Nicole Henares

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Nicole Henares (Aurelia Lorca) is a poet, storyteller, and teacher who lives in San Francisco California.  She has her BA in English from UC Davis, her MFA in Writing and Consciousness from California Institute of Integral Studies, and is an alumna of the Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshops.  Her work has appeared throughout the small press.  She is interested in how Lorca’s duende, the duende of Andalusia and flamenco, is a cross cultural spirit.

For Francisco Alarcón  


We celebrated you that afternoon of the New moon

Here is the manifestation you resonate-

Goodness is the reward in itself

I wore oranges for you because the orange trees

in Sevilla were in bloom and the air there was fragrant with blossoms

There were purple butterflies at my ears-

a reminder to remember of poetry without borders

and how nothing  can stand against an avalanche of love

(I saw this most when your husband wiped away his tears,

                and softly touched your shoulders)


The butterflies arched from the four directions of our fingertips

and on their painted wings was the wild God of the world’s grandeur:


That night there was no moon in the sky,

the week unfurled into a crescent that kissed away

the moss from our temples


You never use periods in your poems

Because you were writing one very long poem

When you died you said that would be your period

But your last poem

your poem to life

the line ends not with a period

but an exclamation!



Thank You

                 For Francisco Alarcón


My words fail me.

November, in Davis,

you turned to me and asked,

“am I happy?”

I could not answer. 

Later that day, you spoke of your mentor in Mexico City,

how he taught you to embrace the totality of experience.

“Just be yourself,” you said, your hands wide in exclamation.


Happiness is more than earthly delights,

and writing a poem is its synthesis,

like entering a temple of prayer.

I found you in an internet search-

American poets inspired by Lorca.

I have these strange dreams that haunt me.

            Dreams of the dead and regret.

Dreams of where I am sitting in a vat of truth

addicted to the taste of illusion and shadow.

I dream of places

where my greedy skin is like dragon scales

and all sense of my self makes no sense,

and I scratch, and scratch,

until my fingernails dig

beyond flesh, beyond longing,

until there is nothing left but blood and bone,

and the stubbed beginnings

            of great green feathers.

When I wake, the words tell me things.

Life is no dream, caution, caution, caution, Lorca says.


I am a poet. But, am I happy?

I am a poet. Your words tell me things.

I am a poet. I am a scratching of fingernails.

I am a poet. I can become anything.

I can bring back the dead.

I can dream in the sky.

I can become myself.


Your words tell me things:

Let the quarrel begin with the mirror of my moods.

Bend the verse, conjoin clever rhymes,

hold the landscape in contact with all notions of the self.

Become coy with overlapping greens and golds,

fire and ice,

and memory where iconic symbols will never dissolve.

Your words tell me things:

Chimeras are imperishable, and can mother beauty.

Your words tell me things:

Awaken, a ripening is within.

Forget the intoxication of rot and anger, allow for crystal,

allow for the four directions of love, and spirit.

Stay local, idiomatic, and find the universal.

Return to primal images,

the eighth notes carved into the mountains

seen from the highway home.



The birds chirp and church bells ring

every half hour in the heat

of an old house in an old pueblo-

what else is there to do but fan

ourselves and spray a little perfume.

My cousin speaks less English than I speak Spanish.

I speak Spanish badly, and she laughs at me

when I say "uno momento" and scramble to look up words.

My dad and uncle laugh over the phone, when we call.

"Good luck," they say, about my having a dictionary.

"Your father is Español," I am asked,

"Why no habla Español?" 

Because he calls me gringa,

and I took French in school just to spite him,

and cut off my nose instead.

My accent is too painful for him to hear.

He refuses to speak with me in Spanish.

It is too late, he says.  There are these silences.

There is much in the silence,

some things do not translate, some things

do not need to be said.

The church bells in Camas fly every half hour. 

We have made it our practice

to not talk about the dead.

Night here is a flight of bells,

when the west wind tears

the tunic of the Guadalquivir.

My father laughs more in Spanish.

There is so much in the silences.

I speak badly,

but I know what he means when he says,

"sin verguenza." 



© The Acentos Review 2016