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Federico Garcia Lorca’s Desk

July 21, 2008

New and Selected Poems<br>by Ray Gonzalez

It was tied with guitar strings

into a sack that held pigeon feathers,

the hair of lost dogs–cardboard

from a box of trinkets

he received from North Africa.

Garcia Lorca’s desk was a bundle

of things bearing down like an easy shot,

words recalled when discontent

was a shade of black,

coffee beans stolen in silence–

a clock over the hills waiting

for the next moon.

Garcia Lorca’s desk was a head

of lettuce, a bowl of goat soup,

the place where tiny hands

were named for their fingers,

ink spotting the pages to buy time

before three doors were slammed.

Garcia Lorca’s desk was his vow

to stir the rain with rootless awe,

then hide for years, come out

singing, reciting poems

from the warmth of laps,

paper flattened on the desk

so the sun could read.

Garcia Lorca’s desk was found

decaying in an empty field

where they lined him up,

the feathers falling out,

guitar strings rounding the sky

with wired light that sank

into the soft paper he used

to wipe his hands

before he was shot.

Ray Gonzalez

Consideration of the Guitar (published by BOA Editions, LTD) balances ample selections from award-winning poet Ray Gonzalez’s six previous books with thirty new poems. Gonzalez’s early poems are dominated by Southwest desert landscapes and deal with the pressure of conflicts between border cultures. More recent poems upend prevailing stories about historical figures, artists, and writers, create new animal myths, and push traditional boundaries of the free verse lyric deeper into surrealism. Consideration of the Guitar was a finalist for the 2006 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.

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