Hello, my name is Valentina Chamorro. I am a student at MIT and this is my portfolio of sorts. Everything posted here is an original work of mine whether it be visual or written, so I hope you enjoy it and please respect intellectual property.
I’m in my car again
Red, windows down,
listening to 90.5
the only good station
where Wes Anderson soundtracks crackle like reused record
Radio waves don’t quite make it into to my car
I think about you_
and whether I make it into your thoughts
it’s summer now
and there won’t be air conditioning
but I still want to share sheets with you
my bed here is too soft
I sink in
my sweat can only soak in
not stick to
I miss the whispers
slept in syllables
all I have are my own self whispered poems
they write themselves when it’s warm out
it’s too easy to want you when it’s cold
I’m in my car again
Red light, windows down,
Wes Anderson gone though the crackle hasn’t left
two hands on the steering wheel
and still thinking about you.
I am bird
Caged in brain
Slick sliding down into it
Off clicking rocks
It used to be cycling
‘round and ‘round
The same park
Thinking the same thoughts
Or was it a downward spiral
I get dizzy
This cage swirls
Until your hand,
Man on the park bench
Feeding me better than bread crumbs
I know you are bird_
Better bird than I
Feed me feathers
Could be unremarkable
I cannot call them my people
They are yours after all
Begging and voting
No sequesters tonight
Nor tomorrow night
No narcs and cartels
The ground trembles
And I fear your legacy
But even back then
We played both sides
I am waiting
on this earth for you
This piece of topography called mountain
I went when you left before me
No intention in catching up.
It is damp here.
I came down from what was frozen
I did not fall
I chose to come here
And now I’m waiting for you to come
From my valley I see the serrated peak
I imagine you trudging
Welcoming the crisp ice-air
Into your overheated heaving chest
You are laughing
Everyone with you is laughing
Just like that time our pretty sunset
Was just a funny colored building
Everyone was laughing
But now you really do see the pinks
My concrete is now your rock face
And you see the sun the way humans imagine it
Everyone is laughing with you
I call out
And maybe hear me over your laughter
If I could only convince myself
That you’d turn around.
The volume in my ears is taller than the buildings,
A man across the street from me
Wears jeans tighter than my own,
And I thank Boston,
Though I am not there.
Everything is cinematography;
Clouds make a hawk in the sky
And I allow myself to see it.
Down Windsor the Tootsie Roll smell
Mixes with the construction next door.
There are windows now,
Beneath the ghosting tarps.
The workers from the summer are gone.
It is six PM after all
And I finally have time.
to leave Kendall
My foot hits the gross dessert of a snowbank
And I am in Cambridge again.
I wear and walk music because I don’t want to talk,
But you get it out of me anyway.
I went to Catholic school.
Where we prayed before every class
Went to mass every Friday
Where our skirts were plaid
And our biggest fears were the nuns
With fingers that itched for even an inch of ruler.
We said “Yes Sister! No Sister! ”
And most importantly “I am sorry Sister”
And where they teach America’s finest sex-education
And you know the kind
Where it’s your genitals and God
And threesomes only mean the trinity
And condoms? You didn’t know what those were
But if you did want to know
You’d have to ask your public school friends
About the sexier things
Like heavy petting and hand jobs
But those where not for the children of God
On Abstinence day
I was told that I was like a sticker
Like the pretty sparkle pony stickers I stuck on everything I owned
I was a sticker that was placed on a boy’s arm
The one whose heart was on his sleeve
So he could take mine off and we could sleep
But not really sleep
Until my pretty sticker gets ripped off his arm
Along with his_dead skin
On Abstinence Day
I was told that this would happen again and again
Every time I had sex with a man
I was not wedded to
And how could I expect to stick to man to whom I was
We were always told to not judge books by their covers
But on Chastity day
Sex made the covers of our bodies tore up
From the inside out
Beginning with Christ and ending with us
Until not even God would deem call us “daughter”
It’s funny ‘cause
I thought sex was supposed to be like
And a guy will have his “untouched” pair
Meanwhile the girl shared
Hers with the soccer team
And the football team
And the tennis team
…and the lacrosse team.
And she promised!
Of course she promised him
That those shoes were his
Because you know
Is something that belongs to someone else.
Am I just a cup meant to be drunk?
I’m chaste because nobody likes backwash
But please tell me
Am I supposed to relish a lifetime of one person’s spit?
I became afraid of sex for fear of becoming a cesspool
It took years to dig up the truth you hid from me
From the ink well of poetry
I carried out the ownership of my own body
My own sexuality
Because for Christ’s sake I finally found out what sexuality even meant
And when I finally did know another
I did not feel like a sticker
Like a cover
I felt like a person
And “Yes, Sister
I am a sinner
But at least thanks to catholic guilt
I still pray ‘OH GOD’ during sex.”
Over the summer, the Cantab Lounge delivered a prompt that was “write about something typically bad that was a good influence.”
Your hair scares my mother
I mean you turned my hair orange
Is what my mother believes
How can we think we will be taken seriously?
Do you not care what the world thinks?
You play music
Rock and roll music
It’s seduction through sound
Your hands finger strings
And you’re very good at that,
You go somewhere when you do that
A place I want to follow you to but can only watch you leave to
But Bad Boy,
I do follow you to some places.
