Wednesday Sep 20

FGE - Poetry October 2009

Cristián Flores García - Poetry

 

 

Cristian-Flores Cristián Flores García holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside.  She worked as a freelance photographer until she discovered poetry.  Born in Mexico City, she now lives in Southern California.
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Fuel
 
Ready to work, side by side we stand
on the corner of Allende and Revolución.
Laden with water and smog
the morning sky forecast another slow day.
 
Not the best day for my brother to eat
fire. At fifteen, he’s still learning to seal his throat
with his tongue so the paraffin doesn’t sit there.
 
He still can’t purse his lips long enough to blow
strong raspberries and the pink inside his cheeks
rash with blisters like boiled lentils.
 
Hosting a sore throat, he puts down our magic
wooden crate behind Don Paco’s newspaper stand
lifting the lid up to unleash ideas for today’s show.
He digs through bowling pins, tambourines, wigs—
 
I paint on my exaggerated smile with leftover lipstick,
sponge my nose red and slip a patched-oversized denim
hat on my head.  I am twelve, waiting for the light—red
 
means go and we walk on stage:
he juggles balls in the middle of the street,
I sway through the maze of cars urging drivers
to shell their spare change into my hat. Green means stop
 
intermission—and we run to the sidewalk.
A drizzle begins to fall, speckles our hair gray.
Lured by the aroma of coffee and unwrapped tamales,
 
my eyes drift away from the cars and traffic lights.
Ten more performances before we can sit down
for breakfast. With the shrill of my brother’s whistle
I get on my mark, set, and wait, watching forlorn figures
 
crowding every corner, the woman and child
living under the cardboard tent sleep as if life were noiseless.
The blind man begs. I retouch
my smile and drop a coin into his
soiled hand. At least we have work.

Nance Van Winckel - Poetry

Nance-VanWinckel.jpg Nance Van Winckel's fifth collection of poems, No Starling, is recently out from U. of Washington Press. She is the recipient of two NEA Poetry Fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. New poems appear in The Kenyon Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Crazyhorse, Field, and Gettysburg Review. She is also the author of three collections of short fiction. She teaches in the MFA Programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College and served as the Stadler Poet in Residence at Bucknell in 2009.
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Mystery Guest
 
 
She smokes & eats at the same time.
Her blue lipstick & black nails, her
‘darleeng,’ her long time in each
bathroom, as the bread gets broken
with nary a crumb for the polis.
 
Her sashays down hallways—so
almost us—a sea scum smell still
in her hair. Her damp. So nearly
like us, the more we pour into her,
the more we expect will issue from her,
say those the fifty ponies our host
feels sure he paid for her in a dream.
 
We palm her toothpicks
as keepsakes; her cocktail napkins
we can origami later into your lion
not one iota larger than my lamb.