FALL 2009

George Moore


This Spanish comes from the mouth
not from those skinny books I brought.
Who has time for books? I witness

la touristas, the herd I think, but I am
among them, of them, inescapably.
What is more foreign than the I of this

other world? Cuánto debo? What
is it I owe you? You who know
the language of ancient Conquests.

Not the colloquy of the islands,
the pure quetzal fluttering of speech
found under dark archways

in Uxmal, the Governor’s Palace,
that language that could only be
shared with one you had to become.

It’s the olivdé, the I forgot. This
Spanish is the rain, the jungle heat,
shadows cast by a wide Sombrero

across a dark face. The parrot fish
off Garrafón are a forgotten tongue
for la tourista. The cameras snap

indelible greens bleached by the sea
into unbelievable. I desire that other.
Quiero quedar otra, within you

as within the well of the night, its cenoté,
spliced together to form my self
out of that absence, to stay with you

til morning in that never foreign place,
forgotten or only just remembering
at last, the luxuriant flora of your jungle.

George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, and Chariton Review; and was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. He has three collections in print, the most recent, Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), is a travelogue of ritual practices of love and possession. He's recently become the managing editor or Poets Chapbooks (.com), and teaches with the University of Colorado, Boulder. Most recent is work in collaboration with a number of artists internationally, both in Spain in 2007 where he did an installation at Can Serrat, outside Barcelona, and another planned for Skagaströnd, Iceland, as well as a reading in Portugal, both in 2009.



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