the poetry that matters

Daniel Romo

Daniel Romo teaches high school creative writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA.  He has most recently been published in poeticdiversity, Monkeybicycle, and The Northville Review.  He is an MFA candidate at Antioch University Los Angeles.  More of his writing can be found here-   
http://danielromo.wordpress.com/   (Peyote Soliloquies)


She says the sky is on fire. The blue actually cool hue of the
quintessential flame, and clouds: spectators to record the
calamity. There are no such things as planes. They are products
of chemtrails—governmental spaying and neutering. Airports:
kennels/accomplices. She says birds are a dieing breed of
matchsticks, striking the fuse with the tips of their beaks.
Runaway balloons are the severed grasping hands of children,
inflated aspirations set ablaze ‘round campfire songs gone awry.
Kites, are kites. Mostly pointless. Reigned in when fear outweighs
risk. But fireflies are real. Embers of tossed cigarettes thrown
over cold shoulders. She says either way, we’ll all burn in hell.

just so you know…

and i can’t recall the last time i touched snow as i held her hand,
nor the day i became a man and let it go. she was young and sublime,
as her impeccable eyebrows could attest. though i was always leery
at best of her motivation. she looked to always be questioning me.
call it insecurity. but i’m not too proud to admit, i saved all her
hallmark cards in an unmarked box, and still gush over their familiar
contents that once sang idyllic to me, i.e.  “forever and eternity…”
she was no poet. i am not certain i was one either. neither of us really
knew who we were back then.

The Problem with Fate


The problem with fate is that it lacks closure,
the cyclical embrace of karma and kismet
clasped like buttons on small children’s
peacoats from the 40’s.
The quality of life has deteriorated today.


“Everything is little kid.
Dreams used to be big.
And the sky was full of ‘em.”


A young boy (not me) used to
shoot small birds out of the horizon
with a BB gun,
intoxicated with the scent
of coercion and conquest;
watch them stagger, dazed,
ricocheting between the clouds.
“It’s just a bird Mom.”
Little men. Hunters.
Gatherers are gone.


We are left holding the bag.
It’s contents are stale.
Perhaps expired coldcuts
purchased from a delicatessen
in a neighborhood known as Little Italy.
Maybe a greasy taco
bought from a silver pushcart
at a busy intersection in East LA. “Gracias.”
Most likely it’s the crumbs of a glowing dream,
gone the way of Roman numerals.
Sun chips for the soul.


The problem with fate is that it lacks closure
The problem with fate is that it lacks closure
The problem with fate is that it lacks closure

“Dreams used to be big,”
“It’s just a bird Mom,”
they murmur,
always having more to mouth.

When in Long Beach

Kiss homeless on foreheads while they sleep on the knoll
in front of the library at City Hall; drink their dreams dry

and spit out seeds from their nightmares. Wipe the soil
from their brows; grind it into skin. Tatted euphemisms yet to come. 

Tiptoe, naked through the ghetto; genitalia is universal: neutral, 
and you’re less likely to be mistaken for having gang ties.

Ignore single mothers’ cries, curbside memorials,
and barricaded cul-de-sacs. They occur too frequently.

Sift sand on the shore smirking at the sea, once cerulean currents
of non-conformity now jaded, gagged, bound by breakwater.

Sit Indian-style in garages, sifting through “medicinal” haze
lifting to the rafters. And chew on songs birthed from wombs

of empty Corona bottles pardoning indie bands swum mainstream.
Follow the gulls.

They know where the best places in town are to eat.

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