Poems - Book 1 - Artist in Residence 2021

Our first submission from 2021 Artist in Residence Victoria Hurtado are two poems in her series. 

Poem #1 "In after hours, I am Not a Mother/ Series of Mothering”:

This piece is about starting a new era, contemplating on the ending of the amateur young adult. It is about indulging in reckless imagination as a writer and woman. This poem brings to light a specific time in which a person has idle moments to focus on ideas rather than reality. This is a representation of selfishly spent moments right before the speaker must become an unorthodox mother to her grandmother. Her caretaker.


Poem #2 "Everyday/ Series of Mothering”:

This poem’s surface-level meaning is about routine and appreciation. As you go deeper, it is learning rhythm that works around one person who is bedridden. This piece is showing the process of learned nurturing and learned selflessness. It is about rediscovering the foundation of family, which is acknowledging the elders and the dead by living presently.



After some time revising these poems, I know I have only taken one minuscule step into mothering. I’ve never given birth nor do I take care of others daily, but what I’ve taken out of this experience is that solely caring for others detaches you from the materialistic world in the most intimate, surreal way. It brings out a resilience that is quite unearthly, even though it may be ironic in this way. 

You lose track of time, your own personal needs, and this nurturing spirit that’s grown within you tells you to be okay with it.

I’ve grown so much from my grandmother’s death. Even after her passing, she has given me another reason why I have a passion for writing. It gives me purpose. It gives me a daily reminder to live, and to document my living through art.

- Victoria Hurtado, 2021 Artist in Residence 


In after hours, I am Not a Mother/ Series of Mothering

once I sit down

no one sits around

back washing

words/ as gradient

bentley blue

to disputed black         after hours


as chair waits cautiously,

sitting sizzling/whistled

to a noir & fueled

heartbreak looking for

lamp/ seeing nothing

but notes in mind

about fake noises that go:


finally, the slumber

of my life

tangle tween my toes

each of mine

moss & hoes

melting after hours

this is my basket of life,

as if I know


one sun arose in blank

canvas style

of this room/ it’s flea season


underneath nail beds,

split bodies


lips whistled to go home

in these streets

I should dig like centipede

& watch how I grew

ovaries/ how I send


letters to my lovers & neck

grows twice as long

under the one sun/ one sun


admonished/ made as yolk

how I sentenced

myself to solitary &

learned this body

is pickled metamorphic/most

dropped to dark seas


where the basket

waits for me, gliding

down like a fallen leaf

to drown & take

faces, make vultures

& tame/ centipede daisy,

that is me, crawling


down the streets of cities,

growing moss & hoes – listening

to men whistle those tiny

songs/ I want to destroy


tame & drain

my blood/ make the tar sky

a violent sky

scream gentle as I


I sit, it’s after hours

scenic streams glistening

glide on face

down to my red chair

growing sunken


O how earthy it is to be

Everyday/ Series of Mothering


a world that demanded more everyday

which I cannot fathom now

series of living where grandmothers

are bedridden & misplace their words


to be unaware of the next change

keeps my body here & dressed

looking at the wall/

my great grandparents


all these walls

fitting my family into bunches

wallpaper floral patterns &

just so many fucking choices

to hold onto


to begin to remember to breathe/

plates of thoughts, I long to have

that same thinking time, but now

I’m asked if I’ve been eating


I am my grandmother’s mother now

& use my eyes to see

the greater things as I drink in peace


it’s okay if I swear & prove

my humanity now because it's mine,




saying again the greater things

as I embellish my grandmother

in sheets