Category Archives: Personal


Not A Love Poem

I have feelings for you but mostly they start in my pants. So when we are pantsless
together, my feelings have nowhere to go but up, the way hot air must rise,
how you would rather look at the sky while walking, no matter the weather,
rather than study the undulations of a sidewalk that will, inevitably, lead to me.
No need to look so miserable when we kiss, though a lover is like a high ceiling
in a house you’ll never own, a beautiful reason you can’t afford. Still you belong
in the dreams where I have misplaced something valuable, the ones from which
I wake with my hands in the air, my mind turning cartwheels down the fairgrounds
of possibilities, and in the distance the hum of a great machine revving up,
unseen. Night is coming and all the lights must be set in motion, somehow.

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The 8:15 Train on a Sunday Night
for M who drives his parents everywhere when he can

Old people should never have to commute.
Look at his knees, her paper hands.
Look their feathery heads bending
to peer at the blurring world.
Hasn’t it done that enough?
I think the elderly should
be carried to and fro in
warm sleighs filled
with smells from
their youth.

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I haven’t been writing because I’m on meds.
I haven’t been writing because I’m far away.
I haven’t been writing because of new friends.
I haven’t been writing because I have no friends.
I haven’t been writing because I can’t sleep.
I haven’t been writing because I sleep all the time.
I haven’t been writing because I sleep around.
I haven’t been writing because I can’t find a pen.
I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been reading.
I haven’t been writing because I read too much.
I haven’t been writing because I’ve been talking to Jesus instead.
I haven’t been writing because it’s cramped in an airplane.
I haven’t been writing because it’s cramped in this box.
I haven’t been writing because this island is tiny.
I haven’t been writing because Facebook matters more.
I haven’t been writing because I’m underweight.
I haven’t been writing because I need money.
I haven’t been writing because it’s hard to do.
I haven’t been writing because I’m sick.
I haven’t been writing because I’m better now.



Since we’re talking collaborations, here’s a renga written between the very lovely Sasha & I. It was done purely through email but we did meet up after it was completed in order to give each other high fives & drink beer. This was written over a year ago but I still think it’s lovely.

We have the simplest pleasures, nestled among
the finest of things: grains of sand, for example,
or fruit. That which can be cupped in one hand,
and devoured that way, plumpened
with sheen and the press of palms.
Easily palmed, however, means easily lost.
Just as how we think simplicity is everywhere,
like sand accumulating in the corners you forget
to sweep, or peaches in a mildewed bowl.
Pluck one from the huddle of its neighbors,
raise it to the light — what skin? what weight?
what curve, its silhouette? Hold it in the palm
of your hand. Allow yourself to think of pain.



814AM from Maria Inez Moro on Vimeo.

Directed by Inez Moro (
Starring Claudio Cruz & Lucia Fischer
Music and sound by CH++ (
Photography by Michaela Giles (
Written by Petra Magno (
Production Design by Yum Ledesma
Styling by Valerie Tilos

Inez turned this poem of mine into a short film. Do watch it! Can’t exactly explain how strange and wonderful it feels to hear people speaking my words, and the film is riddled with beauty so like I said, it’s an honor that this lovely thing was created out of my little poem about my little dream.

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All these things I know are of no help to me

It is easy when leaving is understood:
      the slammed door       the car starting up
            the driving away and away

Silence yawns because yes it is at once
an expansion and a hollowing out

But there            goes the untranslatable
      note of finality      voice in the key of cold
            mouth like a lock.

Things not working anymore. Sudden walls to surprise you
like an English maze where you realize the wrong turn too late

no amount of running              yes     you
wish you had   a    knife

      The car starts up yes but
      somewhere else down the
      street, where surely other
      people in this world know
      where they are going, yes,
      having been there before,
      in possession of a map
      just in case

While you are still here, yes, mouth like a lock,
and my thoughts are feverish hands at the door

How is it that we are face to face but elsewhere entirely,
one of us must be dead, you turn toward me
when once you were turned away yes but
you with your knife you yawn instead

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Online Questionnaire for the Depressives:

When did you realize that you were not the favorite child?

When in the throes of a fever, who is it you wish for?

When you close your eyes and think of where you want to be,
      is it still only a postcard?

How dark does the room have to be
      before you can start pulling the sheets
      to their tightest around you?

How many more unsent letters, or emails, or handshakes?

Do you remember the time in high school
      when you and your friends were laughing
      at the wig one of your classmates brought
      for a presentation, and you later learned
      that it was her mother’s when her mother had cancer?

Did you know that all human beings are jagged and soft
      at the same time and most interaction consists of
      sticking jaggedness into softnesses, and if you are lucky,
      you will find someone who will let you rest your soft
      against his soft?

What do you point to when you say to someone else
      Look, please look?




After the Funeral

How is it that I get from class to class
without collapsing in anguish and how
is it that sometimes there is no anguish
at all, just that faint humming, or mild
annoyance at the disruption of my days,
courtesy of yours coming to an end?

The grief, I have learned, is not like
a flipped coin with two faces: one of
pain and the other of peace, but rather
like the flowers you used to steep as tea:
in one cup the searing water, and then
the blooming.

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Poem about Another Poem

The old Jesuit walks out from the seminary
into the parking lot. He exhales cigar smoke
into the damp air. There are mango trees in the dark,
and beyond those a small garden with bromeliads
and a dead log to which a few pale orchids cling.
It has just rained, and classes at the college nearby
have been let out for the night. Tomorrow, he will be
at a funeral, but he is not thinking of that now. Instead,
he is thinking of the possibilities of dinner: the milkfish,
maybe, in a hot and sour soup. Or sweet loin of pork,
white rice. I am sorry I never wrote you a poem
while you were alive, Lola. Other things begged me
to speak on behalf of them, and I listened only
to the loudest. How will you hear me now?
I press my hands into the wet soil of the grave,
still empty, already dug. I put my mouth to the stone.
The priest he stubs out his cigar carefully.
His brothers are filing into the dining hall.
He realizes that he has missed the dinner bell,
that he had wandered too far from the sound.
Never mind, he thinks, it is a Thursday,
and tonight it will be the fish.

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