A river a Bridge a Wall

    Watch the video

Girl Strolls Down Nogalitos Street

    Read text -- displayed in San Antonio buses
     a winner of the VIA Poetry on the Move Contest

La Matadora

    Read text -- published in Rio Grande Review

Cat Calls

 Listen to mp3 -- indiefeed podcast
   Read text


 Listen to mp3

Women of Juárez

 Listen to mp3
   Read text

Via Bus Bingo

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                  Purchase a book of Amalia's poetry                   

Poetry performances. Fullscreen, See Amalia on seasons 2, 3 & 4 of Def Poetryfull-motion versions are on Amalia's PR DVD.

Vimeo A River a Bridge a Wall (@ Vimeo)
iPod format Somedays 19.3mb (@ Def Poetry)
Somedays 13.9mb (@ Def Poetry)
Women of Juárez 5.6mb

Women of Juárez (large) 33.6mb
Tu Love es No Good 14.5mb
Cat Calls 4.4mb (@ Def Poetry)
Amor Peligroso 11.5mb
Xicana Poet 5mb

Speeder Kills clip (Badass Pictures @ YouTube)



Cat Calls

Hit me with one of those cat calls
see, I was walking down the street
like your sister
like your momma
walking down your street
like your daughter
like your Gramma
composing a symphony in my mind
I could see the violinist about to touch the bow to the strings when ...
Damn, milk it did your body good!

I was walking down the street
like your sister
like your momma
walking down the street
like your daughter
like your Gramma
but you don't want to hear that
'cause you're only cruising for a lover
so all you see
are curves

Hit me with one of those cat calls
when I was walking down the street
composing a poem in my mind
I had written the outline
and was about to start the rhyme when...
Hey, Mami, where you headed?
and you saved me from the prison of my mind
call me Mami again, please,
Hit me with one of those cat calls
just one more time so that
I feel my womanly worth
I'll call you Papi, because
every woman really wants a Daddy
and you're the first man ever
to be completely honest about
what women really need

I need another cat call
because I sometimes lose awareness of my curves
and you remind me
I should never worry my little head
about the problem of this man's world
because there are big, strong machos like you
who value your women
so much you just have to celebrate your sister's beauty with a
Aye sabrocita!

'cause I was walking down the street
like your sister
like your momma
walking down your street
like your daughter
like your gramma
feeling kind of scared
you know, walking down that street
in that neighborhood
in these times
and just as paranoia was kicking my ass
Whoa, beautiful, I'm in heaven!

you made me feel so at home
and even a little turned on to boot
hey, where are you going in such a big hurry
come back and give me another cat call
'cause nobody can howl like you, baby
gets me all hot just to wonder what else you can do
with that tongue wagging back and forth

you always remind me
it doesn't matter what I wear
all that matters is that I have what it takes
between the legs
'cause I'll be a complete mess and ...
Honk! Honk! You fine!

what was I thinking
actually worrying
about things that don't concern me
like education and respect
when all I really need
more than flowers
more than candy
more than respect
is a hunk'a hunk'a man in a hunk'a hunk'a car
and those drive by love notes to convince me that
I think I'm in love too!
Hit me with one of those cat calls
you've finally hit on the one thing that
drives me wild
I just hope your daughter gets to meet
such giving men
as you


Via Bus Bingo

San Antonio
downtown daily young and old alike
gather `round bus benches on the corner of Soledad
and Commerce St.
everyone anticipating that moment of winning
Via Bus Bingo

68, 68, please God send me a
68, 68
Damn! 82.
What number are you waiting for?
El number 3 pa'l Centro Park Mall.

a group of preppy pink tourists
drowning in a sea of brown faces
excitedly steps on to a trolley headed west towards
that quaint little market square
where they will purchase
authentic Mexican mementos like
ceramic chili pepper hotplates
or clay Aztec calendars

annoyed by their perkiness
Celia, miss teen hoochie
smacks her gum
rolls her eyes
and turns to eye
through the Payless Shoe Store window
a pair of higher-than-high-heeled shoes
a perfect match for her shorter-than-short shorts
she counts her bills and the minutes
calculating if she can pick up a pair without
missing the number 92

all of a sudden

just then Willie from Victory Temple
spots her stack
-- of cash that is
and makes a play for the green with a
Care to help out your brothers in need at the Young
Men’s Victory Shelter?


