The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Doren Robbins



I remember Lorca holding a paper plate
with Greek figs and almonds. He was looking at a child
who sometimes looked like him. And because Lorca
is comprehensible at all times, and because all poems slang
some cry or they’re swindled out of carrying the cry
for the uterus of sound––you don’t repress it without regret.
When I was nineteen and read Lorca I said this guy could turn
a leaf into a sail. He could’ve trained a clown’s dog easy.
Did I understand what he was talking about?
Of course I did I lived in the imagination with my cold fruit cup
and twenty-three pencils that were ecstatic without me.
One of the thugs that shot him shrugged when the officer said
“the assassinated man was a fag and a communist.”
I don’t know if Lorca would’ve found his quieted down side
or if he needed one. The fate of fierce consequence
maybe never occurred to him as a way to think.
The Spanish Civil War was a topic people that read books
or lived through still talked about back then.
When I started reading him people I knew were trying to
figure out Surrealist dream language alongside his missing body
alongside Spain cratered into…into…like there’s a sufficient way
to describe the condition we arrived at? And the maintenance
of the condition? It consumed him one of the first.
I believe the horse vine leaking out the end of the last rain
resolved––the way only a plant can resolve––to grow next to him
close to his thighs. And Lorca, the pitcher of water, the tense
camellia against the window, his mouth full of melody,
full of the dancer opening his fist.




DOREN ROBBINS' is a poet and mixed media artist from Santa Cruz, California. His work has appeared in many publications, including The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, 5 AM, Hotel Amerika, The Indiana Review, Nimrod, Sulphur, and The Iowa Review. Past collections of his poetry, Driving Face Down and My Piece of the Puzzle were awarded the Blue Lynx Poetry Award 2001 and the 2008 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, respectively. His recent book Twin Extra: A Poem In Three Parts (Wild Ocean Press 2015) was nominated for the National Jewish Book Council Award in Poetry.



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