TV warned me about you
It told me you’d take me into the night
and you do
And that we’d trespass
and we do
and that I’d love you
and I do
We go where we shouldn’t
Open closed doors
Walk through walls
I feel like magic with you, Bad Boy
You smell of danger
And being close to you has taught me that danger smells good
Better than cologne and kind of like Old Spice
And I’m still wary because it scares me
To see you take risks
And do stupid things sometimes
Like climb too tall things, push yourself too far, sometimes even past the cliff
And maybe you want to be a bird but know you can’t be
And maybe that’s why you’re a bad boy
But maybe I want to want to be a bird too
Because what I see when I look at you is what want to see in me too
I am too often too afraid of what others think
Of what “Mother May I” wants
But you are brave and full of love
For music and for me
And, yes, maybe for danger too
but you are a bad boy.
But, Bad Boy?
I think you’d make a good bird.
I want to speak the way books do,
the way my hand writes
returns to the books I read.
Make my lips do what hands do.
I envy paper people,
their purposeful existences,
Everything being said as it should—
even when it isn’t.
I am jealous of their relationship
with the English Language,
with whom my own relations
My attempts at novel speaking
are linguistic follies,
smatterings of inelegant, pauses—
my mind is slow
to pick up on relevant abstractions.
I am queen of my castle
and my kingdom is the literal.
My walls are concrete.
They are not made
of pulp and ink.
Though I wish they could be.
At least sometimes.
I like to look but I want to speak, but
My mistake is not in the words I choose.
My mistake is the life I envy
for humans breathe in more than two dimensions.
Synesthetic Antropomorphism 2
She is loud and does not care who hears her
To her everyone is an audience
An ear dying to hear what she is dying to tell
And she’s not wrong.
She is a story teller
And a good one
Knitting fantasies and…
ExaggerationsBut always entertainment.
Her daughter quietly wishes to be like her
Often not getting the point,
Of telling rather than talking
And maybe someday she’ll learn how to knit
But this isn’t about her.
This is about her mother
Never known for patience
With a temper halfway to red
That makes the sweetness of her laughter
More worth hearing,
When Orange laughs, it is never too loud.
Some say sweaters are meant to keep us warm
Protective outer layers for under weather times
But that is for the utilitarian and cold.
You might think then that I speak of the knitted kind
Made by the kindhearted hands that belong to grandmothers
Whose knitting needles perfectly mimic their arthritic fingers
Bones and fibers filled with a different kind of warmth
Or perhaps of I speak fashion
Caring about colored cardigans
Whether or not it’s warm regardless of weather.
The unfashionable make the unfortunate look like jesters
But I speak of sweaters
The term “a portable hug”
An emotional loan
Where the intent of borrow does not matter
When being surrounded by scent meant—
That something special
That touching memory
Bear arms warm
Memories not known
By this skin, but
Made by another
The one yearned for
Protecting the arms yearned for.
This is the warmth I speak of
This is the protection I seek
This is what a sweater is.
While at MIT, I have taken up radio broadcasting with WMBR 88.1 (left side of your dial, Cambridge!). Currently, I run two shows. Poeddictions is a show about poetry I do with my best friend and Loose Talk is a random topics talk show with three other of my friends. I also engineer for two other shows.
Surprisingly this post is not related to Poeddiction rather it’s about the first episode of Loose Talk. Last week, the four of us decided to create found poetry over the course of the hour. Each of us chose songs to play and as they played we would each pick out a line from the song and compile them into a poem at the very end. Below is my found poem. Each line is what I heard in a song; all I did was choose the order of the lines.
With these political statements,
We will not survive ourselves,
Swing your arms into a ghost.
I’ve been thinking nothing is true,
You found another way to tell the truth.
Hurry up along the middle,
Don’t write. I might sit tight. Tight,
Strong emotion that this is all I had to say.
Synesthetic Anthropomorphism 1
It is the man sitting on the park bench,
The wooden one he sits on everyday
Now a relic of his daily routine,
He himself a relic in every way.
Regret has carved lines into his own face,
A permanent frown from his sagging jowls.
Knobbed knuckles twitch restlessly on his lap,
Perhaps it is time to go, finally
Fed up with monotony he gets up,
But once again he reclines and concedes
For Red forever sits on the park bench.
Embarassed. Pen and Sharpie. 2012.
This a word portrait and a strange take on Expressionism. I chose embarrassment (this was the first trial for the project I mentioned in my previous piece) and decided that instead of painting in my usual way I would just create the expression by writing it down. What I realized while making this is that unlike many expressionists, when I paint, I don’t set out to “embarrass” people. Instead, I hope to convince them of the emotion I’m painting because when I paint I am typically painting a personal experience. And truth be told I was embarrassed at the end of this piece because it wasn’t until I had finished that I realized I’d misspelled “embarrassed” every single time… How embarrassing.
Embarrassed.Acrylic on photograph. 2012.
In class, we were assigned to create a piece modeling a style we had learned about or seen during our trip to the MFA. The essay I’d written about my trip addressed my new found definition of the “art expereince.” During my visit, I saw an impressionist painting “Man at His Bath” and made and expressionist illustration. In the essay, I claimed that when dealing with art there is a give an take. You take from the artist what (s)he provides and you provide your own perspective. In the case with the “Man at His Bath” I took the attention to light and imposed my own attention to form.
This time around, I played around with this idea taking photography and literally imposing expressionism by painting straight onto the photograph. I’ve essentially made a concrete representation of my definition.