Roberto Tejada

Anvil and Bellows


In all manners Mister Tourniquet intoned attention turning to my treatment
Many times ignored
Many times identical to the carbonate castle
Many times in tribal paint
Unbridled scuttlebutt stargaze releasing children
Palsied in germinal burst


Surface made of metal Missus Skeleton Key: it's a cruel copy
Tantamount to the emotion precinct
Tantamount to the other story imprint
To the opposite self complete with pigment, actually
Archaic catalog of chattel and usufruct
Whose characters include—
Professor Blind-Eye-Turning
Sister Bulletproof Jacket
Reverend Dead Man's Gully
Mister Secretary General of the Global Farm Security

Birth lines intersect here with the turnstile attorneys
Whose testimony pictograms a timetable
Into gossip and gainsay the evidence of animals
So menaced by what surrounds
These laws with mindful hand and fodder
As to inaugurate the weightless stranger
Brothering this imbursement
With alleged methods that stain and stoke
That ever more extricate our ancestor
From wonders one and all The End


Then the final credits run with life forms
And we stray either from intimacy
Or the accident part
Emerges between miniature
Movement and application
Austerity and surface
Superposition and plane
Oh river palms and clock face
Stairwell and flagstone
Aspect of a method
Verily over Landscape
With Gazebo adding
Bethlehem rose
Or clump green
                                Wax-warm layers of synthetic skin,
Meat-muddled anniversary
Involuntary bromide book bound to inlay the marriage of word paste
And tooth pull
                                  Domina, this minion font and frontage
Over putty in pages
Reproduced by
Lower quadrant anvil
Vertical bellows and antelope
In upward red
                                    Quick quick! the syllables to stagger
The enumerated forethought
As when cobalt woodwinds issue silver pearls

"Anvil and Bellows" was previously published
                                       in LRL5 (2010.)

* * *

Roberto Tejada (Los Angeles, 1964) is the author of several poetry
collections, including Mirrors for Gold (Krupskaya, 2006) and
Exposition Park (Wesleyan University Press, 2010); he founded
and continues to co-edit the journal Mandorla: New Writing from
the Americas
. He is, as well, the author of art histories that include,
most recently, National Camera: Photography and Mexico's Image
(University of Minnesota Press, 2009), and Celia
Alvarez Muñoz
(UCLA/CSRC; University of Minnesota Press, 2009).
Tejada has published critical writings on contemporary U.S., Latino,
and Latin American artists in Afterimage, Aperture, Bomb, The
Brooklyn Rail
, SF Camerawork, and Third Text.


Continue browsing Latino/a Roundtable Poets