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The Little Bessy  molts its white chipped,
dull letters out to waves it cannot use.

Capsized on the rocky Maine beach, where  
it once fished for lobster in richer anchors,
the peapod displays its tattered nets on its hull
while the Man O War, filled with a haul of tourists,
bruises the gentle waves of Penobscot Bay.

Its oars are mounted on the lobster shack wall,
its sails framed in the nautical museum.
Abandoned are the days it was pulled
from its moorings on the wharf and sailed
through Penobscot air or spilled weighted circles,

days that were longer than any of its old parts,
times when old hands  hoped for better ways
never knowing they’ve come and gone.

Its broken, rusty anchor once met the spent waves,
the hands holding and releasing it down
to mate firmly with the mount, the moment
when the old lobsterer father firmly grounds
The Little Bessy’s wanton desire to push out to sea.  

Betrayed and exposed every day, run by no one,
Bessy drifts into beauty she never desired:
the pretty postcard in the wharf gift shop,
photos  taken by others rushing by in other boats.
when she was always meant to be the secret  
memory of the lobsterer hauling up his lonely pots.
Jonathan Moya Dec 2019
Mr. Rogers grace exists
in miniature cities of kindness,

the tranquil tones of forgiveness,
level to the eye of a single frighten child.

For him, and in that moment,
that child is the  most precious
thing in the world.

He blesses them with positive ways
of dealing with their feelings;

the benediction of accepting them
for exactly who they are;

even when everything doesn’t
go exactly the way they hoped,

shows them how to smooth the
dissonance into a beautiful inner music;

store up the blessings
of an ordinary day;

love the ratty, special toy,
even as it grows old;

to know with absolute firmness,
as parents, that anything

mentionable is manageable
and to be human-

and that’s ok.
Jonathan Moya Mar 25
The rear view mirror showed the car on fire.
Metal no protection for burning flesh—
burning down to the color of the night—
a bright reversal reflected in white.
Maybe charred bone? Not hell. Neither heaven.
Police, EMTs too late to save the
tissues smelling like pan steak, fatty pork—
blood emitting its metallic compounds—
the burnt liver of organs— spinal gel    
a musky, sweet perfume less offensive
than wires, plastic, alloys, the circuitry
melting down every(all)things to its base.
He (it) never saw, tasted, felt the crash
coming from the back/front/side. But I did.
Jonathan Moya Sep 2019
Each launch begins with a prayer
until I have a puncture, a rip, a tear.
Mayday!  Mayday!  Mayday!

I am always falling
either to the earth or to the stars,
falling forward to God the Father
or father to son.
To survive I move in the vacuum
between calm heartbeat
and silent in-breath,

hurling to my final mission
to repair a disconnection
of a mind that can
***** life with a thought
or by sniffling
a remembered tear,

knowing not whether to
****** the monstrous soul
or to hug the last, lost dead part.

I swim through
the waterfalls of mars
knowing I never really knew you
nor am I you.

“Stay where you are.
Do not proceed any further,”
you hiss in loving defiance.

In the space in between
I see that madness is
never once thinking of home,
being free of all moral doubt.

Tethered to the umbilical
I cut the insanity to the vacuum,
suffocate the space between
with love,

until I can no longer see
what is not there,
until I miss what
is right in front of me.

In the after-burn from Saturn
I am looking forward
to the day of my self return.

I will rely on what is closest to me.
I will live and love.
Jonathan Moya May 29
Pick a day.
The random date generator chose:
January 13, 1835
There are still generations formed
from those that fell in
love, married,
birthed sons and daughters
on that day.
Each an unrepeatable existence.

Family lore and crests
enshrine the first kiss,
the birds that soared the sky,
the color of flowers in his/her hand,
words spoken and written in the heart,
the dress she wore,
the beard he had
and discarded or kept,
the Fahrenheit/Celsius of
the exact hour, minute second
of their first heat,
the time that their fingers
stopped accidentally
brushing against each other,
the number of teeth
shown in the first smile.

Count the time
from first hello to last goodbye.
Enshrine that number
of seconds, minutes, hours,
days, weeks, months, years,
in the tales told about them
by their children.
Knit together
all the overlapping
welcomes and farewells
into the colorful threads
of all the houses born and fallen.

I look at that history
and I love you
solidly in the echoes
of all the past.
You fill my time,
even my sadness.
I have gazed too long
Into the light of you.
I only see
the burnt-in after glow
of all the whiteness.
Jonathan Moya Aug 2019
Bury me not in a high tomb of gloom
on days sacred to all your lonely heart
nor scatter my ashes in the pale moon
on June’s or September’s early-late start.

Mix me in with all my good beastlies‘ dust,
one third reserved for Elsi’s sweet embrace,
two parts crushed into diamonds that not rust
worn near heart or hurled to a far star trace.

If thy can’t bear part with my ash and bones
plant me in a petunia ***, blond bloom
monitored by your sweet echoing tones  
growing forever in our living room.

Either way I was loved, I cried, I sighed,
I aspired and created all under your tide.
Jonathan Moya Aug 14
Oh, when the sun yields child
to the soft caress of the night

After the sun has gone.
After the sun has gone.

That lifts the wind
after the sun has gone.

The last  of wonder and awe
That turns life
from a beach shell echo

to  a cornucopia
after the sun has gone.

Life without a shell must
shake out the shadows

live full to overflowing
less it dry after the sun has gone

leaving the child still, beautiful silent
in the beach tide after the sun has gone.  

