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Jonathan Moya May 12
The Holy Ghost is freely
pinned as sin is from the Devil
amongst  the broken back pews of a somnambulant congregation
dreaming of the post church *** luck buffet.

Release it to the wild,
it flies to heaven,
anointing a stained-glass angel peeled
from the wall as second.

The angel says,
”You must wrestle me,”
I dream of catching the uncatchable,
holding that one untouchable thing.

The angel breaks its shoulder to
be free
of my material hunger
to devour the wrong blood, flesh— to the bone

It ascends unsatisfied
as an altared Christ
cursing the church to contain his blessings in a stone idol and
those who all pray open-eyed.
May 9 · 43
A Mother’s Bread
All life mother kneaded him
from her ma’s-g’ma’s  pain and joy,
from the bodies who all knew her
into the one  she knew well,
collected from all the raw bits
lost, found, saved from breads baked-unbaked,
while the yeast swelled her stomach  
and pocked her skin. She said, “Eat, child,”
and he fed ‘till her flesh broke.  

In the dark oven she lifted him,
chest filled with his sweet-sour breath,
his body spread out in the cool
table light of day, fingers uncurled
in the dun brioche of her lap,
her hand cradling his in this new time
far from the mute silence of his
once buttered existence, trying
to suckle on a tongue empty  world
knowing only his Kaddish.
Is it so terrible to mourn a mother on  Mother’s Day,
to cry for the ones that shut the door and never returned,
those never equipped to nurture a newborn from birth to death,
the ones who desperately wanted to be mothers but couldn’t be,
those who lost a child or never wanted to be mothers but are—
should this be a day for the successes and joys and not the tragedies,
for just the good mothers and not the bad ones?

Both get their fare share of good and bad poetry,
memories full of exultations and recriminations,
letters that get sent across the miles and get burned.
It’s by luck that each child gets a lifelong angel or Devil.

Just s ay their name  because they gave you life,
whether it be a shout or a whisper
depends on  the weight  of your joy and pain.
May 4 · 31
Pain Knows the Wolf
I should have broken my back by now
with my lupine spine,
feet screaming as if in a wolf trap.
My outrage prowls the low valley
searching the arid land for water
to slack the thirst,
the howl inside.
Once there was real silence
but no answer.
Now, rage is my lone truth.
The lamb has been eaten.
Nothing stays in my broken jaw.
What is caught just slips away.
The times are always lean
for those who howl alone.
Brother, I await you outside the window
amongst the night traffic zoom and scent of pine,

story sitting on the throat’s knife edge,
the truth unable to roll out from blood fear.

Mother, I feel your harsh breath outside my soul.
Father, your praise is hidden in the hot stones.

Brother, the moon slices you,
tripling fear across the unforgettable,

a memory haunting a thousand of my nights.
How can I love the ghosts of those beings I hate

or hate the shadows of things I truly love in light?
Brother, I know what I can only imagine.

In the night, I know your hand is there, all in mine.
I imagine the cold breath of stones.
Apr 27 · 29
Super Nova
Jonathan Moya Apr 27
Super Nova

I destroy the gold house
inside my soul—

the nova of light on
gold archway, gold mantle,
gold walls.  The last bits of

real places that once shined.
l thought, forever

in the aura of sun-
shine on once
gold rooftop, gold windows,

gold doors. Look in,
search and see, find: black gold

steeped in the dark
burned down to ash of
gold wood, gold grass

the once gold streets, gold hills
all around my dead sun.

This dead sun will never rise, rise
and shine its light
to my gold soul.
Jonathan Moya Apr 22
It appears  just weeks after the last tear,
my mother’s sky blue dress on her life ghost:
same walk, dove shape, soft voice, brown hair cut short-
at least from behind, in the same love light
that moved from donation bin, rack, to her
in the way that the poor are ****** to wear  
the dead’s clothes, hand me downs echoes worn thin
enough to be bleach clouds or ghosts of ghosts,
the seams just barely holding together,
hem taken up from low earth to sky,
the orphan leftovers recut and sewn
to match the little girl holding her hand
tight enough to be a matching heaven,
memory of a bright and special life.
Jonathan Moya Apr 19
When I roam the real forest
grumpy apple trees spit their spoiled rotten children on
my shoulders knowing I will collect them
and mash their cores into cider.

Their leaves refuse to form shadows nor shade me, letting
the sun scorch my monk’s crown deep cardinal red.

The weeping willows shed snickers not tears.

The oaks refuse their goodness  
and discernment, all their wisdom.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out “***** coming!”

Yet, I shade the thing I love
even as they shout out, “Go away, away.
Go home. Go home now.”

Still, my little Pomchi girl knowing forest from the trees
bows down to ***, bends backwards to ****
in full glory of all the angry, angry leaves.  

The Mary Oliver poem mimicked here can be read at:
Apr 18 · 52
To Eat a Peach
Jonathan Moya Apr 18
As I exit
the world of green dinosaurs
fused from abandoned rusty automobiles      
and steaming in  the sun,
a child offered me a giant peach
harvested from a Palisade tree
grown in the valley’s katabatic winds.
It tasted of harsh-sweet stolen pleasures,
lust and greed and love and dried fruit,
full of Ute tears and diverted waters,
memories between prayers and laments  
buried deep, sprouting new
on rolling plains laced with spice
breezes and Buffalo.

It had evolved flesh pregnant with two hemispheres  
to be split midway
by thumbs meant to be coated with pulp
juice pooling to palm lifelines.

I knew it fed me its sweetness
in cupped hands, not a gift
but a sacrifice to be sniffed
and tasted like an old vintage
barreled decades for a loving tongue.

Its red blush collapsed into
a  tawny mass that matched the day’s light,
remaining fuzzy flesh a gold skull—
the ancient colors full of guilt and redemption
and red shame and love and twilight,
a thing existing slightly
out of season, fully sweet
yet almost taboo, almost cursed,
the lustful last bite of life.

I bought a half dozen more peaches from the parent
standing slightly just behind the child
busy cradling them into a paper craft bag
rolling them into darkness far from light
and the frozen extinction crushed
by the din of overpass traffic from above.

