2 POEMS – Jose Luis Oseguera

L.A. Uomo

My attention is a bowl,

Every distraction a freshly

Washed grape jumping frenzied—

Slippery in its will to explore—

Bouncing off any surface.

As when a man on Wilshire Boulevard

Unburdened his head of a Dodgers cap—

Hair oils and sweat tie-dyed

Its discolored blue—

Frisbeeing it on the grassy verge

Delineating the realm of the walking and driving,

And I worried less about whether or not

He would jerk his cock out in time

To burst on the agave leaves,

And more about the sharp

Of its needles perforating

His uncircumcised flesh, blood-gush

As teeth through grape-skin.

It came out as the rain

That falls whenever it wants to

Not went it’s most needed;

People in cars swerved, unnerved.

In my 33 and a third years

Of living in LA,

I never bothered

To spend money on rain boots.

I overheard another man

Tell his blonde girlfriend:

What else do you think people do

When they move to LA to find a job?

Before he could sip his coffee,

A cyclist zoomed by sneakily,

Too chickenshit to ride on the road.

To wonder why I care about it all—

The neglected that hides,

The hidden that wants to be forgotten,

And the forgotten that wants

Nothing more than to be noticed again—

Is my struggle to look away, and still look;

Too see what I can see, yet remain unseen.

How easy it seemed to empty

Yourself of your innermost waste

On the sidewalk for all to see—

Yet as empty as you’d walk away,

The bowl would always be full of fruit.

 

~

 

nuage un

You want me to be a good boy;

You want me to keep a secret;

You want me to just try it;

You want me to trust you completely when you completely mistrust;

You want me to choose;

You want me to be as faithful as I’ve been unfaithful;

You want me to lie to myself to live your truth;

You want me to be as bad as you;

You want me to come;

You want me to figure you out;

You want me to forgive you for things you haven’t done but will even though you know we’ve been there before;

You want me to abort preconceived notions of you;

You want me to take it;

You want me to like it;

You want me to chase after you when you’re too afraid of saying what you really think;

You want me to believe that you don’t say what you want to say because you fear regret, even though your silence hurts more than words it fails to suppress;

You want me to be as good as you think yourself to be;

You want me to be the bigger person;

You want me to accept your apologies, all your apologies regardless of how unnecessarily stupid they are;

You want me to be thankful for your all understanding, all-encompassing compassion to bypass my flaws, all of my flaws;

You want me to beg;

You want me to watch what I say;

You want me to shut up;

You want me to forget how childish you can be when it comes to playing games;

You want me to fix you with love even though you’re the one who does all the breaking;

You want me to be me;

You want me to be like you;

You want me inside of you;

You want me to be yours;

You want the me that isn’t me.

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TERRY HERTZLER – NAPALM

NAPALM

The boy wears only a pale green shirt,
no pants or shorts or shoes–a six-year-old,
fat stick in hand, squatting in the dirt.

He glances up as our convoy passes,
eyes dark and blank, and shifts his weight
to favor his left leg, ridges of scar
from ankle to hip twisted and shiny as plastic.

Yellow dust, kicked up by our truck
hangs in the air, thick and choking.
But the boy, face calm as a cat, just stares,
only his eyelids moving, up and down
up and down. Finally, he looks away and
raising his club, resumes his task,
pounding ants.

~

This poem was originally published in Second Skin by Terry Hertzler (Caernarvon Press, 2003)

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Chella Courington – I SPEND HOURS KILLING CHICKENS

I Spend Hours Killing Chickens

Not with my hands like mom
who swung the bird round
till the neck popped
My machine chops off the head
splatters blood every five seconds
fresh blood that tastes
salty & sweet
Pay is good
What disgusts me is the line chief
During break he tells me he knows
when a girl is on the rag
claims he smells her
says he dumped
his girlfriend
cause she bled too much
He makes me want to
wash with lye
Thursday he follows me to the car
says he dreams about me
eats me in his sleep
I don’t tell him my dream
where the hook curls
through his neck
rips the vessels
as he swings closer to me
operating the blade

~

Find Chella online. 

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