The words of your mouth are scotch, brother,
         their arid tastes intoxicate;
the shadows of birds & wilted flowers
         are portrayed in your hand.
Our fates are two roots
         that seek elixir in deserts
& clasp with shadows beneath the earth
         in touches as sweet as they are strong.
Tomorrow the street by my home will be empty,
         the sun drops its burning petals,
         with vapor wings time passes
         & in the river the currents dry.
Now the swords of my mouth will not cross
with yours in a green understanding of glory
& if I bleed it shall be dust, for it is rock
         the deep abundance of my well.
You will leave empty the hollow of my mind,
with thirst for your voice the shell of my ears;
         my hands shall seem cold to people
like the frost of abandoned nests.
But your essence like the seed of the persimmon
         shall squeeze its astringent juices in my being,
         your presence shall cross through my eyes
feigning birds and confusing people.

Rafael Jesús González was born in the bicultural/bilingual setting of El Paso/Juárez and attended the University of Texas at El Paso, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, & the University of Oregon. Professor of Creative Writing & Literature, he has taught at the University of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Laney College, Oakland (where he founded the Mexican and Latin American Studies Dept.) He has also taught in the public schools under Poets in the Classroom.

His poetry and scholarly articles appear in reviews & anthologies in the U.S., Mexico & abroad; his collection of verse El Hacedor De Juegos/The Maker of Games published by Casa Editorial, San Francisco, went into a second printing. He has thrice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He was Poet in Residence at the Oakland Museum of California and the Oakland Public Library under the Poets & Writers "Writers on Site" award in 1996. He served as contributing editor for The Montserrat Review and received the Annual Dragonfly Press Award for Literary Achievement in 2002. In 2003 he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English & Annenberg/CPB for his writing. He was selected Featured Poet by the Poetry Center, San José, Fall 2005. In November of 2005, he was invited to read his poetry and present a paper at the World Congress of Poets in Tai'an, Shandong Province, China. In July 2006 he was named Universal Ambassador of Peace, Universal Ambassador Peace Circle, Geneva, Switzerland. In Spring 2007, he read his poetry and presented a paper at the Philosophy Conference at the University of Texas El Paso, presented a paper and read his poetry at the 8th International Literary Encounter aBace in Montevideo, Uruguay and following the Encounter was invited to read his poetry at the National Institute of Anthropology and Latin American Thought in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was named aBrace representative to California. In June 2007, he was honored for excellence in poetry at the 20th World Congress of Poets, Montgomery, Alabama.

Also a visual artist, his work has been exhibited at the Oakland Museum of California; the Mexican Museum of San Francisco; the Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee; & others in the U.S., Mexico, and abroad. He serves on the Latino Advisory Council of the Oakland Museum of California; and on the Alameda County Office of Education Arts Alliance, and Peace Education Network.

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