Rigorous
Inaugural Issue
Volume One, Issue 1


Poems by Sergio Ortiz


In the Clear Age of Water

The work of this day consists
of carrying a bag laden with rain
from here to there.

Once done, it’s lift the bag
with our tired eyes,
bury it in the lake of indifference
where sad conversations rot.

Stamp life with graffiti.
After all, we’re just the so-and-so's,
the whatshisname's,
the Tom, Dick or Harry's of life

and rain is nothing more
than corrected, repetitive poetry,
a new pair of shoes
wanting to be so joyful
happiness tires
and refuses to do any overtime.




Marathon Runner

A marathoner with black eyes
gazelles his girth forward.
My eyes have an owner.

In his face,
a man with many beds,

one who follows the nape
of old gay swans
like a male about to thrust.

My taste: that he take
everything from me
when the Jews
grind their matzo.

That the man
bamboozle me on the cross
of oblivion.




Upended

Far from all forms of charity,
I am the prophet, the retired apostle
of faith in myself.

My friends: escape artists,
foreshadowers of verses,
sunk in the quicksands of language.

They believe in the melodies I babble
exalting legendary elephant graveyards
and mystic monsoons.

We witness the paradigms of a century fall
while celebrating a Wimbledon match,
a joy much greater than revolving revolutions.




Paying for a Whim

                    At the age of sixty-five

Besieged
between my buttocks

the foam you break
from the Pacific
my open sea

joyful
selfish giant
of my tale

and awe

enter without haste
without Customs
as if you didn’t sneak
into this banquet

paint my gray hairs
purple patina
fill me with wrath
malformed ravens
via crucis
cemetery breath

I require
you stay glued
until I finish




With No Punctuation

You insist on dealing with my silence
making sure no one rises to my defense

Between the lips of my vulva
scented flowers
open locks
on doors that listen
to what belongs to me

No endless
distances
no monsters
nothing of the low note
minced
by my voice

To be able to sing
with amazement
sing
with no punctuation
or alarm




Reparations to Eros

May silence never ride
on the dormant back of a heron.

May it leave a homeopathic drop of luck
on the waters of my trembling body.

May my skin bear no resemblance
to the unshakable epidermis
of a frozen pachyderm.

I must confess, I am in debt
to a slave driver's arms.
Tasted his fruit,
but could not distinguish
sour from sweet.


Sergio A. Ortiz is a gay Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He writes in both English and Spanish. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee and a 2017 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared in The Acentos Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, and a great number of other literary publications.




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