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About this poet

David Trinidad is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Notes on a Past Life (BlazeVOX [books], 2016) and Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera (Turtle Point Press, 2013). He teaches at Columbia College and lives in Chicago. 

9773 Comanche Ave.

In color photographs, my childhood house looks
fresh as an uncut sheet cake—
pale yellow buttercream, ribbons of white trim

squeezed from the grooved tip of a pastry tube.
Whose dream was this confection?
This suburb of identical, pillow-mint homes?

The sky, too, is pastel. Children roller skate
down the new sidewalk. Fathers stake young trees.
Mothers plan baby showers and Tupperware parties.
The Avon Lady treks door to door.

Six or seven years old, I stand on the front porch,
hand on the decorative cast-iron trellis that frames it,
squinting in California sunlight,
striped short-sleeved shirt buttoned at the neck.

I sit in the backyard (this picture's black-and-white),
my Flintstones playset spread out on the grass.
I arrange each plastic character, each dinosaur,
each palm tree and round "granite" house.

Half a century later, I barely recognize it 
when I search the address on Google Maps 
and, via "Street view," find myself face to face—

foliage overgrown, facade remodeled and painted 
a drab brown. I click to zoom: light hits
one of the windows. I can almost see what's inside.

Copyright © 2010 by David Trinidad. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by David Trinidad. Used with permission of the author.

David Trinidad

David Trinidad

David Trinidad is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Notes on a Past Life (BlazeVOX [books], 2016) and Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera (Turtle Point Press, 2013).

by this poet

poem

for Nick Twemlow

It’s annoying
how much
junk mail
comes through
the slot
& accumulates
at the foot
of the stairs

mostly menus
from restaurants
in the neighborhood

endlessly
coming through
the slot

despite

poem

To be one such one—for one night only.
To be singled out
for this brief distinction

and fly first class (on miles),
wear black tie, walk red carpet.
To be met with smiles

and camera-flash
and then be asked,
by a stringer,
“Who are you?”

“A poet? What’s it

2
poem

                          is dark
a neglected mansion

with vanishing court
rats in the empty pool

and antiquated actress
languishing

as ghost of her famous self
flickers in the projector’s beam

or framed in silver
haunts every room

Face unrecognizable?

2