Friday, December 5, 2014


Four Poems by Xenia-Chloe H. Villanueva


In the city, her husband
Lies happy with another woman
While the aftermath of a revolution
Arrested, plays,
A live report from Ayala Ave.

Here, she is lord
Of her castle,
Watching her children sleep
On their mattresses on the floor of her room.
The way her daughter’s hair curls
Softly under her swollen eyes
Or her son’s bandages,
Fibers moving gently with the air conditioning.
She looks closely and thinks, how peaceful.
Like chicks.

Kissing their heads, she whispers
I was not the woman of the story.
I was the god
Who took the form of a swan.

The Facebook Poem

Home from the communications job.
Write a poem in haste
about eye strain and the fear of blindness.
Go back to it after a few days.
Fix the line cuts.
Replace a word based on

what it sounds like
how it feels in your tongue
the timber it has next to
the other words

Post it on Facebook as a draft.
Get 3 likes.

Then, your boyfriend, the bass player and
outspoken atheist
senior marketing specialist
a few words about a slow Internet connection
cut up into lines
and given a once over,
gets 50 likes in an hour and oohs and ahs.

Consider suicide.
Consider letting go of poetry.
Consider making eBooks about creative process outsourcing your niche.
Consider laying out your poems on stylized half-naked photos of yourself.
Consider being an outspoken something.


Silapo ning angin ing quegana-ganang bage queng daralanan na
Matudtud la ring mipapamilya quetang madanum a dalan ning Guiuan
- baleng ali mi pa apuntalan.

Queng Porac, agaganaca cu pa, raragasang
lahar ing sinagupa quecami.
Ing communidad mi, milipat ing oras, me ampalus at mipatag.

Isipan mi reng quegana-ganang paralan
para apadala ing mensaheng ini:
Ayalala mi. Ayalala dacayu.


Wind rustles through debris
Families sleep in the damp streets of Guiuan
- an island town we’ve never been to.

In Porac, flashbacks of ash
and magma sear through us.
The municipality, in a matter of hours, flat.

We think of channels
to send this message through:
We remember. We remember you.


Jason was coloring a book.
Mary Ann was practicing a rhyme.

One flew east,
she began.
The pretty lady beside her
was stirred.
Jason’s eyes
were on his book and his fingers
were bent to the curve of the crayon.

One flew over,
she was finishing.
The lady patted her head
and fixed her bangs.

In the staff room, the pretty lady
happy tears.

But Jason and Mary Ann
remained. One, coloring a book.
Another practicing a rhyme.

The two eggs wait.

"Conception" was previously published by Paper Monster Press.


Xenia-Chloe H. Villanueva was born in Manila, grew up in Pampanga, and studied Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She participated in theater groups and attended writing workshops. Her poems have appeared in Sloth Jockey, Paper Monster Press, The HEAT Zine, and The Cabinet. She works in marketing, while blogging about new Kapampangan arts and culture in Volcano Diamond Press. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, jogging around the city, and appreciating creepy porcelain dolls. Xenia is currently putting together her book of poems, so keep an eye out for the completed manuscript.

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