Sunday, January 15, 2023

JOSE HERNANDEZ DIAZ—"EL BOXEADOR" (Issue 25)


EL BOXEADOR

I’ve been a boxer since I was five years old. I grew up on the 
southeast side of town. No one really wants to live here, except us 
Mexicans. My father always wanted to be a professional fighter, 
but he mostly just watched it on the weekends, with a beer. He 
worked as an industrial mechanic for 35 years. That’s how he paid 
for my boxing training. When he saw I didn’t care much for tools, 
he taught me the right hook. He said, “we are Mexican fighters. We 
rarely use the jab. We are undersized but our hearts are made of 
iron. We get in on the inside, like Canelo fighting those tall light 
heavyweights. We come from an Aztec warrior class. Boxing isn’t a 
sport, mijo,” he’d say, “it’s a religion. The boxing Gods don’t forgive.”



ABOUT THE POET 


Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire 

Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). His work appears in The American Poetry 

Review, Bennington Review, Chestnut Review, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, 

Huizache, Iowa Review, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, The Missouri Review, 

Northwest Review, Poetry, Southeast Review, The Southern Review, Witness 

Magazine, The Yale Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 

Anthology 2011. He teaches creative writing online and edits for Frontier Poetry.




ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

Monday, January 2, 2023

LAUREN K. WATEL—"THE JAILS" (Issue 25)


THE JAILS


The jails, they’re full of prisoners. Why are they full of prisoners? 

Because everyone’s doing drugs or selling them. Why is everyone doing 

drugs or selling them? Because they’re bored and desperate. Why are 

they bored and desperate? Because they have no work. Why don’t they 

have work? Because the jobs went away. Why did the jobs go away? 

Because the bosses put in robots. Why did the bosses put in robots? 

Because robots don’t ask questions. Why don’t robots ask questions? 

Because they don’t have minds. Why don’t they have minds? Because 

the scientists haven’t gotten that far. Why haven’t the scientists gotten 

that far? Because the government won’t fund them. Why won’t the 

government fund them? Because they’re funding the army. Why are 

they funding the army? So we can fight. Why should we fight? Because 

we have enemies. Why do we have enemies? Because we’re always 

interfering. Why are we interfering? Because we’re better than they are. 

Why are we better than they are? Because we’re free. Why are we free? 

Because we waged a war to worship our own gods. Why did we wage a 

war to worship our own gods? Because we felt oppressed. Why did we 

feel oppressed? Because they put us in the jails.




ABOUT THE POET 


Lauren K. Watel's poetry, fiction, essays and translations have appeared in 

The Paris Review, The Nation, Narrative, Tin House, Antioch Review, 

TriQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Slate, Colorado Review, 

Birmingham Poetry Review, Poetry International, Ploughshares, and the 

Collected Poems of Marcel Proust, among others. She was awarded a visiting 

artist residency at the American Academy in Rome as well as a Distinguished 

Fellowship at Hambidge Art Center. Her work has also won awards from Poets 

and Writers, Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation and Mississippi Review

Her prose poem "The House She Lived In" honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

was set to music by Pulitzer-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and 

premiered at the Dallas Symphony



ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.