issue 46: welcome shifts

The Gong

- kristine ann gajitos (bio)

The boom of a gong
rings in my ears
as the cold creeps in
my flesh and bones

with every slowing beat
it fades more and more
then darkness falls
and I am alone.

In that limbo, a voice
urges me to slake my thirst
to drink from the cup
of life and death.

Warmth passes through my
parted lips, but the gong
remained silent as the grave
never to ring again.

Removing the Stone

- luis cuauhtémoc berriozábal (bio)

In removing the stone 
from your heart everything 
will be possible. The clouds
will disperse. Long suffering 
days will end. I make no promises.
I just ask that you stay with me.
I just ask for a chance to make
something real of our lives,
something everlasting.

Welcome to Misfortune

- luis cuauhtémoc berriozábal (bio)

Welcome to misfortune.

Burn your oar for firewood.

The storm is underway.

Stay away from the sea.


You will not find a star.

I have looked intently.

It is not to be seen.

The moon is also lost.


Welcome to the darkness.

You know it all too well.

Darkness is an old friend.

I am being flippant


by the way. There’s no hope.

The storm is heavy; like

a madman, I shout out.

It’s no secret. We are


doomed. Invisible hands

come out of the waves from

depths I cannot fathom.

Such terrifying hands, rough,


and powerful; all that

I know will be no more.

Dark angels will sing at

my funeral service.


- luis cuauhtémoc berriozábal (bio)


Jumped out of bed
only to collapse.
I could do nothing
but sleep all day.
Far from clear-headed,
farther from handsome,
I stayed in bed
and slept all day,
no lover at my side.

Lips so sweet so
far away, in deep
sleep under a spell.
Flashing a smile
dreaming about love,
I summoned all hope
to reignite my heart
before collapsing.

In the Blue World

- luis cuauhtémoc berriozábal (bio)

In the blue world
even the rain
is colored blue.

Gray becomes blue.

Whatever is 
blue, doors and birds.

I remember 
the soft colors.
I remember.

Blue is evil.
Tenderness is

gone. Where is green?
Where is orange?
Such cruelty,
the blue sky all
day. A blue moon
in the blue sky,

it is scary.
The blue birds sing

of fatal worlds.
Their blue song

goes out to the
sea and sky and

to the blue death.


Happy Thoughts

- luis cuauhtémoc berriozábal (bio)

Now and then

happy thoughts

intrude and


my mind. I

welcome these

thoughts that come

and go like

the weather.

Happy thoughts

take a peek

over the

edge and choose

not to take

the leap most

of the time.

Joy is not

always far

behind. Life

is not all

pain. Rain in

the soul is

not always

a bad thing.

Bad feelings

need to be

washed away.

Nature is


but sometimes

it is kind

and gentle.

I welcome

happy thoughts.

Sorrow should

not control

our every

thought. What

is the fun

in that? I’m

just saying.

An Ode to the Rotten

- sam sicilia (bio)

I was once like you,
Vibrant and full,
Waiting to be
To be seen and touched
And tasted and appreciated.
          isn’t that our purpose?
Despite the soft spots,
I was. I was chosen. I was
I was
bitten into,
And I gave myself willingly
To be eaten, to nourish,
And so in love, I couldn’t wait
to be Devoured. Skin and all.
          Wasn’t that the purpose?
But I was set down, somewhere
Safe. Somewhere protected.
I could wait to be
Back up again and finished,
A promise that is made when
In the first place.
At first, with the right control,
In half I was still whole. The scavengers
Couldn’t get to me,
I was strategically protected. My half
Was still part of my whole.
Vibrant. but half
Full. But my skin began to wilt,
And my soft spots turned black,
And though still sweet on the inside,
I began to decay exteriorly as if to say
To other pickers,
I do not belong to you. I have a chooser.
They’re coming back to finish me. I have

a Greater purpose. Do not touch.
They left me alone. And I am left alone.
Because they are not
coming back, they are
not coming back.
And my insides are now
rotting too, And all that I wish
is that somebody
Has the decency to
pick me
up And
toss me
into the garden so I can
Properly decay
turn into something
Beautiful for someone
Someone who can
pick me
when I’m whole
And devour me the way
I wish to
be devoured.

And I know that you’re sad
That you think that I didn’t
You, I just didn’t have the appetite
Or the heart to leave you half of a

             So the next time you eat a piece of fruit,
             Eat the whole god damn fucking thing.



- anon

end of issue 46. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox