Sunday Jul 14

GarciaRamon Ramón García is the author of The Chronicles (Red Hen Press, 2015), Other Countries (What Books Press, 2010) and Ricardo Valverde (U of Minnesota P, 2013), He has published poetry in a variety of journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry 1996, Ambit, The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of US-Hispanic Literature, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Los Angeles Review, and Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. He’s a Professor at California State University, Northridge and lives in Los Angeles.

The Times

The Metro’s Red Line to Hollywood at 7 in the morning
            Caffeine and resilience
                        Commuter silence

            Hunched over on the metro’s seat
A young man slumbers in a drugged dream
            The night still clings to him
                        The hours of oblivion
            In the bowels of downtown

            His pale, desolate face
Is the face of Che after the Bolivian jungle          

            He will sleep through many stops
Betrayal and movement
            Without destination

Forgettable Monsters

My friend Berta sold Cuban cigars on the black market
When we were students in San Diego.
She lives with Chango and Yemayá
Like some people live in the aura of celebrities.
She tells that in the 1980s Fidel Castro created flying chickens,
Genetically altered hybrids of a fish and a chicken.
They could fly from the rivers up into the trees.  
And kept the Cuban people from starving.

Unrealizable ambition or grotesque madness?
Far from the tropics, we too feed on forgettable monsters.

A Reunion

I have imagined us meeting after all the years.
Our youth has passed, but there where it coincided,  
It remains transfixed, fairy tale fashion,
Awaiting some impossible resolution.

Some day, perhaps soon, we will see each other again.
I will contemplate the intrusion of gray hair or a receding hairline,
Incipient wrinkles,
The ghost of the beautiful boy I knew
Lingering in the last few years of handsomeness still left to you.

Your coy smile will be mirrored in mine,
It will rise from a past become irremediably alien,
Visited by who we are now.

Brothers Grimm

Over the centuries they scattered witches, ogres, monstrous parents, princes, kings,
            Depositing generations of children in the German forest

We have been hungry and abandoned
            Recipients of kisses and the magic of death

And here we are
            The cities and suburbs stretching before us
                        Glittering and dark, like the endlessness of forests