Seeking Duende

by Richard Chase
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, July 2017
Judged by Tim Mayo


El infinito tango me lleva hacia todo. Borges*

Inside as deep as spirit allows
is a horizon, the full report
of what we know about the other,
but their soul remains concealed.

Tango opens to another’s spirit,
to dance together, release joy,
confidence, into the world,
the unknown at the heart,
vaulting pain to an exact present.

Between possession and loss,
balance shifts from your grasp,
into an emptiness that makes
non-emptiness come back alive.

Foundations shift, center aches;
you realize you both exist for want
of the other; you accept loss,
duende becomes the beauty of all;

sitting to the side, white haired,
unable to make the moves
that stunned partner and audience
in his day, the viejo’s memory
glissades across the floor.

* “The infinite tango takes me toward everything.”



  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block