Mateo has a poem in issue four of Eye Flash, and since discovering his poetry were a bit obsessed, so of course, we delved into his work to find two praised collections of poetry, ‘X Marks the Spot’ and ‘Bones: a series of poems’ that delve into Mateo’s macabre and magical poetry that grows from roots of heritage and identity. We interviewed Mateo to find out more behind the talent.
When did you start taking poetry seriously?
When I was a freshman in college. I have been writing since I was in 4th grade, but I didn’t realize I could make it a career or degree-chasing thing until college. So I buckled down and decided to pursue it.
What was the first poem that made an impact with you?
I owned this collection of Sylvia Plath poems. I think the poem, The Stones, really made me understand that I could enact a way of telling how I feel without giving too much away or giving too much away, but it meant something.
Who or what inspires your poetry?
A lot of things inspire my poetry. Other poets, my life, my mom, my grandma, me being queer, me being latinx, a lot of things. I try to write about things that matter to me and make me question life. I really look up to Erika L. Sanchez, Vickie Vertiz, Layli Long Soldier, Kaveh Akbar, Phillip B. Williams. They really speak to me in terms of writing and what they know and have to say.
What do you want people to get from reading your poetry?
I want them to get a sense of wonder and magic. I want them to see and feel a perspective they might not understand or if they do, something they can relate to. I want people to question and have many questions and really investigate what it means to be potent and pained and have something to say.
What are your dreams for this year?
I guess my dreams for this year are: I want to be more happy. I want to feel good about myself. I want to be more in control with who I am and what I have to say. I want to write good poems and grow. I want to find a really cool black cape and wear it everywhere. I also want to find a great black lipstick that I can wear everywhere. I just want to feel good, however, I get there, I hope it’s good and I want to bring the people I love with me on that feel-good journey.