Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal – The Dead Return

Berriozabal LE P&W July 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2024

The Dead Return, poems by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal.

The Dead Return

The dead return
to reason with us.
Like them we are,
living in sadness.

Years and blood lost
in houses we
grew up in, where
stars shine above.

Nothing happens
in parks, in streets
filled with loss and
anxious days.

Children we are
who never grew to
our potential.
Lost in a war

of oblivion,
of fractured lives.
The dead return
with a message.

We are like them,
always struggling,
with tears and pain.

Life retreats within.
The dead return
to take us where
silence awaits.


I make the street my friend.
I strike up a conversation
with the lamppost. Truthfully,
it is all small talk, nonsense
really, but the closer I get to
it, the larger is our friendship.
I like the lamppost’s light,
the moths that find their way
to its warm light, I like them too.
If I was a moth, I would turn
to its light as well. It is its small
talk I find so intoxicating. In
the street, I move my feet with
purpose. Mostly, I go to speak
to the lamppost which has become
my best friend. It is always kind
to me. It is such a good listener.
Truthfully, I have no one else to
confide in. I am forced to lie to
doctors, who only want to prescribe
medication for madness, which is
what they have diagnosed me with.

To Poetry

I sought you out.
I called your name.
On a winter’s night
I felt your cold touch.
I heard all your voices,
your words of silence.
I saw you in the street.
I shivered that night.
Suddenly, there were
fires that aroused me.
I was home alone.
You called out to me.
You were faceless.

I called you poetry.
That was your name.
You took my eyes.
You took my soul.
You gave me fever.
I was all alone.
I started to burn.
I wrote something
I felt was pure.
It was absurdity.
It lacked wisdom.
I know nothing.
I saw you as a bird.
You ruled the skies
and all the planets.
I felt you pulsing through
my veins. Your pierced
my heart. I felt the fire.
I shivered that night.
I felt so small.
I was so drunk.
The constellations
and my words became
a mystery. I fell
into the abyss.
My head was spinning.
You pierced my heart.

© Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in California and works in Los Angeles in the mental health field. He is the author of Raw Materials (Pygmy Forest Press), Before and Well After Midnight (Deadbeat Press), Peering into the Sun (Poet’s Democracy), Songs for Oblivion (Alternating Current Press/Propaganda Press), and Make the Water Laugh (Rogue Wolf Press). Kendra Steiner Editions has published 8 of his chapbooks, the latest one, Make the Light Mine. Luis graduated from Cal Poly Pomona, earning a degree in Finance, Real Estate, and Law. He earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge University.

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