I noticed the sun fade from the earth,
a scorned lover removing her gaze,
until there exists a tattoo
memory of love and ripening peaches.

I took the small change
aware that the peaches would rot to
mold, uneaten, unwanted, the pit unplanted.


A katabatic wind  is a drainage wind, a wind that carries high-density air from a higher elevation down a ***** under the force of gravity.
After Adam died Eve
designed a house of wooden ribs.
She created it to never burn down.
It was full of happy walls and
bright colors that never faded.
(The next owner painted them gray.)
The rainbow colors would daub off
on every guest’s fingerprint,
an intended souvenir.
Nautilus shells placed near all windows
breathed the gentlest light everywhere
A stone pyramid staircase
snaked up to the second floor.
Doves could be heard cooing
peacefully from above.
There was a room with a writing desk that
everyone thought was a guest bedroom
but was really her office.
Abel’s name was carved
into all the door mantles.
On Sundays, after church, she invited
the children to slide through all the
crannies they could find
Outside, oaks and weeping willows
formed the boundary line.
When she died
they grew closer
to the house,
their limbs outstretched
as if in mourning.
When the government cataloged the house,
forgetting that she was a businesswoman,
they noted it officially as Adam’s property.
The next homeowner remodeled it poorly and
it burned down two days after they moved in.
Apr 9 · 62
Homeric Simile
As when his son, a pensive animal lover,
on his first hunt,
had to face the doe in his scope,
his first **** lined up for the taking,
breath held firmly before trigger plunge,
the forest circling, fear trembling his lips,
doe moving from view, gaze,
his father behind, a looming granite mountain
crushing him
like an avalanche of scold that he could not,
despite his determination,
could really climb from,
his finger unwilling to pull the trigger,
even with his father
tugging his arm in death’s directions
as the miss hit sap and freed doe
from their sight.

so facing his death
the father gripped the old bedsheets,
trigger fingers cocked
and son did not dare
slap his hands
Apr 7 · 224
The Projection Room
If lucky I will die in a room
of non-hospital green, on plump pillows,
good linens, with good family and good friends,
the ghosts of loves, the odorama
of nitrate seas, forests or mountains on
Room where well-cast dreams lived and died.

Will my death be the end of a long love,
mystery, tragedy or comedy,
flashback to life or final nightmare?

Will your face be the  last frame or just
the quieter, dustier bed
out there in the sun— the rain?
Apr 4 · 188
The Dig
Blow the dust of history off our bones.
In the excavated ribs of ancient sailing ships
find the burial chambers of kings.

Blow the dust of history off our bones.
In the dig just below them,  but just over
the rubble of the blitz are the
cracks in the golden cathedral’s dome.

Blow the dust of history off our bones.
Hear the cough of the newborn that
ends unknown years later to the last ahem.

Blow the dust off history off our bones.
In the oil that bubbles up see the
trilobites, dinosaurs layered in the sludge.

Blow the dust of history of our bones.
Place the femur of all  misery neatly
on the museum shelf for all to see.
Every year I knowingly cross the unknown
date that will complete my tombstone,
the day last fires will turn  ice and
my deafness will make the silence
my true and final friend- and I will cradle
the earth that cuddles my mother.

Maybe I will share that anniversary
with her or some dear friend but
undoubtedly with other millions passed.
The shadows know the date but are quiet
and are shameless in keeping it private.
Today there are poems to write and
quiet and noisy, loud and silent times to
live until the last song of my nightingale.
Mar 31 · 29
The Forensic Cleaner
Jonathan Moya Mar 31
they took the body out
but the blood/bloodstain
stayed there.

the investigation begins.
that’s the police’s job.

but after the death
the cleaner cleans.

he cleans up blood,
pieces of bone,
maggots, flies
everything that
a corpse/body
leaves behind.
the smell
of decomposition/death  
will be gone
by the time
he finishes his work.

he has a very close
relationship to blood.
it’s something
that he respects.
he always tries
to keep in mind
that these remains
left on the floor,
this blood/bloodstain
belonged to someone.

what were they like
doesn’t interest him.
who were they
he’ll never really know.
he just owes them respect.

(every time he leaves
the atmosphere changes.
it changes
because nothing
them anymore
that there,
in that place,
lost their life.

things will change
and the way they see
these objects
is sure to change as well.

of course they
still have that loss,
that pain,
but the way
they are
going to face it
is different.

his work is done
and theirs begins.)

he has a recurring dream
about his work.
he is driving at night.
the street is dark.
there are people
but he can’t see their faces.
he doesn’t know if
they are saying

it is something
he would like to know
but he doesn’t have
enough time.
he thinks
that these
could be people
who have died.

at the end of his dream
he’s in the sea.
he’s trying
to get
to the surface,
but never
gets there.

it’s a cold,
he tries to move.
he tries to struggle.

he wakes up.
instead of being uneasy
he feels happy.
all around
is the shadows
of tombstones
leaving so many stains
on the grass
so much work
for him to do.
Jonathan Moya Mar 24
“I am but mad North North west; when the wind is Southerly, I know a hawk, from a hand saw.”
(Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)

Only God sees and knows dove from spoon,
can feign the smoothness of heaven,
let the mind see hawk and handsaw
open in the wide shed behind the house,
not the falconer’s falling glove
and the hand severed from the bird’s wings.  

For thoughts are to the manner born
and God knows the risk of our reach.
He feeds both dove and hawk
while the saw is being oiled.  
The cut finger howls His name
and cannot fly or make wings.

Line 7 references:
Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4: "But to my mind, though I am native here / And to the manner born, it is a custom / More honour'd in the breach than the observance."
Jonathan Moya Mar 19
I did want to do it with dead flowers
the pressings of leaving here—
flowers made of truths held openly in front
from a  fallow field  left to nettles,
the broken pebbles hammered by a vengeful sun.
I plucked it up, plucked the good root
of all our great hopes and best dreams  
and watched my life parch, shrivel and die in my hands
and heard her cry out
as if this left her incomplete,
clutching nightmares in her small arms.
Mar 18 · 417
Jonathan Moya Mar 18
he knows the earth beyond all

the earth
that is untroubled

in the scorch of afternoon

the petals
of the angry sun
Mar 18 · 38
Doves Always Return
Jonathan Moya Mar 18
On the white dry limbs of the sycamore, disrobing
bark etiolated in spring flash, three doves roost.  

