Chachalaca Review

Volume I Number I

 Fall 2016

 

 

Christopher Carmona, Editor

Elizabeth Alanis, Associate Editor

Brittany Mendez, Associate Editor

 

This journal is published under the Mexican American Studies Program, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. It is a student run journal, overseen by faculty from the department. The Chachalaca Review is meant to be a multicultural journal to embrace diversity.

 

The Chachalaca Review is published once a year, as submissions warrant by the Mexican American Studies Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The views expressed by the authors and editors do not necessarily represent those of the institution.

 

Featuring the new Chachalaca logo, the cover art was designed by Martha Elena Ruiz. Born in Brownsville, Texas, she is an Environmental Science student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley who has a passion and talent for drawing.

 

 

Table of Contents

Part I: Childhood Memoirs

 

What’s In A Name                                         Robert Hinojosa                          2

Meetings                                                          Trier Ward                                  3

Niece                                                                 Yo Luke Mendez                        4

Lover’s Beauty                                               Gideon Cecil                                5

Ant Woman                                                     Trier Ward                                 6

ESL                                                                     Jesus Cortez                               7

Comiendo Barbacoa Lo Domingos           Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio          8

Apenada en su Cumpleaños                       H. A. Hathaway  Miranda         9

PTA Meeting with Grandma                       David Aguilar                            10

Chorizo Selecto                                              Griselda J. Castillo                    11

The San Diegan                                                J.A. GomezM                              14

Childhood Space                                             Francisco Flores                     22

Sobriety                                                             Triar Ward                              23

Old Times                                                          Pricilla Motalvo                     24

Bathhouse Daddy Issues                              Charles McGregor                   25

 

Part II: The Years of Your Adolescence and Adulthood Put Together

(Because Really, Is There a Difference?)

 

Chicana Recipe                                                Sarah R. Garcia                       28

Cual Which                                                       Aurora R. Ramos                     29

Orgullo                                                               Jazmin Cruz                             30

Marrón y Enojado                                           Junior Prado                            31

The Walk                                                           Robert Hinojosa                     32

Suave Conquistador                                      Griselda J. Castillo                   36

The Audacity of Demands                           Charles McGregor                    37

The Inaccessible                                             Sergio A. Ortiz                         39

Passengers Boarding                                    Devon Hernandez                   40

Blue Moon                                                        Robert A. Hinojos                   41

In Paris                                                              Ivanov Reyez                               43

En París (Spanish Translation)                 Ivanov Reyez                                  44

Thoughts                                                          Topid Ogun                              45

Alaska                                                               Cal Ramos                                46

Gas Station                                                      Robert Hinojosa                      47

Forgive Me Mr. Candidate                          Sergio A. Ortiz                          48

Cobarde                                                            Ivanov Reyes                               49

Fear and Loathing in San Antonio           Ray Zamora                               50

The Challenge                                                David Bowles                           51

Oglala Lokota Women…                             H. A. Hathaway Miranda       54

Gringo Face                                                     Fernando Meisenhalter        55

I am From…..(Part I)                                    Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio        58

I am From…..(Part II)                                  Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio         59

I am From…..(Part III)                                Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio        60

The Allegory of the Hair Patch                 David Aguilar                            61

The End of the Rainbow                             Marissa Candy Raigoza          62

White Anglo Saxon…                                  Katherine Brittain                  63

The daydreamer  Don Quixote…              Daniel de Culla                        70

The fighting bull….                                     Daniel de Culla                        71

Hit Home                                                        Daniel de Culla                        72

The Exile Ballad of Josefa…                      W. D. Reyes-Mainoux           74

Fighting Xicanos of WWII                         W. D. Reyes-Mainoux           75

“If You Don’t Know…                                 Sergio de Leon                         76

 

Part III: On Dying

 

Time For A New Pair                                   Francisco Flores                   81

Old Man                                                          Topid Ogun                            82

El Tiempo                                                      Nadia Contreras                    83

La Calavera, La Luna…                              Linda Hernandez                  84

Strange Light                                               Lorraine Caputo                     85

A Certain Aftermath                                  Anjela Villarreal Ratliff        86

The Chile Fields of Guanajuato              Jerry W. Bradley                      87

They Roll the Tarp                                      Noami Ayala                            88

