In 2015, Carmen Tafolla was appointed state poet laureate of Texas. The author of over twenty books, Tafolla was chosen in 2012 as the first poet laureate for the city of San Antonio. She has received a number of awards, notably the prestigious Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010. Tafolla will be succeeded by Laurie Ann Guerrero in 2016.


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        after rereading Cormac McCarthy and taking
             a 5 mile run through the River Ranch

                    Laughter is also a form of prayer

Okay then, right here,
Lord, in Bandera,
I never knew them all, just hummed
and thrummed my fingers with the radio,
driving five hundred miles to Austin.
Her arms held all the songs I needed.
Our boots kept time with fiddles
and the charming sobs of blondes,

the whine of steel guitars
sliding us down in deer-hide chairs
when jukebox music was over.
Sunday takes us to the relic-boxes of small Texas towns,
their shops of Sears and Roebuck
            sewing machine stands,
bordello bedframes, and scrap-metal lawn art: a butterfly
stakes a Spartan garden
            with pollen rust.
Learning the hard way not to touch even the brass panel
of a swinging