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Authors: Juan Felipe Herrera

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BOOK: SkateFate
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UNDER THE CARNATION
CROSS THREADED
ONTO MY SCHOOL FENCE

paper carnations

on my high school fence

any town any street but not just

anyone

today the sunlight speaks

candles lit at noon

by the cafeteria she sneaks

reaches for you

a row of postcards exhale pink ink

teddy bear sleeps

love love breath breath

in & out—now i know

a paper carnation can live forever

a 12th grade name remains—

Desirée yesterday

at the assembly on Careers

your face still silky—

hold her in your hands

carry her for a moment wind

singsingsing

ROUND THE
CROSSWALK
RAILS

stroll

under the trees

they bend

they send messages in autumn

from Desirée's red-ribboned hair

a leaf

 

falls

ON THE SCHOOL
SECURITY ENTRANCE
GATE SCANNER

scan my loose snarl jacket zipper

but you don't see my gone mother angel warrior

memory picture

scan my belt chrome diamonds my death skull T of slang

fang nations

but you don't see my shatter street drag-race howl

glass constellations

scan my wheelchair ride flyin' fast faster than Einstein's

gamma rays

but you don't see my ragged race to a nowhere comin' home place

scan me scan me scan all of me

if you can

ON AN EMPANADA
APPLE TURNOVER
BEHIND THE LUNCH LINE

you baked me

you raked me

you pinched me

you cinnamon-danced me

you oven-placed me

you flour-tossed me

then you let me cool

you tall handsome fool

ON MY CRAZZZY

COOL FRIEND

ROKERO'S LOCKER

yo'

Mop & Glow

you with that half-punky Mexicano shave kit

think you are all that

famous now huhuh

Timberlands as wide as Miami dude

& i can hear your BiGsOWaZUp

still wearin' yo' Columbine trench sooo fried soooo craaaaaaZeeeeee

hey

YouStinK

jeskiddin-hah

thass why i can hang wit you

youstandinup 4 me & all

timez up

are you widit

yaKnow . . . U&Me

senioryear is herelikeyeah

soooWhaaat

you gonnaDoooooooooooooo?

AT THE
CHOIR REHEARSAL
SESSION

Mr. Ezra Harrison Maxwell in his white Calvin Klein shirt

halts Florante Sarmiento's piano cantata by Bach

pulls me over—says

listen-listen

you are a new tenor here & you have a beautiful voice but

you are only using one third of it—

1/3

of it?

HANG IT ON
ALYTTA'S EARRINGS
I SAY

cha-cha
cha

cha-cha-cha
oh

cha-cha
me?

cha
oh

cha-
hello

cha-cha-cha
me

cha-cha
&

you?

oucha-cha-cha

ON MY POMEGRANATE-COLORED CELL:
TEXTMESSAGE #10030027655

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme

textmetextmetextme Winter & i

willtextyoutextyoutextyoutextyoutextyoutextyoutextyoutext

U

Summmer

ON A LAPTOP

SPACE BAR

(4TH PERIOD)

touch me again dude & i'll cursor you

ON SEKOU'S HIP-HOP HAT
FLOATING UP TO THE
ELECTRIC LIGHT BLUE

toss me through the cosmic waves

toss me through the broken sky-floor

toss me until you see me no more

toss me as far as your arm can

toss me with your heart not your hand

toss me into the undiscovered delight

toss me into your velvet night

toss me without time or thought or might

toss me without getting caught

toss me with your own birth-born wealth

toss me just like that—like that

& i'll flip back

right on your own magical forever self

ON

RONISHA'S CELL
(PEARL BLACK)

hey waZup wait wait ahA wait now now what wait

did you say aHa wait my cell oh well oH

aha my cell wait oK Ok ok now where was

i wait hold Up i'll be there i am almost there

aha now wait hUh what she she she wants him?

you gender-confused? my cell's breaking up again

& you were like DuH and she was like DuDE

whaT you want him tOo wait thatz way uncOO

whatwhat? you are Over dude what did you say

ok ok where was i don't crY aha Yeah right like

i am like totally like wHat? dude! like hey stiLL there?

