Saturday, September 7, 2013

19 poets read from SGVPQ 59

Denise Walsh

the only way to eat watermelon
is outside, in July, barefooted
dangling your legs over the side of the porch
the fruit cut into ripe red  wedges
holding it in two hands
eating from the inside out
its extravagant sweet flesh
turning to liquid in your mouth
all the way down to the white rind
spitting seeds at your brothers
through gap-toothed watermelon grins
tasting summer, knowing it will last.

Lori Wall-Holloway

Torn emerald paper
crumples and wrinkles
as I try to stick
on scrapbook page
Distressed, I quickly
attempt to fix
ripped parts and smooth
to make beautiful
Beautiful like the story
told in the photos
arranged upon table
to be placed on sheet
Sheet decorated
with pansy stickers
entwined with leaves
along border to create frame
Frame to surround
the images of a past
moment, a gift
in time to hold dear
Dear to me as I grasp
any ripped parts
of my life, only God
can smooth and repair

Thelma T. Reyna
your sweet face fooled us all, lulled us into
thinking a heart of milk and honey could stave
off monsters
your soft arms folded us in laughter, tricked
us into thinking your songs and crazy dancing
could castrate demons
your dreams consumed us— your films, poems,
music, art, scripts transporting us to
worlds you grew
but you buried truth in pillows, in journals 
shut to daylight, in night clubs cramped with
sweat, malt liquors, smoke, and coke
you buried your soul in keyboards clacking
beyond sleep, churning your brain into
believing fame followed close
vanessa of visions huge, transcending blue-eyed
men who blocked, who slammed doors shut, who
could not see the world you were
vanessa of gentle eyes that wearied of the tug,
the pull, the pressing down, the clouds that hung
like lead around your soul
dreams die hard, you said the day before, but
we were lulled and tricked and blind and deaf and
never saw your spirit’s death.
*In memoriam: Vanessa Libertad Garcia, age 29.

Raquel Reyes-Lopez

By the freeway where a block
from the corner exit rests Denny’s
sits a man a foot away from a woman
yelling over heavy traffic,
"Your miscarriage it happened.
Not too long ago. I’m glad it did.
I never wanted kids with you."
I watched
her tears
break the laws
of gravity
as they flew
upward into

Toti O'Brien
Then I
fell in love
briefly. An
impromptu crush
for someone
unreachable a
stranger an
That day I
felt the
air become
full of scents
rich with
‘N the cactus
I earlier
dug out of
a wall’s crack
‘n stuck in
new soil
hoping for its
(it remained
mute and
for months
its destiny
With one
so glorious
‘n huge
I could
believe it
When its
against the green
of the banana
tree I took
its picture
It did last
a few days
then fell off
(its stem
out as if
burned by an
invisible flame)
I have a
printed on
I doubt
I ever
saw it

Terry McCarty
The bus is waiting.
Everything out of the motel room
Where I lost a sort of virginity
Spending a night with people
Other than family.
Quick breakfast.
Pay bill with money
from hiding place
inside my right shoe.
Look across the street
At the convicts in City Jail
Using a mirror to flash
SOS signals at the girls
In our high school band.
The bus is waiting.
I wish I could stay.

Reynald Romea Luminarias

          Civilization is a limitless multiplication
          of unnecessary necessities.
                                             -Mark Twain 
likewise, i’ll be
light-footed today.
i shall not trample on
the helpless dandelion.
(o they’re great for salad
with a light touch of lemon)
i shall be an enlightened nomad,
building no fence; taking no offense;
        not causing anyone to stumble on
                                any lofty or petty thing.
i’ll leap like a gazelle, fly for i have wings;
i’ll batter no butterfly nor hurt a chimpanzee;
sing i will, alighting on the limb of a flame tree

Julie Larson

sun wise sound foolish

clocks without hands
still hold shadows

rewind me
when did god die?

time on the wing
we name it


Elmast Kozloyan
(poem removed by author's request)

Lalo Kikiriki


heat wavers on sand
Mojave ants gathering
snowwhite palm blossoms
red taillights pulsing
down perforated highway
reflect the brushfires

lack hills burn, burn, burn

self-referential backdrop
to Kerouac's road
cracked pavement steaming
mirage of buried raindrops:
a summer river

