The Acentos Review May 2012
Joseph Rios was born and raised in the Central San Joaquin Valley. He studied English at UC Berkeley. He transferred from Fresno City College where he was a practicing editor and journalist for numerous publications. His poetry has been published in BorderSenses and the Ram's Tale. His first full-length manuscript, Impersonations, is currently seeking a publisher.

           After Mario Savio

We stood like mimes 
near a conveyor
turning out waterlogged boxes
of green green Thompsons
and purple Zinfandels(*) like bruises
the old man hopping up and down
reachingreaching arribaarriba
too short to grab empties
from the top row

He must have left his voice at home
the old man I mean
or maybe just his tongue
rotting on a stone near Nogales
where he left his younger face
wrapped in foil with bits of nopal
miles beyond the mound of nails
the forklifts beepbeepbeeping 
and the oily sprockets and chains

He just kept pointing to the hole
where his mouth used to be
reaching to scratch what was left
of the sun disappearing under a quilt
made of rowsrowsorrowsrows 
and the downturned heads
fingers blossoming behind

Mire alli esta donde los escapó

Mis sueños
me dijó
like beads of blood red juice
they each fell under hopeful feet
squashed along packing lines 
one 	two 	three 
teeth against steel
nose to the flywheel
headfirst into the machine

Josefo Chats with Chewy

              “Still, even when they laughed, 
              they laughed in Spanish.” 
              Larry Levis, Winter Stars 

Madtown, CA. Summer. Semi-truck. Cigarettes. Talk radio.
Jerking Transmission. Dancing Virgen de Guadalupe
On arm, rearview mirror. 

C: So you go to school n shit, huh? 
J: Yeah.
C: Whatchu wanna do with that?
J: I wanna be a writer.
C: No mames. And write about what?  
J: Whatever. 
C: You make good money doin that? 
J: Nah. Not really. 
C: So why the hell do you do it? 
J: Fuck if I know. 
C: You probably do it for the pussy. Dont lie fucker. 
J: Man, just drive the fuckin truck. 
C: No mames. I knew it. 
J: Fuckouttahere. 
C: You gonna write about me? 
J: Fuck you. 
C: Ay puto. Id make a good character. You should write about me. 
J:  I just did.