We drove around the city, frantically
Fearful of every bump in the road
Looking for a clinic, a sign
For anybody that could save his life
Nobody answered, harsh lights
A Holiday night, the time
Acted against us.
Wounded past eleven
Missed the mark by minutes
We were left helpless,
With no other choice
Everything was closed
Except for his wounds,
So we went back home,
Grabbed gauzes and strings
Mercury and adhesives
In our quiet desperation
While our hands trembled
Medicine dripping and spilling.
When we finally grabbed
A good look at his wounds,
We could not believe
What we were seeing.
Skin ripped from the neck, stomach, back
All exposed flesh, meat like brains
Profusely spilling his blood.
A bite that tore
And revealed his insides
On his right hind leg
Deep enough to fit
A thumb and knuckle in.
What I felt that night
Was difficult to describe.
God likes playing jokes,
We can blame ourselves,
All we like, or we can learn
From mistakes, and avoid
Our same suffering.
Then the time has arrived
To flip the switch,
Civilization was founded on
Cooperation for survival
We learned this was the best way
To avoid heartaches and pain,
To protect the life of our loved ones
Truth be told, to protect ourselves
From our misery, when we face Death
Knowing our loved ones will no longer be around
To cheer us up, to drown the loneliness
Of an ‘I’ left as a witness
Learn to save yourself,
Before you can save others.
A lesson that is hard-learned
A nobody that couldn’t operate on
A being who dedicated himself to them,
Money cannot cloud its worthlessness,
Money cannot buy courage.
A will to save another’s life
To bring them back alive.
So civilization, trust in vets
Have faith, while God persists
To teach you traumatic lessons
Which should not even exist.
Everything is perfect as it is.
Money becomes worthless,
When you cannot buy treatment
For family, close to death.
Where every moment left
Is spent collecting bloodstains,
On your clothing, from holding
Him close. Warmth,
To make his last moments
A comfort through his torment.
If only I had the knowledge,
To stand up to your reign,
To had stitched your open wounds
If only I had the courage,
To heal your wounds
I’m sorry life demanded it to be you.
If I had listened to the barks,
If I had checked to see you outside,
Then I wouldn’t have had to die,
I wouldn’t have had to die.
A warm plate of rice and beans
takes me back to those restless nights
beneath flamboyant meadows,
and trees dressed in shadows
shared breaths with my own.
Lush glasses of strawberry lemonade
turn into photographies of sunbathing days.
Pumpkins and plantains galore
turned cooks into illusionists.
Skillets and pans worked their magic,
bringing forth to our enticing lovers:
tostones, amarillos, barriguitas de vieja,
words not said, but savored.
Starry nights in el campo were paintings framed by my window.
Jade mountains contended with dim street lights from afar.
And I watched with amazement
on my Mami’s lap
as the rain made love to the wind.
Celia M. Ayala Lugo
I was a girl who strived to dream.
Believed the world was how they told me:
Safe. Good. Peaceful.
Rested on good and bad.
I was told smiling wins the world.
The world taught me something else.
I was a teenager stumbling herself
while climbing staircases.
Girls are no longer playing Barbies, but guys’ hearts.
Wearing my coils attracted laughter, not eyes,
had to silence my African blood to survive.
I am a woman fighting against the world.
Somehow, the world is letting me win.
I was told knowledge wins the world.
Love taught me something else.
The smarter I get, the more intimidating I seem.
They seek intelligence, but when facing it, they pull apart.
They withstand injustice and inequality,
Yet repel a woman longing to fight on their side
Celia M. Ayala Lugo
What is transhumanism?
They have this idea
About making human beings
Higher than God.
How do we define God?
He is not the Almighty Force,
That controls all morality.
God is a lot more disconnected
Than we believe him to be.
Although he exists
Inside of our consciousness,
And he acts inside of us,
Outside of these beings.
What they propose to me
Is this transhumanist project:
Where all human beings coexist,
And all of their consciousness,
And all of these cultures,
and all these differences,
and all these similarities
Are together, inside of one mind
Which controls the entire human race.
And besides, we want to talk about
How we have all evolved,
And we are all ready
For this point of evolution.
Where everybody is interconnected,
But let’s admit the truth,
If we are in the year 2017
And people still want to be
Mean to others because of the color
Of their skin, I think it is
Completely unnecessary to say
We want evolution to lead us this way.
Because in reality, it is all inside
Of the mind of a few people who are
The leaders of this world,
And want to see humanity controlled.
