Magdalena Gómez

Magdalena Gómez I am the recipient of a 2021 Academy of American Poets/Mellon Foundation Poet Laureate Fellowship. I am a contributor to the African American Point of View news magazine, both online and in print. My bilingual play, the first written about Schomburg, ERASED: a poetic imagining on the life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, features a Pan-African Jazz Score, by composer, ASCAP award recipient, Dr. Ben Barson. My new work with composer and conductor, Kevin Scott, is a poetic libretto for soprano, two choruses (children and adult), a narrator and orchestra.

Post Mortem

always, after death
name rises above
foot/wheel/dog/spit/gum/extinguished butts
scratching at ankles
rising up legs
la espina dorsal
el cuello
to itch like a patch
of swallowed dermatitis
in a guilty throat
that speaks love for the first time
face squeezes out grief
like gold drops from a rosarío
in the hand of the one who stole it
un limón seco
from neglect
that has rolled to the rear
behind the 12-grain gluten free pan
y artisanal queso
quantum lemon dead and alive at once
como el gato de Schrodinger
condo-lens-says con luto puto
I see you from the heights
on my cloud of disbelief.
From the velvet rope of San Pedro
the gangsta bouncer of El Cielo
donde Papá Dios
cuts you in or out
I’m listening while I wait in line
Tell me now,
what color were my eyes?

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A Question of Compassion

You made rubble of my life
out the window, down the shaft
Royal typewriter
guitar weary from anti-war strums
manuscripts ahead of their time
sketch books full of tomorrow’s
films Papi’s letters, formidable
opponents to loneliness
my one nice dress for job interviews
the pair of shoes that didn’t squeeze
the inscribed Bible that assured me
of a mother’s love (it was a lie)
good riddance to that one
Royal crest from a lover
the emergency gold ring
out of poverty
should it pounce
the lace slip of first love
the last shred of believing
in the goodness of humanity
the overturned box of hand nursed
and diapered orphaned kittens
the neighbor gathered
kept warm
they lived
loving homes
as strangers appeared
faith restored
And you who robbed me,

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