Most of the poems published or referred to in this selection are from completed, unpublished manuscripts of besmilr brigham’s literary archive, housed in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The following details the poems’ origins: The title Fierce Light is taken from various poems including “Blue Toro” [Songs for the Carib Guitar]; The selection’s epigraph is from brigham’s1972 Library of Congress recording session; “Padre Mia” [Blue Fields of the Bell Lagoon]; “As Tourists, We Move in Extrovert Reality” (Intention of The Firebird Heart); “Blue Toro” [Songs for the Carib Guitar]; “November in Jalisco” [Cemetery in the City (flower in blood]; “The Wakening” [Songs for the Carib Guitar]; “A Father run off from his Family” [Return to South Francis]; We Will not Burn our Trash-brush Piles This Year [Death of the Wild]; “Country People: House of the Earth” [Return to South Francis]; “The unreconstructed Altar place at Tajin” [The Carver and the Rock are One: The Indian Fair]; “Crossing the Violent Land: Camino del Diablo” [uncollected]; “The old house is now Surrounded by Trees” [uncollected]; “Beauty Is” [Blue Fields of the Bell Lagoon].
“Padre Mia” is from an undated letter to an unknown correspondent, found in the pocket of a binder containing Blue Fields of the Bell Lagoon, likely written soon after her parents’ death in the early 70’s, slightly before or after the brighams’ last trip to Central America where half of that book would be written.
“Notes For Anne” is an undated letter, likely written in the early 80’s.
Fierce Light is a work in progress.
In thanks to the embrace of Heloise Wilson, C.D. Wright, Forrest Gander, Emily Carr, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Yanara Friedland, G.C. Waldrep, William Wright, Chet Weise, Joe Lennon, Margaret Randall, Dara Wier, Richard Greenfield, Rocky Mountain forests meadows old paths old roads golden eagle of Boulder County, Organ Mountains and painted glossy snake of Chihuahuan Desert, The School of Lost Borders, Kabir Bavikatte, Death Valley, courage, earth home, besmilr Roy Keith spirits.
May we be among each other.