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Author: SUAREZ, VIRGIL
Matches Found: 282


Suarez, Virgil    Poet's Biography
282 poems available by this author


1965 DODGE DART       
First Line: My father paid $500 for it in 1974
Last Line: So many countless & uncertain roads


ADIOS, ADIOS, ADIOS       
First Line: You can hear it, the clock %its intricate whir of parts
Last Line: Hold onto your hat %lots of rough air ahead


ADOLESCENCIA    Poem Text    
First Line: My father's work friends, all men
Last Line: Sweeping all ominous thoiughts away
Subject(s): Havana, Cuba; Childhood Memories


AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY       
First Line: There, by the silos, see the tractor
Last Line: A myth in the watery eyes of memory


AFTER CACHAO'S       
First Line: The hands of the tumba player are doves, dark and melodic
Last Line: Cachao, bassist king, close your eyes and take us back, suena, suena


AFTER KCHO'S LA COLUMNA INFINITA INSPIRED BY CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI'S...       
First Line: Toda madera se unde...Soaks up water
Last Line: A broken oar, floating free in this liquid world


AGUACERO       
First Line: These downpours of my cuban childhood
Last Line: A possibility dripping from his fingertips %then the song of the bullfrogs calling home the night


ALBA FOR DONATILA       
First Line: In her clapboard house with hard-packed dirt floors
Last Line: My grandmother's coffee rises heavenward like spirits


ALVARO'S GARAGE       
First Line: The place on gage in los angeles, california
Last Line: Rising out of the last sliver of grease and memory


ANIMALIA       
First Line: As a child, the games to break boredom included a certain cruelty
Last Line: & cruelty to animals. What would you think


ARABESQUES       
First Line: Sunlight's knife slitted through banana plant fronds
Last Line: The room, out the door into the darkness, toward light


ARRHYTHMIA       
First Line: A sunfish's tug on a fishing line, slight
Last Line: A sail catching a southerly wind, a flap, listen


ARROZ       
First Line: Comes to el volcan, the corner bodega
Last Line: Which carries so many so far
Subject(s): Rice


ARTHUR BRYANT'S, KANSAS CITY, MO- OR, CUBAN POET GORGES HIMSELF....       
First Line: Entropy is the daily topic here, how sauces ooze off plastic trays
Subject(s): Hispanic Americans; Restaurants; Food & Eating; Kansas City, Missoufri; Latinos


AT THE LOCAL ECKERD DRUGSTORE, BASHO STANDS NEXT TO THE ORGANIC...       
First Line: Right there by the echinacea %and ginkgo biloba, the kava kava
Last Line: A hibiscus aflame %with fortitude


AT THE WAILING WALL: LA PROMESA DE LAS PAGINAS BLANCAS       
First Line: We stand here, eyes to the clutter of cracks
Last Line: Song of mourning fall all that passes by forgotten


AT THE WALL       
First Line: What brings us back is not the onyx shine
Last Line: Remembers. There is no need to embellish


ATMOSPHERIC       
First Line: Every night I go to bed here in austin
Last Line: Awake in austin, night, heart sings its rapture
Subject(s): Austin, Texas; Death


ATMOSPHERIC       
First Line: Every night I go to bed here in austin
Last Line: Awake in austin, night, a heart sings its rapture


AUTUMN POETRY       
First Line: There are mornings here in tallahassee
Last Line: A rock plummeting to a dark, dark depth


BAILE DE TROMPOS/ TOP DANCE       
First Line: We spent the summers of our childhoods in havana erecting clay-made villages
Last Line: Among the ruins, desperately trying not to think of war, or its impending call


BARTOLO'S PLANTAIN ORCHARD       
First Line: After the revolution when my father's friend
Last Line: Of their youth, mine, this lugar of crazy laughter


BENEDICTION FOR A CARIBBEAN MOON       
First Line: Once, just once, the sky breaks open and the birds spill
Last Line: Enough desire to burn their silhouettes against moon %light


BETWEEN FURIES AND REGRET       
First Line: Suddenly she sits up on the grassy slope
Last Line: All things broken, all things ravaged, taken


BEYOND A STREET CORNER IN LITTLE HAVANA       
First Line: Waiting for you might be a mallet, a blow
Last Line: Stay put, say greetings, this is your life blown


BIRD NATIONAL ANTHEM       
First Line: Pigeons flock on the rafters
Last Line: A thousand more journeys


BISCAYNE BOULEVARD, MIAMI, 1974       
First Line: Freshly arrived from madrid, staying at my uncle's house
Last Line: As our manhood at the corner of 65th & biscayne


BITTERNESS       
First Line: My father brings home the blood of horses on his hands
Last Line: Much horse meat it takes to appease the hunger of a single lion
Variant Title(s): La Amargura / Bitternes


BLACK CALLIGRAPHY, OR CALIBAN PONDERS OMENS       
First Line: The way his fingers callous after carrying so much wood
Last Line: Like black snow upon the land, spelling out the way


BLISTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: My father had them on his hands
Last Line: His blessed offerings to hard work
Subject(s): Fathers; Labor & Laborers


BLUE CRABS       
First Line: The cubans on key biscayne %know them as jaivas, these blue
Last Line: Their own water crossings %have never been this easy


BORGES IN THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS       
First Line: Glowing helixes cast shadows in your eyes
Last Line: To the earth where they speak of secrets, truths


BREAK       
First Line: How much longer, father, %until the bays of your hairline
Last Line: Has become balled-up fists %that still box my ears with truths


CALIBAN AND THE SIRENS       
First Line: How does a spirit find its way back? To the castle's turrets
Last Line: To swim ashore. In the distance he hears them sing. Listen now


CANCIONERO DEL BANYAN    Poem Text    
First Line: The wind freustratzes itself held
Subject(s): Banyan Trees; Florida; Cuban Americans


