Warp Your Troubles in Dreams
by David Alejandro Hernandez

after nico



      This little piggy…
Flounders on the iceberg. Terror
Swings a caracoling orbit
Around me, not soon menacing
Collision, though unequivocally detected,
Its compass felt.


      But I am playing the fool. I have hung
My pillow from a fishing pole in the crisp
Night air. The pillow, I’ve pierced through with several false starts,
Because I am blindfolded, one arm numb


—It resembles Swiss cheese. It is a farce. A sorry-stuffed sack.
Each star out
Emits its feeble glint and each glint
Reaches my frivolous fishing-pole mobile
In the form of a scorpion let fall from a burlap sack.


      Heavy and light.
The burlap is heavy,
But the scorpions, light. They cling
To anything they can, like flailing human fingertips.
I had such a dream, then filled it in
With the same dream, only more conscious. I resurrected
Old lies, and paid dearly the cost.


      I dearly paid. I nearly died,
But the lies—they
Remained, resurrected. They
Are buoyant melons, loose now
On the sea. A million melons. All kinds.


      To dream, to the dreamer, is almost what it is like
To sail out and fish the sea for one, a melon, and to come
Home to a yearning family
With nothing but your lies about melons in the sea to tell.


Recommended Reading

In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011, Wesleyan University Press
Peter Gizzi

More Radiant Signal, Letter Machine Editions
Juliana Leslie

Sonnets: 25th Anniversary Edition, Tender Buttons Press
Bernadette Mayer

Drafts, Fragments, and Poems: The Complete Poetry, NYRB/Poets
Joan Murray

In Time: Poems 1962-1968, The Bobbs-Merrill Company
Joel Oppenheimer

Selected Poems: In Five Sets, Norton
Laura Riding


David Alejandro Hernandez is an undocumented writer, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but mainly from Northern California. He holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Washington University in Saint Louis. Awards and recognition include the Senior Fellowship in Poetry and the Howard Nemerov Prize from Washington University in Saint Louis; and the Joan Lee Yang Memorial Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for a Collection of Poetry from the University of California, Berkeley. Work recently appears or is forthcoming in Oversound, NDR: New Delta Review, DIALOGIST, Burning House Press, TYPO, Apartment Poetry, and Fence. This fall, he will begin the doctoral program with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

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