Archives for posts with tag: New Mexico

Scott-GatsbyCover PHOTO: Poet Scott Wiggerman with his copy of The Great Gatsby Anthology outside his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He hopes the photo gives a little flavor of his town, though it was garbage day and the bins are on the street. He’d hoped to feature a hot air balloon — a common sight in his area — but his husband David just missed capturing the image. Scott’s poem “Gatsby’s Soliloquy” appears in The Great Gatsby Anthology (Silver Birch Press, 2015).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Great Gatsby is my favorite American novel, one which I have read over and over again. I honestly don’t think any other American novel comes close to capturing the spirit of the time (and, of course, I like the “Scott” in the author’s name!). One of my prized possessions is a copy of The Romantic Egoists about the Fitzgeralds and autographed by their only daughter Scottie.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Wiggerman was born in 1954 on a Marine base in North Carolina to two Chicago-born and bred parents. His formative years were spent in Chicago and a nearby suburb, McHenry, with four other siblings. Scott moved to Michigan, where he received a B.A. from Grand Valley State University (1975), and both an M.A. and an M.L.S. from Western Michigan University (1980). He moved to Texas in 1980, where he lived and worked for 35 years. Retired from the Austin I.S.D., where he served as a high school librarian, he has devoted himself full-time to writing, editing, and teaching poetry. In 2000, Vegetables and Other Relationships came out from Plain View Press, and in 2011, Presence was published by Pecan Grove Press. In between books, he edited several anthologies, including Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair; Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga; and several editions of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, through his small press venture, Dos Gatos Press. In 2011, he and husband David Meischen produced Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, followed by Wingbeats II in 2014. In 2015, shortly after Scott’s third book of poetry Leaf and Beak: Sonnets was published by Purple Flag (Chicago), he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is presently compiling poems for a Southwest Persona anthology—submissions remain open through November 30. Visit his poetry pages  at this link:

Crescit Eundo
by Gary Glauber

New Mexico caressed me
under thin covers,
lured me with temperate clime
and spicy cuisine, with tales
of mystical angel visits and
prettily crafted wares.
Enchantment was the first kiss.
I embraced her carefully,
red sun on field of yellow,
aware of what some consider
sacred and fickle behavior,
back to suitors from another realm,
Spaniards seeking conquests,
additional notches on a long belt
that circled a smaller world.
I slip away, careful not to burn,
knowing I will ever crave
her native treasures,
her dark hair, high cheekbones,
and ritual sweetness,
the tantalizing spaces
on blanket of sky.
Not knowing myself then
I was doomed to travel,
a lover always lost.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Church, Taos Pueblo National Historic Landmark, New Mexico, 1942,” from the series Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, compiled 1941–42, documenting the period ca. 1933–42.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I first visited New Mexico in October of 1989, and have been enchanted by the state ever since — the art, the culture, the ghost stories, and more.

Me and NM pottery

Gary Glauber
is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. This April he took part in Found Poetry Review’s PoMoSco project. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in Blue Heron Review, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Pilgrimage Magazine, West Trade Review, The Great Gatsby Anthology, Indian Summer Quarterly, The Bookends Review, Deep Water Literary Journal,, Yellow Chair Review, The Legendary, Xanadu, and Think Journal. He is a champion of the underdog who often composes to an obscure power pop soundtrack. His first collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is now available on A chapbook, Memory Marries Desire, will be available from Finishing Line Press this fall.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author with two souvenirs from New Mexico.

by j.lewis

books portrayed
a thousand different birds
color-plumed beyond imagination
yet new mexico
would show me only two

feathered icons of a lonely world
seen through childish eyes

every day was presaged
     by dark depression
       as though poe’s raven
       had sadly adopted me
       sorry his first victim
       had slipped the noose of reality
     or by the common
       cheerful smallness
       that made chickadee and me
       twins of different species

so it was then
when my days were made
of two colors only
     as the crow flies
     as small birds pecking
     in the snow
     for seeds of happiness

new mexico
did not know

PHOTOGRAPH: “The Chickadee,” age 12.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Not until I was an adult, trained as a registered nurse, did I begin to realize that I had suffered from depression as a child. During my childhood, the notion that children could have mental illness was considered silly, except in extreme cases, so there was never any thought given to my behavior, other than the exasperation of parents who already had too much to deal with. Looking back to that time of my life, it is clear that I had perceived it as being very bleak. My poem “birds” uses the darkness of a raven and the dull coloring of a chickadee to illustrate those feelings. I am fortunate that the depression didn’t stay with me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poetry and music reflect the complexity of human interactions, sometimes drawing inspiration from his experience in healthcare. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California.

