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.