Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected two poems by Sheila Maldonado for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.
* * *
Poet in a Shade of Jade
I am so jealous of how poor you are
of how you are poor
your particular stilo pobre
The way you put no cash and
no money together is uncanny
lack of change combined
with lack of dollars
is very difficult to duplicate
and I hate you for that
I was gonna go hear you read
from your new collection of
just the other day
but you get readings
all the time
you have your pick
of not being paid
or being unpaid
You get to ride
the subway back and forth
on your own dime
and you pay for
your performance alcohol
I’ll make it one of these days
give you dirty looks
as you read and rake in
your air bucks
What I look forward to most
is not tolerating
how you hoard your poverty
tell no one your secret
you must have some malefactor
who further mystifies
the acquisition of wealth
and points you in the direction
of the dead end
Submit / Resist
submit to the line of students as questions
resist their tall tales
submit to the stage of the classroom
resist the despair of unpreparedness
the blank stares blank papers
submit to the penal scholastic
resist the hourly rage
submit timesheet essay humility
resist the conspiratorial bank
submit to the clutch of the breast
resist the song of the uterus
submit to the will of the crotch
to the ass jet to the bike seat
resist memory failure humidity
submit to the one breeze
submit to the peripathetic
resist the howl of the building don
submit to the raindrops on the air conditioner
resist the caffeine tremor
submit to the sweat lodge
resist the butter cookie
submit to the butter cookie
resist the baby squeal behind the neighbor door
submit to architecture and its facades
submit to disorientation
to starting over and again
* * *
Sheila Maldonado is the author of one-bedroom solo (Fly by Night Press, 2011), her debut poetry collection. Her poems have appeared in Rattapallax, Callaloo and Me No Habla with Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry. Maldonado holds degrees in English from Brown University and poetry from the City College of New York. She teaches creative writing for the City University of New York and Teacher & Writers Collaborative.
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