Monday’s Verse 10/15/2018

Dear readers,

quickly this morning, no time for small chat, is a poem by Richard Blanco — you can look him up because he has been at least an inaugural poet, but was maybe also poet laureate for a bit? I forget. But in this 20-year-old poem I hear not only the bilingual symbols of ethnic american poetry, but also Wallace Stevens. Enjoy. -ed.


Que será, el café of this holy, incorporated place,

the wild steam of scorched espresso cakes rising

like mirages from the aromatic waste, waving

over the coffee-glossed lips of these faces

assembled for a standing breakfast of nostalgia,

of tastes that swirl with the delicacy of memories

in these forty-cent cups of brown sugar histories,

in the swirling froth of café-con-leche, que será,

what have they seen that they cannot forget—

the broad-leaf waves of tabaco and plantains

the clay dust of red and nameless mountains,

que será, that this morning I too am a speck;

I am the brilliant guitar of a tropical morning

speaking Spanish and ribboning through potions

of waist-high steam and green cane oceans,

que será, drums vanishing and returning,

the African gods that rule a rhythmic land

playing their music: bongó, bembé, conga;

que será, that cast the spells of this rumba,

this wild birthright, this tropical dance

with the palms of this exotic confusion;

que será, that I too should be a question,

que será, what have I seen, what do I know—

culture of café and loss, this place I call home.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s