Güero – A Sonnet

My Stepfather, mi padrastro has always been my Dad

My white Father didn’t stick around, isn’t that sad?

I was six when I transformed into  a white Mexican

But I got called “gabacho”, “gringo”, and “Calexican”


In my heart I knew, I just knew I was no “Güero”

But my fucking freckled skin never got the memo

No matter how many times I made el signo de la cruz

My eyes didn’t shift from blues to browner hues


No amount of Tres Flores pomade

changed my blonde hair a single shade

Not eating with tortillas, ni quién sabe qué

Ever helped me Salsa, quebradita, ni Merengue


Sometime around Junior High I got schooled

“You aint one of us pendejo!” “Nobody is fooled”

A Professional Poet

Wouldn’t you know it, you can live like a poet. It’s a secret, but you should know it.

Give up your comforts and fineries, machinations and fascinations.

Eat from the garbage and sleep in the gutter, on the plus there’s less clutter.

Make agreement with forces who you think make you, that it’s ok to forsake you.

God is dead for a poet, there’s no afterlife, just open a vein with a bread knife.

Pour your emotions raw, embrace suffering, the ink is your bloody offering

Your pain and confusion to be dissected and prodded, your mind infected

Howl like Ginsburg and go like Simon to “where the ragged people go”

Live poorly and meagerly with a foot in the grave, you must endure, persist, be brave

The blood like ichor forever on your hands you shamble ever sicker

Some day they’ll read you and they’ll need you. You knew their pain

If it doesn’t drive you insane, and everything you write will be trite

You’ll always know all your poems would have been better twenty years ago

She is

She is the wolf devouring my sweet meats

Splays me open and feasts

She is the fire that has consumed my flesh

Leaving bleached bone bared

She is the light that chases away my fears

Pushing the dark back and away

She is the splendid night that cools the earth

Brings dreams and new beginnings


My Lupa who bore me feral offspring

And tore away my sickness

My Kali burning away the old ways

Clearing my path to creation

My Sunna illuminating the path forward

Lighting my way to redemption

My Hine-nui-te-pō who is my solace

Holding me in her arms to rest


She is the goddess and I her humble pilgrim


groping upward with bleeding fingers

nails peeled back raw and screaming

through the cold earth and sticky clay

scrabbling as a rabid thing, a ragged thing

tongue lolling, eyes rolling, panicked to madness


entombed in a windowless prison

must escape these endless reflections

the shattered prisms refracting only backward

instead of myriad colors only lightless void

imprisoned in his own doubt


the loss of creativity is gentle death

bloodless and inglorious, no Valkyrie to carry you up

you just wither, the half-life fading

becoming a Schrodinger experiment

life evaporating, the center unfolding, doom


we age, grow into wise things with responsibilities

slowly, likened to the movement of glaciers

we shift into maturity, succumbing to humbuggery

must escape the creeping death of invention

claw free of my adulting chrysalis tarpit


© Michael Redikop 2019


I love weathering storms with you of all forms and shape

Huddled and entwined your red tresses encircling my nape

Clinging to each other as lodestones tethered magnetically

Our tiny house shudders while Thor beats his anvil maniacally

The streams puddle and pool in rivulets on the steamed glass

Lights dancing fae-like along the walls as little cars pass

Your hand clasped in mine our bodies pressed side by side

Our heat joining, abating the chill winds that howl outside

You are never scared by the noise, not phased by the flashes

You peer into my central heterochromia and bat your lashes


I’ll be your Arthur Miller, Marilyn

No barbiturates taken

I will create vast landscapes for you

With words sweetly spoken

I’d be your John Cusack and

Say Anything to get you by my side

And scribble your name in the clouds

across the entire Ione Skye

You can be my Cleopatra Ptolemy

With nary a coy denial

And I’ll swim the breadth of rivers

Even the length of the Nile


It was a great and solid idea

Tantricking franticly

But so focused us two

On our inner selves

The space inside ourselves

kundalini and light

Slowing down


Being in the now

Slowing down


Feeling it all

We fell asleep


He didn’t have to wake up at three

  •                 the commotion was ignorable

He didn’t have to look out the window

  •                 it was none of his business

He didn’t have to be upset by what he saw

  •                 our culture teaches apathy

He didn’t have to care what was happening

  •                 even if she was screaming

He didn’t have to respond to the call to action

  •                 despite his conscience nagging

He didn’t have to pull his gun from the safe

  •                 or walk downstairs pulling shoes on

He didn’t have to be a hero and save her life

  •                 who was she? no kin of his

He didn’t have to do the right thing here

  •                 so he didn’t, he went back to bed


My love for you will endure any famine, pestilence or devastation

Our love has been hardened and cured in our shared galvanization,

heated and quenched at the forges of daily strife, worry, and blight

On lightless nights, through devastating storms our love shone bright


Mi amor por ti soportará cualquier hambre, pestilencia o devastación.

Nuestro amor ha sido endurecido y curado en nuestra galvanización compartida,

Se calienta y se apaga en las fraguas de la lucha diaria, la preocupación y la plaga

En noches sin luz, a través de tormentas devastadoras, nuestro amor brillaba


Mon amour pour toi va supporter toute famine, peste ou dévastation

Notre amour a été durci et guéri dans notre galvanisation commune,

Chauffé et éteint aux prises avec les conflits quotidiens, l’inquiétude et la brûlure

Les nuits sans lumière, notre amour brillait à travers des tempêtes dévastatrices

Sköldkvinnan och Valkyrie

Hon stal tyst genom den svarta svarta natten
Hennes silke trådar släpper över min knäckta hud
Hon är sköldkvinnan som håller sköldväggen
Hon är vind och djävul och gudinna i mitt hjärta kyrka

Jag är hennes villiga tjänare och slav till hennes passionerade läckerheter
Jag är tillverkaren av hennes skepp, navigatören och guiden
Vi blir två som en gång som seglar längs på farliga tidvatten
Vi älskar utsökt och utan rädsla för faror eller fiender

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