Skinnin' The Pachuco

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: poem

29/30: A POEM FOR JESSI

Jessi,
bird of my heart,
monkey in my bed,
giraffe of my dreams,
you sing to me in your
baby-talk, in your
gimme-dat clap, in your
nap-time nuh-uh cry,
oh my Jessi, you are everything
you are supposed to be. Right now,
you are shouting for the sky as the
swing-set in the park down the street
from my house brings you closer to the
moon, the stars, the sun, each one: all shining
for you. This is what the light does: it tells us
to reach, to look up, to swing into our shadows
so that darkness will not ask for this dance.
Even now, the Oak trees see you becoming one
with yourself, and I am helplessly in awe at the
call of your voice, the raw power of your smile,
and how I wish you could stay a little while longer.
In this swing, your joy sings me a song. I watch you
rejoice in the shade, alive and singing, here with me.

7/30: EATING BBQ IN LOCKHART, TEXAS (LOVE IS A LEGACY)

Eating BBQ in Lockhart, Texas
Celebrating mine and my grandpa’s birthday
He is 77 and I am 26
We are generations apart
but my mother placed his name
between the first and the last
as if to remind me
the last thing I will ever be is
alone

Eating BBQ in Lockhart, Texas
I travel back in time to every holiday,
summer break, church service, family
reunion or party where I would run between
the legs of nameless cousins, battling for my
mother’s and brother’s attention
Trying my best to be seen by the sea of people
floating in the sea of love that is my family’s legacy

Eating BBQ in Lockhart, Texas
I am inside a palace of smoke
where every person holds a spark
in their heart
Love is a legacy we keep ablaze
in the way we say mijo,
in the way we say mija,

I see my niece crawl across the wood floors
where my Grandpa Caballero once stood
Leading me by hand into the heart of the smoke
Oak burning like an orchestra of ash

Eating BBQ in Lockhart, Texas
The world is crowded with everyone who knows my name
I am surrounded by bluebonnets and brisket
I am somewhere I am supposed to be
In this place where I found my face
in the hard heat
in the warmth of a ritual

Eating BBQ in Lockhart, Texas
I understand the meaning of a place
that stays the same while you are busy changing
Watching the smoke drift, I am drawn to
how it
comes
how it
goes
how it
moves
how it
knows
to come back
home.

6/30: YOUR HAND ON A COUNTRY ROAD IN A LIGHTNING SHOW

On the darkest country road, I touch your hand in the dark
to remind my wandering mind
of what it feels like to be held while lightning
surrounds the sky the same way my arms do
around you when we sleep together and my breathing
slows down the same way storm clouds move in the sky
Something inside of me is forming
The sky’s bright siren is a warning signal
And where we are going, I have nothing left to fear
It is April and all the flowers laugh in the distance
as my car speeds past rolling hills of bluebonnets
I’m reaching through every reason I have to stay
And your hand anchors me to the Earth like a law
I will always follow. I only know
it took years to see
the possibility of not being alone

Whenever the clouds swallow the lightning,
I know you are my waiting horizon
I know you are the light that stays
I know you are the hand that reaches back

On the darkest country road, I interrogate the fate of my heart
Is this the place we start anew?

I look over to you in awe as lightning circles your face
Songs fill the space between us, music rolls in the clouds

And we listen
as the car carries us forward
together

24/30: ODE TO SUBRIDENT, SORT OF

I can’t leave my street/ without turning into an Ode/ I want to write beauty disembodied/ then proceed to explain/proceed to blush/ at my deconstruction/ devastated by the simplicity of my lust/ but before me/ A form I recognize/ Breathlessness is what the afternoon brings/ Praise my lungs/ unafraid to bloom/ Praise the colors of spring/ beauty embodied/ unafraid of gloom/ Wouldn’t that be something/ But I have left my street/ The name of my neighborhood is the Shenandoah Valley/ I do fear evil/ I do fear death/ The road before me is callous with wind/ Among this vast expanse/ Darkness goes unrestricted/ among the Storm Systems/ siphoning faith like the wounding of color/ The sweeping exhilaration of thunder/ unloosens the stitch/ in my side/ My toughness collapsed/ My collection of light/ cracked open/ for all to see/ the nucleus of marbles/ each particle pinballs to create a stronger thing/ Have I spoiled the mystery/ Has anyone seen me before the warm heat rises/ before the cool air quiets/ before the sun riots/ before the masquerade of the storm/ has made you forget your own flesh/ but this too shall pass/ but not before the spell is cast/ Look/ up ahead/ the horizon is unhaunted/ Look/ before you/ my heart/ Unhunted

