Armando Jaramillo Garcia

No Need to Feel Afraid

Others have made the trip but not you
And that implies a certain thing
No one ever wants to hear
So what if you weren’t raised
Where you were born
And have been forced to eat
This variety of confusing foods
Experience the boon built into the system
Always expanding even in redundancy
Only fools figure it out
The rest form an unlikely community
Some fond of bland crispy rice
Others wounding themselves with hot sauce
All wanting to be sophisticated enough
To accept everything
What a sermon you thought
As guilt turned into insults
Let’s get ahead of ourselves and relax
A Fire Island rental and all that means
Traded for a no-frills vacation to the arctic
On a cargo ship taking advantage
Of weather change
And newly available routes
It’s obvious what I’m trying to say
That we’re going to hell happy
And we’re going to complain
Even as we’re amazed


Dream Disaster #2

An oddly composed squirrel perched on a ledge
Was surveying the street below seen mostly
In silhouette it looked like a mini-gargoyle
Or a superhero calmly exuding dread
Then underwater I was naked and struggling
With gooey vegetation that held me in its grip
As a giant squid approached in its florescent menace
Just then a muscled man who looked like Kirk Douglas
With high-wasted navy-blue briefs dove into the water
With a knife between his teeth and the mood
Was now one of confidence
And the problem with the objects
That were attacking from all directions
And now subdued is the idea of them
As something else that you can turn on or off
And just as the thought was about to subside
An airplane crashed into a building
But the film they show is of the Hindenburg
In Lakehurst New Jersey already a memorial
Even as it burned into a floating skeleton
Whose black spindly bones kept waving in silence


The Grid of Elements

I’m growing old right before your eyes
My days as a Plantagenet in royal purple and ermine
Pushing people around with thoughts and malice
Will soon end and I’ll be just another commoner
At the meat market exchanging coins for scraps
What do you call it when the tables are turned
When the adjustment is brutal but deserved
The practical side of transformation unexplained
The imminent law of threes turns up with a fury
There are seven ages to get through
But the math gets fuzzy at the top of the chain
Growing impatient with others whenever you’re not alone
Company only interesting when it’s with nuggets of gold
And I’ve never been the type to find solace
In the devotion of dogs who should be with their own
Hunting in packs and tearing flesh from the bone
At night by the sea’s bioluminescence I’ve seen
The mindless extraction of what remains of the self
Float away perplexed and unclean



ARMANDO JARAMILLO GARCIA is the author of The Portable Man (Prelude Books, 2017). His work has appeared in Boston Review, TYPO, Pinwheel, Inter|rupture, Black Sun Lit and others. He is the current co-editor of poetry at