An Introduction:

Though I have read a lot of poetry, mostly for classes but also occasionally for pleasure, I have had very little experience actually writing it. I found it to be both rewarding and very frustrating (though in the end I think the frustration was worth it). The poems I chose to include in this collection are: Madrid, Messy, Those Black Boots, I would call them dancers, and Diabetes. It was from these poems that the name “Hot Piss / Hot Shit” came from; each one (except perhaps “Messy”) depicts and describes the dirty, raw, and crude, though not necessarily in an ugly way. As is hopefully obvious, I tried to stay away from the perfect and focus on the senses and the body; sound, smells, texture, tastes, sight, and desires. I placed Madrid first because I think it really embodies what I wanted to write about, it captures most of the senses and the fourth line “like hot piss and sweaty people” is part of the title. Messy follows as it is lighter and less bodily than the others and so I thought having it second would sort of lighten the collection, especially because I put Those black boots next. This one is more about desire, darker and visceral. It’s supposed to be sort of vague, unlike the previous one. My favorite poem, I would call them dancers, took me forever to revise, though I only changed the placement of three words. I placed this poem second to last because I think it sort of “interrupts” the rest and changes the pace, emphasizing that though the poems are in the same collection, they are all very different. I didn’t want to leave the reader with this one (as I will later explain), but I wanted them to remember it—to feel the shift from the previous. This brings me to the last poem, Diabetes. I placed this last for several reasons, one of which is, like Madrid, the third stanza captures the title “Hot piss and warm sweat / mixed with humid dog shit.” I wanted to leave the collection as I started it; raw and real.

Madrid  

A city larger than my own

warm sun hitting my face

something smelled different

like hot piss and sweaty people

but also kind of sweet

like warm croissants

 

everything was so orange, so busy

the train a sped-up version of reality

 

their voices husky; soft, even when they were yelling

like a song you never want to stop playing

she sounded like a movie star

her lisp, barely even noticeable

made you think she was telling you a secret

even though I didn’t know what she was saying

I wanted to know more

 

Messy

 

I threw up on my bedroom floor,

A mirage of different colors;

Blue

             yellow,

                                  red

Exploding over the brown wood

 

The different textures

Wool

           Cotton

                              Silk

All stitched together

Thrown over each other in chaos

 

I am exceptionally good

At making this masterpiece

Almost alarmingly so,

My clothes never remain

Neatly stacked or hung

 

It may be my biggest

Brag. My brilliant ability

To ruin even the neatest of

Bedrooms.

 

 

Those black boots

Those black boots and hot red lipstick

Her eyes smoky, seductive

A cigarette rolling on her tongue

Sultry lips, intimidating, enticing

 

Her eyes smoky, seductive

You can see the outline of her breasts

Sultry lips, intimidating, enticing

Hips swaying in the hazy air

 

You can see the outline of her breasts

Pale skin glowing through black mesh

Hips swaying in the hazy air

I want to taste her

 

Pale skin glowing through black mesh

Dark denim hugging the curve of her waist

I want to taste her

But she always dances alone    

 

Dark denim hugging the curve of her waist

A cigarette rolling on her tongue

But she always dances alone    

Those black boots and hot red lipstick  

I would call them dancers

I would call them dancers

The way their bodies’ move

Effortlessly, easily

 

With astounding quickness

Like fish through water

It’s become part of them

the movement is natural, organic

 

A blur of black, yellow and red

If you take your eyes away for

Even a moment the colors will sweep together

A brush stroke of vibrancy on a white canvas

 

But these dancers are not peaceful

The satisfying fluidity of their routine is

Interrupted

      Halted      

                  violated

My heart beats faster, thumping hard

flesh colored fists, tight and strong

Gloves thrown, strewn across

 

This is the best part

Of the entire routine, the

Moment before the dancers’ return

Diabetes

The road was dusty brown, parched. Drops

of sweat that slipped down off my eyebrows

were lost in the sand. My carefully braided hair was

now dampened and salty, frizzing around my face.

 

I knocked on the fence. I think it was a door. Broken

pieces of plywood, the same dusty brown as the road were

crisscrossed together, a chiasmus of cheap nails and old

wood and cheap wood and old nails.

 

The man behind it yelled, gruffly: “Pase.” So we

walked in. Hesitantly, slowly. Hot piss and warm sweat

mixed with humid dog shit penetrated my nostrils.

A forced inhale and exhale and exhale and inhale.

 

There was barely a house here though. The man laid in

a hammock made from stained fabric, tied precariously to

a small tree and a crisscrossed fence that was also a crisscrossed door.

His eyes pierced us, curiously, suspiciously.  

 

I waited for him to get up but all he could do was wiggle his torso

upwards. I wanted to look at him, when he talked, at his body but I could

see what wasn’t there. The empty part of the hammock where his

legs should be, but aren’t. Where half his body should be but isn’t.

 

Diabetes. He said, nodding to his missing limbs. A woman

walks out from the slanted pieces of metal that covered

only a stove and a place on the ground for a blanket. This was

her home. Her house. Her piss covered dirt yard where her husband

lay. Hanging, in the hammock. His body deteriorating faster

than his mind.