Cemetario General is one of the largest cemeteries in Santiago, Chile. Patio 29 is a plot used to bury the disappeared, the homeless, the unidentified, and victims of the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.
What’s left of them is arranged in boxes,
fifty or so line a wall.
He turns off the leaf blower,
passes a woman kneeling, her head lowered.
Even in death there are mansions.
Glass criptas encasing tías.
He coaxes leaves away
from the marble structures.
In a narrower section
ice cream and chip vendors push their carts.
Crowded together are plots of dirt, maybe some hierba,
a Nescafé bottle filled with wilted hydrangea.
He asks families to give more.
Sometimes there’s no response. So he digs up the land
and transfers what endured to a mass plot, Patio 29.
He’s so close to the body then, touching its bones.
At home he holds his esposa’s hips
as she cooks dinner, the smell of her sweat and the humitas
mixing in the kitchen air,
holds her as she undresses and they lie down together.
Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.
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Hasta La Vista
Here I find myself again,
in the company of
trees and sunshine,
a quiet workday morning.
It’s like emerging from a tunnel
where my mind was cloyed
with mundane matters such as
providing food, doing dishes,
and having to
respond to others—
who are my family,
who have gone back now
to being themselves
in the far distance where I can
make out the details better,
hear their words more clearly
in the sparse air between
here and there, as if minds can’t
co-exist in close proximity
and must always be
sent on their way.
Order Joseph Somoza’s new volume of poems As Far as I know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).
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I’m 6 years old
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I got a Barbie for Christmas
I guess pink’s a pretty color
My babysitter tried drowning me
I want a red mustang!
Mom and Dad beat me for spilling milk
My parents divorced
Mom beats all the time
A cop gave me a teddy bear
I burnt it
My doctor says I have severe depression and anxiety
What’s that? Is it bad?
She gave me meds
I was just told Savannah kissed Sam
What’s a kiss? I wonder
All I wanna do is play soccer
Dad keeps hitting me with his belt
I like blue but they say that’s for boys only
The teacher’s talking about sex
What’s a period? We have babies inside us?!
The bruises arent fading
I got raped at a party
I’m never drinking fruit punch again
I’ve started to cut myself
I got heartbroken by a soccer player
I stopped taking my meds
My mom beat me until i passed out
I don’t want to see my parents anymore
I want to go far far way
Anywhere but here really
I’m not religious
Water still scares me
I will not turn the other cheek
No I will not bend the knee
No I will not make myself miserable for your society’s pleasure
I will rise
Finally! Obama shot back at the Russian hackers
who attacked our computers, the Democratic National Committee,
Hillary’s email, and just fun Vermont’s power grid.
But shot with a BB gun, it could shoot someone’s eye out,
leaving him dazed and bloody, not like a nuke
which could destroy a country or a world,
leaving the scent of smoke no creature could smell.
Obama, did you smell the flaming planet?
Trumpeter tweeted Putin putting off his own retaliation,
shining “very smart.” Treason is giving aid and comfort
to an enemy. Is the president-elect dipping
into treason like chocolate mousse?
Trumpeter sided with WikiLeaks founder
who said “Nyet, not a Russian hack.”
Does dumpy Trumpy want to build a golf course
in Siberia? It’s all about money.
With his glowing bare muscular chest,
Putin must have a dozen women
Trumpet can grope.
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Catherine G. Wolf studied language development in graduate school, and was fascinated by this unique human ability. In 1997, when she was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, her ability to speak was taken away by this disease. She found poetry had a special capability to express her innermost feelings. By losing her physical voice, Catherine found her poetic voice. Catherine has published in the 2016 Rat’s Ass Review edition of Love & Ensuing Madness, Rat’s Ass Review, Front Porch Review, Verse-Virtual, Cacti Fur, and Bellevue Literary Review. She uses assistive technology to communicate, and raises her right eyebrow to type.
The Faithful Faithless
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After signing 37 petitions, I dreamed
Sunday night 37 faithless members
of the electoral college, but faithful
to the national popular vote,
defected from the orange Rump
and voted for Hillary.
Russian hacking couldn’t turn
our election upside down.
America was great again!
But when I turned on the TV Monday night,
America was raped again.
Two electors dressed in camouflage
fatigues snuck away from the orange Slime
and voted for Kasich and Ron Paul.
On the blue Pantsuit side,
three deranged defectors voted Colin Powell,
one voted for Bernie to keep our revolution alive,
one flew to Native American
Faith Spotted Eagle’s perch.
Hillary won 2,800,000 more than Tiny Fingers,
why isn’t she the President-elect?
Because the electoral college uses
nonsensical rules of assigning electors to states.
It tilts power to small population states.
It’s hardly a college, more like doggy daycare.
Now we’re stuck with climate contrarian,
women-groping, Muslim-hating, Putin-loving,
nuke-hawking, lying-tweeting, cancerous Lump.
Time for a Lumpectomy!
Magic Spell Against Trump
You love Putin,
here’s my sputum.
You brag about women groping.
You’ll end up in jail I’m hoping.
You orange vampire,
you suck blood from those you hire.
You lie about everything, the height of Trump Tower, the popular vote.
You want to deprive us of civil rights.
Hell no! We’ll fight!
You say climate change is a “Chinese hoax.”
Save that for your Florida grandchild when she croaks .
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You’re asking for a slug.
Your businesses, we’ll investigate.
You’ll drown in corrupt-gate.
This country won’t tolerate you.
We’ll impeach, get rid of you.
No sociopath fascist will be president.
In the White House, you’ll no longer be resident.
We will put you in jail.
The end of “Hail
I wrote about his death until he died.
Then I became my father. The shift
was gradual, the way a house might inch,
year by year, down an incline towards the street.
Bushes feel the nudge. Sidewalk cracks
could tell a tale, but who would listen?
Eventually the house will tumble
beam to basement. Unless contractors
Read more "POETRY: JIM ZOLA – EUGENE"
come in to bolster floor joists, add girders.
When my mother visits for Christmas,
his name isn’t spoken. But in photographs,
I feel his eyes follow my movements.
My oldest son lumbers into the kitchen,
comes to lean against me. I pull away,
afraid of what is already happening.