Soul Story

By Edwin Torres b. 1958 Edwin Torres
Who is quitting dogs today? Making them their sister?
Who is stretched out by a lamppost sibling? Illuminated by ransom’s note?

I was oblivious to pettiness until I saw its first handle: obey ignorance.
Stomach decisiveness. By that, this decision . . . no decision.

Let it be to gain all it can in one fetter . . . but if it be life,
let it attempt a failed recognition.

Let its thinker be the failure. My thinker is failure,
and I want to teach it how to move in this world.

Do you be or live?
To any the other wants.

To both these words, I fail to be.
When I am, but when not . . .

It is, as if alive.

Edwin Torres, “Soul Story” from The PoPedology of an Ambient Language, published by Atelos. Copyright © 2007 by Edwin Torres. Reprinted by permission of Edwin Torres.

Source: The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos, 2007)

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Poet Edwin Torres b. 1958

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Social Commentaries, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Edwin  Torres


A self-proclaimed “lingualisualist” rooted in the languages of sight and sound, Edwin Torres was born in the Bronx and is a longtime resident of New York City. He is a poet whose highly acclaimed performances and live shows combine vocal and physical improvisation and theater. He is the author of the collections Ameriscopia (2014), One Night: Poems For The Sleepy (2012), Yes Thing No Thing (2011), In the Function of External . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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