The Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, now in its eighth year, will sponsor the fourth (and last) reading of 2012, today at 3pm at the Anasazi Fields Winery in the old village of Placitas. The featured poets will be Duende director Larry Goodell and one of New Mexico's most well known poets, E.A. "Tony" Mares of Albuquerque. Also reading will be Duende directors Jim Fish and Gary Brower. If you have never been to the Duende series, or even to Placitas, the occasion of this historic reading just might be the time to go!
Tony Mares, who was born in Old Town, is a Professor Emeritus of the University of New Mexico. In addition to being a poet and teacher, he is also a playwright, journalist, translator, historian and fiction writer. He was part of the Chicano Literature Renaissance, which was centered on Embudo in the 1960's and 70's.
Duende director Larry Goodell (originally from Roswell) has lived in Placitas for more than 50 years and is another of the state's legendary poets. His poetry is known for political commentary, humor, satire, performances with mythic accoutrements at times, nature and gardening imagery and themes, and his love of New Mexico.
el rio grande
three words in Spanish or English
become the mud red water
the thunderheads with clouds
rain like a wide-skirted
walking woman or
narrow like a thin man
Navajos call this the Mexicans’ river and
female river while I prefer the rio bravo
the fearless river south of El Paso
it is the river of potsherds of dreams
a crying woman drowns her children
and looks for them in the mother ditch
her brambled arms grasp the shimmering air
it is the river near the Central Avenue Bridge
where I never find my daughter
blood red water flows over me
watermelon sun of dawn and twilight
rises and sets on the Albuquerque bosque
heat bakes the riverbed
cracks it like weathered shoe leather
the wind sweeps my ashes
across a crow’s blank gaze.
from With the Eyes of a Raptor (2004)
A La Local
Something is new in the corn dance of the heart
the Santo Domingo, San Felipe ceremonies that a white guy remembers
pounding plaza, elders, newbies, off beat dancers all on beat
the words to the four corners of the local universe
only imagined from books to me
as I sit down on an anthill and they laugh at me only
less informed, as a koshari, a funny priest, at least
I don’t dump urine on your head, but I sit back here
reminded how penetrating those Zuni nights of ceremony of the Long Horn Clan
those Cochiti colors in running flags with banners
and an Aunt Jemima Indian in the elder chorus
I’ll never understand.
And an Apache devil-dance toward the fire with zigzag head shadows
down at Mescalero
as I realize how puny my transplanted fate of beliefs,
a religion I can’t believe in any way that I know in the parade of unknowns –
true faith must come up from the ground you live on.
--larry goodell / placitas, new mexico
Poetry submissions are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.