Vox Populi

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Jose Padua: I have Driven from the Forest and the Mountains

I have driven from the forest

and the mountains through

snow, wind, and rain and

various times of day, in heat

and in cold, during love and

during hatred, with money

and without, in uncertainty

and during those rare moments

of overconfidence which somehow

I’ve never learned to regret,

to all these American cities.

Like a man released from prison,

I am grateful for the opportunity

though I have never been in an

actual prison and I spend so little

of my time being grateful.

All the planets whisper songs

or curses to me and for me

in these blank places until

I put down my books and

lift my eyes like a madman.

If I have imagined you to be

a form of insanity, America,

do not be offended because

I do not claim sanity for myself.

I have never tried to embrace

what for me isn’t worth embracing,

so don’t bother asking me my name

or telling me you like the way

I pull things apart and put them back

together with the glue of my brain.

America, I am more fucked up

than you will ever be and I am

really fucked up. America, big hair

on movie stars, blind rats, muddy

possums, and incandescent plastic

surgeons on vacation in the Hamptons.

You have taken away the meaning,

you have taken away the connections

as I move like spilled liquid from

city to city on these endless nights

of dancing.


— Jose Padua



Photo by Jose Padua




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This entry was posted on October 17, 2014 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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