logo image a digital codex of contemporary pan-american writing

Issue 9

América

América

by FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN América tiene acento una plumita de indio sobre la letra “é” es palabra esdrújula como brújula América rima con “aritmética” América quiere sonar “ética” quisiera que “América” fuera realmente “rica” ¡para cada uno/a y para todos/as! — América has an accent mark an Indian feather on top of the “é” es […]


California Verde

California Verde

by FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN California verde, verde tierno como las primeros retoños tras una semana de lluvia invernal pertinaz y unos días de Sol California es en verdad una isla, un estado de mente de soñador memorias débiles, un adolescente perenne en crisis de media vida California es una larga autopista a ningún lado desde […]


Sleep My Pumpkin Head
or the Coyote Will Eat You

Sleep My Pumpkin Head or the Coyote Will Eat You

by MARIA HOFMAN Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote. The baby will one day learn to sleep without song. Si no te dormis, tel come’l coyote. She will learn the words and wish for days when she knew less. Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote. Like her mother, she will smile as she dreams, for […]


Four Corners

Four Corners

by JAMES TAYLOR From the sun-packed dirt itself rise, through every kiva door, the circles of power. The vast kachinas waft the mesa rim, a wisp of cloud too soft to mar the stars.


Bays

Bays

by JAMES TAYLOR Tra Chlochair (Chlochair Strand) In a wall it comes, pea green and boiling, embraced by the rock arms, the scarp of the near-to-hand cliffs, rising in its bowl, tall sea rushing, trough and crest, a solid weather belying any sky, any season. Its mechanics – the deep, long sine forced head- long […]


Sidekick Books & The Next Big Thing

Sidekick Books & The Next Big Thing

JIM HEAVILY & “The Bringer of Culture” Sidekick Books, a press in the UK, has initiated a kind of running tag-team blog, “The Next Big Thing.” Writers are invited, or “tagged,” by other writers to talk about either a new or unpublished book in response to eight stock questions. Here’s a representative link to Sidekick. […]


from “Poetry and Grammar”

from “Poetry and Grammar”

by GERTRUDE STEIN “What does a comma do. “I have refused them so often and left them out so much and did without them so continually that I have come finally to be indifferent to them. I do not now care whether you put them in or not but for a long time I felt […]


Pedro Salinas & the Greatest Spanish Love Poem

Pedro Salinas & the Greatest Spanish Love Poem

by SARA SAMS I don’t know that I get what he means when he says what steeper joy than living in pronouns. At first everything is dizzy, light; but soon I’m submerged in his you, the one his I gets to speak and quiz: if I am I, he says, then who are you? You […]


Doña Juana La Loca, Queen of Castile

Doña Juana La Loca, Queen of Castile

by SARA SAMS Though Juana examines the black box rather as a scholar— breathes steady as she peels back the casket’s sheet, traces the auric seal she knows well, knows to mean Ferdinand, Isabel, and, if not ardor, allegiance— such poise only helps her courtier recognize that no one knows a mind, just the show […]


Art History at the Prado

Art History at the Prado

by SARA SAMS At first I thought Pradilla y Ortiz had painted the surrender before the graveside, the taking of Granada a priority over the derangement of a queen: And it’s easy to see Juana’s grief expand on top of the battleground, to imagine the painter pulling a blanket dull over the bluer sky of […]


Contributors’ Notes, No. 9

Francisco X. Alarcón is the author of twelve volumes of poetry, including, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002). His latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children is Animal Poems of the Iguazú […]


Leituras De Guru – 3 – hemi – 2013 – janeiro

Leituras De Guru – 3 – hemi – 2013 – janeiro

by LUCIO AGRA IN BAD SPANGLISH (THANK YOU ARIEL SPEEDWAGON FOR THE INVENTION OF THE NAME) HOMMAGE TO GODFATHER DE PERFORMANCE LATINA, GUILLERMO GÓMEZ-PEÑA. SALVATE E TORNA UNA VEZ MÁS, CABRÓN! “Eu estou furious e no puedo mas!!!!” Con esta frase, el personage representado by the actor Peter Finch el la pelicula Network – Rede […]


