01 September 2009

Featured Poet: Paul Martínez Pompa

Film Strip

We’ve been isolated from the girls

to learn our bodies. Our desks harder

than our hairless asses. They shudder

beneath us when Mr. Griffey fingers

the 16mm reel. He mumbles directions

to himself, orders Danny S. to pull

down the white screen. We swell

into concentration as grainy scenes

flicker past our heads. The projector’s

clatter surrounds us like criminals:

narrated cross-section of the testicles,

the animated penis a cruel reminder

of our fathers. Strange men we’ve seen

through cracked doors. Their nude

bodies a revelation, a portrait of manhood

larger than anything we could imagine.

Banana Republic Politick

Damn these stacks of argyle I can’t have

just one merino wool V-neck beauty

on my shelves & shoulders fitted cotton crew

I bought more & saved these pretty white boys

are irresistibly high cheek bones my fantasy

factory on display as salespeople who know

what I need is more boot cut slim fit French

cuff stretch my BR card til no more poplin

fits my need-gene inseam button fly

straight leg indigo relaxed light brain


Men Watching Men

El Gato Negro Bar

I’m not drunk

enough so I order one

more bottle. He shoves

a lime down its throat

& I see myself

surrounded by men

who watch the night

in a mirror

behind the bar.

We smoke

our cigarettes

with purpose, pretending

courage is something

we can suck in.

Click of the jukebox

& the treble

cuts the air. A man

holds his woman

tight enough to feel her

cock press his belly.

Dance floor strobe light

captures their bodies.

Her cheek on his

shoulder, her breath

on our necks.

These peoms are from My Kill Adore Him (Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, University of Notre Dame Press, 2009).

© Copyright 2009 Paul Martínez Pompa