The Intolerable Gates of City Limits
by Elias Sepulveda

  1. skinwreck on the bluffs of hollow eyed cage
  2. knives, mare and steel and flesh and
  3. skinless rain crawling, wrenching along edge and mutilation
  1. Even the rain has a calavera you said everything is fossilized
  2. Emptiness is so loud here, I only hear past trenches in your vocal chords
  3. drowned by the dark sea before harvest
  4. maps bloom from dead flowers
  5. Plant of sirens and waged destiny,
  6. propped speak on hingeless roots
  7. The self is more aerodynamic when being butchered in English.
  8. do not operate without guards in place
  1. (English) wants nothing from you. It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go1
  1. coiled siege of a serpent tongue
  2. lodestone weights for eyes
  3. gather knowledge cageless
  4. scalp every letter

1Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Knopf, 1957. Print.

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."

  1. Preeti Vangani
    Repair & Maintenancepoetry