Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good News

I want to thank the San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Fund for providing me with a much needed grant. I also want to thank Seema Sueko and the Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company for selecting me for this awesome opportunity to collaborate. This will be the first year that this type of grant is awarded to individual artists and the arts organizations that work with them. I think it's an amazing step, and I hope it continues here in San Diego for a long time. Here's the write-up that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

One of the cooler songs of 2011. I'm excited to hear everything that 2012 has to bring, to read it, too. To contribute to it in some way or another. Exciting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just finished reading Craig Santos Perez's latest from Incorporated Territory [Saina]. It is amazing.


Prepping for my trip to El Salvador in a couple of weeks. I'm so excited.


Reading Maldoror. Wow!


Got some work coming out in Antique Children: A Mischievous Literary Art Journal Thanks Antique Children!


The Chargers are back!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I picked up an album this weekend entitled Sing Me A Song Of Songmy: A Fantasy for Electromagnetic Tape, featuring Freddie Hubbard and His Quintet, Composed by Ilhan Mimaroglu. On the cover of the album is "Massacre in Korea" by Pablo Picasso. This album includes reciters, string orchestra, hammond organ, synthesized and processed sounds. All haunting. Vietnam backdrop. Civil Rights. Poems by Che Guevara, Nha-Khe, Talat Sait Halman, and others. Pow. Never in my ears till this Sat. evening. Poof!


Wrote 4 new poems this weekend. Here's an excerpt from one: " , "


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just received the new issue of Palabra: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and I am happy. Pick up a copy.

Featured Authors:

Michael P. Aleman

Francisco Aragón

Atom Ariola

Gilbert Arzola

Xánath Caraza

Rubén Darío

Leticia Del Toro

Mario Duarte

Diana Ferraro

Michelle Lizet Flores

Jerry Garcia

Rigoberto González

Cynthia Guardado

Laurie Ann Guerrero

Stephen D. Gutiérrez

Rubén R. Mendoza

Calvin Mills

John A. Nieves

José-Luis Moctezuma

Michelle Otero

Melinda Palacio

Emmy Pérez

Luivette Resto

Louis Reyna

Caridad Svich

Rodrigo Toscano

Monday, November 21, 2011

Excited to see Death Grips tonight. Intense!

* * *

Here's some cool Ginsberg footage shot at DG Wills in La Jolla, California.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I saw the ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective,1972-1987! It was fantastic. A hip group, storming the boundaries. It was really cool to watch the interview footage of the group, too. Creating, creating, creating, they were. If you're in the area, make an effort to see it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicano Park and the Restoration Project

This Tuesday I had the good fortune to watch a bit of the Chicano Park Park Mural Restoration project. There I met up with novelist and artist, Maceo Montoya. You can see him working hard with his cousin Tomás Montoya on restoring the great, José Montoya's mural seen below. Maceo kindly introduced me to master muralists Esteban Villa and José Montoya. It was something to see José Montoya observe the progress on his mural. I chatted with Mr. Villa for some time and received an invaluable education on topics that ranged from life in the classroom to the beginnings of the Royal Chicano Air Force. 40 years of history that afternoon!

The restoration project will continue, so if you want to observe some of it, drop by and watch.

("Libertad" mural by Esteban Villa)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Things to Do On My Birthday Week

1. Check out the Asco retrospective and get completely excited. Scroll down and watch the Willie Herrón video. His voice sounds like someone I know, but I just can't place it yet. I am now closing my eyes and listening, though the person still does not come to me. As my homeboy, Alex, would say: mmmmmmmmmmmm.

2. Check out Ambrose Akinmusire play Miles Davis. I've written about him before--his work is amazing, and I can't wait to hear his Miles interpretations.

3. Buy new Rigoberto Gonzalez poetry collection Black Blossoms.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I heard this old classic today on the radio during our short road trip. O, how I used to feel so tragic. The Wedding Presents' Sea Monsters still sounds so current to me despite its 20 yr+ age.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raul Zurita at UCSD

It was only by chance that I read about the reading in the local weekly. It happened while waiting for an appointment, the uneventful type that simply allows us to remain in good standing with convenience.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear, meet and survive for days on end on the echoed verses of the great, Chilean poeta, Raul Zurita. This reading, sponsored by UCSD's New Writers Series, took place on campus at the Visual Arts Facility, a black box of a venue, that added further to the haunting atmosphere that Zurita's mutli-voiced poetry evokes. On location, was a representative of Action Books, who recently (2010)published a bilingual version of Zurita's Canto A Su Amor Desaparecido, originally published by Editorial Universitaria (Santiago, Chile, 1985). Poet, Daniel Borzutzky, translated the latest edition.

