I've finished packing for my trip, gracias a Dios, and am resting in the knowledge, delightful, that I'm ready. As if to celebrate my grace and accomplishment, for I've packed very well, a friend just called and invited me to come over for a private "Bon Voyage" moment, so I've decided to share another poem rather than an essay-like entry this evening. I wrote "Fluff" in a 10 minute exercise at an Aspen Writers' Workshop in the late 90's, mentored by the great American poet, Gerald Stern, who loved it.
by Doug Evans Betanco (1997), to Gerald Stern with gracias.
seed in genuflect might
know where it's going, what breeze
lifts it to frames around windows, to gutters,
to tapestries woven in hair. I've seen cotton
rise to the clouds, or plummet to rivers, or
stop, stuck in midair, tacked to a veil
of handkerchief linen no seed can sail through, held,
almost too long for breath,
waiting for some gust to snatch it, or some hungry wren,
to swallow, then shitcast it where it might settle, white
in a crackle of granite. There, sun-warmed, with wet dust down
even airy fluff can set a potent root.
I've performed this about a thousand times because audiences love it, and because, after all, I am a poet. I've even got a handle, "The Quiet Voice of the New Millenium," which I announce whenever I perform, very loudly. One of these days, I'll seek to publish a collection, and CenterDoug will certainly help that along. I'm thinking of writing a collection of bilingual poems--using only Latin cognates en espanol, so English-only people will recognize their English translation as they read--when in Teote this time. Hope you've enjoyed "Fluff" as much as my audiences have.