the poetry that matters

Juan Pablo Laso

Juan Pablo Laso is from Quito, Ecuador. He is a former Economics major from Princeton University and is currently researching microfinance in Ecuador for his senior thesis.


In the wake of the storm,
Past the winds that blew off
What the waters didn't flood
And a Deus deemed be swept,
The steeple and façade
Of a seaside temple
Still stood, barely erect,
Amid crumbling remains
Crawling a hapless town.
Now towering over
A nave sought for refuge
By pilgrims dead and mashed
Beneath rock that once was,
A whisper of Zephyr,
Although beckoning love
As softly as a sigh,
Would finally collapse
The tottering structure.
The inevitable,
The downfall, the final
Relics of the sacred
Face of former glory.
Too weak a foundation?
Perhaps the illusion
Of strength through devotion
Sustained itself no more.
As water that poisons,
As suffocating air,
An altar that crushes
Out of a hopeful fool's
Lungs a last living breath.
The golden sun forebodes
Unanswered beseeching,
The forces of nature
Recklessly moving on.


It has long been known by the poets of old
Cogs keep turning by the turning of more
But some are shaped a lil' strange,
Some would just like to roll freely
Down sun-baked slopes far
From the machine. And
Some would rather
not turn at all.

Are those
Whose spirit,
Not of cog, no,
Rather circular,
All they want is
As much as to
Turn so that it
all just keeps
on turning
on and

Rotating, as always, some
are beholden to visions
of greater machinations
to engage in the creation
of far more beautiful things.
But in the cog-like mentality
Surrounding the cog kings,
Can a cog possibly ever
Dream of becoming a sphere?

Surely hysterical to hold
such spherical notions,
But in the incessant turning,
and faceless embraces,
There lies art in becoming
A more mused wheel of the graces.

Original Rock

An ebony lament once heard
'cross southern fields, marshes and groves,
Many a lonely heart it hurt
Just a touch, but to heal the soul;
And when heard 'round the day
This cry, this mockingbird
flatly tuned and hard-lucked,
The sky no longer shone azure,
But eight darker hues,
They call 'em the blues.

Melancholy chants so soulful
As to perfuse the stringed lady
With amaranthine gloom,
And impregnate her in summer,
These titans to beget
Not Zeus, but something Dionysian
A brash enfant terrible,
Fiercely young, crass and defiant,
Peter Pan with a bad do,
Rather peeved by the Man too.

No more the aching everyman,
No more hollerin' pain away,
No more subdued notions
Of explosive emotions that
Shake up a beastlier within,
Which moans, shakes for raucous
Escape from the noxious tedium
That modern living comes not
without. Cries of juvenal birds,
Reptilian, primordial, in titillating thirds.

With sounds like reefs, in jagged
windswept keys and drenched
By beating waves of intoxication,
The sonic force of a boulder
Rolling down a canyon
Wrecking trodden roads.
Dorian Gray reworking,
All wrinkles and wear marks,
Unafraid of the matured art,
That swoons a renegade heart.

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