Perched on Nothingness

April 30, 2012   •   By Juan Felipe Herrera

Image:  St. Paul, Minnesota:  RNC 2008 (detail) © Joaquín Ramón Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera was recently named the Poet Laureate of California; he wrote this poem for LARB in remembrance of 1992.  The artist and photographer Joaquín Ramón Herrera is his son.


Perched on Nothingness

Broken sidewalk — bleach ragged

The tree to the right homeless

Man under the bush

There is a tower wood    the hawk

Perched on nothingness

Fields overturned gauged reddish

The face

Of Rodney King his hand scarred

His gaze          dubious television

My son J. lost too where is he

Decades now                   the flames

The question of race

Too many faces too many killings

Color dissipates only race remains

race beyond race — race