Friday, April 8, 2011

a poem by rio cortez

Work Song of the Ballad-Hunter

[Dobie Red] still managed to demonstrate an evocative field holler for the recording equipment
-Ted Gioia

You steal my clothes and try to say they yo's
-Mos Def

I want to take things
without asking
your body your name
then I want to take the sound
your body makes
and make that sound too

I wake up in a house
next to the field
I follow the field holler
I find the field hollerer
I cut the holler from his throat
I swallow it
I try to holler too

Rio Cortez is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she was the recipient of the Lucy Grealy Prize in Poetry. She is currently an MFA candidate at New York University. Her work has appeared in Dark Phrases, Through the Looking Glass & upcoming in Tidal Basin Review. Rio loves & lives in Queens, NY.


  1. Hate to reduce you're work to a physical image, but you're sending off model vibes, so much that i forgot to read the poem.

  2. Beautiful, yet violent, aware of history and its close proximity to the present, however painful that may be to acknowledge at times. I'm always impressed by Rio's work. Looking cool too.