Three poems by Peter Magliocco

Gender Games


With the transgender hemorrhaging skin
you look upon the city’s desolation,
ripped from the maw of being
(or that nexus of sweet desire)
fomenting all that suffering
spleen of us.

It was on Main Street I saw you
cutting up the memories of yourself
once hidden in dregs of cheap wine
or discarded prescription vials
coloring your skin a whiter shade
of paleness for other martyrs
under the streetlamp of crusty radiance
infusing your tattoos with tactile brilliance
the lame bawds of history
might envy
the smile & light of your words
I was taken reading

before you
descended into a labyrinth of ambiguity
beyond the bourgeois vale,
abrading yourself in midnight revels
& otherworldly imperatives
taking you down
to a premature fragmentation

(where nothing exists
but the mind at war
with authorized genders
you don’t share):

all that I tried myself to realize
that day in a normal purgatory
when the inevitable neutering of true union
spoke in the celluloid vastness

disdaining the bleeding stigmatic cross
indecently exposed between our legs,
while we wondered about distant suns
in undiscovered galaxies
where life existed as a mirror image
of words yet to be written
on our starlit bodies

waiting to be sucked
into black holes
of unspoken eternity




Rescuing Frida Kahlo’s Portrait from the Philistines


I smell warm water on Mexican earth,
feel somehow your touch again
even when you’re not there
aroused by that morning’s sun fusing
wayward airs back together
like the lost memories of ourselves
our shadow remains share,
waking on pine & birch bark
beyond the clay-red arroyo
time bakes the errant love
of all creatures in its weedy intaglio
leaving images of our departed selves
besides a wind-blown bramble bush.
It’s that knotty devil’s grass we feasted on
laughing, letting old cries resound
from the night’s long stillness.
Our tongues were dumb apart
from one another, but now they grow
within our mouths to sing ancient songs
to mourn the plight of Frida Kahlo
& her shattered spine, for in the arroyo
of her remembered likeness we find ourselves
again within the sand & scorpions
as our bleached skin paints color
on the bed of broken branches the rain sweetened
into beautiful decay.




Blinding the Mind’s Eye


I wonder what grief is
in a mind’s eye
where rivers of blood flow.

Despite the dry seasons
of America’s political dissatisfaction
& racial strife leaving us
hostages to everyday uncertainty,
we grasp the last straw in the apocalypse
before the night caves in.
When did you rouse yourself
decrying the gambits of grim deceit
the worlds or art & commerce succumb to?

Buddha hears no cry tonight,
even if tears that are virulent
prey in the orbs of voyeurs.
We gaze inside some lacetal prison
infecting the common skin,
just a fading vision of justice
becoming  another dry husk
seeing no mercy.

There you rasp to sing sonnets,
for your youth will succor old paint
& the miasma of depicted dark ages
better than restoration of lost causes.

Do you remember the superstars of life
watch back, waiting for you
to overdose in old gray Manhattan,
at the frivolous scenes of yesterday
where time remains a forever-framed

Still life razed
by the blinding light
of  the Cyclops god.



Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he’s been active in the small press as editor, writer, and artist for several years. He has poetry in Poetic Diversity, New Ink Review, Literary Yard, Midnight Lane Boutique, Pulp Poets Press, and elsewhere. A multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, his most recent poetry book is Poems for the Downtrodden Millennium from The Medulla Review Publishing.

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