I finally got to see Eileen Myles. A long time fan, I've always managed to miss her appearances somehow. At the Visual Arts Center at UCSD, she read from her new book of nonfiction The Importance of Being Iceland. She included various slides in her presentation to help contextualize some of the essays. This video was included, and I thought I'd post it here.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
My wife and I really enjoy(ed) his work. It was sort of a retrospective spanning approx. fifteen years. As usual, the work was intense and his ability to incorporate interesting detail made several of his prints quite gripping.
I wanted to attend his talk today at the San Diego Musuem of Art but was unable to do so. I don't feel too badly though because Thursday night was pretty magical. He even showed me his new book that is a beautifully produced leather-bound collection of fifty original prints that accompany a wonderful story in Spanish. Each collection was handmade and produced at La Mano Press ,now in Michoacan. Amazing, amazing work!
Below is a shirt I bought some time ago. My sister always complains that it's too intense and causes her anxiety. What do you think?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Just got D.A. Powell & David Trinidad's "By Myself." Using 300 memoirs, autobios, and ghost writers, they created this "...tempestuous and inspirational tell-all confession."
I'm absolutely into what I'm writing right now.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
* * *
Robert van Halberg: For whom do you write?
John Wieners: For the poetical, the people. Not for myself, merely. Or ever. Only for the better, warm, human loving, kind person. The guy on the street who might hold open a door for you, left the bumper on your car, stops to give you instructions, spares some change, lets you in his bookshop. Friends I take for granted, like the future.
from John Wieners: Selected Poems 1958-1984
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This chapbook contest was established "as a way to honor the late Xicanindio poet activist the Red CalacArts Collective, Calaca Press (San Diego, Califas) and Red Salmon Arts (Austin, Tejas) have teamed up to create the raúlrsalinas Guerrilla Chapbook Poetry Contest. The Redz seek material from authors whose poetry best reflects the lifework and interests of raúlrsalinas, including Native and immigrant rights, the Chicano Movement, Black Power, prison struggles, political prisoners, Leonard Peltier, Mumia abu-Jamal, social movements, EZLN, Cuba, independence of Puerto Rico, the Beat writers, and of course jazz, amongst many other issues related to culture, human rights, community empowerment and social justice."
One of the requirements for entering this contest that really impressed me was the need to include a description of one's community involvement.
How amazing is that!
Monday, September 7, 2009
In earlier times, the nymph Echo knew how to speak. And she spoke with such grace that her words seemed always new, never before spoken by any mouth.
But the goddess Hera, Zeus's legal spouse, cursed her during one of her frequent fits of jealousy. And Echo suffered the worst of all punishments: she was deprived of her own voice.
Ever since, unable to speak, she can only repeat.
Nowadays, that curse is looked on as a virtue.
from Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
Last night my wife and I spent the evening watching a 3-hr special on the writer/educator/activist, Jonathan Kozol. We have read much of his works throughout our days of teacher education classes, workshops, etc., and to finally listen to him, and even see him offer a rare tour of his home was a nice addition to some of the arguments and concerns he put forth throughout the interview. Kozol highlighted the tragic dropout rates that still continue to clutch at minority students ankles, rattling off statistics that should make any sane person's stomach turn, yet nothing is done, no real war is waged. Kozol blames the right and left, stating that many of today's liberals seem like they're suffering from what he called "compassion fatigue." Kozol spoke about standardized testing--which is why I included Galeano above--and how it stifles creativity and inquiry, both for the student and for the teacher. I enjoyed listening to him talk about his love of literature, citing Rilke, Toni Morrison, and others, and how he was fired from a public school in Boston for teaching Langston Hughes, which inevitably led to his participation in the civil rights movement. As a thank you, Hughes sent Kozol a signed portrait, a picture he keeps over his work desk.
