Sergio A. Ortiz


Listen to the audio version read by Sean Mahoney.

I'm picking up
the pieces,

disabled, winged
in agony,

the latent bottom
of my illness.

Bodies like mine


flesh and bones
already ancient.

* * *

ODE #20

Listen to the audio version read by Sean Mahoney.

I am not poking fun
at you Don Pablo, it's respect
disguised as laughter, but I cannot
stand it. I do not allow such forms
of humiliation, such an offense:
to write verses to an onion
and all the while, do it right.

On the other hand, I, so new
at this trade, cannot thread together
more than three beautiful lines
to the man I love using qualifiers
you so skillfully waste on elephants,
artichokes, dogs, and salt-roses.

Damn you, Neruda,
for using those expressions.
You leave them useless.


* "Sitting on My Corpse" was originally published in 82 Review; "Ode #20" first appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time.


Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He received 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz Annual Poetry Competition sponsored by Alaire publishing house. Ortiz's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FRIGG, Tipton Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Bitterzeot Magazine. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.