Month: January 2020

the legend of Brickface


there once was a man,
he stood 5’6,
he lived in the Queensbridge projects.

his face was mangled and bruised
from all the bricks that they threw;
they called him Brickface.

and people knew him.

they screamed,
“i see you 3E!”
and they always had bricks
and they threw ’em.

‘cuz Brickface was an outsider.

he didn’t look like us,
he looked like someone
who ate bricks
on the walk to the bus.

it made him tough.

he learned to love
the pain and thuds
of a healthy, hearty
brick to the jaw.

one day Brickface disappeared.

they said he probably
died of brain damage,
but i know the truth.
he was bricked so much
he became a brick.

just another brick
in the Queensbridge
projects.

“the legend of Brickface”
©Steven Cuenca

high socks


high socks on my legs, rock the
high tops on my feet, beat the
street, treat it like a drum, hum your
mother’s favorite song

three different colored jeans, wash them
every 3 or 7 weeks, watch them
wear out ’til they’re worn out, walk them
to your mother’s home

large shirts and the sweaters hide your
inner demons, help you slide by
without a workout, watch you white lie
like you did to your mother’s face

have a hat for every fit, fit your
thoughts and demons into it, flip it
back for doing business, i’m too
old to be the cool kid

twenty-six
i grew wings
saw myself
and flew to it
new to it
grown up shit
never thought
i’d own some shit
imagine that
imagine this

moved around the country
got away with it

i can still hear my mother’s hums
she’s a 15 minute walk away
and a two minute drive.
i’ve told all my lies
and they’ve gone away

i put my outfit on today
i dressed myself today
i wipe my own ass
and i’m too old to write about
my mom today,

but she’s here to stay,
it’s nice that way.
i’m dressed to live
that life today.

“high socks”
©Steven Cuenca

instead


i never think about the minutes
between every time i smile at you,
or the seconds between
every time you cross my mind

instead i think about the violent waves
when the sky was gray and
we went to the beach.
how we dragged the sand from
our feet to the street to the car
to the telly to the sheets

i never think about how every breath
i get to take is in the same room as you,
or how lonely never feels so good
when you’re rustling around

instead i think about how we got
high as fuck in the car
and you were popping my pimples
at the Galleria mall

i think i saw your eyes for the first time

i never think about how you’re the
only one i can be myself with.
i’m selfish, i want to be the only one
you can be yourself with

instead i think about how we
ran around Manhattan
with my best friend,
and how we ate the worst pizza
of my life

i’d eat that shit for every meal
if i could re-live the night

i never think about
how you were there on the
best night of my life

instead i think about myself
and our heartbeats

“instead”
©Steven Cuenca

knocking back


love is leaning back
lean and lax
listening and speaking back
smoke n packed
drinking that
which leadeth men
to re-enact
the best they’ve been
and all the crap
they think might mask
the bleeding fact
that they are two sips
two steps back
from being dad
stumbled drunk
with heavy hands
heavy, heaven, every
chance i get to trap
the sickened craft
of knocking back
and knocking out
and knocking doors
to scream and shout

we all have ways
we let the
demons out

love is late
it makes me wait
it knows i can’t
i sweat and shake
i try to take
the easy way
and easy never
won the day

i won today
i loved today
it somehow, almost
feels the same
as crushing cans
the bitter taste
of watching me
waste away

“knocking back”
©Steven Cuenca