After the sun has gone.
Jonathan Moya Jun 28
The seed planted with our small help
becomes a crop.
The flame carefully kindled by us
ignites  civilization.
Now we must
**** our blighted hearts
to feed the moral fire
of our hungry minds.
Jonathan Moya Sep 2019
Death, I notice, often comes
with a smile and a kiss,
a tender tuck of blanket into legs,

a pull to the shoulders
making shroud complete,
a tender whispered secret.  

“Good bye” or “Good life”,
it might be saying.
But so does love.  


The  light of the cancer center
is so clean, clear and bright
that it makes me squint

pondering whether the jovial trucker
with the Tennessee drawl
and the St Nicholas beard and physique,

on his fifth dance with the Big C,
that started in his eye
and remission to his liver,

is a harbinger or heavenly host,
a glint from the gaze of God
or the last secret whisper of love.


When he is awol the next week
I assign him to the casualty list
knowing that I am the lucky survivor.

I am the thick among the thins
and he is the blessing angel
destined to return to the Lord.

I live with the ambivalence,
the hope and the guilt,
looking for dancers among the blasted.


I refuse to name my cancer
not granting it control
or even the idea of breath.

The drugs, however, that’s different.
Oxaliplatin is oxygen.
Leucovorin is lungs.

They pour into my port
and in the liquid air
I learn to breathe again.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2019
With the sound of sirens screaming outside,
ten knocks on the door, the shout of authority
flooding in from the red steel,
would Joe American give up Anne Frank
hiding in the attic among his dusty relics,
the crawl space shared with a family of rats,
living under the loose floorboards among
the stacks of hidden zombie apocalypse cash?

What if Jane American found Anna Franco
shuddering with her dos hermanos, madre, padre,
in the dark corners of her garage?

Would she give them 2 vests, 3 pair of pants,
two pair of stockings, a dress skirt,
jacket, shorts, lace up shoes,
wool cap, and scarf?

What if her daughter Sarah saw a black hijab Anah
patiently hidden in the foliage of their old oak tree?
Would she gift her her favorite blue fountain pen?

Would she embrace her, or if ordered,
break the neck of her rabbit?
What is the land
but dust
but mountains
but forrest
but mud
but lost sorrow

What is sorrow
but torn soul
but wounded skin
but a trail of tears.

This day
the Chickasaw

wipe the
white mans dirt
off their right foot
with their left foot

wipe the buffalo’s blood
off their right hand
with their left hand

walk ******
bare right foot
to wounded left foot  
on the dust
of their ancestors
their sacred hills

walk away from
The Great Spirit
to the not greater
white man’s God
slow sad right foot
to slower left foot.

Walk dragging their
dead still right foot
to still left foot
far away from the sun
of their monumental land

to this country
of bullets and blood
marching, running
blue right foot
towards gray left foot
in a frenzy to *****
bronze monuments
to all their dead

And when they cry it’s
the prayer of the white man
buried in Indian pain

May the wind
that is blowing
now and always
the dust of our memory
blow beyond your
fear of us
and all different
colored spirits

May the wind
turn from you
and only return
until you love not
the scars you
put on our backs

May you open your
eyes to unbuilt land
and see finally
The Great Spirit
calling every one
to share the
sacred hills
even the dust
with all that
have always walked
right foot to left foot
I am a lousy gardener
that only offends
the soil on top and below.
No Petunias or Marigolds bloom,
only crab grass struggling with
Tennessee moss, and a small patch
of Kentucky Bluegrass the
survivor of almost fifty years
and two previous owners:
a general practitioner who
layered the inner sod of
the old colonial with
trip wires, alarms, sirens
and intercoms still being
and a Methodist preacher
who cultivated a lawn
of thin earth carpet over
the cheap yellow vinyl
and parquet in the basement—
adding two bedrooms and a shower
for any charitable cases
or needy parishioners.
My lawn is left to hell,
the house, gifted to heaven
and the loving attention
of my wife who fills
this abode with the aromas
of her favorite foods
cooking in the oven.
The inside is built
on good bones and wood—
a sturdy brick foundation
and oak floors with
a comforting squeak,
sanded and polished
to their original shine.
My chihuahua takes great
delight in slipping on them
when she plays fetch.
Outside nature riots
in unmolested happiness.
Twenty oaks and a few evergreens
defend the spaces of my half acre.
The most majestic one
leans like a hunchback
crying over the stump
of its dead brother below.
My trees are allowed to be real trees,
uncultivated, untrimmed, undominated
plus one-hundred-year-old sovereigns.
I respect my vegetable elders.
During the spring and summer
the lawn is mowed every other week
to keep my neighbors happy.
Five Chipmunk dens burrowed in the clay
provide rooting and hunting
opportunities for my chi,
as the two good boys before,
now scampering
around the rainbow bridge.
A black and white stray tabby
has taken up residence on my porch—
sunning in the afternoon,
snoozing in the corner column at night.
He scatters at light and first witness,
his existence a blur captured
on the Ring.
Just above is the nest
of our perennial swallows,
real snowbirds I have
no fondness to evict.
The Ring also captures
their welcome and farewell.
This dear green acre
has lasted longer
than my happiness.
It has the patience
to wait beyond
my grief, disease
and eventual death,
beyond the lease
of all its human tenants
to reclaim its proper heritage.
I am so small
to such big things.
We are so small
to such big things.
This verdant kingdom
will not shrink back,
wither or expurgate.
It will insist on being loved
and watch mine and your colors rust,
for it is beyond discrimination,
consciousness and self-reproach.
It will mock you and me
as our fingers dig
down hard into the clay
and grow nothing
that hasn’t existed eons before.
It will live alongside
mine and our
happiness and misery,
dropping seeds,
rooting, always blossoming
beyond the violent light.
Jonathan Moya Jul 27
The heat is a pendejo querida
a street full of melda de vaca, mi amor
steaming, stinking, like a hungry puta
who takes mi dinero and gives me *****.
Sleep with me chica. Cool me down
in el rio d su chocha.  Por favor.  Por favor.
Mariposa de su womb. Pajaro en mi boca.
Do not steal my crumbs and fly away.
Tu coolo is una ballena.  Lo adoro.
It’s as hot as the clouds that stampede
like los cascos de los caballos salvaje.
Your centavo feminino blends with
the eibas y el calor making me want to
comer naranjas amargas contigo en la cama
or a picnic with you a orillas del rio del Paraiso
watching the lotus bloom.