The reading began with Zurita reading from Purgatorio, with guest readers contributing English versions in tandem. The result of this reading was theatrical, chamber-like, two voices, two languages, exorcising the effects of Pinochet-era Chile.

Someone in the audience commented on Raul Zurita's frequent use of Chile's natural landscapes, most famously, the Atacama desert. In response, he stated, though much more vividly and eloquently, that because people were so brutally disposed of during this tragic era in Chile's history by using secret, though many times not-so-secret methods, Chile's natural geography was often the last living body to offer any compassion to these victims.

After the reading, I asked The Poet to sign my copy of Canto A Su Amor Desparecido. He did, graciously. "De donde eres?" he asked, our hands in a slowly-loosening handshake. " El Centro," I answered. "Ahhhhh..." he responded. Something in his face, in his expression, seemed strangely recognizable.

Zurita's Purgatorio is an important book to me for many reasons. For it is a document of witness, participant, memory, flesh, trauma, warning, triumph, in addition to so much more. To me, the work's beauty lies in the unflinching eye, the ineffable courage to strike back at the madness with verse.

Zurita His name, too, sky-written among the clouds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Post Book Fair Panel Sentimientos

I want to drop a big thank you to Virginia Escalante, professor and director of the San Diego City College International Book Fair. The event was marvelous. To see Wanda Coleman, Austin Straus, and Luis Rodriguez consecutively on Sat. was some cool hours spent. I also want to thank Angel Sandoval, currently a San Diego State University MFA candidate, for organizing the panel, and for delivering an awesome reading and presentation. As a fellow Imperial Valleyite, I am very proud of the work he's doing. It was also great to read with Manuel Velez, a poet and professor whose collection Bus Stop and Other Poems, has been a book that I've periodically returned to/to see how it's done.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Omar Salinas reads from his Crazy gypsy poems, 1973
I will be on a panel alongside poetas Manuel J. Velez and Angel Sandoval at the San Diego City College International Book Fair on Thursday. Come join us!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It is Saturday morning, and M is listening to Coltrane's A Love Supreme. She can't get enough of it. Meanwhile, I'm preparing submissions, and I'm reassuring these poems, that even if no one likes them, they were worth every cent of the roundtrip ticket I purchased for them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I just watched Strange Powers: Stephen Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. An old friend of mine turned me on to 69 Love Songs a number of years ago. I'm not sure I ever thanked her, but thank you. Never realized the controversy Stephen Merritt generated with his "List of Favorites." How many artists of color are on your iPod?

Cool to see Carrie Brownstein of Sleater Kinney in the documentary. "Stephen Merritt is superior to everyone else." Wow...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wrote a short poem called "Larry Levis."

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Currently reading Woodnote by Christine Deavel, Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems by David Trinidad, Passionate Declarations: Essays on War and Justice by Howard Zinn, and Historic Diary by Tony Trigilio (which I want to review).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

3 Things I'm looking forward to in September:

1. Das Racist new album Relax.

2. David Trinidad's new book Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems. I emailed David Trinidad once to tell him how much I loved his long poem "A Poem Under the Influence" from his wonderful collection The Late Show. I'm a fan. What can I say?

3. Check out Asco at LACMA

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beware San Diego and Tijuana! I'm there!

* * *

Mexicali is inching toward the Little League World Series final. Here's a nice story that was recently written in the Imperial Valley Press.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Click here to read some good poems by Sheryl Luna at Acentos Review.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm listening to Pet Sounds right now. If I didn't hate the beach so much I'd be on a surf board right now.

* * *

I can't wait to watch Miranda July's "The Future."

* * *

Philip Levine is the new poet laureate of the United States. Cool portrait by Robert Vasquez at Letras Latinas.

* * *

"His blood began to murmur in his veins, murmuring like a sinful city summoned from its sleep to hear its doom." O the Catholics!

from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

* * *

I remember digging this poem so much by Carolina Ebeid I read it every day for a couple of weeks, then periodically thereafter. It turns out Carolina was at CantoMundo this summer and I didn't put 2 & 2 together, as they say.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

El Field.

