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Uprising: A Journey – IV
The fifth day took a turn for the worst:
a sand shark swallowed three scouts,
protective glasses and all;
one second they were there,
regurgitated bones pushed up from under the dune.
Uncle Mohammed picked up two kids,
one under each arm, like sacks,
and rolled down the rocky side
where the predator doesn’t hunt;
devoured two more women, and blasted out of the dune.
Its body shadow-blocked the Sun,
and irony engraved itself
on the travelers’ foreheads
in the form of twisted frowns—
of silence for the dead and for shade on the dune.
An utterance of names echoed
within a heat-waved skyline.
Accounting for the dead
proved tougher than expected:
answered, except for the vultures circling the dune.
I should’ve worn the other dress,
the red one with the shitty zipper.
He isn’t looking at my brooch;
his eyes are disappearing into my cleavage—
What … distasteful language,
as if God had picked up an axe
and struck me right between the tits.
She placed her fork on the plate,
picked up the menu once again,
and pretended to study the desserts.
I should’ve worn my glasses;
these contacts are killing me.
Has a piece of broccoli just—?
She must think I’m staring at her breasts.
I swear on my mother’s grave
a piece of broccoli’s just dropped down her cleav—
Ooh. That’s a stunning piece of jewelry.
He took a sip of sauvignon blanc,
studied the restaurant logo on the menu she held up,
and ordered another bottle of wine.
Sewer water trickle-tickled the little girl’s toes.
The rock was uncomfortable;
she moved over and sat in a wet patch of wildflowers.
She picked one (she thought it might have been purple),
gave it a whiff, and pulled her nose up,
Humph, definitely blue.
The rock caught her eye again—
it looked smooth within the tears created by the moon,
slow-dancing down over Weeping Willow’s shadow-cheeks
and into the stench.
She sat sideways, and smiled;
her Stars-and-Striped My Little Pony’s mane
were caught in the frills of the new birthday skirt:
“My Little Pony, where is Mommy and Daddy?
And why is Uncle James wearing the party clown’s costume?”
My little Pony didn’t answer;
there were tears in its diamond-studded eyes.
“Uncle James is just the best, doncha think, My Little Pony?”
Uncle James answered that question.
words and photography by Ramon Ramirez
I – On Strolls in the City Streets
Only step on light-coloured paving slabs;
there are gaping voids under the darker ones
filled with a twisted-mustard fog made up of cut-off hands, heads, and genitals
that grope, suck and squirt foul-smelling, luminous goo all over you
as you go deeper into the abyss;
your screams will fall on deaf ears, and your voice will drown you;
your voice will be your downfall.
II – On Sleep and Pillows:
Never sleep with a gun under your pillow;
someone you love might annoy you in the slightest – and vice versa –
nightmares are so much more frightening when they become reality.
You will bawl your eyes out
(your cries won’t be heard if you swallow a bullet first, of course),
and cleaning the corners, where witness spiders sneer, is a bitch.
Never sleep with a book under your pillow;
you might wake up thinking What a beautiful day,
not knowing that you’ve been sucked into one of the author’s stories –
leaked from his pen, though not inked;
the fleeting thought of a madman
who dreams about writing a bestseller on family murders.
You will scrub, scrub, scrub.
III – On Superstitions:
Avoid reading silly poetry about superstitions;
the words might be those of a madman who writes with a cheap ballpoint pen,
the ink spilled all over the page on purpose.
words and photography by Ramon Ramirez
in the furthest corner of the churchyard,
underneath oak leaves that shimmer,
the Holy Ghost paces, thumbs in a twiddle;
rustles the tattered cloth on his back.
Over chapped lips
he coughs up a spatter of beetle nut blood into concrete cracks
that feed angry vines
whisper-creeping over his feathered feet,
and flow up in between the crinkles in his robes
(like thirsty soldiers would follow dried-up streams),
through the shabby stitching in the seams,
over fluids that gush from his ears;
settling into the mould
of freakish dreams.
Call me crazy,
call me dumb,
call me the unprepared boy scout bum.
This is me
and this is my time,
I don’t need your crème de la cream;
I have the beauty of adventure in sight,
and my backpack’s bustin’ at the seams.
I dumped the Datsun
and burned some cash,
slept with the hobos,
ate some trash.
For what? you mock.
Don’t let it concern you, you cog in the wheel;
while you toss and turn in your sleep,
I shed my city skin and float:
I’m the desert, the cayote, the bear;
I’m the fish, the river, the snow.
Call me Supertramp,
call me Nemo.