Two Poems by Lucas Gonzalez

by: Lucas Gonzalez

With a conversational diction that immediately engages, Lucas Gonzales’ poetry explores the limits and possibilities of poetic utterance. Given that we all “want to be part of something good” — especially in these fraught times — is the production of poetry merely “leaving an edifice// in the nothingness?” Or can it truly teach us that “[t]he only thing worth caring about is having learned// to be happy not knowing…?”

ars poetica

Remind me always
++++++++++++++++of someone who’s worse off,

leaving an edifice
++++++++++++++++in the nothingness.

A lasting impression
++++++++++++++++hardly seems like enough —

‘Best Employee’ — doesn’t make me want to get up.

+++++Changing the world?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++Oh well,

that seems tough.
Last night, driving home,

the station played that scraping melody:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++the end of youth.

The most comforting thought was that nothing keeps going.

Half the things you once understood

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++kind of seem meaningless now.

Pain is either relative, or it is not — I can’t tell.

You can’t feel the same pain
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++as somebody else.

All you can love is an endless task —
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++and try to make sound.
++++++++++I trust you when you say it,

so say it out loud:

++++++++++++++++++++You want to be part of something good.



Can we ever say, and I mean honestly,
that we have loved enough?

Anatomies are too vast
for traversing by oneself.

The only thing worth caring about is having learned

to be happy with not knowing,
but still want.

For every tired artist getting more tired of their art

or of the picture of our living
as a tableau in Brooklyn park

like a stalled-out romance
that fell short of its arc,

you find me at the end of any given rope, and good.

My heart is doomed to irreverent bluntness —
is sinewy, cannot be tender —

is like my voice — can only remember
all the wrong that it has done.

There is a kind of contraband in every singer —

the secret hush of things only we felt.


Lucas Gonzalez is a poet from New York City. He earned his MFA at Columbia University, where he served as a senior editor of Columbia Journal. His recent micro-chapbook, “When I was a Hare Krishna,” is available from Ghost City Press. Lucas teaches in Los Angeles, where he lives with his partner. 

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