Translation of Spanish:

pendejo querida- male ***** hair, my love
melda de vaca,  mi amor- cow ****, my love
puta- *****
mi dinero- my money
chica- girl/woman
el rio de su chocha.  Por favor- the river of
your *****. Please.
Mariposa de- butterfly of
pajaro en mi boca- bird in my mouth
Tu coolo- your ***
una ballena- a whale
Lo adoro- I love it
los cascos de los caballos salvaje- the hooves of
wild horses
centavo feminino- womanly scent
ceibas- kapok tree found in Puerto Rico
el calor- the heat
comer naranjas amargas contigo en la cama- eat bitter oranges with you in bed
a  orillas del rio del Paraiso- by the shores of the river of Paradise.
Jonathan Moya Jul 15
Outside of town a man died
naked beneath a nice tree.

Some said  he was old
and that the tree was an elm.
Some said he was young
and that it was an oak.
Others, that he was a child
and that it was a magnolia.

The only thing they agreed on:
that he was naked, dead, under a tree
and they felt sorry for him.

So, the Widow Smith secretly
dressed him in her husband’s best shirt
because she was still mourning
the loss of Tom’s chest.

Mr. Aglet, who owned the shoe store,
privately donated the old Nike’s
Timmy abandoned when he went to Harvard
because Aglet missed Timmy putting them on.

Haberdasher Scye donated his swankiest cufflinks-
the one’s left behind when a newlywed customer
learned that his wife was in labor—
because Scye hated the look of an unadorned shirt.

He then gave his favorite top hat
for no man should be buried with bad hair,
his finest knee-high dress socks
because that’s what funeral’s demand.

He than gifted his finest silk tie,
a nice leather belt of the man’s waist size,
and just to finish the look

a properly somber black jacket and pants.

Optometrist Eyear noticing the man
was squinting rather oddly
crafted a fine pair of designer spectacles
that fitted perfectly on the dead man’s nose.

Everyone in town felt good about their gifts
and the funeral was well-attended.
It wasn’t until he was deep under
did they notice that they forgot the underwear.

They found them, the next day,
the one thing that knew him best,
hanging high in the branches of the tree.
Jonathan Moya Jul 14
The rain sheds  precious jewels this winter night,
the oaks untangle their branches in clarity,
musky solidarity, and affirmation of their place,
an unlearned wisdom  of existence  that
allows them to bear the staggered light of
unhurried clouds spreading their endless
laughter to all those fixed below.

The cold, crisp wind of change kisses
and abandons all the oaks of the field.
They shiver off their acorns knowing
they must be naked for the dark days ahead.
The clouds dark smiles are just beginning
to bear their light for winter’s derision.

The sunshine dances with the wind
and the oaks of the forest sway
in the merriment of unfiltered days.
They embrace a child’s shadow,
generously mixing it with their own,
bearing a tempered light for those
who breathe beneath their branches.

Diamonds of rain embellish the thirsty oaks
and they drink it in in tangled unity,
not scornful of the others judgement.
Fickle clouds grudgingly bear the light
until the sun forces them to share
its unending generosity with everything below.
Jonathan Moya Jul 23
When a cloud dies
doves and eagles
dip their wings
in mournful ‘memberance.

When the sky dies
it rots black
in despairing soot
of ash and pain.

When the moon dies
it’s mourned
by the elliptical kisses
of the planets beyond.

When a planet dies
the universe gently cradles it
and lullaby’s it to the sun
until it falls to sleep.

When the universe dies
the lonely sad earth knows
that all the trees will go dark
when the world dies.
Jonathan Moya Mar 2019
Being black in Japan
means you have more white spaces
on the day-night trains.

The darkness of U.S.
allows yellow jaundice to
shine its rising sun.

Empty seats allow
black thoughts to make room for small
breezes of knowledge.

That Ainu minstrels
shouldn’t be doing Doo-***
on Nippon TV.

That the jet blackness
of Naomi Osaka
not be a shade light.

That the Shogun kept
no black slaves be an excuse
for all other ones.

That racist white face
teaching black black face hatred
is not a shoeshine.