CANDILEJAS NIGHT CLUB       
First Line: At the corner of marbrisa and florence
Last Line: Been following that man home since


CARBON MONOXIDE MEDITATIONS       
First Line: In line at the emissions control center on miami's bird road & 40th,
Last Line: Induced thoughts going up into the thin air of memory, stuck, saying %this is the last time


CARP       
First Line: This time last year, late october,
Last Line: Catching a flash of light in the cool bottom


CARTERISTA / PICKPOCKET    Poem Text    
First Line: After he got caught & sentenced to the sugar
Last Line: Wallets too afraid to open, like his mouth, his life
Subject(s): Pickpockets


CARTERISTA / PICKPOCKET    Poem Text    
First Line: After he got caught & sentenced to the sugar


CARTERISTA / PICKPOCKET       
First Line: After he got caught & sentenced to the sugar
Last Line: Wallets he's too afraid to open his mouth, his life
Subject(s): Pickpockets


CHALK/ TIZA       
First Line: The white of the world etched %on a blackboard, moths hidden
Last Line: The world fills us with desire


CHINESE KITE MAKERS OF OLD HAVANA       
First Line: Their lives became paper, thin bamboo, the way string
Last Line: Burning, the way their closed mouths hold silence


CHUPACABRAS       
First Line: When we moved to tallahassee,
Last Line: Ready to believe in most things


CHURCH OF THE AMERICAN OPEN ROAD       
First Line: You can stop and eat all the dirt you want
Last Line: Light. That light that welcomes %your shadow


CLOTHESLINES    Poem Text    
First Line: The day my mother stood in the kitchen
Last Line: Kicked upo into my own eyes
Subject(s): Family Life; Childhood Memories; Cuba


CLOTHESPINS/LOS PALITOS DE TENDEDERAS       
First Line: In sunday school we used them to make crucifixes
Last Line: A glow so bright I believed the sun has swallowed us both


COCHINO       
First Line: Was what they called us, %the children of dissidents, %the gusanos: pigs, swine
Last Line: All the meanings in the flesh %of this beast called cochino


COELACANTH       
First Line: Prehistoric fish, %thought to be extinct,
Last Line: The eyes for another %thousand years


CONNIVANCE       
First Line: In the havana summers %out of school, out of uniform
Last Line: & we ran, ran to spare ourselves %these limitations in our lives


CORPUS CHRISTI       
First Line: My father and his friends always spoke
Last Line: Or walk? Image of that boy haunting us all these years


CRUZA FRONTERAS       
First Line: As a child he cut lines onto the sand
Last Line: With the currents of homeward longing


CRYPTOGRAPHY       
First Line: The great poet said: %'by the time I die I want
Last Line: Like a bug zapper's %blue electric zzz'


CUBAN AMERICAN GOTHIC       
First Line: My father stands next to my mother, %both in the simple stained work clothes
Last Line: Against the ravages of time and hard work


CUBAN LANDSCAPE       
First Line: The train cars that ferry cut sugar cane
Last Line: Years of stillness %and deep spiritual drought


CUBANITO ALL-STARS       
First Line: Our pee-wee baseball %league team. Our fathers
Last Line: In front of our faces: hey, batter! %another gasp to loss of innocence


CUFFS       
First Line: My mother calls me to say my father left
Last Line: And walking about so startled, naked, ready


CUYS       
First Line: A man from the andes moved to a new york
Last Line: A huge rat who stopped her to ask for directions


DAGUERREOTYPE OF A HOUSE IN SNOWED COUNTRY       
First Line: A hue of yellow light %over a snow-logged %field of crab grass
Last Line: Mirror of our days in heaven


DAVID HOCKNEY EXPLAINS SILENCE BY THE SWIMMING POOL       
First Line: With a polaroid camera you can shoot pictures
Last Line: Scream. His mouth fills with the sounds of so much living


DEAR PROF. SUAREZ       
First Line: My name is henry trotsky. %I am in your 9:05 class
Last Line: -henry %ps-I hope this poem counts as a workshop credit


DIASPORA       
First Line: To tell the truth %I used to think the word
Last Line: The sting of these subtle twists of definitions


DIRT EATERS       
First Line: Whenever we grew tired and bored of curb ball
Last Line: What doesn't kill you makes you fat and stronger


DONA INEZ & HER CURE FOR HOMESICKNESS       
First Line: Stare into the vortex of a hibiscus
Last Line: Right there at your feet will be answers


DONA INEZ BUILDS AN ALTAR TO LA LUPE, QUEEN OF SALSA       
First Line: A bolero is the type of song that burrows deep
Last Line: When the rooster crows, la lupe's spirit arrives home


DONA INEZ IN EL JARDIN DE LAS ORQUIDEAS DEL OLVIDO       
First Line: Our across-the-street neighbor in havana
Last Line: Orchid garden, right there where our dreams surged


DONATILA'S VICTORY ORCHARD       
First Line: My grandmother keeps order in her garden
Last Line: It is 1968. We wait for something to happen


DOWRY       
First Line: Something bestowed, something taken
Last Line: Like the straw trampled on the house floor


DR. HUBBLE       
First Line: His eyes shone %with bright light %when he walked
Last Line: Characters await their next turn


DREAM OF THE DUENDE       
First Line: In the torrential downpours, lorca arrives one night at our house
Last Line: Love, crystal, stone, you vanish down the rivers of the earth to the sea
Variant Title(s): Duend


EARTH ART, OR CRYSTO'S LURE OF DIRT       
First Line: Madman or shaman, astral artist, what language
Last Line: Mirrors broken on the surface of their passing


EL DESESPERO       
First Line: My father said he always checked
Last Line: Like an overcoat, at the door


EL EXILIO       
First Line: After his accident in hialeah where he worked
Last Line: To his life, to this life of sitting and waiting


