two poems

by Jacob Ramirez

My Double Bass Sings I am the double doom of D battery boomboxes on blacktops Boombataa and break dancing and dunking from the baseline like a brontosaurus rippling the bay in a rhapsody of reverb sung low like bow strings over wood warm as bourbon. I am a cross-Atlantic clipper ship a hull of mahogany a harmony hauling migrants who hold records of Wagner and his Valkyries ride basslines demonic and horrific as Conquistadores ashore looking over the moan of the distant dead. I am the Gyunto monk humming Om-mani-padme-om purring at basecamp ominous as the Theremin before Victor’s monster groans his dark matter currents rise and harmonize the universe with stars fading on Atropos plucking along to Adam’s blues.   Fire This is Joan of Arc at the stake. The Allegory of the Cave. The Ring of Fire. Prometheus fanning fennel stalk to humans. Shadows and smoke thrown against black walnut trees in Salem. These are the grasslands and the Klan, a Sagittarius of torches, wild horses and hoods galloping under God. This is the slow burn of dolls and hymnals, curbs charred in Alabama. This is Bradbury’s lesson, never to let a cinder lick a book yellowed with fear. This is what I think on the beach with my daughter reading on the sand fanning herself as I build a raft of brush to burn the night enough to keep the dark away. — Jacob Anthony Ramirez is a distinguished graduate of the University of Lancaster’s MA in Creative Writing, where he studied poetry under Sarah Corbett and Paul Muldoon. He is the recipient of the 2019 Portfolio Prize. His work has been published in The Breakbeat Poets Volume IV: LatiNEXT, 45th Parallel Magazine, The San Joaquin Review, and elsewhere. He currently teaches English in Sonoma County, California where he edits Cloverse—a creative writing anthology for young writers. He lives with his wife and two children.   Artwork by: Damon Lam