Monday, July 30, 2007

Aram Saroyan on Teddy B.

Listen to Aram Saroyan on Ted Berrigan here. It's an old interview, but it's still cool.
Port of Entry Blues

"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."

"And your name?
Let me guess--
Mother Cabrini?
Of all the damn luck.
Alright, let me hear it, come on."

"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."

"And you?
Of course, Mother Cabrini.
Let's keep it going, come on,
come on, I don't have
all day"

"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."
"Mother Cabrini."

"Alright, alright, let's stop this game right here and now! How many Cabrini's are left? Ok. Now explain this to me: how the hell can there be that many Mother Cabrinis on one goddamn bus at one goddamn time? Will one of you Cabrinis answer me that? Go on, answer me, Cabrini!"

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Catcher in the Rye

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be." ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22, spoken by the character Holden Caulfield

I can't even express how this quote affected me when I first read it years ago. I felt a certain loss, I remember. For me, it's been among the most memorable images in literature, at least from what I've read so far. My pops revisits this book at least once a year.

I also read somewhere that it's Robert Smith's favorite book. órale! (What up with these definitions and examples? Mensos.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Brownbird Rudy Relic

Brownbird Rudy Relic is an Imperial Valley native, currently residing in New York City, and on tour, spreading his love of the blues up and down the U.S., as well as in Mexico. He recently played a show in El Centro, which I missed, but according to the paper, a fine-looking crowd showed and supported Brownbird Rudy Relic's brand of "Acoustic Holler Blues." Be sure to check out his site and the man's blog to see what he's up to. Turn the volume way way way up and enjoy the sounds.

Petco Park

I can't wait to catch a few more of these over the next couple of months.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Martín Espada on Bill Moyers

Watch footage of Martín Espada on Bill Moyers' Journal here. Also, be sure to read (and watch, si puedes) Aracelis Girmay's "Arroz Poetica," also there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Michele Serros Reads

Under the Bridge Bookstore and Gallery358

West 6th Street

San Pedro, CA 90731 United States

In celebration of the paperback of Honey Blonde Chica, Michele Serros will be hosting a Mid-Summer's Flojo Dream. In addition to reading excerpts from her latest Young Adult novel, Honey Blonde Chica, Serros will be offering free copies of HBC and a pair of one of kind flojos (flip flops) designed by herself, given to those wearing flip flops in the following categories: the fanciest, the ugliest and the most creative.
HONEY BLONDE CHICA -- selected as one of The New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age 2007

"(a) chick-lit title with a Latina flair that captures the confusion of privileged yet vulnerable teens... provides a balance to the white-bread world often pictured in this (young adult) genre.– School Library Journal

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Palabra Pura

Here's La Bloga's great interview with Francisco Aragon about Palabra Pura . I will be doing this in November, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Website and New Crib

I just received information about Maceo Montoya's new website. He's an exceptional artist who has included several of his works to check out at his new site. Do yourself a favor and look him up.


My wife and I just decided to move to San Diego. It's been nearly ten years since I've lived there. We're trading the desert for the ocean, at least for a while. To be honest, I can't stand the beach sun. It's everywhere, a person can't find a shadow. The sun creeps up your pant leg and burns your kneecap. And that dreadful sand--eating at the beach is the worse. No, no, no, we'll be somewhere in University Heights or North Park. Hopefully this will all be taken care of tomorrow.

I'm going to miss El Centro--of course, we'll be visiting frequently. I'll especially miss Mexicali. I'm going to miss my family. My friends. My old coworkers. My students. My students. My favorite restaurants like La Fonda and Mandolino's. My mailbox, even though it brings me bills and rejections but I love it just the same. My favorite jogging route where the same owl greets me each day at the exact same spot on the ditch bank. My favorite convenient store where the same cashier greets me each Friday at the exact same counter where I set my tall cans...

But will I miss the heat?

T. Berrigan wrote a beautiful poem called "Farewell Address" where he wrote goodbyes to the Buffalo he knew after staying there for some time. It's so pure. And the rhyme thang he's got going on in it is cool, too.

Anyway, I have to go. I'll drop by later.


Here's a poem in honor of yesterday's all star break.

batting order

Hemingway's been in a slump,
can't hit a curve ball
I'm dropping him to the 6th
I'm putting Celine in
he's inconsistent but when
he's good there's no
Hamsun I'm going to use
in the number 3 spot,
he hits them hard and
lead-off, well, lead-off
I'll use e.e. cummings,
he's fast, can beat out a
I'll use Pound in the
number two spot, Ezra
is one of the better
hit and run men
in the business.
the 5 spot I'll give to
he's a heavy hitter, great with
men on base.
the 7 spot I'll give to Robinson
Jeffers, can you think of anybody
he can drill a rock
350 feet.
the 8 spot, I've got my
catcher, J.D. Salinger,
if we can find
and pitching?
how about Nietzsche?
he's strong!
been breaking all the tables
in the training


I'll take Kierkegaard and
gloomy fellows,
but none know this
game better.

when we field this team,
it's all over,

we're going to kick some
ass, most likely

--Charles Bukowski

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bits and Pieces

A few tunes on heavy rotation at the moment:

1. Bad Brains: Build a Nation

2. The Robot Ate Me: "Apricot Tea" and "The Red-Haired Girl"

3. Nina Simone: "Here Comes the Sun"
4. Interpol: "Rest My Chemistry"


Kazim Ali has an interesting essay on "Poetry and Space" in the latest The American Poetry Review.


Here's a shorty from Eduardo Galeano's Walking Words.

Window on Memory (I)

On the shores of another sea, an old potter retires.

His eyes cloud over, his hands tremble, the hour to say goodbye has arrived. Then the ceremony of initiation begins: the old potter offers the young potter his best piece. As tradition dictates among the Indians of the northwest America, the outgoing artist gives his master work to the incoming one.

And the young potter doesn't keep that perfect vase to contemplate or admire: he smashes it on the ground, breaks it into a thousand pieces, picks up the pieces, and incorporates them into his own clay.