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08 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Albino Carrillo

Rudolfo Carrillo

The fourth installment of TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features a poem by New Mexico expat and lo mas chingon Albino Carrillo.


1. Stretching in the Lightning Storm

This morning it rained as I Wrote
a world into your life of hillside,
deep thickets of Columbine.
The storm moved in; I wrote to ease
my entrance into the Weather, and later
slid along city streets
with big drops soaking my jacket,
the Mexican student who smiled
at me through her umbrella.

O friend who does not leave me abandoned,
I am thinking of you as the perfect
stranger who wants my
odd assortments of poems to read at moments
when, undressing, we realize
windows and shutters are moving with the grace of air.

Tonight, slow to admit to love or boredom,
I am thinking of 
the mysterious animal that waits
beyond my headlights when I drive
through the southwest, the sky
darkened by the absence of moon.

2. Church of Empty Fields

Where I write this
the land is epistle yellow.
I dreamt readily about it
under rain Clouds, sleeping near Cerrilìos.
That night
there was a sense I would disappear:
the western rhetoric of pine ceilings,
the small blue-bellied lizards

in the honeysuckle,
they’d leave with the rain.
Before I loved you that night
I dragged a dry stump
away from a clearing,
the chain cutting into my hands.
Somewhere along these lines, again waiting,
is the swiftness of your gesture
dragging the emerald heart to rest.

3. Centuries of Music

The planting was late,
taking place in June. The music
wrapped the room
like a Navajo blanket.
You'd chosen the peppers carefully-
deep red pods to cook during winter.

Only days before
I burned dried Russian thistle,
crab-grass and pale 
branches in the dark yard
where I’d set-up my telescope at night.

The distance created in the flames
was the cold elm covered in hoarfrost.
It beat me one January. June was late,
music took the place of air.


Albino Carrillo, a sixth generation native New Mexican, received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Arizona State University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Mexico in 1986. He has published poetry in many literary journals, including The Antioch Review, Puerto Del Sol, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, The South Dakota Review, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Sou'Wester, and World Order. Carrillo's poems are anthologized in both Library Bound: A Saratoga Anthology (Saratoga Springs Library Press, 1996), and The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2007). Carrillo's book of poems is In the City of Smoking Mirrors (University of Arizona Press, 2004). Before teaching at the University of Dayton, Carrillo taught in the English Department at the University of Minnesota, and at Union College of New York, where he held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Carrillo is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


  1. One of the highlights of 2012-2013 has been my discovery of Albino Carrillo--a superb poet. His work is courageous and beautiful.


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