Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Mar 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Poems of Lisa Ortiz

AE_LisaOrtizEditor’s note: The poems of Lisa Ortiz have appeared in “Zyzzyva,” “Comstock Review,” “The Dirty Napkin,” “Pedestal,” and “Crab Creek Review.” She was a recipient of a 2007 and 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize, and her work has been featured on “Verse Daily.”

Revision
I have decided against the castle
and leave it empty.
In the gatehouse, the ticket taker
is hunched and picking at his nails.
I leave behind the bereft queen,
the perfidious king, they way she does him in
with scissors, the line about mercury and blood.

Instead I pull in circus imagery:
elephants with satin ribbons, sequined women,
clowns with carnivorous mouths,
and behind it all the broke-down trailers
where the real acts happen.

I will take out the stanza about acrobats
an overreaching metaphor for love
the way it dances on tiptoe
how the fall is choreographed
how I should have known.

I will take out your name.

I will leave in this part here,
in which the speaker stands alone
in the empty lot, dry grass and plastic cups.
She creases the program between her fingers
She kicks up tiny torrents of dust;
she is glum but satisfied.

 

Song
Partly, I was mussed
and then what. You
fussed—forgot the good
in me. Frankly

you left. Oh loneliness!
I am empty: a howling,
a bluff, a dark shaft, tailings,
a single plastic bag, rising.

 

Desire Boat
On an island of sugar sand
we are bone thin.

I wait up for you. In the morning
my eye sockets are two dredged harbors.

The Buddha said: spread your heart like a rug
for company. Sweep it.

You are the only visitor I want. The rocking does not stop
even after months on the mountain.

Were I farmer, I would grow seas
of flowers and grains: you could row home.

I close my eyes and the boat tilts. You
hold me as we go under.

 

Rue
A whole field of grasses
blazing in tribe and genus,
and here’s my heart: last year’s dried-up fruit.

I waited for you: my iconic prince
my ghost-robed invalid, my great regret.
Give others the lavender and aster

the lupine, the blazingstar.
I like the bitter stuff. Lay me in the water
with beggar-ticks and coltsfoot.

Anyone can choose pretty. It takes
a half-grown woman to choose wild.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by Patricia Lucas, December 20, 2011
So very talented you are, Lisa. Thank you for sharing these deepest thoughts of your heart and soul with all.
poets
written by michael mccausland, June 12, 2010
i can't believe it. this lady can write. i'm sorry, but most of the stuff you print in this rag is awful, as is most anything i've tried to read in forever. nobody has reached me like this since Charles Bukowski and that's as high a compliment as you can get. she's as good as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals