Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Two Poems



The Sixth Arrondissement

She degrades. The candles wrap themselves
Around the candle night the candle moon.
I will the end of the video woman.
You will recall the quiet between the reeds
In the sixth arrondissement. You took my hand
And we prayed in that non-church.
I sit at my non-church making verses.
My sunglasses are awake. They will outlive us.
There are some days that go by without news of the sun.
I watched you put your hair in a bun.
Satchels went un-snatched. Thieves starved.
Every other nightclub is full of the unborn.
No one lights a cigarette anymore.
Even the man in the corner balcony lights up
Like a scientist studying the effects of tobacco.
The world is against Putin. Putin, the world hates you.
They say the head on Castro’s latest picture
Was airbrushed in. Just an old head.
Castro meeting with Clinton. In Cuba,
The ocean reeks of seaweed and rusty cars.
There’s a Lucille Ball in every bar.
Every government is in some way a farce.
Watch for Ricky’s hand, Lucy, he loves you but…
It’s happening now. In some lonely hotel room.
Leonardo DiCaprio takes a picture of himself
With his phone, standing on bleachers
As I did in middle school to sing our graduation song.
Lean on me, lean on me, when you need a friend…
Who knew life would come down to two
Conversations; one on Catalina Island,
In a little cove, my wife said, yes, I will marry you,
And the other, in bed, the sun coming up.


Cold Breath

Dirt mounds. The interstices between
The mouths and the chaos wheel of this century.
In the moment, I feel certain.
Then there’s reticence. We are liars.
The fortress is too strong. The planets huddle.
And in the middle of the street, an unidentified carcass.
The weatherman speaks to us in syrupy tones.
His banter is that of an older brother.
We succumb to it, I’m sure. Early morning drones.
Even the rich lose. But they lose differently.
And I’m not sure losing exists. The worst parts of me
Are contained in little pockets of envy.
You’re lost the minute you form a program.
Nerd this and nerd that. The newest fad.
You’re lost the minute you start counting carbs
Like seventeenth century iambs.
Looking up again the name of the university,
The stringent requirements, the exams,
And the fact they only pick two candidates,
I am reminded once again of the cold breath
Emanating from the horse’s nostrils.
The fog over the morning fields. It is a room
With people in it. It is a time and the expectation
Of time. It is a ruse, a Potemkin village.
A city made for the rich, or the rich in dreams.
A city where they cannot lose.





Alejandro Escudé is the winner of the 2013 Sacramento Poetry Center Award. His first collection, My Earthbound Eye, is now available on Amazon and at Alejandro is originally from Argentina. He is a high school English teacher and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids.