(A collection of poems) by Alma Luz Villanueva

Like many of my “favorite things” I’ve discovered in my life, I found this book by accident, purely on instinct. I’m drawn to the word Desire, and in that small bookstore on that particular Sunday, it was the book that found its way into my hands, and later, my heart.

Alma Luz Villanueva is a celebrated Chicana writer and poet. Racial niche aside, the appeal of Villanueva’s writing is that it transcends race, gender, perhaps even time. It rushes into emotion and even deeper into the most primal of human conditions and subjects: Lust, sex, birth, pain, ritual, death. Her references to nature are a grounding point, reminding us all (often through her references to motherhood) that we are a part of something much bigger than our individual selves. Her way with words is nothing short of riveting. She is brazen, forthright, and cuts boldly into what matters most in life, and manages to make it beautiful.

Villanueva uses pretty language, but she doesn’t shy away from grit. Dirty imagery of life’s more unpleasant facets only make her poems more real. She crosses from personal to political, to back again, including a poem she sent to President Clinton (circa 1994). There is a series of poems to her bird, Mango, but they are not about a bird or for a bird; rather they are about life, and the universe told to Mango; her singing, inspiring companion. Powerful and feminine, Villanueva’s writer’s voice begs to be heard. Desire is less of a collection of works as it is a love letter to the world, one that is definitely worth holding onto.

It would be unfair to sing Villanueva’s praises without exemplifying at least a taste of her beautiful work. If I had to choose a favorite, this one resonated with me the highest.

The Lover.

What is the difference
between sexuality and sensuality,

we discuss oh so
calmly…I spin

on the words
sexuality sensuality

as though they were
worlds, civilizations

I’ve been studying:
“Sexuality is located in

the genitals,” I say…
“an energy that keeps

us hungry, hunting,
stalking. Sexuality seizes,

tames, conquers, gloats
and howls with victory,

and we are all proof of this
momentary victory, the trophy.”

I pause
and continue:

“Sensuality. Rose petals, thick
grass, deep water, fragrant neck,

newborn-in-the arms, suckling
milk and light, lover’s lips, tender

tongues, frying onions, luscious
sauce simmering, to be poured over

meat slid from bone,
done, perfect, surrendered,

cooked, for, your, pleasure,
the perpetual sound of the sea,

aching, longing, roaring, singing,
singing, roaring, longing, aching,

the never ever ending
delight, no trophies,

delight, no proof;
I give my children back

to their lives, their senses,
their most private and secret

dreams, where we conquer worlds
and then wisely relinquish them

in order to praise the Lover

worlds without ever
ending,” I murmur

as I watch summer strobing
and oh so slowly

enter the irresistible coolness
on the 26th of June.


hopeless romantic

Actually I was looking at the porcupine cartoon. I was going to do another post on Toulouse-Lautrec, but this will do for now. Simple, but it means a lot to me, at least about the idea of love, which I don’t pretend to know a thing about.

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s The Kiss

Hey, my love, you came to me like
Wine comes to this mouth;

Grown tired of water all the time;
You quench my heart and you
quench my mind
(Dave Matthews Band)

So who’s to worry
If our hearts get torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Don’t you know this life goes on
And won’t you kiss me
On that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singing ain’t this life so sweet

This year’s love had better last
This year’s love had better last
(David Gray)

Not Pretty Winter

I was 17 when I wrote this, and probably 19 when I wrote the “commentary” for the website I had at the time. I still love this piece, though. So be kind!

Commentary: This was a school assignment given to me in late November 2002 by Mr. Coolidge, a teacher I will always remember. The assignment was to sit outside in nature for 20 minutes and write a prose piece about what we observed. The other students grumbled, but I was ecstatic–it wasn’t often that year that I was given the chance to be so creative and descriptive, the two aspects of my writing style I most enjoy. This piece didn’t have a title, but I decided to title it after a phrase in the first line, that I thought was quite intriguing.

It’s not pretty winter outside. It’s the kind of winter that came too quickly and didn’t let autumn finish. It’s bitter cold and viciously windy. The gusts of wind blow the leaves around and make them dance on the hard, icy snow. The leaves aren’t bright anymore, but instead are all the same monotone shade of brown, crumpled and floating over everything, clinging desperately to the tree limbs.

The sky has bunches and bunches of clouds, the colors ranging from off-gray-white to deep, forboding charcoal. In tiny pockets, little pieces of baby blue sky peek through. The wind keeps gusting, right through my clothes, sucking the breath out of me. It is so cold. Everything is icy and slippery.

The only colors are gray, black, white and brown; different shades. The spindly gray tree branches scratch at the sky, the crumpled fragments of unfallen leaves still clinging to them in the wind. Plants that were once lush and green in the summer have died and withered, turning into a fragile web of delicate brown stems and shriveled leaves, dark in contrast to the gray-white snow, like old Victorian lace.

There are some adorable, gray, round-bellied birds sitting at the feeder. A chickadee perches on a branch for a few seconds, cocks her head, and flies away. They’re so skittish, they seem to live in fear of everything. I would hate to always feel like I had to run away from something that might hurt me.

Night falls quickly, and the sky becomes dark with clouds, transparent where the almost-full moon shines bluish-white through them. The wind is howling fiercely, making the most haunting noises as it rushes through the trees. It is frighteningly noisy, and not at all peaceful or calm. The navy blue velvet sky above is open in places, revealing a few glittering stars.

Fafi love

I have been into the “Fafi Girls” ever since Nicole introduced them to me over a year ago. Fafi is a French artist who has taken her feminine graffiti to a whole new level with her distinctive style, and now Fafi Girls are recognizable all over the world. Graffiti art has always been interesting to me, but I really love Fafi’s girls and her soft, dreamy approach to how she does her characters. Her use of color is brilliant. It’s girlie and funky all at the same time. I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to incorporate Fafi into this blog, because all her work is so beautiful, it was hard deciding on just a few images. So I doubt this is the last you’ll see of Fafi here!

(my personal favorite so far)

I love the sexy, flirty, playful vibe of Fafi’s characters. They can be demure but they are often aggressive. The sheer fantasy and originality of her work is what makes it amazing.

a Big obsession

Still so sexcited and nearly five months to go! Can’t wait, nor can we (and by we, I mean I) stop crazily Googling for any SATC movie tidbits I can get my hands on…

Sex and the City Movie promotional display
“At a New York City HBO Shop (1100 Avenue of the Americas – Sixth Ave. & 42nd St.), a Marchesa runway rose dress clad mannequin sits framed by a wall of roses and a new SATC movie trailer, surrounded by holiday gifts; the only unopened package says SATC Movie. Do Not Open Until May 2008.” (Source: Sex and the City Movie Blog)

The first movie poster! Pink, sparkles, Sex. It doesn’t get better than this. Squee!

They’re keeping this one surprisingly under wraps; not that much juice has leaked out yet. The one annoying anecdote is that Jennifer Hudson (still milking her twenty-something played-out minutes of American Idol faux-fame) will be playing a new character, Carrie’s assistant. According to the official website, the film is being directed by Michael Patrick King, who is one of my dating/cinematic touchstones (I heart his commentaries)! From what I’ve seen on Youtube, IMDB, and so on, Sarah Jessica Parker is still impeccably dressed, true to form! And as for the Big wedding scene…well, we just can’t wait!


Pink is and has always been the color I’m somehow drawn to. Here, a scrapbook of eclectic use of the color pink in interior decorating. If there’s too much pink, it’s way too much like a child’s room and very un-chic. When used appropriately, the look is florid rather than saccharine; and we just love it.

Gennifer Goodman’s apartment

Canadian House & Home

Mrs. Me Bedtime Stories (don’t ask…?)

Betsey Johnson’s home

The best advice when decorating with pink is keep it simple. Use it as an accent, and stick with the same color family. Don’t mix fuchsia and real baby pink and expect it to carry a grown-up space. Also, try to keep everything else more mature and refined. Dark and lacquered woods add major drama, and nothing adds glamour like gold gilding…or paint.

Candy Girl

(a memoir) by Diablo Cody

I was instantly lured to Diablo Cody’s finely-drawn memoir of a year in the flesh trades. A career-girl copy typist at an ad agency, Cody just moved to Minneapolis to be with her uber-sexy (and unwaveringly supportive) Internet boyfriend. On utter impulse, she’s suddenly participating in the most unlikely career of all for a woman like her: Stripping. Starting off as a sort of cheap thrill/experiment, Cody is hardly the tautly tan, artificially-enhanced, platinum haired vixen stereotype commonly associated with titty bars. Rather, she’s an intellectual, brazen, self-professed nerd. She pursues her new “career” with voracity, struggling and taking everything in, undergoing a sort of metamorphosis as she goes. Cody is boldly descriptive of her own so-called shortcomings.

The book is startling yet lighthearted, Cody’s sardonic wit and creative writing style keeps you turning the page. Between the jaw-dropping, raunchy and real observations about the night-to-night encounters of stripperdom, the book is drenched with insight on life as well. (Be prepared to define the terms tip rail, porn shui and jack-shack upon completion, not to mention the “lucrative” business end of the scheme, and how hard it really is to bank major “clams.”) Surely to some women, the idea of peeling buck naked for men we’re likely to otherwise avoid would be less than savory a notion. Not having been abused, neglected, or addicted, even she wasn’t quite sure why she got into stripping. Boredom? Discontent? Why else would anyone impulsively choose to chase something so fiercely?

Cody shines as a bright star in the decidedly melancholy gloom of the shabby adult entertainment industry. The book is an eye-opening, compelling (perhaps repelling?) experience in and of itself. It won’t be like anything else you’ve ever read, that’s a guarantee you can definitely bank on. Highly recommend.