What struck me most about Kozol, besides his obvious passion to right wrongs, was his sense of humor, along with his admission that he did not feel like a seventy-three-year-old at all, but more like a fifteen-year-old. I loved that!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
author of Mahcic
Manuel Paul Lopez
author of Death of a Mexican and Other Poems
It's going to be a rockin' lunch hour on Montezuma Mesa when Tomás Riley (author of Mahcic, and one of the heroic Taco Shop Poets), Manuel Paul Lopez (author of Death of a Mexican & Other Poems and the troubadour of the Imperial Valley and more) appear here at SDSU!
Hepner Hall 221, SDSU
AUGUST 20, 2009
free and open to the public!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
relief in lifting
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Certain parts of this action sounds like Pedro Paramo's Comala. I might just have to show up at said bookstore with one of those casino cruzeros loaded with familia and homies in case stuff starts getting silly with Mr. Vollmann's depictions.
First of all, the book should have been called Impe, not Imperial.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Verbobala Spoken Video is a bi-national video performance group based in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. Of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the members include video artist Moisés Regla, a Mexican of French and Spanish decent, acclaimed media designer, Adam Cooper-Terán, a Chicano of Russian and Yaqui decent, and Border poet Logan Phillips, an American of Irish and Slavic decent. This diversity is also reflected in their artistic backgrounds, as each comes to the project with experience in distinct areas including slam poetry, underground hip-hop, new media, experimental linguistics, electro-acoustic music, contemporary ritual and video installation.
Logan Phillips, the principle wordsmith of the group, also has a new chapbook called Arroyo Ink, which can be found here.
Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Terán are dynamic performers. I must also say that they are dynamic and impassioned cats off the stage as well. Their performance was intelligent and engaging, highlighting, from the set I observed at least, border politiks and self/cultural identity, using words, sound/song, costume, and image to pop their artistic vision(s).
After the performance, I also had the chance to meet and chat with poet and college professor, Francisco J. Bustos, who was kind enough to offer us his book, Aquí Estamos...YA NOS VAMOS. (I've seen Francisco read his work several times around town and he knows how to bring it.) This collection also includes poetry and prose by Michael Cheno Wickert and artwork by Ricardo Islas.
Here's what Alurista wrote about the collection:
"esta ouvre de francisco b y cheno es un kaleidos cope fronterizo...and wit estrait up and a cross with out cruz y fiction cuentos homage 2 those that live and struggle on y al otro lado de lada witness palabras que valen sin pecado la tinta no sobra...falta! simón que yes! ahora somos los mosquiteros...una mosca parada en la pader?"
To Paul + Mandi,
letras y ritmos for all, por siempre!
How cool is that? It was a wonderful night of art and conversation.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
You want fame, you want attention, you want respect. That’s all the game is about. It’s 28,000 submitters and 2,800 subscribers. It’s an audience of 30 at a poetry reading, and 20 of them thinking only about the poem they’ll read when the host calls their name. It’s a new book every four years because that’s what tenure calls for. And every faction, from the most amateur to the most erudite, thinks they’re the one that’s doing it right. It’s all the same silly enterprise.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I failed! I failed! I sat 4 ft. from Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee at a hotel bar/restaurant in Rome recently and failed to place their faces. I stared and stared and searched my little mind, but nothing! Would I have interrupted their lunch? Probably not, but I sure as hell would have said: "Motorhead made me used to feel 10 ft. tall, man!" Or maybe throw some devil horns and bob my head or something, I don't know. Maybe they would've noticed some inner fire in me and invited me on stage for their show in Florence to sing "I Don't Believe a Word" with Lemmy? Oh well.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
For those who have never read Montoya's work, read it now! It may save your a%# some day.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
"Obama represents so much hope for blacks and latinos. the hope he represents is bigger than any of the huge problems he could possibly correct. When you have positive role models, you can change your life for the better. The day Obama got elected, the gangsta became less relevant." jay-z.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The purpose of this project is to give bordertown youth an avenue to express themselves and reflect their environment creatively and positively through art. By giving this craft to communities who might not otherwise have any media-related voice or capabilities, the project could serve as a positive alternative to a new generation. Through art, kids can express and affect the issues that they are undergoing as young people in a place as culturally diverse and challenging as the U.S./Mexico border.
