Rumpus Original Poetry: Four Poems by Jose Hernandez Diaz





The West

The West has a seagull as President. The West bathes in the sun and the moonlight. The West skates and surfs and raps and cruises. The West flies a kite in spring. The West does not fear winter or Mexicans. The West eats a burrito for breakfast. The West has Korean BBQ for lunch. The West never forgives. Never forgets. The West will not go down without a fight. The West is strong. The West is light. The West can hold a thorn rose between her lips. The West, The West, The West.


The Blue Hummingbird 

The blue hummingbird paints abstract paintings, with its wings, on the ceilings of governments. The blue hummingbird does not sleep at all nor does it dream. The blue hummingbird steals nectar from the heart of a lion. The blue hummingbird once flew over a parade of Eagle and Jaguar Knights. The blue hummingbird sings Odes to California at the coolest of dawn. The blue hummingbird can see over the Golden Gate Bridge, through the fog in the city. The blue hummingbird has been alive for 22 million years and is thriving. Dear blue hummingbird, please hum me to sleep.


The Seagull

The seagull flew over the ocean and back to its home on the beach. The seagull stood on the edge of the pier and watched the sea. The seagull almost crashed into a palm tree in the middle of the night. The seagull walked along the shore as waves crashed at its feet. The seagull walked past napping sea lions on the slippery pier. The seagull was sketched onto a helmet of a high school football team. The seagull once flew to Antarctica on a dare from a pirate. At sunset, the seagull slept in the sand in the middle of the beach.


The Palm Tree

The palm tree stood on the beach and laughed at the sea. The palm tree: juxtaposed with a seagull, sun, and the clouds. The palm tree was tattooed onto the arm of a motorcycle vandal. The palm tree recalled the pink sunset of another century. The palm tree is light. The palm tree must not be forsaken in the heat of the night. The palm tree has roots. The palm tree is mine. The palm tree grew wings. The palm tree can fly.


Photograph of Jose Hernandez Diaz by Victor G. Sánchez.

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Bat City Review, Cincinnati Review, Georgia Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, The Progressive, The Southeast Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He tweets at @JoseHernandezDz. More from this author →