“Peace,” they coo to the desire of my heart
to calm the violent world so like
the Lord’s small ship in the tempest ere
the rebuke of wind, sea, the faithless in their fear.

I will be kind.  Spread soothing balm
over the skin once pierced by thorns and
the white scars opened in bath water, on sheets-
the unknowns, red under the sycamores.

The ark doves cast the waters, one roosts the cross,
becoming a miracle if watched too closely
until fluttering wings burst it beyond symbols.
The world exists neither parched nor flooded, only
benefiting when sun and rain fall in good time.

The message flies everywhere further than what
I gave, circling calm and slow in every breeze.
I watch the three doves return to the
hallow ease that prods them to make their nest
on the white dry limbs of the sycamore.
Mar 15 · 25
Daylight Saving Time
Jonathan Moya Mar 15
The clocks leap forward and I fall back
looking for you to return from dust
at the stroke of two this night.
¡Despiértate!  (Wake up!)
Es muy muy tarde Madre Mia. (It’s very very late My Mother.)
Gather yourself.
School is over and it is time,
not too too late for you
to teach that old song
and stay forever.
Mar 14 · 41
The Great Tornado
Jonathan Moya Mar 14
She knows the winds in the circles of all that’s around her.
The funnel is as twisted as the screaming man on the wall
                 hanging in the serenity of white space,
                          crosses and orbs flying up like
                             zephyr elms.  Her face
                              breaching its anvil.
                           Her little brick house
                             pirouetting behind,
                                until her town,
                               she is totally lost,
                                until it’s her
                       and the circle is her
                 and the flood, the storm.
            She breathes its screech over
      everything it rushes and destroys.
Can we live in the force of one wind for the whole of a life?
Does the sun gaze down and hunger for the grounded light?
Mar 8 · 97
Memory Jug
When I die fill
                       my memory jug with things my mother loved.
Leave out her tears, the shivering in the rain.
                            That heart on the silver cross,
keep it,
the scrap she wrote my future name on,
                                     the ink footprints on my
baptismal certificate. But not the bandage
                     from my first stand and step and fall,
her blowing whispers in my ear to see if I
                                     can hear after the fever,
for those are tears  
and this jug has no room for
                                    oceans of such sadnesses
and grief.  
Make room for the things I’ve seen
                                                 clearly in the dark:
a frame of Mifune with sword,
                          E.T. phoning home with a gold
and a happy heart light that beats right here,
                                           Dances With Wolves,
in 60 Seconds,
    tickets to hand shadow play and future love.
Line the jug with lead to keep
                                    X-rays revealing  true dark. Stash an LSD tattoo
                                            lest I desire a bad trip
far far away from heaven.
                                                 Place the draft card
torn up
on a broken hearing aid.
Put no cancer recovery card, test strips inside.
                                    I am not just my diseases
and will not cling to their memories.
                                              Be glad I am gone
if that is how you’re  bent.
               Remove that one small thing you think
I stole,
replace with a pinch of dirt or ash
   from the graves or urns of those I loved dear,
a wax
seal for this little jug for you of me
                                                            pr­oclaiming a
Thank You
                 God, Mother, Father for creating me.
The eagle
brushstroked black
talons to beak
broke red blue  
in the white sky
tiny scarlet prey
fought and died
in once soft grasp
matron touch
a child freely
loved plumped fed and feathered
in aerie
tall safe high from
screech and whoop
the drop to the
loops of barbed wire below
Mar 1 · 209
Bronze Disease
Put two copper artifacts
next to each other,
and in time,
they will turn green
from the attraction.

Bronze Disease is what
the conservators call it.
For them,
corrosion is the enemy.

But that is not true,
as poets and most others know:

Corrosion is life,
Rust is love.
Jonathan Moya Feb 28
Never summon the evil whales forth
lest they hunger for a salt’s ******
or seek to ravage their ship.

They cry out havoc, scream tempest
to the ocean and sky
so the illhveli hear not their name.

Their harpooned blubber
boils neither to heaven nor hell
but vanishes only inside the soul.

They fear only the steypireydurs
the Great Blue Behemoths,
the protectors of sailors and crafts.

The salts’ wives smell the devil in their remnants
and to keep the fury at bay they call
their men honeyed names clothed in peace.

The mates consign this sweetness
to the void, a sea of faceless women
to be left alone in their slumbers.  

At dawn, they  return
to the great wide green ocean
that hungers for their flesh.

They chum cowshed, yarrows, ash,
throw plowshares, axes and pots creating
a sacred din outside the incarnadine circles.

Cat Whales would come forth
with their devil-angel flukes
half in sun and watery dark.

They mewl alongside,
resting in the craft’s wake,
diving when the waters darkened  

And the roar of Bull Whales spouting loudly  
through their blowholes would scare
the distant  cattle to stampede the waters.

The Ox Whales, swimming
faster than hand and mind,
would devour the calves

Leaving only nibbles
for the belugas that trailed
behind in white silence.  

Bottlenose Dolphins after herding
the Ox Whales beyond the spray
would jump straight high

out of the water
exposing the sun and mountains
appearing underneath them.  

In the rest between breaths
a Taumur awaited beneath their crafts
for the opportunity to break them apart.

On the glint of the horizon a Ling Whale
drifting like a mirage of barnacles
waited to maroon them on her hide.

Today, the Great Blue Behemoth
heard their anguish and would gently
guide them back to their sandy, rocky home.  

In their unsteady slumbers
they would hitch a ride
on the back of a Heatherback

And dive with it
to the ocean’s floor until
their last bubbles floated up.

Around them all the dorsal waves
of the Sword Whale splashed them
while she sliced them in two.

Far away, the Narwhale sniffed
their blood in the water and
waited her turn to eat.
Feb 16 · 35
Self Portrait
Jonathan Moya Feb 16
I walk from there to there
to paint myself into black pixels,
my shadow following obediently
part of the hobbled sketch.

