(15/30) Zachary’s Auxiliary Cable

A haiku for Zachary Caballero

Zach, I still have your
aux cable , because I al-
ways want your input.

(14/30) short response to Future’s song “I Won” ft. Kanye West

Dear Nayvadius D. Wilburn a.k.a Future,
I was excited to listen to “I Won”
Because of the feature by Kanye West
I thought perhaps his production
Would make your track poignant
That maybe the nasal of your throat
Might be the backdrop to an
Orchestrated cinematic auditory image.

How far expectations suicided
Off a cliff
When you sang to a women you considered
“A trophy wife”
Someone you wanted to “show off”
To paint her butt gold
The asphyxiation you are giving
Women everywhere with each radio
They are tuning in
To hear that they are something to
Just be on display.
Kanye West can’t save your song
And I may not be able to save Kanye West
But the saving you think you’re doing
Ain’t empowering
It’s drowning
It’s force feeding the idea
That to be women is to be a trophy
Something to be handled
Polished like marble
I hope the women you “won”
That she understands the bronze in her chest
To know that she isn’t a side piece
Not another piece of gold on your wrists
That she realizes the gravity in her shoulders,
The silver in her soul.

You might think you won with a hit
But do you realize there are women losing
What it means to be worthy.
Because of men like you
Because of men I wish I could push off a cliff
Because of men,
Not realizing that women arnt a prize, not a blue ribbon
They’re people,
All unique
Not gold pieces of plastic
Not a damn trophy.

(13/30) A Cookie Poem

A list of things that Ariana Brown a.k.a my teammate a.k.a quiet storm a.k.a better-than-beyonce disapproves of. 

1. Guacomole

How do you take something so pure

and mix it with qualities it is not.

Although, ironically she loves avocados.

2. Bad avocados

The ones that are too firm 

when you press lightly.

The pressure of buying Ariana an

avocado from Whole Foods is worst 

than being on stage with ya’ll 

3. Raisins, onions, mushroom, bell peppers, peas, almonds,

You best know what kind of burger she likes!

Substitute the patty for chicken 

or get the deadliest kind of shade,

like sunglasses in overcast

like locusts are coming

It will be the end of the world.

4. Uncomfortable sneakers

The armor for her soles should not be faulty, 

Her feet need protection form waking up at 6 am

everyday to stand up as a discount-store employee

trying constantly to not cut herself short

and keep her composure straight against

5. White people’s ignorance

The thousands of neon-clothed students

not acknowledging their privilege on our campus

wasting their weekends Rounding up

cattle-ing at Whataburger at 4 in the morning,

intoxicated and care-free 

6. Actually, just white people in general

Especially white privilege poems,

"They don’t deserve a cookie!"

She says

7. Cuba Gooding Jr.

nuff said, see Snow Dogs

8. Roller coasters

of not having control

of not knowing the plan

of being locked into a confined compartment

slowly raised with the

clanging of metal breaking wood.

Not able to see past the hill,

past the drop.

9. Naval oranges

Which are basically regular oranges,

but she cares about the details, the origins.

About where you’re from

About where she’s from

Where she grew

of the branches that gave her limbs

she comes from an orchard of heritage

in San Antonio,

The Riverwalk flowing beneath her.

10. Swimming

Of staying afloat, of being present

in the gust of struggling to pay for school,

of beginning to trust men again.

11.Walking in front with an empty space on her side

I’ll fill the void

I’ll increase my pace to

Be next to you, to be parallel to your greatness

as you blow-up,

A star, dynamite, above the sky.

My gf asks “How come Ariana gets a love poem?”

I tell her this isn’t a love poem,

This is a cookie poem

To see if my crumbs of dialogue are worthy

only give me your approval if I deserve it.

Correct my mispronunciation

Correct my posture

Set me straight,

Give me the stank eye,

Stay my friend,

even though you mostly like College Dropout and Late Registration

but I also rock with Graduation. 

Your essence is intoxicating,


An open chair next to the window,

You reading a poetry book,

An avocado pressed within your fingers.

"They don’t deserve a cookie!" 

and I might not either,

but you deserve a bakery.

(12/30) Balloon

For the members of Campus-Based

Did you forget Jesus was King?

Did you forget he had a crown

with the weight of us on his back?

But He’ll be back.

