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It was a bus stop, and past midnight

Four poems by Anthony Seidman

Anthony Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews.
Anthony Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews.

Border Town Graduates

  • Although we’re closer to feeling
  • the grass pulled over our lips forever,
  • we still bare our dirty teeth and laugh.
  • We managed to look twice our age,
  • and now our wrinkles
  • won’t be scraped from our mugs
  • when we’re given our final shave.
  • Such is the residue
  • near motels and train tracks;
  • such is the cost,
  • lacking coolants in this desert.
  • Our moon was a pile of bones,
  • and our sun a blazing spider;
  • when thirsty,
  • we savored the taste
  • of her venom drunk hot.

Making the Pact Outside Chihuahua

  • It was a bus stop, and past midnight
  • at a 24 hour diner with smoke
  • basted on tile walls, and vats of pork
  • boiled in chile rojo sauce.
  • I stepped outside; light sped towards
  • me from stars and supernovas. A rust-
  • flavored wind stirred cobalt clouds,
  • and lightning cracked the night, struck
  • where sky meets earth, where black
  • touches black, and becomes neither.

Two

  • 1
  • Mosquito, the hours
  • you live suffice.
  • Moon without wings.
  • 2
  • Blue blue of the sky, radiantly coquettish —
  • when I stretch up I feel you just within reach.

In 2300 BC, Emperor Yao

  • Beheaded
  • his royal minister
  • who
  • drunk with courtesans
  • behind rice-paper screens
  • forgot to
  • warn his Lord of
  • an eclipse.
  • Thus
  • in the thinning
  • summer, I write
  • between steel-blue sky
  • and sand where tarantulas breed,
  • and search
  • for an omen that
  • will fix the moon
  • with the roaming, black
  • dog of my heart.

Anthony Seidman is the author of On Carbon-Dating Hunger (The Bitter Oleander, New York) and A Sleepless Man Sits Up in Bed (Eyewear Publishing, London), in addition to poetry translations Luna Park, by Luis Cardoza y Aragón, published by Cardboard House Press; and Smooth-Talking Dog, translations from the “Godfather of Tijuana’s Counterculture,” Roberto Castillo Udiarte, and published in 2016 by Phoneme Media. Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews in such journals as Poets & Writers, Newsweek en español, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry International, Huizache, Los Angeles Book Review, among others. After having spent years living in Ciudad Juárez, he returned to Southern California, where he lives with his wife and two children, dividing time between the San Fernando Valley and Mexicali, Mexico.

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Anthony Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews.
Anthony Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews.

Border Town Graduates

  • Although we’re closer to feeling
  • the grass pulled over our lips forever,
  • we still bare our dirty teeth and laugh.
  • We managed to look twice our age,
  • and now our wrinkles
  • won’t be scraped from our mugs
  • when we’re given our final shave.
  • Such is the residue
  • near motels and train tracks;
  • such is the cost,
  • lacking coolants in this desert.
  • Our moon was a pile of bones,
  • and our sun a blazing spider;
  • when thirsty,
  • we savored the taste
  • of her venom drunk hot.

Making the Pact Outside Chihuahua

  • It was a bus stop, and past midnight
  • at a 24 hour diner with smoke
  • basted on tile walls, and vats of pork
  • boiled in chile rojo sauce.
  • I stepped outside; light sped towards
  • me from stars and supernovas. A rust-
  • flavored wind stirred cobalt clouds,
  • and lightning cracked the night, struck
  • where sky meets earth, where black
  • touches black, and becomes neither.

Two

  • 1
  • Mosquito, the hours
  • you live suffice.
  • Moon without wings.
  • 2
  • Blue blue of the sky, radiantly coquettish —
  • when I stretch up I feel you just within reach.

In 2300 BC, Emperor Yao

  • Beheaded
  • his royal minister
  • who
  • drunk with courtesans
  • behind rice-paper screens
  • forgot to
  • warn his Lord of
  • an eclipse.
  • Thus
  • in the thinning
  • summer, I write
  • between steel-blue sky
  • and sand where tarantulas breed,
  • and search
  • for an omen that
  • will fix the moon
  • with the roaming, black
  • dog of my heart.

Anthony Seidman is the author of On Carbon-Dating Hunger (The Bitter Oleander, New York) and A Sleepless Man Sits Up in Bed (Eyewear Publishing, London), in addition to poetry translations Luna Park, by Luis Cardoza y Aragón, published by Cardboard House Press; and Smooth-Talking Dog, translations from the “Godfather of Tijuana’s Counterculture,” Roberto Castillo Udiarte, and published in 2016 by Phoneme Media. Seidman has published articles, poems, short fiction, translations, and reviews in such journals as Poets & Writers, Newsweek en español, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry International, Huizache, Los Angeles Book Review, among others. After having spent years living in Ciudad Juárez, he returned to Southern California, where he lives with his wife and two children, dividing time between the San Fernando Valley and Mexicali, Mexico.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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