That racism is a
presumption and is not a
a very good gene.
Jonathan Moya Jun 16
Bless the blessings.
Bless the moon
for bestowing dreams
that illuminate the soul.
Bless its beams.
Bless the way it reveals
revelations in the dark,
black letters inked on white vellum
daring to be read
that release the heaviness of the mind
in the lightness of eternity.
Bless the idea
that frees, not oppresses.
Bless words that shed
their flesh for the revolution.  
Bless the protest sign
that replaces the trigger.
Bless the chalk mark that teaches
and not outlines a body.
Bless the creative mind
that marches with determined feet.
Bless the gravestones never needed,
those living bodies never
requiring  homicide reports.
Bless all the never used bullets,
the limbs that remain whole.
Bless all those who die
in their right time,
their memories properly recorded.  
Bless their smiles.
Bless your laugh.
Bless the eye
that sees, believes,
that still has vision and faith.
Bless all the prophets
who were right.
Bless the heart
filled with good emotions.
Bless the choir of our tongues,
the hymn that uplifts.
Bless all the times
that God has granted us
the chance to do the right thing.
Jonathan Moya Jun 18
           do not send the sunshine
           down in thoughtless
            do not obsess on light
            falling on all of your making,
            graciously falling
            everything on earth.
For  we
            are things of the shade,
            and the light falls too
            ******* eyes
            to all your light.
Jonathan Moya Mar 2019
There is no sky or earth
in the white van that crosses me over,
nor in the drywall coop painted red
where white men with tattooed arms
stood up and sit down, up and down,
unleashed erections pivoting
and searching for the best angle
to penetrate my forever painful ***.

I am called “pollo”, chicken,
“nuevo carne”, new meat
by the coyote who drove me
and the gringos who maul me,
their millet dollars tossed into hands
waiting unsmiling at the ajar door,
passage paid with my legs,
eggs for pollos not eaten.

Across the hall I hear the cackling
of men orgasming into torn sheets,
a softer clucking than the maras gangs
of Tegucigalpa roosting the food market
and the barrios for ****** violators.
In Honduras anyone can ******
a woman and nothing will happen.  
At least, in Texas they bury you.

They promise half of half of half of profits,
less than 50 pesos, dollars on a $50 John.
They dress me in corpse rags that
stink of gasoline and last *******;
feed me grain, maize, rain barrel water.  
My nakedness kills fleeing for freedom.
Nobody will risk saving a puta, *****
from a charcoal window stash house.

I dreamed once I could wear silk dresses
or richly sew them together for a small,
life with a good man and brown-eye kids.
The Chinese girl smuggled in from Fuzhou
can aspire to own a nail salon, or work
a massage parlor run by Sister Ping’s heirs.
Biloxi runaways can traffic on NY dreams.
I have only violation and suicide.

I traveled the border crossing between
Tegucigalpa and the American Dream,
enough  to forget why I crossed over,
times enough until I wasn’t me anymore,
to pace back and forth, scratch at
and settle in the straw of forgetfulness,
American in I have a  heavy debt
that only heaven can release.
Jonathan Moya Mar 16
How can I call myself a Boricua when I
barely know the Spanish for earth and sky,    
have no roots in the soil of Moroves,
no sense of San Juan’s flavors,
the warm Atlantic blowing Arecibo  beach,    
Ponce dancing in the Caribbean’s laughter—  
all memories stolen from postcards hastily
bought at the airport along with a  
tin of Florecitas by my mother returning home.

Those little flowers exploded suns on my tongue
and created colors, formed postcard dreams  
of forts, conquistadors, Taino villages burning
in flames rather than submitting to Spain’s sway.
I craved to be an archeologist reverently
dusting off the bones of my ancestors.
I wanted to be an artist, like my uncle Bob,
splashing faceless heads among yellow flares
devoid of black, red, no tint of sad back story.
I settled for being a poet, a painter of words,
a discoverer of the history of hopes.

There is a memory of the Rambler hitting a cow
on the dirt mountain road leading to Moroves.
The bovine sliding down the embankment,
nonchalantly getting up and going his way.
The Rambler’s front end forever stuck with the
impression of an angry bull welded in the grill.
Another of a drive to a carnival, sitting
in the cab of another station wagon,
stargazing the white half moons rising
from under the red halter of my cousin Anna.
A final one of my grandmother praying
the rosary while I stumbled to the outhouse,
spending the night on the swing under the porch
because I didn’t want to break her silence.

Cows, moons, prayers are my Boricua heritage.
I can’t translate the decimas of a jibaro song,
nor dance a merengue, a bomba,  plena.
I have no desire to eat sugarcane from the  stalk,
nor split the soursop for it sweetness.
I am lost in the winds every Boricua knows.
My memories are blown away in the hurricane.
I seek the solace of the first flight out
after the storm, sad knowing  that
I was not born, like every Boricua,  
from the roots up, to study the light of stars.
Jonathan Moya Jun 19
I gawked at her nine mind years
hooked three heart weeks later btw
f’ed a year before the day btw
three dogs, no kids
but she can really cook
so we lived happy btw
friends, church, family, dogs, house,
night, day, time all slipped away btw
yes, we aged, grew old-er btw
fell into cancer,
bad weather, lost it all, but well insured btw
no perfect couple, marriage but still around btw
until our slow last gasp,
last glance in the sun’s cast btw
on our old back porch with no one
It’s a fizgig, a gadding
of damp powder
hinting to explode,
assuming your surname
without any legal ceremony.

It flip flops you with trust
burrowing into the one
perfect position,
sleeping ahead of you,
waking you when you fall behind.

Not at all heavy, yet the
heaviest thing you’ll ever have.
Every breath heavy with airy death
that stunts your budding
wings from taking flight.

You measure the weight of
every thought until it always
pulls you down and your soul
takes flight jut to live…

…and you don’t t bother to chase it.

a fizgig is both a flirting woman and a
firework of damp powder that fizzes or hisses when it explodes.

gadding is to go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment.

If there is wild moving water
there is a trout in it
waiting for the cast,

the whip of line in air
splashing a weigthless fly
on the mirror surface

luring the rainbow fish
to break the heavy air
for the angler’s fantasia.


