Footsteps and Footprints

These prints in snow from wood to door
mark what I missed. If I read them right,
you’re here. One foot follows the other,

sure as boots tread paths through silence.
At last, I understand the error my teacher
scored on the snowy pages of my theme:

“Footsteps are what we hear,” she wrote,
“footprints are what we leave behind.”
Now, whenever someone says he heard

my footprints, I see him lying down,
ear sunk in a muddy puddle or the snow,
head pressed to the path I’ve beaten

into day with boots, body, and stride.
Or when someone seeks to inspire me
to “follow in someone’s footsteps,”

I see the shape of a sole in the earth,
but hear nothing but my own slow feet
crossing the bridge between our worlds.

Kicking through drifts, I know no one
will hear this line of footprints I leave,
and none see my footsteps as I fade.


I Could Die Here

I could die here. That’s what I thought the day my father ordered
me from the station wagon to stand in the freeway breakdown lane
behind a cardboard sign declaring “FREE TO GOOD HOME,”

impeccably lettered in his characteristic capitals and hung loosely
from my neck with baling twine till someone picked me up. First,
I thought, “I could die here.” In that December evening snowfall,

beneath icicled eaves on the garage at her house, when she opened
her lips under mine and tongued my tongue, the shock stiffened
every bone in my body with a swift rush of blood. Then, I thought,

“I could die here.” As the houseboat’s engine died on the flooded
river, and we drifted sideways toward the dock, I thought, “I could
die here.” And this morning, I gaze into drunken faces lit by hot, red-

lettered light on a littered sidewalk as blank and as wide as the end
of a world as small as I am. I’m thinking again. Yes, I could die here.

 Eric Paul Shaffer is the author of seven books of poetry: Even Further West (2018); A Million-Dollar Bill (2016); Lāhaina Noon (2005); Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen (2001); Portable Planet (2000); RattleSnake Rider (1990); and Kindling: Poems from Two Poets (1988; with James Taylor III). www.ericpaulshaffer.com

2 poems by James Croal Jackson

SUNDAY FUNDAY

For the last hot day of April, we were the bristled paintbrush
stroke of an old fluttering-in-wind canvas
flag of a few years ago when all of us were inseparable,
every event a celebration of us. We’re a little older,
a little more tired with each sip of boxed wine
means waking up a little earlier, sun a sharper razor.

YOUR NEW LIFE IN COLUMBUS VIA 71 SOUTH

backward signs gray silver
curved necks of lights and opened arms
reaching reaching reaching
not high enough
not low enough to grab
American Cab out of business
blue 333-3333
Sinclair
Morse
cops on horseback
off to Wendy’s Arby’s Tee Jaye’s
down High
down low
all this green and exit
you must enter somewhere
James Croal Jackson's poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Rust + Moth, Bop Dead City, and elsewhere. His first chapbook is forthcoming from Writing Knights Press. He is the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest winner in his current city of Columbus, Ohio. Visit him at jimjakk.com.

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, FLAPPERHOUSE, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle, a poetry journal. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com.

3 poems by Matthew Woodman

The Burning Man

(after Rufino Tamayo’s El quemado, 1955)

Can one spark spontaneous combustion,
or are our lives a bespoke destiny?
Who witnesses our self-immolation?

The graft hand of uniformed corruption
ignited Mohamed Bouazizi.
How did his spark lead to such combustion

to make others risk asphyxiation
and the spittle tattoo of refugee?
Who witnesses their self-immolation?

Just as Thích Quảng Đức and Charles Moore had wrung
their future from twin jugs of gasoline,
could one conscious spark refine combustion

as a generative intersection
of beating eye and protest elegy:
Who witnesses my self-immolation?

Why are we here if not to raise a sun
communal in spirit or effigy?
You could matter, spark such a combustion.
Who witnesses your self-immolation?