Inside of this one mind,
They are going to choose not to be,
Part of this one mind,
Because they want to control this mind,
And they are going to be the gods.
And we will be the masses,
And that’s going to be control inside this axis.
So don’t be such a fool, and don’t feel controlled,
Even though, they say the words that make you swirl,
And I want to let you know that this is fucking crazy.
Because my individuality and physical body
Are what make me the being that I am,
They are what allow me to be a poet and shaman.
If I want to say that I am, inside this definition,
And even though language is a limited mechanism,
It’s not going to be this next mechanism,
Where this control and singular mind,
Is going to make this human being evolve,
Like it’s only a matter of time,
But we have to realize that these things we want to make,
Are going to be fire for the human race.
And I admit it, and I love you all for saying this,
For giving me this information and letting me make this,
But Goddamn I love you guys, and I really do, but I
Wish you could feel the way that I do, because
All this love comes from suffering, because without love
I cannot measure my suffering. And without my suffering,
I cannot measure my love. And I realize it’s just going to be
One concept up above. And it’s just going to be reason,
So if I share this consciousness with you,
It’s not going to mean anything,
Unless you pay your dues.
And even if I have to pay my dues for this,
I am not going to pay my dues, to make you feel this.
Because you know that this is free, and this is
Emotion that I perceive, and I want you, to make you,
And I wanted to make you feel this way,
And everyone in the world can evolve in this way.
Because we don’t need a machine to tell us how it slays,
We’re all human beings and we have these feelings,
Because that’s what makes us who we are,
Every fucking animal in this world,
And even the vegetable world and the minerals,
Everything has a fucking existence and life,
Because from here, to a couple thousand years,
We’re going to see, how it strikes.
And even if it breaks down, and even if we give it life,
It’s a machine, but it’s a machine that we gave life.
And even if you don’t want to admit it, well that’s its strife.
Human beings, we are not the highest thing in this world,
Now you want to talk about other aliens in the universe
Who had the same conclusions as us,
and aliens that I have turned and have transcended their bodies.
Do we want to transcend our own bodies?
When we have not dealt with our own demons.
That’s what I mean, because we still have voices
And treasons, and we have this idea of what love is
And what hate is, and how are we going to become one being?
When we have all these ideas in and hell,
A lot of people feel comfortable
But I’m not the type of person to feel like it’s normable.
Because me, personally, I still have a lot to live,
And I still draw pleasure from grabbing a fruit off of the tree,
And it is something so basic, like if it’s animalistic.
And even rapping these words gives me a certain pleasure,
And saying these things, and knowing and feeling,
And putting my hand behind my back, and feeling my spine,
And those things, ridges inside my behind, and feeling
This meat inside of my body and not having to worry
About anything that’s going to make it run,
Because my body runs perfectly inside this society.
And I don’t want to say that we need to evolve beyond that,
Because I love this world, and I love the body that gave me that,
And I love this sensation, and even if though I might say that this
Perception is a single person’s, and even though we might say that this
Is all an illusion,
And there is a higher dimension above this,
Where they view us.
And say I am entertained by watching a human being rap,
Right now it is crazy, it is fucking crack,
You know what?
Fuck it, because that’s existence,
And even if we have to pay dues to a God that doesn’t listen,
I fucking love this world, and I am sure you will too.
And as long as I find my love, you will too.
And that’s the end.
Because love is the secret,
I wish I could have seen her,
But I am not ready yet.
Prismatic hues embellished her torn skirt,
reclining her weary body on her tía’s chair.
Jars of marmalade and honey softened her crestfallen lips,
learning to sweeten her own tears.
Celia M. Ayala Lugo
Fernando E.E. Correa is a poet, director, editor and educator from Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, who is finishing his MA in English Education at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.
Fernando’s artistic career started as a child, where he found himself wanting to become a video game developer. However, because Fernando was not skilled at mathematics, he decided instead to focus on writing stories. Fernando developed his ideas for characters in his notebooks, which he still keeps at home today. As a teenager, Fernando also practiced drawing comics, before moving on to film.
Fernando’s goal for his stories was to develop a reflection of the different “realities” he lives in. Today, we can see how this influences drives him to write about his culture, surroundings and family within his poetry.
