Poet-to-Poet: Juan Felipe Herrera, "Five Directions to My House"

my name is Juan Felipe Herrera this form is called five directions to my house one go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance to walk up to the canvas door the short bed stretched against the clouds three beneath the earth and ant rights with the grace of a governor for blow blow red tail hawk your hidden sleeve your desert secrets five you're almost there without a name without a body go now six I said five set five like a guitar says six you know I used to play the guitar when I was 16 and I cut into the folk song movement and harmonica strapped around my neck and then I used to play it like Bob Dylan when he first was coming out and so the guitar is kind of inside this poem somewhere and red-tailed Hawks I just love birds of that size and they're so majestic and little birds too and that's about it you know I just started writing and I started with the title five directions to my house and then I used numbers one two three four five six and it begins go back to the green yellow hills so then I went back and let the poem go and then I finished it up but something about that guitar and I I was happy because it has six lines and yet there's five directions so I like having a little puzzle in there and to let you figure it out and to let me figure it out too and that's the that's the idea behind poetry I have to figure it out and maybe the reader has to figure it out too and maybe between both of us the poem can really really take off and maybe we didn't figure it out but we gave the poem a little time a little time of our lives you you

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