The target age for the children involved in this artistic community is 13-18 years of age.
Mexicali Rose Media/Arts Center is equipped for the following:
• Documentary Filmmaking courses (including computers with editing software)
• Fine Arts courses
• Community Gallery
• Free computer/internet access to community students (Amongst other possible workshops & courses)
There is a strong desire to maintain a trans-cultural interchange by hosting filmmakers/bands and welcoming them into Mexicali with open arms and admiration for the sharing and development of a mutual craft.
ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE OF CHARGE TO THE YOUTH OF MEXICALI
IF ANYONE IS COMING FROM THE STATES... PLEASE BRING YOUR PASSPORTS...the u.s customs are not your friends...
NO DIBUJES ASI
exposicion de arte gratuita!
mostrando el trabajo de:
Mike Bertino (www.mikebertino.com)
Ken Garduno (www.kengarduno.com)
Chango Rey www.myspace.com/
Viaje en Bici www.myspace.com/viajeenbici
galeria comunitaria mexicali rose
ave. colima 1436 colonia pueblo nuevo
mexchicali, bajo california
para obtener mas informes
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This is where I'll stop. What I will do, however, is ask my friend, A, to report on the event in his own words. I'm also hoping he has photos from the event.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If you would like this copy, please leave an email address in the comment section if I don't have it already. I'll contact you for directions to send on the snail's back.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Jimmy Cannon. Jimmy Cannon.
Here's a poem by another former teacher that was written for Duke Ellington, and now, Jimmy Cannon.
THE DAY DUKE RAISED:
MAY 24TH, 1984
for Duke Ellington
that day began with a shower
of darkness calling lightening rains
home to stone language
of thunderclaps shattering the high
blue elegance of space & time
a broken-down riderless horse
with frayed wings
rode a sheer bone sunbeam
road down into the clouds
spoke wheels of lightening
spun around the hours high up
above those clouds duke wheeled
his chariot of piano keys
his spirit now levitated from flesh
& hovering over the music of most high
spoke to the silence
of a griot shaman/man
who knew the wisdom of God
at high noon the sun cracked
through the darkness like a rifle shot
grew a beard of clouds on its livid bald
face hung down noon sky high
pivotal time of the flood-deep hours as Duke
was pivotal being a five in the nine
numbers of numerology
as his music was the crossroads
the cosmic mirror of rhythmic gri-gri
so get on up & fly away duke bebop
slant & fade on in strut dance swing riff
float & stroke those tickling gri-gri keys
those satin ladies taking the A train up
to harlem those gri-gri keys of birmingham
ladies mood indigo
so get on up & strut across gri-gri
raise on up your band's waiting
thunderclapping music somersaulting
clouds racing across the blue deep wisdom
of God listen it is time for your intro
duke into that other place where the all-time
great band is waiting for your intro duke
it is time to make the music of God
duke we are listening for your intro
duke let the sacred music begin
Monday, May 18, 2009
by Roque Dalton
In the name of those washing others' clothes
(and cleansing others' filth from the whiteness)
In the name of those caring for others' children
(and selling their labor power
in the form of maternal love and humiliations)
In the name of those living in another's house
(which isn't even a kind belly but a tomb or a jail)
In the name of those eating others' crumbs
(and chewing them still with the feeling of a thief)
In the name of those living on others' land
(the houses and factories and shops
streets cities and towns
rivers lakes volcanoes and mountains
always belong to others
and that's why the cops and the guards are there
guarding them against us)
In the name of those who have nothing but
hunger exploitation disease
a thirst for justice and water
persecutions and condemnations
loneliness abandonment oppression and death
I accuse private property
of depriving us of everything.
tr. Jack Hirschman
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Peggy picked a pepper off her paninni. Imagine!
