Letters and broken beats by Mike fernandez


A Crush to the Fountain and Marcel Duchamp
breathing from my diaphragm
pent-up to see u
self-flushing liver i go
goat farm over carnations
choosing me over him
bare & stiff at times
face to face the steam
a crush i don’t flush 
readymade otherwise
-Mike Fernandez 


A Crush to the Fountain 
and Marcel Duchamp

breathing from my diaphragm

pent-up to see u

self-flushing liver i go

goat farm over carnations

choosing me over him

bare & stiff at times

face to face the steam

a crush i don’t flush 

readymade otherwise

-Mike Fernandez 


Mike i m drunk will u marry

But i’m not gonna give you
more ! 


Chopping half moons. Tonight. Negra we play
you too. By the throat Negra. To the alley
and windpipe. Bending knees to get through
and undo so I can see Negra. Wait. Missing
a shoe Negra. Getting cleaned up feed you first
Hungry tomorrow. Two blocks away and Negra
we knock. Tonight. Not tomorrow. Out of the way
keep the chair. Just got here I’m open Negra
By the hallway. Broken bread to your lips
the cup. Thirsty. Be over me. By her door Negra
not in the garden. Broken beat. Frozen nose wake-up
Red don’t come off Negra. A new liver out of pocket
space heater too. Lamb shanks. Saints too
child’s play Negra. Warm up. Give it Negra
will but everything Negra. Mine. Just got paid Negra
Over the water when I see you Negra. Have to go
A piece of you. Three liters out of my lungs Negra

Bull Pucky

Tater tots please

Blood boiling in Idaho…gosh, darn
Dang, heck. Fetch, holy moly

Me? Bull pucky, dipstick, smurf
shucks…You post! Frick

Gee wiz I’m looking lost and
crud, crap. What in tarnation
Dagnabbit, holy cow…

Yes, more ketchup on the tater tots
and a pop


Close to the space heater…closer to ten below and you slowly going away. Last I heard
from you, your voice banging a muffled cut…to the head. You were already gone by then.

Breathe, when you nap when you faint and can’t see. You man up, I know. And more
of a man than the one you married…throwing you across the room. Out of my bed
to perforate his skull with your heels…I tried at twelve. But this is about you on a bus
from Miami to Idaho to the green hill without a city to growing Peruvian potatoes
in Idaho…purples and yellows in the back. Three mobile homes, a rental and a home.
Homemade meals worthy of a prayer and a dance with the cat…the granddaughter
you had to have. Your boys take time to grow.

Vitamins and trips to the hospital…on time. “I’m not afraid anymore.”

Letter from the Amazon


I promised you a gift from Peru. You wanted a llama but I told you I wasn’t going to Machu Picchu..my run was to the Peruvian Amazon.

In Iquitos (Peru’s Amazon capital) are two native tribes along the Nanay River. I handed the Bora’s chief the equivalent of seven dollars (standard procedure) for the visit. A quiet lazy day at the camp…I was the only one there from the outside. The natives, young and old…barefoot, bare breasts. The young flashing their latest handmade crafts for sale. In the main hut, bewildered…I could see in the distance four native girls chasing a group of tourists who weren’t interested in their goods. Is this how they make a living? That and yam farming. Perhaps Ayahusca, the tonic that makes you hallucinate (but that’s another story). Is it enough to feed a tribe of four hundred? It’s been forty years since they were brought down to this side of Iquitos by travel agents.

“Do you have any candy?” she whispers. “No. I wish I did.” She had to be around twelve years old. “Take this Boa’s bracelet for the black t-shirt.” “The one tied to my bag?…It’s dirty” I answered. “I’ll wash it” she says…grabbing the shirt with a gentle touch. I was sitting next to her. Holding my camera, looking into her eyes…my right hand wouldn’t move to take her photograph.

The black t-shirt was still damp from washing it the night before. I had puked at the hostel after taking herbal medicine. On my way to the bathroom, I grabbed the t-shirt so I wouldn’t destroy the patio’s clean tiles…couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough. I wonder if the NY Times still gives those out to weekender subscribers?

In this photograph the girl and my t-shirt are somewhere in there…behind morning mist and banana leaves.

Talk soon,


Found someone better
by the kitchen floor
who eats two apples
for dinner

Since May

October on time
now Devil behind
from Domingo
mud on carpet
until November

Ucayali River

On hammocks
wooden benches
and the floor
Ucayali River
heavy load
in sleep and sweat
A pot of rice
for two
for many
Goods to sell
tight enough
to trust the rope
Rope we know
to fish and cross
wide enough
to trash
back and forth
to feed the floor
wooden benches
and the load


saving a little bit of cash
Yes  my hands swell up
I get out in an hour

My friend says he has a job
for me on the weekends

I have another house
to clean on mondays


Come by the restaurant
I’ll give you something

I have a place to stay
You are coming to me
with cold beers

Thinking about Lima

Thinking about Lima, the only thing that hadn’t changed in twenty years
is the stadium’s urinal. The smell of championships’ past…the shit years
the quick sell, looking tough. Going back…to the dirty, to AM Radio in the patio
to the stranger and the young hanging from buses by midnight tomorrow

Queen’s Crown


To the sheep and goatskin by the Crown
And the calf’s dust at five. Salt shaker
in wranglers riding bareback, the Queen
To your boots…tonight, sage and miles
Hay and water. To belt buckles
and bus rides to the bottom

And goat trailers


…for the shoes
nor chickens
or water for plants

No show…angelwise

In days, arm over
waist, twisted lad
on paper bag
make do


The cake nearly average
the household nearly men
and godly…the keeper
nearly honest
The rodeo nearly finished
And we’re nearly legal
and country
Nearly brilliant…nearly


Shovel to the earth
to the flower
to you
to me
to begin
to know
to beat
to one’s feet
to toddle
to you