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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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The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

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