Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His work too second place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz Annual Poetry Competition, sponsored by Alaire publishing house. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FRIGG, Tipton Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Bitterzeot Magazine.  He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

Next Best Thing

Sergio A. Ortiz


Our parents were astronauts

of two extremes.

Every vacant lot

where we used to play

started boiling over, so

we grew up (in word only)

against the prognosis

of a possible plague

of perverts arriving

to snatch us.

We were unlabeled objects

on the pavement

sculpting our silhouettes

for the trap,

babbling and babbling

until we vomited

the true value of silence.

At the end of the space race

reality always exceeds fiction.

Sleepwalking Semblance

Sergio A. Ortiz


for prenatal dolls

knocking on the door

with its nose shattered hemorrhage


Fallen from the sky semblance

Hindenburg fire

rusty shadows of the last angel


Face waiting at the language gate

trojan horse

night exposure of palatine judges


Resuscitating semblance

in the garden of heavenly delights

uninterrupted looting of Rome

millions of souls reduced

to tens of thousands of beggars


The face that knows

what beds are for

will sleep forever

in its dollhouse


When Alone

Sergio A. Ortiz


Your voice, sickle echo, rebounds

off the wall. I, a thousand Argos


look at myself in your mirror skin

for a few seconds


but the slightest noise drives you away.

I see you leave through the door of the book,


the atlas ceiling, the floor board, the glass page.

You leave me without pulse


or voice, without a face, no mask like a naked man

in the middle of the Street of Stares.


You’re the one I talk to when I forge the sun

with your footsteps.


What is Said

Sergio A. Ortiz


My hands, two balls of hair

trapped in the throat of a feline ghost

My fingers, covered

by your two-week beard.

I want to be a Polaroid snapshot

of a sunset. I’ll call it: selfie # 569

while I die.


You told me your girlfriend got jealous.

She does not know that friends

can love each other

or that we tattooed death on our arms,

and we gave each other stones,

and the river took our useless haiku;

that is, the filth of the city

devoured by Godzilla.


I told you, I would paint my nails red

to hide the blood I carry on my hands

when I touch something and it breaks.

Last Truth

Sergio A. Ortiz



The wind moans

among dry grasslands.


Monster, lovely-haired creature

devours my flesh.


Born too soon vermin

bellows to god.


A specter rises, heavy

with loneliness, probing the past.


Paper castles,

deadly derechos,


you will glow in the dark.