Poetry Showcase: Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal (March 2023)

What is its Name?

A shadow is a shadow
but what is its name?
I call mine Bubba Ho-Tep
like that Bruce Campbell film.

A cloud is a cloud,
but what is its name?
The one above me I have
named Predator 2.

What would you call those
spy balloons over North
America? I call each one
The Spy Who Loved Me.

I feel so deflated some
days that I do not have
the mind coordination
to come up with any name. 

August 4, 1993: The Ryan Express vs. Robin Ventura

What were you
thinking, Robin
Ventura, charging 
the Ryan Express
after being hit
by a pitch? If not,
for that charge
to the mound,
my brother Juan
would not have
made that frame,
the photo cut
out from the sports
page. Ryan had
you in a headlock 
with his fist about
to give you one
of the many noogies
you received that
fateful night that
would be celebrated 
for years. Google
it if you never seen it.
We have the fight
framed for posterity.
You never got a punch
in, Robin, but that
took guts going after
the 46-year-old legend,
20 years your senior,
whose punch was just 
as fierce as his fastball.
To add insult to injury,
Ryan stayed in the game
while you were ejected. 

The Moon is Dying

“The moon is dying,”
she says to me.
“It will come back
tomorrow,” she adds

I said to her, “Did you
know the wind was
dying too?” I then said,
“The wind is also
coming back.”

She looked at me
and sighed, “Wow,
my sighs are coming
back too. I can’t
recall my last sigh.”

I told her, “Did you
notice the grass is
dying?” She said,
“That’s okay. At least
you are saving water.”

“Of all the dying
things, I would miss
most, it would be
the moon,” she said,
sighing two times.

The Place I Was Born

As long as my memory
remains intact I will not
forget about the place
I was born, where I was
raised by my abuelos,
Elpidio y Florencia. I
learned so much from
my mother’s parents.
I would only see them
one more time after 1975.
It was the summer of 1978
when I last stepped in the
land of my birth. I left a
life behind to live a new
life in California with my
parents and siblings. I
remember crying at 18
years old upon hearing of
my abuelo’s death. Did
I break his heart when
I left him and my abuela?
They were always with me.
I did not know it then. 

Interesting Shrub

Twilight was no apparition.
Sunrise was no illusion.
I shared my lens with the trees,
the hard cement, and the bees.
The ancients gods were a myth.
The thunder disagreed as it
roared beyond the clouds.

I felt a drop of rain.
Snow was too far away.
I could see it high up
in the hillside mountains.

I felt the cool, crisp air.
My lens captured the leaves
but not myself. Camera-shy,
I opted to film the arteries
of an interesting shrub.

The sky was all ablaze.
Suddenly, twilight came.
The trees spoke to me
about the black sky coming.

Bio: Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poetry has appeared in Fevers of the Mind, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories, and Venus in Scorpio Poetry Ezine.  

all drawings from Luis as well.

New poetry Showcase from Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal – September 2022

all artwork by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

It is Hell

It is hell
to live in a place
where there is a big city 
like Los Ángeles.
Brecht had it right.
Los Ángeles can be hell.

I also love it.
I do not want to move just yet.
We have large trees
teeming with fruit,
lots and lots of fruit.

The traffic and smog
is like no other. I own that.
Foolish people behind the wheel,
they are the people of hell,
finding happiness now and then,
even in this hell.

There are lovely houses
and many people stay in the street
because villas are for the rich.
They too live in hell.

A Crow’s Song

Outside my window
the crow sings to me
or rather it mocks me
or it does neither.
It is just singing about
life and its complexities.
Or I am simply grasping 
for straws, trying to
make up my own story
out of a crow’s song.
Hatching a Heatwave on a Hump Day in Los Angeles
for Robert Edwards

In an hour’s time
the darkened skyline 
hatches a heatwave 
over the mountains 
on a hump day in
Los Angeles. 

I drink coffee
and eat an egg with
bacon breakfast 
while the skies fill up
with red, yellow, and
orange sun splash.

If you close your
eyes and take a nap
from five thirty am
to six fifteen, you
miss the sun’s birth
in the distant south.