The Rogue is flowing
with trophy size cutthroats,
chars and steelheads,

yet the angler only feels
the stillness, the endless  casting,
the motionless standing in place

until time is forgotten,
his scheduled life forgotten,
what needs to be done next forgotten

only the emotion is left,
the heart of spirit ferrules,
the casting, the rod

with its wheel seats
made of rosewood,
inscribe calligraphy

in golden ink, shiny agate
guides in bamboo,
its garnet threads and

extra fine brass wire
in a five weight
ideal for trout fishing,

the anglers long boots
planted firmly in the stream,
getting lost in the ineffable moment

until the closing
orange hues of autumn
are reeled in and stowed away.
Jonathan Moya Jun 2019
Catacombs are full of bones
snuggling in the disgrace of others.
Hipbones piled on top of skulls,
the absence of lower jaws
denying the departed a smile,
the eternal existential joke
of insulting the living
with the knowledge
of their ultimate end.

Femur, skull, femur skull
is the monotonous pattern
of the Paris catacombs.
Two hundred six reduced
to two, an afterthought,
ossein denied an ossuary,
even the unity of skeleton.

The Capuchin Crypts at least
grant a molecular dignity.  
The entrance mummies
are part of a gruesome holy décor
draped in the faux pas of passé styles,
yielding room after nauseating room
to the essential two of Paris,
femurs/skulls clustered
in paisley amoeba patterns
projecting snaking vertebrae
of dendrites, of life replicated
with the cross on the wall as
the ultimate center and end.

Did their former owners
know that death would
be the end of ****** control?
That for a ghastly and sacred art
they could be united forever
in indiscriminate unity
with their enemy or lover?
Would they have opted
for the grave knowing
that their ashes could
easily be blown into
the breeze that survives them?
Jonathan Moya Jun 15
The hot night rain drenches me in sleep
opening a bow to prayer
amidst the lunatic birds swarming
in the dark heat.
Magnolias are split in dreams
heavy with bolts and tears,
flowing in the cascade
of cracked mirrors.
All is unmoored from my memory,
surviving on communion.
Dear Jesus am I not more profound
than thy mad swirl?
Aye, chihuahua, canis familiaris,
land piranha nipping at Aztec heels.
Aye chihuahua!
Heart of a Techichi warrior
becoming yipping snarling *****,
eyes pulsating, patellas luxating
at the stench of **** erectus
US-es post-alus carrier-alopulus
approaching, adorned in
sky colors crowned in ivory pith.
She is fed on belly rubs and Kirkland’s
grain free turkey and pea stew
in the red can, served in a faux
Wedgwood bowl which she gently
mauls in her tiny maw with the
crooked right canine.
Queen Sharma is a diminutive avenger  
who brooks no men, except Daddy,
yet dotes in squealing delight
at the touch of women and children.
Her territory, a peed-on scent trail,
extends from Guinevere to Lancelot
to Tristram to Merlin to the end
of Camelot Lanes, Streets and Places.
Neither hated squirrels, rabbits
and other canine species are allowed.
She can neither jump on the sofa
nor forge mighty streams.
What she lacks in peripheral vision
she makes up for in astute echolocation
and good stiff sniffs of her nose.
Yet she has a deep dark secret
that stains her royal dreams.
The scruff under her neck to the chest
in the russet form and color of a fox,
which she struts with a rooster’s pride,
is the product of her Chi-Chi mater
cohabitating with a spritz of Pomerania,
making her neither chihuahua nor pomeranian,
but yes, an adorable pomchi!
Yet that neither bothers her nor me
as she paws at the bed covers draping the
leader of this pack, burrowing under to
be close to my side, and dream dog dreams
of walks and car rides and never leaving me.
of walks and car rides and never leaving me.
Jonathan Moya May 18
I never thought brick dreams could tumble in the wind.
My wife collects our scattered memories in a undersized bin
like a child on the tide line collecting beach glass and seashells.
She listen for the sound of blood amidst the dying wind
mistaking rustling pages for her breath cycling in and out,
her pulse beating on the surface of paper, cloth and wood.
She searches for artifacts that match/mismatch my cancer-
the progeny the tornado left scattered in the brick and wallboard.

I listen to the wind and rain ping on my ward’s windows
unaware of her scavenging, unable to sleep in the harsh light
that doesn’t erode the pain or the glitter of memory,
the constant Kabuki of nurses, doctor and blood drawers,
the chant of machines that make me mistake
the sterile for the sacred, the soundtrack for the profound.
I see my wife in the mud, inches from my eyes,
putting away the jagged, clear granules of our life.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2019
The bulldozers and jackhammers
blasted the concrete away
clearing it of water, aggregate, cement,
tearing it down to the soil
until it buzzed with reclamation,
smelled of loam and petrichor,
the release of geosmin in the stirring,
ozone expelling with first lightning and rain,
surface bubbles releasing aerosols
like fresh baked bread from the oven
through open kitchen windows.

Over the watchful hum of drones
circling overheard the first crop
of the community garden
was tilled and planted in nine wide rows-
beans, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin,
squash, melons, clover, mint and basil-
drawing only the attention of hornets,
the disinterest of the rain god
that let their tender love dissolve
back to the earth in a pool of rot,
that never allowed a harvesting or tasting.