El Field. is an upcoming documentary about the Imperial Valley/Mexicali region. Watch the trailer here.

Thanks to Matt Amar for sending me the link.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's been some time since I've read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I just finished chapter one this morning and the part when Stephen Dedalus gets smacked on his hands by this priest for not having his glasses still gets me. O, the injustice!

* * *

The presentation and reading went well yesterday for the Upward Bound IV students. I had a good time. The students certainly showed passion, and I can't wait to hear about their future accomplishments.

One eerie note, I presented in the same classroom where I took a calculus class that kicked my ass so many years ago.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Suck

I'm really excited to have the opportunity to present for a group of Upward Bound students at UCSD today. What makes it especially special is that they are from the Imperial Valley. 50 high school students spending several weeks of their summer to invest in themselves academically. You gotta love it. My presentation will consist of a reading and a few shared experiences from my days in the college classroom. I hope it goes over well. In times like these, I can't help but remember Gysee-Yo's sage advice to herself, which really is a two word life philosopy: "Don't suck." She mentioned this to an audience at the Tucson Poetry Festival last year. She's amazing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Went to the bookstore yesterday with no title really in mind until I saw Michael Lally's It Takes One to Know One: Poetry and Prose and thought huh and bought it and while purchasing the collection I asked the young lady behind the cash register Yo, what in heavens are you listening to! it's rad somehow something new but old and she told me and I said wait wait let me write it down and she said ok and I wrote it and said have you heard of Ice Age have you heard of Chola Hair and she said no and I said check them out and I hurried home but first ducked into another store and bought some white sunglasses because my last pair suck and are broken because I am really bad with sunglasses and so I hurried home not really hurrying home because I don't like to drive fast I like to cruise you know so I busted through my door like Charles Bronson (not really) and downloaded the tune and now I play it for you I'm sure it's really old and I play it for the Canto Mundistas because they are all really cool, brilliant people as I wait for my wife to return from work to slow dance this tune in the middle of our living room before we drive up the coast while I tell her how much I like Benjamin Alire Sáenz's The Book of What Remains and how I wrote a poem about a snail and a poem about a skunk and hopefully the poems don't stink and if they do let them stink splendidly so so that when they are in the vicinity they are mistaken for none other than the skunk because no ideas but in things or something like that.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Had the opportunity to see and hear HR last night. He and his band closed with the Bad Brains' "Re-Ignition." Controversial figure--yes. Artist--yes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Return

Below are a few pics from CantoMundo. For more, you can visit Eduardo Corral's site. The whole experience was a blast. Austin was hot with latin@ poetry and deep platica this weekend! Here's to new friends, and in raúlrsalinas' words, here's to more "righteous gente work."

I hope to post more about CantoMundo in the future.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This George Yepes (print) hangs over my desk now. Some kind of muse.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I/m happy to share that I/ll be participating at this year/s San Diego City College Intl. Book Fair in October. The highlight for me will undoubtedly be sitting on the same panel as Leroy V. Quintana. I/ve been a long time admirer of his work. I/ll have more info. as the event draws nearer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CantoMundo Is Around the Corner

For immediate release

Nationally recognized Latino Poets from across the U.S. offer a free public reading in Austin, Texas.

Friday, July 8, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Free. Open to the public.
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Arts Center
600 River Street Austin, TX 78701
More than 20 nationally recognized Latino poets from across the U.S. will gather in Austin, Texas, for CantoMundo, a national poetry workshop dedicated to supporting and developing Latina/o poetics.

On Friday, July 8, 2011, at 7:30 p.m., these poets will present a free poetry reading that will be open to the public at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Arts Center. A reception will follow the reading.

These participants in CantoMundo represent the best of Latina/o poetry in the United States. Some of the featured award-winning and nationally recognized poets include: Millicent Borges Acardi (New York City), Francisco Aragón (Washington D.C.), Oscar Bermeo (California), Eduardo Corral (Arizona), Carolina Ebeid (Austin, Texas), Amalia Ortíz (Texas/California), Luivette Resto (California), and ire’ne lara silva (Austin, Texas), among others.

