Victor David Sandiego lives in the high desert of central México where he writes, studies, and plays drums with jazz combos and in musical / poetry collaborations. His work appears in various journals (Cerise Press, Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Review, Off The Coast, Generations Literary Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, others) and has been featured on public radio. He is the founder and current editor of Subprimal Poetry Art. His website is victordavid.com.
Priest opens a desert, his fist a red fish, regards
with one eye the heavens while sun crackles
tattoos on his face. “I beg you destroy my affection,” he says
in blood, and sand flows in gentle ripples from his morning
feet. The ceremony that devoured his son casts
a rut to the far edge of the earth. The crease that canyons
his life into two pieces swarms with bees. But he cannot consume
the knife, for habit of existence. He cannot swallow his own cruel stake.
the lumbering beast nobody laments his war
power absent & fathers, sons crushed by wide rivering feet
celebrate death I sketch on my skin for this iconic relic.
Only gravediggers grieve starving elephant death of war withering
symphony of dominance shrivels into an angular knife of night.
Patrols on half-hitched roads. Frantic, professional lust
rushes their fever, lungs of their elephant war comfort stirring
shadows, tusks through their scarlet ashes.
My elephant chained to an elder Eucalyptus, no food, no drink;
I fix tumbled fences, tend Jasmine pots. My war elephant weakens
to pleated warrior knees – trampled ghosts of drunken trumpet stump legs
CALL OUT! (CALL OUT!)
from antechambers of worlds against an angry sprint
to reunite children of blacksmiths and shopkeepers
with a fallopian earth, bury blooming skulls in red sand flowers
slaughter war-troubled questions of his heart.
Evaporating elephant breath a broken string of sweat drops to his side
in the brown grass closing closets of his brass and bronze veins.
And I know I should rejoice! But three imprisoned tears
flee my pearly eye
follow furrows of a low gloaming sky
to moisten his vast, panting elephant hide.
A dark tunnel, a man inside a cage.
Cage is shaped like God, soft shadows of red light.
A scream hurls from a sling
(inside the prisoner’s heart)
a God shaped like man counts pebbles into a wooden bucket.
The prisoner – shaped like a desert that reaches from the first
(birth) tunnel of daybreak to nourish the body – exhales.
Night is alone on foot, weeping into the grass.
Meadow receives the rain to nourish the body.
Grieving, the underground statue
to wipe the stone with a clean cloth tongue.
Celebration pours forth a symphony from vocal cups. The foot of the prisoner
amputated to wander, orates on hillsides and in the villages.
Alone, the body of prisoner exits the cage. The search
begins, is shaped like a regiment of angels.
They trample through darkness to retrieve sons and daughters
that were harvested
(with long coats and knives)
long ago, from the womb.
Always: we laugh
and at no time consider that our laughter
might one day run
as frightened quail into the galloping path of horses.
Daily: we exile our future
into the remote corners of our world.
Our insensible contentment:
complete. A red fruit thuds on the ground: we eat.
Water tickles the rocks: we drink.
Night crawls the hills, buries
the dead legs of day:
and dream of another tomorrow
as faithful as the hours of sun and shadow
we have so endured.
We never hunger for another piece of life
where days and surprises slide
from hidden corners
of the city.
Until she soaks us
in a rain
of small shiny faces
and each of her inseparable voices
scratches like a lone cicada
but in multitudes
weave a symphonic tapestry among us.
Our lakes then fill with shouts
and our chests mingle
for the exuberant gift of flutes
that elevates our shores.
All the while to wager:
if the death
of our dull strength
and our utterly vigorous boredom
might threaten our existence
our stubborn bones
or paint them once again with sunrise.
to the brown account of children Grandfather raised
At first, no life
mark shivers among bits of them
that (sliced into slivers) unite into a blind shadow.
your gloom from a hillside, flip it on its black writhing back;
wipe the crusted dirt with sunlight.
This is bread
for underfed thoughts. This is the unwashed goliath
that slaps a tombstone from your foot.
we create life with grunts and thrusts; as skin
we embrace our symbiotic bones.
as bleached sticks in the loam:
Here points the fibula of Daniel to the lion; here the radius
and tarsals of Alexander
the tubercular milk.