Fernando (“Fen”) also wanted to become a rock and roll star, a fact which drove him to begin writing poetry. He mentioned wanting to make musical projects in death metal, hardcore punk, rap and even funk bands. He has a multitude of ideas and eclectic tastes, which he funnels into his poetry. For example, Fernando’s love for metal inspired him to collaborate with Anthony Acevedo for their book Sábado Negro, a Spanish translation of Black Sabbath.
Besides poetry, Fernando started his film career making “Jackass-like” videos, which gave him experience editing and directing film projects. Fernando’s favorite movies as a young man were A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Halloween (1978), which served as his inspiration for his film-themed poetry book, Craven.
Fernando directs, edits and produces music videos as well as short films. He has been working as a filmmaker for over ten years now. His favorite project as a director was the music video for Chagy Vargas’ song “Qué Cosa Más Rara”. Fernando attributes this to how he admires Chagy’s relationship with his girlfriend, which is similar to his own long-distance relationship with his current girlfriend of nine years, Michele.
Fernando’s favorite filmmaking experience was working in Las Lágrimas Negras, because he felt like the crew was a “family of six stuck in an elevator.” As of yet, Fernando has still not been able to play music in a band, but in a certain way, he has shared a similar experience with his filmmaking friends. Fernando frequently collaborates with Edward Andres, Franchesca Alexandra and Alejandro Orengo for film productions. Their filmmaking company is called Producciones Tabaquero.
Fernando has published eleven books of poetry, and recently finished publishing a monthly journal series, after a year of publishing his work. Currently, Fernando has two books up and coming collaborative works: SteFEN, where he collaborated with Steven O. Méndez and Los Tres Reyes which is a collaboration between Fen and two of his students, which drops around December.
You can find Fernando’s work on his Amazon page.
Written by: Alan Valle
“It is the best to have loved and won,
Second best, to have loved and lost”
All that lies destined will follow.
Pure Mind of the Bodhi,
Melpomene, a soliloquy
For her Mystery.
On Human nature,
“A man is god in ruins…”
We are drawn to the Flame.
A void, between the compositions of Helios.
Shiva, ‘o Lady Babylon, to whom we sing our praises.
‘Oh Say’s among men, she stood as a Titaness,
Zeus’ thunder, with frivolous fascination,
An abysmal suspicion of her broken beauty,
A maternal affection, for their father’s creation.
Gnostic Gospels speak of thy progeny
“Within me I carry the Seeds of Christ,”
Parthenogenesis and an old regal clock-tower,
A Sanctuary in the Earth, by the hour.
A bloodied cub the Hyenas prayed to devour
Daunt, “so fragile” – mere words could tear her apart,
She remained a child in secrecy – a deity in art
“The flower in the crannied wall,” of Lord Tennyson.
Spirit of the Divine, see the World through her eyes.
Marie the Mother, or the Lover of Light.
Olympus intervened and took her Soul from me,
A stoic’s shell in the midst of the Great Plains,
A shout rang through the clouds, loud; “You’ve taken my life,
My joy, my wonder, fry my flesh with your thunder!”
And in his visions, Oceanus visits
The titan, a giant of a frightful countenance,
The hero would face a fate worse than Dionysus’,
Skull, bones, skin, limbs, remain as bloodied crumbs,
To surrender thy flesh, in a feast for titans.
At the face of your fate, choose not to decay.
Awaken and slice open the bowels of the beast.
Emergent products, the titan regurgitates.
A heroine has conquered the monster.
Kin of Jonah – poets sail for the Holy Mountain,
Yet they stay to dwell in purgatory,
To claims conduits to Father Sky and Mother Earth,
Through tribulations, They bring us a message.
“Our future is ominous… rests in ruins,
Behemoth and Leviathan sleep lightly,
Set your sights on the World, from Rio to Thebes,
Count the spirits, as they succumb.
“Leviathan and Behemoth lie sleeping,
Our future, how ominous, rests in ruins,
Your work is not yet done,
Count the spirits, as they succumb.
Set your sights on the World, from Rio to Thebes,
Before the great tribulation and the Seventh Seal
Use your wisdom, to prepare them on their journeys.
Mother and the Celestials will rest to heal.”
Elena Leon Barbot
I’ve been trying to forget her,
For the past eight months.
I’ve been trying to forget her,
God gives me no luck.
I’ve been sent here to suffer.
To learn from Cain’s mistakes.
I’ve been sensitive enough,
To desire an end to it all.
I’ve been told that life is a dream.
Say that to the children of Palestine,
I’ve cried over news of their death.
