Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem, every Thursday.
Blushing water, varicose current
Glenwood Canyon, Rio Colorado
far from its red-faced consequence
in the Gulf of California, far from
humiliations in the salty flat scar of
Sonora and Baja, far from the sun
burnt indio and crimson Spaniard,
but closer to the heart, trout-tinted
and mosquito-infested artery, the
roaring rumor red through geological
adolescence of gulches, picking up
what blood it may to devil-may-care.
Colorado means Red, she said, like
standing on your head, like being
laughed at or choking. Really, we have
only a few colors: red for go, and black
for stop. Rojo y negro. And as the black
mosquitoes kept me awake beside the
black river all night I couldn’t make out
the stars nor the feathered serpent
waiting to digest the blood larvae down
in Yuma, Arizona. Colorado means Red.
Like you have some color, like a face
has some color inside, like you’re young
or drunk or standing on your head. Or
over-sexed. Or bled out. If we are bled
out we are petrified, hard of heart. So
we listen to the colored voice in the
wilderness pass by to be replaced by
voice again. We listen, and we feel like
stone. And the mosquitos bleed us out.
And we are black in the night with
everything else, so in the morning the
river can feed the passions of the
continent – geographies of sheepish
virgin blooms and cascading stigmatas.
Jeremy Ray Jewell hails from Jacksonville, FL. He has an MA in history of ideas from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a BA in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Boston. His website is www.jeremyrayjewell.com.
Note: Hey poets! We seek submissions of excellent poetry from across the length and breadth of contemporary poetics. See submission guidelines here. The arbiter of the feature is the magazine’s poetry editor, John Mulrooney.
— Arts Fuse editor Bill Marx