Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

Once again: “Your Life” by Andrea Gibson “I Carry Your Heart with Me” by e.e. cummings “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” by Sabrina Benaim “Ohm” by Saul Williams “Why are Muslims So…” by Sakila & Hawa “14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes” by Doc Luben “Some Things You Need to Know Before …

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I purchased my copy of The Poems of Pablo Neruda in college. Since then, I picked it up every once in a while. Thumb through its pages. And read where my finger lands. It’s not always an English translation, but that’s not far away if I need or want to read it. And in my …

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Once I gave a girl a copy of Pablo Neruda’s love poems. Call me the pretentious Latinx college student wanting to impress the girl.* Truth is, I never read the book. Never read anything by Neruda until a few years later when I purchased a copy of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda on a whim. …

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Poetry break

November 4, 2015


I scarcely knew, by myself, that I existed,
that I'd be able to be, and go on being.
I was afraid of that, of life itself.
I didn't want to be seen,
I didn't want my existence to be known.
I became pallid, thin, and absentminded.
I didn't want to speak so that nobody
would recognize my voice, I didn't want
to see so that nobody would see me.
Walking, I pressed myself against the wall
like a shadow slipping away.

I would have dressed myself in red roof tiles, in smoke,
to continue there, but invisible,
to attend everything, but at a distance,
to keep my own obscure identity
fastened to the rhythm of the spring.

A girl's face, the pure surprise
of a laugh dividing the day in two
like the two hemispheres of an orange,
and I shifted to another street,
unnerved by life and tentative,
close to water without tasting its coolness,
close to fire without kissing its flame,
and a mask of pride encased me,
and I was thin and arrogant as a spear,
unlistening, unlistened to 
(I made that impossible),
my lament
buried deep
like the whine of a hurt dog
at the bottom of a well.
             --Pablo Neruda, from The Poetry of Pablo Neruda

Excerpt of “After All” by Gabriel H. Sánchez, from The Fluid Chicano

This day marks the death of innocence
where will their love go to extinguish
emptiness fills the vacant chambers in their chests
where once hope crafted smiles
with the raw materials of their wishful thinking