The second crops were planted in five narrow rows:
tomatoes, peanuts, green peppers, sweet peas
and eggplants, offensive to wasps and immune
to the silly whims of an offended deity
that could not flood over their high walls,
their collective pride, red as clotted blood.
They reaped its first beautiful harvest,
thought it tasted of airy summer dreams,
sold it with joy in their farmer’s market
until the first secret taste spit it out
for it was nothing but sawdust and glue.
Jonathan Moya Mar 14
My wife doesn’t allow me
to watch her when she cooks.
The dog is her silent admirer,
sitting patiently for crumbs.

So much of it is filled with the
aroma of her mother, Geri’s  cooking,
the recipes etched in memory’s stone,
rituals not shared with a family of men.

The scent of garlic and onions,
meat sizzling in a hundred previous
kitchens for fathers waiting at long tables
makes me regret that I am just a man.

My mother, Elsi was a lousy cook,
and my tias knew it, consigning
her to wrap the twine around
pasteles in their banana leafs.

Where Geri passed down her recipes,
Elsi bequeathed me her heart and
compassion sautéed in bitter-sweet
sorrow dusted with ‘Rican seasoning.

I think she saved a pinch for Krissy,
for succor is her strongest flavor,
and I feed off it ravenously when
I need the strength.

The scent of spaghetti squash
roasting in the oven fills
my imagination with the need
to eat, live beyond just sustenance.

I crave to know the secret of her kitchen
but she brings the squash to me
on a plate hot around the edges
and we eat it, contentedly on the bed.

One day, I will sneak into the cocina
and maybe cook a picadillo finer than
her great creations, doing it
like all men, strictly by the recipe.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2019
Those  who tread the thin blue line
knows it  follows through their lineage.

Strong boys become men,
then become cops.
The rest become robbers,
the devil that stares them
in the eye for the rest of their life.

If they  are good they’ll get
their shoot out
in the slaughterhouse.
Jonathan Moya Mar 2019
She was almost as white as ivory
and more valuable than ebony.  
A pale diamond of abolitionists dreams
draped in a plaid trimmed dress with lace,
curls surrounding her face like
any other plantation girl.

She exists at the edge of color
at the point when light
could be captured as day edges
into shades of night,
somber hues of black and gray.

The notebook on the cloth covered table
suggested richness and more
away from the whipped harvest gatherings,
something stolen away
to be the pride of a Boston heir.
The daguerreotype could never
shake free its sense of death caught still.

Mary Mildred Williams was her white name.
The black one died when she was sold
on the Virginia square for 900 dollars.
Senator Summer bought her freedom
and then enslaved her image
for the abolitionist sway.  The first poster child  
for black liberty, for the fugitive slave
needing an open air railroad.

She got her last white name, little Ida May,
(same as the imagined white girl
kidnapped and dyed black
to be put in peril for another white right cause)
to highlight the fact that Mildred’s complexion
was the result of generations of white ****.

She was paraded unshackled
from podium to podium,
leaflets of her face passed out,
as common as reward posters
for those who dared run and stray.

She was the next to last speaker
to Solomon Northrop,
also an ex-slave with a
best selling freedom story.

The passing of her image
was a political act,
for a swarming media  
enchanted by someone
who looked just
like them but wasn’t.

America loves black stories
that need white saviors
to be reassured of their
separate but equal vision.
Jonathan Moya Jun 26
What will happen
when we
stop writing poems?

What will poetry become
when we stop inspiring
and the beauty of words
is silenced or rejected?

We will leave the writing table
and descend into the valley
to find new sounds and laughter.

We will drink the last water
from thirsty mountains.

We will listen
to the resounding
music and laughter
of our own dark forests.
Jonathan Moya Sep 2019
I collect the death masks
of everyone I see,
many ready with their
mouths turned to  the earth,
eyes closed tight in hellish denial.

Except for L’Inconnue de la Siene
pulled from the river in utter peace,
lovely as Ophelia floating in the reeds,
the resuci Anne of two centuries
of death and resurrected respirations.

Her I grant the heaven she envisioned,
rescue her from the sterile pummel
of kisses and mechanical resurrections
for the body forever remembers its debt
to the devil’s dance of an aspiring life.

I am an exiled poet like Dante
finishing the Paradisio and Inferno
before the malarial last vision
and stone cold gasp reveals
the world and God as just a trick.

I witness the world pleading mercy
to the executioner before the beheading.
“No, no Madam you must die.  You must die”,
is the death mask maker’s answer before
the axe man takes his three swings.

I wonder, like Keats, before the wax
embalms his consumptive face
“How long is this posthumous
existence of mine to go on?”
The answer coming one year later.

I know the world will die, like John Dillinger
in a hale of bullets under a movie marquee,
its death mask ceremoniously displayed
next to its ***** pickled member
and the Sheep Child bleating for love.

L’Inconnue de la Siene is a famous death mask created from a Parisian suicide.  Her death mask was a popular morbid collectible found in many French households of the late 1800’s and early 1900s. The Death Mask was also used as the face of a  popular CPR teaching mannequin known as resuci Anne.

The Sheep Child is a reference to the James Dickey poem about a creature that was the off spring of *******.

John Dillingers pickled ***** is rumored to be a part of the Smithsonian museum’s  hidden collection of oddities.
L’Inconnue de la Siene is a famous death mask created from a Parisian suicide.  Her death mask was a popular morbid collectible found in many French households of the late 1800’s and early 1900s. The Death Mask was also used as the face of a  popular CPR teaching mannequin known as resuci Anne.

The Sheep Child is a reference to the Janes Dickey poem about a creature that was the off spring of *******.

John Dillingers pickled ***** is rumored to be a part of the Smithsonian museum’s  hidden collection of oddities.
The moon was neither
voiced into creation
nor was it defined.

It was just parted
from the dark ink
of God’s voice.