Arrangement of Objects

(after Rufino Tamayo’s Arreglo de objetos, 1928)

How many lives have I
left
    how many canvasses
to stretch and prime with rabbit
glue
    how many more starts

how many more patterns
       more
pairings
    more accumulations
of chance of design
    I have held
what would become
    I have spun
and rhymed rungs
    I have traced

I have peeled appearances
sharpened to a fine point
       what

I have felt to be true
    at
the end of the day
    what remains

of what
     I have arranged
          the doors

are closing
    fragments scatter
back
    all my figments ungathered

Mandolins and Pineapples

(after Rufino Tamayo’s Mandolinas y piñas, 1930)

Open in case of convergency
invisible strings connect strum

they have strung or been that’s
not important the key to pluck

the chord an open composition
the revelation sensory and not

really there your mind a storm electric
impulses connecting and casting out

into the void mandolins and pineapples
bells to coalesce perennials

to be sung down let go we need
space breath to stretch our fields

our sensitive tissues lipstick
and mascara all forever gold

and fugitive red may I have
this dance is all there is

20180320_102759.jpg

Matthew Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is the founding editor of Rabid Oak. His poems appear in recent issues of Sonora Review, Oxidant/EngineSierra Nevada ReviewThe California Journal of Poetics, and Placeholder, and more of his work can be found at www.matthewwoodman.com.

2 poems by Papageorgiou Theofanis

 

Youth 30 years old

His entire life

was the making of symmetry

he did not have other identity

nor a job

probably he could not speak

 

his aim was to uproot

the world

and create another

symmetrical

 

as if the practices of the heart

are sighing from symmetry

or four eyes

are ever symmetrical

 

Decommissioned hour

The defeat that we thought of

as not belonging to us

greater since it was

from its shadow

shorter since we were

from our sum

located us in the map

 

as this cloud

that dropping the counterweights

stood above us

and broke into two

 

Papageorgiou Theofanis was born in 1986 in Athens, Greece. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in economics and holds a PhD from National Technical University of Athens in the field of political economy. He has authored two books of poetry in Greek "Plintirio Astron" (Laundry of Stars) and " H Thalasa me ta 150 Epipeda" (The sea with the 150 levels), several manuscripts in the field of political economy and a handbook in the field of the history of economic thought. His first book was  short listed by the Hellenic Authors' Association for the prize of first place featured poet. Several of his poems have been translated in English and Spanish. Currently, he is working as a lecturer at National Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Papageorgiou Theofanis was born in 1986 in Athens, Greece. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and holds a PhD from National Technical University of Athens in the field of political economy. He has authored two books of poetry in Greek “Plintirio Astron” (Laundry of Stars) and ” H Thalasa me ta 150 Epipeda” (The sea with the 150 levels), several manuscripts in the field of political economy and a handbook in the field of the history of economic thought. His first book was  short listed by the Hellenic Authors’ Association for the prize of first place featured poet. Several of his poems have been translated in English and Spanish. Currently, he is working as a lecturer at National Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Image

3 poemas por Claudia García Coe

Jeremy Dacruz.jpg

Foto por Jeremy DaCruz

Temporada

La noción de vida
y una noche de luna
en que era muy fácil
querer y dejarse querer.

La calma como un aura que viene hacia mí,
el viento que me trae y me lleva
y de cuando en cuando
una caricia sin ilusión alguna.

Una voz en silencio cargada de energía
cuestiona que cosa pasa por mis pupilas,
enciende historias colgadas de la mano
de un planeta en temporada.

Una voz en silencio cargada de esencia
no sabe si la sienten o la olvidan con el tiempo,
relampaguea en ocasiones de la mano
de un amor en temporada.

Alta, baja…en disonancia o en ansia
es un revolver que mata tan lento
que la noción de tiempo se vuelve escasa.

Una voz en silencio cargada de ritmo
me dice: “Aquí estoy como el orador que cierra los ojos
y estaciona sobre cimientos sus rodillas”.

Albur

Estiraba mi mano lejos del cielo, del olvido, de ser prisión y prisionera.

Calaba las raíces de un árbol desnudo y la vibra casi proveniente de mis presagios me sometía a huir lejos de los recuerdos…

En calma anochecía en el pueblo, por sus calles vagaba la poesía apropiándose de los muros, escondiéndose en el silencio, encendiendo y apagando linternas hasta que a mi ventana llegó cansada. En una caja azul me entregó un hilo amarrado a tu puerta, una pluma, tinta negra y una hoja con el acertijo de la vida a medias.

La deje descansar sobre mi cama mientras sentía el peso de mis pies caer sobre la tierra, parecía que la eternidad esta noche se quedaba en mi habitación.

El silencio hoy hacía más ruido de lo normal y deduje que todas esas energías no podían ser otra cosa más que una conexión directa con una obra de magia o mi presagio estaba destinado a cumplirse pero lo cierto es que los versos me estaban buscando, me desnudaban el alma con cada palabra, cantaban en mi oído melodías de amor.

