Tag Archives: poetry about identity

Love letter to America

I want you to know

that this started

as a suicide note,

 

that I wanted to end it

by slitting my throat …

 

cortando la lengua

ahogado en sangre

 

kicking and punching

because I was angry –

 

buscando salida o comida

pa’l hambre

 

before I had realized

how this

was coming along.

 

That the words I was

writing transformed

into poem

 

palabras perdidas

de mi corazon –

perdona mi arte

si no tiene razon

 

when by

language and meter

it turned into song

 

filling some hole

that was born and

kept growing

 

nunca sabia

si venia o me iba

 

before I had learned

what was worth

knowing … and by

writing discovered

where the muses

were going

 

tormentas privadas

y como me joden

 

that language

could save me

enslave me to living …

force the forbidden

I keep hiding and

hidden

 

me salvan … palabras,

alarmas y espadas,

siembrada sin planes

que encuentro en mi alma

 

inside me

whatever it is I

awoke that drives me

also derides me …

it’s haunting, but lively

 

idiomas que usan

qualquier instrumento

buscando sentido

y razon pa’l momento

 

and despite it

I keep writing

along

 

like beating a drum

turning the silence

into a hum

of a rhythm to come

flowing and stirring

the smoke and the rum

 

asking me questions

of where I was from

making me look

at what I’ve become

 

the meshing of parts

that somehow you think

is less than the sum

 

the stranger himself

the prodigal son

a brother and father

con un corazon

 

and nobody knows

where it is I belong

they haven’t discerned

if I’m right or I’m wrong

if I’m noise or I’m song

 

But I want you to know,

that while you

may not always love me

yo siempre te quiero

y no puedo, sin ti.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

 

Advertisements

what stands between us

what stands between us

are just cross and crescent

as walls in our minds

stars and sentences

that seemingly align

stands between us

the same things

that seem to define

between us

what’s yours

what’s mine

us

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2013. All rights reserved.

the next great thing

the crowds are here today

they wrap around the block

and seem to go for miles

 .

they’re here to see the birth

of that very special something

that will bring them smiles

 ..

and everyone will walk away

happy for the gift today

and it will be enough for a while

 ..

it will entertain their brain

until it all becomes the same again

and then it will fall out of style

 .

they’ll be back in line somewhere

not too long from now, I’m sure

giving something else a trial

 .

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

Picture in the Paper

for ADC who we tried to save, but it wasn’t meant to be.

In the picture in the paper

he is wearing the same hoodie

that I had to ask him to take down

the few days he came to school.

This will be his yearbook picture

now, next to the other kid charged

in the crime who is also seventeen

and is facing charges of causing mayhem

at seven pm on Halloween.

And with the broken legs and fractured

eye sockets, they stormed into their dreams

and locked themselves into the one room

no one wants to die in.

They sold themselves back to the State

and granted dominion of their daily routines,

and pleasures and hates

to the faceless and heartless machine.

And in the picture in the paper

he is just seventeen and will discover

too late what it all means.

 .

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

the sailor’s wake

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.

On choosing

Every day the light

comes up at the top

of the world

.

the churn goes on

grinding down

and pushing out

as well

.

everything is going

on as before

according to

the same laws —

.

the furthest star

is twice as far today

than one we’ll see

tonight

.

the only thing

that’s changed

are the subtle

combinations —

.

the queerest force

called chance by most

who fail to comprehend

.

the only mark we leave

in time is what we do

while living.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.