Alphabets don’t
exist on dark vellum
just illuminated papyrus.

God doesn’t have the power
to banish those things
that have always existed.

He can’t create the perfect night
just pull crows out of it,
really, the simplest of magic tricks.

The small orifice below the cheekbones
exists to project the whiteboard
scribblings of the human mind.

Man is sad because he knows
that his words and thoughts
fall short of God’s magnificent language.

The moon witnesses what
is below and above its light
and keeps both their secrets.
December 3, 2019

She was displayed before me
with her eyes closed
and mouth agape,
leaving me to wonder whether
she died in terror or awe.

Was her last breath
the honest gurgle
I’ve been seeing
for the last few days,
that I took comfort
in hearing restart
every time I called her name
between bouts of irregular apnea
(our last little private game)-
or the silence caused by Benadryl?

All I know is that
the call came at 6 am
and I spent one hour with her
and then walked into
the last of the darkness
and the first of the light.

My first breath outside the hospital
stretched back thirty years
and each tear was
full of joy and sorrow,
the ash of memory.

By the time I got home
the long movie
I had shared with her
was over.

January 3, 2020

Now, hope fails me.
Grief is my truth.
Yet, I refuse to be
deluded by grief
nor abandon hope
one month since
your passing.

Your death was your
greatest gift to me
and now I must struggle
with how to live with it
and accept it kindly
because in the end
you folded your life into my timeline,
fitting everything and all neatly
between my cancer and cure.

For 10,604 days-29 years, 12 days
I am grateful  for the
joy only you(I) can embrace
the sorrow
just only you(I)  can endure.
Jonathan Moya Jun 22
The long way to heaven is to dig through the earth.
Walk with me.  Fall with me.
Be the helmet light in the tunnel.
Hold my feet less I fall into the abyss.
Shackle your friends to you,
foot to foot, arm to arm.
The long way to heaven is to dig through the earth.
Pull me from hell, while all the others
**** us to heaven’s salvation.
Jonathan Moya Aug 2019
I like America’s Got Talent,

especially when they have dog acts.

I love dog acts.  I cry at dog acts.

I wish dog acts would bark and chase

those young kids and aspiring adults

who sing opera every year and

get into the semifinals off the stage;

chase the pretentious dance troupes

and acrobats; half-funny comics;

the children who sing lustily in adult voices;

the seniors with fading contralto dreams;

the day glow CGI artists who

illustrate on a big, dark canvas;

the magicians with their card slight of hand,

even the ones who just do regular magic—

right off the stage with a bark and

a push of their snouts.

Dog acts are pure.

They sit.  They heel.

They stay.  They obey.

They even sing, dance and draw too.

All acts should be dog acts.

All dreams should be dog dreams.

Every million dollar winner,

mongrel or pure bred,

should have a 100% canine heart—

even though they would trade it all

for a pat on the head, good treats

nice walks with you and belly rubs.
Jonathan Moya Jul 15
Don’t take away my words
by not repeating my poems inside.
My poetry is revolutionary
as a floating feather.
Close your eyes and catch it
knowing the vision is in its flight
and not where it falls.  
Pick it up from the floor
and it becomes a Cobra
spitting, aiming to poison you.
Jonathan Moya Sep 2019
The lightness of paper
soft enough to crumble
to a chirping palm ball
released into the air,
an imagined perfect pitch,  
too gossamer to float
to its ultimate arch,
unfolding in the web  
of alluring sunshine

aspiring to be
in its unfolding angles
a thread of silk
caught into the patterns
of a spun handkerchief,
flapping finely down to dirt,
flagging to human desires,
a reverse puff tucked black
into a left back corner pocket.

In its extending it is
****** wood pulp
culled and hewn
from rings of fine pine,
rising in its descent
to barely glimpsed evolving
beaks, talons, feathers
caught in the spider’s web
and shook down by thundering axe.
Flagging or the handkerchief code (also known as the hanky code, the bandana code,) is a color-coded system, employed usually among the gay male casual-*** seekers or **** practitioners in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, to indicate preferred ****** fetishes, what kind of *** they are seeking, and whether they are a top/dominant or bottom/submissive.

If you wore your hanky in your left pocket, you were deemed as more submissive, or a "bottom," whereas the right pocket meant that you were a "top" or more dominant.  A black handkerchief meant that you were into S&M- sadomasochism.

Reverse puff refers to a type of handkerchief pocket fold where the puff or pointed ends fold out like the petals of a flower.
Jonathan Moya Oct 2019
Dreaming Graceland or Zombie Land: Double Tap

When you think Elvis was a fraud,
a rip off the black man’s voice;

when you finally meet someone
who smells like candles
instead of gunpowder and whiskey;

who is comfortable with you
driving that pink Cadillac
all the way to Memphis;

who won’t
throw your pink stuff
to the side of the road;

who will kiss you
and hold your hand

until you arrive at Graceland
and try on those blue suede shoes
that actually fit;

let you gyrate your hips,
and for one moment,
feel like the King;

until you open your eyes
and really, really see
that you’re  in Zombieland.
Jonathan Moya Jul 24
The poem rumbles in my brain
and wakes me at three in the morning
as if my devil branded me with his pitchfork
reminding me of our inspired bargain

My nemesis love calls me to the fiery sheet
his impish pride burning praise in me
that swears fealty with ****** words

Oh poetry
how your satanic verses
chum and shudder in me
sharking nightmares to dreams
and my words to the exquisite limbo
doomed to fall short of true divinity

The poem squatters in my mind firmly
fixed in the ninth circle of treachery
offending my soul
crushing my heart

