Two poems

Not happy with either one but then again, I've never been happy with any of them. They need to be reworked. No titles yet. Those are harder to write than the words that follow sometimes.

In the onion heart of my inner self
I dream in languages I don’t speak
and I dream of things I know something of
It is an inverted living this dreaming whose pillar
is not my life in normal mode
But my shifted soul
in sifted thoughts

The rules are different here
outrageous and unpunished
unknown to all
my ever self
All things allowed
rules the time
I spend in this

That is the reason why
when I dream
I am neither me nor me
neither pinned nor pegged
I will not say if this, or that
but for one flowing constant:
In my dreaming,
I remain
As before
a Mother
a Mother

In the poetry class, the students pondered
The meaning of an especially vivid phrase
“the general sat eating green mangoes with salt
while on the shelf, a jar of pickled fingers and ears
belonging to victims he had tortured, lived accusingly.”

I was the sole Latin American in the group
and for a while,
I let the conjecture fly and zip
and flower and zoom
A ping-pong game of supposed reasons
for mangoes with a pinch of salt
in this why of the why
with a bushel of morbidity thrown in
for good

I raised my hand and told what I knew
He ate green mangoes with salt
they taste good
He tortured
I guessed
it felt good
to him
The dead had nothing to do with mangoes
though perhaps
something to do with the salt

In Latin America,
green mangoes with salt are
like pretzels with salt
like french fries with ketchup
You get the gist
of the partnering
The necessity of
the mangoes
with the salt
No deep explanation there to figure
just mangoes
just salt

The killing
was something else


  1. incidentally,
    i love green mangoes with salt.
    now my mouth is salivating.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chesca: Me too. Especially if the mango is cold. I'd say my pleasure but you'd have to tell me what you thought of them first 'cause if you said you hated them then I'd switch to I'm sorry...

  3. Lovely poems, both of them...and complex. I wonder about the first one, do you think a person necessarily gives up on the outrageous and permissive when becoming a mother?

    Mangoes and salt, having spent ten years in Miami, I know this deliciousness. Torture and murder, thankfully, not so much.

  4. Cce: You become a different type of outrageous, a hidden one. Outwardly something, inwardly another. And absolutely less permissive. The more we know the more we become constrained. Also, the more we compartmentalize our already compartmentalized lives. Little boxes within boxes is what I am and I had better stop or I'll end up with another incomprehensible (unless it is you, apparently) poem.

    Truly, food for the Gods, a mango is. I eat it any way I can. EXCEPT (and I just thought of this) I hate the varieties that have filaments. Those I don't eat, I just make them in juice which I strain first. I'm sure it's the secret ingredient in Ambrosia.


Leaving a Leaping Thought's worth