The Sunday Poem: Mitch Rayes ...The Drench

I scour the drench 

that is manuelitas canyon

rain cuts short the day’s labor

opens my eyes
my notebook

the creek is up

snow melt and downpour
have all of us
near the limits of containment

what’s next?

a washing machine comes down the river

stationary for decades
a rusted landmark
in the steep boulders of a side wash

but the rains have dislodged it

and now it is making the kind of velocity
few appliances ever achieve

it slams knee high into Bodner’s foot bridge
tumbles over the top
and into the water again on the other side

before I can blink
it disappears around the next bend

speed queen

I scour the drench of my notebook

my pen has been stationary all day

Mitch Rayes

Congratulations Mitch for being the New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award winner for 2013 (one of just two). Hear him give a reading performance Thursday, October 10th at 6 p.m. at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe.

Mitch Rayes was born breech in Detroit in 1958, the first of six children to a former Irish nun and a Lebanese chemist. He attended Wayne State University in Detroit as a Merit Scholar, and Naropa Institute in 1977, before the school was accredited. Mitch spent many years in Mexico as a professional guide and outfitter specializing in remote areas of Chiapas.  His mountain cabin near San Cristobal was seized by armed indigenous rebels in 1994.

During the 1990's, he was influential in the developing Albuquerque poetry scene as a founder of the poetry non-profit Flaming Tongues, as editor for eight years of the Tongue newsletter, and as producer of several Albuquerque Poetry Festivals. Mitch has a long history of musical collaborations with area poets, and several recordings of his own words and music.  He and his warehouse performance space THE PROJECTS received a 2013 Gratitude Award.

Margaret Randall has an illuminating article in the New Mexico Mercury about the Farmington Art Exhibit and the weekly poem which Don McIver provides us is Greg Candela's First Sh'la'ko .

Levi Romero sends us the good news of a new book and we'll let you know of readings/booksignings to come. It's in collaboration with Spencer Herrera and Robert Kaiser, Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland.  Do see more here.

Malpais Review Summer 2013 is out. 246 pages of James McGrath, Brazilian poetry, Niklas Tornlund, Lorca, Neruda, Tresha Haefner, Casandra Lopez plus Boucher, Brower, DeSimone, Gonzalez, Hada, Harris, Kidney, Kluckman, Machado, Northup, O'Brien, Parra, Raby, Randall, Roche, Schwartz, Slator, Smith, Swentzell, Toler, Tritica, and Warren! Gary Brower's poetry magazine is critical and essential for just about all active poets today, in my opinion. Congratulations Gary Brower and all involved. See Malpais Review.

Larry Goodell

Views: 228

Comment by Margaret Randall on September 29, 2013 at 7:53am

Mitch, this is a powerful poem! Thank you. And congratulations on the award--much deserved. Larry, thanks for giving a nod to my piece in New Mexico Mercury; a great idea to mention a few of the many local events and publications to remind readers to notice. The New Mexico Mercury (http:/ has an ever changing collections of features, voices and news feeds you won't find anywhere else. And Malpais Review is consistently good, but this just-out summer issue is exceptionally fine.

Comment by Rich Boucher on September 29, 2013 at 8:55am
Excellent poem by Mitch. Thank you, Larry.

Also, I have a poem in the Summer 2013 Malpais Review?
Comment by Teresa Gallion on September 29, 2013 at 11:33am

Mitch...powerful piece with strong imagery...can see and feel this place through your words.

Comment by Julie Brokken on September 29, 2013 at 4:39pm

love it!  

Comment by Dee Cohen on September 29, 2013 at 6:21pm

Nice poem Mitch. Love' what's next?' Who knows what's coming around that bend? I had a washing machine that could travel across the room but never downstream! Congrats on the gratitude award. Dee


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