A circular path is carved through your front yard.
Pink sinkholes gather in your medicine
cabinet. You exalt busted blenders like sophisms
scrawled by retired scholars.
Your life has become a shy puzzle,
a canyon of foreclosures,
an abandoned fish market.
The world has accused you of not being a world,
of loving meaningless songs,
and you have responded by raising your children to unravel
spools of red tape across cities of wax.
The promise of a guilt-free purchase
congeals like gum
beneath a wooden school desk.
The world has accused you of not being a world.
You retort with an acceptance speech
scripted by beautiful gangsters. You live under
the thumb of contracts hoisted
like minarets. Landslides court you
with a hospice of deserted
checkout counters and comic strip altars.
Your young lungs constrict in the presence of cedar and ash.
The world has accused you of not being
a world and you respond by offering your guests
sliced cheese and snow globes.
You prod them about their holiday plans.
Your path is littered
with toll booths and subpoenas.
You dig shallow trenches around the kitchen table.
Sub-contractors install a wall of plaster
teeth in your bathtub. The sea has divorced you
and taken the dog. The world
has accused you of not being a world,
of unhearing the voices
that hold together the seams
of your jacket, and you have responded
with despondent sighs, the kind of sigh
that makes orphans of widows.
Soon enough you will inherit
the pollen of a thousand uprooted gardenias
as you wait for the sunlight
to learn your nickname.
Sorta Rican Book of Dreams (Free Sample version)
-With human hands that poke you when you try to type means you will forgive yourself
for a mistake you never had the sense to make.
-Singing to you like Hector Lavoe means that your oldest daughter will grow up to become
the Director of Shrubbery at a bankrupt amusement park.
-Crawling on the hood of your car means you will inherit a vast collection of incomplete maps.
-Swimming in a bowl of soup means you will forget your wife’s birthday after you forget
that you never married.
-Eating one while a chimpanzee folds your laundry means the IRS will mistakenly pronounce you dead and offer your mother a tax refund they’ll later ask her to return.
-One with feet that chases you through a botanica means that your wardrobe is outdated.
-Gigantic blueberry pies that disappear and reappear at random means that a building will be renovated on the south side of your block.
-A pear pie left out in the middle of a superhighway means a dead relative wants back the bottle of Presidente they gave you last Christmas.
-Sinking in quicksand that smells like burnt cauliflower means that on your wedding night the photographer will forget to remove his lens cap while capturing the kiss.
-Painted to resemble a city beach means that you will get a big promotion for a job that doesn’t pay you.
-With the furniture on the ceiling means that you will receive an honorary degree for your research on the sleeping patterns of superstar DJ’s.
-A classroom the size of a football field (known by gringos as a soccer field) where the school janitor makes fun of you means that you will win an all expenses paid vacation to Tucumcari, New Mexico.
-A squirrel carrying a balloon with the face of Emma Goldman on it means that a calamity of bow ties will be left in your glove box the evening after next.
-A glass of water means you want to quit your job to become a licensed figment of the imagination.
-A muddy pond means you want to quit your job to become a licensed figment of the imagination.
-An ocean means you want to quit your job to become a licensed figment of the imagination.
-A plastic pool means you want to quit your job to become a licensed figment of the imagination.
-A single teardrop means you want to quit your job to become a licensed figment of the imagination.
Fibonacci ekphrastic for “The Birth of a City” by Angel Rodriguez-Diaz
panting. sighing. an ankle angled over a thigh. you blush. a rush. lips spread like wings of a pigeon. skin harvested. fields plowed. a partly cloudy afternoon. a disrobing. an uneasy feeling. an unexpected heat. sweat beads like prayer beads. an imperfect curvature. a voluptuous wall. a matchstick’s red head rubbed on flint. an intent gaze. unattached. a nose entrenched in a chin. lotion applied to a calf. a calf slaughtered for the feast. a secret drawn in a fleshy fold. a promise unattached. a wrist rotated counterclockwise. a quivering. a trinket falls to the fall. two bells conjugated like a verb. your mercurial poise. a feline pose. lock and key joined. an unhinged door opened twice. oasis. water lapped by a dog’s tongue. silent rhythm. a heartbeat out of synch. an eyelash sculpture like a lone peacock. four legs woven into a wicker basket. sliding. ungraceful pirouettes. buttons sewn onto a turquoise vest. clipped nails and clipped beaks. concurrent currents of parallel streams. a distant pulse. subliminal sucking. breathe from a laugh, resurrected. your cheeks, pillows. a sliding door. a cracked inkwell. a cupped hand mistaken for as a safety net. a fumbling. a rescinding.
a treble clef. a cleft heart, unattached. a broken circle. a mountain interrupted by
a valley. attached. unattached. attached. unattached. an attaché case stuff with ripe plums. a scent ascending. a symphonic moaning. a phone disconnected. a flexion. affliction. a tension. extension. torque and sweet thunder. a clenched fist. a bit lip. candle wax on a dead victrola. a flood. a flushing. a draught. an opening. a closing unrelated. cracked eggs on a kitchen floor. a well-timed seizure. a departure. the singed cuff of a smoking jacket. two car radios playing the same station. a refraction. an unfurling. an unmasking. a question left unasked. a contraction. a contradiction. an unveiling. a cleansing. a becoming. a breath, unattached. a death, unattached. a thumbprint on a pelvis. a promise, unattached. a bosom, unattached. a diamond heist hatched. a grape plucked. an orange, peeled. a puddle in the driveway. a pillow wrung. unattached. a fugue hummed. a trail of pink silt. unattached. a torpor. a pelt. a moth and a bruised flask. a singing matroshka. a riddle planted in a blue belly. a summons. a bewilderness. a plate of dried figs. a lost earring. an ebbing. an echo. a tremor.
An oil painting
In the den
Waiting to be hung.
Image: Constanza Alberione, “Chano” (2009), courtesy of miau miau
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Jonathan Blitzer: You’re originally from northern Brazil—Mossoró—but your novels bring you to the geographic heart of the country: Brasilia. How did you wind up... Read More »