I draw myself
as a wobbly line,
ill aligned and always
misplaced near the horizon

Above are scrawled illegible words
written in a shaky handwriting,
below exists the gurgle of my bowels
that my imperfect ears can only hear.

I ponder my broken perfection
and hear Jesus whisper his love,
knowing not the direction
from which he speaks to me.
Feb 12 · 35
My Google History
Jonathan Moya Feb 12
I search Google Sky
and there is a night picture.
Yellow dots top and bottom
in fluttering butterfly waves:
too many to count,
small red and white dots:
20 per square inch,
medium red and blue orbs:
10 per quadrant,
red orbs with devil’s tail:
10 falling down
red, purple, blue orbs with halos:
20 (mainly clustered in the center),
purple orbs with blurry wings, flying up:

I search Google Earth
and there is my red brick house
blown down to a u,
a guard rail, metal flashing
in the only green branches
of the sole oak that survived the wind,
the remains of the septic tank
in a crater of weeds
(refresh and expand focus)
a field cleared
(click next)
foundation poured
(scroll down)
frame erected
(scroll down)
roof, shingles attached
(click, open folder: blue prints)
construction plan: Oxford
Heritage Park Phase I

I google my name.
Six Images of a Costa Rican soccer player:
good looking, but not me,
Linked In Owner Profile
with no pic,
Home/Facebook/Profile (no pic)
Poet—All Poetry (no pic):
289 poems, two  books listed-
(The Nacre of Cancer)
(Like No Movie I Have Ever Seen)
259 followers, 11 following,
nice pic but old and I’m fat,
(tap back arrow, scroll down, click more results)
(Not me) Costa Rican soccer player Stats/Profile,
(Not me) Instagram Profile
(Me) Wordpress blog site listing,
(Me and many others)
We found (me)— search public records online
fill out form,
(click search)
results found:
1 (me), 88 (not me)
(click x, close page, leave browser)

Things not found on Google:
my cancer,
my marriage(s),
my dog(s)

Real me found on Google
real not me found on Google:
Me never listed:
Jonathan Moya Feb 10

than the

spinning under

will make you

you are
Feb 9 · 34
Icarus, She Flies
A daughter dies, and she is found,
in the cerulean movements of birds.
Not a hawk. Mother Sky
says those are for boy’s souls.

The father sees mockingbirds
building a nest of pine twigs
in the corner frieze of the portico
and imagines a flash of her smile
in there frequent swoops to his shoulders
as he dares to fetch the mail.

This is not a defensive attack, he thinks,
not really harpies.
Maybe a hello?  
Maybe her just checking in?
It made sense.  
She was always hiding in high places.

She once was found sleeping in a crag
of Old Wauhatchie Pike on one joint climb.
She often danced on the roof,
sketch pad in hand, until she found
the perfect angle to stencil
either the setting or rising sun.

The mockingbirds screeches
waking him in the morning
were an act of love, maybe,
turning a casual belief
into a hopeful faith.

It was silly for him to think
that the mockingbirds were
his daughter’s soul.

But then the father
thought of Icarus
every time the mockingbirds
would rise and soar high in the drafts
until there glint vanished into the sun.
He rebelled at the thought that Mother Sky
would reserve waxen wings for a foolish boy.

His daughter had made herself silken wings.
He knew that, had harnessed them  to her back,
leaving this butterfly in the babysitter’s care
while they went to attend the opera.

After the tuck in she scrambled onto the roof
determined to sketch the rise of the moon,
and knowing that anything was possible,
she closed her eyes and leapt.

He remembered the babysitter’s
frantic call to come home, NOW!
Then, there  was just the echo
of his daughter’s laughter. Maybe?

He could see her flying high in the day sky
even though the night, the real night,
had queened her kingdom to the existence
of her swaying silently between pine and earth,
her feet never touching the ground.

He wanted to tell her to come down.
But he could not.
She was too high up,
lost in the promise of flight.
And he was too small.

He let her go.
Let her fly away from him
on silken wings
that never melted.  
Proud to see her fly
so high, even in his dark.
Jan 26 · 179
Not a Bird Song
Jonathan Moya Jan 26
The not not bird
listens to its not not song
in the not not tree
near my not not door.

And in its song it hears
something not not grand
compared to all the other
not not birds
in all the other not not lands.

The not not bird
doesn’t know
all the not not things
it’s suppose not to know.

It sees not the not not leaves
written in this poetry.
Smells not the not not flowers
swaying not in the not not breeze.
Hears not the buzzing of not not wings
of all the yellow not not bees
supping on all this wondrous not not majesty.

For this not not door of mine
is neither not not open
nor not not close.
For that is not the not not providence
of this not not poem to define.

I choose wether or not
all this not not nonsense
shall be or not not be
in some future not not prosody.

For those who beg to decline
I privy thee to write
your own **** not not rhyme!
Jonathan Moya Jan 25
All through elementary school
blonde beautiful lip reading teachers
would try to correct my “th”s by snaking
their tongues between their teeth and
holding it there, ripe cherries
tempting me to bite into them.

This was the one thing my withdrawn self
throbbing with the first thrusts of male
enthusiasm couldn’t stop thinking about—
all those thin throats with patchouli scents
wildly, willingly, whispering interdental fricatives
like a throng of French kisses to my thirsty lips.
I thoroughly desired the apples of their necks—
to chew them, **** them, swallow them,
eat them all -all of them- all of it,
every one so meaty-sweet and
erupting with wet dreams.

They would undress themselves,
my harem besides me on the river bank,
their white stomachs dewy and shivering,
the ribbiting Croquis behind the marsh
chanting to me to instruct these chicas
in the ch’s— chas,  cha-chas, chochas
of the Puerto Rican mating call
with no use for this, that, these, thems,
just the rich vowels of legs parting
telling them each where
ella es hermosa como la luna.
(She is beautiful as the moon.)

Once Senorita Lujuria brought to class
a persimmon plucked from her garden
ripe with the musky  smell
of what the girls thought was chocha
and the boys imagined was ***
that she sliced into two equal suns.  

Knowing that it wasn’t ripe or sweet
I refused the first bite she offered.
I watched the  others spit it out,
their palms full of bitter disappointment.

