Housewife (Poetry)

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Look at my closet

see the trinkets?

the things

my rings, the bling

and my appetite

for shoes

for thrills

for men who trawl

the intersections at 4

at dawn,

or when the moon

wets the skin

between my thighs

 

Look at my husband

a man

an object

thrice desired

emulated by the soldier

worshipped by the throng

by the God-man

who weeps for his soul

 

And look at me

the housewife

Plain Jane with an apron

and a miscarriage

on the way

–words by Teegee Villanueva

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The Writing Process

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  1. I wake up at dawn. At three or four in the morning. I put on a pair of red socks (for good luck) and a knitted wool cap..
  2. I draw my tarot cards, and divine the day’s events–for fun.
  3. And then I write poetry. And when I’m not writing rhymes and verses (that make very little money…haha artist), I write plays or screenplays. The length of my scripts vary, but they’re usually short, one-act affairs that are impossibly difficult to stage.
  4. I write everything down in paper FIRST, in longhand, on a cheap, upcycled notebook. And then I transcribe the text on my computer, which is a testy task given how awful my handwriting is.
  5. I write for four/six hours a day everyday and I usually end at around 8 in the morning, tired and frustrated but somehow pleased at the day’s output.

Is writing fun? No it’s torture. Jk. It’s alright when your muse is in a cooperative mood I guess. I trawl the city and take photographs the rest of the day and I read whenever I can (a requirement if you want to write). And that’s my life basically.

Love Story (Poetry)

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I lay my head

in the space where you slept

I feel the weight of your memory

your kiss

the smell of your arms, and

the way you speak:

 

And do you remember when you

threw me against the wall

slapped my face

choked me and called me names

when you spat at my feet

and rubbed the mud on my cheeks

when you told me to sit down

while I watched you leave.

Why?

–Words by Teegee Villanueva

Confessions (Poetry)

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the cross lingers

high above the confessional

it looms, leering

 

And beneath it, the cavity

where the voice of the consecrated profligate speaks

with an urgency not immediately divine;

the man speaks with the urgency of a shrew

 

what is your name, priest?

what are your sins

have you confessed them to the Lord

professed servility to the word?

Did you consume a rosary

plug your arteries, with pages from the Holy Book

apologized to the angels

offered a sacrifice, crucified a child

 

You are made of the same flesh

infested by the same wiles, marked by the same sins

who are you to judge?

–Poetry and photography by Teegee Villanueva

I’m Publishing A Book

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I am compiling poems for a book I plan to self-publish on April. A collection of only my best bits, noxious, toxic verses drawn from the mind of a chronic depressive. Wow, how compelling.

Saint Jude, the title, will not be a pleasant experience. It will be honest, raw, threadbare (on purpose, in the absence of a grant or a generous patron) and it will come in black and laden with expletives.

I am having difficulty selecting compositions however. I revisited several of my earlier work and found them all lacking in some capacity–forced exercises in craft the lot of them, I doubt if any of them effectively conveyed an emotion or an episode at all.  I wrote poems with no subjects, no discernible personae, verses that were disconnected, that were disjointed, poems that generally made no sense. And they were all about love, what is this love, this foolish thing!

So I am resigned to write an entirely new collection; baked fresh, chapters upon chapters of verses with subjects drawn rom memory, from events in the past and the present, from circumstances new and old, from quarrels resolved and questions left unanswered, and I will not be censored, or held back by norms. I will write what I think and express what I feel. Poetry, the art of letters is not something I take lightly.

Photography by Teegee Villanueva

Elizabeth, Mississippi (Poetry)

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a cigarette

in between my lips

in hers, the hollow afterglow

a whimper, a song, a sigh of great relief

Billy Idol plays on the radio

 

Elizabeth lays in bed

her head heavy, bowed down

her body entangled over mine

she emerges from her second baptism,

distraught and yearning for a river

She rises swiftly from the precipice

and dons her favorite yellow dress,

 

She thanks me for my kindness

I thank her for her service

I call my wife on the telephone

I tell her everything’s alright.

–Poetry by Teegee Villanueva, photography by Teegee Villanueva

On Poetry

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I like to write poetry. I enjoy the process immensely. Waking up to a good day, heady, and full of ideas. It takes a while to put pen to paper, to paint images with words, like a master portraitist. But I get there eventually with a little rhyme and rhythm; pulsating beats, a pack of rabid metronomes I can only hear but I cannot see.

My photographs complement my poetry. I know when I started I was more than a little straightforward…I presented images as is, real and unfiltered…but lately I let myself loose, I let myself experiment with colors and subtle variations on subjects previously explored. For one, I let the laws of poetry take precedence over photographic technique. This is why my present work lends itself a certain je ne sais quoi, slowly morphing into abstraction, into the realm of pure expression.

Honestly, my poems are dark, on edge; my personae are troubled individuals meting out their grievances in rhyme, or in some distant language only they can understand. Poetry is an exercise in patience, futility even, or poetry can mean absolutely nothing (depending on context)…poetry should be felt, the words should be sung in the privacy of one’s mind, played out, like an instrument of music.

I write from a place far away, many try to uncover the symbols and the meanings embedded deep within my compositions, some dismiss them as banal, some are quick to dismiss my works as reflections of my troubled mental state. But I pay these people no mind, I never do.

Poetry isn’t that simple.

Artwork by Dyck Cediño

Full Moon (Poetry)

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Unravel: as they come

Horses

Drums

A funeral march

 

A coffin, a hammer

A nail and a kiss

A sip from a poisoned chalice

 

Why,

Do I put myself through this?

I am trapped and isolated

Four white walls enclose me,

Vibrating with an ever quickening pulse;

The floors catch my menses

And the tear that refuses to fall

 

I am tired, black death

I am a specter without a name

Floating amongst the living:

Listless among the dead

***

Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, words by Teegee Villanueva

 

First Night

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I stare at my reflection

in the mirror that you gave me

I cannot forget when you were last inside me

stuck, immobile–

your love was a curse .

 

And I cannot forget the first night

we spent together–you and me, in the room

in the space we called our home

when you said goodnight

when I gave good head and meant it–

but your youth always alarmed me.

 

You remind me of my father, a liar

lies all lies, until the angels took his life

his tongue, an instrument

to please a missus who wasn’t his wife;

like my father, you broke my heart

and like my father, I forgave you

but like my mother, I will always remember

the lie you said in September.

–Anthony, 2016

Notes on a Suicide (Poetry)

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Let me linger for a moment

Let me remember

Let me find wisdom in the waves

Let me drown in it.

***

I can hear the water curling at the seams

pockets, pockets, full of stones

a walk, a hop, a body it seems

floating lifeless in the water

and lifeless it drifts to shore

Words and photography by Teegee Villanueva