One of my favorite poets….
Emeniano Acain Somoza, Jr. considers himself the official spiritual advisor of his roommates, Gordot and Dwight—the first a goldfish, the other a Turkish Van cat. His works have been published in The Poetry Magazine, Moria Poetry Journal,Fogged Clarity, Everyday Poem, Loch Raven Review, The Buddhist Poetry Review, The Philippines Free Press, Troubadour 21, Full of Crow, Indigo Rising, Asia Writes, Triggerfish Critical Review, Troubadors 21, Gloom Cupboard, TAYO, Haggard & Halloo, and elsewhere. His first book, A Fistful of Moonbeams, was published by Kilmog Press in April 2010. His second book, Kleenex Theory, was published in 2015. He is busy anthologizing emptiness and boredom at the moment.
This is the way white will never be the same
To me—the way white walls, white steel bed,
Lilliums, heliotropes in ash-blue vases connive
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On I Am Not a Silent Poet
My poem History Sits in a Chair published a few years ago….
history sits on a chair
picks her teeth with a rabbit bone and drops a cup
ouilipolice wear riot gear to ensure random chance
every third erasure cubed then triangulated
but still the uncertainty principle warps the record
the delusions of mathematicians and platonists
so sure equations are reality behind the flickers and shadows
a harmony of glass globes static as stars painted on a ceiling
an arrow shot from a train at once hood ornament and memory
time asymmetrical and memory just another construct
but there is no imaginary time when stirring a pot of rabbit stew
she mentions the heat death of the universe
all the stars burn out one by one ashes ashes
we all fall down but then the big bounce
the broken teacup reassembles
on the table from which it…
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Sharing this again because I’m crying.
for Tina upon the death of her sister, Frida
When her twin died Tina lost her bearing. The sisters had never been apart. They slept together like friendly lovers. Cleaned each other’s face and ears, behind the neck. Frida never even had to speak, for Tina heard her thoughts. They played together in their dreams each night, running under the desert sun. Their hair the color of a fawn. Their bellies and feet, precious and pink. Their little hands in little white gloves.
Frida made up games for just the two of them. Tina was the athlete. The warrior. The beauty of the family. The sweetness. Indomitable. Frida, the artist. The invalid. The intrepid one. The creative. She worshipped fire. She feared no one. Together they were the Amazon princessas. Inseparable. Invisibly conjoined. So when Frida died, she became Tina’s phantom appendage. The agony of amputation without the blood. And…
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song of a cane flute
…we are the children of bridges, bridges made from our backs, our tears, our sacrifices, and from all the ones who never made it across with us…. Junot Díaz
low tones solid as her father’s sweet bread
high notes sing the vibrato of son jarocho
of a woman near tears but speaking still
words deep within the memory of cells
the cells are theirs
the lengua is theirs not mine
I can’t presume to speak their truth
yet their indomitable vigor lifts me up
fills with me with a sense of solidarity
a feeling of common purpose
and feelings need not be truth
but are still facts
the strength of la gente bears me up
out of the inundation of hate
their strength through persecution
through the suppression of truth
their unbroken backs carry me
across the chasm seen between us
a bridge between fear and resolution
inspiring me to be a revolution
this bridge called their backs
when I slip and fall I see shoulders and arms
rise up from where knocked to the ground
and those hands reach out to steady me
stand me on my own feet and take my hand
the gift of strength from one heart to another
a kind word from one tongue to another
the gift of memories not mine but shared
like the voice of a cane flute
calling out to the stars
Scroll down through the list, reading all the fantastic poetry as you go. You’ll find mine around the 18th poem.
She gazes at the flame between her eyes, holds her breath until she is nothing but heart, the world’s pulse between her ears. She finds black feathers at her doorstep, unsure if the augury is good or ill. Each night she folds her legs and disappears into the sacred fire. She greets the sunrise with a sigh.
Voices echo conversations on eschatology and doom. She hides from them behind guitars’ excruciating sweet. Words repeat themselves perpetually in silence. She sees pictures on the wall where there are none.
She knows little of souls but talks to the dead, visits them in their tombs inside her body. Somewhere outside her head, the smell of palo santo smolders. Somewhere, the sounds of hard wind through metal and water dripping. Floorboards creak and a door closes, of their own accord. She never knows whether her ghosts linger, or if she binds them to her, refusing to let them go.
In her sleep, she wraps herself in sheets like Lazarus. When she wakes, she arises from the grave into a world of dust and blinding sun, the desert heat a shroud. There are no dreams here, just her third eye ablaze. She dresses in the memory of rain. Her hair a burning nimbus, her reflection falls into the caves beneath her eyes.
Everything is bleached as coyote bones in this landscape she wanders, and every living thing has thorns. The path is full of rock, forlorn scat, and sorrow. Everyday she trips and falls.
When the flame fades she returns to now, along with ordinary sight. The flicker of candles glows on the other side of her eyelids. The sound of heartbeat subsides and that of barking dogs and sirens resume. She realizes the music had been inside her head, as had the desert, the thorns, and the talking dead
Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author of For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), selected by Gregory Pardlo as winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, and Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 American Book Award. A finalist for the 2015 Rome Prize in Literature (American Academy of Arts and Letters).