Saturday Mar 25

Rojas Poetry Val Dering Rojas is a Los Angeles based poet and artist who has also studied Addiction and Recovery Counseling and Psychology. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in Referential Magazine, Dogzplot, Naugatuck River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Burnt District, District Lit, Arsenic Lobster, and Pirene's Fountain among others. She is the author of the chapbook TEN (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and a Pushcart nominee. Her second chapbook, a semi-finalist for the 2016 Kithara Prize, will be published by Glass Lyre Press Summer 2016. When not writing, Val can be found busking poems near the beaches of Venice., CA.


Now, the candied orange from such rough lemon. And this:
perfumed marmalade of bees, fruit and flower, ambrosial.

World, I didn’t want the world from you.

Here is the way things go: blanket of smoke, smudge-pot full,
olive, cinnamon and myrrh. What settles in every pore,
my thickened skin.

And now this: the balmy season of grace; the artless bloom.
Virtuous sugar giving way to something tight as a fist, size of a heart.
If I were to grow colder, you would only have me grow sweeter.

--I wanted constellations, I wanted groves of light. I wanted
sandy satellites and fragrant stars, planets with wings--

You gave me things terrestrial.

Let me love your dusky days, your keen air. Let me turn, begin
to brighten. Let me subsist on winter sun, downpour, kindness.

I’ve never asked for more than I've deserved.


Last night, you walked a path to the green ocean
and back, sunburnt field of weeds behind you. You carry
impermanence in miniature, in pockets, pant legs, dark soled
shoes: bits of asphalt, a pebble, flecks of pollen too small
to see. And though the whole of you wants to turn away
from change, a part of you keeps a steady eye
on your revolving frame of reference: you've been told
there stages of debt. Sometimes it is a starving dog,
or a school bus full of children in a ravine, or the stewardess
in mid-air who was sucked off the plane--
imagine falling from the sky to your grave--
or falling into your ordinary life, a broken branch, nothing less
than destined. But listen:
for every gnarled leg trudged through slag, every
calloused hand, for all of the needle-bunches tousled
by wind, you’ll write a letter to everything you’ve abandoned. And
when the beach-pea is tossed at your tree like Mardi Gras
beads, from between the red fescue and cliff’s edge, and
when your tree bends toward some bird’s black wing, caught
by branches like an omen, walk again past the tufts of dunegrass
to the cooling ocean. Let the benches in the bus stations
fill like pews, let the airplanes confess like strangers intimate
in the ways of escaping-- debt will let you up if you let it happen.
Be the ecstasy intensified by the sins.
Be the wind that explodes the dandelion.