CantoMundo provides a space where Latina/o poets can nurture and enhance their poetics; lecture and learn about aspects of Latina/o poetics currently not being discussed by the mainstream publishers and critics; and network with peer poets to enrich and further disseminate Latina/o poetry. For the complete list of CantoMundo poets, please visit


Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American poet, is the author of three books: Injuring Eternity, Woman on a Shaky Bridge (chapbook), and Only More So (forthcoming Salmon Press, Ireland). She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Barbara Deming (Money for Women), the Formby Foundation at Texas Tech as well as residencies at Yaddo, Jentel, Vermont Studio, Fundación Valparaíso in Mojacar, and Milkwood in Cesky Krumlov.

Francisco Aragón is the author of Puerta del Sol and Glow of Our Sweat, as well as editor of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry. He directs Letras Latinas—the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also the editor of “Canto Cosas,” a book series from Bilingual Press featuring new Latino and Latina poets. For more information, visit:

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below and To the Break of Dawn. He lives in Oakland, where he teaches creative writing to elementary school students, co-edits Doveglion Press and blogs.

Eduardo C. Corral won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His first book will be published in April 2012.

Carolina Ebeid was born in West New York, NJ and now lives in Austin, TX where she is a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers and the poetry editor of the Bat City Review. Her poems appear in Agni, Poetry, West Branch, Gulf Coast, 32 Poems, Anti-, Memorious, and many other journals.

Amalia Ortíz is a performance poet and a playwright. After living in Los Angeles for almost five years, she is moving back to Texas this summer.

Luivette Resto was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. Her first book of poetry, Unfinished Portrait, was published in 2008 by Tia Chucha Press and was named a finalist for the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize.

ire’ne lara silva is the author of furia, a collection of poetry, and two chapbooks: ani’mal and INDíGENA. She is the 2008 recipient of the Gloria Anzaldua Milagro Award and an inaugural CantoMundo fellow.  Website:

For more information about the event, contact Celeste Mendoza at or Deborah Paredez at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Student Art Exhibition

As a semester-long project with a group of 43 high school juniors, we explored several social/cultural movements that rose hard against oppressive institutional powers in 20th/21st century America (U.S.). Students were asked to conduct research, study and write original (historical) micro-fiction, write personal narratives, and create a piece of art in the spirit of Ken Kesey's Jail Journals. In addition, students were asked to consider some of the iconic figures and/or images associated with these movements and how their meanings have morphed or remained intact since their inception. These efforts culminated with an exhibition at the Centro Cultural de la Raza at San Diego's Balboa Park where students shared their art and read from their very own chapbooks. Yes, that's right, each student created multiple copies of hand-made chapbooks with original writings and art which graced the covers.

Rarely do I comment on my life as a high school teacher here, but I wanted to share that the student exhibit will be on display at the Centro through June 15th. If possible, please try and check it out.

My teaching partner and I are proud of their work. Eventually, I would like to link some photos of the opening. Lots of food, music, and righteousness.

Below are some samples of the work. Anyone interested in a student chapbook, please hit me up, and I can see what I can do. The writings incorporated in the art pieces are both original and primary source materials.

In closing, we are grateful for having had the opportunity to collaborate with the Centro on this endeavor.

*Note, each art piece is approx. 16 X 18in.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Akinmusire Rocked It

Straight from Stockholm, Ambrose Akinmusire and his group played an amazing show even while exhausted from the long trip back to the States. Apparently, this show was a tune-up for a performance that will take place on June 11th at the Hollywood Bowl. The night began with his tune "Confessions to My Unborn Daughter," the first track off his album When the Heart Emerges Glistening. As previously mentioned, the set kicked ass, and there were several moments when I couldn't keep myself in my seat. The half-valve work he incorporated throughout was exquisite!

What was refreshing and pure to see was how much fun the band was having on stage. These musicians were actually smiling. Of course, this band has been playing together for some time as far as I know. Saxophonist, Walter Smith III, also struck me thoughout the evening, with his big, husky sound.

All in all, the performance at the 200-seat Athenaeum Jazz at the Studio was impressive, and I must say it was one of the best I've seen in a long time.

*Here's an older article on Akinmusire, his band, and his new album.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My plan is to see Bomba Estereo tonight!
My plan is to see the Twilight Singers Friday.
My plan is to breathe deeply, to really breathe deeply.
My plan is to write more poems.
My plan is to stay focused long enough to write more poems.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Like the man who walked
his three-legged dog
in Central Park--
Pride and pathos
struggling in his face--
I consider my life
and my art.

