Save the Date: Poets take the stage in Highland Park

Rolando Ortiz/Photo courtesy Avenue 50 Studio

La Palabra, the poetry reading series at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, on Sunday afternoon features two poets with strong Eastside connections. Rolando Ortiz grew up in East Los Angeles, the youngest of seven children who got involved with gangs and spent time in prison.  Ortiz’ career as a poet took off after being discovered in a downtown poetry jam.  Ortiz now lives in Fontana and holds writing workshops with troubled youth.  Dennis Cruz, a native of Costa Rica who lives in El Sereno, came to the U.S. as a  young boy, and his poetry reflects his life as an outsider. Here are samples of what you can expect from both poets on Sunday:

“My Stroll
by Rolando Ortiz

Warm beach sand hides between my toes
The smell of the ocean reminds me of where I stroll
The sound of crashing waves and kids running away reminds me of where I stroll
As the sun turns orange and sets in the west, the smell of burning wood reminds me of where I stroll
The cool ocean breeze kisses me softly as her beauty reminds me of where I stroll
As I open my eyes this cell and these prison walls remind me of where I lay my head and ponder of my next stroll

Click below to read Brazen Enough by Dennis Cruz

“Brazen Enough”
by Dennis Cruz

I’ll stand for
nothing more
your scalpel
on my bloated
send your butchers,
your saviours,
your trembling
my need
to feed
is brutal
and primal.
oh my cannibal
in and out
of your
these nightmares
speak volumes…
and utter graves.
let’s slip down
into the busom
of our dead
let’s slip down
into our
lost, forgottens.
that we may
one day
from the ashes
of our fired
no god left
to save
or absolve
no satan
brazen enough
to challenge
or threaten…
our blissful
purposed eyes…
because now
we see
what was
because now
we believe
what we
would not

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