Cognitive Dissonance                               Devon Hernandez                   89

Seasons of the Grave Moons                   W. D. Reyes-Mainoux          90

Yo, la vianda                                                Monica Skrzpinski                 91

Texas Indigo Snake                                    Isidro Montemayor                92

Shades                                                            Lorraine Caputo                    93

White Red Stains                                         Jazmin Cruz                            94

Sardinas                                                         Griselda J. Castillo                96

The Island of the Dolls                              J. W. Bradley                           97

Inerme                                                           Monica Skrzpinski               98

When He Slept                                            Naomi Ayala                          101

Trying Times                                               Brittany Mendez                   102 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part I

Childhood Memoirs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In A Name

By Robert Hinojosa

 

With each step taken, whether on sidewalk, back roads or side streets,

You have a name,

Given to you without choice,

It will sit in the back of your mind, guiding your decisions,

But remember, when it causes you grief, brings you joy,

It is a name, there might be countless others with it,

But, it is yours,

When you have nothing to hold, Look to your name,

When your pockets are bare, Look to your name,

When the path before you is unclear, Look to your name,

When you hold the last piece of the puzzle, Look to your name,

When you finally twist an orange off a tree, for fun, Look to your name,

And when the sun rises after the darkest of nights, Look to your name,

It might have been given to you, but you made it what it is,

Look to your name and realize,

Even though it might have been decided,

Long before you knew it, ever thought of what it was, or what it meant,

Your place never was,

Know that when the sun shines, and the moon brightens your path,

That you have a name, that you are beautiful as you are,

For once,

Someone looked into your eyes, and in that moment,

Saw all you are, dreamed of all you ever would be,

And,

Gave you a name.

 

 

 

 

 

Meetings

By Trier Ward

 

Brilliant blue

desert Goddess,

with rays shining

off the planes

of your incandescent

face and your

midnight black braids-

Tell me, why is this desert

so cold, though

it never snows

here in the shadows

of the War Zone,

here where we

meet in these circles

off Zuni Street?

I see you. I hear you,

oh brilliant blue Goddess!

Don’t stop shining.

Don’t stop speaking

in these spirals,

these circles

where we meet.

For you, Brilliant One,

are the gem

breaking through ancient mountains.

 

Lover’s Beauty

By Gideon Cecil

 

You are like the brilliant sun

rise at dawn,

Your immaculate beauty inspires

my poetry.

You smile like the full moon

in the pristine

beauty of the night

Your sacred eyes are my

mesmerizing delight.

Sit like a queen in your

elegance and grace,

Your hair is like a flowing

stream cascading

down a mountain

And now you are like

the beauty of the

rainbow fading away

from me in the placid

afternoon as the sun

sets over a blue mountain.

 

 

Ant Woman

By Trier Ward

 

Riding a bicycle down

the Pan American Freeway

is a white knuckle experience.

I thought I liked

the rush of adrenaline-

but somehow it’s

different, less glamorous,

as I imagine my bones mangled

in asphalt, a Lexus bumper, and glass.

Still, it’s the fastest

way to get to where I’m going

and it’s cold out,

so I’ll take the chance.

It’s why I bought the helmet.

Fuck it anyway.

Goddammit.

I’m not going to

let life kick my ass.

And if I get squashed

like an ant, so be it.

I’m sure God loves

every little ant he ever made

and they all go to Ant Heaven-

that big picnic in the sky.

 

 

ESL

By Jesus Cortez

 

I cannot remember when my tongue

began to twist in the ways of

the American lexicon, but I remember

the twisted road to the promised

land of the attempted murder

on my soul, the constant death

threats on my mind, the broken

words and phrases memorized

and still meaningless—and my

first tongue slowly dying in

shamefulness as I learned how

to mimic those who never cared

for my education, as their broken

language attempted to fix mine;

and then, one day, as magical words

left my mother’s holy lips, I realized

that my first language had never

truly been mine, and my second was

to be my third as my goddess

told me stories of ancient women

who spoke to the earth as they helped

give birth to generations of

magical children, and yet someone

had attempted to make me a mere

mortal.

