I’m a teenager reaching for buttons
kissing through curtains of cumin colored hair
listening to a soundtrack of
washing machines as they
hit the back of
a garage wall,
where we are,
where we tangle in spider webs
and count our legs
Seventh grade fingers
discover the word nigger
as they dog-ear their favorite moments.
I was lucky enough to get this
For $900 when I was on my ass,
Paying $110 a day in that hotel
And the landlord even said I could
move in early.
Every time I speak with him about the river
His mouth waters at the smell of fish
He starts to count the clothespins and watching the weather forecast when I smile to the cloud
But he loves me if I’m
Limited as booklet
Clothes held him
On the popular street
He wanted clothes more than he needed
To be dancing naked with God
I see you from a distance. Bruce thinks you look like a serial killer’s wall:
matted hair pinned to canvas with a comb above a floral cross.
skin wrapped round and round brittle bones
smashed organs touching graces
faces grim with laughter
capsule shaped ego-centric serenity
cause it’s cheaper than changing shape
Mother tells me
the tree still limbs carry scars.
Seventeen years ago
the bark parted like lips,
and eggs fell.
this matter of my heart
a troubadour in street
there my heart splashes about sewer rivers
hoping to catch a fish
The chameleon was always falling in love with other animals. It felt in love with a tiger, then a bear, a snowqueen & many wild birds. Each time adopting their stripes, their feathers or their fur. Until one day it met another chameleon. And their minds went quiet.
The other day…
The other day…
The other day…
skinny legs scamper / no door to open this time / we’re in the woods / we always do dessert / no sleep only naps / think of two thick fingers down a throat
Join us for the issue 7 release and reading of Dryland, a literary journal from South Central! Copies of issue 7 will be available for purchase.
grit our teeth for breakfast
say we’re angry with a
hand chorus or a
or just sit on the fence
When the first war was ended
Men proceeded to search and during
the exhumation from under moldy stacks
They found him
Black Boy, when I came home
I saw a little black baby boy
lying in the arms of our mother
I sometimes wonder what became
of the belongings we left behind.
Did the landlord come and spill
them out on the curb like confetti?
REVIEWED BY BRIAN DUNLAP
In Endeavor, Cynthia Guardado has penned 53 very personal poems. These poems that form her debut collection revolve around survival. The survival she discusses—surviving a misogynistic world, surviving the fear and violence of white supremacy or surviving the daily trauma of being invisible to the country at large, for example—stems from her perspective as a Salvadorian American woman from Inglewood, California.
BY DEMITRI ADDERLEY
I’ve always thought that the idea to pay to live on Mother Earth was one of humanity’s greatest crimes against itself. Clearly a supremacist philosophy– controlling grids, metering energy, suppressing fact, and dispensing taxes. These gentrifiers are dangerous! Buying communities out of their own land…foreign invaders from the shadowlands of the capitalist regime. Snaking deals from the pockets of Babylon merchants – leveraging your land, your children’s future over the strength of a failing dollar. Continue reading