j o h n    m    c h á v e z

 

Body, Silhouette, Anchor (1994)

Self-Portrait in Cut Paper

The Spoils & the Wreckage









































Body, Silhouette, Anchor (1994)

 

Tonight, the Checker Taxis are in a perpetual arriving & the police are buttoned into alleys. The radio reels back, fevers through my room its only easy song.


At last my love has come along / my lonely days are over /& life is like a song. O, Etta James, etc. Iíve no stamina to avoid the drag show anymore. Truth is, Iím far more removed from Godís colonization of the New West than Acacia Park will ever be.


At this callous hour, wonít you lay bare my bodyís tenor, its vehicle to quiet the roomís neurotic clack? Wonít you open a door in my side & enter the autism of night?

 

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Self-Portrait in Cut Paper

 

                    1

Evening is a syntax of water towers. Mostly my body sunsets red-beige; my mornings, sunrise grey-orange. Afternoon? A bouquet of browning crepes & cream sauce. The evening holds me umbilically in its hand, dull-lit and uncounterfeitable


          ____________________________


          The sweet lyric of November thickens the air—rain absent,           even when the world is dividing—rain absent, even when the           city slowly dispenses




                    2

Morning is a waterfall of light. Mostly my body is a terrible schoolyard of childrenís laughter & a thrashing set of swings. Darkness dissipates from the ripening sun. The light holds me there in its hand, a dust of ambulances ululating in the afterdusk


          ____________________________


          The thick lyric of August sweetens the air—rain absent, even           when the world is bittersweet—rain absent, even when the           façade coyly disappears

 

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The Spoils & the Wreckage

 

Iím before, Iím always, Iím never—
yet razing the corners of myself, I wade far out

in the flowering dusk. I write something
disappeared in me. I write

the word: comfort. Iíve no lexicon for the word:
comfort. Iím an inconsequential sky,

a waterbug, a ravine, a misspent wind,
a bird thrashing in the travelerís undiscovered country.

In this high-rouge morning, Iím love made
near a quiet road
. Iíve grown into a garden of shadows.

Iím pliable, an imprudent dream—let us sleep then
so our bodies will arrive like sunrise.

 

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JOHN CHÁVEZ is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Conduit, Xantippe, GRIST, Puerto del Sol, Portland Review, The Laurel Review, Notre Dame Review, and Copper Nickel among others. He is the author of the chapbook Heterotopia, published by Noemi Press in 2004, and co-author of the chapbook I,NE: Iterations of the Junco, published by Small Fires Press in 2009.


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