Edwin Alanis García


Edwin Alanis Garcia is the author of Galería, forthcoming in 2018 from Ugly Duckling Presse. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and is currently an MTS student in Philosophy of Religion at Harvard Divinity School.

Ode to the Superego's Guillotine

(After María Izquierdo's Sueño y presentimento)



I haven't spoken in years and

must vent to my therapist

via Morse telegraph:

         Raul and I had another fight STOP

         he says that we never talk anymore STOP

         and I think, 'thank goddess for that' STOP

         let that pendejo get a stroke STOP

         so he'll be the one slackjawed and silent STOP

Then I cry and try to apologize, state that I'm

not a monster, though my throat only

mimics the wheels of a derailed train.


My therapist taps a pen made of human

bone against her clipboard. Her blazer is gray

besides a few bloodstains. She's wearing a black

t-shirt that says, “Psych majors do it on the couch.”

(She once said that nature's greatest gift is humor,

because with it you could make someone laugh

before you cut their heart out, at which point

¿who could discern a grin from a grimace?)


She says she wants to dig deeper.

She rubs blue paint over her face

and blows into a skull-shaped whistle.

Her naked orderlies cart out a TV

mounted atop a pyramid-shaped

contraption. I tap the obsidian

screen and it wraps me in wires;

the machine's electrodes are pasted

to my scalp. It's a monstrous device

of twitching lights called the Ekphrastastic 9000.


My therapist still won't speak, but takes

notes on my mindscreen:

the airy trees,

the engulfing window,

the inevitable garden

and its ocular rain.

She clucks her tongue, lifts a finger,

and a light bulb levitates above her

now headdressed head.


She reaches into her handbag and pulls out

a human head by its thick black hair, then

drops it onto her desk. The neck meat

plops onto her daily planner, the face

swivels and suddenly I'm looking at myself.

I'm very bloody, but pretty, and then my head


         Todos van a olvidarte.


My one functional hand

flips off the wall, believing it to contain

one of Diego's stupid fucking murals.

Then the hand rises to my cheek

to wipe a tear, instead finding empty space,

and it drips slick and ruddy

across a flailing body

until a stopwatch chimes

and our time is up for the week,

and for the years to come. 






Notes on Hiding in Enemy Territory

(After Augustín Lazo's Fusilamiento)

southern sourblood family

                  sets root

        in the midwest,

moved in

            by building a fence.





         before the fall of the Berlin Wall,
   a    pissed anglo pissed

                  on our wooden pickets.

dad cussed him out

                         wielding the only Spanish

       I knew.


                                                      white boy didn't know what he did,

                                                      please maybe forgive him for he

                                                      didn't know what he did (Toro. Mierda.)


[there's a possible line here where 'hate' rhymes with 'micturate', or where I neologize our hometown as 'Micturatlan', written in a possible world where I think I'm clever, thus safe.]


cognate white boy in grammar school

head popped under the bathroom stall

while I peed, waiting to scream at me

and see if I was shaded everywhere.

         (in class he said if he had one hundred dollars

         he would buy an army tank and that someone

         would drop an atom bomb on my family's house.)


                  our little wall stood and stands, glory of rusted nails and moldy splinters

                                                               and isolated empire.


         since that age

                  the nascent sin thrill

when I rake leaves

            with one foot   in

                           the neighbor's driveway,

       undiscovered country in blacktop,

                                    a place

     with a proper name—oh the places we'll go—then

                           I step off the transgression

                                                                        and am gone nowhere.

© The Acentos Review 2017