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Posts Tagged ‘poems about life’

The horrowshow Milkbar

also known now as the best mesto

for my droogs and me,

where, “What’s it going to be then, eh”

is the question repeated

by malchicks and devotchkas …

any random nochy with a thirst

for twenty-to-one, or any other

way to filly out the bezoomny

we feel trapped in the old mozg.

 

Bog himself knows the starry lewdies

try everything they can to escape

their grazzy cheepooka. They

have different ways of lying

about the jeezny, my brother.

 

But if you viddy their glazzies

after a few rounds of their

favorite poisons, behind their guffs

and ha ha ha creeches

you’ll hear from their poogly rot

what sounds like a hound and horny

excuse for why they wake up every

morning to ookadeet their domy and drat

for the measly hem-korm in their pockets …

why they rabbit until their plots

fall apart and are left with nothing

but to itty or take in

the last unending spatchka.

 

It’s why we’re showing mercy, my brother,

and a beautiful thing, kleb and krovvy,

when we take these broken vecks

out back to bend ’em at their altar

in the darkness of the alley

and smash them in the litso —

make a mark in the rassoodock,

so it plays like a shoomny sneety,

like a scene we’d see at the sinny.

 

It’s the only way to prod a bratty.

 

* Inspired by a student who invited me to read and discuss A Clockwork Orange with him.

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On one of the days

of that week of creation

(the sources aren’t sure

if it was the 3rd or the 6th)

the angels were told

to bow down before Adam

for man was God’s favorite

invention; made as he was

in his own image

from the mist and the mud …

how could this tiny

material thing, be greater

than those who’d known only

Heaven?

And this is when

the angels conspired to whisper

forever into the ears of men,

lies about the nature of nature

and the terrible predicament

that we are all in.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2018. All rights reserved

 

 

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I don’t like finding the dead bodies of insects

anywhere ‘round my house.

Don’t get me wrong, I smash and swat and kill

the little buggers when they trespass on my space.

They are disgusting after all, and especially to me;

when I consider how alien they seem,

but still share my ancestry.

 

How I hate thinking that they still foment

within their genetic recipe

the blueprints for my symmetry.

 

No, my distaste for finding the leftover husks

of dried out insects comes from the deep

realization that I share that fate with them.

 

That their grotesque beauty should be

so fragile in the end, and so easily extinguished,

left without ceremony, to be collected in a dustpan.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2016. All rights reserved.

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cropped-the-view.jpg

We look across the flat lands of New Mexico,

from a seat on the Sandilla Mountains.

It is near sunset and the whole scene looks red

and reminds me of a blazed clay shell

occasionally interrupted by the jutting of an

ancient cordillera spine. It is the backbone

of the native western earth; it is where the sun

was stored at night for safekeeping, away from

the Old World’s shores. We watch low clouds

cross below us, stoking the hard earth with

their shadows, and I imagine they must cool

whatever life there is down there. It is hard

to see anything but red, red earth. Hard to

imagine anything good growing here.

And she just sits next to me in silence, too.

Looking out and imagining who knows what.

She is quiet and unwilling to pose for a picture,

unwilling to participate in the pure illusion of a moment.

Instead she sits next to me looking out at the horizon,

like a person sitting at the bottom of the ocean

wanting air.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

* NOTE ABOUT THIS POEM: This poem was originally written in 1994 and is about one of my favorite personal pictures. The picture was taken by my friend, Camille Pansewicz, and it is of my future wife and I from behind, looking out across the horizon. There are too many reasons why this picture is one of my all time favorites to explain here. The poem is not one of my faves, but it is a reminder that writing is like taking a picture with words.

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You know

the many reasons

that we named you Gabriel;

.

arriving in the world

when and how you did

according to a fashion

unguided by the stars

directed by the chances

of who and what we were

.

I know my story states

there is no grand designer,

there is no author penning

lines for you to say

there are no demons coming

or angels to save the day

.

and I cannot use the devil

or eternal damnation

to turn you away

from the “dark side”

… what they call temptation

.

now that you have

no use of a soul

or a search for salvation

to easily tell you

what’s wrong

and what’s right

.

now that you know

that we may be alone

in this corner

of space and time in the night

 .

now that you’ve learned

of the treasures we’ve earned

as social loners

making culture and learning to write

.

now you’ve been told

all the monsters before

were imagined and less deadly

than the monsters we know

.

now that I’ve shown you

in form and in poem

in lines and at home

through kindness

and failure and flaws

what little I know

of the nature of laws

.

I am sure you too

you will find yours.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

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There are shows nowadays

          that let us ride along

safely from our homes

          with the kind of people

who cast an imprint on the flat world

          that you and I travel on.

My uncle, the sailor, for example,

          who got a tattoo in the Navy

before they became crackerjack stickers

          or cheap substitutes for personality

was one of those who marked the earth

          with his work and left behind a hurt

now that he’s gone past horizons

          we cannot yet get to;

and we are left at the pier, standing by an edge

          measuring the air with everyone around

until we are met with what we can recall –

which are all the pieces of the world

          he scraped off with his fingertips

and nails to bring home

          and mix with the salt of our meals.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

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pa’ mi mami

.

The first guests, my godparents,

turn the corner to begin their walk

down the driveway,

.

          (50 feet of uneven pavement

                framed between

                     my parents’ home and

                the Chinese neighbors

                        who’ve thrown away

                            a grocery bag of garbage

                     every week for 20 years)

.

… a ceremonial walkway for the invited

.

the gate left open to let what used to be

          a flood of relatives through …

but we are older

          and have lost a few to the earth

and others to unresolved conflicts

.

               (Even today, on my mother’s 60th

                         a new injury will be born

                when my middle brother

                        fails to celebrate with us)

.

I could see now, clearly what we had become

          as my father greeted his compadre and comadre,

my youngest brother,

                        (a suit wearing executive during the week,

                        in his weekend barrio wear;

                        pressed khakis & ultra-brite white tee)

pulling green plastic chairs for them to sit.

.

My godparents are frail,

          like half the crowd who will come today,

guests with measured steps and canes,

          and more still that come locked in arms

with the same person I remember them with

          from my childhood.

.

The music, Ecuadorian ballads mixed with

          Puerto Rican merengue and other

tunes from the roots of our America

.

                        (that faraway south

                                  painted in greens and grays and decorated

                        with eyes and teeth that strike out

                                  like stars in the night sky; smiling mouths

                        stuffed with bacalao and ceviche

                                  and full of laughter and Spanish)

.

Here too, the food is ready,

          paid for by my brother,

prepared by memories of my mother and

           abuela in the kitchens of the past;

my hands mix the red cebollas

          and lemons and limes and

               cilantro into nearly everything.

Everywhere there is pepper and garlic

                        mixing into the smoke dancing

                                                from the three grills we have going.

.

We brought together again,

          those people we only see at funerals now,

to celebrate what they had started

          before we existed;

leaving their childhoods behind

          they ventured out of sand dunes

and into snowstorms, unheralded;

           they traded their tiempo, every last

minute measured by train tokens

          and time cards they punched;

measured by checks that paid them

          only for their output and

never considered what they were

          really giving back to the dream

that is this America.

.

They sat around now

          frail, but victorious,

eating gumbo and platanos,

          arroz y gandules, barbecued chicken

camarones, hot dogs and

          hamburgers, topped with

ketchup and salsa picante, listening

          to the sounds of the past

exploding today in celebraccion.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

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