Sergio Ortiz

Sergio Ortiz is a retired educator, poet, and photographer. He has a B.A. in English literature, and a M.A. in philosophy. Flutter Press released his debut chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk, in October of 2009. Ronin Press released his second chapbook, topography of a desire, in May of 2010. Avantacular Press released his first photographic chapbook: The Sugarcane Harvest, May 2010. He was recently published, or is forthcoming in: YB: A Journal of New Poetry, The Shine Journal, The 13th Warrior Review, Deuce Coupe, and Heavy Bear.


I’ve searched for you again
in the rising illusions

of three hundred and sixty five horizons,
yet none court me like before.

The moonstruck magic dissolved
inside my unattended plot.

Its gardener, exposed
within my mirror, tried tricking me

with kisses. From where I stand
there is no one to pay for the moon’s

washboarding. Crows and scarabs
have first bids on my mortgage.

Dream Prism

A corn-like monster with ugly tang fish gills
dreams of becoming a mermaid prodigy

dishing out rhymes to a clown farther off
than Australia. She travels with a fat

English prawn and a psychotic pickle
renowned for his voodoo medicine;

They revoked his license after he performed
a fatal zombie surgery on an Italian bean.

Their eyes turned yellow in the shade-
less sockets of stillborn lizards. Seven stop signs

grew from their toes. They were thieves,
untouchables zygotes in the crevice of a very small toad,

sterile as vinegar. They found my chiseled
amethyst letters and turned them into angels

weeping dead, icy heads. But, I budded
as a May amapola and ascended
like my grandmothers before me.

The Three of Us

She is a paralytic relapse,
a succession of fixed images
completes her figure.
I am surprised I can’t remember
how quickly she walked with her crutches
among the magnolias, showing off
the doll smile polite children
carefully rehearse to use on special occasions.
My memory of her is set like a picture
from my photo album, flat; my aunt
wearing furs and white gloves
on Hollywood Beach in Chicago.

I remember her sitting by the lifeguard
weeping, or pretending to weep
so he would approach. She’d give him
miniature cacti in bloom
from the garden of the evils of Venus.

She never asked what he was reading,
but when she’d look into his eyes
I could see her going through the pages.
She’d soak in every one of the images,
poked the ones that were sad

and laughed wanting to give them a new
perspective. Then she’d lick the steel
legs of the park bench and hide under it
imitating poodles and canaries.
Didn’t mean anything to me.

I also remember her alone
on Ariel, Uranus’s moon.
My eyes alternating between the book
and her long-shiny-black-hair.

She-he-I was always different,
it depended on the lifeguard.

Copyright © 2010 Sergio Ortiz