The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque

The restless wit of Rich Boucher continues to explore our city.  “I think of this poem as an ambitious (hopefully successful) exercise in linguistic and cultural sleight-of-hand,” he writes.  “I hope you dig it.”   Forewarned, bring a shovel...maybe a flashlight.  Our future awaits.

Since moving to Albuquerque in March of 2008, Rich has been performing and writing steadily in the Duke City, and is a regular contributor/editor at Living day to day with physical abnormalities caused by the consumption of Monsanto’s supercorn, Rich is also an educator, adventurer and an unlicensed psychic.

Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque

At the intersection of Paseo and Central,
we waited until the sun went down to move,
we waited always until sunset to get moving;
we waited until the sun told us it was time
and then strapped on our goggles and backpacks,
trudging first through the frosty, unforgiving gorge
that runs through the Castle Adult Video Megastore
and all the way down to the existing and blustery airport.

Rappelling down from the Sunport snack bar,
we noticed the cherry bushes nearing their bloom,
noticed the moonlight’s purple, christmassy glow
until we touched ground at the Dairy Queen in Old Town;
this was the way we would settle bitter arguments:
pick a spot somewhere on the Old Tukishima Trail,
the one that runs all through and around the deep of Albuquerque
and then climb, hike, grasp and leap our way
from some kind of point a far from home until hopefully
the point b of our roadrunner-scented floral driveway.

“At some point on the trail you need to brace yourself
and climb underneath the 7-Eleven behind the library,
adjusting your headlamp until you see the tell-tale shimmer
of daylight dancing on the surfaces of the stream there;
grasp for edifice and look for artifice as you emerge
through a manhole in the middle of the corner of Atrisco;
wend your way across the North Valley on a Sunday
until you reach the base of the Frontier Restaurant,
which lies majestically near the University of New Mexico”.

Every time we had to break out that taped-up and stained map
of the Old Tukishima Trail (and of all its curious points)
we would wind up laughing so hard at the notes we wrote
the last time we made this risky trek across the city
that we’d forget whatever hassle prompted us to grab our gear
and go spelunking for truth over the Lotaburger on Fourth;
we would not remember what we could not agree on
after exploring the depths of the ceiling at the Diner on 66
and that, too, was one of the benefits of too much sun out here.

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 268

Comment by Margaret Randall on May 7, 2012 at 10:21am

Great poem! Rich, you have such a unique, authentic voice. I felt like I was way way way into the future, digging through the rubble to rediscover a city I know and love. And that blue image of you is intriguing: makes you even sexier than you are! Seriously, I kept going to the Sunday Poem all day yesterday, thinking Jon couldn't have left us bereft. And he did come through. Thanks.

Comment by Rich Boucher on May 7, 2012 at 10:24am

Oh, Margaret! Thank you so much for your words! I am so thrilled and honored - and very happy to see all of the different reactions to this poem, and how everyone seems to be getting something very personal from it. And thank you also for what you said about the picture - you made me blush over here!


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