Monday, June 8, 2015

featured Gulf Coast poet Laura Peña

Laura Peña was a featured poet during our last off the page poetry series event in May, 2015. The two poems below, Scales and Ten Minutes, are the work of Laura Peña.

Laura Peña was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Education. Currently she is a bilingual elementary school teacher. She has been published in di-vêrsé-city, Boundless, Houston Poetry Fest anthology, The Bayou Review, Harbinger Asylum, Illya’s Honey, The Red River Review, and The Texas Poetry Calendar. Laura has read in venues around Houston and Austin. Laura is past president and current recording secretary of Gulf Coast Poets, is a member of The Poetry Society of Texas, Academy of American Poets, and The Writer’s League of Texas. She is also part of the critique group Poetry Works Workshops and credits them for the many achievements she has reached thus far. Laura organizes Poetry Out of Bounds each year which is the official kick-off event for Houston Poetry Fest.

After Wallace Stevens

The night is a serpent
slithering over the breakwaters.

It slinks over undulating sands
and between your feet.

It spreads its shroud everywhere - -
its engulfing shroud.

The cerecloth fastens to your body
and is transformed

by the skin and teeth of you.
The filaments of your eyes

tear on the edges of the breakwaters
and in the grains of the shifting sands.

Laura Peña

Ten Minutes

My cluttered office
has pieces of furniture
crammed against the walls.
Books of poets known nationally
and known only here in Texas
stand side by side
on the shelves like sentinels.
My dog lies on the futon.
Notebooks, pens, papers,
occupy every inch of space.
Stuffed under the weight
of Writer’s Kits and journals
my early stories - I have not
read them in decades. 
Is that my voice?
That shy girl afraid to show
those adolescent longings?
My coffee mug sits with a few dregs
of coffee grounds and sparkles of cinnamon.
How I like to sweeten it instead of sugar.
How to spend these last ten minutes?
My husband said with someone
he loves -  not writing.
But writing is what I do.
I would spend my last
ten minutes with him
a pen in my hand
writing on our arms and legs.
Maybe the blast
will tattoo the ink
under our skins
and we’ll be hung
on the ruins.

Laura Peña

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