Two Poems: Youth and To Silence


Youth is a pig, a certain nervousness.

Blindly, youth trots in,
makes its noise.

Its comma-mouth keeps running on.

You grow comfortable with youth,
stay up each night.

At every turn: rain, music, whatever.

Only later do you feel
(eyes red

from every bristle
of coming light) how

the husky snout roots through your heart.


To Silence

I never questioned
your meeting me here.
You’ve decided to hold

the place of my father,
no body, only
the air between us.
You slip behind
each word,

and crowd. Marching
beside my next breath,
which for you
is a kind of blank page,

I am learning
to get a sense
of where we’re going.


Click here to read José Angel Araguz on the origin of the poems.


Image: “Hey, Pig Feeder” by Paul Williamson, licensed under CC 2.0.

José Angel Araguz:
Every poem for me is a balance of formal and conceptual risk. On the formal side, both poems are composed of 55 words each. They are part of a project of using this formal decision to define a poetic version of “milagros” and “anti-milagros.” Milagro means miracle in Spanish; the word in the context of which I’m referencing means specifically folk objects created in the likeness for which a miracle is sought. For my purposes, then, this project consists of poems composed of a strict word count with the milagro idea in mind; an anti-milagro seeks to depict an object for which no miracles are possible. This duality mirrors that of life and death, and also evokes the animation in between. From these ideas to these two poems: In “Youth” and “To Silence,” the goal was to use metaphors to dwell and speak from the space of needing a miracle, yet knowing there are no such things, and the reality of only having poems.

José Angel Araguz
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