2019 Pamphlet Series: Poems from Jerrod Schwarz, Mateo Lara, and Kristin Garth
i need to know that the earth can be stolen.
i need to write beneath grammar, to suck the word filth
into my blood: ram horn gut fuck hierophant blood scent.
a mangle of the word father.
how to bring you back/what to do with you
i buy blackout curtains and hang them
around the bathtub, sit for three days:
anemic touch of tile wall
and my own skin. my wife and twin daughters
beg me to come out, but no one can break
the salt circle.
your bones phase in first. i lay on my back
in the tub and let calcium fall to rest on me:
your clavicle balances on my clavicle, your spine
curves over my chest and belly, your metatarsals
wedge into my toes.
blood vessels root down from the shower head
and stripe over your muscle fibers; i feel your grease
in my leg hair.
before your brain and heart can connect, i shackle
your arms to the faucet. you wake up to darkness
and restraint. beneath the sink, i have hidden
a forty-pound medicine ball
covered in the full sentences
I can remember you saying:
you know i don't serve the devil, right?
you can call Rebecca mom, if you want.
I think the bald look suits me.
i drop the ball on your kneecaps; your tongue
is still forming, and the gut-scream diffuses
in your raw throat. i drop the medicine ball
four times on your stomach.
i don't want all your ribs to crack,
so i move on to your face. i shine my cell phone light
up at my own face; i want you to see my nose, my ears,
my hairline; you are darkness, but your grown tongue
begs me, please, I don't know you, please let me go,
please, is this hell?
i take off my t-shirt and wrap it over your face; your face
hangs beneath the tub faucet. i say i have questions,
and turn the water as hot as it will go.
a list of questions/phantom pain
you had cancer cells, and mom had a hysterectomy;
did you ever meet my flesh parents?
[sic] waterboard, [sic] no answer
i've heard rumor words: womb jelly, grew,
a journalist. was my true dad a fling?
am I a rape baby?
[sic] fingernail peel, [sic] whimper
you remarried after only a year,
did my marrow remind you
of radiation and remission?
[sic] bleach scrub, [sic] quaking fists
you liked raising show horses and beef cows; why did i sleep
in a guest bedroom every other weekend?
[sic] salted ice on your eyelids, [sic] whisper,
[sic] i don’t know everything.
From Glitter Gods
Winged-Man & His Stars
Stripped-down where our holy spaces filled with ants.
I’m ripe & thinking of the first time someone fucked me.
Blade-hot supplements wings silver-slicked down my back
I’m hungering here nested in the backseat of his Cobalt.
Soft clay forms spot sticky with newness so much newness white & impure
Not saintly he tells me god does not exist pay attention to the stars.
I’ll float & drift within his silver-slicked push—take & give.
I enter his indifference un wanted but satiated we last three years
Before my flesh pulses with memory flying above & under him.
He talked about cosmic intent whatever the fuck that meant
Cosmic intent super nova & its burst orange death/rebirth.
Black hole sucking & fucking a galaxy he studied chemistry in college
I studied his eyebrows how much he cried when we broke up
How much my mother loved him before she started loving me
& stars dead pulse bright dead pulse so many stars
In the sky that god did not create that’s what the winged-man said
When he unfurled his silver-slicked wings to cover me
to cover my eyes.
It feels rushed—diamonds are supposed to glimmer not gut
insides, watching the black & blue of your body shape into marvelous ruin.
It feels incomplete—this harness of power, lightning struck chords
water rushing to pummel a gold shroud in your bloodline
you hunger for happiness, it stains the room with light.
a broken moon awakens in your horrible idea of trust
& what spills in our cavity of chai tea & La Villa tacos
a tooth-rot of sweet, never let me down in your high-walled rooms
roomy enough for a glittering building burning betrayal
from old homes we call a shelter.
It feels unready—the carelessness of piles & mud-caked shoes
needing a river, needing a sun to dry out what wets O mouth
with indecision & thought upon thought upon thought of
your eyes stained darkness & questions unanswered swallowed.
your nights are bright & pulsing & every brick is rough
& red-blistered around you, a chunk of stone became jewel
& I’m not ready for another beautiful thing.
It feels timeless—however, it’s true, some things are missing
but precious gem cradles your stomach, it’s in your hand, just look
pay attention, a bunch of words still
must find air...hike up, bike out your wondering
finds you in shattering dream, gushing out of a pleasure room
the kind of love that is ready to quench a desert
monsoon a memory of cherishing out of you.
where did I fall? what shivering waits for blizzard…
I suppose every gathering was Lucifer’s call to a queer bone.
I am unapologetically queer—each bruise purple & azul
another Mexican, another survivor of white saviors
another snow drop in my mouth
another—uncouth & whiny, icy melting.
I suppose my friend S would doubt
this ruling, demon-possessed fingers
digging into his thigh at night
I wonder & wander each corridor
anticipating my murder, my earthly death
waiting for resurrection—green vomit, sucking cock in hell
swelling up, scars, friction.
I, California—winter’s only two weeks
before heat thaws all tension away
tell me where you feel, put it where the chill
will numb me senseless, sensible once more
unafraid to utter, I love you in dark corridors
no burning pyre, no matchsticks, for the faggots
& my greatest expectation of self—come gouge my eyes out
shroud me with winter love, winter blue, winter everything
douse me in holy water, pray for me, I’m doing good
I’m doing good, I’m doing good—estoy hacienda el bien
jesûs me salvo del pecado...like that: thrive surviveunwind.
From The Legend of the Were Mer
Pacific princess pouts behind a fin.
Charcoal, her scales, sequined sunlight on waves.
A raven head on rocks, she must pretend
to persecute the sailors that she craves.
Her sisters swim to join with rainbow tails
and tresses tinged in pink and honeydew,
with smiles that spread the closer ships do sail.
They celebrate the evil that they do.
Their circle song, she’s not invited in.
Secluded to the side, a sable spy.
Distrust a dimpled face too dour to grin.
As ships to sediment descend, she’ll cry.
Dark iris rimmed with red, unlike her peers.
Inside the tide, you cannot see her tears.
Midnight, a solstice, fourteenth birthday moon,
secret, a swim, to reef cocoon. Abrupt
from failing thrash of tail, two legs are hewn
of no avail — complications erupt.
Asphyxiation under, frantic swim,
a flail of limbs towards buoy or end.
All waves now weakness, nature’s cruel whim,
a climb to safety and to comprehend.
A sea that rocks new legs to sleep, from fish
woman, a transformation complete. Change
a cudgel harsh as daybreak sun. Dreamed wish
light grants, nightmare undone. Mermaid deranged?
All day beneath, belief it’s dream reprieves.
Until the moon brings legs. She cannot breathe.
Two worlds, her teens: in day, sea green; legs, night,
alight, discover desiccated dream.
From half-shell bed, sand dune instead,
pink light, electric neon call, a city gleams.
Erotic extremes, 20, indigent
in cut-off jeans, from bar to bed by men
she’s led, a wordless waif who’s fed. First glint
a dive inside an ocean deep to swim.
A fisherman, psychopathic pretense
of friend. Awake to leave, but he won’t let
her go. A nude in net, bound, defenseless
pale flesh to scales and fin, a tearful sweat.
A flop and breathless fearful heart that sank.
She’ll wait to serve at night inside a tank.
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