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Laureate’s Lemonade

A refreshing literary mix presented by Eve West Bessier, Poet Laureate of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico


This month, I am honored to feature Levi Romero, the current and inaugural New Mexico State Poet Laureate. The following poem is from his published collection, “A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works.”



Como una extinción de verdad floriando

by Levi Romero


the apricot clippings in the vase
on the table have begun to blossom

today a young girl in the writing class
presented me with her assignment
she would like to know if it is a poem

if I tell her it is
would I be lying?
if I tell her it isn’t
would I be telling her the truth?

eventually the apricot branch will bud
small protrusions of leaves will begin to appear
making the inside air thick with flower
the beeless silence buzzing
a long season awaiting already cut short

the student has titled her poem
“Extinción de mi identidad”

her first stanza reads like this:

¿quién eres,
dónde estás,
por que tú quieres ser tú?
!tú no eres tú mismo¡

as a child I loved summers
little green apples, fuzzy apricots
I liked plucking their still soft pit and squeezing it

with my pockets stuffed full of green fruit
I ran through neighboring orchards
followed paths that led down to the swimming hole
learned how to dog paddle and how to skip stones

her poem continues

decepción, deshonestidad, rumores
dejan un agujero en nuestra identidad
una plaga en nuestra alma

summers come
but no time is made to dam up the stream
weave a net of logs and boulders
no time made to sit and wade
waiting for the trout to dart out from under the bank
these are summers where a good pair of sneakers
will not be ruined by tadpole expeditions, murky water,
sticks and stones

espera los enamores
antristeciendo

she writes

I pause, contemplating
the possible meaning
of her two-line stanza
I swirl the words around my tongue
the vowel sounds, the syllables
a tart pronunciation ripening towards sweetness lingers

espera los enamores
antristeciendo

her lines, each verse scribbled
in the ink off a bad pen
just above the faded line

permita que controle
nuestra vida
¡yo soy quien soy!

it is past midnight now
my daughters, my wife asleep
I couldn’t, so I got up to read
found myself staring at the flowering apricot

if one of my daughters should ask
whether the apricot branch is alive or not
and how is it so

if I tell her it is
would I be lying?
if I tell her it isn’t
would I be telling her the truth?

whose hand in this household
will determine the branches fate
next week, or the next?
its withered leaves on brittle stems
the blossoms yellowed and flaked across the table
the water gone stale

¿por qué te preocupas?
¡regrasame mi identidad!

her final lines





As serendipity would have it, the poem I chose to present this month from my own work makes for an interesting pairing with Levi Romero’s.


And that is enough

by Eve West Bessier


Some journeys take place on the road,
asphalt rolling under hot tires
a lone voice singing with the radio.

Skies stretch overhead like novels without endings.
Rivers cross under bridges crossed over at nightfall,
the rush and rumble of water and wheels descending.

Some journeys take place in the heart,
memories rolling by under dream gauze,
becoming more vivid under recollection’s art.

Some journeys take us outward across landscapes
of deserts blooming and rain moving across plains
like curtains drawn, closing on the proscenium of our escape.

Some journeys take us inward across mind-scapes
of forgotten feeling erupting into our noon or moving
slow like the moon across plains of snow and maples.

I travel alone, my gas gauge reading empty.
I take the first exit on this homeless highway.
Gas, food, lodging, the sign tempts me.

I travel in the hope of running into you again
under yet another disguise, perhaps wiser
than the last rendezvous and less ready to pretend.

I travel to ease the silence that haunts me,
to fill my diary with something more than introspection.
My protection is my movement, quick and stealthy.

I aim at the horizon without need to achieve it.
I dodge the obstacles of my trepidation.

Some journeys are for the journeying, if you believe it.
And that is enough.



For more about Eve West Bessier, see About The Author below or go to www.jazzpoeteve.com

Disclaimer:
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

Eve West Bessier

Eve is a poet laureate emerita of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico; and of Davis and Yolo County, California. She has served on the steering committee for the Southwest Word Fiesta, and was a presenter during two festivals. Eve is a retired social scientist, voice and life coach. She is a writer, jazz vocalist, photographer and nature enthusiast living in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
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