Jacob Shores-Arg├╝ello


Jacob Shores-Arguello (?-present) is a Costa Rican American poet and writer. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University among other honors and awards. He has published two poetry collections– In the Absence of Clocks and Paraíso. Source


The pale sound of jilgueros trilling in the jungle.

Abuelo rocks in his chair and maps the birds

in his head, practiced in the geometry of sound.


My uncle stokes the cabin’s ironblack stove

with a short rod. The flames that come are his

loves. I cook—chile panameño, coconut milk—


a recipe I’d wanted to try. Abuelo eats,

suppresses the color that builds in his cheek.

To him the chile is a flash of snake in the mud.


He asks for plain rice, beans. Tío hugs his father,

kneels in front of the fire, whispers away the dying

of his little flames. We soak rice until


the water clouds. On the television, a fiesta…


The person I am showing the poem to

stops reading. He questions the TV,

circles it with a felt pen. “This feels so


out of place in a jungle to me. Can you

explain to the reader why it’s there?”

For a moment, I can’t believe. 


You don’t think we have 1930s technology?

The poem was trying to talk about stereotype,

gentleness instead of violence for once.


But now I should fill the little room

of my sonnet explaining how we own a TV?

A shame, because I had a great last line—


there was a parade in it, and a dancing

horse like you wouldn’t believe.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Intersectionality & Culture

Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered

Sensory Detail

words used to invoke the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell)