Photography © Luis Lazaro Tijerina
Acres of unwell ocean
murk the mazing park, quiet
lovers and fallen junkies foam at
ears murmuring waves and easy touches.
Unread books of handsome men
fuck the lives of celibates,
parents snooze while basement
manifestos write themselves.
A language camp for spoiled brats:
adieu, au revoir, ah-hem, mon coeur …
faces purple withheld screams,
unattended screening of Love Streams, you
missed a heartbreaking scene.
Punch-drunk postal workers
swing votes absent-mindedly …
holy vegans, the young demand
supernatural bread, the young are—
learning to pray again, emoting remotely:
there’s a thorn-thumbsuck to romance,
thimble-regret against the needling past,
the unremedied relapses sew
goony saints mistrialed, unpantsed,
reliquary of foreskins curl,
stretching back to times entranced—
goosebumped gods in the sewer whirl.
The army frowns on campuses,
a civil war on academic grounds,
strung-out students armed with cruel excuses
the loosened cats beguile the hounds.
Wan sophomores plea a leave
of absence we recluses speak:
“Mossy nostalgia, green-lit bay
Virginian bellows grace the day …
how long have we gone pretending to think
about anything other than—work,
gritty ecstasy of vending-machine
coffee, secretary melancholy
cubicles are archives of still lives
we comb through those dozing like
Sandman watercoloring dreams …
forget the vinegar—there’s
a soundcloud rapper drowned in
Martha’s Vineyard, his friends were sleeping,
he was howling on the dock werewolfish,
the fish must have wondered …”
I want an unmarried president who’s never been in love,
a spiked bat aimed at a piggish grin.
Doubts abound about theatre
saving anyone anymore, the
necessary illusion passed
lately my resolutions
cigarette-long my resolution
to unburden you of romances
blooming in the laundromat,
undies warm with fragrances.
Unclosed album of your faces
never looks away,
grateful to contemporary you,
but I could never say—that dog
Courage couldn’t help but be afraid.
Too musicalized for mute literature,
a form needs notarized—
missing person posted bail,
dissident screeches to life,
sees the first streetlight and sighs:
“More room for prison in most
men’s minds than mystery; they
screened Joan of Arc one night and
all was hush, no one fought
for a month, the guards were terrified …
now I will go and disinfect, restore the values
I meant to protect, chug some Listerine,
scrub my conscience clean.”
Oceanic beehive, queenly
misdemeanor, catwalk of convicts
marching silent like seers.
An ophthalmologist clarifies the dead-eyed—
ma petite tristesse cannot be seeing clearly,
sighted near a stigmata
was magical mise-en-scène, the animal hide,
poached from imaginary lives brisking by.
The Union of Depressed Baristas speaks:
“Espresso grounds exquisite,
honeydew and soil-dense, I
enumerate the notes:
mahogany, chestnut, lavender-gray,
pink-eyed breathless, half-way
undrinkable, the citric earthiness
and loosely static, anti-cavity alkaloids
dribble out like shit-piss! I mean, if I
have to view the scummy residue
of another clueless latté, I’ll cry
into these stale croissants …”
Anarchists take the cafés
dreaming connections manqué.
Piloted my resolution flows,
starboard and away the flotsam jets,
seagulls stuff the airways like smoke,
gentlemen lean on railways wet
with droppings like yolk.
Christian Prince is a writer and activist based in Brooklyn.
Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.