What did I do to deserve a day full of clouds,
threatening to drown me under their oppressive
gray beards? A day when even the traffic
encroaches like a murder of crows, as you
take shelter in a small cafe, unaware the coffee
has conspired with the cup to overthrow
gravity and take refuge in the embassy of your lap.
A waitress tries to quell the flames of revolution
with a wet towel, but crushes your nether region
in a painful coup that will last for days.
As you sit and think, how you’ve always
hated politics, but knew one day they’d find you.
—from Rattle #15, Summer 2001
José Hernando Chaves: “I tend to write poetry in all forms that contain an element of the absurd, and I believe the lyric can be a powerful vehicle for comedy as well as tragedy.”