 

 

Comiendo Barbacoa Los Domingos Por La Mañana

By Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio

 

Having been born in the Majico Valley has been a blessing. I am both brown and white…like a rich piece of milk chocolate candy bar…the kind with the velvety texture seducing one’s tongue and palate. I come from a familia rich in traditions…these traditions which are fading as fast as the last day of summer sets in the pinkish golden Valley sky. How can I keep traditions from fading? Is there magic here? I realize change is inevitable.

Que paso con las tortillas y el menudo y las tripas que hacía abuelita? Oh now we have Taco Bell…the greatest Mexican food north of the border…NOT!

Que paso con los tacos de maíz y de barbacoa de el First Street Grocery cercas del barrio del Ramireno en Brownsville, Texas? Los tacos de ojo, lenguita y sesos…los que nos choriaban de manteca en nuestras batas de la Segunda el domingo por la mañana antes de la Santa Misa? Es triste si no probaste estos tacos. It saddens me if you have never experienced the taste of my childhood Sunday ritual tacos. I think menudo still runs through some of our veins from the childhood I remember.

 

 

Apenada en su Cumpleaños

By H. A. Hathaway Miranda

 

Digital Photography 11×14

 

here

 

PTA Meeting with Grandma

By David Aguilar

 

They meet in the cafeteria at school because there’s a stage,

curtain and everything.

except all the white tables are in the corner

replaced by brown folding chairs.

 

before they start everyone says hi and talks,

and I sit and wait for pta to be over

so I can go home and play games like my brothers

 

an old white lady in a school tshirt comes by my chair

and I don’t want her to sit next to me because she smells

but she stops at my grandma and is like,

Hi. How are you?

and my grandma says,

Bien. Har ar dju?

and smelly is like ok and moves to the next row.

 

jeremiah, whose mom is in the wheelchair, goes

dude your grandma speaks stupid

and I don’t say anything because his mom is in a wheelchair

and mom always says not to be rude to them

so I stare straight ahead, clenching my teeth and fists

 

then grandma looks at me and says,

Porque llores, mijo? Que pasó?

and I say the only thing I know in stupid,

De nada.

 

 

Chorizo Selecto

By Griselda J. Castillo

 

Mom used to take me with her across the bridge to Nuevo Laredo for things we couldn’t find on this side of the border. If we ever needed medicine, a cheaper mechanic, or some non-FDA approved goods, we were sure to find them en el otro lado. You couldn’t tell what came from this side or the other, if it wasn’t for the labels. Our cupboards housed groceries that saw the border as arbitrary and the stuff we got at the Sorianas cozied up next to the stuff from HEB. Mom liked the convenience of shopping in Laredo, said it made her English better. But my dad loved the food he grew up eating and his appetite is what kept us crossing back and forth over the river.

The last time we crossed together was when Mom and I brought back Chorizo Selecto. You can’t get this type of sausage in Laredo even though you can get tripas, which I think the FDA would consider more of a health concern. Intestines are worse because the dirtier they are the better they taste fried up in pig lard, whisked around a cast-iron disco. Getting chorizo was the most rewarding errand to run but also the riskiest because of the drug dogs.  The Border Patrol agents were wising up. Mom couldn’t pretend she didn’t know English anymore which meant she also couldn’t pretend she didn’t know we were smuggling contraband. If dad crossed with us and mom was more relaxed, he’d let me shove my white shoes into the railing so I could lift up and balance on my stomach. I looked down at the river expecting fish but don’t remember seeing any. Just plastic bags cruising the thick water and the occasional t-shirt tangled in the weeds. We never worried about the agents.

It’s funny to me that chorizo means so much to my father. When they were very poor newlyweds they owned only a few pieces of furniture including the hand-me-down table my grandparents gave them as a wedding present. They propped up its broken foot with a tobacco tin and one morning dad accidentally kicked the leg and sent chorizo and eggs crashing down to the floor. It had been the last link and there was no more work that week which also meant no money for more chorizo. Chorizo has always been precious to him.

I knew we were getting chorizo because it wound mom up. The border laws were changing quickly and dogs sniffed around the bridge most days now. Some of the agents kept their hands on their guns when they asked us for proof of citizenship. One time, mom got so anxious about the agents she threw chorizo in the river, afraid of being caught. She hesitated and sighed a lot before she finally tossed it and we watched it hit the water with a sad splat. She had starved as a child. This was hard for her to do.

On this morning, I sipped hot chocolate as mom and I watched the back of dad’s truck drive north away from the bridge. It was a bizarrely cold day. The clouds were low and gray and made the hibiscus flowers lining St. Agustine plaza stay closed, as if they were bundling up to keep warm. Mom had overdressed me. She hurried me to the crossing and forgot her coffee on a bench.

Our breath puffed out in front of us as we crossed the bridge. The river looked heavy, pressed flat by the cold. We walked up two blocks past the placita to a pink mercado called “La Michoacana” where an old man in a white apron and hat was behind the counter. He had a big gray mustache that didn’t move even when he laughed and would give me goat milk candies if I didn’t lean on the glass counters.

I loved this place because of the colors and because it reminded me of the spring the citrus and spice made me forget it was dreary outside. There were pyramids of oranges, baskets filled with bananas, papayas, melons and meats hung up behind a glass window. The man with the mustache moved away from the register in front of customers in line and took our money at the end of the counter.

Mom tensed up as he took 1 slender white box with red lettering from inside the deli case and put it on butcher’s paper. He turned the box so the words “Chorizo Selecto” faced us, opened the top and pulled out 12 skinny links he put in a small black plastic bag. He handed it to mom and walked back to the customers in line buying sliced fruit cups dusted with chile. Mom put the bag in her purse and we were on the wet sidewalk headed towards the bridge again. There were no dogs sniffing around cars this morning. Mom relaxed and another sleepy customs agent waved us by. She even smiled, happy we got away with it.

Chorizo Selecto is a dense, small sausage that is made on one farm in Nuevo Laredo. The original famer and his wife were grandpa’s childhood friends and started making it when grandma was pregnant with dad, the same summer a drought obliterated their onion crop. They dropped a case of it off at grandpa’s tire shop the afternoon dad was born as a way of saying congratulations on the birth of their son.

When I fry Chorizo Selecto, it crumbles and crisps in the amber pool of fat it releases. Once the meat darkens, I crack eggs over it at stir with a metal spoon. Chorizo has to be made almost at the end, once the last tortilla comes off the griddle and the beans and salsa have made it to the table. Each plate of chorizo and eggs I eat reminds me of all the things that happened on the days we ventured out to get it. I taste the anxious sweat on mom’s forehead, the green snake of the river, the slick gray asphalt on the bridge. I feel my father’s craving pull at me from the town across the border and be sated, our link to Mexico kept alive within a frail sausage casing.

 

The San Diegan

By J.A. GomezM

 

The first time I landed in jail was for nearly killing hundreds of people at the age of ten; it would’ve given me the infamous distinction of being the youngest mass murderer of all time. Although those deaths would prove to have been unintentional, I’d nevertheless secure a place in the annuals of horrific crimes committed by children. A train named The San Diegan running back and forth from Los Angeles to San Diego is the second busiest commuter in the country, and that name along mine, my brother Bobby, and the Perez brothers, would forever be acknowledged in the same breath associated with juvenile delinquency in America.

These were the Johnson years when our world depended on mechanical engineering and computers were still in their infancy. Therefore, digital exactness did not exist when human oversight or error (usually on the spot) oftentimes resulted in disastrous repercussions, much different from today when a hacker can deliver global catastrophe without leaving his bedroom.

One morning headed for Catechism, I noticed the lock on the railroad switching mechanism laying there unclasped on the gravel like a forgotten child. I should have reported the oversight, but devilry got the better of me, and instead, pulled the lever that connects this track to the adjacent track carrying trains traveling in the opposite direction. One rightfully would expect an alarm in case of such a misstep, or some other precautionary solution, but there wasn’t one, someone had dropped the ball, and unfortunately we were there to pick it up.

The railroad tracks ran perpendicular to Amerige Park, a historic baseball field where a barnstorming Babe Ruth once obliterated baseballs, and our own Walter Johnson hurled fire before joining the Babe in baseball’s first group of inductees into the Hall of Fame. Right next door is the Fullerton Boys Club, my home away from home, and where I had the honor of competing with Gary Carter, another future Baseball Hall of Famer. Nestled besides it is St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where our holy Sacrament indoctrination waited that Saturday morning of scheduled Catechism.

