The VGP Literate NO. 20

The Freedom to Commit Suicide

nowhere left to look
the rain cleared the way
no dream with open doors
the only devotee

outside, night strolls
on its high heels
I lie in wait of myself
the hours trip
on what I never say

Ms. Joplin
your voice rips apart
my face,
my tie― the mark
of all hanged men

then there is you
―contained noise,
acrobatics… I fall,
you hurt, I oscillate,
you heal

free me,
disappearing island
& painted sea,
not from memory but from
the light that is desire



Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal.  He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 7

What is this Love that you Speak of?

You are an artist
and I am a writer
and so I knew
that breaking
would be a given.
You and I are better
as a story and on skin.
Your fits are brutal
with words like fists
and mine are choreographed
complete with maudlin tears
burned canvases
broken beer bottles
my collection of ceramic owls
and my words in a basket
and a loud and clear, Fuck You.
We are children
pretending to be
grown ups by
paying the bills
looking both ways
tying our shoe laces
wearing seat belts and
whispering at the library.
But truly
we just want to strip down
and let the waves
the wind
the moon
and whatever higher power
has a hold of us
to set us free.
My heart is paper.
When you tear it out
I fold it into Yoda
or a Lotus Flower,
and I place it gently
into your hands.
You are always impressed
and so you take me back.
We are mostly about the exits
and the entrances aren’t we?
Always happy to see each other
after some time apart.
And the shelf where I
keep my owls is always empty.
Is this love?



BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

It was the year of good hygiene
and fatal diseases.

It was the year of sketching fruit
and cutting the sleeves off of her blouses.

It was the year of coloring books
and reading Tolstoy .

It was the year of free love
and monogamy.

It was the year of innocence
pig tails, pink, and plush.

It was the year of no religion
and finding God.

It was the year of driving without a seat belt
and saying fuck rules, fuck shrinks, and fuck you.

It was the year of painting
every room ” Buttercup Yellow.”

It was the year of nightmares
and eating in bed.

It was the year of hating mothers
and loving fathers .

It was the year of being a republican
and falling in love with democrats

It was the year of bandaged wrists
and throwing away knives.

It was the year of loving her feet
and hating her hands.

It was the year of avoiding cats
and collecting puppies.
It was the year of seeking truth
and sewing the sleeves back onto her blouses.

It was another year of not knowing
who she is and pretending that she does.


Holly Jaffe has participated in The Palm Beach Poetry Festival for the last 5 years. She has competed in local poetry slams and has been published in a South Florida talent magazine.

Originally published on December 15, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry.