9 poems by Jim Cardenas

Edited by / Giorgia Pavlidou

Jim Cardenas is a filmmaker and visual artist from Los Angeles, CA.  He has been published in Entropy and other journals and is the author of chapbooks entitled “Sun Buildings”, and his latest, “I and the Parking lot are One”.  He is currently working on a third to be entitled “A Ride Up the 13th Floor Elevator”.  He is the director of two mini documentaries “Yes to Ether” and “EquinoxiO”, which are portraits of border poets Anthony Seidman and Jorge Ortega.

The Messengers–after hours

Two ministering angels followed him to his

car casting long shadows across the lot

-back and forth they argued; 

“be present when crickets are present” to

the water in the well, what is he to the

gentleness of Hillel?  

He paused to light a cigarette, turned

around and struck a match off the left ones

face. “Look, I told you guys not follow

me on my bowling night. Now beat it, I

gotta meet some dame.- there she is!”

A woman covered in hieroglyphs emerged

smacking gum, 11:11 on the dot…

***January 2021

An Algorithm of Dogs Running through Concrete 

Euclid of Alexandria executed his

flowcharts (like horses)

over boulders down the Pierian stream.

Arabic mathematicians 

posited their cryptograms 

to spit out their lambda calculus 

based on the smallest letters of two


What goes into calculating the receipt for

a Big Mac and fries, or, of the ten miles

your wife drove after work to purchase

hair dye?

With visions of a homeless Archimedes

drawing out conic sections in front of a

Starbucks swimming through our

collective heads, I now stand with giant

cardboard scissors and humbly dedicate

this new tent in the School of Athens.

***January 2021

Providence or atoms. And all the arguments for seeing the world as a city

-Marcus Aurelius 

If spirit is air, 

then we are swimmers 

Gently falleth the leaves

and rise up

to the small plane from below

Gimme some truth

here on the backroads of the engine block

turbulence from within

touch your pillowcase dear for it too

will be gone

The pilot makes a dictionary entry: death- birth without a mother

and asks for clearance to land on the 101 freeway

***January 2021

Sediment (in name only)

It was a long time coming 

but later that night 

the Cambrian fossil had left his bags outside and drove off without 


-the sun, the earth and the moon

(entered with toothpicks into consuming nether regions

of public restaurants) deposited their wares like watches onto

 subsiding feathered beds of the eternal

and washed their hands

           of the whole thing.

***December 2020

Woman woven out of a triangle of nerves 

A passenger on a train looks back on 1990

to wrap his head around the passing heaven

The Universe of Smiling Pu-Tai

this gigantic atom

      of sand

is ripped open and 


Oh, tears of paradoxical ocean 

head of a woman

The Pipes of Pan play for your unborn children to 

run on the beach

***January 2021

Second Sermon to the Birds

Multiply in sound around sandaled feet, for this is the morning of the fifth day.  This sidewalk show is now hallowed ground, this empty parking lot exposed by the fishbasket of retreating seas is a fertile virgin in heat.  Park your ’67 Barracuda in the right spot and roll down your windows for a ringside seat to the birth of pollen

***November 2020

Between Ethanol and Regular

and other visions

                    of paradise

Oh, darling beehive,

                  cursed witch

Siamese twin artists sketch your face

-they control the moon

Zelda in a martini glass

***January 2021

Deeply Felt River

-on observing Anthony Seidman smoke a

Mexican cigarette

Taking in the great expanse

of the sky

The poet could still hear the yelping of

mating cats

and imagine the dogs

             of Juarez, Mexico

being summoned to fill this alleyway

with barks


Beyond what is done or not done

If a man places a gulf

Before his spirit and

The immeasurable

According to some rattlesnakes

He is alone

Elements not in union

But with inner events at the center of his

soul- playing like music, his light burning

like brass under the Sun

While the old skin knows harmonies like it

knows thunder

Still, rumors persist of a moon behind the


****March 2020

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