hails from right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a member of the 2004, 2006, and 2008 ABQ Poetry Slam Teams as well as the '06 &'08 National Champion University of New Mexico Slam Teams.
He is the 2008 ABQ-Slams City Champion and his two books are titled, "A Novena of Mud" and "El Cuento de Juana Henrieta," published by Destructible Heart and Culture Lab Presses.
Damien was named "Poet of the Year" in 2007 and 2008 by the NM Hispano Entertainer's Association and was awarded UNM’s Lena Todd Award for creative non-fiction in fall 2008.
The following poem is set in Old Town's Tiguex Park.
Ruins of Tiguex Pueblo
We were two children who jumped
from the slide at Tiguex Park.
held hands so when we hit the ground
our blood became stones on the pavement.
She told her mother I convinced her.
But I jumped with the promise
of a kiss at the top of a pyramid
at the edge of 19th and Mountain Rd.
Where no one was watching,
before the city built no statues
to whiten our neighborhood.
Where the streetlights hung dim
like the shadows of bodies,
ghosts dangling from their necks.
The slide was a pyramid
of red bricks and concrete.
She said, when you jump,
the whole world vanishes for a second
except for you.
She had jumped before.
After, on the ground, our knees
skinned like a handful of grass
torn from the field.
Before the ghosts of our sleep
pulled our limbs and stretched us
into these bodies we will die in.
Our childhood is the carving
on our knees that never healed.
It is a festering grave of worms
and memories. Laughter and prayers
We never understood. It is the dream
we never woke up from
when we were young and kissed
each other’s wounds before walking home,
and never wiped the blood from our lips.
Submissions to The Sunday Poem are welcome. Send one or two poems with a short bio, any links, and a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. Past posts are on The Ditchrider's blog page.