EL PERRO AZTECA HAIRLESS DE FRIDA KAHLO, SENOR XOLOTL       
First Line: Between her window and the moon, his shadow kept
Last Line: Skyward, an angel's azure wingfeather-she sighs, xolotl barks
Variant Title(s): Frida's Favorite Aztec Hairless Dog, Senor Xolot


EL REFUGIO/ FREEDOM TOWER, MIAMI, FLORIDA       
First Line: My father, a proud man, boasted that our family never needed it
Last Line: The fire of longing raging deep in the heart


EL SANTO NINO CHUPATINTAS       
First Line: We went to school together, shared
Last Line: This tunnel so many enter and never see light


EN EL JARDIN DE LOS ESPEJOS QUEBRADOS, CALIBAN CATCHES A GLIMPSE...       
First Line: To call a man a beast, one must see into his heart
Last Line: So red, so blue, to call this man a beast you must bow


EPIDEMIC       
First Line: During my last havana summer, %an epidemic broke out all over the island
Last Line: Some torch of resentment, blackness %of remembrance that refuses to be doused


EROS AND THE LAWS OF THERMAL DYNAMICS       
First Line: My first girlfriend in high school taught me how
Last Line: How memory, in the pure-hot of abandon, still catches fire


EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK OF HOLLOWS       
First Line: One summer in my cuban childhood %my paternal grandfather took me
Last Line: To the charmed calling of such dark depths


EXEGESIS, OR ROBERT PENN WARREN'S 'POULTRY' DAYS IN BATON ROUGE.....       
First Line: I once took a southern literature class at lsu
Last Line: There he goes, there goes jesus, exiting


EXILE SPEAKS       
First Line: Of a red tongue, black words
Last Line: Teeth sing of all those about to drown


FACE OF JESUS IN CAMPBELL'S ABC TOMATO SOUP       
First Line: While our daily soup simmers on the stove
Last Line: Held in prayer to this christ of soup and its crimson words


FAKE MARIPOSA       
First Line: My mother arrived %in our new house,
Last Line: With the secret soil %of the next


FATAL HOUR GOSPELS       
First Line: This rock is heavier than your hand
Last Line: I wait for countdowns; %then my turn


FIREWALKERS SAY OUCH IN ARAMAIC       
First Line: At first it is hard, and it does burn some, no joke
Last Line: Heat and flame on the surface, feet like chisels dig


FIREWATER/AGUARDIENTE       
First Line: Friends, when we speak of hands, we speak
Last Line: Of my mouth in one flash-yank for saying this now


FOR ELIAN GONAZALEZ       
First Line: What you will not remember is the land
Last Line: Quiets so finally like the sound of one wave calling another


FREE       
First Line: When we first arrived in the united states
Last Line: More, the free: these simple things she knows %have kept us going all these exiled years


FUEL       
First Line: Once when I was seven %and we lived in cuba
Last Line: To cross the dark %together


FULANO/A, OR PERSONA NON GRATA, CUBAN STYLE       
First Line: My parents always used the word when they referred
Last Line: That to a stranger, any stranger, all folks were 'fulanos/as'


GALAN DE NOCHE       
First Line: My mother fills her garden %with their bulbs because
Last Line: To return her home nightly


GALLOS FINOS       
First Line: My father longed for the wild days of cockfighting
Last Line: Those days of cockfighting in the glitter of his youth


GARABATO       
First Line: In los angeles, at the public schools, I drew
Last Line: I say this: this poem is my garabato. Con safos


GARMENT DISTRICT-LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA       
First Line: Today a red-throated sparrow %landed on the edge of the deck
Last Line: How they're come this far, such blue songs


GASOLINE DREAMS       
First Line: You move between low riders, the chevies & impalas
Last Line: As they show you the long way home
Subject(s): Dreams; Gasoline


GOOD SHIP JESUS & THE ARK OF BONES       
First Line: We can say the obvious here: we are a ship
Last Line: Delivering us finally into this amalgam of purity
Subject(s): Art And Artists; Sculpture And Sculptors; Ships And Shipping


GRAZAL OF THE FOOL, OR TO THOSE WHO EASILY STEP OFF CLIFFS       
First Line: Behind him a bright sun, golden sky, a white rose
Last Line: Of a white rose, a dog, a perfectly good day for plummeting


GREAT CHINESE POETS EXCHANGE TWO WORDS: 1       
First Line: Aqui: spanish for here, the here and now.
Last Line: Our course, vague and uncertain. Your friend or foe.


GREAT CHINESE POETS EXCHANGE TWO WORDS: 2       
First Line: Alla: spanish for over there, in the unattainable distance.
Last Line: Here. Aqui. Alla. Two words to bridge the gap


GREAT CHINESE POETS VISIT HAVANA       
First Line: Imagine tu fu and li po, for they have come
Last Line: To speak this cryptic language of absence and longing


GREAT DISSIDENT CUBAN POET DIES IN EXILE AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY       
First Line: What was it about the oak shadows cast against the walls
Last Line: Themselves in memory of your return, of your gentle, quiet passing


GREEN JEANS       
First Line: In cuba I used to pretend I ran in packs of boys after school
Last Line: And then comes a strong wind and erases everything, erases so %absolutely


GRUNION       
First Line: One saturday night the moon
Last Line: So few, of nights like this one %captured, released


HATCHERY       
First Line: Once in havana as school children we took a field trip
Last Line: The barren and ravaged fields we now call our childhoods
Variant Title(s): At The Hatcher
Subject(s): Children; Memory; Schools


HO CHI MINH IN HAVANA       
First Line: Plastered on walls by the sides of buildings
Last Line: Image, like this one of a tiger turning into mist


HOMEWARD       
First Line: A look %askance, %the scent %of guayaba
Last Line: Right %where %the eyes %water


