“The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, ‘The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ Meaning this: it is not a question of ability, but of true, living style, of blood, of the most ancient culture, of spontaneous creation … everything that has black sounds in it, has duende.”
Rude Awakening: Morning Ritual
The duende of the old cat’s wail jars me from a dream.
Her volume grows with every piercing, throaty, grating scream.
And though it seems her hunger cannot wait for light,
when I spoon out her victuals, she does not take a bite.
I rub her ears and skull and chin now that I’m awake
as the first muted rays of light soak into the lake.
The dogs detect my movement and paw their haven’s door,
scraping their metal dishes across the tile floor.
Outside the far-off kitchen, the young cats voice their wail,
calling me too early to my day’s travail.
Reluctantly I slog out to fulfill their rude request,
as the old cat circles and sinks to her warm nest.
Since her breakfast, still untouched, sits crusting in her bowl,
it seems that desayuno never was her goal.
She’s merely been the chanticleer who has done her best
to arouse the world before returning to her rest.