DEEP INSIDE
BRYCE' MINIATURE
CHERRY BLACK
BACKPACK ON HER BACK

Is it a boy?
¿Será un niño?

Is it a girl?
¿Será una niña?

Is it the end of the world?
¿Será el fin fin del mundo?

AT THE
GO-GO
GIFT SHOPPE

for all security personnel—

John Lennon psychedelic motorized glasses &

marshmallow periscope baseball hats

for the new boy in a wheelchair—

roller coasters made of laughter &

an emerald green soccer field

for the career counselor meany on the 2nd floor—

an enchilada tray wrapped carefully & correctly

with cuckoo confetti & firecracker snot-balls inside

gotta new thing can't describe it. i fly around Pacifico school putting out my poems wherever i go yeah it's like that now. seriously. can still skate around but on two pizza-sized wheels ha. crazy huh. like i am totally into spittin' it all out yeah. that's what i was saying to Klarissa Green and her teddy bear when Jason popped the door

SKATE IT
UNDER
THE SUN

skate it under the fire

of that ancient-bearded goddess—fierce

carved

alive

on the sands burning infinite without a name

in each shivery uncertain & unknowable grain

in

your

hands

SKATE IT ON ALL

THE LONELY

CASAS

on all the sunburned houses & all the rooms

& all the perfumes

on the nurses hats & junior leagues at bat

on the hospital light & the evening rush melting

under a school

on the disappearing street of purple smoke

& the license plate

on the big foster sister's shoulder getting home late

on the chip chips

falling from trees & kitchen walls & gasoline stalls &

abandoned scenes & crumbling movie theater screens

all the greens of all the leaves of all the trees

on all the
sí
's & yes's

& all the dresses that each season brings

ON THE HANDS OF ALL

THE HOMELESS FATHERS & THE HOMELESS MOTHERS

& THE HOMELESS CHILDREN

PAINTED IN STREETLIGHT YELLOW

as you fumble on a fancy corner of decorations & signs

about modern times

as you scratch your scalp when i ask

the question about hunger

as you peer into my eyes with rivers lost & fires scattered

as you grow quiet in the traffic tumbling in all directions

at the same time

as you let your faces water under the wacked furious sun

as you touch a little photo of a girl curly-haired

pinned to your Lakers jacket

as you play with faceless buttons rust wrenches

pages & pages of nothing

as you bend toward me speechless

as if i was your lost Lady Gaga

as you resemble the scars of your belly your legs

your ankles your feet

as you run & run & run & run away from me

with your plastic bags in knots

as you shake & offer me a blue black newspaper

that no one reads

as you salute me magical royal kinky shredded & prophetic

as you clutch dolls a golden dog a sparrow

& pillows with tiny flowers

as you open your hands asking for words why am i here &

you are there

ON THE

METRO-LINK

SEAT

sit read please

latest blackwhite

newspaper

say something to

freckled Robin chromey starry braces

something cool come on

somesomething coo-cool

likelikelikelikelike

the Democratic Arctic

is melting & . . .

likelikelikelikelikelikelike

the Republican pelican brief

is full of flamingo seed . . .

say

something
romántico

to the fuchsia lip gloss

babeyeah

likelikelikelikelikelikelikelike

ON MY PINK

PLAIN

CHUCKS

jot 3 words that begin with a Z like Zacarías

jot 5 cities that start with an A as in Anywherebuthere

jot 7 things i will do when i graduate out loud

jot 100 things i can make with a to-go cup

jot 21 hearts i can draw on my arm

jot 1 haunting love rhyme i can hang on a drifting cloud

ON A
SUPERMARKET
GROCERY RECEIPT

dead tomatoes .25 cents?

two mysterious violet & poetic eggplants

aisle number 99 next to the detergent

why is this sooo urgent?

someone tell me hey mister

my iPod i lost it under the jalapeños

forgot everything

they don't make tortillas

the way they used to holy holy holy!

what happened to the eggs?

they all feel the same

hey Whitman i am lost so lost

the watermelons are licking

their wounds ah heavenly

okay there's the lemonade

i found the lemonade Hey

everybody i found the lemon—

BOOK: SkateFate
2.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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