Manuel Gonzales Speaks Out Outspoken
Manuel González is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “My Word is My Power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets.
“I’m proud to be from New Mexico, and to me it’s more than just green chile and desert. It’s seeing the value of famila and respect. It’s the Rio Grande valley and Santuario de Chi-mayo. It is feasts, dance, poetry and prayer.”
Find his collection of poetry …But my friends call me Burque, locally at The Range Café, Café Bella Coffee and on line distributors such as Amazon.com.
The Poet and the Wind
It’s time to begin.
It’s time to begin
the story of the poet and the wind.
Now, the poet went to the river
to sit talk to the river and pray.
The trees were happy to see him
with their leaves red, brown, and gold.
Fall was falling fast and things were ready to get cold,
when all of a sudden
the poet heard leaves rustling
and he knew that it had to be the wind
and the wind always blew right through him.
So he packed up his stuff and got ready to go home.
Now the wind was from the north,
powerful and strong,
and breeze made the trees howl
and sing the wind’s song.
So the poet started stepping
but the wind gave chase
and blew a gust and kicked up dust
right up in the poet’s face.
And the poet,
he wasn’t going to stand for this disgrace.
So the poet did the craziest thing you’d ever see.
The poet battled the wind
And the wind got angry and started to gust
Then poet raised his head and started to bust
about earth’s pollution
and mind evolution
and how you can kill the revolutionary
but you can’t kill the revolution.
And just when it looked like the poet was winning
the wind began to gather and started spinning
and knocked that poet blind
because the wind is a warrior
just as old as time.
It hit the poet so hard
it blew the poet’s mind.
So he started reaching for metaphor
and searching for simile
digging deep inside himself
looking for the capability
of seeing beauty in everything.
And his heart began bursting and blooming.
He spoke of love and life
and his emotions inside.
Then the wind blew at him like an ocean tide
and knocked that poet right off of his feet.
But the poet,
he wasn’t that easily beat.
He got right back up and started his expression,
making each and every word a personal confession.
The poet tried to find all the prose he could muster
but the wind was blowing hard and started to bluster
and the clouds came to help him and darkened the sky
but the poet kept speaking and he let his spirit fly
and he pummeled the wind with prose.
But the warrior wind it got stronger and rose.
It came at him from the front.
It came at him from the rear.
It got the poet
knocked the poet
shocked the poet
rocked the poet
but it tasted the poet’s tears.
So the poet cried out
calling all of his ancestors
using every poetic technique he could remember
defining his culture
finding his consciousness.
He let those words flow until he was out of breath.
There was nothing left.
But then the poet noticed something
and he didn’t know what to do
because he saw that the wind
had died down too.
Neither of them was stronger than the other:
both of them warriors,
both of them brothers.
They had stood,
eye to eye
toe to toe,
but now they don’t look at the other as a foe.
where the story must end,
both having respect
for their newfound friend.
The wondrous tale
of the poet and the wind.
I am New Mexico contributor Katrina K Guarascio resides in New Mexico where she teaches high school English and is an active member of the poetry community.
She produces a monthly poetry performance in Rio Rancho, The Second Saturday Slam, is the editor in chief of the small press, Swimming with Elephants Publications LLC, manages the website for a local women’s writing collective, La Palabra, and brings poetry to the youth by sponsoring the Rio Rancho Creative Writing Community and teaching a weekly Poetry Workshop, The Mighty Mic, at Warehouse 508.
Along with many small press and e-zine publications, she is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Hazy Expressions and More Fire than Sun, and three book length publications entitled September, the fall of a sparrow, and my verse.
Find these publications and many others by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC at swimmingwithelephants.com.
If you would like to submit your work to this column, contact Katrina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the words: iamnm submission, in the subject box.