Switchback, Laundromats, & more poems from INFORMANT


the new issue of Switchback is now live
. great poems by Barbara Jane Reyes, Val Witte, and Diana Spieker. that issue is the last issue i will be one of the poetry editors ;(


i read poetry at a laundromat tonight. i learned that good poetry requires little soap. i have no idea what that means, but i try to look at the positive.


i wrote some new poems which i might include for my chapbook Informant. let me know if you think i should:if you have a chance:


Ethnic Enclaves 1

They have the best ______ outside of _______ .


Ethnic Enclaves 2

They have the best ______ this side of _______ .


Ethnic Enclaves 3

I know this great little place.


Ethnic Enclaves 4

It’s out of the way, but if you want the MOST authentic _________.



Stephanie: Thanks for calling Starbucks Upper Yorkville. This is Stephanie. How may I help you?

John: Hi Stephanie. I’m new to our community and I wanted to know if you deliver?

Stephanie: Great. Of course we deliver. We deliver to all deserving community members.

John: I live on 116th between the new Home Depot and the Empowerment Zone Projects.

Stephanie (whispers): Projects?

John: Er, I mean the Empowerment Zone Projection Homes.

Stephanie: Great. But actually we don’t deliver according to location. I’ll have to ask you some questions to see if you qualify. Do you rent or own?

John: I rent.

Stephanie (disappointed): Oh. How much do you pay in rent?

John: I pay 3000 a month for a one-bedroom. Most affordable room in the city!

Stephanie (relieved): Great. Welcome to the community sir. What would you like to order?

John: Well, what do the locals drink?

Stephanie: The historic local favorite is the Horchata Frappuccino with Dulce de Leche. The Puerto Ricans brought the recipe with them all the way from Cuba.

John: That sounds delicious and authentic. I’ll take a Venti.

Stephanie: Great. Would you like your drink ‘Latinidad’?

John: What’s that?

Stephanie: ‘Latinidad’. It just means that we add a shot of spicy chocolate syrup. And we put a little cocktail umbrella with a portrait of Che.

John: I love Che!

Stephanie: Great. From what I’ve heard from the locals, Che grew up just a few blocks from here. He went to college on scholarship, became a lawyer, and eventually bought a house in New Jersey. He’s kind of like a symbol.

John: I’m sold! Give me a shot of ‘Latinidad’! Vieva ‘Latinidad’!
(both laugh)

Stephanie: Can I also interest you in a snack? Our Montezuma Muffins have just been pulled from the oven. They contain red bean paste, ginseng, mango chutney, sweet potato, and mole-infused icing with coconut shavings.

John: Wow! You should call it the multicultural muffin! There’s…

Stephanie (interrupts): Sir, we’re don’t like to use that word around here.

John: Er, yes. Sorry about that. I’ll take one MONTEZUMA Muffin. Sounds tasty.

Stephanie: Great. Your order will arrive in about 15-20 minutes. Our delivery boy doesn’t wear a uniform, but you’ll recognize him. He only pays 900 a month in rent. Like the locals say, ‘El Upper Yorkville es de todos’.


i heard this song:


2 thoughts on “Switchback, Laundromats, & more poems from INFORMANT

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