Reader Poem by Olga Garcia

Olga Garcia sent us this reader poem, drawn from multiple prompts.

Forced Evacuations

The headlines read “Record Setting Balloonist Touch Down in Mexico”
Hot air to fill the sky but not the void of so many disappeared,
nation of floating phantoms, 100,000 balloons rising, setting records.
Among them, 43.

It was the police.
The judges.
Boy Scout Politicians.
Drug lords.
Washington’s visionaries.

This is how we lose…Mexico’s students
are now officially “The Disappeared.”
Like those taken during Pinochet.
Like victims of Argentina’s Dirty War.
Like the Women of Juarez
and Nigeria’s 200 school girls—gone, gone, gone.

Where do the disappeared go?

In clandestine graves
they keep digging up feet, hands, charred remains.
There are pulverized teeth being examined in forensic labs,
and in a town called Iguala, they peeled off the face
and gouged the eyes of Julio Cesar Mondragon.



Winner of the dis•articulations 2015 Reader Poem for January


Olga García Echeverría: Born and raised in East Los Angeles. Ultra Libra in love with the ocean and the clouds and the birds and the trees and the disappearing bees. Author of Falling Angels: Cuentos y Poemas (Calaca Press and Chibcha Press 2008). Teacher of English. Creator and destroyer of language. Splendid Spinster of the New Millennium who plans to joyfully spin words until her fingers turn to dust.

Her poem, “New Weapons Against Super Bugs” appeared on this blog on January 11, 2015.

Olga will receive a $25 honorarium for the prize. We encourage readers to be inspired by the process and play along. Each month, we’ll award one $25 prize for the best reader poem we receive.

Reader poem by Olga Garcia

Our first reader poem! Thank you, Olga.

New Weapon Against Super Bugs

It’s tragic to be swallowed up by freeways
electronic devices & super bugs
I’m a junkie, a sac of water, blood, and bones.
My mind’s a wild monkey
who has yet to read Thich Nhat Hanh
Sometimes evolution regresses
I used to come to poetry with so much want,
emotions bursting open. The word was my fist
full of flowers, my weapon
These days poetry eludes me
I wake up groggy with headline hangover
I’m covered in dog hair,
barking at formalities. Good morning my ass!
I scowl at Thanksgiving
hate White Elephants during Christmas
The neighbor’s laugh annoys me
I’m a scrooge, a moody bitch,
a lazy witch who’d rather sleep than sweep
her flying broom across this dusty room
I used to…that’s the line of the jaded…I used to
have cinnamon sticks & tuberoses
in my poetic mix
but now my poems reek of dampness
The ceiling in my bedroom had a leak
& someone’s dirty bath
water came raining down on me
It’s been weeks & I’m still waiting for repairs
for the Lords of the Land
to come examine the tiny hole, the slit of an eye
staring down from the soggy ceiling
(it could be made of tofu for all that I know)
My poetry used to apologize often
worry, edit itself to death,
it used to posture in positivity
seeking out lightness, beauty–migrating monarchs
hummingbirds with electric wings
but now it’s ugly super bugs
that catch my eye
Like the winter mosquitos flying
drunk around the house, aimless
& void of gusto. When they land,
they wait, as if welcoming the end.
They’re nothing like the fat summer flies
that invaded this past August. Those flew fast
& low, buzzing loud, swooping.
Bold as drones. Super bugs for sure.
My lethal weapon? The Sun,
a literary magazine rolled up tight
Ha! Poetry! I swung it in the air like a bat
Smashed it hard against the wall, windows,
ceiling fans, TV. It took hours of intense combat
One by one they fell, these super flies
Unforgettable was the last and largest of them
It was the size of a dung beetle
In the bathroom it charged at me
kamikaze style several times
Finally, I whacked it dead
(was that a smirk on its plastered face
as I flushed it down the toilet?)
Alas, poetry had saved the day…I thought
Until that bright morning when I noticed
the small colony of white maggots
sprouting from the drain.