Poetry by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal


A man
can't kill
these days.

I bought
a rope
to hang

The damn
thing broke
when I
tried to

hang by
the neck
from the

at the
group home.

All I
did was
hurt my
ass in

the fall.
I could
not stand
the pain

of life.
If I
get one
more chance,

I am
to make
sure the

rope wasn't
made in
you know.


I stole me an outfit
from a fool that worked
at Wall-Mart. When I got
to Wall-Mart I started
greeting fools coming
in. I guess I was just a
little too loud and they
called the neurotic cops
on me. I just wanted
a job is all. I just
wanted to prove that I
was better than others.
I want to be on my
own. I take the fifth on
your questions. Quit asking
all the wrong questions. I
am a jack of all trades.
I could do anything.
I want to go back to
school. I haven’t decided
what I want to study.
I’m normal. I don’t need
all these medications.
I just need to go home.

I dropped out of school when
I was fifteen because
the work got to be too
much. I got myself a
job instead because I
needed money. After
a week they let me go.
They said I stole from the
register. That’s a lie.
I was going to put
the money back when I
got paid. I needed an
advance. I don’t call that
stealing because I was
going to put the cash
back. I’m a good greeter.

Wall-Mart needs to give me
a chance at redemption.
I did not mean to cause
a scene. I don’t know why
the people were so scared.
The neurotic cops could
have let me go, but they
had to go and show off.


Luis works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA. His chapbooks, Keepersof Silence and Without Peace, were published by Kendra Steiner Editions in 2007. His first book of poetry, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press in 2004.