With his arms open, like Wal-Mart at 4 AM

and when you walk in, his heart will be on display,

He doesn’t rollback,

His love is never on sale, never discounted,

But free, in stock, 


in bulk like Costco,

Like paper

Like prayer

Like each other

Like trying

There is a box of burdens in a balloon in our chests,

filled with pain and agony that prevents us from breathing.

I say release the air

I say let’s take our breath back,

whether it be a slow release of stress between the teeth

or the loud pop of a needle.

I say let go and let God.

I say let God inflate our hearts instead,

Let them tie a string around them and we will never let go.

We well tie it around our waists

and walk across the street in hand with Him

like we are 4 and innocent all over again.

We can hopscotch till we lose count,

we will count our blessings at dinner

and pass the salt

pass the salt!

Don’t look back,

we will not be a pillar.

Don’t try to bear a burden

when it burns 3rd degrees on your arms.

Relax your shoulders

Allow yourself to be a ribbon on a string,

floating behind a balloon,

getting closer and closer to the heavens.


Haiku for my first ever audience.

Knock knock…Josh…Josh whom
You’ll Remember now and for-
-get later. Knock knock…

(10/30 Withdrawal

For Malaysia

You had the vocals that

Could drown any man if you were a mermaid.

You had a voice that was deemed unfair

You had the poetry of a woman

You were my first partner,

One of my first teammates,

When I had the Bieber cut and my poetry made no sense,

You wrote with me,

We had a group poem about how I was in love with you

But you were too in love with drugs.

I wish you kept on performing,

We could’ve been on the same team for 4 years,

We could’ve grown our addiction together for poetry,

I wonder if you think about the “what-if”

And have withdrawal

(9/30) Man Of God

Haiku for my youth minister, Tucker.

When you left to be
A priest, I was selfish, Asked
God for you to stay.

(8/30) Sardines

For Susy Perez

When I aimed with my lips,

I didn’t realize how much i’d misfire,

How sight…is a really important sense for your first kiss.

Perhaps, it was the pressure of ratchet girls with no souls

In the background, giggling the acne in their throat

Or maybe it was how we were Sardines in a compact can

And how the gym hallway smelled like it

We could blame the space in between our waists

We had to save for Jesus

Or perhaps, the tremor in my fingers

Not sure to caress your cheek to help me hold on to

Your lips, like sweat on basketballs

Echoing from the Sardine gym.

Perhaps, the gulp in my gut

The frozen in my bones

I thought one kiss could thaw

You melted my heart…and the chocolate I gave you fifth period

You sat on it for too long

It was time to solidify

To grow 

To be courage.

I guess we should really blame my awkward

Or how I didn’t have much of a segway in

Or the point of return

When I pursed my lips,

I closed my eyes too soon

I saw it in the movies

I saw myself as Heath Ledger

But the joke was on me

When my lips graced your chin

O that mighty chin,

If only I titled my head up 2 inches

You giggled and walked away

With the satisfaction of walking out of a Chris Rock stand-up Show

I drank the gulp in my gut

I felt the blood flood my cheeks

I was a lanky Sardine. 

(7/30) Playing Taboo with Heba

A haiku for my friend Heba.

Playing Taboo with Heba,
“AHHHHH, JOSH YOU’RE DUMB!”… “Race car?”…

(The “ahhh” is one syllable, trust me)

(6/30) Algae (for Zachary Rogers)

Your heart is a whale’s heart.
Your heart is a whale.
It fills up with water
And blows out steam.

Your will is a penguin with its egg.
Your will is a penguin.
It is persistent, it knows what it wants
It holds steady through treacherous terrains.

Your mind is an ambitious squid.
Your mind is a squid.
It will leave it’s mark on history
Or the small part of the sea you tread.

From the age of fetus,
You knew what you wanted to be.
A marine biologist!
People laughed and called you kid
“Look at this little guppy with shark dreams”
I’m sure irony bites,
I’m sure you’ve proven your doubters wrong,
I’m sure you’ll be missed this summer on your internship in Hawaii.
We are proud of you,
From sticking to your dreams like
A starfish to the sea.
We are proud of you,
For getting into UT the hard way,
When you deserved a red carpet entrance.

Your smile is a stingray’s smile.
Your smile is a stingray.
In between two dimples deeper than any black ocean abyss,
It’ll probably give Poorvi a run for her money.
Remember when we were all young
I remembered the first time I could tell you apart from your twin brother.
I thought then you would be my friend.

Your kindness is Dory jumping on jellyfish.
Your kindness is a jellyfish.
It’s hard to not be stung by it
And hard not to be struck amazed by it.