6/30: REJECTAMENTA

6/30: REJECTAMENTA

“The poem that is merely painful revelations:
my impulse to tell you everything –
which may destroy everything”
– Theodore Roetheke

I know how it feels
when you trick your heart
into being someone else’s treat.
But smiling alone
with you
is how the blood
in my body
refused to rot,
rejected deceit,
rose like a wave &
now the mystery is
who wants to swim
in the mud of love?
who wants to break
the cycle of breaking?
No, I do not know all
my hauntings by name,
but a history of hurt is here,
constant presence, always relevant
but this
is not a poem about defeat.
This is merely pain revealing itself.
This is a monsoon of magnolias
against the grey blanket of morning.
This tired legacy of failed reciprocity
does not bewilder me, the promise of new joy
is a gentle riddle lust cannot solve,
if my heart is knotted, don’t let love resolve,
untie or cut the twist, I just need you to
show up and mean it.
I’ll forget the history of hurt
if you just keep showing up,
turn this historic loneliness
into something we can both fix
the both of us,
your arrival,
the beginning,
apotheosis—
finally, all my fear
furnace bound &
lovemaking
is the quiet smoldering,
which may destroy
everything.

18/30

HIGH & DRY

All the cars     go somewhere     this makes you think
you should too    makes you wanna gamble your morning
breath     away      on   your 8 AM playlist    a shuffle so sad pours
replaces the sugar in your coffee with       Radiohead
and now this suffering refuses to skip   I am sobbing songs out to an audience
invisible from the outside in but oh        I don’t just sing    for nobody   now
Ya see?     I remove the stirrer now a tongue and the thickness of it
curdled the cream    degreased the deadbolt  that keeps the best thing
 I ever had           whole  and no one knows
or remembers how to gather gone glory    even after you showed them.      It’s ok, though.          
‘Cause this morning       I can sing     about wishing to make love
without my inside falling to pieces      again.

Anyway       you are not in your car yet and you think still
to step out      in such an environment     will make you        imposter      
or maybe just impossible  or maybe      opening the door
will affirm           what is waiting         and what is waiting  is what is   not yet
yours but that     will always be       waiting    so
what’s the rush? Maybe now      you are the open door
Welcome!   you think   to the world  whose constant availability
vindicates   the time it takes for you to          open so true      maybe
none of this is what you thought would happen by noon but
It is Friday   nonetheless       you have now drank two cups of coffee
finishing neither but your breath says otherwise and now you are awake
now you are in your car              going somewhere        but you still haven’t left.                                                                            

2/30

Gratitude is the only face
of God
I know.
I know God.
God I know.
I am twenty-two
I am twenty-two and everything is new again.
To be a side-effect of spring
to be brought by spring
is this why the bloom greets me
pretty on my knees?

It is Sunday and it is Spring in Austin
and I am on my knees,
pretty. 
I sit under a tree and share the shade with three men
with three dogs,one each. 
Rocket, Charlie, Sonic.
Their names were
appropriate.
When, they all ran too fast and too far
these men would not scream, or shout, or shatter
but instead, would whistle with wonder and ask, Sweetheart, where are you?
And I think that’s significant.

The most beautiful woman I have ever known
or seen…Okay. Maybe it’s the most beautiful woman
I have seen today. But oh,
isn’t that the same? And oh
now she is smiling and feeding me cupcakes and now I am caving
like my grandfather’s veins that diatribe 
insulin, cause the sugar don’t wanna stay inside.

So, these days I swallow honey. I remember a poster
in my elementary school saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Or was it bee holder? I am twenty-two now and decide it is bee-holder.

It is still Sunday, and me and Rocket
share a spot in the shade because we
get it. Oh we get it. 

When I get up to leave, he looks at me
as if he were to ask, sweetheart, where are you going?
I look back at him and smile, as if I were to say,
I am going weightless.
And suddenly I can’t feel my body
Suddenly I am weightless.
Wait. I spoke too soon (sometimes,
the tongue is a trick I have to trace back
to get.) I feel my body encouraging
itself. I feel my body beginning again
so now I am worryless. The funny thing is,
I wrote that that into my phone and even it
tries to correct the word to worthless.

I feel my body now so now I am worthless?
What an absurd sentence.

I am the 22nd
edition of myself and still feel vintage.
That isn’t an absurd sentence, it’s
just a privilege to say. When
Gratitude is the only face of God 
you know, and it is Sunday and you 
are your mother’s son and your mother
is her mother, you know it’s
just a privilege to pray like you do. Like everything you do
has allowed you to make the spring of yourself 
true, and why don’t you swallow that for a bit.
Trace the tongue back, so you can get it. 

Most people do not know how to eat
and therefore cannot pray like this.
They assume it’s in the chew
and not
the cherish.