17 Santa Cruz Poets — The 17th Annual National Poetry Month - 2012 PreviousNextHome


Maria Garcia Teutsch

Maria Garcia Teutsch

About Maria:

MARIA GARCIA TEUTSCH is a poet and editor. She has published over 20 journals of poetry as editor-in-chief of the Homestead Review, published by Hartnell College in Salinas, and Ping-Pong journal of art and literature, published by the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California. She is the author of several chapbooks, most recently, Chronicles on Violence, and Pussy. She is widely published and has forthcoming publications in the Whole Beast Rag, The Porter Gulch Review, and the anthology, "Where Nothing Happens, the best of the Henry Miller Library." She is currently working on a manuscript entitled, American Poet living in a Muslim Country. For more information please visit: mariateutsch.blogspot.com

As I gather wood for a fire

I notice a dull-faced wrentit
and his dun mate
screech madness
from  bare mimosa

The problem is a Steller’s Jay
too close to their home.
He eyes the wrentit’s nest
from his perch in the butterfly bush,
with a demeanor of demolition.

He moves in a sky-flash
and rips apart their nest--
grassy heads
litter the dirt
with seeds and one silver string.

Three Mallards fly overhead.


Orange webbed feet
maneuver a splash
in the creek.


I try to duct-tape the nest
together again.
minding the blind chicks
like bits of twigs
cheeping horny beaks.


The woods absorb all drama
Chickadees bounce
on the bottle-brush,
finches fly
back and forth
making z’s and x’s
on the bottoms of clouds.

I drink a dirty martini
and smile
at the man
who roasts
dead things
over the fire.


"You can't keep me from drowning if it's what I choose."

                  your voice is an osprey’s
      to catch a fish.

The answer of nests
on telephone poles.
      The blue lilt of my sigh,

on this kayak
      slapped by the sea, I tilt.

At the last gulp of salt water:

my stubbornness
                  a hammerhead
                                  a vortex
buoys me up
                  into the day’s
long light.

slap my silver
                  self on board,
      and gasping—


I Race a Train

I race a train to erase the day
tough graffiti, I tap my foot to the chuga-chuga,

count each day unsolved like the box cars,
which are full of the lumber

we used to call trees.
I race clouds in canals next to the harbor,

watch seabirds watch
frigatebirds dive into toxic tides.

I race rows and rows of lettuce,
lettuce rises like a choir of voices: steam

above each head, sound
is drowned

by the thwack-thwack of a helicopter rotor
hiss and spray over the fields,

I cannot outrace this fog
of filth,

and try not to breathe as I enter my house.
Outside my window

a valley of wind and lettuce
in a sea of earth. 

Off in the distance
a helicopter

no bigger than a spoon is headed toward my table.

Ancheta || Atkinson || Crux || Dancing Bear || Freeman || Glick || Ifland || Moody || Omosupe || Robbins || Sirens || Spencer || Sullivan || Sumrall || Tagami || Teutsch || Weisner
  Co-sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz and phren-Z   A publication of Santa Cruz Writes