Season 1, Episode 008: At War with the Nature of My Juice

season 1 of raconteuse radio

Guilliean reads three of her poems; read along with the poems while you’re listening!

Music: I Saw a Ghost Last Night from ZapSplat.

Pomegranate Juice

Sweet and sour, puckered tongues, and stained fingertips
I had a great line here, but I deleted it in revision
I tend to ramble and I drop in images from the things I've learned
And I've learned a lot.
So much crime in the world today, makes me wanna hide under the covers
But you can't stay there because you have shit to do
You brutalized the umami on my taste buds
I'm sucking down hydrogen monoxide to restore my sanity
Turned out, dropped in, this state I'm in (California)
He sighs loudly from his lips and the halitosis is intense
I'm glad this doesn't apply to me because I'd be freaking out right now
How much gas did I use to get here?
And how do I get back?
I'll never know when it ends until the next door splinters
in the hallway of my belligerent head

All I could think of the moment I moved in
Is that I came full circle to my childhood.
Front lawns with no grass, only broken cars;
Margarita salt was a common candy on the playground.
We didn't know any better.
And margarita salt is pretty good on its own.
McMansions filled my eyes for over a decade,
but I feel safer buried in its conformity.
A funny observation because I never felt like that before.
Scrawny, tall for an American-born Asian,
the only Filipino in every class I was in.
I never culturally fit in with the Mexicans, blacks,
and eventual white flight from the Southside.
The dread of what I left behind so long ago returned.
My car got broken into at Denny's.
Stared at. Silently judged. Dismissed.
I'm ready to go. I know what home is. I think.

Cool guys walk away from explosions.
Not me.
I stare into the fire, drawn to the heat,
like the spiders at the Door to Hell.
I must be the only academic who hates statistics.
Numbers bore me.
Money is quantified by numbers, and I never have any.
I've come full circle in two years.
Where do I go from here?
Writing poems looks like I'm taking notes.
No shame.
They don't know me.
I'd give anything to sleep right now.
I haven't had a day off in over three weeks.
I thrive on Red Bulls, and prayers.
I sleep when I can get it.
With my dog at my feet.
He wakes up too easily.
Bouncing like a butiki to rob me of my dreams.
The Sandman works twice as hard when we snuggle.
Twisted dreams peppered with Wilhelm screams.

The Transitory Nature of Self

It seems as though I am 
in a constant state of transition.
People come, people go, but 
nothing ever really changes.
Perpetual motion until a greater 
force propels me in another direction.
I ache to find stability in earthquake 
friendly regions.
Why do I open myself to such heartache?
I must've been a masochist in another 
time, another place
Doomed to repeat the biological 
imperative of limbo
My karmic punishment for 
some unknown wrong
So I'll continue to feel hopeful 
for something else.

always at war with myself

a constant battle
to march      
to the beat                     
of their drum.
 fighting a noble war, the away team            
 don't even know i am here.   
 things got to get better 
 fall in line, 
march,
 
2,
 
3,
 
4,
 
 don't cry your own tears 
  at night.          
 tried to play the game.
 lost the plot. got up. lost the plot.
 tried to make my world             
in my image.
 lower the defense stat,                                 
for i am defeated.
 take my pound of flesh,                          
ain't got no fight left.
 these war games,                
 forgot me how       
to dream.

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Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of Filipino heritage and the host of the City of Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in TechTarget, Nevada Humanities, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Follow her on Twitter.

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