Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco recites his poem at “Poetic Palate” at Margulies Collection (Photo © Maria Victoria Biancardi)

And So We All Fall Down[?]
By Richard Blanco

{after and for Anselm Kiefer’s installation: Steigend steigend sinke nieder (rising, rising, falling down) 2009-2012}

And so the hunks of pavement you’ve heaved
and set in front of me are every road I’ve taken,
and those I wish I had, those I will, and those
I never will, or those that will dead-end when
I die. And so my death, my life’s debris, let it be
reassembled by you, tenderly as all this rubble
you’ve curated. And so let my blind eyes look
through my soul and see the irony that chaos
yields order, and order yields chaos. And so, let
my face be the faces of your boulders: bruised,
tiny moons, out of orbit, yet venerable and still
spinning across the gallery floor, still decaying
around me, worn like me by the eternal love of
the brutal universe. And so you let me believe
I won’t end like the speck of a star that’ll simply
explode as quietly as a poem whispered above
my rooftop into a black hole in the black night.
And so you let me believe my eternity shall be
my ruins, like these remains you’ve made art,
made more alive by their destruction. And so
the dead stalks of sunflowers you’ve embalmed
with paint, fixed by your imagination, dangling
forever from the ceiling like acrobats that will
never fall. And so the hope in what you let me
hope: that my words won’t crumble, that some
evidence of what I’ve loved will endure beyond
death, beyond entropy’s law, assuring me that
I’ll live-on after my inevitable dissolve. And so
my want to walk barefoot over the lovely grit
you’ve tossed at my feet. And so my wanting
to kneel, cup it in my fists, breathe it in, trust
I’ll always be as alive as anything that’s died.


Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his three collections of poetry as well as his two memoirs. His latest book, Boundaries, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. He’s received numerous honorary doctorates and currently serves as Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

This poem was debuted at the FIU Honors College‘s “Poetry Art Community” at Margulies Collection on 6 April, 2018.

The Margulies Poems
Richard Blanco
Michael Hettich
Caridad Moro-Gronlier
Nikki Moustaki Brandt
Carlos Pintado

Back to Poetry Art Community at Margulies Collection

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