Two Poems

By Carlos Figueroa


My father’s hard work often seems ephemeral to me.
He sips the coffee cup dry with alacrity.
The caffeine negates melancholic feelings in cold mornings.
Today he plans to dig into the ground with his new shovel.
The end is to bury the weekend’s shame without a trace.

My bearing witness he is not aware.
His active early-riser waltz mesmerizes even the rested.
Mornings are tough – most days are frosted windows from the dew.

Yet from a distance he feels the running water in my veins.
This kinetic art subdues the injured soul.
He departs in a flash for long hours ahead.
Residue is left from his shadow.

Prudence develops over time from these shadows of sacrifice.
He temporally abandons the sacred abode for the terrain of insecurity.
But prosperity commands.

I listen to the social meditative moment between footsteps:
“Come with me my curious boy, and share the sine wave of life.”
Despite the potentiality of serenity, I still feel the pain.


Spinning tumblers of my mind in reverse
Gently stroking the thoughts away a curse
Memories shattered like pane glass windows
As violence overtakes me lying awake

Bantering in the hollowness behind
But rather voices heard on the way down
Legs like jelly travel toward the door
Destination unknown confusion stored

Traversing last steps onto ambulance
My stomach wants to speak again and does
Who listens but catcher of all-things rotten?
Hurry don’t stop just keep eyes away from buzz

Drugs, insomniac, psychosis or dead?
Handicapped to bed without hope instead
I’m screaming profanity while waiting
No answer brings about clarity yet

Calling it what it may is just not right
Another September evening he’d say
Just lean over your left shoulder and pray
Don’t cry, hold still, we will prevail just stay

Labyrinthitis is the word, who knew?
Medicine men attempt to cure me, but
Voices overtake reason with eruption
Time heals, pain releases stress I’m anew


Carlos Figueroa is writing his Ph.D. dissertation in Political Science at the New School for Social Research as fast as humanly possible.  His scholarly interests range from U.S. political history, comparative religion, and legal theory to literary criticism, and the history of ideas.  But he finds reading and writing poetry, fiction and philosophical meditations his ‘closet’ passions.  Enjoys experimenting with cooking, drinking wine, and is a life-long NY Mets and NY Giants fan! Dedicates his recent meditations and poetry to his beautiful wife Lucía, and his always caring mother Virginia.