To remind everyone, here was the state of my desk last week:
And, true to my word, here is what it looks like this week:
That is Milton, our apartment’s guard sheep, doing a final inspection of my clean-up.
I had to sneak up on him – he has a no-camera policy while on the job. I got a stern reprimand afterwards. All in the name of blogdom.
As well as the treat of cleaning, I also allowed myself the treat of sitting down to a book of poetry.
One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and read a whole book of poems straight through.
(Think of the rarity: a Virgo in one place for an extended period of time – I can barely sit still in class. At least I get to pace as I teach.)
It is also, for me, one of the marks of a good book of poems, that it keeps you reading, engages you to the end. In France they refer to books as bricks – that’s what I’m talking about!
I am happy to report that Eduardo C. Corral’s collection, Slow Lightning, was successful on all accounts.
The prose poem below is one of the spookiest poems I read in a while. Like: finding your own first and last name on a gravestone spooky. Corral is quickly becoming one of my new favorite writers. His work takes on the political without sacrificing the personal.
Immigration and Naturalization Service Report #46 – Eduardo C. Corral
After the body was bagged and whisked away, we noticed a scarlet pelt on the sand. “This guy had it nice, sleeping on a pelt for days,” Ignacio joked. He paused mid-laugh, bent down, ran his hand through the fur. One of his fingers snagged. “This isn’t a pelt, it’s a patch of wolf ears,” he said. “No, they’re too large,” I replied. “Then they must be coyote ears,” he murmured. Sweat gathered in the small of my back. “Ignacio, should we radio headquarters?” I asked. Two ears rose slowly from the patch. I said a few more words. Nothing. I uttered my own name. Two more ears unfurled. We stepped back from the patch, called out the names of our fathers and mothers. Ramon. Juana. Octavio. More and more ears rose. Rodolfo. Gloria…
for Javier O. Huerta