Alan Chazaro | Two Poems

Photosynthesis, or Chinaka Hodge Hosts a Block Party in West Oakland

begins by absorbing hydrogen……………………………from soils as DJ
…………blends 90s r&b……………………….with weedsmoke and wet skin

becomes the oxygen of bodydance—and it begins with
…………inhalation: roots, rhubarb,
……………………sunflower, the hot

………………………………blood of chicken coops,
………………………………the strange

aerosol of blue and dreadlocks and

barbershop fades, a loud mixing
of light and dark and dark
…………with darker. Say the names

…………of the trees in this neighborhood
……………………out loud—

Southern Magnolia, Maidenhair, Chinese Flame, Kentucky Coffee—

…………and ask what cosmology is

if not this?—and when I say cosmology know
…………………………………………………………………………I mean blessings,
………………………………………………………………and when I say
a blessing, I mean this Sunday afternoon, because the night is a delicate prayer that must come

over us, it is the promise of an empty concrete lot, of movements that can be traced back
to foot-rhythms and chain-link fences, the neon blazes of a nosering
on a brown nose, the breeze from a coastal front—

and it begins
……………………by observing the astronomy of our limbs, by not
…………forgetting to sip the honey
……………..from lips
that blossom whatever hunger is left…………in the garden…….of our mouths…………as your voice

………………………………becomes a shovel…………becomes my hands

……………………digging your waist

.

.

Why does deportes sound like deported?

Is it because always running is a cliché? And clichés are a rerun of something
different? And since you were a boy, did they feed you questionable

instead of quesadillas? And do fat ankles mean you are eating good? And is good eating a sign
of prosperity? And isn’t prosperity where you don’t go

if you are hungry? Yet, don’t you go? And when you text message your friend about playing
soccer on Saturday does your phone autocorrect? Deported

instead of deportes?  And is choice about going
somewhere? Not always

home? And why does orible mean horrible but not horrifying?
Shouldn’t it? And when Sergio got pulled over by SVPD wasn’t he carrying

the smallest earthquakes? Wasn’t he illegal? And don’t we all carry damaged
moments inside us? Scrapyards and scattered wrenches? And sometimes

shouldn’t we all go on joy rides along California’s coast? And when we think
we know our destinations do we really?

.

.


Alan Chazaro is a high school teacher at the Oakland School for the Arts, a Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and a June Jordan Poetry for the People alum at UC Berkeley. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including BOAAT, Huizache, The Acentos Review, Borderlands, Juked, and Iron Horse Review. A Bay Area native, you’ll find him wearing a Warriors jersey and listening to West Coast throwbacks.

2017-11-29T20:32:15+00:00 November 29th, 2017|