Society considers me a wreck.
I’ve been dreaming about her,
Even when she’s been far away.
Seen her at the side of the road,
Drinking a beer, all alone.
I walked out of a moving vehicle,
Past the lovable liar and Jonathan,
Shook hands to greet the Mormon,
Arrived at the bar, our paths crossed.
We looked into each other’s eyes,
So I walked over, our problems alive.
An impish Frenchman arrived first.
Nothing a few words of hers could not deter.
He disappeared, we spoke. Her relationship,
With her girlfriend, was on the rocks,
Her ménage’e’troi with Edgardo,
Had predictably backfired.
As I’ve been fantasizing for,
If only our dreams went on,
Infinitely. If they were indications,
Of a future that exists, or becomes.
Apartment buildings filled to the brim,
With family sharing drugs & drinks,
A house shared between me and her,
With bright lights and mirrored doors.
An apple too far to see,
Grew on the highest tree.
Forbidden beyond delight,
Delicious, yet so unripe.
We do not mix, you and I.
I’m dark and brown,
You’re blonde and white.
I see all of the darkness.
You see all of the light.
I’m as strange as they come.
You’re as simple as can be.
We make our choices.
We choose our poisons.
Love, with a broken heart.
Whose ruptured valves bleed wildly,
On countless pieces of clothing,
And a host of broken bones.
I will listen,
To your musings,
To your pain.
I will remember,
All you do,
All you say.
Even if I say “I decided,
To remember to forget.”
I want you to be the Radha,
To my ailing Krishna.
I want you to be the Mary,
To my broken Christ.
I would die for you,
If our lives were on the line.
Take a bullet for you,
My partner in crime.
Now say, those magic words,
“Nothing, no nothing, is okay.”
Except for You and I,
And our happily distorted lives.
Bonnie to my broken Clyde.
And on the day we die,
We will travel past phantoms,
With flushed faces, who live
With children, resting outside
In the benches, under the gray sky.
In nature’s waiting room,
Trained tigers are shackled,
Surrounded by stone walls.
Behold, a terrifying concrete
Gothic gate, with doors as tall and
Thick as trees, with obsidian clasps.
You and I, will meet inside.
Of this magnificent cathedral,
With fires, golden goblets and candelabra.
Filled to the brim, with Christ’s blood.
Which spills on velvet red rugs.
And a fine old gentleman, sits in a bench.
His stare welcomes us. He whispers
Into your ear. Something I cannot hear.
“A place, where all of our secrets reside.
Welcome, to the life inside.”
Oh pathetic, don’t let your mind wander,
On film strips, in moments that went ‘yonder.
Replay. Strips over and over, in mind.
I Magnify and Project, a universal prospect!
Light, “It had to be so”, the Fool treads through,
Anxiety, tears, virginity; sinews
Per her Heart, bends in waves for another,
Or maybe she yearned to go, discover.
Why would you blame her? Eclipse, Lucifer.
You are not the Most High, Fool, hear.
Your courage drove you, in your first step,
Yet you tread, confidently in ignorance.
Ghosts from my path beckon at me from a window,
They’ve written songs, we have sung in the past.
Simpler were times when I did not comprehend,
By the time my sight focused, they vanished again.
Experiences a many have passed since then,
And the specters they beckon at me again,
I cannot lay the blame to them for a friend,
For a friend has cost them the other’s end.
As I went up the staircase the thought wavered
Through my mind: I used to see you everyday
And I have not seen you in over three blue moons.
How many forests have fallen and risen since then?
Words read, words heard, words have changed you.
Cease, rest your gesturing, the judgment is firm,
You knew the problem and chose to support it
Becoming the very thing you most dreaded.
Our homes were mutual, as blood brothers,
Despite not having spoken to one another,
For over fourteen years. Destiny ties a lace,
Between the children of a growing race.
Always sickly, as a child in the academy,
A black sheep, our brother, our friend.
You left early, to spark a journey.
When we reunited over them moon.
Playing foundations, to lay down the grooves.
Pragmatic idealist, always carrying gifts,
Whose actions nobody could ever comprehend,
A trust, a lack of concern, that lasts for days.
Degrees could not measure your mentality.
Listening to books as you drove.
I remember our first conversation.
You gave me a reminder, a life lesson:
A forgotten gesture of kindness,
A treasury of forgotten memories.
Imagined by our innocence.
God, that art in Heaven,
Did you not sacrifice your son?