Friday, May 8, 2009
When I concluded his long poem "Senorita X: Song for the Yellow-Robed Girl from Juarez," my eyes were wet, and I sat speechlessly for about 15 minutes, watching L.A. pass me from a charter bus window.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I looked up from my read, paused, then replied: "You don't even know." she smiled, laughed, and kept laughing as she crossed the street. I smiled, too, then continued to scratch my head while finishing up O'hara's "Second Avenue," but this time with a smile.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
In the tradition of nourishing and promoting creative voices of resistance the Red CalacArts Collective, aka the Redz (a project of Calaca Press), will be organizing their second annual writer’s workshop series, Vuelos Literarios. Recognizing the need to produce, nurture and guide community based writers the Redz hope to create the next generation of Calaca Press authors.
Each year the Redz will invite a distinct and experienced poet/writer/artist to facilitate the workshop series. This ensures diversity in workshop topics, target groups, and artistic perspective. The overall goal of the series is to create an environment of mentorship and exchange between older and younger generations of community writers.
Vuelos Literarios 2009
We are excited to announce that this year’s workshop, Conociendo La Calaca: (De)Constructing Poetic Structure, will be faciltated by Calaca Press author and editor Manuel J. Vélez.
- Creation of New Work -
- Publication -
All workshop participants will be asked to submit pieces developed during the workshop sessions to be published in a chapbook. The chapbook, Conociendo La Calaca, will be edited by the workshop facilitator, Manuel J. Vélez, and published by RedCalacArts Publications (an imprint of Calaca Press). Each participant will receive a minimum of 5 free copies of the completed chapbook.
- Public Reading -
Conociendo La Calaca
Deadline: Wednesday July 1, 2009.
About the Facilitator/Editor:
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The little keyboard reminds me of a show that i took in a few years ago. Elliot Smith played San diego, and he was so sweet. I was on crutches at the time (accident prone), and he walked past and said "are you ok," in this very small, wounded voice, and I'll never forget it.
Anyway, there were some dudes in ski masks outside the show with an acoustic guitar, casio keyboard, and a bucket playing pixies covers, and they were so good, and I loved everything that night so much!
I'll never forget Elliot Smith and his kindness and the time I read that he kicked some serious ass with his fists.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
We should be adding more on this site soon.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Finally found a copy of The Smiths Louder than Bombs. I used to have it on vinyl, cd, and cassette. Without it, I've felt like half a person, in a panic, I saw golden lights that oscillated wildly, now it's back to the old house.
Blame that album cover for seducing me into smoking years ago.
Been spending much time listening to Numbers lately.
I like to call people Bill Murray, too.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
RAUL R. SALINAS
March 17, 1934 - February 13, 2008
raúlrsalinas Guerrilla Chapbook Poetry Contest
1) Ten poems written in caló, Spanglish, English o en español
2) A short essay describing your community work
3) A short bio in third person
4) Personal info: full name (and pen name if applicable), age, occupation, education, address, phone number, email, and website
Please send as 2 separate Microsoft Word files using Helvetica font size 12. One file with poems and the other with personal info, bio and essay.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline: May 1, 2009
Deadline: May 1, 2009
The winner will be determined by a three judge panel including:
Louis G. Mendoza, Ph.D. - Editor of raúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon is My Pen
Rene Valdez - Executive Director of Red Salmon Arts
Brent E. Beltrán - Co-owner of Calaca Press and member of the Red CalacArts Collective
The judges will be looking for the following:
1) Well written poems whose themes and subject matter relate to the lifework and interests of raúlrsalinas
2) Creative use of language
3) Your community work
More about raúlrsalinas and the judges:
More about raúlrsalinas and the judges:
Louis G. Mendoza, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Chicano Studies at the
For more information on Red CalacArts, Calaca and Red Salmon:
For more information on Red CalacArts, Calaca and Red Salmon:
Red CalacArts Collective
(619) 434-9036 phone/fax
Calaca Press is a Chicano family-owned small publishing house dedicated to publishing and producing unknown, emerging, and established progressive Chicano and Latino voices. With a commitment to social justice and human rights Calaca Press strives to bring about change through the literary arts.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
More details later.
