Red Beans

By Victor Hernández Cruz b. 1949 Victor Hernandez Cruz
Next  to white rice
it looks like coral
sitting next to snow
Hills of starch
The burnt sienna
of irony
Azusenas being chased by
the terra cotta feathers
of a rooster
There is a lava flow
through the smoking
white mounds
India red
spills on ivory
Ochre cannon balls
next to blanc pebbles
Red beans and milk
make burgundy wine
Violet pouring
from the eggshell
tinge of the plate.

Victor Hernandez Cruz, “Red Beans” from Maraca: New and Selected Poems 1966-2000. Copyright © 2001 by Victor Hernandez Cruz. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

Source: Maraca: New and Selected Poems 1966-2000 (Coffee House Press, 2001)

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Poet Victor Hernández Cruz b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery, Metaphor

 Victor Hernández Cruz


Victor Hernandez Cruz was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. He moved to New York City with his family when he was five years old, but he didn’t start learning English until two years later when his family bought a television set. He started writing poetry early and at seventeen self-published his first book, Papo Got His Gun! And Other Poems, on a mimeograph machine. Since then, more than a dozen collections of his poems—among . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery, Metaphor

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