Tuesday, April 7, 2015

National Poetry Month 7: Playing Games

Playing Games
Jack Garcia

My mouth says, “Play with me,”
a sentence composed
of consonants and vowels
and the whoosh of air in between
the ticking of my tongue and teeth,
affected by the round of

my mouth. Lips that are good                                
at kissing or giving head,
but not so great at whistling;
nothing comes out my lips
but air, cold and biting like winter
winds that rip 

my lips.  Lips that get too chapped,
no matter how much Vaseline I rub
on them in the mornings,
sticking like the peanut butter
I lick and suck off the spoon,
my little skin flakes like a frilly fringe framing

my teeth.  Teeth filled now with metal
dots (like dice showing snake eyes)
where once were cavities,
where once were metal
braces, for two years and two months,
the brackets snagging on 

my lips when I smiled.  I smile
even when you hurt me, or worse,
when I hurt you.  I praise, I wound,
I profess many truths I don’t believe
anymore, giving lip service to prophets,
lovers, and gods like vomit from

my mouth, swilling in the toilet
when I’ve had too much to drink.
Greedy and deceitful, mine is a mouth
which has often lied… lies so comforting
I wrap them around me
like a fringed blanket to keep

my mouth from quivering in the cold
as you roll snake eyes and land on Park Place.
“Yow owe me 1500 dollars,” I say, chewing coyly
on my hotel.  You shove rainbow money into my grinning mouth,
choking me with my own hidden agendas like the tongue I can’t roll
into a taco but, boy, can I roll it over you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

National Poetry Month 6: Exuvia

Jack Garcia 

A frantic woman wailing in the night,
for help, she begs, and answers to her plight.
Four teens come running out the door to see
a hanging man like cobwebs in the tree. 

My son, my son, she screeches at the moon,
with fists like rocks slung at his warm cocoon.
No flying butterfly, but fetid flies
that swarm severely ‘round the thing that dies. 

At just sixteen, the smallest girl steps up
and like a spider climbs the web to cup
her hands around the noose to free the prey.
A thud, a shriek, the others look away. 

One sad cicada fallen from his shell,
for no one heard the buzzing he knew well.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

National Poetry Month 5: Peter

(A found poem from a page of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan) 

I am
listening for

Saturday, April 4, 2015

National Poetry Month 4: Religion

(A found poem from a page of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter)


Faith is
of           frailty.

Friday, April 3, 2015

National Poetry Month 3: Dirt

Jack Garcia
The rich soil between my fingers.
The smell of the earth.  The way
it supports me, pushes me up
like a dandelion. One minute,
all yellow-petaled and cheery.
Rooted and strong.

Then suddenly all fluffy-headed,
scattered about by whatever
wind the world wishes to dismiss
me with.  A small child with dirt
under her fingernails grabs me
by the neck and exhales,
using me to get her wish.

It’s either she or me, I see.
This soil isn’t rich enough
for the both of us.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

National Poetry Month 2: "Tell Us a Little About Yourself"

“Tell Us a Little About Yourself”
Jack Garcia 

What do I say?
Do I tell the room that I’m afraid of matches,
or that I get uncomfortable around big dogs
that like to jump on me, or that my favorite cocktail
switches between a Coke and Rum or a Margarita
or a Long Island Iced Tea depending on the night? 

Do I tell them that I’ve made out in a baseball dugout
or that I’ve had four teeth pulled
or that my biggest fear in life is that I’ll amount to nothing,
or worse, that I’ll amount to the wrong thing?
Do I tell them I watched every season of Glee,
even when everyone hated it? That I can’t whistle?
That I don’t care?
That I sometimes talk to myself when I’m alone?
That I stand in the mirror, pinching my stomach rolls in disgust?
Do I tell them that I’m not sure about God anymore
because if He exists, then He’s just one more person I’ve disappointed? 

Do I tell them I once saw a little girl
get run over by a produce truck in Chile?
Watermelons fell out of the back
when the driver hit the brakes,
breaking into pieces—smashed
red pulp like the little girl’s head.
The neighbors sprayed the streets down
with their garden hoses and the water flowed
like pink lemonade around my shoes.
Do I tell them how I wanted to cry?
How I wanted to go to her
and with the power of the Spirit
raise her from the dead?
Heal her?


I say I’m from Colorado and sit down.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Poetry Month 1: Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures
Jack Garcia

“You’re not doing it right,” he said,
packing the powdered herbs more tightly,
lighting the fire that will start
the moving picture show. 
“You need to inhale deeper.
With your stomach, not just your chest.”

I try again, coughing, laughing a little.
The smoke scratches at my throat
with its vaporish claws.
Dust-smeared images flicker
on the torn screen. Faded
Technicolor slows down
and slows down
until it stops with a rip
in the film and a cigarette burn. 

All life is on pause.

Then, slowly, the colored lights return
and in slow-motion I unwrap him,
his clothes like rolling papers,
and we laugh at how funny our movie is.
I inhale all of him, not just with my chest,
but with my whole being
and he tickles my throat.


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