March 10-16, 2003: Jerry Hicks and Pablo Miguel Martinez

week of March 10-16, 2003

Jerry Hicks and Pablo Miguel Martinez

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Jerry Hicks

Bio (auto)

Jerry Hicks first appeared in PSH in Sept 1997 One of the Redondo Poets, he is an L.A coffee-house poet, slam host, and impresario; and widely published on the Internet and in the small press He writes a month column in called, “getting published ” His latest book, “Blind as Bullets in a Crowd” was released in February 2003.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jerry Hicks and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Bird Lovers

A mature male parakeet weights
about 40 grams;
has a brain slightly larger than a BB
and–if irritated–is nearly as loud
as a four-and-one half pound jeep horn
Male parakeets often get lonely They pull out feathers when depressed,
crap in their water,
and sing sad, listless little songs
Presented with a young female
a male begins acting as kooky
as a love-smitten teenager
He jumps in the air, sings, struts, and flaps his wings initially terrorizing the female
who soon begins mimicking his tunes,
and following him around
as if he were, her big brother Before long she–in love–acts equally
as bizarre
As part of his courting ritual, the male
beats up the compliant female He stops crapping in his water and depleting
his feathers Instead, he happily plucks out her feathers
Parakeets are torrid lovers They sing part-and counter-part, echo one-another,
and compose original songs Parakeets in love behave as weirdly as poets–
converse hours in guttural twerps

As part of their romantic fanfare,
parakeets groom one another for hours, but
if the male pulls out too many of the female’s
feathers (or one of her tail feathers)
she’ll stop grooming him
Occasionally, the devastated male
then bullies the female further
posturing so as to stand taller,
or shoving her off
the perch
She ignores this behavior initially; he
outweighs her at least
ten grams and fluffs bigger when angry
Very quiet parakeets are very
pissed off creatures Unfortunately for an owner,
quiet periods pass too quickly–
bird seed stimulates happy hormones
To regain the female’s good graces,
the male cracks and pokes seeds
in her mouth.
This looks suspiciously like kissing
When mollified, the female resumes
grooming the male Then they start eating and singing–like
lovers in an Italian opera Happy parakeets at peace
are as loud as a six-grade
brass band
Within two hours, if they don’t begin grooming
the scrapping cycle repeats
After three weeks of such bliss,
the female begins to grouse
for hours followed by
pecking the male’s feathers Her favorite target is his forehead,
although she also relishes chest feathers Presently, a feather-ball forms near the perch
Although either parakeet may initiate
hostilities now, most often it is the female
who is instigator;
and she begins knocking him
off the perch
The male diligently cracks and feeds
seeds to the female
after her frequent outbursts
If a male has a terrible day, he may
fall off his perch in the middle of the night,
but this occurs rarely

Female parakeets-extremely awkward–
fall off the perch often When they do, they look sheepish
and peck the male,
who must immediately begin
cracking seeds
When in love, parakeets spend one
third their time grooming,
one third fighting, and one third
making up But if an outside door is left open,
the male flees in a heartbeat
Like men, males value freedom, blue sky,
and danger
more than devoted love.

Pablo Miguel Martinez

Bio (auto)

Pablo Miguel Martínez is a poet, community activist, and cultural worker in San Antonio, Texas His work has appeared in various publications, among them La Voz de Esperanza, El Placazo, Ilya’s Honey, as well as in the anthology Voices Along the River.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Pablo Miguel Martinez and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The young intern at St Vincent’s Hospital didn’t ask
many questions–his shift was nearing its
eighteenth hour, and he had seen far worse than
the bulb of plumy flesh that would soon bloom
in my eye socket Besides, men do this kind
of thing to women, not to other men
I see, he said, as I yammered on about absent-
mindedness and awkward hardware
The triage nurse, a sweet-voiced Filipino, folded
his arms tightly He wasn’t having it He knew You okay, papi? I said nothing,
just nodded A few tears leaked from
the glossy, swelling dome He told me not to cry,
it would only make it worse
A few dabs of antiseptic, some angel’s-robe gauze,
a sticky bandage, and I was released A strange way of putting it
I’ll fix a double cazuela of arroz con pollo,
your favorite I’ll stir in a confetti of peas
and carrots Something festive And everything
will be forgotten Forgiven Because the brutish
knot of fist unfolds, easy as dove wings, into
the warm, fluttering caress
I head south, my arms filled with
groceries and lilies from the deli
on Bleecker; the melody of a Mexican bolero
sashays in my head
On Hudson Street two men scrub
graffiti off a wall “Die Fags,” it reads A constellation of swaztikas floats
around the imperative Crazy, ain’t they, the fucks who did this,
one of the men says as I walk past
Yeah, crazy.


In the rust-colored twilight
the scrivener’s wife waits and
listens for the rattle
of coins in her husband’s
pockets, a tinkling harvest
gathered in the heat and
bustle of the ancient zócalo His syntax spares her
the charwoman’s life;
her pantry is a well spiced
tribute to his vocabulary
A broken strand of
yellowed pearls is all
the widow can offer
for the scribe’s finest–
a letter to her son requires
elegant words and graceful
turns, which are embedded
too deep in her heart Like craning swans, her
fingers glide on the onion-
skin document of her anticipation
The carpenter from Veracruz
proudly trades a sack of
green papayas for a gram
or two of burnished prose
that will change minds
and recast his fortunes El jarocho’s fate is sealed
with droplets of beeswax
and hope as dusk
scrawls itself on
the city sky.

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