In The Kitchen

So we’re remembering the years
in San Francisco, the apartment
on Gough followed by stays
at two nearby boardinghouses—
breakfast and supper and a double room
at the end of a hall overlooking
maple branches
out past the fire escape—scraggly leaves
half eaten but holding on, a streetcar
passing every fifteen minutes,
students with backpacks
walking by, old Japanese ladies
carrying bags of groceries
back to their rooms, we’re
caught up in the urban excitement
we mostly brought ourselves—
the possibilities, the exposure,
the people from different places and
cultures …

Poems That Can Save Your Life a Little

During last night’s discussion I remembered that whenever I read a poem, I’m asking, “Does this save my life a little?” The poems that do are the ones that stay …

Poetry’s Unique Power to Change Its Readers and Sustain Them Too | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Poetry’s Unique Power to Change Its Readers and Sustain Them Too

During a Pandemic, Poems Offer ‘a Space of Words Where You Can Dwell’

What is it about poetry that allows us to escape our greatest anxieties, find space for introspection, or even achieve catharsis? What is it about the poetic combination of meter, …

Aspirational Self Portrait on the Color Wheel | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Aspirational Self Portrait on the Color Wheel

Lips, perhaps, in Pyrrole Red (pigment used in automotive finishes):
my first car, a small Ford built
to replace (impossible) the Mustang.

Eyes designed by Guignet of Paris, who patented the …

United States Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

United States Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera

I Was a Mariachi Embryo

Juan Felipe Herrera is a writer, cartoonist, teacher, activist, and the 21st United States Poet Laureate. His numerous collections of poetry include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 …