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Fresno Poetics: Javier Lopez

on an 8 day work-ringer , the 9th feels like it’s just-around the bend

its 8:30 ,
everyone’s on

the road , always places
to be

damn right tire can’t stop shaking
tierra buena

seems so different at night , no but the city
poem starts for me

at the three stops :
buttehouse & acacia & highway 20

like a tri-angle trifecta
that perfect circle within dimensions

of a triangle , theres so much
industry here , you know , its speed

& beauty , the farther you job into something ,
life’s almost wanting

to be found this idea that we strive our way into that ‘whatever ‘
it may be but when i move

the idea of work is always instilled ,
idea that you HAVE TO MAKE money

to live , to do things , YOU HAVE TO MAKE money
to own land , YOU HAVE TO

MAKE money
to then occupy the land : living

the dream is to become something
of the land

that you own , that very little land see , i could never
feel what it could be for someone that needed to escape , or do i

flee to prosper to , to divert to , to cross the t’s ,
to draw the X in the dirt , & say we have to go here ,

this is where the land will give ,
& in that give , the establishment

of chasing the dream that’s made in dirt ,
the belief that coming from a country chance-me old soil ,

& new , the city poem lives in the root of where one had namely came from ,
the land that gives

the land that takes , everywhere
that i have been , i have lived directly in the heart ,

of the town , city , town city ,
where i lay my head , to sleep

oh what a sleep it is ,
to find sleep in the middle of all this work ,

in the middle of this cardboard pyramidding
some days youre freezing , the cold ,

some days you wish you had
the beanie , some days , feel ,

like they are warm
& then immediately cold

but then sweet & savory , 14 oz of sugar ,
14 oz of salt , 14 oz of shortening , 10.5 of yeast the pure , the 50 pounds

of flour can feed everyone ,
everyone , the loving bread the hands can mold ,

to lift & lift those who are hungry , to those who are
starving & yet my job is to make the bread

the wealthy bunch with their money ,
their government money , their stolen money ,

all of us living on the wealth of someone elses fortune ,
the bloody money in our pockets ,

the pocket of lost bills , we work
& we work & we work

& for what , the retribution of the what ,
the getting to the what want , the what demand ,

& here i am for what? offering my hands & body
take this all of you , & eat it.

Javier Lopez

javier lopez writes from sun-dried-cracked roads along field production of northern California. He studied English & Theatre Arts at Chico State receiving the Ellen Walker Prize for Excellence in Editing & Publishing as a poetry editor for Watershed Review. he's an MFA graduate in Poetry from the Fresno State Creative Writing Program in 2020.  He is an Andres Montoya scholar, a Chicanx Writers & Artists Association member, a former fellow to the Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio founded by Juan Felipe Herrera, & previous intern for the Normal School & Philip Levine Prize for Poetry contest. He has poems with Hummingbird Press short poem selections & selected art pieces in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.  

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