HOW CUBANS CAME TO KNOW THEIR BICYCLES OR THE MYTH OF LAS PALOMAS       
First Line: In 1994 with the oil crisis in cuba
Last Line: In hopes that maybe they get there faster


IN THE HOUSE OF WHITE LIGHT       
First Line: When my grandmother left the house %to live with my aunts, my grandfather
Last Line: Act of snatching lightning out of heavy air %plucking lightning like flowers from a hillside


IN THE LAND OF EARTHQUAKES       
First Line: When my parents and I first arrived in los angeles
Last Line: Next time for sure,' my mother said and held me tight
Variant Title(s): Terremotos: In The Land Of The Earthquake


IN THE PAVILION OF WHITE MUMMIES       
First Line: Catacomb logic? The way bones peek
Last Line: Will crumble-one sneeze, it all goes to hell


IZQUIERDO       
First Line: The phlegmy coughs resounded and echoed
Last Line: To understand what he had meant. Jingle bells


JAPANESE MAGNOLIA       
First Line: Its crimson lips open to blush this pure
Last Line: Creature to another, of all things ravished


JESUS BIRDS       
First Line: In wakulla springs on the glass bottom boat
Last Line: In the distance, a miracle of buoyancy everywhere


JFK FOR A DAY: THE TOUR       
First Line: For $25 bucks, you can sit in the back
Subject(s): Death; Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963); Memory; Dead, The


JFK FOR A DAY: THE TOUR       
First Line: For $25 bucks, you can sit in the back
Last Line: A little extra, for the sake of verisimilitude
Subject(s): Death; Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963); Memory


JICOTEA/TURTLE       
First Line: They arrived in yute sacks
Last Line: The sacrifice of thirty jicoteas


JUDA'S ABECEDARY       
First Line: Apple of his eyes %rot & rust his temple
Last Line: Zealot or not, he's got your number


KALEIDOSCOPIC NATURE OF IRASCIBLE PALMS, OR CALIBAN PONDERS LOVE       
First Line: On cooler nights he builds a fogata, sits by it and nods off to dream
Last Line: To madness, this purgatory he's inherited from the living and the ravaged


KAYAK       
First Line: Here in this onyx water world
Last Line: Another sign that speaks %of our humanly passing


LA CONDUCTORA DEL DESEO/CONDUIT    Poem Text    
First Line: The woman, la conductora, at number 51, corner
Subject(s): Hispanic Americans; Women; Latinos


LA FLORIDA       
First Line: Lugubrious days pass with the amplitude of manatees
Last Line: Nobody's there to witness it, but it happens again and again


LA ISLA DE LOS MONSTROS       
First Line: In los angeles I grew up watching the three stooges
Last Line: A crocodile-like creature rising again, eating us so completely


LA MALANGUITA       
First Line: Not like the american crew cut
Last Line: In our ears, the hair now blown back by the wind


LA NOCHE       
First Line: Walking the dog in the dusk hours,
Last Line: To find my way back to my own house


LA TEMPESTAD DE LAS PALABRAS BLANCAS       
First Line: In this island, the saying goes, cuando llueve
Last Line: En las tinieblas de la noche, el corazon se espanta


LA VIDA NUEVA, HOW PROSPERO SPENDS HIS DAYS WITH DANTE       
First Line: In the garden lies proof of bats' nocturnal diving
Last Line: Him so, his mind emptying like his hands. So blue


LA YAYA'S SECRET RECIPE FOR MAKING ANIS       
First Line: Enraptured in the vapors %of boiling kettles, la yaya
Last Line: Anis for the living; anis for the dead


LAND OF PLENTY       
First Line: Ten men living in the fourth-floor
Last Line: Lost on the waters, a useless map %of stars, galaxies, of no way home


LANDSCAPE WITH HAWKS       
First Line: In the acre yard of our new home, a pair of hawks
Last Line: On our property finds survival in the safety of numbers


LANGSTON HUGHES IN HAVANA       
First Line: Past the malecon where the waves
Last Line: Wave of sorrow, don't drown us now


LAS MALAS LENGUAS       
First Line: Was what my parents called gossip, %these ill-founded rumors
Last Line: Las malas lenguas here, there, everywhere


LAS TENDEDERAS/ CLOTHESLINES       
First Line: The day my mother stood in the kitchen
Last Line: About how much debris time & distance %have kicked up into my eyes
Variant Title(s): Clothesline
Subject(s): Animals; Clothing And Dress; Family Life; Slaughterhouses


LEAVING       
First Line: We all leave our countries with empty pockets
Last Line: For all those about to leave, cross into emptiness


LENIN'S PARK, HAVANA       
First Line: Built for tourism, mainly to show %how the revolution had triumphed
Last Line: History, and the true meaning of what yearns to be free
Variant Title(s): Lenin's Park, Havana, 196


LEO       
First Line: Owner of the kiosk in arroyo naranjo
Last Line: Going back to leo's kiosk


LILY       
First Line: Was our next-door neighbor on palm street
Last Line: The condensation of my breath %like some screen against something cruel


LIMINALITY       
First Line: The summer of the great floods %when my father worked as a gravedigger
Last Line: Nobody wanting to let go [or, nobody wanted to let go of each other]


LITTLE CAMBODIA, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, CIRCA 1984       
First Line: Where I painted the outside of tenements
Last Line: Still rising, blending the sweet aroma of the lost


LUZ & BALMASEDA STREET CORNER GAMES       
First Line: There was quimbumbia where we placed one stick
Last Line: For an only child, what better way to learn the meaning of fickle?
Variant Title(s): Balmaseda & Luz Street Corner Game


MALAISE       
First Line: Bad news knows no boundaries
Last Line: From [or, for] which to survive such falls
Subject(s): Survival; Winter


MARIA TERESA       
First Line: Was a distant relative %in the family, who arrived
Last Line: The idea of dying %her constant companion


MATCH-MAKER       
First Line: Who can believe this hocus-pocus?
Last Line: Fools all! How about that guy, the lonely one?


