Sunday, December 2, 2012


I watched Eternal Gaze this weekend, a work inspired by the life and art of Alberto Giacometti.  It's been out for a few years, though I've never seen it.  It's really beautiful.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We have leapt from the belly of our mother, or from the edge of a star,
and we're falling...

Here's your parachute, Man, wonderful as vertigo.
Here's your parachute, Poet, wonderful as the charms of the chasm.
Here's your parachute, Magician, which one word of yours can trans-
form into a parashoot, wonderful as the lightening bolt that tries to blind
the creator.

What are you waiting for?
But here is the secret of the Gloom that forgot how to smile.
The parachute waits tied to the gate like the endlessly runaway horse.

from Altazor, by Vicente Huidobro   Tr. Eliot Weinberger

Monday, October 15, 2012

Click on the poster!

A CantoMundo Regional Reading in San Francisco

It was such a fantastic opportunity to read some poetry at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts this past Saturday night for SF's Lit Crawl.  The space was beautiful and warm, and it was certainly an honor to share the stage with poetas Javier Zamora, Angel Garcia, Leticia Hernández-Linares, Oscar Bermeo, Raina J.  Leon, and Juan Luis Guzman.  

I was feeling a little under the weather at the start of the evening, but needless to say, it quickly subsided when these poets' verses took flight.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I am so excited about the following:

LA JOLLA-The UC San Diego University Art Gallery (UAG) teams up with Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI) to present a customized version of Living as Form (The Nomadic Version). The exhibition is an unprecedented, international project exploring over twenty years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, emphasizing participation, dialogue, and community engagement.

About the Community Commissions:

 Agitprop, an initiative that uses the form of the gallery to connect artists, activists, and individuals as a network of agents, will facilitate an incubator non-profit organization called Connect San Diego. Connect San Diego assists people with developmental disabilities in establishing independent living practices through the mapping of localized "assets" in their respective communities. In the incubator space occupying the UAG, Agitprop and Connect San Diego will implement the strategy of "asset mapping" by applying it to the campus and the neighborhoods where Agitprop and Connect San Diego work.

 Cog•nate Collective will create an onsite and offsite component of the exhibition. Cog•nate Collective conducts a continuous series of interventions at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border, one of the busiest land crossings in the world. Cog•nate collective will be engaging disparate groups and individuals at the border and recording a series of interviews, debates, storytelling, performances, and poetry readings. The recordings will be broadcasted in segments via a low-range informal radio transmission over four weeks of the exhibition and accessible through mobile listening stations situated at the border and in the UAG gallery space.

The Periscope Project (TPP) is committed to the nexus of art, architecture, and regional urban issues. TPP will have a multivalent presence in the exhibition. TPP will outline the impetus of their collaboration with local institutions, present case studies of these collaborations, and design a project developed specifically for the exhibition titled Building Blocks: Investigating the Prohibitive / Potential Scale of Redevelopment. By way of examining our core Building Blocks and prompting consideration for the base units of urban development, TPP wishes to detect hidden systems and generate conversations engaged at the level of the built environment.

The UAG is also partnering with There Goes the Neighborhood (TGTN) for a half-day program. Since its founding, TGTN has organized and hosted a series of multi-day, multi-venue events to stimulate dialogue, exchange, and critical thinking among a variety of publics across San Diego. On November 3rd, TGTN will extend its program to host What's the Use?, a three part event that includes a video panel/forum about contemporary urban issues, a dining performance at Art Produce Gallery, and a second iteration of TGTN's Critical Postcards event at the former North Park Post Office.

Torolab, a collective of artists, architects, and designers based in Tijuana, will present the Transborder Farmlab project. Situated in one of Tijuana's most impoverished neighborhoods, the Transborder Farmlab project is a hub within a wider metropolitan initiative to develop the creative capacities of Camino Verde residents towards economic, social, and cultural empowerment. Torolab will present the Transborder Farmlab project in the UAG, while also conducting a workshop series in Tijuana with the constituents of the Transborder Farmlab on socially engaged art practices. The series will utilize the Living as Form archive and culminate in an informal exhibition of Living as Form (The Tijuana Version).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"It's like 30 days out of the month I'm pretty boring and 1 day out of the month I'm pretty rad."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nearing the End of My Year with the CCF Grant

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company Invites you to a reading of excerpts from

Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 6:00 PM reception
reading starts at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 6:00 PM reception
reading starts at 6:30 PM

Manuel Paul López
Luivette Resto
Bill Caballero

Join us on October 9 or October 10 at 6:00 PM for a night of poetry, music and food. For more information or to make a reservation, email

Please click here for more details!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Margaret Noble: 44th and Landis

Fellow CCF grant recipient and colleague, Margaret Noble, has her phenomenal installation on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Museum San Diego. Check out details here: Margaret Noble: 44th and Landis.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

To see Julio Cortázar's Rayuela (Hopscotch) in its manuscript form at UT Austin's Benson Library's Latin American Collection was a miracle. We also saw and touched Gloria Anzaldua's manuscript of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Meztiza, and works by Alurista, among others. The room was buzzing. I swear I witnessed Canto Mundistas levitating, as I felt the sealing touch the top of my head.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What a great image. It makes my heart happy. The Local Pub and Patio near UT Austin is the new Cedar Tavern/San Remo, so there! Call it takeover! Take note, there were many Canto Mundistas not present, peeps I surely missed.