Gerda Govine Ituarte

He appeared inside a blink   walked out of the vineyard
sun at his back   elbowed a space in my eyes   curiosity
took hold   breeze whistled softly   silence expectant 
wore beige linen suit   white shirt no collar         white       
mexican cowboy hat   band that matched caramel
suede vest   brown leather satchel tilted shoulder
feet in leather cowboy boots   too cool to sweat   
friend’s voice plucked me out of trance   hi luis
introduced as artist   shook my hand slowly   earth
shifted   rattled   heart on lockdown  he began to draw  
captured last light of day   headed towards pulsating  
music   he joined us   danced like wild fire   partners
breathless   pulled on to dance floor at break neck
speed  skin clothes soaked   band packed up   time
to go  no map   no idea how to find ranch house
darkness veiled winding roads   he showed the way   friend
and I checked out loft upstairs   he sprawled out fully clothed
on downstairs couch   went back grabbed my bag   on the
way up said you don’t have to go upstairs stay with me  
stopped turned   in your dreams buddy in your dreams    he
chuckled   I was annoyed   fell in and out of sleep   luis and
my friend were contenders for who snored the loudest and
longest   both tied for second place   first place won by heavy
trucks as they sliced through the night

Charles Harmon


Ignoring my Superego’s restraining order,
Dodging the Judge’s bench warrant for my arrest,
Ripping up a handful of citations and police reports
I decided to do a drive-by on myself.

Silently after midnight, beyond the lawn and the sidewalk,
I cruise by in the dilapidated jalopy of my Alter Ego,
My evil twin striving to sacrifice my better half
On the altar of my ambivalence and indecision
While my slumbering shell of a body
Rolls away on the ocean of my dreams.

The gunshots fail to awaken me,
They roar like the crash of breakers
On the rocky beach of my unconsciousness.
Only the continuous pounding on the door
By the police drags me from my sleep.
They’ve got a writ of habeas corpus
But I’m not giving up my body to nobody
Even if I already feel like a corpse.

The neighbors reported that the man in the car
With the machine gun looked a lot like me.
The officers actually believe that
I am the perpetrator who somehow got into the house,
And that I the victim had somehow escaped
Not only the bullets of my attempted murder
But also the shrapnel of their interrogation.

They point out to me the bullet holes in the windows,
The slugs in the walls, the skid marks on the asphalt
Seen by the flashing lights atop the squad cars.
After signing some papers and agreeing to
Come into the station in the morning
Somehow I go back to sleep even while knowing
That the government has a claim of eminent domain
On the pain in my brain.
I feel like I’ve jumped bail and I’m just one step
And a short-shucked shotgun ahead of the
Bounty hunter, a crooked judge, and the hangman.

The old me is going to die anyway. Let the new me begin.
No more Mr. Nice Guy. Out with the old. In with the bold.

Christina Foskey

They say my body is equipped for children,
I picture fallopian tubes releasing lullabies along with the eggs
They say, “It’s nature and you were built for it…”
            Can’t I still be afraid?
Will nine months of getting to know someone from the inside
outweigh the pain of losing them in years to come?
Does the heart engorge with love
as breast engorge with milk?
Did yours?
Do all women’s run dry?

Marvin Louis Dorsey

Sitting somberly sober
Under a monsoonal
high desert sky
wishing that the past
wasn't so easy to see
Some things are just not meant to be 
A silhouette
Regrets of her broken heart
A Friday afternoon
Drunk stars
A  stolen car
How far can you run from the wind
What comes closer then skin
I'm looking out a window
A turtle takes bites from ahead of lettuce
Making me wonder
What would the world be
If people didn't learn how to sing

Beverly M. Collins

Morning; full of hope, peeked yellow eyelashes over
the hills and stretched her long fingers of light. This
jarred the Marine layer to run and catch a bus.
As Marine layer ran, he called over one shoulder to
Midday who marched in, blew his hot breath on the
landscape, stomped in circles until he lost footing and
rolled, clumsy into Afternoon, knocked Afternoon
from her nap on the hammock. So, Afternoon jumped up
and decided to go for a long; paused only once to
glaze at a group of Rabbits who played in a field.
Eventually, Afternoon jumped tired legs over
Evening who had crawled in on hands and knees
and tried to get a drink from a broken water fountain.
Later, Evening wrapped herself in a colorful jacket and
turned on her side with her back to Nighttime. This
caused Nighttime to feel sad, push in heavy clouds.
Their tears tapped lightly at windows as Nighttime laid flat
on his back and prayed for the hope of morning.