MAZORRA    Poem Text    
First Line: Before the days of shock treatment
Subject(s): Havana, Cuba; Insanity; Madness; Mental Illness


MERCADO-MADRID, 1972       
First Line: Deep under the city, pass beggars
Last Line: Who can forget the price of freedom?


MIDDLE GROUND, OR EL CAMINO DEL MEDIO       
First Line: My father always spoke of what he had forgotten
Last Line: Of middle, no in-between, no refuge, absence


MISHIMA IN THE GARDEN OF DIURNAL DELIGHTS       
First Line: How sharp are the swords that cut the guitar?
Last Line: Like a new razor-sharp language written on the skin


MISTRANSLATION OF FIRE       
First Line: A cuban man, %fresh from the island, %lives with his mother
Last Line: How good %he's done


MONKEY STORY       
First Line: My father visited us in baton rouge one weekend, and while there, he told
Last Line: Fall in havana, when my father was still young, young enough to live %through anything


MR. WADE, TYPING TEACHER    Poem Text    
First Line: At henry t. Gage junior high school
Subject(s): Learning; Schools; Typewriters; Students


MR. WADE, TYPING TEACHER       
First Line: At henry t. Gage junior high school
Last Line: Each time wiser, stronger, ready for words to take flight
Subject(s): Learning; Schools; Typewriters


MUNCECA, HUNTINGTON PARK, NINETEEN EIGHTY SOMETHING       
First Line: It was during the summer olympics %in los angeles that my father met her
Last Line: Not to let those seeds take root %in the darkness of my memory


MY CUBAN PARENTS LEARN ENGLISH IN NIGHT SCHOOL       
First Line: To, two, too %there, their, they're
Last Line: Crows the raven: %speak english


MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER'S INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE WE LEFT CUBA       
First Line: If we flew, not to look at the clouds for too long, they spoke too
Last Line: Gardenia flower, an open hand waving goodbye atop %her grave


MYTH OF LAS FINCAS       
First Line: Whenever my father got together
Last Line: Of my father's youth; that much was true


MYTH OF THE FABULOUS SINKHOLE ISLAND       
First Line: The villagers speak of settlements on the hillsides
Last Line: Like mercury, a flash of silver desire for all things drowned


NEVER OUT OF ITS ASHES       
First Line: Here where kudzu chokes up in its own green bile
Last Line: Taken down once and for all. Never allow this one fly again


NEW TOOTHPASTE       
First Line: Showered, my wife stands at the sink %and brushes her teeth. I hear her
Last Line: Reminds us all of how far we've traveled


NIGHT TRAIN CALLED EL LECHERO       
First Line: My father rode it all over cuba when he foraged
Last Line: Plead with the night's rain not to wash so much of their future away


NOCTURNAL       
First Line: I tapped your window with a key.
Last Line: So much longing, so much innocence


NOSTALGIA       
First Line: Father's musky shirt %hung behind the bathroom door
Last Line: And perhaps feel my breath against their faces, %against the ravages of forgetting


OF COMETS, OF DREAM CATCHERS OF SHAPE-SHIFTING SHADOWS       
First Line: My father called a certain bright
Last Line: Tugging at my hands, fingers, the way something you love pulls so


ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE    Poem Text    
First Line: Cousin irene worked in the cold of a warehouse
Subject(s): Hands; Labor & Laborers; New Jersey; Work; Workers


ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE       
First Line: Cousin irene worked in the cold of a warehouse
Last Line: That have rooted her life to so much work and possibility
Subject(s): Hands; Labor And Laborers; New Jersey


ONEIDA       
First Line: My mother comes from the land of tropical fruit, %of red clay and the oxen cart
Last Line: From the smoldering embers of this place, %in solitude, she's learned to call home


PALM CROWS       
First Line: In hialeah where my mother lives her life
Last Line: In this new home where palm crows rise again


PAPALOTES/ KITES       
First Line: Next door to el volcan bodega %run by el chino chan, my father
Last Line: Of chan's brother %and his wonderful kites


PAPERMAKING RECIPE    Poem Text    
First Line: When making the paper, never talk, good paper is made
Last Line: When they reach the clouds the paper is done
Subject(s): Paper


PARABLE OF STONES       
First Line: Once the rock struck %between the eyes- I saw
Last Line: Too heavy for both of us %to carry our entire lives


PAUL VERLAINE VISITS LENIN'S PARK IN HAVANA, CUBA       
First Line: O great poet, if only your longing could conjure
Last Line: Pomp and show. Indigo colors your dying days


PENUMBRA       
First Line: The woman stands in front of the lime walls
Last Line: In the waiting posture, lost, in a swollen hate %the chance of a re-encounter about to happen


PIEDAD       
First Line: She named her only son, her only blood link
Last Line: This life taken, a woman who cannot settle for much less


PINKIES       
First Line: What they call baby mice or rats
Last Line: 911 or shout encore


POEM AFTER A SCENE FROM THE MOVIE SANTA SANGRE       
First Line: How the frantic and scared elephant plunges
Last Line: A burst of ocher-mud-dust blooming ahead


POEM AFTER FRANCIS BACON'S STUDY AFTER POPE INNOCENT X BY ....       
First Line: He sits there to ponder what he has just been told will be
Last Line: He sits there turning slightly toward such dank, dark secrets


POEM FOR JACK RIDL       
First Line: Toward the end of september
Last Line: The breeze's rapture caught among pines


POEM FOR MY UNCLE EMILIO, THE LAST HORSESHOW BLACKSMITH .....       
First Line: Between the hammer and the anvil %and his hands, a crow with gnarled claws
Last Line: This land behind his back, rising, greening
Variant Title(s): Blacksmit


