Poetry by Ruben Guzman

Ruben Guzman

Winter Blue

The winter of my youth was always blue and vacant.

Dim and neglectful, the sun veiled his secrets,

Forgetting about me – the summer boy.

Instead, the moon was my blue sun.

Funny that the moon shines brighter on a winter’s night,

Than the sun on a winter’s day.

In the day snow is tinted in a powder blue.

But at night the blues are richer, quieter, lonelier.

On those nights,

I would stand in the middle of a field,

A baseball field hidden underneath the snowdrifts.

I stared beyond the thinning film of boyhood into crisp constellations of midnight blue.

I searched to see where my whys would go.

I thought they would find their way to the sun,

Where he was warming the faces of other lost boys like me.

I waited for an answer in the winter blue.

As I looked back at my juvenile footprints in the moonlit snowpack,

Bordered in a blue so restless,

Formed by the weight of my precocious feet,

The unsatisfied prints deepened with each returned why.


Double Dutch

Double Dutch don’t mean much

Jumping rope cla-clack clu-clutch

The sistahs smacking gum and such

To pass the summer heat’s wry touch.


The metronomic rhythm rides

The inner city’s fateful tides

As the Double Dutch ropes fly

See which sistah bids her byes


Jump in jump out the timing goes

Like so many of her urban woes

The brothas say they work they hoes

They aint be frontin I suppose


Two ropes determine who can stay

That’s how the Double gets his way

The Dutch alliteration play

Means sistahs let chance have its say


The game of risk is what’s at stake

In sex and love that lovers make

The girl’s virginity he take

It flares on concrete watch it bake


She falls into the playah’s trap

The ropes collide and sting and wrap

She aint about to take this crap

When he stops her with a slap


The next girl pauses before jump

Will she avoid the natal bump

That threatens from the double hump

Will Double Dutch ropes make her gump


And from my flat I watch it all

One rope of pride, one rope of fall

The ritual of summer’s call

Still preys upon young sistahs y’all


See DD is a brother’s game

The sistahs chide that it’s to blame

Both sexes playin all the same

Like timebombs bout to trip


Ruben Guzman, Artist of the Month, June 2012
Ruben Guzman, Artist of the Month, June 2012

Ruben Guzman completed an M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He currently resides in Orange County, California, and is a community college Registrar. The Fountain in Forsyth Park is his first novel.