The Feast of Empty Streets
by Elias Sepulveda

I was little, street sweepers were still mouthing blue whales (in my imagination, I still can’t pin the eyes on the frenzy of so much body) who feast on leaflets from the parade of Union trees; back then their leafy veins were illegible (with my fingers I could only trace the nudity of blood), it was the crisp and cracking air that put a city on its knees, everything had a spine; the meat and dreams could melt off but the soul was bone and butter only came from spine (I spent a childhood drowning and surfacing to see nothing but marginalized horizon and the falling arced backs of their inhabitants), one day my blind grandfather gave me a whittling knife, I spent all Summer hollowing out any penetrable surface:  dirt, drywall, the skin of fruit; Autumn’s spin on my heels (I carved what seemed an infinite number of chambers) and learned to live in the house of sound, learned to never press an ear to the wall of the next room.

Packingtown Review – Vol.11, Spring 2019

Elias Sepulveda was born to Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles where he lived until he moved to Wisconsin more than twenty years ago. He has this to say about writing: "Poetry is a very confessional medium for me. Growing up in rougher neighborhoods with extremely conservative parents and family created this vacuum, this suffocation, that essentially stagnated my voice. There was no place for the expression of emotions or reflection on the hardships of every day life because those types of activities were considered a weakness, and that made someone a target. I intuitively developed a strategy in my writing, using abstract form like surrealism, while adding depth to my work through multiple layering of significations created a clearing where I could incorporate my own personal history. It’s not that I feel ashamed (today) to blatantly state what I feel or went through but the richness of language that developed from that strategy is something that I hope I can share with the world."

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