From The Cabin

Inside the cabin, the piano music plays.
Lamp light supplements the early morning glowing.
Walls and windows and places to sit,
eat, or sleep. And someone
is inside the cabin whose job, he feels,
is to notice, to be aware;
otherwise, all of this might disappear,
and then what?
No bears might come out of the woods at night
to forage.
No deer to stand as if hypnotized
under a street light.
No flow of time ever leading to
snowfall or blossoms.
No waking up to what might
always have been there,
but hidden
under layers of unconcern, denial, self-pity, inertia.


Find Joseph Somoza online.



  —for Simon Ortiz

Are there Indians living in Las Cruces?
You don’t see them much, not like
you do in Albuquerque.
Once at the Dairy Queen in Flagstaff,
a young Indian asked me to buy him
an ice cream cone.
He seemed like a nice kid.
His drunkenness seemed to give him
a confident swagger,
but he staggered,
and his eyes
weren’t seeing clearly,
you could see.
So there was no real way
to talk and find out what
it was like
in a place like Flagstaff for him—
so near to the Navajo and Hopi
but with all those white college kids
taking classes at Northern,
and the European tourists spending
nights in motels
on their way through
to the Grand Canyon.


Come back to Cacti Fur this Wednesday at 4:21 PM (Mountain Time) for another NEW Joseph Somoza poem!

Find Joseph Somoza online.


Photo by Katie Goetz.


POETRY: KYLE PERDUE – “Breakfast With a Skeleton”

“Breakfast With a Skeleton”

I walked down the morning stairs

a skeleton sat at my typewriter

he was turning the wheel

trying to get the paper through

“you have to guide it through.”

I said through a yawn

he looked at me snide

his bone and marrow yellowish from decay

what are you looking at?

I thought

you’re a god damn skeleton

he took a sip of coffee

I watched it go into his jaw

through his throat

down his belly

and onto the floor

he’d gotten the paper in

and I could hear him now from the kitchen

he was typing something


I called out

no response

I walked over

he was head-down, still typing


he screamed


I made the eggs— dashed with some cinnamon

I sat on one end of the table

him on the other

I watched the eggs travel through his body

and splat onto the floor where my dog ate them


he said

“is that, is that cinnamon?”

what was left of his face cringed

“what were you writing?”

no response

“what were you writing?”

he took another bite of eggs and said:

“a body for myself.”

“a body for yourself?”

“a vessel for this hollow, lonely, useless, irritating,

appalling arrangement of calcium.”

“that’s what you were writing?”

“that and a love poem.”

“for Meryl”

“but how do you write a body?”

I asked him

“the same way you write a love poem,

it writes you.”

I had a sip of coffee

“I like you, skeleton, you should stick around.”


I’ve got to get an x-ray today.”

he showed me his broken arm

“you ever tried writing a love poem with a broken arm?”

he asked

“no, but I have with a broken heart.”

we sat in silence

just before he read me his body

and his love poem

I cried during both

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