164th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 164th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Natalie Diaz’s When My Brother Was an Aztec:

The Red Blues (page 11-13)

There is a dawn between my legs,
a rising of mad rouge birds, overflowing
and crazy-mean, bronze-tailed hawks,
a phoenix preening
sharp-hot wings, pretty pecking procession,
feathers flashing like flames
in a Semana Santa parade. 

There are bulls between my legs,
a torera
stabbing her banderillas,
snapping her cape, tippy-toes scraping
my mottled thighs, the crowd's throats open,
shining like new scars, cornadas glowing
from beneath hands and white handkerchiefs
bright as bandages.

There are car wrecks between my legs,
a mess of maroon Volkswagens,
a rusted bus abandoned in the Grand Canyon,
a gas tanker in flames,
an IHS van full of corned beef hash,
an open can of commodity beets
on this village's one main road, a stoplight
pulsing like a bullet hole, a police car
flickering like a new scab,
an ambulance driven by Custer,
another ambulance
for Custer.

There is a war between my legs,
'ahway nyavay, a wager, a fight, a losing
that cramps my fists, a battle on eroding banks
of muddy creeks, the stench of metal,
purple-gray clotting the air,
in the grass the bodies
dim, cracked pomegranates, stone fruit
this orchard stains
like a cemetery.

There is a martyr between my legs,
my personal San Sebastian
leaking reed arrows and sin, stubbornly sewing
a sacred red ribbon dress, ahvay chuchqer,
the carmine threads
pull the Colorado River, 'Aha Haviily, clay,
and creosotes from the skirt,
each wound a week,
a coral moon, a calendar, a begging
for a master, or a slave, for a god
in magic cochineal pants.

There are broken baskets between my legs,
cracked vases, terra-cotta crumbs,
crippled grandmothers with mahogany skins
whose ruby shoes throb on shelves in closets,
who teach me to vomit
this fucshia madness,
this scarlet smallpox blanket,
this sugar-riddled amputated robe,
these cursive curses scrawling down my calves,
this rotting strawberry field, swollen sunset, 
hemoglobin joke with no punch line,
this crimson garbage truck,
this bloody nose, splintered cherry tree, manzano,
this metis Mary's heart,
guitarra acerezada, red race mestiza, this cattle train, 
this hand-me-down adobe drum,
this slug in the mouth,
this 'av'unye 'ahwaatm, via roja dolorosa,
this dark hut, this mud house, this dirty bed,
this period of exile.

What do you think?


  1. This poem certainly is packed with imagery. Will definitely have to read this collection at some point.