Angela Peñaredondo


For the Marooned

Another Mojave town,
           a bare lot,
arid roadway scalding

the froth of your hemline.
           Last night’s history
left a pithy residue like burn marks,

their tracks running along the forehead.
           Can’t you see
we’re both strangers here?

Beautiful fiends unearthed,
           left to dig
through litter and lightning.

Like a dove, I’ve watched you
           staring into the last cornhusk
light. You want to rid yourself

of those battered names,
           the loathe hanging 
on roofs of mouths.

In the center of nothing,
           one more drink
of roadside’s nectar—

           snuff out suicide. 
Don’t you know muddled nightmares
           are just nightmares,
ghosts with a sweet tooth for fear?

Darling tempest, I pray
           you burst open
that rotten backdoor

with a silver pistol
           and a galloping sound.
Inamorata of flames,

hitchhiker of dreams,
           (anywhere in the echo blackness)
rush rush

to some swirling field
           or rattle bone creek—
I don’t care.

Lets you and me
           make it again
and again


What Kind Of Blue?

You weren’t born here.  I can see that.
I ask myself was it the cold whipping
on your skin? How you left Kansas City
like memories never meant a damn.

Wildwood, you leapt to the black road,
hot metal, hands spiraling the wheel.
Don’t think you loved just one place. 
Don’t know if you ever left a woman.

Your cheek mark on a pillow, light—
a melody ascending on her back.   You dreamt
about Brando, not a Missouri Breaks Brando,
but a sunnier poolside Brando.   Months later,

you creep down Alameda & Seventh,
dig fingertips into fractures of sidewalks,
tiptoe a quivering line through damp
hallways.  Menace runs like hot blood

along these alleys, begs with a strap
and a blade.  You slouch in a motel room,
thick with oil.  All day the TV glimmers
a faint buzz at the foot of a bed. 

A hand contorts the blinds. You squint
at grass dirt blond, all bristle. 
Your room trembles. A plane
launches across the L.A. blue.

What kind of blue? A bright cyan
or Dresden blue?  How about a Dodger
blue?  You couldn’t say.

Remember when you were a child?
You cried so everyone would leave you
the hell alone. They all kept coming.



ANGELA PEÑAREDONDO: Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a poet and artist from Los Angeles, California. Currently, she is part of the University of California, Riverside’s MFA program in Creative Writing. Angela is a recipient of a Gluck Fellowship, Fishtrap Fellowship, University of Los Angeles California’s Community Access Scholarship in poetry and a Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (MCWC) Scholarship. She was selected as runner-up for the 2012 Atlantis Poetry Award, and won 2nd place for MCWC’s 2012 Poetry contest. Her work has appeared in Burningword, the Poet’s Billow, 20x20 Magazine, Global Graffiti and Noyo River Review. Her work was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.