My poem Dead Hands published at This is Poetry

This is Poetry
a project of The Literary Underground

theliteraryunderground.org

Dead  hands

Dead  hands

The dead reach out across the desert,
burned like bricks by the enemy sun.
Beyond the corpses,
a litter of bottles emptied of life
makes a trail to the border with its gaudy signs.

Down the highway,
a panel truck hides its contraband behind a locked door.
Inside the odor of bodies warns the night sky
to open its arms to death’s bounty.

The desert stretches,
a merciless sea of boiled blood waiting for the coming sun.

Only the desperate
believe the lies of the coyote.
(Coyote tricked the Holy Ones out of their fire
and gave it to the People along with this scorched earth.)

Somewhere the names of workers are written
like beads between fingers.

Somewhere fields still and quiet
wait for dead hands to harvest poisoned fruit.

 

“Dead hands” was first published in Chrysalis and later in Unlikely Stories 2.0 and Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press)

 

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My poem Him all Jack Kerouac and shit published at This is Poetry

This is Poetry

a project of The Literary Underground

http://theliteraryunderground.org/

Him all Jack Kerouac and shit

Him all Jack Kerouac and shit

him all Jack Keroac and shit
his biography an artist’s cliche
oh he told a good anecdote yes
took her to his garrett to see the view
she let him dry her with skin and lips
all happy in the moment he kissed her hair

her all this is only just for now you know
an ephemeral spring so drink up fast
when it ended she hardly noticed lost
so was she in grief for pretty words
mirror shards piled like minnowy regrets
all caught up in the moment she almost knew

“Him all Jack Kerouac and shit” was previously published in I Am South (Virgogray Press).

My poem I am South published at This is Poetry

I am South

I am South

Once there were women who made many kings
by taking their mates
The tacit memory of them inhabits me
like stones left to mark my way
Blood of northern tribes undeniably runs
through my body
My hair is reddish and my skin pale
with caramel flecks
But I am South

Gravity pulled me from north to south
to find some truer self
South is where I learned to swallow
Pablo Neruda like rum
Where time stretches out like a bus trip
in exotic lands
And South is where I both swear and sweat
in Spanish
There is antiquity here everywhere
and I have become part of it
Inscrutable past etched across desertscapes
like ghost buttes
The scattered detritus of other lives lived
and other loves
Effulgent planes and circles circling out
through time and space
like ephemeral water

The humid kiss of desert stones
I am South

 

an earlier version of “I am South” was previously published inI Am South (Virgogray Press).

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Donna Snyder

via Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Donna Snyder

 

Excerpt:

What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Read good writers. Read bad writers. Read every day. Write good stuff and bad stuff. Write whether or not you’re in the mood. Buy journals and other people’s books. Go to readings at least once a month. Submit to journals and anthologies. Cast your bread upon the waters; support other writers and independent publishers.

 

 

 

A neon desert the only sea

A neon desert the only sea
1.
Awareness moves to the right
Electric asters line a green sky
Brake lights baffle the eyes
(Are you paying attention?)
Traffic moves to the right
Think of Louisiana—
Think of Japan—
People disappeared
Structures on stilts still
can’t out walk the waves
Fissured world shifts in its sleep
as sure as the earth beneath your feet
This may be the only world we know
Secrets and lies in camouflage
The stranger’s smile all teeth and eyes
Detainees in your back yard
herded like cattle into the corralón
Downtown old men still hide
numbers tattooed on their wrists
or nopales on the forehead
Catastrophe is our only home now
Dying cougars shot more dead
Unknown bodies beneath the ground
Spying soldiers spread across the sky
A neon desert the only sea
Even metals gone to driest dust
Hear the sound of air through shell
Scent of water glosses the lips of statues
Birds in tree tops sing departure
(There’s about to be an accident)
Our Mama on the wall wears green and blue

She stands on the moon
Blots out the sun
2.
Birds gather in tree tops praying
for all the people dead and gone
Dancers dance with feathers and shells
Mama’s starry cloak shelters her Son
with the nopal tattooed on his forehead
Pray for mercy
Pray for the woman who lives in a car
The detainees in our own back yard
Men with guns at every gate
People disappeared on the river edge
deprived of the solace of rivers and rocks
Our Mama damp with migrant workers’ sweat
Lights wander the other edge of darkness
Nothing sure but this earth beneath our feet
(Are you paying attention?)
Secrets and lies with teeth and eyes
This is your home now
Another day another catastrophe
It’s the only world we’ve ever known
Earthworks break into thunder claps
Random red lights baffle the eyes
Birds falling from the dying blue
Lost fish floating in the dying sea

 

From my book Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press, New York 2014)

Previously published in I Am Not a Silent Poet