Poesý 2014 presents Rich Villar’ Conversations with Julia


Rich Villar is the author of COMPREHENDING FOREVER (Willow Books, 2014). He has been quoted on Latino literature and culture by both The New York Times and the Daily News, and his poetry and essays have appeared in such journals as Black Renaissance Noire, Hanging Loose, and Union Station. His poem, “Conversations with Julia,” for our fantasy theme, is an imagined conversation between the poet and Julia de Burgos.

Conversation with Julia

You colored the air green with the rain in my hair,
drew blue dancers beneath each puff of steam. 

¿y dices que no eres poeta?

Do you know poets who sell insurance policies? 

los poetas mueren joven con los vendedores. piensalo bien

Did it hurt when they cut your legs off? 

hacen años me cortáron las piernas. 
ten cuida’o que no te hagan igual.

Did you mean to reference bochinche
when you held the torch to your effigy? 

cuéntame otra vez de los flamboyanes
que tus ojos no han visto. 

Julia, you will not be dead until they elect
the Puerto Rican President of the United States. 

viviré cuando eligen
un presidente puertorriqueño de puerto rico.

How do you write a love poem? 

dime del colibrí volando al lado de tú papa

How do undress a woman? 

comprale su vestida verde

Is this the street you died on, Julia? 

yo nací en las bocas de tus hermanas,
en las tumbas de los dictadores

All rights reserved by Rich Villar


Written words that inspire

Artículos/Articles, de la vida, Inpirador/Inspirational

‘from Inspiration to the written Word’, it is what’s written in Spanish in the header of Mink. The journey to the present has taking authors through a road of reinvention, knowledge, inspiration and letters. This lasts ones, inspiration and letters, are always there lurking in the next corner in the life of a forger of words. I love to be taken by them! It’s a relationship that only those who travel some parallel road that is similar to ours, could understand the feeling that drags us day and night and makes us look as if we are always walking in the clouds. We even sometimes talk as if we are narrating a story! 

The adventure here was never causality, it was meant to be. Others that have gone and done this before us have left their mark in the world, and so it is that their essence reaches us, luring us to a world from which we can’t exit. It’s different for each of us, and even thou some don’t take on the pen as their BFF, they become a writer’s squire also known as a devoted reader. It is said that while walking the road to becoming a writer, one must be a squire first and learn the craft by studying and devouring the written words of our Knights in shining armor.


Yes, I have some great Knights in Armor that have inspired me with their own written words. Some remain anonymous, others are known throughout the world, and a few are local voices remembered by the diaspora Boricua. Different genres, but still it is the mark they’ve transform from inspiration, and left so I could find my way to an endless road for a knight is always learning to be better. 

Here’s a short list of those Knights in Armor. I wonder, of whom have you become a squire to? What are the names of your Knights in shining armor that have inspired you to take on the pen or just read passionately? 

  • Fiction is my favorite genre of all, and the one who owns my craft. Authors like Piers Anthony and his Xanth novel series have delighted me with amazing fantasy stories, to think outside the box and take simple words to a whole new level and meaning. A childhood favorite, given to me by another squire, my mom, was the epic book of One thousand and one nights. For me a young teenager at the time, it was the sign that directed my steps toward writing. The stories in The Nights are the example of having no boundaries to imagination and giving wings to inspiration. Yes, this book christened me towards narrating! Let’s not forget J.R.R. Tolkien and his famous book The lord of the rings. I’ve read it twice and seen the movies many times over and over. This is the masterpiece in my book collection, Tolkien is my White Knight.
  • Of short stories I can mention the works of Edgar Allan Poe; and I have to admit his stories of mysteries, darkness and macabre are the only ones I’ve read in this style of genre. But most certainly they are captivating. O. Henry’s twists and surprise endings where a great school in my early years. From my diaspora there are two: Abelardo Díaz Alfaro, renowned for its uses of metaphors which I love; and what Puerto Rican can’t forget Ana Lydia Vega, she’s bold and daring in her writing something I aspire to be. 
  • My poets are those who come from this Island of Enchatment, and I have two who captivated my heart a long time ago. Julia de Burgos, introduced by the passionate voice of my mother and of who I fell in love, even thou I’m really bad to memorize her poetry. My favorite poems, besides her famous ‘El río grande de Loiza’, are ‘To Julia de Burgos’ and my mom’s favorite ‘Give me my number’. Luis Palés Matos, and his poetry book ‘Tun tun de pasa y grifería’, a book I read to my daughter in her infancy for its rhythmical verses. It takes me back to my roots, it reminds me of my heritage and the greatest woman I’ve had the honor to be related to and love, my grandmother. 

These are my Knights, I know you have yours so please share them with me. I’ll be waiting to meet them!

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