Eye-on New Mexico Poet Feature: Manuel Gonzales – I am New Mexico

Eye-on New Mexico Poet Feature: Manuel Gonzales

 Manuel Gonzales Speaks Out Outspoken

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

Manuel Gonazalez

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

one day

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

with poetry.


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.


And that’s

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.


Katrina K. Guarascio / photo credit: Gina Marselle

Katrina K. Guarascio / photo credit: Gina Marselle

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 swimwithelephants@gmail.com. Use the words: iamnm submission, in the subject box.




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