Skinnin' The Pachuco

I'm just happy to be here.

Category: NaPoWriMo15

29/30: ASK THE WIND, CLOSED FISTS DON’T GET HELD

If you uncurl your fist against
Sixty miles per hour wind, outside
the driver-side window, you change
the weather pattern of your whole life. This afternoon,
half of my arm extended into the April air,
like the last good idea I will ever have. I open my hand,
like a valley, and gratitude arrives early, gathers, into a river.
All of it, earned. All of it, mine.
Today, I think of what the wind picks up,
and include myself within this strange history of elemental hustling.
I open my hand and become an expert at temporary emptiness.
I open my hand and the possibility of touch travels
back to me like music, for once.
This time, I open my hand and the wind
picks me up, carries away the rocks stealing me from the surface,
from sunlight, all these stones stacked into a sturdy sadness,
but I can feel my hardness eroding into a whisper,
disrupting silence softly like a hum yet to happen. Alas,
this soft skin of my hand, finally a sail, an open invitation. Alas,
the wind whittles my heart into an instrument. Alas,
I open my hand into the pouring wind and my heart lifts
out of the dust, is recast into the sky, is light like the April air. All of it—

Mine.

17/30: A BRIEF ANNOTED LIST OF THE QUESTIONS MY STUDENTS ASK

Question: Mr. Zachary, is this poem good?

Translation: Last week, we learned what rejection meant.
I do not like the definition of that word. Is there anything
wrong with what I feel? Am I good enough? Nobody ever
listens to what I have to say. Last week, we learned what
worthy meant. I want to mean worthy.

Question: Mr. Zachary, does this poem have to rhyme?

Translation: If there are rules, I don’t want to break them.
I just hate when language has expectation. I don’t want
to be expected.

Question: Mr. Zachary, do I have to read this poem out loud?

Translation: I’ve never trusted my mouth. Inside is a voice I am
afraid to let out. Who is going to listen to me? What do you mean
the stage is mine? What do you mean I can command an audience
just by speaking?

Question: Mr. Zachary, what if we don’t know what to write?

Translation: How does anyone ever say what they mean? Self-
Expression is confusing. How can I matter just by saying so?
If I have a story, you mean I have to write it? I don’t want to say
what I have to say. You mean someone is listening?  I don’t think
so. No one wants to know what’s inside my head. Not even me.

 

14/30: THE FRUIT OF GRIEF

What do we want?

More certainty!

When do we want it?

I don’t know!

Tomorrow!

Maybe!

And the days
Parade
Forth.

The Unknown

Unceremonious.

Want is a seashell pretending to be the ocean.

That’s why Van Gogh cut off his ear.

Where’s the rationale for rejection?

How do you measure the value

of something lost?

Benefit of the doubt is a stupid phrase.

Nobody benefits from doubt.

Not in this country.

Belief only

Please.

10/30: ANNOUCEMENTS

I do not surrender!

These eggs need salt!

The smile is still my natural habitat.

Chicken soup says I love you.

I haven’t set an alarm for my heart.

Sleeping in late is actually a form of medicine.

All your ex-girlfriends agree:

you did nothing wrong.

This just in!

One day, your name will be someone’s favorite song.