Orwell as Nostradamus

Don’t get psycho (or loco)

     no one can control

          the media or the message

now that we have the internet

     don’t get paranoid

          1984 has come and gone

without incident

it’s not like we’re building a

     giant, all-knowing, ubiquitous

          database full of private information

     including pictures, video, and text

          that can be tagged and cross-checked

     and connected to anyone the

          State needs to find.  (Facebook me)

So don’t be crazy (pendejo)

     after all

          who would ever ever ever

     carry a device around

          with them all the time

     that would allow

          anyone with access to

     a computer to track them

          by triangulation anywhere

     in the world?

          Who would pay to install

     a tracking device

          in their cars?

     People are not suckers.

          They won’t pay for air or water.

     Or air, yet, anyway.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.



hudson river miracle

It wasn’t cold enough

that day to keep away

the goose or geese or gander(s)

that got sucked into the engine

or engines that changed

everyone’s plans on flight 1549

 and scared the shit out of 150+ people

and made a hero for a minute of

the only person that could

have pulled that landing

into the Hudson River off …


“That plane must have had

          angels watching over it,”

one co-worker said to me.


“They must not have been watching too closely,”

           I answered back,

“because some birds fucked everybody’s day up,

          and it took a lot of people,

to make it right again”.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.


The Lord’s Prayer: broken by spoken Spanglish

      as I tell this
          because it is remembered
     in more than one language
          slipping between tongues

     twisted by root meanings

               Padre nuestro,
               que estas en el cielo
how do I decide

     where the truth


          la verdad
     is when I rely on memories
          spoken in broken Spanglish?


               Santificado sea su nobre.
Whole conversations
     that I’ve had in my life

          that are lost not just

     to time but also

          to palabras perdidas


               Venga tu reino
               Hágase tu voluntad
I have lost so much more

     to yesterday than I have

          to ayer o el dia pasado    

but death is hardly tampoco

          a match for la muerte I will take death

1,000,000,000,000 times

          Over una muerte

               En la tierra como en el cielo
Because I was first afraid
     of the dark in Spanish

          then certain things will always

remain in that language

     Veo la luz
     Vivo el dia
     Tomo el agua
     Amo ha mi madre

     Trago mi comida


The English of my conversation

          has turned out not to be

            any sort of escape from    

those awful terrors

but a sharp, cold burrowing tool.

               Danos hoy el pan de este día
               y perdona nuestras deudas
The reality is

     I am losing everything

          in these translations

I cannot balance the equation that I am –

          the calculus of my temporary stages

Whenever I’ve stopped to observe it

          I affected the outcome

          and rendered it all useless

Proof of how loco estoy

               como nosotros perdonamos
               nuestros deudores

 always the two sides

          se quieren matar

because there is no hero

          solo maldades y el diablo

a desperate tale of minor

     chapters I can’t write down

     because I was born

          naci aqui,

between times and tongues

               y no nos dejes caer en la tentación

     sometimes I wonder what

      the voices are really saying

        because they are as grainy as the faces

          they belonged to and the reason

           I love watching sand and thinking

how their ancestors

     las montanas, las piedras          

were cut down to size sobre tiempo    

by el mar y el viento

               sino que líbranos del malo


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.



Conversation with the star

“I get the wonder”

     I say aloud

but it’s too far

     and I’m too small

Still something in me

     keeps speaking like it matters


“I see you flickering

     I detect the wavelengths

you sent out that now address

     the rods and cones

in the back of my eyes –

     but you’re messing with my head,

baby”, I plead

     as my star is lost

behind a passing cloud


“for all I know”

     I yell

“you’re already gone”.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.