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National Poetry Month: Juan Felipe Herrera

National Poetry Month: Juan Felipe Herrera

April 21 / 18

National Poetry Month! Time to read and get inspired by great poetry with Juan Felipe Herrera.


Credit source: Poetry Foundation

Blood on the Wheel

     Ezekiel saw the wheel,
way up in the middle of the air.
TRADITIONAL GOSPEL SONG

Blood on the night soil man en route to the country prison
Blood on the sullen chair, the one that holds you with its pleasure
Blood inside the quartz, the beauty watch, the eye of the guard
Blood on the slope of names & the tattoos hidden
Blood on the Virgin, behind the veils,
Behind—in the moon angel’s gold oracle hair
                    What blood is this, is it the blood of the worker rat?
                    Is it the blood of the clone governor, the city maid?
                    Why does it course in s’s & z’s?
Blood on the couch, made for viewing automobiles & face cream
Blood on the pin, this one going through you without any pain
Blood on the screen, the green torso queen of slavering hearts
Blood on the grandmother’s wish, her tawdry stick of Texas
Blood on the daughter’s breast who sews roses
Blood on the father, does anyone remember him, bluish?
                    Blood from a kitchen fresco, in thick amber strokes
                    Blood from the baby’s right ear, from his ochre nose
                    What blood is this?
Blood on the fender, in the sender’s shoe, in his liquor sack
Blood on the street, call it Milagro Boulevard, Mercy Lanes #9
Blood on the alien, in the alligator jacket teen boy Juan
                    There is blood, there, he says
                    Blood here too, down here, she says
                    Only blood, the Blood Mother sings
Blood driving miniature American queens stamped into rage
Blood driving rappers in Mercedes blackened & whitened in news
Blood driving the snare-eyed professor searching for her panties
Blood driving the championship husband bent in Extreme Unction
                   Blood of the orphan weasel in heat, the Calvinist farmer in wheat
                   Blood of the lettuce rebellion on the rise, the cannery worker’s prize
Blood of the painted donkey forced into prostitute zebra,
Blood of the Tijuana tourist finally awake & forced into pimp sleep again
It is blood time, Sir Terminator says,
It is blood time, Sir Simpson winks,
It is blood time, Sir McVeigh weighs.
                   Her nuclear blood watch soaked, will it dry?
                   His whitish blood ring smoked, will it foam?
                   My groin blood leather roped, will it marry?
                   My wife’s peasant blood spoked, will it ride again?
Blood in the tin, in the coffee bean, in the maquila oración
Blood in the language, in the wise text of the market sausage
Blood in the border web, the penal colony shed, in the bilingual yard
                    Crow blood blues perched on nothingness again
                    fly over my field, yellow-green & opal
                    Dog blood crawl & swish through my sheets
Who will eat this speckled corn?
Who shall be born on this Wednesday war bed?
Blood in the acid theater, again, in the box office smash hit
Blood in the Corvette tank, in the crack talk crank below
Blood boat Navy blood glove Army ventricle Marines
in the cookie sex jar, camouflaged rape whalers
Roam & rumble, investigate my Mexican hoodlum blood
                    Tiny blood behind my Cuban ear, wine colored & hushed
                    Tiny blood in the death row tool, in the middle-aged corset
                    Tiny blood sampler, tiny blood, you hush up again, so tiny
Blood in the Groove Shopping Center,
In blue Appalachia river, in Detroit harness spleen
Blood in the Groove Virus machine,
In low ocean tide, in Iowa soy bean
Blood in the Groove Lynch mob orchestra,
South of Herzegovina, south, I said
Blood marching for the Immigration Patrol, prized & arrogant
Blood spawning in the dawn break of African Blood Tribes, grimacing
& multiple—multiple, I said
Blood on the Macho Hat, the one used for proper genuflections
Blood on the faithful knee, the one readied for erotic negation
Blood on the willing nerve terminal, the one open for suicide
Blood at the age of seventeen
Blood at the age of one, dumped in a Greyhound bus
Blood mute & autistic & cauterized & smuggled Mayan
& burned in border smelter tar
                    Could this be yours? Could this item belong to you?
                    Could this ticket be what you ordered, could it?
          Blood on the wheel, blood on the reel
          Bronze dead gold & diamond deep. Blood be fast.
Juan Felipe Herrera, “Blood on the Wheel” from Border-crosser with a Lamborghini Dream. Copyright © 1999 by Juan Felipe Herrera.  Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: Border-crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (University of Arizona Press, 1999)

