Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

Airplane Flying Over Destroyed Ruins of City

Scraps of plastic
and campaign promises
litter the muddy, barren fields

puddles of oil
and chemical waste
seep into aquifers and wells

nuclear fallout
and bitter regrets
sprinkle a bombed out children’s playground

America,
from sea to shining sea.

by
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

voices-de-la-luna-november-2016

http://voicesdelaluna.org
Although it’s been almost a month since its publication, I’d like to once again thank
Voices De La Luna for choosing me as the featured poet in their November
2016 issue. I am very honored!

Stormy sky over flooded lighthouse

 a lighthouse sings of liberty

Give me your
brown, your black, your rainbow,
all oppressed masses
yearning to shake free
the wretched yoke
of racism, discrimination,
teeming from shore to shore.
Send those racists, those homophobes
back to the bowels of hell
from whence they came,
banish them to tempest-tossed
seas, while I lift my lamp as
a welcome to all who
embrace equality beside
the golden arch of love
and freedom.

by
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

night-in-america

Night has plunged
my sky so terrifying,
fractured into infernos
of fear, dread so deep
my freedom shivers,
it waits for the chains,
again,
to scrape and bleed
my wrists raw,
my voice screams
even as white-hot
bullets tear through
vocal cords, to force
my silence, my compliance,

I will not.
I WILL NOT!

Silence was enforced
as manifest destiny
as Native People died
for gold, land, conquest.

Minds were colonized
as White-Man’s-Burden
to ensure the status quo
at the cost of culture,
of language.

Lives were lost
in Selma
by southern white devils
demanding racist-policies,
revenge against a King,
an X, a Chavez.

Night has plunged
my earth into sorrow
so full, the oceans
turn emerald, jade, olive,
in sweet aspiration,
we drown,
gasp for the reasons
this horrid jester
rapes us, kills us,
laughs at our folly.

We MUST light
this night,
dispel its death
upon the sky, the ground,
the air we all breathe.

Embrace dissent,
fracture the jester’s
smile, pour
the soul of justice
down its throat!

…fight.
…Fight!
FIGHT!

We will not be
silenced!

ever. again.

by
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

Poets Anonymous

                                                                                     after Thinkers Anonymous by Anonymous

It began serenely enough,
I started writing poetry in the park. You know
a quatrain or a metaphor – just to relax.
Eventually, one poem
after another emerged
and rapidly, I was more
than just an occasional
writer. I commenced to
seek solace frequently
through verse -to unwind,
I expressed to myself.
But I saw the lie
for what it was.
Poetry became increasingly imperative
to my sanity. Soon, I was writing poetry
unceasingly.
That’s when disharmony began at my abode,
my delicate wife and I finished
a decidedly bland television program,
I shut the foul device off,
and decided to regale her with written entreaties
of my love poetry.
She sallied to her
mother’s domicile.

At my place of servitude, I started writing
epics and pantoums on errant
scraps of paper.
Eluded fellow workers
for poetry writing marathons.
My employment overlord requested
my presence and uttered these
dire warnings:
“Hey buddy, you’re a nice guy,
but your damn poetry writing
is getting out of hand.
If you don’t stop writing on the job,
you’re fired!”

This caused great
consternation and much
therapeutic writing from me.
I imparted my concerns to
my matrimonial dove,
“Dear flower, I’ve been writing about-”
“I know you’ve been writing,” she exclaimed,
with much pouting and tears,
“You write as much as those Beat Generation poets
or those slam poets, and they’re poor as shit…
so if you don’t stop writing,
we won’t have any damned money!”

I replied, “That is as incoherent a metaphor
as seagulls swimming in deserts-”
and she exploded in hysterics and expletives.
But I was in no villanelle of mind
for the violent vitriol,
“I’m traversing to the poetry reading!”
I bellowed.

I squealed the vehicular chariot
up to the coffee shop,
in a ranting, raging free verse mood
for poems like Howl by Allen Ginsberg
or What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali,
but the coffee shop was closed.

Even now, I count how
the stars aligned that evening.
Lying prone before the coffee shop doors,
whimpering for a little Bukowski,
some Walt Whitman,
a billboard drew my
crying eyes:

“Loser, is poetry corrupting your brain?”

You may discern the quote
from a popular advertisement
for Poets Anonymous.
It was fortuitous, as now I am
evolved into a new,
more brain-dead version
of myself:
a recovering poet.

We Poets Anon intersect nigh
each week and extol
upon efforts to deny
any verse constructs or
fey sentence structures
through boisterous football
or mindless drinking games.

The connubial den is improving,
and I remain a slave to the overlord,

existence appeared less convoluted
as soon as I denied
the muse and her trappings.

Today, my journey seems complete
for my peace of mind,

I jumped into the black maw
and merged with the
vacuous Republican Party.

By
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

 

 

Big fire of trees in a wood with a smoke and a flame

We run
through the chicory
fields and pine needle forests,
flaming tongues reach
for Alpha Centauri and Orion,

witnesses to this evening’s
crime, it winds,
drives, screams

through herds and squirrels and
scrambling, hairless apes
too slow to heed
the nose-crinkling
heat and smoke,

brutal to any
house or fence or swimming pool,
boils, burns, chars
in equal measure despite

armies of firemen, planes
bombing rain on
forests emblazoned,

Still we run…

cough silk-smoke,
the fury, lungs seared,
legs stumble,
not ready to shake
that soundless mortal coil
to the fire,

not ready to offer the body
to this angry rage,
a shouting inferno, licking
fingers, hair, tender skin.

running…still.

by
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

death-and-butterfly-kisses_the-redux

Damn these butterflies,
headlong into traffic,
each other,

and for what?
A morsel of amor,
a glimmer of Elysian Fields

soon made caricature
of the blues,
backbiting themselves

for cliché or an ideal,
failed dramas waged
despite Death tapping

on shoulders, crust-filled
newborn eyes to rheumatoid-laden
grasps, deep-bone sure

these efforts guarantee
a shared litany played in repeat,
a Bourbon Street parade

of Elysian Blues.

by
Rod Carlos Rodriguez

This is a follow up to my original poem, Death and Butterfly Kisses. If you’d like to read it, it’s included in my book, Native Instincts (under my previous pen name, Rod C. Stryker), available here