POEM TO ELIADES OCHOA AND CUARTETO PATRIA'S RENDITION OF SALUDO...       
First Line: The oxen cart driven to the sugar cane fields
Last Line: Tell you of how to find your way back now


POP-UP REVOLUTION [OR, LA REVOLUCION Y LOS GUERILLEROS]       
First Line: On his boat granma, young and bearded, wearing his guerrillero
Last Line: On the trigger, our eyes grew used to the dark, and we waited for %something to leap at us


PORNOSOPHICAL       
First Line: Sure, the lure of flesh, %how it glistens here %in caribbean heat
Last Line: They pick up a cowrie %or conch, hear screams


POUND ENDS HIS WAY IN THE GARDEN OF ST. ELIZABETH'S ASYLUM       
First Line: He spent his mornings reciting the latin names
Last Line: A blue mist befallen upon the singing of a solitary cricket


POX       
First Line: The neighbors called it viruela, %for chicken pox. La china
Last Line: The rubric of memory, %lexicon of pockmarked skin


PRAYER       
First Line: My mother stands next to my father's bed
Last Line: Like innocence, sees us through daily life


PROFILING       
First Line: We keep an eye open, even in sleep
Last Line: Burning, sinking into forgetful waters


PROSPERO IN HAVANA       
First Line: Given to bouts of melancholia, the tempest-raiser
Last Line: To be possessed, this alchemy of desire so far, so neat


PROXIMITY       
First Line: Every november 21, I take my mother to the cemetery
Last Line: Song of my father rising up through my mother's feet


PSALM FOR THE BOY CARTOGRAPHER       
First Line: What is the secret of buoyancy? Lines? He craves
Last Line: Like welcoming tentacles to guide her boy home


PSALM OF ANDREI CODRESCU'S CLEANSING IN HAVANA       
First Line: Up on the roof of the solares, you remove your shirt
Last Line: A harsh sun upon your skin, this white-flash of your arrival


PSALM OF THE BITTER MAN       
First Line: You are eight. This is 1970. A world
Last Line: I call it love for these lives we consume in exile


QUATRAINS       
First Line: Most light fractures through the slats
Last Line: Coiled on the leaf, a silhouetted question mark


RECITATIVE AFTER REMBRANDT'S THE ANATOMY LESSON OF DR. TULP       
First Line: How the whiteness of flesh beckons the doctor's eyes averted
Last Line: Hand, is too late; science has failed him, my father, as science fails us all


RED CUBAN       
First Line: I once sat next to a colleague
Last Line: Leaves a trail of red cloud, red words


RED FLAGS OF MY EYES WHEN WILL YOU SURRENDER?       
First Line: It has been a month of wakes & funerals
Last Line: And I feel myself let go, rise, plummet, rise again


REHAB       
First Line: All skin & bones %my father is too thin
Last Line: Hard to convince a man who's lost %his spirit to hang in there


RELIC LEFT OVER FROM THE AFTERMATH OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION       
First Line: Or why communism didn't work, %it is plain, writes a cousin
Last Line: To go, but look at our legs, %we are the envy of the world


RICE HARVEST SONG       
First Line: So the story goes that the great chinese poet
Last Line: Home again, each time a simpler task, a sad song


RING       
First Line: My friend's father %liked his wedding
Last Line: On oxen to make %them haul cane- %heavy carts, %en route to the mill


RIVER FABLE    Poem Text    
First Line: This is about a cuban boy who cuoldn't follow
Last Line: About a cuban boy who can never go home
Subject(s): Cuban Americans; Homesickness


RURAL DEMOGRAPHY       
First Line: A young man and woman %came up the walk today
Last Line: Then shouted: 'I had to do the same'


SAIGON       
First Line: The morning we woke up in havana
Last Line: One sigh and all could be blown to smithereens


SAN LAZARO'S PROCESSION       
First Line: It started at dusk or early that morning
Last Line: As a gift in the shrine of such yearning


SAN LUIS, GARDENER OF MINIATURE ROSES       
First Line: God knows I've tried %to grow some here %in tallahassee, like yours
Last Line: A love for the simple pleasures %we try desperately %to grow. Nourish


SEAMSTRESS       
First Line: When she thinks of what is the one constant
Last Line: Of a child about to be born in 1938, san pablo, cuba


SELF PORTRAIT WITH CROSS       
First Line: What traces %does wood
Last Line: Now, %right there %pulsing


SHIRTS & SKINS       
First Line: In the school days of my childhood %the world seemed divided into these
Last Line: & skins, those with power, those without %voiceless, not even memory could save us


SIMPLY MONGO       
First Line: Hands of fire
Last Line: Of your instruments%forever


SKIFFS       
First Line: In the azure haze of old havana %harbor, on this side of regla, like teeth
Last Line: In fitful sleep, billowed under netting, %castaways, buoyed like their past lives


SLEET       
First Line: What was it like before the doctor got here?
Last Line: No mother, no ring of saturn to catch as it floats


SOAK       
First Line: My wife brings back a pound of lavender
Last Line: Foolish phoenixes of ourselves, from suds to fire


SONG FOR THE CUCUYO    Poem Text    
First Line: Caught them at sundown in the tall grass
Variant Title(s): Song To The Cucuyo
Subject(s): Insects; Singing & Singers; Bugs


SONG FOR THE CUCUYO       
First Line: Caught them at sundown in the tall grass
Last Line: From havana to tallahassee, to light %the children's way home
Variant Title(s): Song To The Cucuy
Subject(s): Insects; Singing And Singers


SONG FOR THE ROYAL PALMS OF MIAMI    Poem Text    
First Line: Everywhere they stand, slightly bent
Subject(s): Change; Memory; Trees; Wind


SONG FOR THE SAGUARO       
First Line: Impressions tumble-weed -- first & always desrt
Last Line: You can shoot all you want -- but I won't surrender
Subject(s): Towns; West (u.s.)


