The Shame and Fear We Sow-Sergio Ortiz

billards

 [Poem and photo by Sergio Ortiz]

 

It’s no longer Build the Wall

or Lock Her Up, now it’s Shoot the Bitch

and Hang the Nigger.

 

Outbursts, newsworthy metaphors,

one more fire under Nowhere Bridge,

a contemptible distraction

to my support of The Water Protectors?

 

I’m done listening to loudspeakers

announce our descent into hell.  It’s a show

of strength to be a woman,

a successful black man. Why run

 

through the corridors

of the West Wing cherry-picking slogans

for a lynch mob?

 

[ Sergio Ortiz, is a Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have been published in hundreds Journals and Anthologies. He is currently working on his first full length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.]

 

As if from Nowhere by Sergio Ortiz

another-painting

[Poem and painting by Sergio Ortiz]

 

Miguel Angel’s memories haunt him

like a baggage car that does not quite fit.

But let’s talk about his voice,

 

somewhat faded by the years,

as if words were spying on him.

As if there were no throat

only the spoils of a race war

 

hidden somewhere in the towers

of New York City.

He talks about his mother

who is in her 90’s and lives

on the beaches of Rincon.

Talks about the wife

and grandchild he’s left behind.

 

Suddenly, death is him

and this is the ferry’s last stop.

Miguel Angel from nowhere

 

the world becomes numerous,

but the cold keeps its stories.

The Shame and Fear We Sow -Introducing Sergio Ortiz

billards

 [Poem and photo by Sergio Ortiz]

 

It’s no longer Build the Wall

or Lock Her Up, now it’s Shoot the Bitch

and Hang the Nigger.

 

Outbursts, newsworthy metaphors,

one more fire under Nowhere Bridge,

a contemptible distraction

to my support of The Water Protectors?

 

I’m done listening to loudspeakers

announce our descent into hell.  It’s a show

of strength to be a woman,

a successful black man. Why run

 

through the corridors

of the West Wing cherry-picking slogans

for a lynch mob?

 

[Please welcome Sergio Ortiz, a Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have been published in hundreds Journals and Anthologies. He is currently working on his first full length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.]