Beat the Cure into Me
After Robert Smith

Time to open up your mouth
Carry your voice down the street
Converse that conversation 
Raise the volume a little bit
Because I fear it may be fading
I am begging you to shout out
The way you feel about you and me
Take the nail out of the coffin
Yeah, let it all out and be free
Pick up the noise, pick up the scream
Let the words flow from your mouth
I will respond to you in kind
Let’s go out and let’s stay in after
I’ll comb my hair and you’ll let yours down
Put away that pout, let’s twist and shout
Beat the cure into me, beat the cure into me
I fall under your spell when I hear you speak
Put your head on my shoulder
I want to look into your face
Time to open up our mouths
Carry our voices down this street 

Bio: Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles CA. His poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Fevers of the Mind, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories. 

A Poetry Showcase from Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal 

Poetry from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal 

Poetry Showcase by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal : Grave Concerns

Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle

Cover photo by Paul Brookes of Wombwell

Bare Bones Writings is an extension of http://www.Feversofthemind.com . Themes we are Looking for Poetry/prose/articles/other styles of writing are for Adhd Awareness, Mental Health, Anxiety, Culture, History, Social Justice, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Love, Poem series, sonnets, physical health, pandemic themes, Trauma, Retro/pop culture, inspired by music/songwriters, inspired by classic & current writers, frustrations. Artwork. Music, Poetry, Book reviews.

Issue 1 includes tributes to poets/writers that contributed to Fevers of the Mind in the past including Kari Ann Flickinger, Scott Christopher Beebe & Dai Fry.

A Fevers of the Mind Musician Spotlight on the albums of Marissa Nadler.

Short Interviews from the Quick-9 interview series with Khalisa Rae, Ron Sexsmith, & Shaindel Beers.

Poetry/Writings from Kari Ann Flickinger, Dai Fry, Scott Christopher Beebe, Paul Brookes, Bill Abney, Ankh Spice, David L O’Nan, Robert Frede Kenter (with poems about Lou Reed), Glenn Barker, Rc deWinter, K Weber, Robin McNamara, Elizabeth Cusack, an art/poetry collaboration between Lia Brooks & Phil Wood, the first 5 poems from Hiraeth Series by Kushal Poddar, Barney Ashton-Bullock, Spriha Kant, Jennifer Patino (with a poem inspired by Audrey Hepburn) and artwork by Maggs Vibo, Matthew M C Smith, HilLesha O’Nan, Lily Maureen O’Nan, Ken Benes, Jessica Weyer Bentley, R.D. Johnson, Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo, Norb Aikin, Andrew Darlington, Liam Flanagan, Christina Strigas, Lorraine Caputo, Conny Borgelioen, Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, Colin Dardis, Petar Penda, Helen Openshaw, Matthew Freeman, Christian Garduno, Eileen Carney Hulme, Colin James, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, Marisa Silva-Dunbar, Kate Garrett, A.R. Salandy, John Chinaka Onyeche, Doryn Herbst


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Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

A Poetry Showcase from Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

The Pond

The pond is filled with quarters,
though they are in the bellies of
fish, and the alligators have both
of them in their bellies, and there
are dimes and pennies that no one

wants. The water is deep. There 
are wishes and hopes attached to
those coins. They never come true
when you do not believe the wish
will come true. I fish for quarters

when I am fed up with life. I hope
for wealth to buy me alligator snake
boots; the ones who inhabit this 
pond. The ones that eat up our hope.

Ice Box Kids

My kids are in the ice box.
It was too hot outside for them.
Take my word for it. If you want
some ice cream, you can check.

They will be better off there.
All they do is sleep anyway.
I can put them on defrost in
the microwave a little later.

They need to stretch their legs.
They can’t pretend to be ice
cubes all day. I am sure there
is a community waiting for them.

These kids get in all sorts of
trouble when they play out in
the sun. They need a little cooling 
off in the ice box for their own good.

You can take them if you want them.
I need space for the twins I am having.
I can tell they will need cooling off.
They are kicking up a storm inside me.

Answering Questions

Drink a little water.
Live in the forest.
There are things I need.
A house with rooms.

A house with walls.
I need everything.
The eye needs glasses.
I need everything.
I can say this place
needs a bomb.

