Rinconcito is a special “little corner” in Somos en escrito for short writings: a single poem, a short story, a memoir, flash fiction, and the like.
By Bianca Paz
In my backyard is a fence, It divides mothers from children, It divides the collective art form of society, It divides Mexico from US, It divides.
“They take away our jobs,” they say But when they are asked to clean the school hallways, “It is someone else’s job for lower pay.”
Land of the free But in order to flee, Take a number please, You are number one million, two hundred and six thousand, five hundred three.
You wait for years, but are still denied They don’t understand you just need a place to hide, but Unfortunately you have a cousin on red, white, and green’s lower south side.
All you want is a better, Life Without guns yelling outside your front door, Without murders and neighbors being turned into whores, Without the constant suffocation of this drug war.
In my backyard is a fence, It divides mothers from children, It divides the collective art form of society, It divides Mexico from US, It divides. Life from death.
But they will not let you cross to, Live.
Bianca Paz, who grew up in Brownsville, Texas, is enrolled at Concordia University, Austin, Texas, toward a major in communications and a minor in writing, which includes both non-fiction and fiction stories and poems. She is Editor-in-Chief of the school’s student magazine, “The Spin.”
El Rinconcito, the little corner, is a special niche in Somos en escrito for short literary works: single poems, essays, short stories, flash fiction, young writers, and the like. Submit manuscripts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Excerpts from Gone To War, a collection of poetry
By Gonzalo Adolfo
the pull of the road
The land was dry yet green, mountainous and heavy with vineyards. From a mere look I awoke and my thoughts were pulled open which had remained closed for so long. For what I saw, I never did rest. The road from Valparaíso to Santiago, beautiful and peaceful—a calming magnificence…
pebbled bridge ridged like a wall,
connecting mountainside to mountainside
a lane by the highway to itself,
a horse pulling a
wagon carrying bags stuffed and a hatted man
a shack town in the range and trees
standing to stretch to touch their toes alongside the road,
a couple guy ramblers study their options,
burn dry in the open sun
flying as if two wings,
the speed of the motorcycle two wheels
a bus on the shoulder, backside open and
luggage tossed and flipped and sorted
making the hilltop taller,
the posture of pines points to and is the sky
a lone cow on the hill range slant,
a black spot in the green of bush
and brown of dust
strolling a stroller and risky,
a woman push baby down highway middle
the eyes at her car unhappy,
the hood up the engine smoking
mountains rocky become mountains green,
the change through the tunnel pass
the valley of vineyards,
straight line and many file and endless patch and around
a mountain circle hugs
a house flat on a mountain summit,
built to survey to impress
clear sky to the south, cloud thick to the north
mountains grow taller, tops grow fainter
four walls no roof of
a shack halfway down a sloping hill slide,
privileged view and abandoned
the big blue in the valley, a lagoon waters rows of
identical but colorful planned homes and towns
the might of the snowy
andes pokes through the santiago thrown up smog
over the distance
light in a shroud of fog
’Tis a sea change...know I not to what sea to what change...
passing through the alley, a pretty vine covered house and a sun low morning, crisp air wakes
collapsed over the moor brick tangled in weeds a lavender blossom among lavender wilting, a bush passes its season
a brief wind, quivering the trumpet vine drops its extant bloom to the pavement, rose sallow skin
bobbing in the sea in shimmers, city light in evening, swallows in fog
tidy in bed of hills blanket of clouds, morning city white in flat waters
fresh lemonade and brownies, a first day of work for three young girls, sunday smiles
I woke naturally at an hour earlier than custom. The dimness evaporating into lightness, I was helpless. I am a man of my day and affected by a recent encounter…
in a chilly haze hovering, coming on a dim light rising, the morning a wing
a face to the over bay sun adrift into mist alone on the rooftop a flower full in bloom, others anon
a pale blue sky over a flood rich earth, a light fine white sun passing, rain clouds clearing
on tiptoes on rooftop in window peeking, wee bird a chirp and bright morning sun yonder
a tree sawn bare, branch once rested on roof rested on earth, torn leaves wither
sun in a fog setting, clouds charcoal and withering sky blooms, blasts magenta
the autumn sun leaves waves of rose tint evanescent, a memory lingers
The weeks of ending autumn and the leaves of the tree had changed to a sunbeam yellow. A pool of leaves lay crisp and clean at the wind of the alley below. I reached down and grabbed some like gold. The gold slipped from my hand back to the pool. It made the walk down to the bottom of the hill inviting…
beneath a ginkgo bearing gifts golden leaf collects, a pool of sun afoot
in brisk pierce of winter sweet tingling scent, spring to bloom lavender bud
a spray of rain, atop a bump of a hill, a snow of pink blossom
a cloud soft couch on a sunny day, was fogged over as I crossed the hill to the day off café
Author posing at an odd water fountain in Barcelona, España
Gonzalo Adolfo, an American of Bolivian descent, the author of the short novels, No Rush For Goldand Golden Rushes, has published several volumes of photographic portraits of his travels;Cuchi Cuchi Time: a Portrait of Los Cabos is the most recent. He can be found in and around Berkeley, California, where he lives, sketching with graphite and other materials and dabbling in music–pairing the harmonica with the Bolivian charango is his current favorite diversion. Gone To War, his first volume of poetry, and his other works are available in hardcover and e-book on his website, www.bumhew.com.