When I got home my mother was cutting
off the crown of a pomegranate, scooping
out the core without disturbing the berries,
scoring just through the outer rind, until
it quartered and could be gently pulled apart.
I stuck out my hand and she inverted the skin
until the berries fell warmly filling my palm
and then into a red plate

Her body was a bruise, especially her hands
I gently rolled her wheelchair
to her cluttered room
where she sang an old Spanish song
asking for the ghosts to take her away.
Her song swelled and she cried it out of her
heavy with sadness and sweet with love.

After she had passed I stumbled upon
three scrolls tied with purple velvet string
folded under a down blanket in the basement.

I unrolled three paintings done by my mother
in the Frida Kahlo style.
The first was a self- portrait of her holding
a quartered pomegranate in one hand,
a sliced persimmon in the other.
The second was of her staring out at the ocean,
her body bulging with the idea
of my joyous conception.
The last, was an ****** tableau
of her and Senorita Lujuria
in a forbidden embrace, signed and
dated two years before I was born.

The first two painting had the deftness
of a thousand skilled repetitions,
the taboo one sprawled with arthritic loops
but still hathe talent of muscle memory.
My eyes teared with the knowledge that
my mother never lost the things she loved,
her son, the colors, scents and textures
of all the persimmons and pomegranates
so neatly sliced and lustily devoured.
Jan 18 · 69
Jonathan Moya Jan 18
The sentinels stand silently
guarding the monuments
from rioting against their shadows.
One guard
counts the sunshine,
the other the dark.
The **** and ****,
the broken glass
can never be really
cleaned up.
The stench
just follows the tour
through the
purple velvet queue.
The glass bleeds
the feet of those
who sold their shoes
for nothing.
Jan 4 · 26
Where Waldo Is Not
The greatest where’s Waldo paintings to be
have him the tiniest spot at the very top
in a population of near clones.

After searching everywhere he will be
the last thing you’ll  find,
the last thing you’ll see.

Your life will have meaning again
after generations of
searching and playing the game.
In every Picasso there is
a copulating couple
waiting to be discovered.

In Guernica, you won’t find them
above the third eye
of the bull

or between
the neighing horse
and the illuminated light bulb.
In Hitchcock’s Rear Window
the gaze to find that one point
where meaning and ****** collide

leads inevitably to the next obsession,
not solved until the end of Vertigo
where the same blonde in the same style

in the same fog and confusion of The Birds
is  saved from the ****** of crows
by the man she didn’t pull from the ledge.
Freud always makes a background appearance
because Salvador Dali never got paid
for any of the watches he melted.

Picasso never forgave Dali
for the bull’s eye he stole
and sliced with a razor.

If they both looked up at the
tiniest spot at the very top they might
have seen and understood everything.


Freudians have been looking for hidden copulating couples in Picasso for a long time.  
Like Trump’s claim of election fraud none have actually been found or verified.  But his paintings  are deep and big so they have to be there somewhere?  At least, that is how the rumor goes.  

Dali and Picasso did hate each other and their respective work.  The bull’s eye story is just another unproven rumor.  The eye sliced in
Un Chien Andalou was also reported to be a bull’s eye and not a real human eye.

Rear Window, Vertigo and The Birds were filmed. and released in that order.  All three featured blondes and Hitchcock has been rumored to plant Easter  Eggs to the other films in  both Vertigo and The Birds.  Some film scholars treat Vertigo and The Birds as either sequels or prequels of Rear Window.
Jan 3 · 109
We birth a thousand
destined broken things:

chair legs detach from their seats under  
the weighted repetition of sitting cloth

itself threadbare from
the rubbing of muscle.

We glue together the
blue China fallen in grief.

The silver nails of the crib are
reserved for our rusty coffins.

We mend the holes
of our tattered souls.

We reattach old soap specks to new
and shape them into a bath ark.

The fallen pecans and apples are
hoarded for the sweetest pies to be.

The broken necks of pollards
make our most savory stock.

The new rug turned ***** is beaten
until dust flies like stars.

We shut the curtains in the
afternoon to cool the room.

Mothers iron, singing in their reverie,
folding neatly, stacking all on the chair.

They listen for the passing mail car
so they can mark the new catalogs

with the dreams of their families
cruising to a distant, distant  land.

Everything under our houses is just
the dust of every housecleaning before,

the joy of  parents knowing their children
will move out and be blessed

to reach their Jesus year and know
the sanctity of resurrected dust.
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
“Don’t make me bury you,” the elder
spoke to the younger
over the phone,
knowing that his child
had inherited all his demons.

“I will support you
if you want to do rehab,”
he whispered,
that old Harry Chapin Song,
Cat’s in the Cradle,
about fathers and sons
circling in his head;

his son’s new one,
Harlem River Blues,
kicking it off the loop:

Lord, I'm goin' uptown
to the Harlem River to drown 
***** water gonna cover me over  
And I'm not gonna make a sound …”

“I won’t,”  the son
promised his father.
A click and a dial tone
was the final statement.

That night
Justin Townes,
named after
Townes van Zandt,
the folk oracle
that was his dad’s mentor,
died alone
in a Nashville apartment.
A mixture of  
******* laced with fentanyl
was found in his blood.
He was just 38.

When a child dies
the father no longer a dad,
no longer
the parent of Justin Townes,
or just J.T.,
his first little boy,
adopts his own identity back,
rears it fondly in memory,
burying the child’s legacy
until the erosion of time
files him down
to his birth name,
just plain old Steve-
Stephen Fain Earle
from Fort Monroe, Virginia.

When Townes died
he did a tribute album.
When his old demons returned
he released a tribute album.
When grief surrounded him
and the whiskey bottled beckoned
Steve mined J.T.’s  catalog
for a ten song tribute session
that can be done with that rock sneer
they both shared.  

The only thing that mattered
was that it be released
on the day of what would
have been J.T.’s 39th birthday.

He would concentrate on
the songs whenever he wondered
why he stayed clean and J.T.  couldn’t.
Why did he survive and J. T. succumb?

Steve didn’t hate the fact
that J.T.’s songs
were better than his,
his guitar fingerpicking
was more mind blowing,
that musically J.T. could play
Mance Lipscomb blues
in a way Steve was never  
able to figure out,
not even that J.T.
had a way better voice.

