Many of those nights I felt like a parenthetical
for your chants about our
crowded with pins and nickels drawers,
faded sheets and overplayed Eagles albums.
Taking it to the limit again and again
just made the day a toothache.
My identity craved the wind through the
front door run-on sentence
the wander up the arroyos and chart the sky
at night adventure.
The turn off the noise in the room
and dance into the bar and claim the stool
in front of all the dance move juke box action.
Not the comma splice which was an old shoe
not the three-word interrogative which was the
stale empanada, but feel this, the Jack Kerouac run-on
the wild scream into the woods that scares the
small rodents into their holes.
I walk outside and look at the street signs
maybe that will make it all seem right. One
night the church across the street burned
down like a short declarative you kept stashed in
the freezer for big times. You yanked
it out to let me know I could leave any time
like when the song ended or the period
closed the final sentence of a story where
the boy stands on the edge and thinks of his first
good deep kiss that made him feel the sky was his.
I knew the door opened both ways
into the desire and out to the silence
of a boneyard. You were from someplace
with big windows and clear syntax. I just
wanted to understand who else shares this story?
Against The days
Nothing was open that late.
Just slap my face and then
take out the disinfectant wipes
and clean the plastic tube.
Pack up the bowl. You know our
fingers cannot be trusted to roll
anything so delicate ever again.
This has started fighting against the days and all
that good time. This is what was
before the radio and television began
to go on
to go on
filling the room with sounds and sounds
and more sounds.
Turn off the volume and the images
are just full of what you can break.
What you wan to break: a lamp, the old
stool you always trip over in the dark,
the rooster made out of red peppers.
Now, we can’t help it but when is it too late
to be out? Waiting for the event to run
around the tree, throw its cap
into the street. Bring us the
churros, new huaraches, and a hand full
of tired faith. The faith of the mystery
and warm menudo on Sunday morning.
Gratitude, Hold My Beer
Even the holidays, lately seem damaged, dragged
through melted sticky expectations, then
leaned up against a wall, and blindfolded. The pinata
ruptured into a pile of colors, and then lit up.
Is it still meditation if done with two scoops
of chocolate ice cream and no pants?
And should the yoga be completed
before or after the IPA?
My wife and I adventure the barrio
jive step waltzing surprising the neighbors,
just trying to chill the smeg out.
Striding and speaking out our gratitude to each other,
the house protects us, the novels distract us,
the new stereo infuses the house
tunes jazz blues volumed up near college party sound.
But I do not share my gratitude for
my zoom and booze boys. My friends are geeked
in conviction, Joe Strummer riffing chingasos,
Roberto Clamente firing home, two meters
in front of the sitting pato baserunner.
Can’t worry about what may happen
with a lighter and a pinata full of expired happiness.
But when did the future become a threat? A mean
skinny white guy who is crazier than an outhouse rat.
My friends are not this and no that. This is
our power. We still want
to behave like our days are a circus. Bears
wearing tuques on bicycles. Some clowns spilling
out of a small car with flowers that shoot water.
I want to imagine in this world of dream jumble chaos,
daily consuming too much processed food,
that listing gratitudes may overcome
the mass-produced pirouettes of grief.
Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith was born in Merida, Yucatan, grew up in Tucson, Arizona and taught English at Tucson High School for 27 years. Much of his work explores growing up near the border, being raised biracial/bilingual and teaching in a large urban school where 70% of the students are American/Mexican. A Pushcart nominee, his writings will appear in Drunk Monkeys, Barbar Literary Journal and have been published in Sky Island Journal, Muse, Discretionary Love and other places too. His wife, Kelly, sometimes edits his work, and the two cats seem happy.