Richard Garcia


These two poems were written in classes I was teaching. They are the result of an exercise in which you prepare notes for a poem, but then hand the notes to someone else who writes the poem. I do have several poems that are dramatic monologues in a female voice. My method in those was to start with a secret that was not my own, and then to listen to the voice of the person revealing more of the secret. To try and get out of the way, and to let that person speak.



A Poem by Ann White

This is my first poem
by Ann White.
I wrote another poem
by Ann White
but that was lost at midnight
on a dark sidewalk—
think about it.
I am not Ann White.
I am Ann White.
You are not Ann White.
Ann White is a little
furry animal, half cat
half dog, half beaver.
How is that possible?
Think about it.
Emerald was the color
of my mother’s first dream.
Travel is the shape of my foot.
Ann White is my name
sliding down an embankment
on a sheet of cardboard
is my game. I’m Ann White
who has drowned
in three different seasons
in three different time zones.
At 1500 degrees oxygen
has the memory of patchouli.
The first time I drowned
I survived by changing my name
to Theresa Black.
The second time I drowned
I walked upside down
on my fingertips
right on to the beach
of Dead Man’s lake
and was mistaken for a failed
experiment in evolution.
Dead Man’s lake
forms part of Lost Man
Reservoir that is fed
by Difficult Creek.
Now I am drowning
inside this poem
by Ann White.
Think about it.


A Poem by Kit Lonely

Even though scientists
have found the bones of time,
I can still draw cats
or palmetto bugs,
which is one way of saying
cockroach, even if
I‘m only jump-roping
on a gravel driveway.
Even though I am not
Kit Lonely, I can still
write this, my first poem
by Kit Lonely. After all,
time is slowing down
just as surely as tired
shadows drag their feet.
A cat sits on a lawn,
the curve of her whiskers
makes her appear to be smiling.
But when she runs, she runs
on the wind, she runs on the wind.
I can draw a straw
that turns out to be
my real name, Katherine,
which comes from grandfather’s
lover. No, not the one
In Alaska who claimed
not to know he was married.
I can draw myself
racing down a hill
on my bike, Flash.
What did I know?
It was midnight, July
‘67 and I refused to wear
my training bra because
I thought my blue, floppy hat
flapping in the wind
made me a hippie.
But even then I suspected
the caboodle of time
like a dryer in the Open
All NightLaundromat,
was slowing down slowing
down. I could tell by the way
the spokes of my bicycle
flickered in slow motion,
In the light of the silver moon.
In the light of the silver moon.




Richard Garcia's most recent publication is a chapbook of prose poems, Chickenhead, available only online from FootHills Publishing: He lives on James Island, SC, with his wife, poet Katherine Williams, and their dog Louie. He teaches at the Antioch low residency in LA and privately online. Richard's website is