Life in Real Time Happening, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Charles Hood, Arctic Tern Feet


Life in Real Time Happening


Autumn was far from mute this morning
with the birds singing in the yard like if
it was Spring or Summer, with hints of
hope before Winter came with its cold.

Orange and yellow fruit hung from the
citrus tree. The gratified squirrels played
on the lawn. The calm cat on the fence was
ready to pounce without a whisper or
warning, just biding its time. This was
life in real time happening outside.

I watched from the window at all that
was beautiful and terrible. The sun was
clothed in gold, burning as the clock
neared noon and I stayed in for the day.

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal


Review by Paul Pruitt

I found in this poem some nice insights into the timelessness of animal life–specifically that image of “gratified squirrels” (something I had seen all my life but had not thought to put in those words) and the snapshot of a “calm cat on the fence,” “ready to pounce without a whisper or a warning, just biding its time.” All of this served as an authentic view of “Life in Real Time,” nicely if briefly contrasted with things that are “beautiful and terrible.” I don’t have a negative criticism of this poem, though I wouldn’t have minded more hints of the “beautiful and terrible” things out on the perimeter. Or maybe they are just out on the fence?


Review by Joe Bisicchia

Leave it to Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal who always tends to find the perfect economy of words to say so much wealth, to breathe here something that is simply ever near as an everyday glimpse out the autumnal window. Nothing out of the ordinary, and yet always arising in real time extraordinary with a flare of peace in what is. And what is, well, is all the wonderment of color, but also the honesty of what is both “beautiful and terrible.” And perhaps despite any gray within, being distant from the other side of the glass, it is with enough florescence in the interior snap shot that one might feel like a bud remaining ready for bloom, if not now, surely eventually, even if now only wrapping for fall with contentment somewhere in the darkness.


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

and laugh out loud to think that I, mere man, could go out there and take

anything she offered, tongue or teeth. (Paul Nelson, Coyote, Issue 26.)

Mindfulness: a moment of actual existence, where everything that stands between the days of hope/Spring and the days of sleep and frost, or between catching and being caught, is hanging in the balance of a well-timed, feline leap. We feel we are peeking into the very mechanics of Creation, as Life itself was ready to pounce without a whisper or warning. With that vertigo of anticipation, we register Life’s presence bidding its time. We witness the birth of an instant.

I watched from the window at all that / was beautiful and terrible. It might have been too much to look at, like an overwhelming forbidden knowledge impossible to gain or share, or it might have been that there was literally nothing worth adding: either way, something must have happened because – how sharply the poem ends, with almost a clean cut – I can picture the narrator turning his back on the scene and, somehow encumbered, walking off from that live feed, retreating into a domestic world of inanimate objects.

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