My new favorite song for the moment is Frank Ocean's "Lost." His word play and phrasing is amazing all over Channel Orange. Replay. Replay. Replay.

Been back into Genet when someone mentioned my old friend in Austin. Read The Maids last night. Boom!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Congratulations Seema Sueko!

Congratulations to Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company’s Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director extraordinaire, Seema Sueko. It has recently been announced that she is a recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) prestigious and inaugural “Leadership U[niversity] One-on-One Grant.” The $75,000 award will provide Seema Sueko with a 16-month in-depth mentorship with Molly Smith, Artistic Director of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC.

During Thursday evenings announcement and reception, Seema expressed her gratitude to the people and organizations who have helped Mo`olelo establish itself as a venue for diverse voices and storytelling, values and contributions to local and national theater that have now been recognized via this prestigious grant. Please see photos from the evening and read more here about the actual grant.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Essay

Wow, thanks R.S.! Read this new essay at the Red Fez by poet, Rebecca Schumejda. Her new poetry collection, Cadillac Men, will be out from New York Quarterly Books on October 15th.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Can I say that I wept when I first heard this Willis Earl Beal song? To everyone and one who might be feeling pain at this moment. I am with you.

Just returned from this year's Canto Mundo, and I can't say enough about how fulfilling it was. It was a great time, and I do plan to report more on different aspects of the events soon. But in honor of Dr. Raina J. León's beautifully sung version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" in Austin, here's Miles Davis' take on the same song. I've been humming this tune since Austin, and it sure feels good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


First, I want to thank those of you who voted for Amy Sanchez’s story “A Year in the Life: Manuel Paul López’s 1984” a week or so ago over at Artbound. I also want to thank Seema Sueko for posting the link to the Mo`olelo blog as soon as the story entered the running for video production. Here’s a brief explanation of the process I plucked from the Artbound website: “Each week we select the most compelling article and produce a short video documentary based on the story. Every other Month, we compile the best online material to create a TV episode. We pick it, they make it, you watch it.”

KCET’s Artbound is a fantastic new web-based forum featuring stories about southern California arts and culture, written and filmed by an impressive list of accomplished contributors. Please check out more of these unique stories and documentaries when you have the opportunity, and please spread the word! I also want to take this opportunity to thank the good people at Artbound for the overall experience, and for the beautiful rendering of my little book on film.

The story originally came to pass when Amy Sanchez, a local San Diego writer and core member of the influential, cog•nate collective, first approached me about the possibility of developing a story about my work and its affiliation with the Imperial Valley. Needless to say, I said sure, and we both soon sat down for a few cups of coffee at a café in Golden Hill to discuss literary influences, music, future projects, and of course, our relationship with the Valle Imperial. (I can’t say enough about how refreshing it was to talk about my admiration for Joe Brainard’s work during these caffeinated conversations).

Because the story was voted on to the next stage—which was the making of the short video based on Amy’s original story—the result was a day in El Centro and Calexico filming familiar sites and sounds, in addition to reading excerpts from the book that later became the voiceover in the video.

Unfortunately the El Centro Public Library, which is shown in the opening sequence of the video, has been deemed unsafe for public consumption following the 7.2 earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley and Mexicali on April 4th, 2010. There’s a small sign on the door announcing my old friend’s dire fate. The library’s contents are currently being housed at a temporary location as plans for a new, permanent home are discussed. In addition to this, the iconic El Centro water tower was also damaged during the quake and was demolished soon after due to the structural damage it sustained.

See photographs of the demolition here at Dennis Logue’s blog.

The tower used to be the tallest structure in El Centro, and it always captivated me for this reason, as it loomed over us with its precious cargo like some great protector in the desert.

Well, thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the video—

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spread your arms out wide and think of your hands as a marquee: now call your next novel: The Ballad of the Broken Birdie.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"There are no longer anymore intermediaries"

New Post at Mo'olelo & On Carlos Fuentes

A bit late linking my post here from over at Mo'olelo.

