San Francisco de Asís Church,
Ranchos de Taos
“A complex is just a thing.”
This is not about retablos.
Or santos. Or reredos.
Or the history of the Church.
Or how it was restored.
Or los pobrecitos de la tierra who built it.
Or an irenic monk who inspired it.
Or The Shadow of the Cross, pitched black.
Or Penitentes. Genizaros.
Or the chollos who prowl about the Plaza
In tricked-out lowboy hoppers, heavy on hydraulics,
Sin mufflers, superfine, mellowedout,
All-chromed-up customized Malibus, El Caminos
And Chevelles, flaunting skirts and ground effects
And bras, cranking up da’ gangsta, hip-hop, rap.
Or the past, present, or future Hispanic culture.
Or designer giftshoppes y gallerías upscaling it.
Or fannypacked, Evianed, shutterbugs preserving it—
Cells holstered, strapped to thighs beneath blueteeth.
Or architectonic: Form/Function. Bauhaus.
Or the niceties of Nature.
Or Poetry, for that matter.
Or the meaning of the Rood, prefacing it.
Or anything even remotely religious.
This is just about an adobe church.
Named for a man.
Or red clay.
Recent books include GROUND OF THIS BLUE EARTH (2012), EVERYTHING SPEAKING CHINESE, recipient of the Riverstone Poetry P Competition, and FROM FALLING (forthcoming 2013), while individual poems have been nominated for Pushcarts. Additional recognitions include award NEA and NEH Fellowships. GT lives in Las Cruces and works in Southeast Asia.
1 thought on “#53 OR RED CLAY by GT Gordon”
Solid poem! It takes the reader away from the stereotypical images of Santa Fe, yet speaks of the same images directly. Interesting. H. M.