He was always reminding J.T.
how proud he was of him,
how much he loved him.

No, Steve hated that it wasn’t
enough to save him,
that he was the stronger man.
that they both shared the same disease.

Steve sang, his craggy voice
the perfect underscore
for the dark themes
in J.T.’s ballads:
a drowning death
(Tell my mama I love her,
Tell my father I tried.
Give my money
to my baby to spend);
the phantom-limb ache
for a former lover
(Even though I know you’re gone
I don’t have to be alone now.
You’re here with me every night
When I turn out the lights.)

It was therapy not catharsis.
Steve always sang
because he needed to.

J.T. was the opposite—
dressing in retro style,
reveling in the notoriety
of his intimidating talent
that was always trying to
eclipse his more famous parent.

Steve wanted this to be a memorial
between father and son.  
No guest singers, especially
those ******* enablers
that helped **** him
with their nonintervention.

He never included J.T.’s songs
about absent fathers
and single mothers.
He knew only J.T.
could rightfully sing those.

Steve was expecting it to be
a horror show emotionally.
He felt sad, but not disappointed
when it was just business as usual.

When it came time to perform
John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man
he deliberately emulated
J.T.’s fingerpicking.

He felt jealous that his son
was able to write
the John Henry song
he always failed at.

When it came time to record
the album’s last song,
Last Words,
the only song
written by Steve,
and like the
more sentimental
Harry Chapin one,
a heartbreaking synopsis
of a father’s journey,
from cradling his newborn son
to speaking to him for the last time,
the pain returned and
their shared disease
pulled inside him.

By the time it was on tape
he knew it was the only
song he had written in his life
where every single word
in it was true.  

Last thing I said
was ‘I love you.’
Your last words to me
were ‘I love you too.’
Dec 2020 · 60
A Gun and a Hotel Bible
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
No bad guy talks alone
to a Bible in a hotel room
with a gun in his hand.

“If a man commits adultery
with the wife of his neighbor both
the adulterer and the adulteress
shall surely be put to death…”

the good book says or
he thinks in a cold sweat.

That’s how he met Cynthia.
She was fearless.
That’s how she became his whole life.

He’s not humbling himself.
He’s not learning.
He’s not even listening.

It offers him words of love.

“God loves you
with his whole heart.
He loves you.”

He looks up to the ceiling
and lifts the gun up.
“Can you save me?”
Dec 2020 · 114
The Star
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
It comes like He came
on the longest, darkest night
of the longest darkest year
proclaiming all
the glory of God and the
beauty of planets and suns.

The old gods have been
exiled to the sky
and their movements
are barely the echoes
of the Grand Breath.

Apollo and Selene
have long since danced and
and their brief kiss
eclipsed the day to night
prompting the Huemul
to seek the Araucaria’s shade,
the Hornero the Ceibo’s lower boughs.

The Geminis brushed the
skirt of Europa with fire
and Orion’s arrow
glowed brightly
in the harsh dark
winter air in anticipation
of their passing.

Each score years,
in the nadir of winter,
Jupiter and Saturn
form a conjunction
barely the width
of three full moons
in the southwest sky
that shone the brightest
two millennium past
in the Bethlehem dark
and blessed the child
gazing up at
His Father’s  creation.

Would be tyrants
may clumsily plot
the overthrows of countries
but the stars remain
fixed, determined
steady and unmovable
to even the strongest
push of Hercules
and indifferent to
the troubles and strife
beneath them.

Yet The Breath
impels the planets
to revolve around
a million suns
and hope is greater
than those who angst
over tomes that proclaim
the end of everything
and the prophets
that declare
the end of all time is nigh.
The barred owl who resides
in the old knotted elm,
who persists to live in the hole
despite the attempts of crows
to chase it away
knows that the generosity
of every inhale and exhale
is but the revolution of a
breath greater than itself,
one with no beginning or end,
just the explosion
of the original blessing.

Jupiter and Saturn will always
revel in their holy conjunction
and take delight whenever
the sun and moon
breathlessly play tag
with each other’s shadow
knowing that its light will
shine score years
over a thousand Bethlehems.


Selene is the Greek moon goddess.

The recent lunar eclipse was the brightest in both Argentina and Chile.

Heumel and Araucaria are deer and tree
species of Chile.

Hornero and Ceibo are bird and tree species of Argentina
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
For a week
a blue fly
buzzed around our apartment
subsisting on our Pomchi’s water,
and kitchen counter crumbs
and dodging attempts
by my wife to swat it.

I used to catch flies
quite easily in my palm
and release them back
to their natural estates
but since my colon surgery
the bugs are always winning.

there was a grey spider,
maybe a brown recluse,
silently gazing
at the bathtub drain.
I could not find a container
to capture it,
so I turned on the faucet
to the lowest cold
and highest flow
and watched the creepy crawly
circle the drain three times
before it vanished
into the mercies
of the Chattanooga sewers.

I was convinced  
that it could survive
by rafting itself  
onto to the nearest ****,
both a source
of refuge and sustenance,
that my Puerto Rican
family of Marine Tigers
living in Miami
(at the time
when Castro refugees
all mythically made
the 330 mile trip
on ten fallen coconut palms
thatched together,
and audaciously declared
eight street,” Calle Ocho”
and their new land,” Little Havana”)
contemptuously called,
back in my racist youth,
a “floating Cuban.”

When I came into the bedroom
my wife was waving around
her big brand-new blue fly swatter,
the one she bought at Dollar Tree.

Our Pomchi, also on the bed,
resting on her back
with her legs up in the air
and stomach joyfully exposed
was barking for a good hard belly rub.

Whack, whack, whack
went the fly swatter,
squarely hitting our little girl
in her sweet spot,
generating ******* squeals.

The blue fly,  
called Mike Pence
for its habit of landing
unnoticed on
any old white thing for
two minute and three seconds,
and now, a visiting family member
that had overextended its stay
more days than
were humanely bearable,
was buzzing around my wife’s head.

Its movement was noticeably slower
and when it landed on the faux leather arm
of my multi position reclining chair,
I was almost able to snag it in my palm.
Too tired to buzz afar,
it rested again on the arm,
weakly regurgitating its own spittle.

