The Acentos Review


Reality TV 

10:57 p.m.


I just watched back-to-back episodes of the MTV

show that chronicles the lives of teenage parents;

I was too tired to search for the remote control. 

                                                                                                                                8 p.m. 

While brushing my five year-old daughter’s

teeth, I asked her if she’d spend me if I

were a quarter; she said not if I was shiny. 

9 p.m. 

I wrestled with my pre-teen son before bedtime.

Put him in a head scissors and he tapped; though

much stronger than I was at his age. 

                                                                                                                              10 p.m. 

The teenage couples are fighting over why one

should stay home while the other goes out,

why there is no money in their bank account.  

10:30 p.m. 

The teenage couples are fighting over why one

should stay home while the other goes out,

why there is no money in their bank account.  

Daylight savings begins in four months. My

daughter will be in bed an hour earlier, get her

first loose tooth, and learn the value of a dollar.

My son will be even stronger. He will learn

how to escape my submission holds, how to

reverse them, and how to apply them to me. 

10:58 p.m. 

On MTV there is a condom commercial aimed at

young people. When my kids become old enough,

I’ll lose the remote: watch such commercials

with my son telling him how to escape situations

before getting into them. I’ll watch such commercials

with my daughter telling her not to be blinded by

boys with sparkling silver dollar eyes.  

11:00 p.m. 

My wife grabs the remote hidden underneath

my arm. She says shows like this are all fake;

they’ll never teach anyone anything. She says

I just spent an hour wasting time, my eyes look

like dull pennies, and to come to bed.  

How to do Your Makeup Like a Chola 


Start with the foundation. Because a steady one has never existed

in her life, this part is easy. Apply a base ready to handle any bumps

in the road that may occur in the future, such as: welts from slaps in

the face in the form of stereotyping before she even has a chance to

grow up. A good foundation can conceal any hardships you’re bound

to endure in the future. 


Apply the blush. Brush it on in a manner maximizing the sharpness

of the cheekbones highlighting the refinement of the face: exotic,

brilliant, like ancestral Mayan carvings. Avoid using too much, as

this will give people the wrong impression: Clown. Slut.


Use the pencil to shape your eyebrows, thin and arched. This will

create an exaggerated look of bewilderment which may come in

handy should you ever decide to visit the most upscale department

store in the mall. You can actually look the part rather than just play

dumb, when the saleswomen follow you around as if you stole some

sparkly earrings say, and shoved them into your purse (also presumed

stolen). The scarce hairs (mostly drawn on) will also serve as a barrier

to people looking you in the eyes, easing any guilt you may have for

sins committed that would cause your mother eternal grief if she knew



Put on the eyeshadow base before the eyeshadow so the shadow

will set better. Use a shimmery silver to compliment the golden

crucifix hiding deep in the cleavage peering out from the fitted

white tank top. Then blend in the eyeshadow on your crease

to create depth. Otherwise you’ll be seen as shallow, incapable of

accomplishing anything meaningful in life (Having children while

being a teenager doesn’t count as an accomplishment.). 


Guide the eyeliner across the fringes of the upper lid slowly advancing

all the way around the eye. Repeat the process. The thicker the better.

Don’t neglect the corners—where the liner should harshly extend

pointing away from the pupils as if accusing the ears of betraying the

rest of the face. 


Curl the lashes. Perfecting the art of eye-batting is vital because

you’ll need to use your sexuality like a lasso, roping potential suitors

(most likely cholos) who will show everyone how much they love you

by giving you an assortment of hickies on your neck like a raunchy

connect the dots, and in turn get your name tatted in cursive on his neck

forever displaying the bond you share. Because why waste money on a

ring of any sort when nothing says I love you heina more than a neck



The mascara should coat the lashes like an oversized Pendleton. Drape

it on as if protecting the eyes from any sort of illumination that forces

the chola to examine her current lifestyle. She doesn’t need to be reminded

being a mother is more than making sure Jr. has the freshest baby shoes.

That dropping out of high school maybe wasn’t the best move. Or that

picking and choosing your battles will give you and your loved ones a

longer life span. Because in this mi vida loca world of barrios and bandanas,

it’s all about respect, and every day is a battle.       


Finally, trace the lips with lip liner. Lipstick isn’t needed. It would only

rub off from your kiss my ass FTW attitude. But the liner will still be there.

The last trace of any hope you’ll have at making the proverbial something,

out of yourself.     


Daniel Romo   

Daniel Romo teaches high school Creative Writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA.  He has recently appeared in Forge, Monkeybicycle, Underground Voices Magazine, and apt.  He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Antioch University and thinks gray sky the utmost inspiration.  In no way does he advocate the use of drugs, but more of his writing can be found at Peyote Soliloquies