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more poetry

Wendy C. Ortiz

 Summer 2005

The Ink of Pomegranate Seeds


she creates a new life again

The bungalow. The sand I trail in.
The sins of before I dont count anymore.

The prayers that come in the night
in the arms of bar girls

taxi dancers.
The sounds of freeways

or oceans I'm learning to tell
apart.

The uncomfortable shoes that look
better on the floor, decorative,

solitaire,
unmoving dancers feet.

The blood I keep to myself.
The mirror I open myself up to

and view what I want kept secret
in the meantime.

The blanket-turned-lover.
The pillow I won't have anymore:

it wants too much room
is a pain in the neck.

The glow of my skin when I'm alone
and when I'm out

that calls people to me--
invisible or otherwise.


The women in my family

preach dark,
deep, grow knots of worry
like gnarled tree trunks

then wail
when the wildfires come.
They are the most bitter

coffee without the cream
and no money for sugar.
We drink bitter together,

these women and I,
who harbor uncharted
territory and numerous moons

that sometimes frighten
and confuse us.
With each new woman, the maps

are transformed: the oceans,
the valley, plateaus
reveal themselves

here

in the pages that come
from my hands,
bloody and warm from the dark,
wet and fragrant from the deep.

Operation

Forget the word sorrow.
Never use it in poems again.

Also discard
happy,  joy,
all mention of nature as metaphor
(unless its fresh as milk
sprung from the breast)
and lose
love.

Rename these ideas, these constructs,
with names of cars,
or women (no Helens, no Cleopatras,
no Madonnas) or
extinct species.

Rework it all
until you yourself
are split open
as you echo the words
from the page into the air
into the spaces between
us

and I will bring
the suture.


Sweet

I'm a mixture of autumn
leaves and nursery rhyme,
cat imitator and carnival
whim. My talismans
are juice of lime, scent
of whiskey, the nonsense
of sequins. I show you,
though, hard heart
like candy, the hot, stinging kind,
the peppermints that burn
you through
but that our tongues so desire
again
and again

Wendy C. Ortiz is a creative writing teacher of underserved high-school aged students in Los Angeles. Her poetry and fiction have been published in various print and online journals and she has several weblogs, one of which can be found at www.littlemotors.org/lab_of_lux. She co-curates the Rhapsodomancy reading series (http://rhapsodomancy.typepad.com) at The Good Luck Bar in Hollywood, and is at work on a memoir.


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