Jose Padua

For Mojtaba Mirimirani As Late Biker Outlaw by Jose Padua

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Excess gives life a sweet sting.
It’s that flash of speed that
gives shape to the concept of motion,
dissolves the inessential contentment
of stability and gives way to bliss.
Speeding down the road on your motorcycle
you felt good, you felt high. You had
the speed matched through eye and hand,
the power of the world between your knees.
Riding your bike was almost better
than riding a beer swilling, pot smoking woman
on pills, a woman with a wetness
that wouldn’t quit, a woman who could make
you scream oh yeah oh yeah just one more time.
When the wheels took over one night
it killed you, and it was a while
before we knew. Maybe if we’d had the time
to find the right woman
she could have brought you back.
You’d be here with us tonight, drinking up
and getting stoned, thumbing your nose at death.
From now on whenever I get drunk
and lose my step I’ll remember how
you once saved me from drowning.
It’ll help me regain my balance,
help me stay young, and in a world
full of people who’ve never considered
becoming criminals, help me move ahead,
howling all the way, into a thousand years of midnight.

Jose Padua
José Padua’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Bomb,, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, and many other journals and anthologies. He has also written features and reviews for NYPress, Washington City Paper, the Brooklyn Rail and the New York Times. He has read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Black Cat Club, the Public Theater, the Washington Project for the Arts, and many other venues. José also blogs at Shenandoah Breakdown with his life partner, poet Heather Davis, and at the blog, Kings of the Road, and for José Padua’s most recent collection of poetry is a chapbook, The Complete Failure of Everything (2008: The Apathy Press Poets, Baltimore).

Photograph by Jose Padua. Jose Padua is co-author of the blog Shenandoah Breakdown.

Grinderman by Jose Padua

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Taking my wife to her pre-natal appointment this morning

I wonder what it would be like if I weren’t me

but were Nick Cave instead.

“How are you today?” the doctor will ask my wife.

“Good,” my wife will say.

“And how are you?” the doctor will ask me

and I’ll say, “Doctor there’s death out on the plains,

and in the cities are men and women walking who are thinner than shadows,

their souls are lost like flies.” Read more


Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Daily, Essay, Jose Padua, Writing | Leave a comment

Part 1: NYDC BLUES: How I Tried To Escape The Sick World Of Poetry

The rules were that you had to give your name and occupation before reciting your first poem. Naturally, I tried to evade this unnecessary formality which to me seemed akin to a rooftop sniper announcing his name and address before firing upon the crowd below. But before I could begin they started yelling, “What’s your name?”

I looked around the room. It was jammed full of people.

“José,” I answered with some difficulty.

“What do you do?” they shouted.

That was a even tougher question. I didn’t have a job, and for me to declare that I was a writer at this point would be presumptuous on my part. I thought about it for a second, then said, “I’m an alcoholic. What the hell are you?”

I hadn’t had a drink in weeks, but here I was—shitfaced and hostile, staring out into a crowd of poetry addicts at some place in Washington called The 15 Minutes Club. I’d fallen off the wagon in a horrible way, but it wasn’t because I was drinking. It was because I was reading poetry.
Read more