Sueña el rey que es rey [Calderón de la Barca] – Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Even the dream of power requires skill

conjured blank like beats and breaths, tidal

and leaf fallen.  It mustn’t stir the will

but augur dusk in rises and lid the total

real of dream as if the life of life

depended on it.  Unchained, the prince

at sudden court unfurled his bleak rife

nature and, waking dungeoned, is convinced

that all fates are rancor’s child, throne

in a pauper’s cup.  And so he rises toward justice

at the pinnacle of the unreal, alone

with perfect choices, content with the fullness

the ungripped fog provides to the host blind

stranger, king of self and world and kind.



Ricardo Pau-Llosa’s 8th book of poetry will be released next year by Carnegie Mellon U Press, which published his previous five titles. His poems have appeared in Agni, Ambit, American Poetry Review, Antigonish Review, Arion, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bellevue Literary Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Boston Review, Christianity and Literature, Cimarron Review, Cincinnati Review, Dalhousie Review, december, Ekphrasis, Epoch, The Fiddlehead, Hollins Critic, Hudson Review, Image, Island, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Plume, PN Review, Poetry, Poetry Salzburg Review, Saranac Review, Southern Review, Southwest Review, Stand, 32 Poems, Vallum, Virginia Quarterly Review, Volt, among other literary magazines and numerous anthologies. He is also an art critic and curator.

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