-Harvey Shapiro

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Very excited. Saturday night we'll be checking out the unmistakable tone of Ambrose Akinmusire. His arrangements are incredible.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

As my students were mounting their paintings today at the Centro Cultural de la Raza for tomorrow's evening exhibition, we were fortunate enough to have the muralist, Guillermo Chavez Rosette, give our students a history lesson on the Centro and some of the seminal moments that have taken place at the venue. He shared with us that he is currently in town working hard on the mural restoration at Chicano Park. It was a special moment for all of us.


O, I've been reading Vallejo! Puro Vallejo! Strange, beautiful, dark verses! I feel 18 feet tall.

Monday, May 9, 2011


En las horas inquietas de ciertos amaneceres los oigo galopar. Su locura y su confusión recuerdan la dinámica de los oceanos, el ir y venir de las olas, el rugir de las marejadas, la insaciable ir de las tempestades. So los caballos perdidos en la fiebre del poeta muerto. Caballos apenas concebidos, ni realidad ni metáfora. Mas yo los oigo incansables--como la sangre arrebatada en un cuerpo sin sombra--ir acá para allá buscando las orillas de un sueño ya imposible.

Caballos sin nadie que los sueñe.

--Rafael Perez Estrada

Monday, May 2, 2011

Imperial Valley Film and Art Fest

The Imperial Valley's inaugural Film and Arts Festival will be this weekend. Two friends of mine will be featured: Raul Celaya and Daniel Gibson. Raul was the executive producer for the film That Evening Sun, starring Hal Holbrook. The movie is beautiful and should be recognized as some of Hal Hobrook's finest work. Holbrook's late wife, the inimitable Dixie Carter, also appears in the film.

On the art side, Daniel Gibson will be showing his work. He is an exceptional graphic artist whose work I was fortunate to have on the cover of my book Death of a Mexican and Other Poems, along with the calacas that appeared before each section. Daniel and I also collaborated on a VisPo piece that was published in the summer 2008 issue of Rattle. Be sure to check it out--it's pretty cool.

Also, Ernesto Yerena (another Centro native) will be presente as a guest artist. He's currently producing righteous-gente-work with his socially conscious/brilliant pieces. Check him out here.

For anyone in the area, please try to make it. You won't regret it!
Collage is easier said than done. New Paris Review features a work by Joe Brainard, among others.


Muchos escritores e intelectuales argentinos expresaron su pesar por el fallecimiento de Sabato. "Con él termina toda una generación de escritores que nos fue dejando despacito y que da pie a la próxima", afirmó Claudia Piñera. El también novelista Guillermo Martínez, matemático de formación, aseguró que siempre hay que seguir leyendo a Sabato, aunque no cree, como él, que haya que renegar de la ciencia para dedicarse la literatura ni que las dos cosas sean incompatibles.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I close the book. I'm going out for a walk."
--Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre


To walk, ah nah,
to ride bike and listen to Obits' right now
on iPod even though
I've been pulled over on occasion
with warnings to remove ear buds
while riding
or else


"But her! But him! But them! What about them?"



Friday, April 22, 2011

Cherríe Moraga at UCSD

Had the opportunity to listen to Cherríe Moraga last Thursday night at UCSD. It was a 2 hour presentation that included readings from her new book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: A Decade of Discourse-- to be published by Duke University Press in Spring 2011, and a 30 minute viewing of her mixed-media play,La Semilla Caminante (The Traveling Seed).

Moraga's overall presentation opened my head and centered me in a way that I needed, as she spoke of loss, the (re)membering of the (dis)membered, the attack on ethnic studies in Arizona, among other equally engaging topics. (I recorded parts of the presentation and intend to include more specifics soon)

I'm glad I made the long drive to La Jolla after a long day of work--I nearly caved to the post-jale yawn. There were many in the audience and the vibe was beautiful.

This was my first opportunity to hear Cherríe Moraga in person, and it was a magnificent experience. Looking forward to her new book.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hope to catch Olga Garcia Echeverria today at UCSD as part of their New Writing Series. Hope she reads "Conversation Between Two Dead Bilingual Roaches."

