an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2022-23

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Evan Myquest


Sitting on my patio swivel rocker
Enjoying a spring day
Tablet propped on my lap
Googling colonial imperatives and cowboy music
Before the hellish heat of summer
Hits this inland California valley
Learning my bit of property was part of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo. Doesn’t Hidalgo mean gentleman?
How gentlemanly was the annexation of California?
I think about the people who
Took this land over the dead bodies
Of the original Americans
I wondered how big of an accomplice
Complicit to the slaughter
I mean, I bought this place with
A big loan I wasn’t too happy about but
Sure not a lot of blood involved on my part
But there was quite a bit of paperwork
With insurance, title, and deed
Probably not as much as purchasing
California for $15 million 1848 dollars by President Polk
And that guy Trist that totally pissed off the president
Right after the war between Pancho and Lefty
So my thoughts have turned to country music
It happens on thoughts too big to control
I’ll settle for I paid for this townhouse
Take cold comfort that it’s a zero lot property
Paid partly by that gentleman treaty
And, yes, the spring day is quite nice
At least there aren’t any Federales
On the horizon and the original settlers
Who survived the Sierra Mountains
Shouted that Manifest Destiny crap took it to this coast
At least I’m not headed to Ohio with Lefty and Townes
And mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be Californios
Pondering thoughts too big to control
So here I am learning Spanish on this computer
A concession to kindness
I suppose

Evan Myquest, 73, lives in the foothills of the Sierras near Sacramento, CA. He has been married to his wife, Eva, for 47 years. His poetry has appeared alongside Jack Hirschman, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Jim Carroll, and many others across the US and in Italy as well as translated and performed on video by Rome’s maestro Beppe Costa. A video documentary featuring his poetry was shown at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum in 2013. He worked as a budget and capital investment analyst for a major corporation for twenty years and retired to write poetry the first day he was pension eligible in 2003. In 1974, he attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy summer workshop taught by Damon and Kate Knight, Harlan Ellison and other writers at Michigan State University, then workshopped with writers Gene Wolfe, A.J. Budrys and George R. R. Martin and others in the Chicago Windy City Windy Writers workshop. His latest book, Cold Blue Roses is available at Amazon in print and kindle editions. His website is