Jose Hernandez Diaz πŸ”ˆ

Free as a Mime

They say one shouldn’t talk about the Avant-garde, like Fight Club, oh well, no one is around to listen to me. I go about my day rhyming near rhymes, never perfect. I like to hit on prima ballerinas from Russia on Instagram. It makes me feel important when they respond. Once, in church, as a young boy, I got to hold the Candle of the Ascension during Easter service.

Aesthetically, I avoid famous writers, like Mary Oliver or Billy Collins, except I’m secretly a huge Billy Collins fan. Writers say the best way to a word, a line, or poem, is directly. I say, the best way to a word, a line, or poem, is directly, but with good editing. What is it, exactly, about a street mime on the boardwalk that comes off as romantic? I wish I were as free as a mime. Wish I had the guts to stand in front of an audience and just dance, without making a sound. If I get discovered one day and reach fame, I hope it will be on my terms. Or at least until I get tenure. Then, it’s whatever the department wants. Ultimately, it’s just about dollars and cents, amigo. Buying property with a picket fence. This is America, after all. Land of the capitalist swine.

Author Reading

About the Author

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) and Bad Mexican, Bad American (forthcoming in 2024). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, The Moth, Poetry, The Southern Review, Witness Magazine, The Yale Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading Anthology 2011. He teaches creative writing online and edits for Frontier Poetry.