I called my wife over,  
a former professional chef
and therefore an expert
in the art of
preparing, cooking and eating
dead things,
knowing she be eager to try out
her new instrument of death.

A sure aim sent the Blue
to the skin colored **** carpet,
and in its last struggle
I started to sing inside the only
song that would be
a proper elegy:

La cu-ca- | ra-cha, la cu-ca-ra-cha
| ya no pue-de ca-mi-nar
por-que no | tie-ne, por-que le fal-tan
| las dos pa- titas "de" a-trás. —

("The cockroach, the cockroach /
can no longer walk /
because she doesn't have, because she lacks / the two hind legs to walk.”)

I imagined it
crying out
“Help me! Help me!”
like the half human,
half insect creature
caught in the spider web
at the end of that
old Vincent Price
creature feature
were death by big rock
was a mercy
compared to
arachnoid decapitation.

and the Blue’s head
was severed
from its thorax.
and its wings
flew East and West.
and its abdomen
closely followed.
and its legs
buckled under it.
a final time
to make sure
it was dead.  

My wife had
and the worst
cardinal sin,
had over-cooked
something that
was meant
to be tartare.

Still our Pomchi
sniffed, licked
and eventually ate
the Blue,
her smile
declaring it
the best thing
she swallowed
all week.  

For a half hour
my wife rewarded her
with the swat, swat, swat
of blue belly rubs.  

Marine Tiger was the ship that carried people from Puerto Rico, and so the white people in New York started calling all the Puerto Rican people ‘Marine Tigers.’
Dec 2020 · 43
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
The town exists in harsh geometry,
the forest— a fiery flow.

The wolf leaps above their soul,
a crescent moon.

Run the wolf.
Flee the wolf.

Don’t go beyond the wall
lest you be devoured.

When the wolf howls
they make work their prayer,
their protection.

They pray a whole Bible
before the night comes.

The wolf howls away.
The villagers toil in their dreams.

They pray away in their cells
knowing the Lord Protector

and the Hunter keep them all safe
and from walking freely

with the wolves
of the forest.
Dec 2020 · 32
A Wedding Dress Story
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
She didn’t want this wedding dress
to be a widow,
encased in plastic
in the unused dark
of the closet,
moved after spring cleaning
to the basement
near the leaky window,
after five years
moth-balled to the
old unopened hope chest
of her mother’s closet,
weeping, weeping, weeping
for the man she lost,
subsisting on hope angels,
decaying, yellowing
a luminescent ghost,
a ******,
never to be worn,
never to be adored,
never to be passionately wanted,
just praying, praying, praying
and attracting only moths.

Wait, wait, wait,
after all these years,
it’s the granddaughter
touching it,
measuring it,
sizing it up
and seeing it
doesn’t fit her dreams.
will never
fit her dreams
and putting it back
without a second thought.

The grandmother
touches it yellow lace
and realizes it’s not
good enough,
worthy enough
to donate to
the local goodwill.

She doesn’t have the
heart to put it in the trash
and the scavenging fury
of the gulls and crows at the dump,
or cut it into cleaning rags.

It’s too old to go back
to the closet.
and the hope chest
is overstuffed already.

She takes it outside
in the bright clear light
and places it on the concrete pad,
douses it with gasoline
of the highest octane
and throws,
the last cigarette
she will ever smoke
defiantly, sadly on it.

She watches it return to the sky
in  candolescent congratulations.
Dec 2020 · 249
Living All the Eclipses
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
As the moon dips behind
Earth’s faint outer shadow
in penumbral eclipse
an imperceptible darkness
seizes my soul in fear

I wait futilely,
like the ancients,
for the next
blood red cycle
to engulf the world
in ignorance and violence,
the next monster
to bite the earth
into a crescent slice.

They once watched
Luna dance
before Apollo
and gift him
her halo.

Now it’s
just the umbra,
the wispy white haze
shining in the daytime sky
left behind
when the new moon
glides in front
of the sun.
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
She dances alone,
the black child
in the yellow dress.

Alone amongst
the black and white oxfords,
the ivory Buster Browns,
the brown penny loafers
with smiling Abe Lincoln’s
looking up to her
from the confines
of their penny keepers.

Her white socks touch
the polished mahogany
hopping silently to
the beats of Chuck Berry
and Johnny B. Goode

She imagines hearing
her name in the lyrics:
Go go go
Go Joanie go go go
Go Joanie go go go
Go Joanie go go go
Go Joanie go go go
Joanie B. Goode.

She is loose but precise,
careful not to leave a mark,
correcting every footfall
with the more perfect
ballerina form
she saw once in
a Moira Shearer feature,
the one where the dancer
dies in the final act.

In the background she hears
the white throng under the
blue and white stripe panels
of the Republic Theater
dance to their own rules
a mess of governance that
obeys its own inane logic.

But then not one of them
had to sneak in through
the backstage door
when her brother, Marcus
chickened out at the first
“******” spited his way,
denying Joanie
even the indignity
of a colored only entrance.  

At the still point
between the lyrics Joan
finds the real dance,
the one intent on hiding
a choreography of grief,
a sadness, a defiance
she shares only
with her shadow.

She imagines herself
a joyous, living, wondrous
thing at play,
a girl reborn into a woman,
a dancer over America.
Dec 2020 · 42
Small Axe: Lovers Rock
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
The music is the scent in the air
that changes everything.

“I’ve got no time to lie,
I’ve got no time to play your silly games,”

it croons with a sweet she reggae lilt
pairing off the lovers from the pretenders,

shedding bodies to kiss and writhe
in adjacent rooms or the nearest alley

until only the a cappella
is left in the haze of ****

and turntable revolutions,
the scent of spicy ****
marinated in a calypso afternoon.

There be time for Marley and
his Small Axe vibe after they be gone,

the Rasta boys with their black power
rave, body slamming each other.

It’s all be a silly game, man-
a ***** dream to knowing Jah.

