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Two Poems by Fernando Castro

Updated: Mar 1, 2021


I am an internationally recognized body-positive activist

an ESL writer who abandoned a size 32-30 size jeans

to twist and shout in fat and brown parades

I worship muscle men of ill repute

as they decompose exploited by the porno

industrial war complex

When I take my meds I recite

backwards passages of the Apocalypse

by St John l’enfant terrible of the evangelists

The scary book that has lamb recipes

false prophets, four horsemen from Hacienda Apocalypses

performing celestial rodeo acts

it scares my friends and acquaintances

when I break out in Pentecostal tongues

they make sure I swallow the med bricks

that pass as medication

The new version of Apocap app has added counting ballots

as the pass time at the end of the world

which didn’t end but was postponed 2024

in this version of Hades, Jon Voight

lead the recount of 2020 election

ask for outrageous donations to maintain the status quo

of the roaring 2016-2020

whew that was a close one

I am a former civil servant, fond of mashed yams and steaks

that’s how I get my gumption to write belligerent poems

moody sonatinas in toy pianos,

revolutions soluble in lemonade

I drink strong coffee and biscotti,

write grammatical cheerful manifestos

of salty declarations, written in the stupor of

of repressed lapsed catholic consecration wine

tortured as to whether to use a comma, a colon,

a semi, a period or nothing at all.



I. Open your eyes to night’s pornographic black

The surge arrives as if I’d swallowed a sack of sugar.

buckets of expresso, 1000 tabs of speed

sound and color, sound and color

the sirens in my head shriek Wagnerian rants

kept secret from Philip Glass

kept secret from Mozart when he composed

The Requiem, an overture for insects

a Beethoven quintet of squeaky woodwinds

II. Worship sound, a chorus of cicadas

they roll their thousand eyes

explode from their crustaceous shells

in a painting of the finest velvet canvass

who knew their organs were loud purples

bubble gum greens, throat singing in unison

popcorn beauties enslaved by summer

they fall in love with their own communal sound

disregard their children in exchange

for reverberating voices, I’m glad to hear their divine

unselfish immolation for the sake of art

III. Eat color, lick hues

cross dawn munching Elvis’ favorite ice cream sandwich

nibble psychedelic murals tiny dots

multi colored chocolate

ultimately, I eat therefore I am

grown up and yet a child

to go to bed this late or so early in the morning

a perennial college sophomore

there is no going home from here

there is no turkey or homemade tamales

that tastes as good as retirement

where every day is a Sunday

I savor awake in black


FERNANDO D. CASTRO was born in Ibagué, Colombia. Just two months before turning fifteen he left familiar surroundings to emigrate with his family to the New York City neighborhood of Jackson Heights – the heart of New York City's Colombian community. He grew up in an immigrant working-class family that wanted to embrace the American dream and yet was painfully aware of its contradictions. A writing vocation called late but loudly after he relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. Fernando branched out from the rigors of architectural practice to poetry, playwriting, journalism, teaching poetry and cultural activism. His publications include Fernando’s Café, from Inevitable Press, 1998; The Nightlife of Saints, 2007; Redeemable Air Mileage, 2011, from TA’YER Books; and contributions to more than a dozen anthologies.For more than a decade, he has been an artist-in-residence in programs sponsored by such agencies as the California Arts Council, the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. He is the winner of a City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs COLA 2010 fellowship in Literature. He is a co-founder of TA'YER Multicultural Performance Collective, a non-profit organization that works with youth-at-risk, recent immigrants and the LGBT community.

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