Five Poems by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Mar 13, 2019

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal brings us five poems, each with a theme and a message of their own. The five presented reflect (or reflect upon) a state of mind that is individual or collective, singular or plural, depending on how each poem is read and in some cases reveal undercurrents of resistance in many forms. Beyond this limited observation, the poems contain the precision of simple language used to unveil greater meaning and depth to evoke experience.

CULTIVATOR OF STORMS

You cultivate the storms
gathering over our heads.
You blink lightning alive
dropping flashes at our feet.

You pour the salt on wounds,
squeeze the lemon right in.
It is a miracle of sorts I stay
waiting for your moods to change.

You gather all the clouds,
impregnate them with precipitation,
color them black and dark gray,
and let them burst at all hours.

I am still here standing despite
the storms, the lighting, and rain.
I am waiting for the clouds to lift,
for the sunshine you have inside.

 

I’M NOT ON MY OWN

It is sweater weather.
It is cold inside and
outside in the remains
of last night. Talk to me
as I talk to myself. I need
the dark voice to know
I’m not alone in this world.
I’m not on my own. I’m
just a little bit in trouble,
wrapped up with mania
and a flashflood of voices.
I’m being kept afraid.
I head to Chinatown where
I never say never to Chow Mein.
One day you can come with me.

 

LIE FOR A LIE

Your burden for my burden
and perhaps they will cancel
each other out. A lie for
a lie I offer to you.
These loitering troubles
and half-hearted promises
hide in the shadows,
they laugh at themselves.

Sometimes two wrongs
bring surprises to the mix
that you can make things
half right. Lovers have their
secrets. They play the field
where the green grass fades.

 

THE PLANT COULD SPEAK

I brought the plant along
to converse with for a few
seconds each hour of the day.

Sometimes I pretended
the plant could speak too.
After a while I was speaking
to a fork and a spoon

when the plant became a
bore. Insults would fly
over a lack of water and
about wanting to be outside.

 

THE STONE AGE

We walked
Out of caves
In search
Of something more
Breathing
The fresh air:
Our minds
Felt much better

We searched
For words to
Go with
The raw paintings

We left
In the caves:
Sometimes
We get pulled back

We act
As if no
Changes
Occurred at all

Instead
Of stones we
Throw bombs
And as they fall

I sense
The Stone Age
Will come
Back as before

(This poem previously appeared in Blue Collar Review)

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About the Contributor

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, lives in Southern California, and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poetry books and chapbooks have been published by Alternating Current Press, Deadbeat Press, Kendra Steiner Editions, New American Imagist, New Polish Beat, Poet's Democracy, and Ten Pages Press (e-book).