Cindy Williams Gutiérrez & Russell J. Young


Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, photo by Russell J. Young






Bosnia, from the Inside Out


The house is riddled with bullet holes.

The nursery window remains closed

as a child’s mobile spins and slows.


Somewhere the canopy above the boles,

somewhere a couple’s life unfolds.

The hours are riddled with bullet holes.


Somewhere soup brims in bowls.

Somewhere a toddler begins to doze

and a mobile spins as breathing slows.


Somewhere a field greens and rolls.

Somehow the birth of copper foals.

The horse is riddled with bullet holes.


Somewhere the cows loll and low:

some, where a barefoot girl outgrows

a child’s mobile spinning slow.


Somewhere, a bell forgets to toll

and death forgets where to pose.

The hearse is riddled with bullet holes.

Some child’s mobile slows.



By: Cindy Williams Gutiérrez







What She Said When I Smiled at Her across the Table


You have beautiful teeth.

Teeth matter:

bad ones create havoc in your body.

The dentist claims mine are trouble,

my sinuses too.  Doctor says

he may need to operate if I don’t feel better,


and I’d like to, but I don’t bet

I will—with a deviated septum, mercury in my teeth.

See?  If the dentist had his say-so,

he’d deal with the matter,

his way.  When I was young, it was no trouble

skipping a brushing or two.  When you’re old, your body


remembers.  I know.  Don’t let anybody

kid you: Que sera, sera won’t make you feel better

tomorrow. Tomorrow… Oh, don’t mind me. My old croak troubles

tin ears. Only time I sang is when my kids teethed.

Sure is nice to finally know what doesn’t matter,

all those things my mother used to say—


same old things she heard her mother say:

“Take care of your children, your husband.  You’re nobody.”

Women didn’t matter

back then, we didn’t need to better

our selves.  Brush, sure.  Floss, yes.  But that was it, for teeth.

Sugar was the cause of a lot of our trouble,


a rotten way to keep us happy.  Nothing but trouble

for a little indulgence.  Now they say

be good to yourself, and your teeth:

don’t put a teaspoon of sugar in your body.

Only eat what makes you feel better

on the inside.  You’re young, but maybe you know it matters—


not being a door mat.

That’s the best thing for your health. Sometimes you don’t recognize trouble

until one day you know better—

we were driving his fixed-up car.  Soon as I started to say:

“We need to turn around, I left something at the body shop,”

he leaned over, and socked me in the teeth.


I just want to say, it doesn’t matter

when you have troubles—long as you have somebody

who helps you feel better when life knocks out your teeth.



By: Cindy Williams Gutiérrez









At the end of Father’s life,

there was little shade.

It was midwinter.

The family was cleaved—

relentless blades of rage,

then the gash of silence.


He could no longer protect us

from ourselves, from the other,

his branches wizened

and nearly leafless. Wooden,

we stood apart in our grief

when the last leaf fell.



By: Cindy Williams Gutiérrez















Poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez draws inspiration from the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Her poetry collection, the small of claim of bones, was published by Bilingual Press (2014). Her poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s (UNAM’s) Periódico de poesía, Portland Review, Quiddity, Rain Taxi, Rattle, and ZYZZYVA. Her CD “Emerald Heart” features her Aztec-inspired poems accompanied by pre-Hispanic music.


Cindy’s verse play A Dialogue of Flower & Song was featured in the 2012 GEMELA (Spanish and Latin American Women’s Studies—pre-1800) Conference co-sponsored by the University of Portland and Portland State University. She is the creator and co-executive producer of Words That Burn: A Dramatization of World War II Experiences of William Stafford, Lawson Inada, and Guy Gabaldón which will premiere September 25-28, 2014 at the Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial and Hispanic Heritage Month.


Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics and creative collaboration. She teaches poetry to adults, as well as to K-12 youth through the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, and Writers in the Schools. Cindy is a founding member of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and the founder of Grupo de ’08, a Northwest collaborative-artists’ salon inspired by Lorca’s Generación de ’27. She lives in the hinterlands of Oregon City with her husband who paints landscapes and her two Aussies who roam them.






Russell J. Young is a self-taught photographer and fine art printer. Over a period of 15 years, he has traveled and photographed in over 30 countries, developing his passion for visual works, and drawing influence from the elements of various art forms in the process. In addition to spending a great deal of artistic time alone in nature, he also collaborates with theater, music, numerous visual arts, and poetry projects, and experiences the wonder and intrigue of how each can shape a photographic vision.


His first book, *Teatro del los Muertos *(2013) is an artistic book examining “Day of the Dead” theater. A second book of fine art landscape photography, *In The Mist*, is projected for release in the spring of 2015 and explores an intimate relationship between photography and poetry with poems contributed by accomplished Northwest poets, including Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen. His fine art edition prints are in private and public collections and embassies. He has exhibited in Europe and the USA. His works have been published worldwide, and he is represented by agencies in London, Stockholm and Seattle.

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