You deployed six times, I count them as such Never mind the lingo and the requirements to define – You fought in one of the nastiest of them – Fallujah - Against Al Mahdi and his friends,
Yet you came back with all of your men. You grew up in a town that might have been mine, Except that yours was near rivers and mine Was in the desert; You fought in the desert too,
Learned to love there, to be fully alive, sober to the threats, To be kind to the populace. Then you fought at the ends Of the earth, making friends all the way, even as you had To remember to be lethal. A dog, you said, in that other
Country had come upon you and your forward man: You were trained to slit its throat, You – dog-lover, rescuer of dreams, Faithful man to your wife, whom you left and came home to Twice. Dogs, yes, dogs you are faithful to, and this one did not bark.
So you did not have to slice and silence him with a knife, And on that night you made your way back with relief For sparing - at least- one more life. Archangel, Sniper, man from the skies, friend for life.
On the conquest of Raqqa
Mourn with your brother in war and Love, Alex, And mourn for the Kurds who have declared Like lions their autonomy. Mourn for the women You miss, indescribable loss not to hold them In your gaze and in your embrace.
Mourn the purpose they gave you, both ends Combatants and warriors, women and culture, Ancient, tested in fires from century to century. Mourn, too, your brother and friend, who like Odysseus and Gilgamesh, who like Aeneas
And Patrick Leigh Fermor had to voyage back to Woman, society, and cultivation of mother earth; Mourn them who had to sheathe the sword, put it beyond use Back in the head and on the hearth - who always have it at the ready In the heart, in the hand and in the mind
And in the memory of those you fought for, that sword From beyond time, now and past and for the future. Mourn them, mourn them all warrior, friend, Poet, lover, son and brother. Mourn, brother Andrew, mourn.
Mourn the man who blew up behind you Spinning legs in the air were all you saw, Yet you had to go forward and take the village See the traps, the mines, burned out and blasted Cinderblock of once-homes made sniper shot-watches.
Mourn now because you can, brother Andrew. Mourn the families you embraced and those who Adopted you: Mourn and rejoice: So many are alive because of you. So many have hope because of you.
I want to lay my head in the warmth of your lap Then watch iridescent stars fall behind your hair Trace your brow’s shape, the pomme of your cheek Touch your lips, while tracing light in scintillant eyes.
I feel the emanating warmth of your womb Hear your voice in the dark, taste its sweet depths; Then feel your pulse beat through your sex As you shape the sounds of your words - like angels falling,
One-third, from the sky. Auburn-haired woman, sapphire-braided skies Halo you, while stars hang pendant From your tilted head even Renoir could not capture.
Kiss me with your eyes (and lips), Sing to me with your honeyed voice.
I scent you in the breeze of fall as Spring -- Soft fire, feminine song, emerald eyes: You. You evanesce sooner than the scent of Your body. Oh Soñia, how I wish that you would
Place my ring on your finger –and you do. But don’t you know what that means? Or best, you do. That’s what leans me To you, emerald eyes, Soñia
Such womanly hips, such warm thighs. I Follow your time, your rhythm, your honeyed Voice, knowing that once I surrender to you -- if That is what you wish -- I am complete or finished.
Indicate, say, tell me all I need to know. Time, age, those erase if you say them so.
David Vela is a professor of English at Diablo Valley College, in Pleasant Hill, California, where he is also an advisor to veterans and an instructor and mentor in the Puente Project.