Daniel Vidal Soto studied English major with a concentration in creative writing and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and Acuña, Coahuila, México. Author of the poetry chapbook “Demon in Plastic,” Vidal Soto currently teaches at Long Island University and guest lectures at Cornell University on gentrification. On the side, he practices his graffiti with TATS cru (the group of people who originated graffiti in the South Bronx during the 80s), ballroom dancing (think voguing and walking, à la the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning) and now he’s taking time to talk to us about life after Mac.

 

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ARES

I’m rinsing the sponge
For the dust that’s collected with dry leaves
Purple flowers, my grandfather’s altar
I’m cleaning my room for a man I think he would like
The kind my mother would date before meeting my father
Rugged papa calling me, a and his man, sugartits
He was pulled over one night and I told him come home
After he asked if it was alright to say he was shaken
There are bits of petals left in the ashes
Kept dried in the twists of their last performance
Bent at the neck, purple skin, still perfumed, no end
There’s a tower of deoderants, pomades, colognes
Like the ones kept in the corner of his mirror
He’d spend his afternoons clipping his mustache
Symmetrical as the shrubs in his garden
Clipping the hedges, perfect circles sprouted in threes
Looking over the babble, hearing it not saying anything

 

ADAN

So much talk about honoring his life. They prowl at the sound of his suffering, his mother
says. Not his real mother, his adoptive mother. His real mother was in on his murder. But it
was her lover who committed the felony.

A wave up from
Under the gravitas
Of a single planet

He was 18 months old. Deformed femur. Spiral fracture. The Fifth and 6th Rib – split.
Hairline fracture on the skull. Hairline fracture on the skull. Hairline fracture on the skull.
Break on the clavicle. Lacerated liver.

His murderer holds
the phone and tells them fish
was his distraction

The examiners are confused why there was time for the liver to heal. Why a fraction would
exist before the microscopes could confirm his death. The conundrum of dying young,
expelling the microscopy of youth and skin twisted into the finality of a breath; the paradox
of dying half past the first season of all-baby life. Squeezed, how he went, but it wasn’t the
only way: the cracked shoulders, thrown against the wall, thrown against the floor, beaten
with a rod.

6 months separate us. Half a year, the polar season. My cousin of our mirror season. You
held pluto in your skull.

Again, this preoccupation with respect to him. His story is not mine. This assignment
neither. The Mosean question arises. The same up wave from the thing I never knew
before. The question of evolution, survival.

His stars caught glowing
sunflowers, the basket
empty on arrival

He is not the only one. And if it weren’t for my own resurrection, could’ve been I. The iron,
thistle-horn, snake tail. The veils of dimension aren’t always necessarily so. The black
unveiling is there in the area that’s identified as what’s blinded.

 

OF PUPPETS AND PEOPLE

“Africa Should Stop Blaming History for its Economic Problems” – is Obama Right?

–The Guardian, 30 July 2014

Say it to the eyes of the dark nation
To the night covered in mud and oil
My mother said never sow your tears
To your enemy’s face. Never cry out loud
When the sun is still shining for another whip.
Say it to our face that the continent
Should bow down again after having
Nose through the ground
The splitting skin the only
Respiration for a creation of century’s
Howling and beckoning and quite frankly
Fucking every way around
Say it to my sister’s face
Who holds my smile like
A man who’s worth it
Who folds her wings with crisp
Dignity, a flutter of gold sprinkling
Like rain on a rising dawn
Say we need to rise again
We have died
We have been here
We will have risen again

 

DOUBT IN THE STEADY UNDYING

You will only find that voice in solace
And I guarantee, my friend, it won’t be so lonely
The moons have passed, and even tilted perfect

Between the Libran scale, I’ve found you, my friend
So, come back like before, and after
I’ve masked the clouds behind your trail

Pretend to like the mundanity
One day passing without the voice adeepening
We, alone, if only for the second

Impediment, the rowing boat amongst a golden sand
Denied myself the very water I’d want to call mine

 

PORK INTO THE RIVER

When did you give up
When was it easier
To just sit on the floor
Looking through the ladder
Slanted sideways, or the piece
Of rabbit shit flowering from the throw
When was the last time a question
Became the lazy form of a line
You break until the break and then
Once more open to another stop
There was a trap, fabric and invisible
Open and somehow obtuse or abstruse
Some form I couldn’t break, it’s only
In this one only word. There is the eye
And there is the eye again. The mountain of white
I couldn’t begin to describe this mountainous white
That has, too, inches of churned bodies unflinching their way
Up that pyramidal ancient. It is this question of nothing
I break away to the ephemeris. That evil bait
Yes, I say, there is such evil
And it will break you every time
Best to stay in the dark, in this night
In the changing moon, held to her changing
Breast. Open smile, slick old moon, chariot
Of a thousand strides. And yet the open fist
Isn’t enough. Does it just elevate there
Outlined against a face, the fever rising
Out the aura, a whisk of cloud
Something invisible to the thread
You throat perfect forms of southern and angel
Voice open the conjuring mouth, smooth muscle
Wings open the skeptic song, heavy shoulder
Clothes done like a monk’s robe, handing out
Gifts unwrapped in a different name

 

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