If anyone needed salvation, it was us kids hell-bent on trouble; our Catechism books are in the bushes and our hands free. For the most part, I was an obedient boy who had recently discovered naughty behavior, a tad above being curious, much like what fibbing is to just kidding. Miguel and Hector were brazen spirits of imaginative creativity. Hector once prostrated and lifted his legs to put a flaming matchstick to his ass and cut a fart transforming himself into a human torch.

Adept at filching vending machines, disabling combination locks, replaying pin-balls games, retaining dirty books, and never got caught sneaking into Angel Stadium. Now those were lofty accomplishments, and that morning when we discovered the wayward lock, I saw the opportunity to earn myself a little bad boy respect.

Our police station stands one block from the crime scene, and thank goodness because from there came a cop car crossing these tracks at precisely the moment of me flipping the switch. I might have returned the lever to its rightful position but the jolt of his loudspeaker scared the shit out of us, and we ran off. We fled through the park fence and hid behind the first house in Fullerton (Amerige House) from where we could see the swarming authorities examining the neglected apparatus and discussing this horrendous mistake. Behind Fullerton’s birthplace, we begged for forgiveness, offering God the solemn promise to fulfill our First Holy Communion obligation and Confirmation, too. On opportunity of their preoccupation we ran to St. Mary’s Church whose doors never close like the Kingdom of God never closes for the pious and deserving.

She was a sight for guilty eyes with her beaming cross and storied belfry holding the silent bells gearing up to sing. Besides her gift of divine intervention, the church would be the right place to hide taking into account the Boys Club has not yet opened. The main entrance handles never appeared so mighty and again I’m the one to grapple the shaft that opens the doors for the ultimate change in opposite directions. This time there’s nothing, no motion, no smooth cooperation; I can’t believe it and again pull, nothing, the doors were locked. The four of us together tug with no avail and realize that God is not ready to forgive and will not allow passage. We huddle and plea and try again, no, the door will not budge, sorry, God has halted us cold in our tracks.

A mini strip mall is the nearest structure and our best option for cover. By now the cops must be closing in and by sheer luck we find the least likely of stores already open. It’s an ice-cream parlor which normally would not be our first choice because they are very expensive. Ice-cream cones at Thrifty’s were five cents. Without much of a choice we enter and order ice-cream cones. Patrons are visible from outside, and when we see the cop car pull up, we know our time has come. The policeman’s eyes are as cold as ice, not ice-cream, clear, frozen, solid ice.

“Well, well, well, eating ice-cream like if nothing,” said the young cop.

Our world comes crashing down on the sweet spot and without batting an eye Miguel is pointing his sticky finger at me.

“He is the one that moved the railroad track.”

“I don’t care about that little boy, all for one and one for all,” said the cop.

“Is everything O.K. officer,” asked the proprietor.

“These kids switched the railroad train tracks.”

“Oh boy, that’s a capital offense isn’t it?”

“Ya bet cha,” said the policeman, throwing icicles at us again.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it,” I said.

“You can tell the judge that,” said the policeman. “Come along now.”

In a chain-gang we follow the policeman and toss our ice-cream cones into the trash. I sneak one last lick before mine goes in. The ride to the station takes five minutes and soon we are in the same holding tanks where killers, robbers and rapist are held.

“Good morning, Sammy,” said our policeman to the jailor.

“What are these guys in for?” asked Sammy.

“They switched the railroad train tracks.”

“Good Heavens, anybody hurt?”

“Nothing has been confirmed.” He gives us a disgusted look. “Good thing I was driving by and caught these kids in the act.”

“Now that’s the luckiest thing I ever heard.”

“I understand there was a train,” said the cop. “Just up ahead.”

“And so what happened?”

“Well, I’m not sure, Sammy. But I heard they radioed and tried stopping it.”

“Thank God for radios, officer.”

“These four here are in some hot water alright.”

“The judge will probably throw the book at them.”

“They’ll never see the light of day.”

“So small, look at them.” Sammy shakes his head. “Now that’s a shame.”

You can bet that we were bawling like little babies, when a buzzer goes off and a red light starts blinking, Sammy looks up at his monitor; I can tell he doesn’t like what he sees.

“This is turning out to be a bad day.”

