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.
Read more "POETRY: MARLENA CHERTOCK – CEMETARIO GENERAL"
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).
Read more "poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista"
Helena the Shark
She told me she was Helena
Read more "CATFISH MCDARIS – HELENA THE SHARK"
Blavatsky reincarnated, there
was some resemblance, I told
her her breasts reminded me of
Texas, one sort of drooped toward
Dallas, the other curled like a
Texas longhorn in a Waco twister,
her farts were ungodly, I’m talking
Martian strange, I took her on a
short road trip and told her if she
cut the cheese anymore, I’d stake
her ass to an anthill and lather her
with honey, she just smiled, we got
to the beach, I got out our lounge
chairs and tequila sunrises from the
cooler, I fell asleep when I woke up
a tiger shark was wearing Helena’s
sunhat and bloody bikini top and
was sipping an icy Old Milwaukee.
He watched her back a long time. Her soft sway
kept slow time steadily, his metronome.
Her elastic music measured his day.
Not a dancing creature, his mother would say,
he herked and jerked stiff as a moon
clock. Her soft back was long, a controlled sway
was her weapon of choice. She liked to play
roles: child, temptress, wayward wife whose next home
was elastic as music. All working days
bored her. His hot gaze was modeling clay
her cool hands enjoyed. He lived on his own.
She watched him back. The swift time held soft sway
over each of his steps. Her eyes delayed
his dreaming self and her diva mask loaned
him elastic music. He measured days—
rationing them. He was trying to save
Read more "POETRY: Mark J. Mitchell – Stranger Dance"
her like coins but knew she’d remain unknown.
He watched her, lost in time, her soft sway
stretched musically through his measured days.
To Hachijō Island in October
We look out at you
split into your full
and we think
it’ll pour here or it won’t
there’ll be food for us
or we’ll rumble up at
the full-bellied clouds
we’ll find a bed
or we’ll sit up
counting the stars
upon the Philippine sea
think I’ll halve you
at your waist
and fold your
two peaks into
a ball as warped
and cragged as
the earth itself
then I’ll roll you
back to Tokyo
in the harbour, dyeing
the gunmetal water
the dark green
of your many
Read more "POETRY: David Eves – To Hachijō Island in October"
Bionic Just The Same
I pulled a nail
out of my head
the other day,
more out of anger
than in a panic,
it’s a real bitch
I’ve taken a knife
to my womanhood
in front of the world,
I know pain
and I have been dead
I know what it’s like being dead.
That scares an audience;
that and being a man-made
Mulling around in my afterbirth
looking out of my one good eye,
feeling my way through life tragic,
picking metal shavings from my own vomit.
So VERY punk rock!
Eh, the ruminations
of a tired poet,
reality of dinner for one
and horrible coping skills;
it’s made me the woman I am today.
Bionic just the same.
Read more "POETRY: Abigale Louise LeCavalier – BIONIC JUST THE SAME"
The baby is crying.
We are all alone.
She is Fantomas
And we don’t
Know what to do.
Last time I was here
They didn’t give me
A paper cap.
But the guard offers us three
And I put them on us.
I feel Napoleonic.
Fantomas is inconsolable.
She wants to face out.
So I carry her
Past the guns and armor.
The Grand Palais was closed again
And so we are here amongst the arms.
You are interested
In how a world war starts.
I never knew you to care before.
History is hard, you say to her.
But what you don’t say is
Because the future is not just ours.
How can cities be taken?
Read more "POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS"
You search with a mother’s concern,
Work to build a cursory understanding of
What to fear in the coming years?
You look for signs as I pace
Rocking the baby to sleep.