Until next time, it's Saturday and it's time to feel nice and be nice. So WAKE UP and be nice too!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Friday night was beautiful, though. My wife and I attended a small gathering of wonderful people at the home of Calaca Press owners, Brent and Consuelo (Chelo) Beltrán. Ana Castillo was the guest of honor, and in my humble opinion, so were the foods, drinks and sounds of Son Sin Fronteras, better captured here at Ana Castillo's blog. I bought a couple of books and had them signed, one for my sis, Janina, and the other for a student, who will hopefully dig "El chicle" like I first enjoyed it.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to see and hear and marvel at Ursula Rucker at the Kava Lounge in San Diego. She read with her guitarist and technological wizard on keyboards and drum machine. It was a tight performance in an intimate venue. When she started the set, the crowd was a bit sluggish, but that sluggishness soon vanished as the deep grooves worked their magic on our hips.
Some tracks reminded me of Tricky at his best. I wish I could've captured the night in a vial so that I could let a little out every once and awhile when shit was flat.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
* * *
I just read a tender portrait of Bukowski's fateful meeting with his hero, John Fante, in Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook. Of course, Bukowski disguises this literary giant in his piece by using one of his signature acts of deception, his use of the alias, where John Fante becomes John Bante! My favorite, though, has always been Allen Binsberg. Oh, and how can one forget Lawrence Berlingetti. It's been some time since I last purchased some Bukowski y los Bukis. Most of it is his typical posturing, with plenty of shine.
* * *
I'm currently waiting patiently for certain books to be released, one of which is Rebecca Schumejda's Falling Forward. Here's a dynamite poem that will be included, I believe, in her new book.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
* * *
Mexicali! Great bands! Here's another one: Maniqui Lazer.
* * *
Speaking of Mexicali, I'd love to get to la Serie del Caribe '09
Friday, January 23, 2009
I managed to catch ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake S.'s new band, Thorns of Life, last night at Bar Pink Elephant in N. Park.
"Filming punk shows is like dancing to architecture," he added, when someone on stage asked a few in the audience to stop recording the show. Huh?
Good to hear the old voice again.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Night Wraps the Sky: Writings and about Mayakovsky, edited by Michael Almereyda
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
Grave of Light, by Alice Notley
Arthur Rimbaud, by Enid Starkie
Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, by Paulo Freire
Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, by Modris Eksteins
Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, by Charles Bukowski
Driving and Drinking, by David Lee
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
He then goes on to write: "Why can't T.S. Eliot and Tupac Shakur and Bob Holman, all in this anthology, be studied together? They're all homies."
I'm especially interested in this anthology's section entitled "Manifestos," since my students will be writing their own in response to this present [teen]Age of Anxiety. Get it? Pieces by Amy Lowell, Haki Madhubuti, L. Ferlinghetti, Dead Prez, and several others are included.
Because we'll be looking at the first part of the 20th century, both WWs and so forth, one of the suggested readings will be Clifford's Blues by John A. Williams. I mention this here, because I once had the incredible pleasure of hearing John A. Williams read in San Francisco. I remember him sharing his libretto that night; we all listened, and it nearly brought my ass to tears. The look on his face as he listened to the music circulate the room was priceless, as they say--his eyes closed, the gentle smile. What possibilities! I remember thinking to myself.
And who introduced him that night? Yes, it was Ishmael Reed. What an evening!
While flipping through FTTHH, it was also nice to see a poem bien bad-ass by Ernesto Trejo. There's a copy of his Entering a Life at the Imperial Valley College that still bares a slight coffee cup stain from when I foolishly placed my mug near the book's edge. O, but how I loved that book! I'm sure it's forgiven me by now. Fire and water, the book's greatest enemies. Or is it the book burning asshole who drinks water after his sport?
Sunday, January 4, 2009
In other news, it was sad to hear about the passing of one of my favorite horn players, Freddie Hubbard. It especially hurts because I missed the chance to hear him play here not too long ago for his 70th birthday tour. My reason for missing, I don't have one. I fumbled. His work on the fluglehorn is some of my favorite. I'll be posting some vids during the week.