2014 Junior Authors Poetry Contest Winner Category 1
Daniela Quintero, Age 21, Alberta, Canada
Poetry for the Poisonous
9:12 p.m. tobacco stained breath
Fuliginous smoke rolling in nightly gloom/keyboard missing letters T, R, H, U
and that same sombre silhouette of a stranger poisons
the discoloured wall of Ian’s past poetic smiles.
Or is that a sleepwalker writing epilogues on the sand?
Only he knows the magnetic seduction of his lies
1:28 a.m. and the woozy smell of fermentation instilled in his tongue
is bleeding internally through the left saturated nicotine lung.
In that space he cannot romanticize a drunken-drenched word to call it poetry
Puff a cigarette ablaze again. And again.
Another page has scorched
the thinning out of his insipid inspiration that ebbed from his internal clock;
ripped the pages of childhood memories
4:00 a.m. and the ardent absence of those memories burn in cedar wood.
Like decomposed adrenaline coals
seething from his briny pen and contracted, sooty irony
dribbled across the unsung limerick of his narcotic poetry tree.
He sighs, a sickening sigh of discontent
coiled in the mouth of his stomach
aching to rumble with the thunder out in the cerulean sea
6:23 a.m. liquid amber morn and salty breeze
In his nostrils and cracked lips
He sits in his red wooden chair, wistfully
digesting the bile truth, yellowing the words of his beloved lust.
He once wrote with child-like splendour
upon the rustic sands of Sacramento
imagining what life could mean in mankind’s metaphorical eagle wings
How translucent is the delirious view of a child?
Believing in everything while knowing nothing at all
6:53 a.m. and it’s a cruel, cruel world when poetry tastes
like adder’s poison under his lips, down his jagged throat it slips.
Anemic fingers twitched on the computer screen, aching to be released
from the epiphany cup into the membrane of his soul
There he sits, in that red wooden chair smoking his silver dust madness
combusting the paradoxical answers to life
and the freedom of expression
He recalls, in the humid swirl of perspiration and thick formaldehyde
the click-click-clicking sound of his parched typewriter
knowing that art is sacrifice, love and hate
all in one breath
He inhales and exhales
the raven tar like soul out of the abyss
Just remember to B R E A T H E
The chemical obsession shattering the sun dried beauty of false reality.
Particle by particle encrusting vessels of his sanity
“Yes” he says to the ethers “Is the air of contradiction.”
The human contradiction to adore the thing that inflicts the most pain p e r i o d
I was born in Venezuela, where I spent most of my childhood playing dolls with my beloved nanny and family members. When I was eleven, my family moved to Canada in hopes for better life conditions and opportunities. I began writing when I was seventeen; a very chaotic time that seemed tragic but was more like a metamorphosis in my eyes. Most of my works concentrate on the nature of things and everything that encompasses it, from the workings of the mind to human behaviour. “Poetry for the Poisonous” was initially inspired by the outburst of fury and disappointment I felt when many of my works were rejected. So this was almost like a small insignificant retaliation of my injured ego, but with time it spanned from satirical human folly to the many struggles we as human face and the hardships we endure just to survive. Most people don’t know and won’t believe that I actually listen to metal music but the truth is, I am a metal head and it is bands like Epica that continually inspire my poems with their ear-splitting heavy riffs and heartfelt, philosophical lyrics. In between work and school I enjoy visiting local libraries, doing yoga and I’m currently volunteering for the YMCA. – Daniela Quintero