* * *

Today the world lost a literary giant in Carlos Fuentes, the man who once said (many times, I'm sure) that he loved eating critics for breakfast, eating them like chicken then throwing the bones away. I used to show my high school creative writing class a documentary (VHS) about Carlos Fuentes where he used the chicken bone expression above, and oh how they got a kick out of it. I often wondered if I subsequently became the chicken bones at the feet of their desks as the semester proceeded. Needless to say, Fuentes was obviously a controversial figure during his lifetime, and I imagine he will continue to be so now that he has passed. Whether you liked his work or not, or if you're one of those who estimates the writer based on his public dramas, the shelves will remain filled with his works, and they will continue to engage readers for years to come. The image I loved to watch arrived at the end of the documentary mentioned above: Carlos Fuentes, sitting at his typer, surrounded by a lush garden in his patio, first begins to peck with his right hand's index finger, as if re-aquainting himself with the machine. This movement, this mechanism, then, quickly becomes a one-fingered staccato that rattles off words at amazing speeds, credits rolling, music cued, as a high school teacher and his students sit at their desks with mouths open and hearts racing in disbelief.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just got my mitts on the new Death Grips album The Money Store. Kaboom!
In the last 48 hours I've read Waiting for Godot and Amiri Baraka's Blues People. I'm so proud of myself. Sometimes I feel like Lucky. Sometimes I feel like Pozzo. Sometimes I feel like Didi. Sometimes I feel like Gogo.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Banned and challenged books to find a home at the Centro Cultural de la Raza. Read about it at La Bloga.

* * * * * * * *

This Saturday was the 6th Annual Statewide Association of Raza Educators Conference (ARE) at Lincoln High School in San Diego. One of the keynote speakers was, Sean Arce, director of Tucson Unified School District's Mexican American Studies program. From the conference program: "Currently, however, there is a battle going on in Arizona against this program. Opponents are right wing politicians that have run on a platform of eliminating "Raza Studies" in Arizona. The tool to destroy the program is HB2281, which aims to make the program illegal. These same politicians have consistently ignored the unprecedented successes of the program. The outcome of this case could undo the historical advances that TUSD has accomplished."

Despite the weather, the conference was engaging and well-organized. Organizers of the event also remembered the very important educator, Ernesto Bustillos (March 2, 1951-March 26, 2012).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Two bands I can't stop listening to: A & B, respectively. After I post this I'm off to the mailbox to drop off some submissions to various magazines. Padres? Or Dodgers?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Juan Felipe Herrera in UT San Diego, along with his early ties to the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Joe Brainard and Looking for Lenny Trailer

Joe Brainard's Collected Writings. Out soon!


Looking for Lenny
trailer here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Lenny Bruce!

I was fifteen-years-old when I was first confronted by the work of Lenny Bruce. This came via the Christian Slater movie Pump up the Volume. Slater's character starts a pirate radio station in his parents' suburban home basement in Phoenix, Arizona. From a sleepy-ass community, "Happy Harry Hard-on," as Slater's character called himself, stirs trouble when he realizes the power he possesses over the airwaves. Songs by Bad Brains, The Pixies, and The Jesus and Mary Chain blast nightly as Happy Harry Hard-on stirs his classmates toward a social revolution. Inspired by Bruce, the thoughtful loner, Mark(Slater's character), inspires others to think for themselves and to take the future into their own hands. At the end of the movie, Mark...

Lenny Bruce fascinated me immediately. I watched documentaries and read bios, preparing for the revolution I was going to help ignite in El Centro, California. My band of misfits united! I rented the Dustin Hoffman flick, Lenny, from Video 2000, and paid dearly in late fees and scowls from the owner at the counter. Bruce tackled racism, class, and other institutions in ways that no one had done before him. Reading about this dude inspired me to pick up the pen and play music, to think more closely about how humor could be used to combat social problems. In short, it was an education that was so removed from high school textbooks, yet evaluated the power structures that were glorified within them, that I was immediately intoxicated and grew ten feet a day as I ingested this stuff.

I mention this now, because one of my oldest friends has recently completed Looking for Lenny, a documentary project about the legacy of Lenny Bruce that he's (and his associates) been working on over the last few years. I remember the initial stages of the project: biographies and papers everywhere in his (Matt Amar) small room in Banker's Hill, San Diego, just a few blocks from San Diego's The Casbah. That's where it began. And now it's available on demand and Netflix. Luminaries in the film include Paul Krassner, Lewis Black, Sandra Bernhard, Robin Williams, and others.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company's How I Got That Story Featured

Voice of San Diego has launched a new series about the arts called "Arts Embedded." Check out the story here. Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company has recently been featured. Check out the series in four parts: 1), 2), 3), 4).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Here's a little song from Stephin Merritt's Obscurities that I've been playing over and over again. I love how the song washes out at the end.


Two poetry collections that I'm looking forward to this spring:

Javier O. Huerta's American Copia
Eduardo C. Corral's Slow Lightening

Do yourself a favor and acquire them as well.

Monday, January 30, 2012

from a Notebook

"Sometimes I think my tongue is a desert praying for rain!"

-Benjamin Alire Saenz


"If you draw a tree the way it really looks, no one will believe you."

-Joe Brainard


Telephone Booth 32439

if you hit a poet
& he doesn't hit you back
leave town immediately
take out life insurance
get a new identity
unite with transvestites
sleep with unlisted numbers!

-Pedro Pietri

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dia de la Mujer Celebration--Jury Exhibition

Casa Familiar's THE FRONT announces 5th Annual Dia de la Mujer Celebration--Jury Exhibition. Click here for guidelines!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recently returned from El Salvador. Here's a photo from Ilamatepec. I want to post more photos soon.