Carlos Contreras


Carlos Contreras (?-present) is a poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the marketing director for the city of Albuquerque and is the founder of Imma Star Productions. Contreras is the two-time national poetry slam champion, Adjunct Professor at the University of New Mexico, and author of the poetry collection Time Served. Source

‘Lights Out!’

I wonder often about what goes through the mind of the first-time offender, when the lights go out. The thoughts of more than one sunset, or sunrise, witnessed on the wrong side of cinderblocks and bars? What happens in the thoughts, in the wrestling with sheets and eyelids to not be the first to sleep? What is the reaction to the sounds and scratches in the sheets, in the air, in the wind, the noise nobody can stop when everything is metal and stone? At what point does one mouth the words, or give birth to the wish of wanting to go home? What is the “fresh fish” experience like? Although I cannot say I’ve been there, I’ve witnessed the gloss of fear and unpredictability. The killing of that not-so-curious cat, the deer in the headlights, the wanderer on the pod, the one stuck in a corner. I’ve seen them all, taught them. I feel for those, no matter the offense, who have to realize their situation with time served cold.





Literary Movements:

Spoken Word

Anthology Years:



Police Brutality

Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


a situation that seems to contradict itself