Poetry

 

 

What lie bef’re thou

art w’rds and thoughts

writ in the f’rm i knoweth most wondrous how

thus des’rving their owneth spot

 

I write a lot of poetry. I’m going to submit some for publication one day soon. But until then, here are a few pieces from my projects. If you’d like to see more, more consistently, check out my instagram: @lainarose1. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks for reading!

Place Project

Ever since I took poetry courses in college, I’ve been both repelled by the institutionalized ideas of poetry and compelled by them. In some senses I feel they limit creativity, yet they simultaneously challenge the writer to jump the rails of their habits; thus, opening doors to new avenues of creation. It’s a delicate balance.

One topic in particular that we focused on was “Place”. I tried to write a place poem about what I, at the time, still considered my “home”… the poem failed miserably. Why? Because I didn’t know that place. I couldn’t pick out details and make it come alive. I couldn’t identify even a microcosmic world of that place. This shook me… I realized I had constructed this idea of my home and in reality it was just me holding on to the past. “Who am I? Where do I belong? Where is my home?” I began to wonder, surrounded by peers who were born and raised in the state, with generations preceding them.

My poetry issue quickly became an identity issue. Amazing how art can wake you, right? This idea of Place and writing about Place became a fixation of mine. For the last five years I’ve been mulling over questions like, What makes Place? What makes people in that Place? Climate? Is it the people that make that place? The people and all their baggage: religion, customs, language, social system, economic system, woes, triumphs, dreams? It’s all of it. This is the challenge of a Place poem. Doing justice to the Identity of a Place is no easy feat. It takes careful study, consideration and sensitivity. I like to think of it as anthropological poetry.

So here I am,  attempting to understand more fully the many places and people I’ve been so fortunate to call home, and to do them justice with my words.

Milwaukee

Steeples and Cranes

Time punches smoke stacks

punctuated by glass sky rises

reflecting smog and sunrises

 

The lake effect keeps smiles

warm on frozen faces

Breweries plant seeds

in dead spaces

Cafes on every other block

push roots through pavement

Their beer, their coffee

keeps blood flowing

in stagnant places

 

Dirty cream brick broken up

by squeaking bar doors headed

with dingy signs that read

Blatz, Pabst,  and Schlitz

 

On Sundays time is told

by Bell Tolls and the Packer Game

 

Skyline sprinkled

with steeples and cranes

casting shadows on corner doors

where you walk in twice

and they know your name

 

The river bank is transforming

into a wall of luxury apartments

marking another thick line

between communities and non-conformists

but 50 dollar parking permits,

vintage theaters, cooperatives

Victorian houses with double porches,

an underrated music scene and bike lanes

keep the pulse of the good land

beating steadily the same

.

.

.

West of the River (Coming Soon)

 

“The Fruits of Mourning” / “Los Frutos de Duelo”

This “bittersweet harvest of poems” blossomed from the acknowledgement that to make real art, it takes real work. Thus, the name sprouted from the phrase “The fruits of labor” and the concept to create a chapbook that progresses through the 5 stages of mourning was inspired by Carrie Fisher’s phrase, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.” For now, each section contains 1 haiku and 2 standard poems (mostly free verse, but there’s a couplet in there).

I’ve written two versions of this book– one in English and one in Spanish. They each have their own unique poems. In the English version I’ve deviated from the traditional progression of mourning (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) because mourning is not a linear process. I’m still considering defying order in both versions in order to stay true to the cyclical nature of it. What do you think?

Here are pieces of my heart. Here are pieces of my art.

 

From the section titled “Denial

It’s hard to listen

To my gut over the noise;

My heart beats so loud

 .

.

.

What Love Songs Have Done

“Follow your heart,”

Flashes in red over every city

It is the building block of blockbusters

The blood of every poem

 

So I pulled a Don Quijote

Put stars in my eyes

Saddled up on romanticism

And completely lost my way.

 

I thought if we could both subscribe

To the miles-don’t-matter

Love-conquers-all kind of lies

We’d eat the world.

 

I thought if I won your heart

we could defeat the beasts de la mancha.

We could make God and America proud

as we stroll hand-in-hand in our private musical

singing aloud, “Ain’t no Mountain high enough…”

 

I thought, I thought, I thought,

but it’s funny how the stomach always knows–

It aches in the same way as bones

just as they begin to grow.

 

The difference–

One discomfort is evolutionary progression

and the other, when ignored,

means 10 months chasing fairies

in the wrong direction.

.

.

.

From the section “Bargaining

 

I want to kiss you

still. With each quake of my heart,

for faults of my love.

 

 

Trivialities

Do you remember when I’d get mad

when you didn’t make the bed?

Or when you’d leave your pajamas

on the edge of the shower?

Or when I’d make you dinner

then you’d tell me you weren’t hungry?

 

Well, I want it all back.

If it means I could call you

to hear your stupid puns

and how they made your patients laugh.

I’d make you a thousand dinners and

let them get cold

if it means I could feel the warmth

of your forehead under my lips.

I’ll pick up your pajamas every day

if it could be me

taking them off again.

I want it all back

and this time I promise

if we start a series together

I won’t watch an episode

without you.
And the bed–

Let’s keep it messy

like our love.

.

.

.

De “Los Frutos de Deulo”, sección de “Depresión

 

 

Me consuela que

el fuego se extinga

antes de morir.