SONG IN PRAISE OF XANAX       
First Line: What inevitably begins as a tickle on the bottoms
Last Line: This perilous journey home through darkness, storm, fire


SONG ON THE END OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION       
First Line: On the day castro dies or flees %the zun zun hovers
Last Line: There will be no better change in the world


SONG TO CRYONICS       
First Line: ...Here the fingers, nails soft as moonglow,
Last Line: Beacons to bring the memories of living home


SONG TO MY DAUGHTERS       
First Line: Alex says she wants to go to san francisco:
Last Line: Swallow the night with a yawn of silence


SONG TO OXTAIL STEW       
First Line: My mother's mother, donatila,
Last Line: Clanking against the sides of the black pot


SONG TO THE BANYAN       
First Line: The wind frustrates itself, held
Last Line: Any dirt it can call its own


SONG TO THE BROKEN-DOWN TRACTOR       
First Line: For years it sat up on cinder blocks in the shade
Last Line: Nothing could have stopped me


SONG TO THE CARACOLES       
First Line: In the mornings of my cuban childhood,
Last Line: A multitude in exodus, pleading their return home


SONG TO THE COLOR ORANGE DREAMT BY THE ROYAL POINCIANA       
First Line: If you say 'sun' its buds unfold their leopard
Last Line: Longs for deeper roots, this flash of setting sun


SONG TO THE LIZARD       
First Line: Master of obfuscation
Last Line: Traveler in this land of lost causes


SONG TO THE MANGO       
First Line: For years while he lived in los angeles,
Last Line: Avoidance, how even fruit too spoils %in foreign countries


SONG TO THE OLD OAK       
First Line: Fine ants build colonies
Last Line: Graceful in surrender %complete


SONG TO THE PAPAYA       
First Line: They grew like giants in our backyard
Last Line: At last, after years of absence and bitterness


SONG TO THE PASSION FRUIT       
First Line: Every day at noon, when the noise
Last Line: Gives up its life for the sake of the magical


SONG TO THE SKINK       
First Line: For several seasons now since we've owned
Last Line: Seems intent on giving all of us another chance


SONG TO THE SUGAR CANE       
First Line: At publix today with my daughters %I spotted the green stalks of sugar cane
Last Line: To love what you can't have all the time
Variant Title(s): Song To The Sugarcan


SPIRITUAL/ ESPIRITU       
First Line: I am reading the lines from a james dickey
Last Line: Of all the great forest spirits here taking flight


STAYER       
First Line: Simply, my uncle chicho stayed
Last Line: Fills the emptiness with the meaning of stay


STILL LIFE WITH MY FATHER'S KNIVES       
First Line: For all the years he worked as a pattern cutter
Last Line: Thrower, a professional cutter too, a slicer of memories


STUDY IN SHADOW       
First Line: In sepia, the stilted shadow of my father
Last Line: Bent on the grass, greener with possibility


SUNDAY OF SLAUGHTER       
First Line: I will never forget the veins on the goat's
Last Line: Swirling in white and red drips


SYMBIOTIC       
First Line: How does a deer go into the dark? %moving in the stillness of a foggy night
Last Line: Of those roads in this land so many strangers, %after difficult crossings, have learned to call home


TALLAHASSEE       
First Line: The cube is the cuban who learns to live
Last Line: And his heart is the hollow gourd he fills daily with the memories %of fruit, trees, rivers-constant


TEA LEAVES, CARACOLES, COFFEE BEANS       
First Line: My mother, who in those havana days believed in divination
Last Line: Through life with a lightness of feet, spirit, a vapor-aura that could be read or %sung


TELENOVELAS       
First Line: My mother's life in the united states %consists of watching the spanish soap
Last Line: Present, she'd claim no past, no life here


TEN VIEWS OF MY DAUGHTERS SWIMMING IN KEY BISCAYNE       
First Line: De agua soy, hacia el agua voy
Last Line: Poseidon's proud daughters


TERMITES       
First Line: My father brought their hives
Last Line: Out of sacks by my father in havana


TESTIMONIAL DEL AGUA       
First Line: Escucha the rush of water, like rain
Last Line: Maker, she, I, the believer of broken rules


THE ARK OF BONES    Poem Text    
First Line: We can say the obvious here: we are a ship


THE CUBAN IN VIETNAM    Poem Text    
First Line: He sits in the dark of trees, hunched
Subject(s): Cuba; Vietnam; War


THE GREAT CHINESE POETS    Poem Text    
First Line: Imagine tu fu and li po as they have come
Last Line: Sucked down in its liquid mouth.
Subject(s): Tu Fu (712-770); Li Po (701-762); Havana, Cuba


THE HATCHERY    Poem Text    
First Line: Once in havana as school children we took a field trip
Variant Title(s): At The Hatchery
Subject(s): Children; Memory; Schools; Childhood; Students


THE MONKEY STORY    Poem Text    
First Line: My father visited us in baton rouge one weekend
Last Line: Young enough to live through anything
Subject(s): Cuban Americans; Cuba; Monkeys


THE SOVIET CIRCUS VISITS HAVANA, 1969    Poem Text    
First Line: They pitched tents on the grounds of lenin's park
Last Line: Of those russian elephants, the lost rumbling of a man, his son
Subject(s): Circus; Cuba; Russia; Soviet Union; Russians


THOREAU'S GRAPHITE MAGIC       
First Line: Henry david invented the dust separator
Last Line: With the power to turn graphite to dust


TINOSA       
First Line: Blackbirds, scavengers, they existed in cuba
Last Line: As if I'm holding on for dear life


TIO HIPOLITO       
First Line: My mother's great uncle %who arrives from cuba
Last Line: He's seen, for the miles his shoes %have traveled, grand beneath them


TO THE CROW PICKING MUD SNAILS IN A RICE PADDY       
First Line: Like lead-darkened words
Last Line: On its iridescent feathers


TO THE ORDER OF NUNS WHO TRAVEL WITH THE CIRCUS       
First Line: My wife told me %about them
Last Line: To dream of a red flower's bloom


TOWARD THE RIVER       
First Line: A blast of trumpet
Last Line: Of music, air, water-suena!


