with some help from Ahmad

I wanna write lyrical, but all I got is magical.
My book needs a poem talkin bout I remember when
Something more autobiographical

Mi familia wanted to assimilate, nothing radical,
Each month was a struggle to pay our rent
With food stamps, so dust collects on the magical.

Each month it got a little less civil
Isolation is a learned defense
When all you wanna do is write lyrical.

None of us escaped being a criminal
Of the state, institutionalized when
They found out all we had was magical.

White room is white room, it’s all statistical—
Our calendars were divided by Sundays spent
In visiting hours. Cold metal chairs deny the lyrical.

I keep my genes in the sharp light of the celestial.
My history writes itself in sheets across my veins.
My parents believed in prayer, I believed in magical

Well, at least I believed in curses, biblical
Or not, I believed in sharp fists, 
Beat myself into lyrical.

But we were each born into this, anger so cosmical
Or so I thought, I wore ten chokers and a chain
Couldn’t see any significance, anger is magical.
Fists to scissors to drugs to pills to fists again

Did you know a poem can be both mythical and archeological?
I ignore the cataphysical, and I anoint my own clavicle.

Copyright © 2021 by Suzi F. Garcia. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 28, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

Hard to watch somebody lose their mind
Maybe everybody    should just go get stoned
My father said it happens all the time

I knew a woman    lost her to soul to wine
But who doesn’t live with their life on loan?
Shame to watch somebody lose their mind

Don’tchu gotta wonder when people say they’re fine?
Given what we’re given, I guess they actin grown
I think I used to say that      all the time

When my parents died, I coined a little shrine
And thought about all the stuff they used to own
Felt like I was gonna lose my mind

Used to have a friend    who smiled all the time
Then he started sayin he could hear the devil moan
Hate to see a brotha lose his gotdam mind

Doesn’t matter how you pull, the hours break the line
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, how come nobody’s home?
Broke my soul for real, when my mother lost her mind

Tried to keep my head right, but sanity’s a climb
Been workin on the straight face—I guess my cover’s blown
My father tried to tell me     all the time

Had one last question, baby, but maybe never mind
After’while, even springtime starts to drone

Hard to see somebody lose their mind
My pop said, “Boy, it happens all the time”

Copyright © 2022 by Tim Seibles. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 21, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

From The Complete Poems 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Used with permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.