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Nueva Cuenta: Poems

An author talk with Freddy Gutierrez on November 10th, 2021



From The Ground Up


For poets who write 

not to be deciphered

but to be felt

cause that’s the only way

as a poet

from the tall grass

roots on up

to be

moving forward

abajo afuera 

sin nada que perdir

los pasos

que doy

por llegar a ti

from below

from outside

without anything to give

the path

I walk

to reach you

it matters little if I say

key or soil 

or smoke or journey

when I speak of picking yourself up

either out of rancor or cowardice 

bitterness or fear

let me be one to acknowledge the times my incongruence painted yellow my spine

or my active alignment emanated a crimson red

my severed root

became a dream

banging on a system’s technological reality

digitally and divided

and capacity can be built

might we meet one anothers

where we be at


or not

and my severed root

became a dream

running full of steam

and questions

banging on a system’s foundation

to make of history

your story and mine

knowing, the personal is political

and all that saw tooth jazz

and see yourself

on the day you woke standing and without fear

it occurred to you to feel it distinctly

you saw it in a dream

strength in a flower

and you found that your button of fear

doesn’t exist





you were not

born to pay bills

and die


someone told you so

something taught them that

they could tell you so

so what
you got to say bout that?

you see

or maybe we don’t

that every bench made for waiting

becomes one for the accused

poor protagonist of any city

condemned by the state

you were not

born to pay bills

and die


someone told you so

something taught them that

they could tell you so

so what
you got to say bout that?

you see or maybe we don’t

there’s gotta be a reason for what we go through

conditions a cement house

of the superstructure that crowned us fools

but we struggle

and ours is a beautiful struggle

chock full of survival tactics or conditioned tendencies

as tendons stiffen 

and there’s something like cellular memory

know history know our story

finding meaning in the time lapse gaps

imposed on our collective account

so its good to learn

new ways to count blessings




Creative Discomfort


Growth is uncomfortable.
Think of the seed and its breaking,
the serpent and its shedding.

Might we be crazy, those of us who seek growth, knowingly embracing all its discomfort?

Wearing it like a shroud, enveloping those parts of us- 

behaviors, dependencies, and predispositions
that should die
should be shed
old bones to be set down
and stripped of rancidness 
by the difficult vultures of our self work.

So, here’s to the endurance needed for the discomfort of positive change

here’s to no longer missing old habits 

here’s to making new friends 

to enduring discomfort

to breaking a bad habit or two or three or many more

to ending the addiction 

to finding ourselves satisfied and healthy

to making the effort to free ourselves of behaviors, dependencies, and predispositions no longer needed

to reversing the pull and gravitating toward that which is good for us

to learning new behaviors and making healthier decisions

to embracing uncomfortable feelings and the shakes and pangs and head bangs and heat in the hands and the neck and the churning in the guts and the pinching of skin and the bending of bone and the low glare and the avoidant eyes and the seething and the reeling

to feeling uncomfortable at extremes and in intimacies

to the work of such fracturing practices

to knowing the hard and dwelling in the heavy

to acknowledging  the yearning

to reaching towards release 

to staring the urge down

to the hold out 

to the compassion of the self

to the allies of body, heart, and mind

to adjusting and adapting

to the time that it takes

to the grit required

to the vision of a new way.

Copyright notice

The above poems are unpublished works by Freddy Gutirrez.  © Freddy Gutirrez, 2021