Sunday, July 31, 2016

Un Oración por los Migrantes — A Prayer for the Migrant

One of more than 350 crosses in the Sonoran Desert that mark the death of a dream, the death of a migrant.
Uno de los más de 350 cruces en el desierto de Sonora que marcan la muerte de un sueño, la muerte de un migrante.

Un Oración por los Migrantes

Corazón de Jesús,
lleno de amor y misericordia,
quiero pedirte por mis hermanos migrantes.
Ten piedad de ellos y protégelos,
pues sufren maltratos y humillaciones
en su caminar,

Friday, July 29, 2016

On the Road: Growing Old in the Desert with Carmen Megeath

We found the following poem — Growing Old in the Desert — and poet — Carmen Megeath — while exploring thrift shops in Douglas, Arizona. It is in these out of the way places that we sometimes first come across local poets. Where we are first introduced to the soul of a place. A region. A town. America.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Life is Not Meant to be Watched on TV

Life is not meant to be watched on TV
It is dancing with little girls when I buy eggs and cheese.
No, life is not meant to be watched on TV
Life is counting the children after they play in the sea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Eugene Williams and the Chicago Race Riot of 1919

"On July 27th, when I was a seventeen-year-old Negro boy, I drowned at the 29th Street Beach in Chicago. I had accidentally floated across the unmarked barrier that separated the sectors of the beach and had been stoned by angry whites.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — When Something Closes In

When something closes in
that changes or seems to change
the prospects of the day,
I think of you and your voice
on the phone.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Road Music: Los Microbios de Naco and the Corrido de Huaraqui

A corrido is a popular folk ballad that often reflects on daily life, history or oppression. The authorship of many corridos is unknown as is the case with Corrido de Huaraqui. Verses change from region to region. Dates, towns and names change depending on whom is singing the song and where.

One of the small border towns separating Arizona from Sonora share the same name — Naco. As our journey west was to include a stop in Naco we were fortunate to find a CD from a local group of musicians; Los Microbios de Naco — the germs of Naco — and the following corrido.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

On The Road: Gordon Taylor and Regrets from Columbus, New Mexico

"Columbus was founded in 1891 as a U.S./Mexico border station but eventually coalesced around the railroad station three miles to the north in 1903. The area's history is tied to a March 9, 1916, raid on Columbus by Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched General John J. Pershing and 10,000 troops into Mexico to pursue Villa. This punitive expedition ultimately failed."

According to the aforementioned inscription on the Official Scenic Historic Marker for Columbus, New Mexico it would seem that the desert town's history knows a thing or two about regrets. Local poet and writer Gordon Taylor also writes of regrets.

Friday, July 22, 2016

On The Road: Judge Roy Bean and Poetic Justice

Jersey Lilly Saloon...and courthouse of Judge Roy Bean in Langtry, Texas.

Even the historical markers in southern Texas state that it's hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to Judge Roy Bean, the self-professed only "law west of the Pecos."

Whether the following death sentence was ever handed down by Bean is murky. Notoriously famous as a hanging judge there is scant evidence that he ever sentenced anyone to death. If he did, there is no evidence that the sentence was carried out. What cannot be denied is that the sentence reads as poetic justice.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

On The Road: The Streets of Laredo, A Cowboy's Lament

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in his buckskins,
All dressed in his buckskins, all fit for his grave.

"Then swing your rope slowly and rattle your spurs lowly
And give a wild whoop as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley and lay the sod o'er me
I'm just a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On The Road: Mother Jones and Mount Olive, Illinois

The sign beckons you from Interstate 55 to visit the Mother Jones Monument in Mount Oilve, Illinois. A few quick turns and a left off the remnants of the Mother Road itself — Route 66 — you see the monument to "the most dangerous woman in America" rising out of the back corner of the centuries old cemetery. The monument contains the second of a two stanza poem by James Aldrich.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

All They Left Behind

There was one last night of
sleeping on the floor
The air mattress was packed
in the back of the car the day before
The bed was gifted to a downstairs neighbor
the week before that.