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About this Poem 

“While listening to Albert Goldbarth read his line, ‘manual typewriters 8 miles high,’ in rocket speed, I wrote in similar manner. Later, I chipped and chopped words. Spiced it up a little with Ishmael Reed, His Holiness—the Dalai Lama and Einstein—they help me think about the big picture, about kindness and the unknown.”
—Juan Felipe Herrera

Dolphinating

For Albert Goldbarth & Margarita Robles


Are you going to steal lines collect
manual typewriters 8 miles high the serotonin Albert
Goldbarth mentions the sugary night the howling
speeding most of all are you going to hobble here—
                                                             time travel?
a possible future burns your dolphin karma
forking out 500 lives from now 
Whitman in piyamas spotted leopard-like piercing
the unavoidable Void the obsessed B-B-Q where we swoop
Ersatz
          Mojo
                   Bruja 			Hoodoo scribble
it is popping Hendrix in your head it is Joplin &
Flor Silvestre & Rosetta Tharpe & Itzpapalotl do you know 
how awake you are 
                                                         Noble 
                                               8 Fold Path
too dark 
too lightning
the visualization is next 
the Ukrainian purge the intercontinental money money
O Tsunami where is my crystal realized selfie
          O my love my next Warhol dream in 
     revolution rouge & where is
my electric emerald wand rain Vajra
roll the ink & fire stones 	   unfold the third eyes 
the ten million arms of Tara & Einstein
of compassion of mercy of nebula rails come alive
jellyfish flags i bow to you 
                  jellyfish world wheel of 
swish & suffering

Copyright © 2014 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 11, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 11, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is the Poet Laureate of the United States. He served on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016.

by this poet

poem

for Phil Levine, RIP

They are writing about you Phil—you know
good stuff—the prizes     Detroit and that
poem where you said in past lives you
were a wild sun-crested fox being chased
by “ladies and gentlemen on horseback”—
you said

2
poem

 

       RIP Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Dallas police
       officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith,
       Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa
—and all 
       their families. And to all those injured.

 

poem

                                                            There were elephants

in cabaret dress reddish & cadmium blue

& dolphins in undetermined incarnations (I felt as if

I had interrupted the process I mean

the organ player had not risen

remember the Castro theatre off of

2