In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul

In the cannery the porpoise soul
& the shadow fins of spirit boats lie awake
the hundred hooks & flying reels
one harpoon
& the silver fleshing in the nets
the mayor is waiting/counting scales
dreaming new quotas & tuna coasts
(under the table blood & payrolls
swim to the shores on a crucifix of oil)
in the cannery the porpoise soul
steals a dagger forthe engines throat
tuna fins etch an X
on the green stone of the ships floor
there are documents with worker sweat
files & rolled sleeve salt
a spear of sails & anchor years
(lost)
inside the shoulders & against the ropes
(somehow)
a policy gunned the waves back
before the porpoise sea was born
“In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul” from Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems by Juan Felipe Herrera. Copyright © 2008 Juan Felipe Herrera. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press. This material is protected from unauthorized downloading and distribution.
Source: Half of the World in Light (The University of Arizona Press, 2008)

War Voyeurs

for Clara Fraser

I do not understand why men make war.
Is it because artillery is the most stoic example
of what flesh can become?
Is it because the military plan is the final map
drawn by the wisest hunter?
Is it because the neutron ray is the invincible finger
no one will disobey?
or
Is it because the flood of blood is the proper penance
workers must pay for failing tribute at the prescribed
hour?
I do not understand why men make war.
Is it because when death is multiple and expanding, there
among the odd assemblages, arbitrary and unnamed, there
among the shrivelled mountains, distorted and hollow, there
among the liquid farms and cities, cold and sallow, there
among the splintered bones of children, women, men and cattle
there and only there, the eerie head of power is being born?
Is it because submission is the only gesture to be rehearsed,
to be dressed, to be modeled, to be cast, to be chosen
in the one and only one drama to be staged in the theater of
this world, where everyone must act with the backbone humbled
with the mascara of bondage, with the lipstick of slaves under
the light of gentle assassination with applause piercing the ground
forever?
or
Is it because war is the secret room of all things to be kept
sealed and contained, to be conquered and renamed woman
enclosed by an empire of walls, vaults, hinges and locks with
the hot key that men and only men must possess for an eternal
evening to visit and contemplate, to snap open a favorite window
and gaze at the calibrated murder as lovers of beauty?

“War Voyeurs” from Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems by Juan Felipe Herrera. Copyright © 2008 Juan Felipe Herrera. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press. This material is protected from unauthorized downloading and distribution.

Source: Half of the World in Light (The University of Arizona Press, 2008)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, be blessed!

 

Image source: Los Angeles Times
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Where To…Nashville, Tennessee

Where To…Nashville, Tennessee

April 20 / 18

Friday, Friday, Friday! We all live for the weekends. No more @ The Event…from this day forth it’s Where To. Different title, but same formula. We go from city to city, country to country to get find great events and things to do. From Texas to Tennessee. Nashville that is. Over the past weekend, I visited the capital of this beautiful state. You can find all kinds of great things to do in Music City!


Credit source: Visit Music City

What can you do for art, music, and other events in Nashville? Plenty. I wanted to really explore the city a lot more, but I wasn’t able to because we didn’t have more time, but I’ll return again sometime next year. One place that one on my agenda was The Parthenon.

 

THE PARTHENON

Located at Centennial the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Here is a small description from their brochure:

The city of Nashville first undertook the construction of a full-scale replica of the Parthenon for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Many cities and states, major industries, and other interest groups also built pavilions for the celebration. Nashville’s pavilion was constructed of brick, wood lath, and plaster, and represented the city’s reputation as the “Athens of the South” The Parthenon housed the art exhibition, which consisted of 1,172 pieces from all over the world. The building was so popular that the city left the temporary structure standing after the Exposition. In 1920, faced with crumbling pediments and decaying plaster, the city authorized the reconstruction of the landmark with permanent materials. Rather than rebuilding the structure exactly as it appeared in the Exposition, the city decided to create a complete replica of the original Greek temple, both inside and out. What had been the basement of the 1897 Parthenon became gallery space in order to continue the Nashville Parthenon’s history of exhibiting fine art.

On May 21, 1931, the Parthenon reopened to the public, attracting over 10,000 visitors from 46 states and 12 foreign countries during its first month. 

The first floor you’ll see exhibitions of painting, statues and other works, but it’s on the second floor you’ll find Athena, goddess of wisdom, prudent warfare and the useful arts; patron deity of the city of Athens. The statue stands 41′ 10″ tall, from the floor all the way to the top center crest of her helmet. She’s made of gypsum cement reinforced with fiberglass, on a steel frame. The statue was commissioned in 1982 and was unveiled in May 1990. Go to the website below Hours of operations, administrations, and other information. I enjoyed it and wasn’t disappointed. I need to go back there again.

Other events include:

Awesome April

Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th

Holiday Harmony

CMA Music Festival

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Other places to you can visit are  Country Music Hall of Fame® and MuseumRCA Studio B,  LeQuire Gallery,  Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Grand Ole Opry. 

So many more events and things to see.

Go to www. visitmusiccity.com for more places and events to check out. I’m gonna go back to get the full experience of Nashville has to offer.

Image source: Wikipedia, YouTube, & HomeAway