Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

menu

Vanessa Angelica Villareal

Three Poems

  • Malinche
  • Assimilation Room, after Frida Kahlo's The Wounded Deer
  • Estrellada

Malinche

I find the victims in the valley  I hunt the wilderness in myself  I stalk my prey
through myself   let hornets hive my womb  I am born fragrant stars  and
make planets of my body   I noble the old people   I make victim the valley  I
make mountains kneel in myself  I eat a crown of lead  make him an air   I
unearth the noble victim I make valleys of
young women I cleave white the wilderness take
violence into ourself I victim the gods in the
valley the victim she is myself victim in the valley
it is my own sun I stalk my victim in the valley it
is my sun people I hunt my hunted the wilderness
in myself I open my illness to the kingdom I
am cleaved by the old and new world I entomb
elders in the valley and grow mild flowers of their
teeth I birth a betrayed nation I fill with hunted
the wilderness is myself my illness led us to this see my braid the poisoned river and the lost tongues I walk as night I carry the child
of the noble cause I make my victim my nation in the valley I hunt the wilderness in
myself I am she who betrays blood for a little bit of kingdom

Assimilation Room, after Frida Kahlo's The Wounded Deer

PATIENT STATES: honeysuckle wraps  its heated bruise  of bad news—   a daughter bound by trouble  is a wilder grief  manifested bodily oilthick stars   pour down their   vines to overwhelm  the house  stormwater sags the walls as the ghost spine blossoms  berries of rot  in her daughter's daughter's brains  the girl doublebled shares a heart with the pines  pulls the vein from the blade   antlered illness   made creature punished into deformity   suspended mid-run an animal body's instinct  is to survive pain  and flee its hunter    the girl attached to the thrashing creature    is calm, nearly smiling another another another   of us in a hospital room

GULF PINES PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL PATIENT INTAKE PHOTO, 1996.

Estrellada

no distance I horizon might bewilder that
loneliness persisting its constant hunt—

an old companion, it silvers its way into our still
when the house is paused and

each object seems to tilt in mid-plummet,
each red egg a hatching star in my hair,

each surface of my life a border and singularity:
the migrant heart sliced into petals by guitar string—

born on a cusp, my first cry erupts
a strand of throated river rope

that hangs the crossing in a tissue of fog;
in that valley, babies lift to midheaven in sleep, hang

above the deepening cleft, fractaling:
a concurrent unweaving as I weave,

the text an unraveling ghost-skirt
ever-repeating its leaving and leaving and leaving;

[singularity: misterio doloroso]

in age, after fate will have made an opus
of every brutal abandoning

I will succumb to the hunter in the profound:
a gallant leap into a copse of pines, the beast

born split, each arrow pierces two beings:
in wound, the animal turns constellation;

the feminine, obscene.

Vanessa Angelica Villareal

Vanessa Angelica Villarreal was born on the Rio Grande in McAllen, Texas. Her work has appeared in Waxwing, Caketrain, DIAGRAM, The Western Humanities Review, DREGINALD, The Poetry Foundation Harriet blog, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. She is a CantoMundo Fellow, and her book, Beast Meridian, was a finalist at Nightboat, Futurepoem, Saturnalia, and Willow Books, and is forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2017. She came up in Houston, Texas.