To mark another year since his death: The cruelest month by Donna Snyder

via The cruelest month by Donna Snyder

The cruelest month
In memory of Jesús Guzmán
April winds rage in with a renegade posse of dust,
weather’s bad boys intent on stealing a body’s air.
And one cruel April, Jesús was killed on Easter Monday.
Day after resurrection Sunday, he fell from Jacob’s Ladder.
It was the sudden stop that killed him.
Undoubtedly ¡Ay cabrón! frozen on his lips when he hit the ground,
a tiny blood red rose quivering alone in the wind-blasted dirt.
Jesús killed, an angel fallen from the heavens.
Declared dead on the scene, mad scientists shocked him
until his heart resumed its beat, like all fallen angels
determined to return to lost paradise.
Declared dead at the scene on Easter Monday.
Declared dead in ICU on Tuesday afternoon.
Then on the third day they took away his tubes and wires,
and his heart beat for another hour.

He fought Miss Death until they declared him dead
all over again.
No resurrection,
except in the memories of children he taught to be poets,
or the minds of workers who crossed the borders
from there to here.
He crossed over from this life to the next one,
neither from here nor from over there.
And the mesas crashed onto the freeway like waves.
The spring night bled teardrops like falling stars
because he’s still cheated of air.
Cheated of words.
Cheated of life.
The world cheated of him and his corazón, too soon.
Jesús was killed on Easter Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.
His heart tan fuerte it took three times to kill him.

His death scene punctuated by the street’s beat
and the lullabies of the bereft.
Now the world is so cold and lonely in April,
when the winds carry the spirits of dead vatos to remind us
just how cruel a month can really be.

Published in Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press, New York 2014)

Poem published in Fearless

page 8 of the newest issue

Fearless Poetry ‘zine # 67

Reality of flesh and chair

Patterns of organic energy on a sub-atomic level

not ruled by cause and effect-

by looking we change the outcome.

Change is inherent in observing.  The closer

we look the less precise we become.

Light bumps against flesh, moves backward

to mark where flesh was.

I try to define the reality of flesh and chairs,

become distracted by the buzz and bounce.

Newtonian physics.  Einstein’s theories on relativity.

The more we try to comprehend the less they have meaning.

The theory of everything implies that we don’t exist.

The chair is new today but the wood is ancient.

Light bounces from tree to retina and I say chair,

but chair is nothing more than an artificial construct,

an approximation of a limited mind’s effort to name a reality

seeming to exist.  Our orbits exceed experience of finite flesh.

By merely looking I have changed chair.

A non-existent mover makes me think tree.

I am lost in a forest of holes that leads me nowhere.

Out of nothing, everything.

Out of dying flesh, I find never ending,

the most vast nothing,

free of who I was.

Free of flesh.

Free of table.

Free of chair.

Free of words

 

 

 

Nothing is never nothing published in Setu

Setu is a bilingual Hindi and English monthly journal of of Pittsburgh. This poem and two others were included 8n a special issue called Western Voices, selected by guest editor, Scott Thomas Outlar.

 

Re post

poetry from the frontera

Nothing is never nothing

A message

written for a bottle with no ocean

The body atremble, the mouth a desert

Sirens so far away but still the jaws grind

Not even the dogs know what dogs always know

Hands thrust into what becomes a salivating mouth

Birds fall, frozen, from the sky to unyielding ground

Words without meaning

Ask the women, they all will tell you

An utterance shuts out objective meaning

Oxygen sucks the life out of a lying mouth

Not even the shadow knits truth from facts

The first page missing, the first line begins

. . . but that was long after Night arose from nothing

Chaos,

Dark void of space

counter-intuitively comprising Earth, Wind,

Water, and Fire, the gods both spirit and being,

but their answers illusory, begging the question

Something from nothing, they say

yet nothing was ever made of something

Chaos,

the first something…

View original post 196 more words

Nothing is never nothing published in Setu

Nothing is never nothing

A message

written for a bottle with no ocean

The body atremble, the mouth a desert

Sirens so far away but still the jaws grind

Not even the dogs know what dogs always know

Hands thrust into what becomes a salivating mouth

Birds fall, frozen, from the sky to unyielding ground

Words without meaning

Ask the women, they all will tell you

An utterance shuts out objective meaning

Oxygen sucks the life out of a lying mouth

Not even the shadow knits truth from facts

The first page missing, the first line begins

. . . but that was long after Night arose from nothing

Chaos,

Dark void of space

counter-intuitively comprising Earth, Wind,

Water, and Fire, the gods both spirit and being,

but their answers illusory, begging the question

Something from nothing, they say

yet nothing was ever made of something

Chaos,

the first something from which gods appeared,

and from them, everything in the known world

A vacuum that yielded only luminous flashes

yet gave birth to Night and her brother, Darkness

And when Night and Darkness coupled, Night

gave birth to Light and Day, Sleep and Death

Time killed Space, his father

Night, hidden away in her cave, made oracles,

listened to drums, the raucous timpani, the tzils,

the celestial bodies’ thrum, as her daughter judged,

moving the universe in the rhythms of ecstatic dance

Time dreamed, prophesied the future, drunk on honey,

oblivious to Retribution that chained him within Night’s cave

A blank book

no longer wholly incomplete

Ink now scratched over ruled lines

filled with fragments, a two-lane highway

Leaves plucked from a boll of cotton

A vignette of tin roofs and stucco shacks

A stalk of bronze maize braided to the dusty green

An artist’s eye

no better than that of a witness in a court of law

Each untrustworthy as the basis for a just outcome

The mere act of observation will change the observed

Time lies incognizant of retribution yet prophesying still

With neither bottle nor letter, the world spins in a lonely sea

https://www.setumag.com/2019/02/western-voices-donna-snyder.html?m=1

 

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)

 

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).