Drink a little water.
These eyes need glasses.
The house needs windows
and beds and chairs.
I need bread and butter.
Who is going to help me?

Feed on Life

Feed on life 
as long as
you can
before death
feeds on you.

Those hungry 
worms await
with the
of vultures.

Life has its 
terms and it
It does not
care less if

you are weak
or if you 
are strong.
It will come.
It will go.

are out there
to feed
on you as
you are down.

Feed on life
while you have
the strength.
It is all
I can say.

I Used To Know Everything

I put people to rest in my sleep.
I send them to the dark side of the moon.
I have a powerful mind brain.
I burn paper and with its ashes I make gold.

I used to know everything.
I don’t know why I am best at forgetting.
I sit in this sidewalk all alone.
I watch the firemen put out fires all day.

I am in need of cigarettes.
I smoke them to relax myself and to
fight cancer mano a mano.
It gets awfully cloudy where I live.

Bio: Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poetry has appeared in Fevers of the Mind, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories, and Venus in Scorpio Poetry Ezine.

all drawings by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

Poetry from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

photo from unsplash.com (Kelly Sikkema)

Shadows and Darkness

I trace life 
with a poem.
If I die, 
my poem 
will live on.

The shadows 
will recite it.
Darkness will 
commit it to 

Swallow Your Mirror

Swallow your mirror.
Digest your vanity.
You can do it.
Let it enter and exit
and flush it down
the sewers of
darkness and rats.
Somewhere it will
sparkle, the vanity
of your own making.
Let the crystals shine,
the shattered pieces 
all around. Who has
been down there?
Will anyone find
all that remains
of your mirror,
of your vain face,
and who will care?
In the sewers
where the dream fades,
where blood and glass 
flows. Who knows?
Are birds there too,
with lost songs that
drives one to tears?
There is no light.
Crazily, the deeper
you go down the sewer,
symbols are everywhere.
Suddenly, a road 
appears in the
shadow, and it must
be a wrong road.
Vanity stops
and asks if it is 
alright to die.
When it is no more,
when it stops,
you can hear the lost
songs of sickly birds.
The sewer ends here
with the lost songs.
You taste the blood.
The mirror repairs
itself and you see
the vanity fade.
The eyes are
open, not blind.
After awhile,
you exalt I am alive.
The mirror becomes
your best friend in life.

Plant a Tree

Be the mind
that turns words
to honey.

Be the eyes 
that bring fire
to the page.

Make it sweet.
Make it burn.
Make it live.

Do something
never done.
Take a risk.

Or plant a
tree that will
outlive all

the poems
you wrote in
your whole life.

Precious Lives

Street cat crosses my path
Precious nine lives at risk
Heat rising to one hundred
Precious life needs a drink

Kicks a can just for kicks
Precious time ticking fast
Bricks are dropping on the street
Precious has no need for shame

Wanna file a complaint?
Wanna make a federal case?
It won’t make it better 
Mean streets make mean cats

Avenue fills up with cats
Precious lives need saving
View it from every street corner
Precious days, precious nights

Hip cats walk on by
Precious time on their side
Slip up and things will change 
Precious luck could go away

Wanna file a complaint?
Wanna make a federal case?
It needs to get better
Suck the poison and spit it out

Way is the end of the street’s name
Pavement is the cat’s bed
Baby cat is out there too 
Night falls along with the rain

Ethereal whispers fill the air 
Precious voices drowned out
Imperial folks hoard their wealth
Precious like Sméagol’s gold ring

Stayed with the cat as it walked its 
precious life across the street
Made a left on the way home
Precious time ticking fast
Off work on Friday makes me

wanna go home and pass out
Wanna file a complaint?
It will not make things better
Mean streets make mean cats

Night in My Eyes

Salt in my tears.
Night in my eyes.
Faucet with drips.
Sea without waves.
Cautiously, I 
walk like the blind.
I settle in
my grave, alive.

Bio: Born in Mexico, Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poetry has appeared in Blue Collar Review, Crossroads, Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories, and Yellow Mama Webzine. His latest poetry book, Make the Water Laugh, was published by Rogue Wolf Press.

Poetry Showcase by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal : Grave Concerns