“What’s going on?” asked the cop.

“They’re bringing in Mad Dog Washington.”

“Not again.”

Sammy puts on his holster belt and the cop clutches his.

“Sorry boys,” Sammy says to us. “I’m going to need that holding cell.”

Our cop gets busy. “We’ll hold these four characters in the interrogation room.”

Sammy pops open the door, and they shuffle in Mad Dog, a big muscular white man of stringy hair everywhere, wearing an eye-patch and shackled. Our crying cranks up to a higher level.

“What’ch you got here, Sam?” asked the Mad Dog. “Fresh meat?”

“Railroad train track switchers, Mad Dog.”

“Well if I hadn’t heard it all, I’ve never even done that.”

They parade us through and I turn to see Mad Dog before

entering the interrogation room.

“See you boys in the big house,” says Mad Dog and winks.

We’re seated at a table with a disgusted detective. Our policeman has left but returns with three other curious cops.

“Well here they are,” says our cop to the others.

The sight of them brings on another round of tears, at which point we start pleading.

“I’d be crying too,” said one cop. “If I was never going home.”

“They’ll never see their parents again.”

The detective reaches for a briefcase and finally speaks. “Got something for you wise-guys,” he says, and throws our Catechism books on the table. “Every seen these before?”

“Yes,” I whimper.

His look solicits an answer from the others.

“Sure,” says Miguel.

“A huh,” says Hector.

“Yep,” said Bobby.

“Sir, we told Jimmy not to pull that train switcher,” said Miguel.

“That’s not true, Mugger,” said Bobby.

“We didn’t say nothing, Miguel,” said Hector, upset at his brother.

“I didn’t mean to do it,” I said. “I was just playing.”

“Doesn’t matter,” says the detective. “If one dummy does something stupid, everybody pays.”

“That’s attempted murder isn’t it,” asked one cop, adjusting his holster.

“First degree,” said the detective, still sitting with us.

“What a waste of lives,” said another cop.

“They’ll be old men before they get out,” said another. “Shame.”

“If, they get out,” says the other. “If?”

The officers are reinforcing the fear of God into us. Everyone leaves except the detective and us sinners looking for solace inside the dirtied covers of our Catechism books. “Read the part about Thou Shall Not Kill, boys,” he says.

“Oh please, please, I’m so sorry,” I cried, and the others join in.

At that moment, a policeman enters and borrows the detective’s ear. They exchange whispers and the cop walks over to stand at attention next to the table.

“Listen up you,” the detective said to us. “Jimmy and Bobby your Mother is here. It was a miracle that nobody died. Come with me, I will take you to see her.

“My Mom?” I asked, looking at Bobby.

“Mom?” said Bobby.

“Yes, your Mother little boys,” said the detective. “Miguel and Hector, this officer will guard you until I return. No funny stuff huh?”

“Yes sir,” said Miguel.

“O.K. officer,” said Hector.

The hallway was like a cave sprinkled with beasty-eyes in the dark. Cops showed their dismay at the sight of us. The walk is longer than anticipated, and I’m thinking we’re going to a visitor’s chamber. For a minute Amerige Park comes into view and I imagine Babe Ruth’s homers crashing through these Mediterranean windows. The sight of Fullerton Boys Club hurts because I’ll never see the inside again. And St. Mary’s Catholic Church brings home what this whole nightmare is really all about. The minute we hid those Catechism books was the moment we found our downfall. The stern detective brings us into the lobby where our Mother sits near the double-doors of freedom. We’re going home. Our marathon crying extravaganza is miraculously approaching its sun flushed finish line.

When we get home, my Mom had us pray for forgiveness at her flaming altar. We fully confessed to past weekends of cutting Catechism and it became apparent those absences have put us behind and in order to complete the requirements, we’ll have to start over. What happened after that? I don’t know, but we never registered for classes again, and I never made my First Holy Communion and neither did Bobby. But somehow, we did make our way back to the Fullerton Boys Club. Thank God.

 

Childhood Space

By Francisco Flores

 

Being in my room, or better yet space, was never very fun. My room was the corner of our one bedroom trailer. It was also the living room and where our kitchen table hung. It hung because it was bolted to the wall. I try my hardest to stay away from my room and tend to visit it only to sleep. During the day people would use it for their talks and lunch. I hate the fact I could never have it to myself most of the time, and I always wondered what it felt like to have an actual room. A room with an actual bed, a closet, a television, and a theme of my choice. A room like most my friends in school had.

