30 Days Hath September 2016 | Day 4 | COLLAGE—In Fragments by Veronica Golos

September 5, 2016


BEI 30 Days Proposed Graphic

Veronica Golos, Sept. 4.

COLLAGE—In Fragments


                Once I moved about like the wind. Now I surrender to you and that is all.

–Geronimo, on surrendering to General George Crook. September 4, 1886


As children, we jumped into the sand box, yelling your name.

Your name still found us,

even in Manhattan, on the lower

east side.

Tragedy is living in and looking at

our present…out of this, the future is formed.

Some become

so large,  their lives

  crash into other lives

or brush against gods.

 In crisis, our souls are visible.

And now I live in New Mexico, near

the emerald colored algae that grows on the river

cobbles. Ojo Caliente. The land that is yours.

I walk through shards. The grey rock.

The warm springs. Not mine, not mine.

If the past is canceled, the future is empty.

We are caught, tangled with ghosts

whose minds are like silver hammers.

Coyahkla, “one who yawns” whom we call Geronimo.

So that summer full of lightning.  Ranchers deserted their spreads,

mining camps turned to ghost towns.  Ft. Breckenridge, north of

Tuscon, the soldiers headed to New Mexico.


Words are a veil, meant to be torn away from the surface.

I think of you, Geronimo, and hold

on to what you were—Warrior. Healer. Four nights

you sang, near the fire, the abalone shell, oak leaf

cigarette smoke…I’ve read this…

Revenge is a form of desire. It is on the side of things living. 

You will go your way among dim shapes. Having been breathed out.

Two states of mind in me.

I love to listen. The cicadas.         Million years old sound.


But the land is stained, bloody                   .

with dry dirt. Pain swollen

in every  ditch, those

sharp white mountains.


A black-bright hole/opens in my throat. What shall I cry?

Collage Notes:

Fragments of lines from Anne Carson (Grief Lessons: New York Review Book, 2006), Sappho (If Not, Winter, Borzoi Book, 2002, Anne Carson, translator), Euripides (The Trojan Women, New York Review Book, 2006), Louise Eridrich (Jacklight, Speak to Me Words, Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry, The University on Contemporary American Indian Poetry, The University of Arizona Press, 2003 ), David Roberts (Once They Moved Like the Wind, Simon & Schuster, 1993).



Veronica Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence, winner of the New Mexico Book Award, poems from which are translated into Arabic by poet Nizar Sartawi, and A Bell Buried Deep, co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press), to be re-issued by Tupelo Press.  Her most recent poetry book is Rootwork: The Lost Writings of John Brown & Mary Day Brown, (3: A Taos Press, 2015)

Golos is the Poetry Editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (Harvard Divinity School), and co-editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art. She lives in Taos, NM, with her husband, David Pérez.





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