They be warriors until the last spin,
and it be time to turn spear to

that big mama cross they forever carry
and must fold to fit on the bus.
Based loosely on the second of the Steve McQueen film series Small Axe, titled Lovers Rock
Dec 2020 · 194
Identifying Features
Jonathan Moya Dec 2020
My mother wanted me to go away.
I hardly sent her anything.
From behind, we all look alike.
Nov 2020 · 44
Thanksgiving for Two
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
Due to the pandemic the children are not coming.  
The adults will set a table for two and wait for the zoom chat after the game with  
the Dallas Cowboys and
the Washington Football Team
formerly known as the Redskins.

They will double their Thanksgiving feast of
Burger’s Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced City ham,
Betty Crocker’s Cheddar and Bacon Scalloped potatoes,
Bake House Creations Crescent rolls,
oven roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon,
sliced acorn squash with a brown sugar glaze,
and a five cup Ambrosia salad of sour cream,
pineapple tidbits, canned Mandarin oranges in light syrup, organic flake coconut and mini marshmallows
marinated until the marshmallows get gooey
and impart sweetness to the sour cream.

The Trump over Biden over any Democrat arguments
will thankfully not happen this year
and blissfully never again.  For this year,
at least, things will seem to return to normal.
The miracle will go by unrecorded, unnoticed.

They are secretly glad they don’t have to dress up
in the Pilgrim and Indian dress embroidered
with wild turkeys, Indian corn that creased around
to reveal the vast wild fields and forest ready
to be explored and traded for beads and
promises of sharing the American bounty;
the ugly Garfield the Cat sweater over
the crisp white shirt and black slacks
bought at the J.C. Penny liquidation sale.
Today Dad will proudly wear his
aqua Miami Dolphins jersey,  sweat pants,
socks and comfy ‘Phins black briefs
with the not so stretchy waist band.

Go Tua,  memories of the
undefeated Dolphins 1972 season,
the big Thanksgiving brawls of 1977
spurred by Conrad Dobler
***** hits on Bob Griese,
the Dan Marino five Turkey Day
interceptions against the Dallas Cowboys
in 1999 that was the final sunset of
a first ballot Hall of Farmer career
danced in Dad’s head.
Mom just wanted to catch up on
all those Dark Shadows soaps and
Housewives of Whatever she missed.
Dressed in her blue angels nightgown
she rolled her eyes when
first football game of the day switched on.

They vaguely dreamed of the days
when his hair was thick and black
and hers was long, golden and easy;
all the trips they planned
and sometimes took
where they climbed bluffs
and overlooked storybook plains.

Today they would look at each other
with the same everyday stare
and notice their wrinkled hands
and clink together the strong, cheap wine
poured into leftover mason jars.
They toasted each other
and whatever would come next,
the decades of side by side,
their great good luck,
the incoming Zoom
of children and grandchildren.
Nov 2020 · 180
Small Axe: Mangrove
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
All you wicked men
what is wrong with you?

There is no black Justice
seen on the Sistine Chapel.

Only the stupidities that
can make a stuff bird laugh-

the small axe ready
to cut the big tree down.

Based loosely on theSteve McQueen anthology  of films.  The first in the series is titled Mangrove.  The title is from a Bob Marley song.
Nov 2020 · 38
Sitting With My Mother
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
In the early morning rise,
my mother and I
take a ride
to the hospital
where I was born
and she has her
dialysis treatments.
Her feet,
wrinkled and bruised,
are raised
on a leather pedestal.

They remind me
of Grandma’s
heavy black nylons
that pooled around
her ankles
as she prayed
the rosary at night
in the gentle sway
of her rocking chair,
praying through the days
and all the
glorious mysteries,
the standing
required for raising
thirteen children
on platefuls
of morning quesitos,
bowls of crema
and loaves
of pan de aqua,
three hours
of washing, ironing
and folding their vestidos,
the lunches of
mofongo, and pasteles,
the dinners of
asopao de gandules,
the culling of coins
from a big crystal bowl
to buy dulces
at Carmen’s bodega
just down the block
on Fulton and Seventh.

My mother only had four children,
three boys and a girl,
and just like abuela,
she nourished
them the same way—
standing long and hard
until her feet gave out
and her blood wore down,
in the days before
the seams of myself
unraveled in black threads
and dispersed in tears
to every corner.

In the dreams
for the reality
that never occurred
I would
massage her feet,
put the richest nard
generously on them
like the chastised Mary
did for Jesus,
bandage them in flesh.

The little memories
are unremembered
to the world
except for
the faithful sons
and daughters
who recall only
the clinking of
thirty shiny silver pieces
placed silently
into their open palms,
betraying the reality
with the buffing of memory
into better hopes and dreams,
a poetry
of bruised feet,
the scent
of good Boricua cuisine,
the silent
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
The steel bar that holds the torso up
gives it a spine and makes it art
and not some headless, armless, genital-less
mutilation pushed from a machine
going faster than the white signs allowed.
I see it only on my iPhone,
backlit with its perfect abs and ***-gutters
not unlike the headless *******
penetrating endless **** on pornhub,
the unsolicited **** pic galleries popping up
whenever I try to click away.
Everything  breakable and tearable in me
has been torn and broken
and yet I envy this immortal stone
suspended here in cyber space
that can be smashed to white pebbles,
pulverized to dust
and still never bleed
or feel pain.
It exists,
a twist of idolized flesh
to be touched
and wondered over,
polished to a high sheen
by centuries of passing hands
until the fetish leaves me
admiring and detesting,
the remnant echo
of the true and beautiful,
a once true and beautiful God.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
I plea for my mother’s spirit
to wait for me before the ascension
because I want to know more
beyond her sun, moon and stars;
for her to show me
the other colors
hidden inside her;
shades my crafted words
can only reflect in broken shards.

She draws me a symbol
for a word only
known to her and God,
a word so complex
I can never remember
how to draw it,
never define it fully
and can only stutter-
a seed stuck
in my throat-
whenever I try
to release its
sounds to the world.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2020
On the 11th month,
the 11th day,
at the 11th hour,
Meagan wore her poppy
on the right side
at 11 O’clock,
just like her father,
John McCain
taught her.
Holding her
newborn girl Liberty
close to her—
and taking care
not to disturb
the many small flags
proudly fluttering—
she placed
another exactly
the same way
on his grave
just kissing the
white granite words
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