Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Tattooed Poets Project, Day 23: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Today's poem is from Guy LeCharles Gonzalez:


When I was young
I believed that if I held my breath while crossing bridges
I’d survive the day the ground gave way
plunging me into the dark waters below.

My mother would look back at me and smile,
How long can you hold it?

My silence was her answer
as eyes teared
and pulse quickened…

When I was young
I believed that Batman
and Robin
and the rest of the Superfriends
really were on the other end of the phone
telling me it was past my bedtime
and that if I was good
and did my homework
and respected my mother
that one day I too
could be a superhero!

I never questioned Wonder Woman’s deep voice
or Superman’s gruff smoker’s growl.

When I was young
I believed the skeleton in my closet
was the monster under my bed
so I confronted him
befriended him
called him poetry
and set him free.

When I was young
I believed I would one day change the world
through sheer force of will.

Manhood introduced me to bridges
long and winding
where the ability to hold my breath
paled in comparison to the need
to hold my ground.

Bridges collapse everyday from neglect
and acts of war
or acts of God
a foolish game of semantics
no pen and ink hero could ever win.

I learned in time
to cherish my mother’s wisdom
and the true meaning of her words.

I still believe I can change the world
no matter what bridges I have to cross.

How long can you hold it? she asks.
…as long as it takes.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez works in publishing by day, world domination by night. Over the years he’s lived in Staten Island and South Beach Miami; served in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, US Army, and Dennis Kucinich’s ‘04 Presidential Campaign; won poetry slams, founded a reading series, co-authored a book of poetry and launched the coolest online literary journal ever; prefers Pumpkin and India Pale Ales, Jim Beam, and Dona Paula Shiraz Malbec. He’s a devout Mets fan from the Bronx now living in New Jersey, and has a beautiful wife and two amazing kids.

You can get more of him over at

Head over to Tattoosday and see a couple of Guy's tattoos here.

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