Avery Garcia

Baby Blue 

Baby blue and ocean eyes
Machine guns or edelweiss,
How quickly does the great pearl rise
Before it cracks into alibis.
Must a mile have no length
Yet beg the Lord to give it strength?
Ask Jack Kerouac and James Dean
Exactly what all their names mean;
For if I did, I surely would fall
Down the door and through the hall. 

Whispers fly as I question the dead,
Their bones ground down to make our bread.
How salty does their sweet white taste
Scrambled up in man’s trite haste
Seven boughs and three trees
Hide away melancholy melodies
No brighter than the tarry star,
Which burns hot red light from afar.
Deep within a sea of green,
It commands the fingers to get lean
As they scratch across the chicken wire,
The impending heart, the dire fire.

As the rose fell to ashes,
I caught all that morning dew smashes.
An arched back forever bold,
His breath in my ear, so hot yet so cold.
As I asked if this was death
Already seeing Azrael’s breadth,
He took my hand and pressed it tightly,
The phantom Uranian disappearing nightly. 

The kiss of Dante scalds and drips
Ambrosia on my mortal lips,
How do I tell him the genius of a poet
Is surprisingly best when they don’t know it.
Laughter falls as I reach through the grave,
Glad I have no soul to save.
Do so once or do so twice,
Praise be not of doe-eyed mice.
Coating myself in the gelid dirt,
I remember that hell had best not hurt.
Symposium aside and lips undone,
We all are dead under the midmorning sun. 

Barn Owls

Two shoes stuck to a battered bridge,
Stuck not with blacked gum or slushee syrup
But with the Feeling of a Moment
The kind that asks if you want to be a vole or a bird,
If you want to slowly suffocate or to fly like an angel.

Above the frozen river that dwells quietly below,
Cracked and wise from seeing many Such Things,
The Voice calls out “Remember me,
God, oh someone please remember me!
Remember my pain and remember my sorrow;
Please let me live on long after tomorrow!” 

Even still, those numb fingers start to slip,
Called after by the rattle of the icy chain link fence
That they once clung to, the final friend,
Fated now only to watch as a silhouette carves out a piece of the sky,
Carves out a piece of the ice,
Then carves out a piece of the highway,
Lining it up with screams of blue, white, and red
And a whole crowd of Langolier eyes to eat it all away. 

From under the bridge fly out two barn owls,
Perfect and white.
They count the angels everywhere,
On the bridge, on the ice, in the river,
They say we’re all doomed.


Rose gold
Melted on my palms;
“Is this what ambrosia tastes like?”
I asked the gods, with their kisses still burned on my lips.
“No,” they said coldly, callously, calmly,
“This is but the taste of the mortal moment, leadlike, heavy, empty.”
Searching for the nexus, I found it, spiraling down my spine,
A hot, steaming vortex of strangeness that blessed and charmed me
In my iniquity.
Sapphire and jade(d) eyes watch me
From beneath the covers
With the pithy judgment of old barn owls in the rafters.
What do they know? How to love?
Don’t make me laugh; I might choke on on the firebrand
Of my heart as it tries to escape from me once more,
Riding the sulfurous winds I use to swallow it back into oblivion.
Remember the rite and pray to the philosopher-king to quell this riot
Before the maelstrom grows too much and you are utterly swept away,
Bathed in the filth of your feeling.
Languish and pray in it,
This mud of molten gold and twisted silver,
Aspirate and drink it up before the wind mops it politely
Like a spilled beverage, using musty leaves as napkins to banish
Your Thought.
Let it tear through your every muscle and bone, shred your heart
Into ribbons dappled with tears and blood,
Each drop a reminder of the cherry blossoms hanging over you.
Never let it go. 

She’s drowning me in a sea of chrysanthemums;
How I eager I am to choke on every petal,
Such a mad fool.
How do my tides allow this;
Why doesn’t the ocean that rages and broils within me
Want to sweep it away in that tsunami of turmoil
That cloaks all in gelid, black charcoal,
Smears its agony over the face of God
And invite me to laugh with it in blasphemy.
Smooth and calm, steady and calculated, yet so graceful,
The candle wax falls over me, turning my screams
Into lullabies as the votive begins
And I ascend to the gold-winged choir.
Heaven sheathes Death,
And I am Free,
Free to know that my caged bird will never sing
So long as I clench its throat and hold its wings,
Parodizing my own severed heartstrings.

The Right Here

Burn me into clarity.
Let my hair start to sear
As all that remains is infinity,
And there is no one left here. 

Fill me with shower thoughts,
Half-shots (in the dark)
That ring and clatter
With the soul of music in them.
They lie like bow-legged children,
Always asking “Why?!” and “How?!”
Over and over and over again
Until I dare to make the voyage back into the Cyclopes’ den. 

Save me from my progeny;
Pluck their heads off with wire.
Make them sing in harmony,
So that at last I can retire.

I Think I’m Going Crazy

“I think I’m going crazy,”
I told my doctor one August afternoon.
“I think I’m going crazy,”
I howled at the moon. 

“Why do you think so?
You can draw straight lines and rectangles too.
Why do you think so?
It’s only sugar in your morning brew.” 

Yes, I swallowed selfishly,
With the pills and popular potions.
Yes, I swallowed selfishly,
As I bought all the prescribed lotions. 

Still my madness did not leave;
It dawdled at the door like a drunken guest.
Still my madness did not leave;
It scoffed and sneered at every request. 

Finally, I sat it down, face-to-face,
Fully intent on putting it in its place.
Finally, I sat it down, face-to-face,
And only then learned of my utmost disgrace. 

Oh, we talked on forever, my madness and me,
Round and round to our hearts’ jubilee.
Thrashing and throbbing, we made the world dance
As we threw ourselves down the rabbithole trance. 

Perfectly, we share every thought and whisper,
Both a wizened robot and three-year-old lisper.
Never will I know the ways of the sane
When all there is to do is set fire to my brain.

Avery Garcia is a senior from Fontana, California, enjoying a second year as president of the Literally Literate Writers’ Club. Highlights of his writing career include two Regional Gold Keys and one Silver National Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He is currently working on a volume of poetry and short stories, which he hopes to release soon. He looks forward to, loves, and embraces this life’s journey.