Local 21 year old Bo Gallegos currently works at the Socorro Presbyterian emergency room. A long time poet, Gallegos recently produced a collection of his work titled “Trails of Poems and Blood”. Writing under the artistic title Bear by Blood, Gallegos put together more than 108 poems in seven different categories; Love, Peace, Life, Sorrow, Chaos, Rage, Dark. El Defensor Chieftain caught up with him at his home in Escondida to find out more.
Question: Are you a Socorro native?
Answer: Yes, born and raised. Have lived here all my life.
Q: In Escondida?
A: No I grew up in Socorro but my family and I moved out here because there’s more room. We also got tired of some of the crime like getting our house broken into or finding used needles on the street. It was not the best place to be for us. I lived on my own for a few years before moving back in with my parents here.
Q: Are you going to school or do you work in town?
A: I’m currently an EMT at Presbyterian while also going to school to become a paramedic.
Q: How did you get involved in the medical field?
A: I wanted to do something that would help lessen people’s pain. Becoming an EMT I could do that and it was easier to become licensed than say becoming an anesthesiologist. That is my goal ultimately, administering medicine to help people that are suffering.
Q: What is your schedule like?
A: Currently I do night schedules, three 12 hours days. Working at the E.R. is an atmosphere that you never know what to expect. One minute you’re board and the next someone runs through the door screaming for help. It’s a team effort if patients can’t physical enter the facility or are vomiting. Taking care of suicidal patients is also hard. It’s a very stressful job.
Q: Is there any patient that has made a lasting impression on you during the early stages of your career?
A: One patient had been in and out of hospitals for various reasons. I talked to him about my older brother Frankie who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of seven and has struggled his whole life. This patient at the hospital told me how lucky my brother is to have me as a brother which meant a lot.
Q: Is there a negative moment that stands out.
A: Not particularly. It’s a fast paced environment and you see a lot of bad things. When somebody dies it’s very dark but we try to cope together as a group. You have to have a certain personality to do this type of work.
Q: Let’s talk about your book. What is the overarching theme?
A: This is a compilation of poetry that I have written over the past nine years. It goes from light to dark. For example the darkness of the E.R. was a big influence towards the later parts and tries to find some form of humor in a sad situation. The writing is more geared towards the lam-in readers and is not centered around complicated vocabulary. The themes are complexed but I wanted it to be relatable for anyone.
Q: How did you come up with the title “Trails of Poems and Blood”?
A: I’ve been working on a novel called “Trails of Blood” that I have not been able to finish so I wanted to incorporate my poems with that idea. It does get dark but if you do not like darker poetry you can stop because there’s also some really love filled pieces as well.
Q: Why did you decide to go from lighter stories to get progressively more macabre instead of mixing and matching throughout?
A: I wanted the book to be a journey. The way that it progresses is hopefully more interactive for the reader.
Q: How have you published the book?
A: I did it myself which involved a lot of trial and error. But recently I’ve been able to make a bit of a profit so now I’m also working on a brief autobiography to be included so that people can know more about who I am when they pick up a copy. I’m also working on including pictures by working with a photographer in the future.
Q: What inspires you to write?
A: Necessity. I started off struggling to write at first but once I got a spark I now find things that inspire me all the time. It’s a constant feeling of excitement and working on my writing getting better. Turning the dark parts of life into light is a very positive thing.
Q: Is there a particular poem in this collection that stands out most for you personally?
A: That would have to be “The Strange”. It’s twisted but also the most creative. It talks about the hypocrisy of how people often view each other. Calling somebody strange because of what that person believes actually makes you the strange one. A lot of people have responded to it.
Q: A few random questions. What is your favorite movie?
A: It would have to be “Deadpool” one or two. It’s a seemingly messed up person who tries to make the best of life then has it all taken away before finding something new to live for. It has a lot that I can relate to.
Q: Other than yours, what is your favorite book?
A: “Stonefox”. It’s the story of a boy, his dog and his depressed grandfather. Their finances are getting worse and the boy’s dog wins a race which helps save the farm house. It’s about making the best out of a terrible situation too.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Dave Matthews Band. They have such an amazing rhythm. But my favorite however is (Ronnie James) Dio because he is really creative and has inspired several of my poems.
Q: If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
A: I always wanted to go to Maine because that’s where Stephen King writes. Plus the trees are green and there’s not a lot of green here. I like colder weather too.
Q: If you could change something about Socorro county what would it be?
A: Less pain in general. Less drugs and fighting that tears families apart. I don’t like seeing families being torn apart. Seeing addiction making loved ones hate each other is always hard.
Bo Gallegos is at the emergency room every week for those in need. Bear by Blood has preformed at college poetry readings as well as for anyone willing to listen. If you would like to purchase his book, talk about poetry, or need a question answered, email him at email@example.com. Collaborators include; Kade M, Nardos W, Ashly M, Sierra, Adrianna S, Steven M, AJ M, Jacob D, Amanda S, Ivory, Frankie G, Matt M, Olivia, Mariah M, Candy, Randy F.