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L. A.Poetry Examiner's Viernes selección: Antonieta Villamil! (friday pick)

International Poetess Antonieta Villamil is a beautiful woman. Her exterior is obvious with aesthetic grace and depth, and her posture is fronted by a demure smile that exudes a friendly wisdom. But her beauty does not stop at her looks or style. We won't begin to speak of her talent. It would take a lot more than one article.

Her poetry is excellent, as you will see in the selections below.

Villamil is a compassionate and generous poet of Los Angeles that has taken much time and created a venue for those Spanish speaking poets of the city that in the recent past, had no venue of any apparent standing in the city. Until now...

Antonieta is the host of La Poesía Féstival En Español! which just happens to be happening TONIGHT AT BEYOND BAROQUE

Antonietta Villamil, Internationally recognized award winning bilingual poet, editor, translator, cante singer and cultural promoter, with over 15 books in print
Antonietta Villamil

17 January, Friday - 8:00 PM
LA POESÍA FÉSTIVAL BILINGUAL
Hostess ANTONIETA VILLAMIL translates Mark Lipman’s The Dirt of Dispair / Herrumbre de La Desesperanza. Bring original poetry in Spanish/bilingual to share in the open reading.

POETRY OF ANTONIETA VILLAMIL

Along with the resonance of certain sounds it interweaves into a veil of words that which simultaneously deciphers them as in certain words it is perceived and intensified that which is not named by them but...

ON OPPRESSOR’S TONGUE

1

To say what I have to say
there are no words that are not
those of the oppressor’s language

To tell you this it does not attack my memory
nahuatl the language of the Aztecs
or the Chibcha the language of the Muiscas
nor the language of the Maya

Their cobbled ruins
under cities drowned
by the ivy of massacres
are a condor that flies
d i s p l a c e d

2

Displaced are the Mayan codices
and the visionary geometries
of the woven gold filigree of the Muisca
that today I know what it means:
To be human
muisca
means to be human

And to say what I say I limit myself to observing
I cannot invent what flows from so deep

Para decir lo que tengo que decir hago tambien
un valiente uso de este idioma: Spanish

3

To say what I say the invading words
assailants rapist revolver in the mouth

Top of the skull ¡volando! Condor that migrates
to the city of libertad to die beaten

Inmigrante into a walled silence
Dollar—golden—verde in vanishing green

d e s a p a r e c i d o
of erased without a trace

To say what I have to say in Spanish
in English or Espanglish who cares!

You are not a larva You are not a fly
You are an U’wa Muisca You are a human being.

LETTER TO MY BROTHER
ERASED WITHOUT TRACE

To my brother Pedro Hernán from whom I learned to safeguard memory, killed by Disappearance in Colombia, December 29 of 1990.

I can only tell you that every year

since 1990 what December would bring us
the twenty-ninth takes away

What more can I tell you
dear brother mutilated in silence

You disappear as so many of my brothers
with rigorous sin-chronicity

The dripping of the clock coagulates my eyes

Between brows and eye-corner glances
I keep an ash that repels the fire
that doesn’t find your bones

A grave I know by heart butchers
my hands with the only strength
I have left I write these lines

while outside and around us
everything

c
o
l
l
a
p
s
e s a n d b l e e d s

ANTONIETA VILLAMIL Internationally recognized award winning bilingual poet, editor, translator, cante singer and cultural promoter, with over 15 books in print, focuses her writing on the forgotten ones and honors them with a persistence that compels us to hear their voices. Antonieta Villamil sings her poetry and delivers a strong social conscious message. She directs LA POESÍA FÉSTIVAL at the literary arts center Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles. Winner of the “14th International Latino Book Award 2012” in The United States, with SOLUNA EN BOSQUE for Best Book of Poetry in Spanish in The United States.

FLOWER OF ASPHALT

From the hard traveled grassland

of memory by not idealizing it

with the blatant overtones of the desert

it comes rising up membranous

with its haggard lizard-like insomnia

Lost and engrossed in the evaporations
that take their name from the barren
plains to the torrents of words
in their highest most allegorical heights

If redundant this memory
combines itself with the stony silences
and their slanted glances Durable more
than stone mummifier of fingerprints

From where comes memory
from where do you ride back?
The unscathed weight of a famished hand
spells you out unmakes your words

The robustness of mediocrity
leaves its cellulite in your memory Terrified
you appear with the fragile way of dying

m
e
m
o
r
y
lucid flower of asphalt.

FASTING

To Carmen Alicia my mother from whom I learned
to sing, to design and to enjoy with rigor the
Bacchanalia of childhood and because she stressed:
“Daughter never forget that you, were born to write”.

We all need a good fast
that is why today you are fasting from crowds

You don’t understand the college boys
with their pace of desolate puppies

You don’t understand the clerks
and their secretaries their confinement
of squared numbers in cups of coffee

You do not understand the housewives
and their scraggly baskets
or the hole in their wallets

You neither understand
police and thieves

Nor merchants and their buyers
bent on their strident
daily ritual

You don’t understand the television programs
or the hole that they declare on solitude

Today you are fasting from crowds
from bystanders from parks and squares
from the urgent going fast

We all need a good fast
to recover what is said
by the silence of things.

~by Antonieta Villamil

Winner of the “14th International Latino Book Award 2012” in The United States, with SOLUNA EN BOSQUE for Best Book of Poetry in Spanish in The United States. The 13th International Latino Book Award 2011 for the full edition of “ACANTILADOS DEL SUEÑO / Sea Cliffs of Dream". In June 2001, "Acantilados del Sueño - Sea Cliffs of Dream" won the "International Poetry Award Gaston Baquero" in Madrid, Spain. Julian Palley writer, essayist and critic of the PEN West association of the USA, wrote in 1998 that “…she is an extraordinary promise in the field of literature. Not only promise: The poetry of Antonieta Villamil is a mature contribution of the highest quality.”

POIESIS OF THIRST

For all the small things
bet on against their small existence
tossed around pebble
in the shoe speck in the eye
too much dust on
large strokes that could
put together a universe and all
the great grand shapes
hampered by all this arsenal
of trifles of little nothings
in the mouth of someone who perhaps
will never be heard Here is
their thirst piercing the foot blinding
the eye sending the insistent
hand to pluck itself to write
something for them for such things
so small and so lethal.

~by Antonieta Villamil

SYRUP OF ENCHANTED SMOKE
WITH GREEN SHOES

To my little brother Pedro who died of
Disappearance in Colombia in 1990.

.
Su-
ddenly
you imagine
a pair of green
shoes and you tell
me that I know what
you want you want a pair
of green shoes made of grass
made of leaves with soles made
of moss and strings made of roots
Quick! that your legs want
to be tree that your arms
are already branches
that a nest is
knitted with
the tip of
your nails
and your
fingers are
writing the
flavors of honey.

~All poems (c) Antonieta Villamil 2014

ANTONIETA VILLAMIL was chosen next to the North American poets Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Randall Jarrel, Emily Warn, Saul Williams, Sam Hamill, among others; for the documentary film and anthology edited by Andrew Himes and presented in 2005, “Voices In Wartime”. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sxkI9Ix5as. Antonieta Villamil´s poetry has been published in anthologies alongside poets like Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Hirschman. Most recently she was invited to perform at the 2012 San Francisco International Poetry Festival. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IblJy8Bv4k