Sunday, May 29, 2011

Once Upon a Time by Luis Rivas

Once Upon a Time

we were born wrapped in barbed wire
with pain so barbarous and ordinary that its memory
has been repressed by all guilty participants

only to be adequately replaced with brilliant, original
and new pain; the bum on the corner of laguna ave
and echo park that covers himself up to his head

to dull the cold nights, to block the blinding light of pain
or as drunken guatemalans are murdered for holding knives
off union and 6th (while americans, the less-colorful

kind, are honored as patriots for carrying rifles)
and as i pass by, my car’s rack and pinion needing
repairing and/or replacing, and as i try to remember

if i have enough money on my debit card to buy
cat food, wondering if the vons is still open
while my brothers think seriously on joining

the military, or if i will be able to find parking on
sunset blvd, beautiful, tall girls having taken all the spaces
coming from far off places like wisconsin, michigan

alabama; and myself, finding it hard on deciding
to be upset or not about this, each method of coping valid
it has been said, and there is proof, that once

upon a time i used to write about drinking wild
turkey, sex, loading and unloading fedex trailers and a
fashionable, romantic and poetic embrace of apathy

now, as i speak to you and as you hear me
staring at my lips, weighing out the value and
judging the content, i do not mention my father

and the dry, grey doctors manipulative maltreatment
of his back pain, leg pain, sleeplessness, anxiety
prescribing him the newest and most-expensive

most-addictive, higher-profit-margin narcotics
and you will not know that his company is moving to
mexico for a higher-profit-margin wage trade-of

the irony being that the company is leaving
the united states and its underpaid mexican workforce
for a cheaper-still, underpaid foreign mexican workforce

and as you question the art or lack thereof
believing the lie that words are spoken, that poetry
is found in books, on pages, in history, in magazines

on websites; that it’s spoken, sung, said, read, mouthed
recited, regurgitated; i look onto you and the
disillusionment in your eyes is profound and beautiful

Luis Rivas will be a guest on The Mandala of Infinite Prose and Philosophy
w/ Frankie Metro on June 8th, 2011. You can catch that here:

and while you're there, be sure to check out the show: I can't curse but I can read a f u c k i n poem, hosted by yr faithful editors Newamba Flamingo and Frankie Metro.

1 comment:

  1. Always admire the very politically conscious voice in Luis writing, how he points out the journey we start with these romantic ideologys about writing - mine began with love poems after a broken heart - but then we wake up to the world and its brutality which goes far beyond our living rooms and virtual worlds. That is what I took from this anyhow, look forward to catching the show, Be good to hear Newamba as well after such a long time. Great work.