The Boxing Shrine

The Boxing Shrine

by HENRY J. MORRO —for Benny Kid Paret, 1937-1962 During the Welterweight Championship bout in New York in 1962, Emile Griffith trapped Benny Kid Paret against the ropes in the twelfth round, and pounded his skull with iron fists, 29 punches in a row, the Kid hanging, his head a sack of bones. It was […]


Good Morning Midnight Mass

Good Morning Midnight Mass

by ARTURO DESIMONE My inner persecutor is somewhere just behind my lung; he pedals a bicycle wheel that motors the engine that takes me walking down the ghetto road of Constitucion at 1 AM down St. Telmo past nightclubs I will not enter except for one. An African with a brim hat signals me in […]


Abbreviations of the World

Abbreviations of the World

by STEPHEN LINDOW I. An angel emerges from a baroque cloud and alights atop a railroad obelisk. Our environment moves this angel from echo to echo mirage to neon to mirage. Hornets corner the angel with the happy violence of their tiny bayonets, desperate in wanting to share minuscule minds full of mazes to sugar. […]


Susan Kunz: Colombia

Susan Kunz: Colombia

SUSAN KUNZ documents a trip to Colombia in December of 2010 to visit her friend, Carmen Lucía, at her home and small inn, known as Posada Villamaga, near the town of El Valle in the state of Chocó that borders Panamá.


Portrait of Frida Kahlo on a Wallet

Portrait of Frida Kahlo on a Wallet

by MELISSA CASTILLO-GARSOW If Frida Kahlo were a graffiti artist she would not look like this wallet portrait. She could never draw noses and her lips would never be so small. Her earrings would be hands or monkeys or Mayan artifacts or none at all but now she is yellow and has two eyebrows. Frida […]


Looking for Maud

Looking for Maud

by MELISSA CASTILLO-GARSOW They forgot about Maud again – at the Strand at barnes & noble at the library I sought a single copy one copy for the City of her dreams. They forgot the only color her color like a dandelion on a wall untamableness of weeds & hair and scraps of baffled hate […]


from Lena and Schopenhauer

from Lena and Schopenhauer

by DAVID SPICER Lena and Schopenhauer On my birthday weekend the beautiful lunatic Lena flew in from Phoenix to present me the gift of her alabaster body. Steel-black hair to the waist didn’t stop her as she tossed a backpack next to the cherry wood maquette of Hamlet on horseback, closed the screen door and […]


from XXXXXXXX

from XXXXXXXX

by BRIAN YOUNG All I guess I really know is that I prefer speculation to knowing sometimes, often really, this cannot hold: I mean it is good to know how to use a simple thing like a bodum in the morning. I wouldn’t really want to mistake it for, say, a screwdriver. (Though I suppose […]


Widow Bride

Widow Bride

by THELMA T. REYNA The wedding gown and veil still hung in her closet. She didn’t have the heart to move them out. A yellowed gown and mismatched veil, hand-me-downs that goodwill and salvation rustle up for folks like her: jiffy brides with ardor trumping dollar, broken women on the run looking for their seconds […]


3 Vignettes

3 Vignettes

by SONIA GUTIÉRREZ The Wind in My Hair The colors are soft—creamy hues of blues, browns and pinks. The wind wraps itself and then releases the black strands of my long hair as if it were playing a harp between its fingers. This song is about me—the one who resides inside me.Hector and I run […]


Coup

Coup

by JACOB ALBERT An almighty rain fell down in sharp chords, folding the dark morning city into sheets of gray and windblown black waves. Sliding on the pitch of Main toward the river bank, a long and sprinted gust played streetside doors like dominoes till the last ricket slam echoed back atop the hill in […]


Landscape with White Pine and an Assortment of Faberge Eggs

Landscape with White Pine and an Assortment of Faberge Eggs

by E. PARKER PHILLIPS I feel upset when trees go from nature’s gift to nature’s weapon. Gazing down from heaven, I watch Sandy—part hurricane, part Nor’easter—demolish New Jersey. In Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park, a tree kills Jessie Streich Kest and Jacob Vogelman while they walk Jessie’s mixed pitbull. It is an oak tree that cracks in […]