Two poems by Serge Rodriguez

Experiencing the Raisin

Malleable, soft inner
Wrinkled outter, pulled taut

By tongue

Pull it taut
It crumbles too

A fruit, through several processes
becomes an other type of fruit


I feel more neutral about you, Raisin.

Perhaps pleasant. Raisins, now, are about something different.
Pulling these tiny flattened wrinkled former orbs
Into other directions, stretching the body

As we age, things become
The sweetness inside
It changes texture
And scent,
Musty, though not offensive,


Be the Raisin

I don’t hate you anymore

Why did I ever?

Because you resemble a Roach

I remember meeting you
I judged you
Fearfully expecting the worst

You were duplicitous in presentation

Seemingly sweet,
Tiny grooved cold

Stuck inside my mouth
My molars,
You tasted like youth ruined

I mistook you for a Roach in my cereal

I wrote you off, Raisin

I abhorred you

That was a projection

I never harbored this feeling for Prunes
Despite all my mishaps
Overconsumption of dried fruits
Their prevailing power on the intestines

Today I too am a dried fruit
And I appreciate you now
Though never my first choice
Or the favored child

I respect you
Inside, and abiding
Earlier forms
Which have aged
Beyond my imagination
And your objecthood

Lou Sullivan’s journey through Whitman’s, I sing the body electric

If the body is the poem
Is it now abridged –
Did form give way to free verse
Enjambment of experience

Free writes
New tones

The body has altered its poetic license
Whereby, the injections
Have banished from front and center
The fog of several shady continents

Lower bowels
Uterine lining
Tympan of hymen
New manroot

The world emerges like curling hairs
Thousands of them black and crumpled
Coarse, ass, buttocks covered in wolfen
Cloak, explosively emanating out

From the anus, a new sturdy tunnel
No longer a walled city
Canals of entrance
Love – perturbations
Hardy red jellies
Deep ribbons of flesh

Didn’t Lou love Whitman?

Eye-fringes wet
In reverie,
Where the body becomes memory

The poem has changed
And so forward, it’s memory
Reanimates the collective mind

The flesh of memory is received
Warm strokes alongside
The back, the shoulders
Neck a bridge to melded
Skull mind, eyes down to
Other bosoms

The muscles cradle the memory
Whitman’s curious sympathy
Abandoned cynicism
Goosebumps on the you
The collective you
Still in wonder

Serge Rodriguez

Serge Rodriguez (Nuyorican, b. 1982) is a poet and librarian. His work has appeared in Vetch: A Magazine of Trans poetry and poetics.