Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou's On the Pulse of Morning

Maya Angelou's Inauguration poem for President Clinton.

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

¡Que viva la revolución!

Remembering Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011)

La revolución will not be televised
You will not see la revolución on Fox News, CNN or even Univisión
La revolución is not telenovelas, reality TV or talk radio

La revolución is not Sarah-zona
La revolución is not Jan Brewer's SB1070
La revolución will not be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bacchus

The Roman name for the Greek god of wine and intoxication — Dionysus.

Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Suffer no savor of the earth to scape.

Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root,
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus;
And turns the woe of Night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Laugharne

Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood was inspired in part by Laugharne.

I woke in the birth of darkest morning
sound of a pony's hooves scraping against granite,

following the forest to a road of open borders
guarded by rooks that thread the castle remains.
I walk on the shill of black air
sills of light like children jumping for a higher shelf,
peaking bright pocket of sun
crowning the morning with the crispy repeats of dew.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First Lines Second Thoughts — Fathers and Sons

Tiptoeing through the tulips on May the 20th.

First Lines Second Thoughts is an occasional look at the first lines of well known literary works. On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? Today we look at the novel that is responsible for popularizing the use of the term nihilism in the 19th century. Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. Published in 1862.

Monday, May 19, 2014

For My Son


I will not waiver or protest
that the wait is hard to bear;
The parent-to-be is patient
for the child he cannot see, knowing
that eternity is rounding unknown
seas to fishing nets. My
beloved, I wait.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Artist's Easel: Joseph Lusk

A six-pack of questions with Mexico-based artist Joseph Lusk.


Barra de Navidad based artist Joseph Lusk is a man of as many talents as he has names. Whether you call him La Manzanilla Joe, Painter Joe, or Twelve Beer Joe, Joseph Lusk has left an imprint in the Mexican fishing village that he calls home. We recently caught up with Joe and shared a six-pack of questions. What follows are his answers and an insight to one of Jalisco's idiosyncratic artists.

1. You live in a community full of writers, artists and musicians. How did you first come across Barra de Navidad and what made you stay?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Demetrio's Scythe

in memoriam: Janine Pommy Vega

Scythe in hand off he stormed
into the fields
to harvest
with every twist
of his reed-like blade-like form
his own discord.
I am Demetrio
he intoned

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Poet in New York: The Dawn of Federico García Lorca

Dawn over New York City.

New York City.

The name itself invokes an image and a time that is different for everyone. A city that draws writers and artists into its Big Apple core, New York City, has and will remain a muse that is more often than not portrayed as a love letter to the city. When American writers were gathering on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris during the 1920s one of Europe's most accomplished writers, Federico García Lorca, headed in the opposite direction to New York City.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Embrace of Warm and Gentle Rain

A poem for Mothers' Day.

The mirrors of a mother´s tears
Flowing in rivulets to the sea,
As they nourish and cleanse.
The living earth responds.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Poetry of Spirit

...for Shirley Carter on her journey.

My fathers and mothers
never knew poetry.
They spoke of legends,
of spirits and creatures
that came before them.
Passed down
one link by one link
over the passing of many moons.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Outsider


An outsider,
he was a square peg
in a round world.

An outsider
among his own family,
he stood last among them.