desert

Border Poet has me Tongue-tied

Posted on Updated on

Yesterday while at the UUCEP Holiday Bazaar, I picked up a copy of an acquaintance’s newest book, Tongue-tied to the Border.  The author, Gene Keller, is a wonderful, likeable and fluffy bearded man with an ever present twinkle in his eye.  Yes, it’s getting very close to Christmas and, no, I’m sorry to say he is not Santa!  Though reading his work made me feel as though my Christmas had come early.

Tongue Tied to the Border
Tongue-tied to the Border

Gene’s book reminds me of how I love the smell of the desert with a summer’s rain freshly upon it, the splash of the dust and the crack of the electric permeating the sky with a monsoon just arrived.  This is what Tongue-tied brings to thoughts and senses.

If you have never lived in the desert, this book is a must.  And if you have, this book is an ethereal fantasy of childhood memories as well as a social commentary on the shared lives of our sister cities, Juarez and El Paso.

Now I must begin from page one again.  I have to relish in the poems, reading them slowly and examining the contextual meanings as I feel, contemplate and digest the words of this borderlander.

Gene Keller is a full-spectrum poet: a maker of word artifacts, a singer, a storyteller.”  (From back book jacket.)

A performance by Gene at our sanctuary in April 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXHheDHdok

Copies of Tongue-tied to the Border are available for purchase on Amazon.com, or at the Hal Marcus Gallery in El Paso.

http://www.amazon.com/

http://www.halmarcus.com/

Tongue-tied to the Border, by Gene Keller, Copyright 2012 by Gene Keller, Street of Trees Projects (SOTP 1112), 225 Arboles, El Paso TX 79932.

My desert home

Posted on Updated on

It’s been wonderful being back in El Paso for the last year and more.  I’ve been so used to traveling and moving that our little six-week trip in September and October back East just wasn’t enough to cure my bug, but at the same time, I’m home.

I graduated from Socorro High School here in El Paso back in the 80’s and then went straight el-paso-tx desertinto the Marine Corps as a 17-year-old.  My friends and I were so hurried to get out on our own.  Of my two best friends, one graduated mid-term and married the day after our last class.  I graduated mid-term also and left for boot camp in January.   While my friends were enjoying the prom I was on bivouac in Parris Island and by the time they were graduating, I was at my first duty station in North Carolina.  At age 21, when many young adults are moving out of their parents’ homes, I was completing a four-year tour of duty.

Although I have a lot of pride associated with my service (even my youngest daughter became a Marine) I recently have had reminders of the unique experiences that I lost in all my ambition.  I followed the military for 25 years and it was only my position with the American Red Cross that brought me back home to Texas, serving as the Station Manager  at William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

Within a year of leaving El Paso so long ago I lost touch with my first love.  The last I heard from my best friends was about ten years ago.  We’re now in our 40s, married, divorced, children.  Although we’ve all gone in different directions, we will never lose our common denominator.  And maybe I’m a sentimental fool now, but I’d love to see them all, hear their voices, cry with them, laugh with them, and heal their wounds.

In January I leave El Paso, but in December I’ll be back, back to my favorite place, my desert home.