Your friendship are two sea otters holding hands.
Your friendship is a sea otter.
You’ll float by my side
Whenever I need you.
Through jellyfish tentacles or through the stream of a dolphin’s blowhole
I’ll hold on to your favorite pebble.

Your heart is a whale.
My gratitude for knowing you is the algae on a whale’s back.

I’ll be the algae on your back.

(5/30) reply

For my high school freshman English teacher , ms.simmons, who introduced me to spoken word poetry.

You allowed me to fail
To crash sentences together that made no sense
You saw the slab of marble I was
How the slightest flint of passion
Could crack the corner of my eye
You understood what words meant
You understood what I couldn’t.
You let me experiment
You had me concoct metaphors and
Literary terms we learned in class
That year was the year of my best worst poetry.
Where every starting poet believes in a rhyme scheme,
When my biggest competition was our valedictorian, Andy Dao,
He had the funniest poems.
I had the funniest tongue.
My words came out like ikea parts
For a new cabinet
But you continued to find the parts that fit
The parts that were genuine.
You were
Always around to ask for answers,
How’s my alliteration going for ya?
Do really think this poem is good? How are your classes going ?
You deserve more than ignorant kids,
I deserve nothing more than humbleness.
I will continue to give you praise,
Whenever people ask me,
“How did you start off with poetry?”
I reply with you,
After winning CUPSI, I was just thankful,
I sent you an email
Letting go of all grammar and lessons you taught me.
It’s been a while since we spoken, I just wanted to say thank you,
I sent you an email,
Afraid that you’d think id forgotten,
And you replied.

(4/30) walking

Haiku for my childhood friends mother.

Sorry for walking
In on you naked, but my
Innocence walked out.

(3/30) 5 dollar bill

Let me tell you about Poorvi Patel

The most beautiful dimples to drown in,
Her eyes were hazelnut (or just some really nice acorn) that I would go nuts for!
Even though in middle school I
Was allergic to everything,
Especially nuts and decisions.

Let me tell you about when I saved half my lunch money to give Poorvi 5 dollars with a birthday card full of chicken scratch.

How her face lit,
The brightest thing to ever be in my school!
When the hallways were packed between classes,
Us, sardines, shuffling over our way to Biology,
She was my rainbow fish,
A sparkling scale in this sea of dim.
The button on corduroy, a giving tree.
Even when her breath smelled like flaming lunch-line burrito,
She spoke harmony.
She cleaned the earwax in my ear
Softened the cartilage in my cochlea.

Then I heard Jennifer sing
And I cancelled my request to switch out of choir,
I wanted to sing in a different key.

I’m sorry ,Poorvi
No one told me I’d be a young heartbreaker
That id be the first to erupt the erythro in your cheeks
Only to erupt the young in your heart.
That id use my cool,
Dirt-off-of-my-shoulder breath
To turn your molten love dry.

I became all the anger you wished
To throw at me in the form of fists.
My face, your foe
That you wanted to flip,
Furious fangs biting down all this time I led you on.
You saw red,
But when I approached your locker,
You were women, poised, proud brown.
You crumbled the 5 dollar bill I gave you,
Threw it in my face.
I never told you I had a crush on you,
But I shouldn’t have acted like it.
I should’ve kept the bill,
Should’ve flatten it out,
Give it to you the next day
I can give you change now.

2/30 Sam Sax (or how you can’t be MOB by yourself)

In Colorado,

Walking outside is a hike,

Waking up before noon is a stretch,

And wondering is sweating

The locals call the mountains here, “hills” 

"F*ck that, those are mountains!" you say

Your giggle is a child opening his first gift

You walk with a skipping record player inside your stomach

Belching out classic samples and inverted lyrics

You were once a rapper,

You unleashed a old verse at the airport

That made the plastic around my Jamba Juice melt

You’re still a rapper

You’re still a poet

And i’m still grateful

Grateful you took off your shades to shed some light,

Some knowledge, 

That you call me “Champ” when i still feel like chump

Grateful to know what you look like with bed-head

Like a Sabertooth tiger getting a haircut from a blind man

It’s pretty hilarious

You gave me a book titled “donkey gospel” before we left for Colorado

In the cover you wrote,

"…search for the truth in humor"

I hope you help me look then,

And along the way,

I’ll tell you my cool, new jokes

1/30 Adam Melchor

Adam Melchor, your
Haiku was really dope, I
Give you haikudos.