“My Mother Used to Holler, ‘No Dejan Que te Lavan El Cerebero!’ (Don’t Let Them Wash Your Brain!)”

Your humble servant, Ben Bac Sierra, reading new poems: “My Mother Used to Holler, ‘No Dejan Que te Lavan El Cerebero!’ (Don’t Let Them Wash Your Brain!)”


Voz Sin Tinta, Alley Cat Books, San Francisco Mission 24th Street, August 13, 2015

The media is owned by cartoon characters. Disney owns ABC, so that means Mickey Mouse is giving you your news.

“My Mother Used to Holler, ‘No Dejan Que te Lavan El Cerebero!’”

Learn your ABC of news

To surrender to what

Mickey Mouse wants

He’s not playful

He is a rat

Who gnaws and scratches at your soul

That tastes better than cheese and is less sticky than peanut butter

You are the one trapped

In his reports about

Black people as savages

Brown people as stupid and

Snow White as beautiful truth


Because it comes from within

From what is important

A discovery of depth

Without a voice

The only one brainwashing you

Should be you

“A Gift from God”

Aint no one just gonna give you love

It don’t work like that, baby

No one owes you a damn thing

So hike up that skirt

Build them biceps

Brush your teeth in a circular motion

Most importantly—write fucked-up poems

Cause you can lie about everything else

But poetry is truth.

You choose:

Pretend your shit don’t stink

Or embrace the insanity of existence

By choosing the stink

You love life and life loves you

Take it any way you can get it

“Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothin Left to Lose”

There is purpose and pride

In me alone

But only for a moment

Laughing by myself too long

I lose my mind

Independence is a great high and illusion

We chase after ourselves as if we could catch

The dust from stars

Independence ultimately equals selfishness

Boring unfulfilling stupidity

Unless we share we cannot have even proof

Of us

We never know ourselves

Community: I need you in order for me to be me

You are my mirror

My liberation from myself

You save me from freedom

“It’s Only You Who Changes”

Wasted time is the worst

You clutch to hope

That will never come

Time does not stop or forgive

Or cry or care

For your petty possibilities

Its answer is always death

You keep on trying to figure it out

Without realizing that the racket blasting in your brain

Is time’s silent persecution

You are a victim

And there’s nothing you can do about it

Your time is gone

Like her ruby red lipstick washed away off your collar

You do not even deserve something to remember her by

The laundry detergent

Too powerful

Too clean

For your soiled plans and parties

Wasted time is

The only alternative

We live for our illusions

Falling down drunk

Flying free

Prudish purpose

The same shit

The same shit

Time is time

The best of times

The worst of times

Is the same shit

It’s only you who changes




More powerful

Than eternity

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