It takes and takes and takes
and never gives not even
granting the guilt of ***** lucre

Words are my blood
Poems **** my veins
My quick-fire brimstone lines
are my epitaph

I am both cursed and blessed
to this addiction
yet I hope this passion never cools
only  flames and reflames

Oh Poetry immolate me
burn me to the purest ash
leaving a diamond legacy

The poem is not a song
but the fire inside the song
the sulphur mistaken for honey

Oh dulcet sounds why and thank you for
making me an exile from life and tomorrow
a lonely sad witness to the world

Why and thank you for
fating me to this fiery covenant
Jonathan Moya Jun 12
From form  
vile evil
in the shade of hades
sire and rise
the lived devil,
the tornado donator
that is the heart of the earth.
God denying, dog hating,
it listens for silence, the license
to edit the tide to its whim
and sink man’s canoe in its ocean.
Jonathan Moya Jun 20
The world is the ultimate trick
It grants man thunder yet steals his lightning
every time.
It makes him think he has the sweetest smell
of every thing
even that his **** does not stink
that taming fire was his best theft
of all time
that a caged dove heralds peace
in our time
the best of love
that time is a curse and not a gift
that the wolf is the enemy of pigs
that the world spins straight on its own axis
that he has a mind of his own design
that the red rose blooms for him to smell
that cancer is part of its mortal revenge
that nature taught man how to frown
that it would steal his nailed smile, if it could
The world is the ultimate trick
and it poisons him to think she’s his motherland
Jonathan Moya Jun 25
When the giant bagel fell from the sky
everyone complained when it blocked the road.  
Even when children cut it into pieces
and passed it out, lathered with shmear and lox
the town folks refused to eat the manna.
A host of angels descended to clean up the mess.
The town folks rushed to the angels,
still neglecting the heavenly bread.
When the last crumb had reascended to heaven
and the angels began to flap their wings
and take flight, the town folks begged them to stay,
but they would not. Instead, they left behind
a talking chicken to remind them when the sky fell.
Jonathan Moya Jun 21
Mommy, esta di descubrí el lenguaje de los fantasmas

Ghost talk? What are you talking about, Jonny?

Si mommy.  En serio descubrí.  Escúchame.

Ghost talk? What do they say?

Para saludar dicen: hoo hoo.

Para decir que sí, dicen: Hoo

And how do they say goodbye?

No lo sé.  They haven’t left yet.

Mama, today I discovered the language of ghosts.

Line 3:

Yes, mama. Seriously, I discovered it.  Listen to me.

Line 5:

To say hello they say: Hoo hoo.

Line 6:

To say yes they say: Hoo.

Line 8:

I don’t know.
Jonathan Moya Jul 10
Everything’s broken, diseased, sold and resold.
The pandemic’s breath blows on us.
Everything’s is devoured in a hunger never filled.
So why do I see a glistening in the distance?

In the day dream, a forest appears on the border.
The scent of lavender and lilies exhales out.
In the nightmare,  the zodiac is ****** into
the black hole of a distant dissolving galaxy.

You wonder the miracle, if it comes,
will arise from darkness or dawn.
Will it arise from the first
natal nightmare or dream?
The tears fade in
the screaming inside howling brick.
It is our cancer
swirling around,
stone, flesh and home.
Our history is in its eye,
our profile in this wild night of carnage
slouching towards mornings. We turn
away and the brick frees us.
We turn back and are inside
our granite selves forming in the sculpting wind,
erring in the perfect sad light,
different, broken-whole.
Our names are erased from brick,
letters spreading like smoke
in the all defining wind.
It drops in the field of its birth,
a flash in the silent mud and clay.
It shimmers on my wife’s white blouse,
and when she walks away,
settles in memory.
The wind chisels a robin
falling, dying in my stare.
The cloud of my neighbor
floats towards me, pale eyes
trying to define me
but I am not a window.
Her face is lost in the brick
and the wind erases her,
the street, their signs,
the names of those in houses behind.
Jonathan Moya Nov 2019
In the rear view mirror
he can see the specters..
her upside down reflection
scatter when a foot
hits the puddle…

hear the notes
of a trumpet solo
popping thru the
open red door
of a jazz club…

remembers when they
whacked his partner…

and left their
footprints on his ribs..  

left his mouth
out of joint…

in love with that
woman in the blue dress
holding him in her arms…

asking her if there
is anything else
he should know..

because she is
a major part
of the mystery…
Jonathan Moya Feb 10
Ay, florecitas
clouds of white
frozen in sugary divine,
little flowers of my soul,
taste of sweet desire
of little boys in
San Juan, Moroves, Ponce,
exiles in Miami and the Bronx
tasting the beauty
of their mother’s youth—

knowing love by the rattling
of small blooms in the big tin,
the maternal hand scooping
pastels of confection perfection,
passions hard creamy diffusion
dusting her, making her
a florecita of love—

until florecitas became the way
they interpreted the sky—
there a lavender snail,
an erupting volcano,
a devouring whirlpool,
a burst of flame
a feeding octopus—

until all became
the florecitas
of their beloveds form:
her lips a strawberry florecita
splitting apart to his
first hesitant probing,
her ******* a pink florecita
waiting for his sweet consumption,
her *** a light brown florecita
gently swirling open
to his tongue’s taste,
*** a fleshy little flower
to be split in
his sweet embrace,
all of her earthy and ****
as a Neruda sonnet—

until all that is left
for themselves,
for my self,
is the fading scents
of all the florecitas
never tasted.
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