Poem-A-Day: Ray Gonzalez

Tonight I’m featuring another Mutabilis Press poet, Ray Gonzalez and his vivid and scorching prose-poem. Rather than my giving you a daily hot take on it, though, I want to know what you think. Interpret this stunning poem in the comments section. What does it make you think of? Discuss!


In the middle of the desert, there is a sleepless assemblage, bolted to the rocks with the fire of laughter, a mute pounding, its iron arms and legs mutating the sun until the earth around it burns, each day growing hotter than the last, the limbs twisted to pronounce the silence of landscape is the punishment of history where the maker cut his hands erecting this thing, bolting it down until it extended beyond the rocks because the melting center of the desert erupts into scorching air to add design to the constructed veins, their iron will smashing the mountain until it is a canyon, the tall thing boiling, its thick arms embracing the haggard face that rests on its hot beams, brands its cheeks with the heat of intrusion, giving its drilling chest the will to push the river beyond anything we are able to comprehend.


Go to this month’s first Poem-A-Day to learn how to participate in a game as part of this year’s series. You can have just a little involvement or go all the way and write a cento. I hope you’ll join in!


Ray Gonzalez, a native of El Paso, is the author of fifteen books of poetry. He received a 2017 Witter Bynner Fellowship in Poetry from The Library of Congress and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Book seven, From Falling was published Summer 2017 (Spirit-of-the-Ram Press). His work appears in journals like Agni, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Kansas Quarterly, Louisville Review, Mississippi Review, New York Quarterly, Rhino, Sonora Review,  Texas Observer, Texas Literary Review, among others. Everything Speaking Chinese received the SunStone Poetry Prize. His recognitions include NEA & NEH Fellowships and nominations for Pushcarts and NEA Western States’ Book Awards.

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