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About this poet

José B. González was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight. He received a BS from Bryant University, an MA from Brown University, and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island. González is the author of Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). The recipient of a 2012 Fulbright Scholarship, he teaches at the United States Coast Guard Academy and lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut.

Lines Breaking

red pen in hand,
he tells me lines should
                                                   break
in order to empha-
                                       size
certain words
like the ones in my family’s history:
first-
            shift
second-
            shift
third-
            shift,

that words are like the earth
                shifting
back and
                forth during an
earth-
                quake
& that verse has more meaning
when words can teeter-
                                            totter.

but as much as I try to
break the lines in their proper
                                                            poetic
                                                                          places
there are words
that I cannot separate,
like father, mother and child,

words that I cannot break again
like father and leaving, mother and deserting,
child and hurting,

words that stay together all by themselves,

like immigration, isolation, desolation.

From Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by José B. González. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

From Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by José B. González. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

José B. González

José B. González is the author of Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). He lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut.

by this poet

poem

finally,
a day so perfect that
this morning’s awakening bombs
are overtaken by a woman’s wind chimes
of “tamales, tamales.”

on the way to the airport
iguanas hang upside down,
even they smile.

along farms and fields
rotten bullet seeds
are overtaken by flowering

poem

She sews to sew sleeves all day,
adding arms to shirts,
& leaves in the morning
before the first chocolate melts, returns
with stretched arms that hang
as if they’ve been pulled by their joints,
& even when it seems that the rest
of her body will not catch up to her will,