TRACKS       
First Line: We didn't know when %the train passed %and left the sack
Last Line: In people who waved %goodbye with both hands


TRAIN RIDE FROM EL PASO TO LOS ANGELES       
First Line: Here where the snake coils itself %into the ground by the warm water
Last Line: Through on its own ancient, petrified bones


TRANSISTOR RADIO       
First Line: Far down the beach %the roller coaster rippled in the heat haze
Last Line: In the tree fall waving %while the girls beside them shrieked the whole way down


TROUBLE WITH FROGS       
First Line: It's irrational, I know, like the fear of flying %or high places
Last Line: Like the past, %calling out, beckoning for the mind to leap


TURBULENCE OF AERODYNAMICS       
First Line: Like a dog out in the yard, wet nose
Last Line: It's all or nothing the wind says; I choose all


TWO GREAT CHINESE POETS EXCHANGE TWO WORDS: 1. AQUI: SPANISH FOR HERE       
First Line: If tu fu were cuban, lived in exile in miami
Last Line: Our course, vague and uncertain.' your friend or foe


TWO GREAT CHINESE POETS EXCHANGE TWO WORDS: 2. ALLA, SPANISH FOR OVER       
First Line: Li po quotes from cuba's martyr jose marti
Last Line: Here. Aqui. Alla. Two words to bridge the gap


UNCLE ISIDORO       
First Line: Not really my uncle %but my mother's second cousin
Last Line: Stirred awake & called out %isidoro's name


UPON A DREAMY HOT NIGHT IN TALLAHASSEE I GET UP FOR A COLD GLASS       
First Line: In all the finality of autumn %you gather the hems of your
Last Line: How they spell out a way home, %through exile's fires, through love


UPON SEEING SIR LAURENCE OLIVER'S HAMLET, DONA INEZ HAS A .......       
First Line: The way he wears his tights, walks across the stage
Last Line: A middle-aged woman in love with such tragedy


URCHINS       
First Line: In the havana of my childhood, when I was six
Last Line: Burn because I understand what it means to be away from water


VERTICAL OR HOW HALVED GOURDS GLAZED WITH RAIN WATER REFLECT ATOMIC...    Poem Text    
First Line: It's one of those blistering desert days
Subject(s): Nuclear War; Soldiers; War; Atomic Bomb; Hydrogen Bomb


VIEW FROM A COURTYARD WINDOW, CALABAZAR, HAVANA       
First Line: The guayaba tree grew gnarled, remembering the way
Last Line: Black memories, like golden dust, settling now after a long rain


VIEWS OF A BROKEN MAXIMUM LEADER, OR NO ABSOLUTION IN HISTORY       
First Line: Looks down the barrel of a soviet-made rifle
Last Line: No way for history to absolve you? No way


WAKE       
First Line: The day somebody died in the neighborhood
Last Line: Into a bright and beautiful rose which contained %all this nervous adult laughter of the living


WAREHOUSE WORK    Poem Text    
First Line: When I turned fourteen, my father said
Last Line: Work means will carry me through, us, them
Subject(s): Fathers & Sons; Labor & Laborers


WATER TESTIMONIAL       
First Line: Salt stings the back of the throat
Last Line: In its wake, surges on, ebbs, pulls


WHAT IS THE POET LEFT?       
First Line: God? The river?
Last Line: All that came after, %swallowed


WHAT LI PO WOULD HAVE SAID OF JACKIE CHAN MOVIES       
First Line: He moves lotus-flower smooth, a silken flash
Last Line: Of swift kicks. A smile like a blue setting sun


WHAT MAKES THE HOSPITAL CUBAN       
First Line: The patients are tired
Last Line: Of patients longing %for what cannot be
Subject(s): Hospitals


WHAT WE TOOK       
First Line: When we left havana %in december of 1970
Last Line: Of our difficult, dark passage %like badges of our exiled lives


WHEN THE GREAT CHINESE PAPERMAKERS CAME TO CUBA, GREAT POETS FOLLOWED    Poem Text    
First Line: Because of the great stillness, a silence so deep it made the pink carp
Last Line: Surfaces, this heavenly paperupon which to write a firest, lasting word
Subject(s): China; Cuba; Paper; Poetry & Poets


WHILE WATCHING IRON CHEFS FROM JAPAN ON THE FOOD NETWORK, I THINK ..       
First Line: The way these incredibly fast chefs chop
Last Line: Rises in the throat like an impeding river flood


WHITE WALL       
First Line: Somehow the crow snuck in, its caws echo
Last Line: A white wall--not merely enough suffices in the end


WIND CHIME       
First Line: Because my bones will not be bitter
Last Line: They will turn toward moonlight and sing


WIND RUSTLES       
First Line: The dead leaves %cross the lawn
Last Line: Sifts anew %everything


WRIGLEY'S       
First Line: Inside letters %to me, papito, %from my aunt
Last Line: Like a new %promise %from america


YES, CUBANS FOUGHT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VIETNAM WAR    Poem Text    
First Line: From the post-revolution island (as military
Subject(s): Cuba; Soldiers


ZAPPER       
First Line: To spare our daughter any emotional %damage or hardship, my wife and I
Last Line: A mound of insects sacrificed %during the wake of our re-union