Outside Times Ten and One Within

Blanca Castellón

IOutsideis desert
keen to be riverthere’s laughter I don’t listen tofolk walk around
whose hearing is blindoutside no hugs are given
there’s haste and abyssesbridges have gone missing


IIOutsidethere are no dogs in the street
no tiny red turtlesnot one lizard
basking in rooftop sun


IIIOutsideis the moon whose breast
gapes with woundsa plague of poets
fouls the silencethe tree says goodbye to its roots
and no one feels sadart like crime
leaves its trail of clues


IVOutsidethere’s dirty linen
shamelessly displayedtrash is deep
outside it’s sickeningdeep is the past
deep the futurethere’s dried-up vomit
in the volcano’s craterfield on field
of lamentationthere’s Washington
Iraq
Somalia
Haiti


VOutsideit’s dangerous
to break the spellthere are black verses
forever on everyone’s lipsoutside I panic
the sweet names
are exhausted


VIOutsidethere’s no cosy bed
no sheet without stainsno eye pure in its seeing
no easy distancesno mother
no fatheroutside is a landscape
of forgotten letters


VIIOutsidea child
bursts waiting into tearsthere are ulcers in the shadowstraffic in caprice
and other narcoticsbooks no one will read
outside is absence


VIIIOutside there’s reliable evidence
of angels who rain down coffeethere are tricksters
old photographsclever flowers
that fade on cueoutside dreams hurt
and drums rumble with evilcracks in the earth
are spreading


IXOutsidethe poor come back
to die in trapsthere’s hunger and a
closed horizonoutside is longnarrow
drythere’s dust
bonesand a welter of bodies
in a common sky


XOutsideanother outside
is under construction.


XIWithinjoy is here within
deep withindig
and water gusheswithin is Nicaragua.

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Blanca Castellón is a Nicaraguan poet whose books include Ama del espíritu(1995), Flotaciones (1998), Orilla opuesta (2000), Los juegos de Elisa (2005), Cactus Body (a bilingual chapbook; Cold Hub Press, 2014), Water For Days Of Thirst (a bilingual English/Spanish selection; Cold Hub Press, 2016,) and Los Moridores (2017) among others. Currently a member of the board of directors of the Festival Internacional de Poesía De Granada, Nicaragua.

Free Verse

Issue 29

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University

Editor: Jon Thompson

Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics is a bi-annual electronic journal that focuses on publishing the finest free verse being written today. While the journal aims to provide a forum for the wide variety of poetic experiments and work in various poetic traditions in the United States at present, Free Verse also invites English language submissions from outside North America.

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