New chapbook from Red Bird Chapbooks!

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My second chapbook “Yes I Know You Can’t Drive Across The World” was just released by Red Bird Chapbooks. Pick up your copy!

“Daniel Pereyra’s poems capture the wonder and delight of everyday life.  In “afternoons in the backyard,” the author and his son play in a kiddie pool, and fight demons like bees. [Life] As a father, “i am his hero and he my apprentice.”  Billy Joel shows the narrator that it is no longer his life, it is his now son’s in “a lesson from the piano man.”  The son “…tells me about his day / and how he colored an elephant yellow / because he really likes yellow.” Pereyra’s poems also reflect on rainstorms in the desert, treasures left behind in attics, and the dynamics of married life. A spider decorates the porch and a fly critiques wine choices. The author speaks for many of us in the final lines of “some honesty on a tuesday” when he says,

that i think, with sincere clarity,             drinking my coffee with eyes closed /

damn, i’m tired.”

chronicles of a rain storm

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I

fat hail-filled drops of desert cleansing rain
tearing mesquite seed pods from branches
and onto the grass

i sit
in a red toddler chair by the window

watching neighbors pull sandbags from
the trunk of a gray sedan
and waiting for her to drive down the bi-rivered
street as i think up the worst /

               in the ways i might not
               see her again

II

water rises to past the wood plated
bench out front

naked palms swim placidly and in place
though a rain-sogged lawn;

i wonder about flood insurance
               and if it is even a thing when you live
               in the desert,

cursing my poor timing

III

she calls to tell me she’s still
beached / stuck in a parking lot

watching water carve its way
down a four lane street

powerless against the wrath of a summer
lightning storm with a

three year old (ears covered against
the sound of thunder and rain)
in the back seat

i can do nothing because she
is the stronger of us both

IV

i can hear the clouds begin to clear, not
the clouds themselves, but there is
a sound,
               distinct if you know it,

at the end of a rain storm
that sounds like worms
breaking through wet dirt looking
for a dry place to sit for a while

like grackles perched on water-logged
mesquites, looking for tired worms

it’s the sound of a car pulling into
the driveway, with concrete already
drying in the heat

and i know that later there’ll be no
evidence of the rain or sounds or

of the grown man who sat,
pensive and alone, in a red toddler chair;

               only mesquite seeds in the yard
               drying slowly in the desert sun

on movement and butterflies

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we strike a conversation by the
lantanas,

tiny blooms of yellow and red
that ask to be held in a
half-smirk’ed gaze,

and wonder on the best way
to get from flower
to
flower

i suggest she fly
let the wind be her motor or
anchor to her sail boat

i’ve seen the
                    way she moves

leaf
                    and
                                        smoke
on the wind

she says i should take the bus
which when said out-loud is
of course, absurd

and so maybe i’ll walk
while she feigns envy at how
i move against the grass

but it’s me who bleeds jealousy
at the pace she keeps /

and i know i still have
so much to learn about
movement and flowers

mornings with attie

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these are things we like to eat:

          raisins
rice & beans

                    french fries
                         ice cream

chicken nuggets

          and these are our favorite dinosaurs:
                    t-rex!
          Triceratops

                         pachycephalosaurus
brachiosaurus

                              water dinosaur

          last night we dreamt about:
mommy
                    daddy
                          helicopters

          airplanes

                                   stegosaurus (his cat)

at school we like to:

          play with my friends
                    play with the rocket ship
                              play with ms. Sandra

                         eat candy Friday
          play with toys

                         lions or cheetahs?

                              lions

          ants or butterflies?

                    butterflies

mommy or daddy?
                              pop pop!

(the end)

meditation


closing my eyes
to meditate

and i see only the faint
hint of light behind my eyelids
existing just beyond
that thinnest of barriers

and my mind wanders
and wonders
                    in wonder how

                    anyone can get anything
                    done

meditating since it feels
so much like doing nothing
with my eyes closed

and there is laundry piling
up, kitty Litter to scoop

perhaps i am a
lost cause or doing it wrong
my mind unwilling to clear
                    the way they say it should
be and i’m not even
sure what that means since

how does somebody
think about nothing when

nothing doesn’t really
exist

and now there is a ball
of nothing floating
aimlessly around my mind

like green yarn,

so that
i find myself
thinking of a green ball of yarn
floating in space

and find that i have never
been more relaxed
or ready

to tackle existential
riddles

my life as the moon against a studded sky


bright against a studded sky
i am the moon
who brings up tides
in the wake of my rising
 
half eye squinting between
ripened citrus trees
finite in my reach
 
and yet
                    far reaching
 
i am the younger brother /
stoic captain in a night sea
 
yellow eyed demon and purveyor
of romantic and cursed alike
who howl for my favor
and sing to my good graces
 
                    i am the entryway
to a solitary chorus
 
portal through the thickness
of the dark
 
i am the gilded silver
of the nighttime sky
                    eremitic and alone

how i lacked imagination

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we play rock-paper-scissors
and i lose

not because i let him win but
because he’s beaten me
with a well placed dinosaur;
hands chomping
                    at my fingers

                    / at three years old he’s figured
                    dinosaurs should no doubt

                    beat rock paper and/or
                    scissors every time

                                        which is true /

when i try to explain that the game
is in fact not called
rock-paper-scissors-dinosaur

he shakes his head as if
pitying me my lack of imagination

readying himself for
                    another go

catching bubbles

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ah, the futility of catching bubbles
in bare hands
those blown out the yellow bubble
blower sitting on the patio table

but we try,
and fail and instead count
our successes not in the bubbles
we’ve caught and put into a
glass jar

but in the minutes spent laughing at
the cat as he
tries to catch them as well

and part of my brain is
telling me

this is a metaphor for something

but I can’t think what, i don’t have the time
/ too busy catching bubbles floating
up between laughter and the cat’s
fruitless swiping

view from the mirror

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i look in the mirror and see
a grown man
beard speckled with grays lost
on their trip south
from the tangle of hair north of my eye
brows

                    the light from the
vanity reflected in them

and i think i am seeing myself
for the first time

a poem yet to be written / a man
yet to wander further than the dank
tile of the bathroom

& i see a man grown
old enough to drink at weddings;
a poem waiting for
another stanza

breathing in scents of manhood in
shaving cream and sharp razers
dancing along my neck

                    behind me the door is open,
                    an unmade bed reflected
                    in the clean glass