Collage I made and lost in Oaxaca, Mexico – foto by Smith


On roof in shade under blue sky
sun hot
wife asleep in chair
with empty beer
me buzzed
white rose petals
once pink
slip from bud
fall to floor
woodsmoke in air
mountains surround
clouds in between
opium seem

— Smith, 7-31-2011

Oaxaca is pronounced wuh-HAWK-uh. It is a mile up in the Sierra Madre mountains in southern Mexico, not far from where John Huston filmed his father Walter Huston and Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1948. We lived there from December 2007 through March 2009 when we moved back to Cleveland.

There. I bound myself to write 31 poems in 31 days in July, and I wrote and posted 32. Interesting process — wrote stuff I never would have written, posted stuff I’d never have posted . . . a lot of which worked, so it was a rewarding exercise. Still, I doubt I’d do it again — my poems tend to be slippery critters, don’t liked to be ordered to perform.

It’s not often you can illustrate a poem with a foto, but the foto below shows the roof, the wife, the beer, the chair, the shade, the sunlight, the sky, the rose . . . and me buzzed behind the lens, of course.

Lady on our roof patio Oaxaca Mexico January 3, 2009 – foto by Smith

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