November 10-17, 2013: Isabalino Anastasio Guzman and Frank Scalero

Isabalino Anastasio Guzman and Frank Scalero

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Isabalino Anastasio Guzman

Bio (auto)

Isabalino Anastasio Guzman is a poet from Brooklyn, New York. His work explores the divisions within society, especially the divisions within one’s own identity. He’s currently working on his first book, a narrative series of poems about his struggle to maintain his Puerto Rican heritage. Isablaino has been published in over a dozen including: Big City Lit, The Same Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, Symmetry Pebbles, Underground voices, Toe Good Poetry, and Inclement Poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Isabalino Anastasio Guzman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

La Llegada

………………….I’m here: …..Among
the smudging palms trees of my airplane
window –…… Among the stale cobwebs
of my loose reflections – ……Among
tongues chanting: “Que bien, que bien.

Losing myself through …… and Bacardi
…..……bottles –…..Suspending myself
on the bright murals of fingers and toes –
Melting left, singing with my shadow – I meet
myself at the middle of baggage claim.

Outside, a man offers me a taxi – speaks
English. …………………I smile, say si.
Mosquitoes begin to bite with leaking jet fuel.
Music piles into the empty seat next to me.

…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..….I ride the taxi home

To Photograph a Whisper


I always carry with me a box of photographs
my mother took of trips no puedo recordar.
This one was in the kitchen, as we celebrated
my second birthday, seconds before I blow
the single candle we could barely afford.
In it, she strives to capture the whisper
de mis labios – the simple wish of a two year old.

No es sencillo. I wish to capture the bird’s flight
under my tongue. To taste each color
de cada pluma. To breathe in each trill until
song tumbles into heartbeat – una orquesta
atrapado en mi pecho. To let my mouth be the open
birdcage, inviting every bird to feed on my kiss.
It was something my mother couldn’t give.

Frank Scalero

Bio (auto)

Frank Scalero grew up unincorporated with rural dreams and an urban future. His Uncle George, a Vietnam veteran Wisconsin farmer 2nd father, captured his youthful imagination, relegating his mind to vacillate between suburban realities and back-woods fantasies. Most days, however, he spends in a classroom, trying to pry border-urban youth roots up out of some pretty thin soil.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Frank Scalero and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lope and Howl

When I was Eighteen,
My future was fertile ground,
And I had a pocketful of seeds.
So I laced up my boots and humped the hills of Appalachia.
I tred the upturned bones of earth herself,
Mountains worn down by time and man, not always kind.
Whistling along, I spied a valley, verdant as spring,
Walden’s Warblers waiting for me.
But soon, my feet sank into
The blood soaked soil,
A lex talionis tax: civil payment
For the sin of slavery.
I hiked through Harper’s Ferry, witness to
John Brown’s failed raid, failed yet faithful
to his God and to the dream of what would become the true America.
My dream too, revolution, not guns for slaves,
But revolution still, a liberation of spirit, of sinew and of flesh
Toothy dreams… like the lope and howl of wolves.
Elemental dreams: like water as waves, like air as wind,
like fire to burn the dross of civilization off.
So I pointed my ears north, listening, howling.
I paddled over Canadian waters,
Cut through heaven’s reflection to the lonely cry of loons,
I planted myself among towering pines.
They too, like brothers, listened to the wolf, breathed the wind,
Stretched arms toward sun and star.
Eighteen and…
My future loomed like the moon.
Tasting it, I uprooted, I clambered up the tallest trunk,
Clung to the topmost branches and leaned….
Reached out night after night as
Moon birthed in the east, kissed the west,
waxed and waned just out of reach.
And then….it set… over that piney horizon,
And did not rise again.

I still howl desire into the darkness of night,
Still lope down lonely roads,
And still burn with a fire for freedom.
The moon shall rise again.


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