.

.

Medicamento Musical

El otro día iba andando por la ciudad gris
escuchando a “Caída Libre” de Zahara
y sonó esa parte que dice,
“Bailarás mi rubia para mí.”
Me sentía feliz al escuchar a una mujer
cantar esa frase para otra mujer
luego sentía otra pieza del iceberg
de mi pecho derretirse y caerse
en el mar detrás de mi ombligo.

“Lo que construimos se acabó,”
canta Natalia Lafourcade con su voz delicada.
Había un momento en el que sentía
la dulzura hasta el fondo de mi diafragma.
Hoy sabe amarga al paladar de mis oídos.
Si pudieran escupir, y si tuviera la energía
lo haría.
Pero no pueden y no tengo.

Marwan dice en un poema,
“Superar lo nuestro es realmente la cosa más triste
que le ha pasado al amor en toda su vida.”
Y aunque me parezca melodramática
(que también lo soy)
me llegó tanto que salí del poema
con un caso de artritis.

Escucho a Xoel Lopez declara en “Tierra”
“Me encuentro que la vida siempre tiene algo
preparado que supera cualquiera de mis fantasías.”
Incluso en este barco que se va hundiendo
cuando solo quiero quedarme quieta,
tumbada aquí y dejar que me trague,
Soy una optimista incansable
y agarraré bien fuerte ese hilito fino.

Aun así, lo que realmente me gustaría
es que este barco atierre en alguna playa,
que borre mis huellas la marea
e igual que Caloncho desea,
“nunca regresar a la ciudad.”

 

.

.

De la sección “Negociación”

Cuando podamos

viajar al pasado,

lo haré mejor.

La Pasiva

Hay que adorarte.

Hay que valorarte.

Se te admira.

Se te aprecia.

Se te quiere.

 

En español,

hay tantas formas

de dar cariño

con los brazos extendidos,

de ofrecer fuego

sin dar calor

y te deja ardiendo de frío.

 

No seas pirómana.

Basta con los juegos

me cansa tanto lío.

Basta con la voz pasiva

háblame en plata.

Dime que no soy oro.

Dime, que yo no lloro.

 

Estoy a dos velas.

Dime si ya sabes que nunca seré ella.

Dime ya si pretendes prender

fuego, de verdad–

Que no veo bien en la oscuridad.

.

.

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From my upcoming Chapbook called, “I love you, I love you not” that chronicles the challenge of learning to love yourself, especially for women and for queer individuals within the context of this society.

Brass is Beautiful

Last night I dreamt I played the saxophone

I just picked it up and smooth jazz flew out

effortlessly.

And I thought, “I knew it. Strings were never for me.

They’re too attached.”

I need Brass. I need to blow out my fire.

I am brash—just like the opening note of a sax,

Makes you stop and cock your head to the side

before it slides down your spine, rolls in your chest

honey oozing from every note

with the right amount of sting that makes you feel alive

Oh, invigorating, sweet, coordinated disaster.

I spent years and year pining over

wooden bodies that I would never master

I wish someone would have showed me sooner

that there’s beauty in abrasive

as long as you open and close your valves

in time with the others,

as long as you blow off your steam

and don’t forget to breathe between high notes.

That it’s not always necessary to pick, to strum

to beat to the same drum in order to make music.

That every band needs a horn or

a harmonica’s hum to break the tension of the strings

So that the soul can let loose and flow

And so that we all know, say it with me,

“We are not a cacophony

We are soloists in a stunning symphony

just playing, waiting, aching to join in the harmony.”

 

Sails

I’m burned and hollowed.

I’m the canoe you built

But won’t use because I have holes

And I don’t come with a penis–

I mean, paddle.

But bitch, I got sails.

Sails that will carry you through

All the noise and towards sight

That are like the smell of fresh cut grass

Or walking barefoot in a forest alive

With secrets and subtle magic,

And those that inspire the same freedom

As running with your hair down.

Sails that will carry you from

The lies of personal vehicles

To the truths of wildflowers not treated like weeds

And hikes through languages,

And cities that shut down at noon

Filled with lives and people that feel

As though you’re rediscovering the way

Car reflections are like fun-house mirrors.

Sails that will drift along cultural strata;

Depositions of metamorphic worlds

Cut with fossilized traditions.

A field lab in social geology or workshops

In scientific prose and historical poetry.

Sails that won’t glide against your tides

Of emotions,

That will rest when your mind is stormy,

Or when you just want to dive in

And swim in your sadness.

Sails that will love even the iciest

And weakest of your winds.

And that will be patient with your

Sometimes need for stagnation

And the predictability in stillness.

Sails that will drift through seas

Of love and madness,

Surf along triumphant swells

And that will make sex like sunsets.

Sails that will catch the cool

And steady breeze that blows

Sand and bliss on the beaches

Along the Mediterranean,

And gusts that will push beyond the jetty,

Freeing you from this cookie-cutter-harbor

Life you’ve been living.

You, my dear, have the rudder in your hand

Ward off your suburban fears

And cut loose from the alcohol pond

You’ve thrown your anchor into.

The shore is too near for your

Angst-ridden heart and spirited soul,

And you won’t get much further

In a landlocked lie with a broken paddle.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for reading. Stay tuned for more.

Muchas gracias por leer. Mantente atentx a más.

 

 

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