number 92 arrives
ol’ Maestro Martinez
salutes his fellow veteranos
and hobbles in line
cane leading the way
hat, coat, slacks, and shoes impeccably
pressed, polished and primped
way into their fiftieth year of usage

Now that’s class, vavoso!
li'l Alphie hollers hopping out onto the street
he high fives his homeboy, Hector
and pockets the seven digits he just scored
off some fine ass hyna on the number 84

number 84

a new group of winners
lines up single file to trade places with new players
waiting to trade sun and sweat
for air conditioned seats

and Willie from Victory Temple
trades handshakes for Bible tracts
and "Fuck off"s for God bless you
(or should we say Conchota)
and her grocery bags
spill off the number 97 and all over the sidewalk
two other large and wrinkled ladies
scramble to help Concha regain her groceries
and her dignity

unnoticed, a bum leaning against
the payless window
quietly pockets an apple

Concha plops down next to the women
in a tight fit on one of the benches
searches through her bags and produces a small box of
Churches Fried Chicken
No quieren un bis-que-te? she offers

while Hector and li'l Alphie
roll on out of the dollar store
sporting new shades and
matching dangling chain wallets
Check it out man, number 68!


they slide on out of humid heat
way on into the very last seat
of that number 68
that snakes it’s way west down Commerce St.
into the sunset
left on Frio St. where students
exit right in front of UTSA
Stuck ups! Hector whispers
and the bus cuts right on through to Guadalupe St.

at the Alazan Courts
some of the nation’s oldest public housing
li'l Alphie rings the bell


next stop, Guadalupe and Brazos
where the 6 o’clock mass bells
of Our Lady de Guadalupe
welcome him home


Women of Juárez

at the West tip of Texas
a line divides us from them
and on the other side
they all look like me
yet on my side we sit passively nearby
while the other side allows a slow genocide
500 missing women
some claim more
some less
some dismissed as runaways
against parents protest
hundreds found dead
hundreds still missing
the exact count is a mystery
and those disappearing daily
they all look like me
I am a dead ringer
for an army of the dead
Mexico's slaughtered sisters
all slim
long dark hair
some say pretty
my family would in my absence
all young
all lost
or dead
and they all look like me
some foolishly search for one serial killer
when bus and cab drivers
even cops are under suspicion
while the ever growing numbers reflect an entire society
where young women are expendable
young women like me
mothers recognize raped and mutilated remains
daughter's clothes with mismatched hu-man bones
DNA that doesn't match
those are her shoes
but that s not her hat
this shirt is my sister's
but those aren't her slacks
dumped like trash
burnt to ash
in the desert that keeps its secrets
one body found in the middle of the street
in a neighborhood not unlike mine
on this side of the line
I am alive
and my father reclines
in his retired military easy-chair bliss
of Ft. Bliss
Mom and Dad warn to be careful
but aren't overly concerned
when my brothers and I
cross from El Paso to Juárez
for late-night cheap college drink-a-thons
as long as we stay on the touristy paths
that may exploit
but do protect Americans and our American dreams
we are different
and even my parents don't seem to see
all those missing women
they all look like me
but I am told I am different
less Mexican
less poor
American thus worth more
yet all I can see are all the eerie
they all worked like I do
so many last seen
going to or coming from work
at US corporate owned maquiladoras
but I'm told this isn't an American issue
and I'm lucky here on the safe side
yet not quite out of earshot of distant cries
of families searching ditches and roadsides
bearing snapshot after snapshot
of my brown eyes
Have you seen this girl?
She is my sister.
La has visto?
Es mi nina.
my baby
mi hermana
my wife
Have you seen her?
This face? Esta cara?
When you fit the profile of a predator's prey.
You can't help but take the crimes person-ally.
I am a symbol of those who survive.
mouth open in defiance of their silence
spared by a line in the sand
drawn between their grandfather
and mine
and if that line had fallen closer to home
somewhere between you and I
who would I be?
what would my worth be then?
and if silenced who would speak for me?

                                        Women of Juárez video

                                        Women of Juárez page

You can purchase Amalia's book of poetry