Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

Laurie Ann Guerrero
Laurie Ann Guerrero discusses her new book A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying, winner of the 2012 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize on Words on a Wire with Daniel Chacon and Benjamin Alire Saenz.  The trio also discusses Canto Mundo, which happens to be occurring this weekend in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Well hold on there!  What's this?  I completely forgot about this tune until it showed its mug on the iPod shuffle during a pleasant bike ride on my rusty, crusty beach cruiser.  Damn you gotta love these lyrics.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Puerto del Sol Issue Out Now

Puerto del Sol 48:2
Thanks to the editors and staff at PUERTO DEL SOL for accepting one of my poems for publication in the new issue.  It looks great, and I can't wait to read it.

The cover art by Rachel B. Glaser is so rad.  It's called Aaron Rodgers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

La Nueva Canción

I'm a bit late on this one, but I finally watched Violeta se fue a los cielos last night with a couple of friends, and I was completely torn, dizzied, psychically disoriented, but enamored with Parra's work all over again.  The film is not a chronological study of Parra's life but a complex thread that moves in all directions, summoning memory, myth, heartbreak and fisted love all at once.  For me, her music's power is the ocean depth of her lyrics, her incredible phrasing, and her commitment to activism, although her politics were not touched much at all in the film.  Many will disagree, undoubtedly, but this is what I observed.  

Haunting.  Beautiful.  Necessary.

I want to watch Violeta again before it drifts away toward another place.

from Violeta se fue a los cielos

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Beat Hotel

A few days ago a good friend of mine called early in the morning to tell me that he saw me in a documentary called The Beat Hotel.  What?  The Beat Hotel?  I watched it a few months before and noticed nothing.  You joking, I said.  Imagine how I felt, he said, I was watching the documentary late at night when all of a sudden I see your big-ass head on the screen.  I jumped out of bed, he continued, to rewind the film in order to take a closer look.  Yeah, he said, you're sitting at a table near the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore entrance.  

That's when it all came back to me.  A few summers ago my wife and I were visiting Paris and of course I had to stop by the famous bookstore.  I remember obsessing over Jack Hirschman's The Arcanes printed by an Italian publisher.  I wanted it so bad but the price was a little too high for me at the time.  While there I maneuvered around a film crew but didn't think much of it.  A man was leading them through the store discussing something or another.  I never heard the word Beat.  I sat at a table and fingered through a copy of Le Monde which was addressed to George Whitman and enjoyed the rest of the beautiful day with my wife.  

It turns out that the film crew was there to interview Sylvia Whitman and to look around the shop to discuss its place in Beat history.  A place where Corso, Ginsberg and the others dropped in to feed on books.  Funny as hell to think that I somehow fell into this universe.  The shot is brief, probably not even a millisecond, but it's there in the film and will remain so.  

Below is a still from The Beat Hotel shot on my homeboy's cell phone off his tv.  Hilarious.