Julie Ortegon: 3 Poems


I am an

achy beast

roaring and roaming

in incomprehension.

A bb magpie

huddled in the warmth

of blankets + pillows

of my nest.



into an expert human

forming an opinion.



The actions and time:

Standing on a corner waiting.

Thumb touching fabric.

Hair is growing.

Shoulders curbing comfortably forward.


Staring at screen.




I step outside and my eyes cannot see

the textures around me.

The ambiance.

The messages.


Where is that secret?

The beauty?


I miss it,

the distance.


My eyes are blurry and sweaty.

Face is dropping and


into the warm folds

of the future.


Little Anthem

Grinding of the front teeth,

chipping away

The Healer says:


Where are the words




the space?


Maybe I have nothing to say at all.


Complacency pays my bills

I feel dumb and outnumbered.


Diplomas and confidence.


But, dammit.

I thought I was fine.

I really did.

I do sometimes.

Except when my feats are compared.


But fuck I’m alive!

I’m having fun!

I wear red with confidence!

I have ears that listen!

And wrinkles that billow up and down.


It’s pretty straightforward.


I taste the sky,

I drink the air,

I sing loudly

and I eat clouds.


I learned that from:


Train hoppers,


Book makers,




and myself,

my gut.


It’s mine.


I am worthy

and alive.

Julie Ortegon is a Colombian-American visual artist and poet living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work aims to present an unabashedly honest portrait of a woman and immigrant coming to terms with race, gender, and class divide in the context of an American life. Her most recent chapbook “15 Poems” is hand-made and available now.

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