************************************************************************************** from I ASKED by James Schuyler
I want to take my dishes to the stream and wash them.
I will wear my overcoat and a green silk square and gloves.
I will sing songs we learned at school and my dishes will float and sing among rocks to become houses for trout. I will come home.
It will be as before, for who wishes the love
in his heart to die lives in terror of its death.

from the collection Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Calexico reading this weekend was wonderful. Thank you to The Calexico Cultural Arts Center, headed by Sandra Tauler and the dedicated staff, all of whom created a great space to usher in National Poetry Month. I also want to spotlight SDSU MFA grad student, Angel Sandoval, originally from Brawley, for making it happen. His contagious enthusiasm and profound love for the Word is gonna pump inspiring works into our community, clearly evident in his emcee duties and poetry reading on Sat. For those of you not from the area, the Imperial Valley/Mexicali took a huge hit by a 7.2 earthquake exactly 1 year ago today. I'm sure it's on many people's minds there, but they continue to walk forward courageously, alongside the still visible destruction in certain parts of these towns. A good friend of ours lost her brick fireplace and chimney. So what does she and her husband do, they use the brick to build a beautiful porch. I wasn't in town for the earthquake, so I can't really comprehend the scale. You just have to wonder about Japan, Haiti, and Chile. Coping with loss. Reconstruction. Displaced and frightened children. To consider poetry and poetry readings and National Poetry Month seems almost insignificant in comparison to the devastation that has affected so many, but to paraphase Mr. Sandoval, poetry has properties that are medicinal; therefore, it is absolutely necessary.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez

I just finished rereading Parrot in the Oven over the last couple of days and I am still floored by the control and restraint in the writing, the exquisite metaphors, and of course, the resilient narrator. The scene when Manny's father picks up Magda and places her in the bathtub still punches me in the gut. (Don't want to ruin so I'll stop here) It's stunning! Over the years, several of my high school students have read this book and loved it, many recommending it to friends. "Lopez, I liked it when..." "Lopez, that sucked when Manny..." "Lopez, I gave it to my little sister to read." Unfortunately, Mr. Martinez recently passed. To read about Victor Martinez's passing, read here. And here. What a loss, but he certainly left something beautiful behind. Read this book if you haven't already. And if you have read it, read it again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

PJ Harvey

I'm obsessed with PJ Harvey's song "In the Dark Places." I can't stop playing it; I can't stop hearing it. It's been the soundtrack of my dreams and nightmares lately. My naps. My jogs.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Chapbook

New 1984 chapbook is in the house. Collect all 5 day-glo colors.

Send me a note if interested in acquiring the year for your very own.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey Perfesser, get that bicycle off your nose!

from Screaming My Head Off

You people
of the future
Running back
over the past,
Shining a light
back over your shoulder,
You'll probably
want to learn
about me,

Vladimir Mayakovsky
Adaptation by Ron Padgett

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gronk's A Giant Claw

I've been engaging Gronk's cool new book A Giant Claw by drawing more in my own journal. I'm so horrible at it, but it's my horror.
Click on the image for more information about the book.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CantoMundo 2011!

I am absolutely grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the CantoMundo experience this summer. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to meeting everyone.

CantoMundo 2011 Fellows:

¡Felicitaciones! to the CantoMundo 2011 Fellows:
• Millicent Bórges Accardi
• Diana Marie Delgado
• Carolina Ebeid
• Benjamín A. García
• Rodney Gomez
• Laurie Ann Guerrero
• Leticia Hernández-Linares
• Manuel Paul López
• Carl Marcum
• Juan J. Morales

CantoMundo 2011 will convene July 7-10, 2011, in Austin, Texas.
More about CantoMundo here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Derecho de propiedad

Nada es tan mío
como el mar
cuando lo miro

-Elías Nandino

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reading Trakl

Currently reading Georg Trakl: Poems and Prose, translated by Alexander Stillmark.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, who acted as Trakl's benefactor when the chips were down, said of the poet's work when he first read it: "I don't understand them. But their tone delights me. It is the tone of true men of genius."

Here's a poem called "At Night."

The blueness of my eyes has gone out this night,

The red gold of my heart. O how tranquil the light shone.

Your blue mantle enfolded the sinking man;

Your red mouth sealed your friend's dark derangement.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here's my poem "The Scales" with audio at the glorious Rattle.

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I have a broadside of a poem by Edwin Torres that I'm trying to find the perfect spot for on the wall. It's called "A Man of Two."