Things in Light Poetry Series 2014: Albino Carrillo

5:43 PM



Hunting for my Father

On the internet—nowhere
To be found except in the exact
Obit my brother wrote:  one
Error.  My dad served in the Atlantic
Theatre in a sea-going tug
And might have killed
Some German sailors.
I want to find his
Papers and his story but
Hey, they might
Be lost like he was.
Lately I know
There’s a deep
Newspaper record
Of his mishaps and misdeeds,
Half-steps in his dreamy
political State.  Even
At the end.  Now I’ve
Heard stories—

I’m lost in my dream
Of him, not what we
Know when we’re awake.
Wandering East has
Done no good.  I now
Know he had another
Kid way before he
Met my mother.  He
Worked bad deals,
Building pyramids
For old-folks in
Scottsdale and Santa Fe.

I’m amazed I’ve escaped
That world.  I don’t know
How he felt at 50.  I can
Stand at his grave,
Address the criminal
While the white moon hurtles
above me and in the next
grave my mother’s ghost
cries for the world they
left behind so long ago.
If there is any agony
It is for the life he lived.
The one I don’t know so
Well—I’ ve been told this
And that by him, never
Noticed, like us all
He had a secret life,
A secret he could not
Share or maintain.
In the morning
Sunlight I do not
Know what I know
As the truth.  Who
Was that man
In that picture
By the lake?   And
What was he doing
With all the fancy
Cars, the empty bottles,
The rifle he kept
In the master bedroom
Closet.  Closed like
I am forever to wander
Like a ghost for some
Sense of who
He was.  The
Trips to Vegas,
The long rides
To nowhere
He must have endured.

***

Albino Carrillo, a sixth generation native New Mexican, received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Arizona State University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Mexico in 1986. He has published poetry in many literary journals, including The Antioch Review, Puerto Del Sol, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, The South Dakota Review, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Sou'Wester, and World Order. Carrillo's poems are anthologized in both Library Bound: A Saratoga Anthology (Saratoga Springs Library Press, 1996), and The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2007). Carrillo's book of poems is In the City of Smoking Mirrors (University of Arizona Press, 2004). Before teaching at the University of Dayton, Carrillo taught in the English Department at the University of Minnesota, and at Union College of New York, where he held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Carrillo is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

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