During the night, the small window above the couch, or my bed, would make the wind howl like a disturbed woman in agony, and it is through this window that I would stare in amazement at nature’s beauty and magnificence. Looking out at the stars was my favorite thing to do while in my room, and when I got lucky: I got to marvel at beautiful storms. My space itself consisted of my bed, which is actually the trailer’s only couch; it had a navy blue color and an ugly sour smell I can’t figure out. The window above the couch was small and of an aluminum frame, big enough for my head to squeeze through, but nothing else. The kitchen table is brown and small; two people at the most can eat comfortably on it. It’s always so boring in my room and for some reason it frustrates my parents as they always get upset at my presence on the couch, but where else would I be?

Every night before going to sleep, I looked out the window, and went into thoughtful moments in which I thanked god for all I have and sometimes asked for things I didn’t. Soon after I started feeling sleepy, I would begin to imagine myself playing with all the things I never had.

There was never much to do in my room but sleep and dream.

 

Sobriety

By Trier Ward

 

These streets are cold, mama.

Don’t do what you’re thinking.

Every city block has a corner store.

Every corner store has seventy-five

cent razors behind the counter-

waiting for a crazy whore who

walks the streets alone, punishing

herself for living, smiling,

memorizing happy, happy thoughts.

Believing happy thoughts in circles,

breathing through each fucking evening.

It doesn’t make sense.

It isn’t sane.

These streets are cold.

No one knows your name.

You’ve done this before.

You’ve played this game.

You end up beat up with a cock in your mouth.

You end up strung out.

There’s nowhere to run, baby.

All the ugly faces in the mirror are screaming.

You are locked in with your hounds and your demons.

 

 

Old Times

By Priscila Montalvo

 

My father always said

that times are getting change

Because cuando él tenía seis (when he had six)

Children’s cry because they had pain.

Today children’s cry for a tablet

always their eyes on phone screen,

Other sited watching cable.

That is a very sad future scene.

It is hard to see the entire families

everybody sited watching the phone

They don’t heard tales or fantasies

Always look like they are alone.

What a beautiful is the new technology

When it is used to finding the knowledge,

But as is today we need a psychologist

Which will help us for a change.

Let’s talk each other as the old times

And keep the cells en un cajón (in a drawer)

Let’s together run for an ice.

This is better than the IPhone.

 

 

Bathhouse Daddy Issues

By Charles McGregor

 

  1. Dads are good

 

It was a dad, it was a dad, it usually is a dad.

I’m envious of dads. They look good devouring

yellow eggs, pinching inky newspapers, slipping

 

out of Goodwill suits. Fashion is dad

shouldering the cross in jeans—a please come

in and give. There’s the Pharisee, the angry Jesus,

 

the bloody Jesus, a Greco palace to worship,

the rich walking through the eye of a needle.

Daddy wears a gold cross, leaves wads of cash

 

on the dresser of his six-hour room. Works hard for me,

fucks fucks fucks—a real babe in his machismo get-up;

he’s a man that knows bathhouse convenience.

 

  1. Dads fuck great

 

God is on your side, Daddy Machismo. Ask for forgiveness

when you get a chance. Until then, fuck fuck fuck this twink—

Toro through my fabric softened briefs; doodle the air

 

with Looney Tune clouds of hamper scented popper snorts.

Yes, a legal substance, Daddy Machismo, and you would know

if you didn’t have to sneak down the halls—

 

the grunting halls, the halls where love is present,

love is temporary, love won’t find a witness, love is dimly lit,

clandestine twinks chorusing you a top, baby? Soft lips for us,

soft lips for their “Mary Had a Little Lamb” daughters.

 

Lies and fucking, dads aren’t all the same, but Goddamn

there is a lot of them that won’t fit this mold,

this peephole meant for a Puritan mob. Men that want me

in a dress, want me as their maids, want me as smooth as their wives.

I’m not a girl, I’m not a girl, yet I find myself corset-bound

 

seeking five-minute love in this God-forgiven bathhouse.

 

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