The Sunday Poem: New Mexico Dawn, by Gregory Candela

Good morning, Albuquerque! Rich Boucher here, psychiatrist, jet astronaut and DitchRider Guest Leatheratrix for the month of June. This surely has been a fun ride thus far, and I feel quite proud to have helped Jon keep this thing rocking. So tell me: do you like poetry? Do you like Doritos? How about raspberries? I like all of those things. 


I bring these things up because here's another thing I like, the work of Greg Candela - will you follow along with me?....

Gregory L. Candela is a professor emeritus at University of New Mexico where he taught creative writing, literature, theatre, technical writing and composition. He has published scholarlly essays on African American and American literature (e.g. in The Dictionary of Literary Biography and American Literature). He published a book of poems Surfing New Mexico (Crones Unlimited, 2001). Recent publications include poems in the Harwood Anthology, Conceptions Southwest, Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, Sin Fronteras and Italian Americana. In addition, he was a book reviewer (Southwest Book Views) and has authored six produced plays including El Mozo Regresa: The Kid Returns for KUNM's "Radio Theatre." Candela is an actor, director and a performing musician. He has traveled throughout Mexico over the past 40 years.







After a fitful night of dark dreams,

the sun burned through the small

cupped fingers of my venetian blinds.  

I yanked them up and knew

the luridness of clouds—red

orange, bruised purple—against 

a nearly white, light-blue sky.


I knew the scene meant something

looked hard at ephemera that

would brook no review in any

Neanderthal’s or my life’s time

though his procanthic jaw would

have dropped farther than mine

because he had less science.


The cloudbank broke over the

Manzanos a dirty surf the foggy

morning after a drunken storm

staggered ashore, collapsed on

a grainy sand crack between

illuminated, garish yellow, black

electric edges, the sort of dawn


from which poets drag epiphany.

Yes. I had walked out on mother

church because I could not

abide that hoary, muscular sky

god fallen, after humping

mother earth six consecutive days

snoring, sonorously, as I attended


mass after enumerating my lewdnesses

to another guy called father who may

not have been a celibate. On bony

knees, on rosary beads, I counted Hail

Marys then tongued Jesus down my

throat. What has an inexplicable Catholic

adolescence to do with an inchoate dawn?

I don’t  know . . . but both are gone.


--Gregory Candela







Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email



Views: 193

Comment by Jules Nyquist on June 24, 2012 at 9:06am

Great wordplay and the unexpected wit makes this a fun poem!

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 24, 2012 at 9:28am

nearly vehement enough for this burned Catholic--egads, off to jail they go, thank God.  Greg, you funny.

Comment by Dee Cohen on June 25, 2012 at 7:28am

Funny skewed logic with an undercurrent of true pain. Clever work Greg. Thank you. Gotta go: off to drag some epiphanies. D

Comment by Rich Boucher on June 25, 2012 at 9:54am

Love this!


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