Yo con mi pluma y mi falta de lucidez y ella con el albur de que alguien más la encuentre atrapada dentro de mí.

Lo que había soñado sobre volar

Lo que había soñado sobre volar,
volar por los cielos al amanecer sobre inmensas lagunas
de aguas cristalinas
limitadas por el imponente horizonte,
llamativos colores en los campos,
las azules montañas profundas
y a lo lejos sobre una cresta alguna choza
en medio de todo y en medio de la nada.

Una vida serena y sencilla, un lugar privilegiado,
silencio y soledad donde se desprenden valles, caminos, calles….

Oscuros suburbios y avenidas
siendo transitadas de un lado a otro,
más adelante un rascacielos intentando
traspasar el tapiz del cielo.

A mis oídos se acerca el ruido monótono de la ciudad,
el rugir de camiones, los autos, las luces,
gente cruzando de una acera a otra,
cerrando y abriendo puertas,
encendiendo y apagando luces
la sensación de estar entre nódulos palpables
me lleva a rodear por fuera esta lesión
que le provocamos a la tierra,
vuelo sobre un aterrador olvido,
vuelo sobre torres de basura, aguas contaminadas,
pestes, residuos tóxicos
producto del glorioso desarrollo industrial
concebido como la cura de todos los males,
dominante pero irreal sinónimo de progreso.

Pareciera que aquí
todos llegaron a desechar
el remanente del consumismo
así como pasaban por las iglesias
a querer desechar los pecados,
así como si quisieran limpiar el alma o el cuerpo.

Después de tanto encanto y paz
llego el zumbido metropolitano
a impregnarme de mugre los sentidos.

Lo que yo había soñado sobre volar,
volar por los cielos al amanecer
se ha convertido en una noche insomne,
ya no quiero cerrar los ojos,
ya no quiero volver a soñar.

Claudia 2.jpg

Mi nombre es Claudia García Coe, nací el 28 de julio de 1994 en el estado de Florida. Viví los primeros 4 años de mi vida en Nicaragua junto con mis padres y mis dos hermanos. Por el afán de brindarme una mejor educación mis padres decidieron mandarme a los Estados Unidos donde viví 5 años. En este período de tiempo aprendí empíricamente a hablar inglés, a tan corta edad se convirtió prácticamente en mi lengua natal, olvidé lo poco que sabía de español y la mayoría de las costumbres nicaragüenses. Mi regreso a Nicaragua fue a los 9 años de edad, me vi influenciada nuevamente por la música, los bailes y la personalidad del nicaragüense. Estudié en el colegio Calasanz hasta 4to año y nuevamente mis padres me enviaron a los Estados Unidos con su esfuerzo de ofrecerme un mejor futuro y de aprovechar mi ciudadanía estadounidense.

Estudié en un colegio público y con mis buenas notas logré acceder a una academia en la cual conocí a grandes amigos y donde por primera vez pude estudiar teatro, escritura creativa y ser la asistente del profesor en clases de música. En el taller de escritura creativa contaba con uno de los mejores profesores de la academia que me regaló la primer novela de Richard Yates llamada “Revolutionary road” la cual a la vez era la primer novela que leía formalmente. Ningún colegio antes me había presentado esta oportunidad tampoco estaba bajo el mando de mis padres que no me permitían dedicarme a estas actividades que consideraban “extracurriculares” por lo cual tome todo lo que me fue posible y me gradué con honores en un centro de artes.

Al cumplir los 18 años de edad logré tomar las riendas de mi vida y decidí regresar a Nicaragua ya que la universidad en los Estados Unidos era muy costosa. En el 2012 regresé a Nicaragua por tercera vez, ahora por decisión propia y empecé a estudiar la licenciatura de Diseño Gráfico. Este mismo año inicié mi blog en wordpress y una página en facebook donde empecé a poner en práctica mucho de lo aprendido en mi taller de escritura creativa. Aunque en el taller escribía en inglés siempre escribí públicamente en español a excepción de un par de publicaciones en inglés. Terminé de estudiar la carrera de diseño de manera autodidacta, me independicé de mi familia y actualmente soy co-fundadora de un estudio de marketing digital que lleva un año de trayectoria. Me he propuesto balancear mis dos vocaciones, el diseño y la escritura con mi percepción del mundo a través de mis propias experiencias, las luchas y deseos constantes de libertad.