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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Poetry By James Diaz


James Diaz is founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in Psaltery & Lyre, The Ekphrastic Review, Quail Bell Magazine and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. He is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018.)  He currently resides in upstate New York. 


The Perils of our Youth

must have been an awful thing
then, when you were young
and left to die, how little 
filled your body and your world-
father absent even when 
he was around / something
about him was seriously vacant
everyone else's needs
were suddenly bigger than your own
and there was no reassurance
that what you were experiencing 
was valid, so you hugged into your
trauma for years without the kind of love
people need to get through
and by the time the narrative changed
your body had forgotten the story
sometimes all you have is the pain
other people gave you to identify
yourself by, and sometimes that pain
becomes something else
and you learn to live
by such a light.


Poet James Diaz doing a reading


A Poem Like Crying in the Night

I noticed first
how the hills
of your body
sunk towards
the floor as if
every step you
took was its 
own burial and 
how, when you
felt gazed upon
for too long
you turned to 
ash, took to the wind
and held your own voice
back from ever saying too much
too loud, and alone-
at the end
no one could tell you
how precious you were
or how much you had to live for
there was only the breaking
and no real place to put it.


How Would I Know

i could leave you the weary stuff
amber shell caulking, division of palm
frost up beating in second hand stores
periwinkle twilights 
nothing good happens
when two people are dancing 
and no one is watching
you might say look how the magpie lark
has no place to call home
eyeing the hem of your dress
mud splattered, a memory foam
between fingers twirling nervous in the cold
you might burrow down all winter
leave the phone off the hook
and claim no one tried to call
but we all go voiceless sometimes
and the rescuer is internally 
stripped bare, no place like home
for any of us, 
sometimes, it's only the idea
of where we came from
that sustains us.

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