Blue Sky, Part II

They want a poem

about jazz music

as an understated triple clef, a hip

to trombones tapping that ash off

syncopated soft curves, because

that bared marrow crackling

of rap on the avenue

won’t sound right.


So speak the jangle of lawn chairs,

the rattle of revolvers locked in

broom closets, conducted by

passing car door speakers—

keeps an eye on the breath of children

over dark night. Having already

turnt the soil, the earthworms

into sour milk from that timbre

of slouch and high lark.


So when the skies feel parched

remind them of the Mayans

tossing human heads down temple steps

to the same beat that built the calendar


and a fire’s smoke

inventing zero.

mayan wayne



It’s her first time in Beirut

so Maria wants an authentic dish, homespun

as a bowl of Aunt Chuca’s albondigas on a San Diego

orange hangover morning.

She who will not stomach menudo

squatting in the kitchen beside rounded corners of a manila fridge.


You see, she is la raza, the race of the cosmos,

those effervescent feathered serpents:

Her brown people

who tore from their pyramids laying waste

to her brown people,

until those who gave her a name

cast their horrible armor upon her shore.

Together they forged Mexican Highway 15, erecting a million steeples,

billions served.


Hers is a people

found and found again,

who pitch for the genuine article

and hunger

only for what the Sultan’s sons dine on,

what the monkey suited narguile boys take in

beneath Phoenician tapestries, and

she expects Lebanon’s beverage of choice.


Her mouth moist,

she bites into the Burger King,

the french fries and on her hotel veranda

Maria makes a promise to share a Pepsi with her abuela

the next time she visits.