two-coyote day at Rinconada Canyon, New Mexico
by Richard Vargas

black rock mesa walls
eternal gift from
distant volcanoes in
quiet deep sleep

high desert sage winter-dry
brittle skeletons anchored
in ancient dirt peppered
with rabbit droppings

etched into cold hard
flat rock surface
shapes and figures of
another time when

man heard wisdom
carried on the breath
of the mesa winds

at night listened as
the stars whispered
dark stories of
the beginning
and the end

SOURCE: Guernica, revisited by Richard Vargas, Press 53 (April 2014). Order a copy at

IMAGE: “Black Rock Mesa Walls” (Albuquerque, New Mexico) by Richard Vargas


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The petroglyphs on the westside of Albuquerque are mysterious and other-worldly. Animals, humanoid stick figures looking like crude drawings of space aliens, weird designs and scribbles. What did the artists really see, or were they just f**king around? Shamans high on ‘shrooms or a bunch of kids taking swigs from the bottle and doodling? No one really knows, and we probably never will. (Photo by Richard Vargas.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Vargas was born in Compton, California, and attended schools in Compton, Lynwood, and Paramount. He earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980. His first book, McLife, was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac in February 2006. A second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press in 2007. His third book, Guernica, revisited, was published in April 2014, by Press 53. (A poem from the book was featured on Writer’s Almanac to kick off National Poetry Month.) Vargas received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, 2010. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award, and was on the faculty of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference. Vargas will facilitate a poetry workshop at the 2015 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, and he has read his poetry in venues in Los Angeles, Chicago, Madison, Albuquerque/Santa Fe/Taos, Indianapolis, and Boulder. Currently, he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits/publishes The Más Tequila Review, and will facilitate The Más Tequila Poetry Workshop this July at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference.

FARM NOTES (Excerpt)
by Simon J. Ortiz

…”What would you say that the main theme
of your poetry is?”
“To put it as simply as possible,
I say it this way: to recognize
the relationships I share with everything.”

I would like to know well the path
from just east of Black Mountain
to the gray outcropping of Roof Butte
without having to worry
about the shortest way possible.

NOTE: With an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet, Roof Butte is the highest peak of the Chuska Mountains, which run in a north-northwest direction across the Arizona-New Mexico border.

PHOTO: “Roof Butte” found at

Morning Poem 
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

I want to describe my life in hushed tones
like a TV nature program. Dawn in the north.
His nose stalks the air for newborn coffee.


Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Illustration: Label by Ray Troll for “Wicked Wolf: Raven’s Brew Gourmet Coffee” available at

Night Poem
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

The moon put her white hands 
on my shoulders, looked into my face,
and without a word
sent me on into the night. 


Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Dawn Poem 
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

Clear summer dawn,
first sun steams moisture
redly off the cabin roof,
a cold fire. Passing raven
eyeballs it with a quawk.


Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Morning Poem
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

I want to describe my life in hushed tones
like a TV nature program. Dawn in the north.
His nose stalks the air for newborn coffee.


Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Illustration: Label by Ray Troll for “Wicked Wolf: Raven’s Brew Gourmet Coffee” available at


Poem by Joan Jobe Smith

A navigable river in south central United States, 1,018 miles
long, it rises in the high plains in east New Mexico, flows east
crossing the Texas Panhandle and then becomes a boundary
between Texas and Arkansas, turns south in southwest Arkan-
sas and crosses the border into Louisiana, flows southeast a-
cross Louisiana into the Mississippi River into the Gulf of
Mexico and I was born in Paris, Texas, 30some miles from
the Red River and first time I saw it in 1953 it was brown
muddy as old chocolate when we drove over it in my father’s
new Ford Fairlane on Christmas Day to see my grandpa Old
Robert dying of TB in an Oklahoma hospital, my grandma Nora
weeping in the back seat beside me. I had to wait in the cold car
with the dog, little kids made old folks sick they said and on the
way back to Paris crossing over the Red River again my grandma
Nora told us about the big flood of 1914 when a big old 100-year-
old pecan tree like that big one over there fell over into the river.
Folks came for miles to save it, an Eiffel Tower, its roots Goliath
arms reaching for the sky. Hundreds of folks pulled and pushed
and tugged and heaved ropes tied to the tree trunk and branches
while the Red River raged wild and turned maroon and almost
drowned a lot of them. For days the folks camped out, stubborn
as only Texas and Oklahoma homesteaders can be and they saved
it just fine and come spring of 1915 the pecan tree rewarded the
folks with the biggest bumper crop ever known, horns of plenty
of plenty of pecans, three thousand pecan pies it must’ve made,
all the women doubling up pecans in each pie, four cups instead
of two, to float on top the brown sugar custard, not one pecan
orphan losing its way from that tree, not one pecan gone afloat,
uneaten Ishmael down below in that dirty old Gulf of Mexico.

Photo: “The Red River” by spysgrandson