Richard Blanco: Poetry Is Hot


Can he write and read a poem called Biceps? And then show them off? That would probably be considered tacky at this sort of event, huh?

Cuban (and openly gay) poet RIchard Blanco will read one of his poems at Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration on January 21. I don’t know about his poetry but Richard is all sexy-like. When did poets become dickable? True, Emily Dickinson was a hot bitch. But apart from Em, poets have never been the go-to occupation for people you want to lay.  We can add “poets” to that list now, alongside “rugby players,” “firefighters,” and “pastry chefs” (I like pastries).

Blanco is the first Latino, the first openly gay, and the youngest poet to read at the inauguration. That’s a lot of firsts.

A spokesperson for the inauguration committee says that he was chosen because his “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.” Congratulations, Richard Blanco. Do us proud!

– J. Harvey

More pics of Richard (and a sample of his work) after the BREAK:



Burning in the Rain

Someday compassion would demand
I set myself free of my desire to recreate
my father, indulge in my mother’s losses,
strangle lovers with words, forcing them
to confess for me and take the blame.
Today was that day: I tossed them, sheet
by sheet on the patio and gathered them
into a pyre. I wanted to let them go
in a blaze, tiny white dwarfs imploding
beside the azaleas and ficus bushes,
let them crackle, burst like winged seeds,
let them smolder into gossamer embers—
a thousand gray butterflies in the wind.
Today was that day, but it rained, kept
raining. Instead of fire, water—drops
knocking on doors, wetting windows
into mirrors reflecting me in the oaks.
The garden walls and stones swelling
into ghostlier shades of themselves,
the wind chimes giggling in the storm,
a coffee cup left overflowing with rain.
Instead of burning, my pages turned
into water lilies floating over puddles,
then tiny white cliffs as the sun set,
finally drying all night under the moon
into papier-mâché souvenirs. Today
the rain would not let their lives burn.