exacerbates this Harlem

Steven Alvarez

 

’s dog eye pink primroses & creosote  pines
reaching Satan’s head attached to the body
doves smoothed sandwaves up moss
      fire escape

                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                              o
                                                                                                                              o
                                                                                                                              k

                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              u
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              t

                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                              d

                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                              i
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                              y

                                          ambition what yet

                                                        learning only
slow
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                g

                                                        jade face
right eye
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                d

                                          pasta boiling
                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                u
                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                g

                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                s

                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                d

                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                y

                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                h

                                                        raised to the
level
                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                g

                                                        within why
hungry                             peanut head I see
you
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                e

                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                g
 

                                                        figurines

              “study further
                                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                u
                                                                                                                e

                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                o

                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                ”

                                                        “I’m the
empty
                                                                                                                              v
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              l

                                                        the void I’ve
eaten
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                v
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                n

                                                        scones today
                                                                                                                              &

                                                                                                                a

                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                o
                           a handsome one too Harlem
differing agents of wild focalization collide
self-consciousness    focalizor  no doubt
technical advantage over other characters
novelty unfixable mutable freedom of
change invention
              alas that beery breath causing
possibly to faint from stench can see green
rain exploding puddles hear rain thud &
crickets float plane growl what have every
               one student sent wily word heists

                                                                                    g
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    o
                                                                                    w
                                                                                    n

                             received receptive true

                             forty shades of black

                                                                                    w
                                                                                    i
                                                                                    n
                                                                                    g
                                                                                    ’
                                                                                    s

                                                                                    s
                                                                                    p
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    i
                                                                                    n
                                                                                    g

                             since lost a crocus crooked
edge

                            sent self sown flowered

                                                                                    t
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    o
                                                                                    u
                                                                                    g
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    s

                             flowering thoughts sought
by yr hunger

                             truly seeds to read
                                                                                                                                         revival

 

 

Steven Alvarez Author PhotoSteven Alvarez is the author of two novels in verse and two chapbooks. His work has appeared in “Best Experimental Writing (BAX), Berkeley Poetry Review, The Drunken Boat, Fence, Huizache, and Waxwing. His manuscript “The Codex Mojaodicus” was the winner of the 2016 Fence Modern Poets Series prize.