New Mexico State University

English Department

P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3E

Las Cruces, NM 88001

 

puertodelsoljournal@gmail.com

Puerto del Sol

Weirding it up since 1964.

Puerto del Sol is funded by New Mexico State University and the Mercedes Delos Jacobs Fund, and designed and operated by the students of the MFA in Creative Writing program.

Puerto del Sol is a proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

Two Poems

May 24, 2019

 

Asylum Tonight 

 

In the purple zone I am royalty, leniently treated.  

          This is off the corridor of smudged plum, where 

 

King George haunts the day room and Ludwig  

          of Bavaria won’t stop building castles. Flashes  

 

strobe outside our windows as damp bullets shaped  

          like raindrops pop! Someone hands me a candle,  

 

thinks my clothes won’t ignite, thinks it means  

          an end to darkness. Voices shuffle across tiles. When  

 

the screaming game begins even the paint on  

          the walls hurts my skin. It doesn’t matter if I don’t  

 

know what’s real, a fluorescent flick watches over  

          me. Some nights it hums hymns; some nights the  

 

room expands like a lung. I may have a fever. I may  

          reenact my own burning man. I have a story to tell  

 

starring the silhouetted trees beyond the fence.  

          At sundown they fracture the fine sky with cracks.  

 

 

 

 

Asylum Vacation  

 

In which saints wired upright along the walls  

           bless us from their shawls and faded shrouds.  

 

Their skulls list and lean as if remembering  

          their dried tongues. I can’t recall if this  

 

is a nightmare or our vacation in Palermo,  

          a crypt thick with anxious dead. These vessels  

 

show us how we are an operating theater  

          with popcorn for the show. A beetle chews  

 

on the strings linking breast plate to spine.  

          Have you read the reports? The physicists  

 

are helpless. A man touches the thin web  

          of one’s hair. Without their flesh they’re the same,  

 

he says. Sometimes the truth is an exit ramp  

          next to a gas station selling peanut brittle;  

 

sometimes a fist of thirsty starlings circle and  

          circle a beauty we have to tilt our heads to see.   

 

 

 

 

SM Stubbs is the co-owner of a bar in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in South Florida and received an MFA from Indiana University. He is the recipient of a scholarship to Bread Loaf and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best New Poets anthology. His work has appeared in The PinchThe Normal SchoolJabberwock Review, Cherry Tree, Poetry Northwest, Opossum, Atticus Review, and The Bookends Review.

 

 

 

 

Please reload