Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lorna Dee Cervantes - Poetry Foundation Blog Unplugged

Lorna Dee's unplugged first blog for the Poetry Foundation can be found here - for as ever long as it's up, the permalink is zapped as is all mention of my name:

August 28, 2006 - "On The Writer Who Never Writes; Or, When Good Things Come In the Mail (Why I Blog)" (Includes new poem, "Shelling the Pecans," which can also be found at Didi's Café Café, where the cool poets congregate. I'll be posting this page as soon as it, too, diss-appears.

August 29, 2006 - "Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters" (Delivered at the AWP conference, Austin, March, 2006)

August 30 - "Poetry and the Rise of the Creative Class" (on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, for New Orleans, and for you)

August 31 - "The Best Poets Make the Best Publishers"

September 1 - "On Neglect, Knowledge, and the Neglectorinos" (which becomes all the more relevant in context)

September 2 - "Fencing Flarf, Foetry and The New Sincerity; Or, All's Clear On the Poetry Front"

September 3 - "To Voice or Not to Voice -- That Is the Answer; Or, On Thinking Stuff Over On My Birthday"

I'll fill in the links as I post. Guess I'm not working under their deadline anymore. I wish I were. I have decided to circulate the essay on Xicanerati as I guess they don't own the copyright. I was hoping to place it somewhere, then, when first approached by the Poetry Foundation for a week's worth of blogs for the end of July, I decided to *give* it to them. Please, if you like this piece: "Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters", then go ahead and copy it, repost it on your blogs and sites, republish it -- with proper credit, of course, as I retain copyright. Please credit this blog and include url. It breaks my heart that this did not receive the exposure I had hoped, and the names of these writers were left outside the gate. I find the actions of the Poetry Foundation rude, at best, and an unconscionable exploitation and disrespect of writers. Just because they had an email glitch, I should not have to abandon the rest of my blogging, nor should they cut off the comments on my first post for them and erase all mention of me from the site. This behavior begs lots of questions. Ni modo. Time to Greeze. Take this essay and shove it -- on your site. Gracias and grace. - Lorna Dee Cervantes

Alfred Arteaga - Let's Make This Man A Postmodern Miracle - 8/30 Benefit in Oakland Tonight

Alfred Arteaga's Heart Fund
Poet, Xicano litcrit, Professor Alfred Arteaga
Alfred Arteaga Fundraiser 8/30/06
Donate now.

On June 19th our father, Alfred Arteaga, underwent surgery so that stem cells could be injected into his heart. The operation was a success.

It has been a month now, and he should begin noticing the benefits of stem cell therapy any time now.

In 1999 our father suffered a massive heart attack and spent six weeks in a coma. He survived but spent a year in recovery, learning to walk again. He improved greatly and went back to full time teaching at Berkeley. Then in 2005 he suffered a second heart attact and has been in and out of the hospital. He continues to teach full time but needed treatment, a heart transplant. Because he did not want a transplant, we looked for alternative treatments.

We found an experimental program of stem cell treatment that is proving to be successful in cases like his. Doctors cultivated his own stem cells to infuse them into his heart, 28 million stem cells in this case. The procedure should strengthen his heart and improve its ejection fraction, the effectiveness of its pumping.

The most effective procedure of this kind was developed by a US cardiologist and is done by doctors in Thailand. This is because US hospitals are in trials now, as the procedure is not yet FDA approved. We did not feel we could wait years for the approval process to run its course.

There are links below for more information. To do the procedure we received much support and donations from many people. If you would like to donate, please follow the link, How to Give.

Thank you to everyone for your generosity and support.

Marisol, Xóchitl, and Mireya Arteaga
Click for more information and to donate now.
[Update from LDC: Alfred is a survivor and combatiente del corazon. He is getting stronger and is in good spirits -- same incomparable humor and wit. He is teaching at Berkeley again, where he remains a popular teacher. His new book, Frozen Accident, is forthcoming with blurbs from Cherrie Moraga and JuanFelipe Herrera. I can't wait. You can visit with him at the benefit. Or visit Alfred's website to read excerpts, see more pics, videos and order books.]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lorna Dee's Poetry Foundation Blog Post for Tuesday - Shut down!

I am so disappointed I'm going to cry! Evidently, the Poetry Foundation email system is trashing my emails and they didn't receive the long blog post I sent at 5 am this morning -- well before the 9 am deadline. Then, I happened to come home between classes today to print something, and had an email that they hadn't received it. I sent an email, then sent it about four more, then forwarded all those. It's like talking into a phone where you know they can't hear you. Now, evidently, it's too late. They finally got one email when I took off the cc they asked me to add, and it's too bad, but they are going ahead and replacing me for the week. It's so disappointing. I stay up all night typing in order to get it in on time, and they don't get it. You would think, for all the resources, they could just set up a group blog like CafeCafe and we can do our own uploading. I've been working on these posts since June. I've been working all night for 3 nights in a row. It's a lot of work for me to write prose. My email record clearly shows that I sent it, along with about 8 more. DANG! I'm going to cry. I guess I'm not blogging for the Poetry Foundation after all, contract or no.

Political glitches?

Oh well, here's what you would have read at the Poetry Foundation website. Just click on "Journals" under "Dispatches" to read my introductory post and a brand new poem, "Shelling the Pecans." And you can read whomever they get to replace me. Yikes, here come the tears...

(In honor of the Chicano Moratorium, August 29, I post this paper delivered March 10 in Austin, Texas, at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference panel, "The Role of the Activist Chicano Poet.")

Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry — Towards What Matters

"Words belong to the polis and the words return to the polis."

"I am an activist in the classroom because I love them."

~ Benjamín Sáinz, from his panel remarks

Two weeks ago, for the first time in 16 years, a manuscript crossed my desk that I did not, could not read in its entirety. It was the first manuscript of 5 poems turned in by one of my undergraduate students at CU Boulder. This student, like many of my students, comes from the comparatively wealthy class as expressed by his possessions, his clothes, his new car, his 6-figure prep school education, his manner, su actitúd. As I flipped through the manuscript, page after page of graphic and poorly wrought descriptions of stalking, raping, mutilating, torturing, and dismembering young women in a disturbingly detached way; it was almost like flipping through the channels of a television set on friday night. Anyone who has read my new collection of five books in one, DRIVE: The First Quartet, would know that my own mother was followed home from a bar late at night, raped, beaten about the face and head so severely she would have died from her injuries, then burned in an arson fire that destroyed the house I grew up in — "beneath the shadow of the freeway." What could I say to this student coming in for consultation? How to separate the subject matter from the nearly nonexistent craft? How could I point out and tighten the slack lines, absence of image or metaphor, dull, uninteresting, uncharged language in the way Ezra Pound once mapped the charges in The ABC's of Reading — a deadly absence of melopoeia, phanopoeia or logopoeia. In other words, just plain bad poetry — apart from, and because of, the subject matter.

As I sat there in my office, me, wondering where to begin, he blurted out that I probably wouldn't like his poetry as "l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e poetry" just wasn't "his thing" and that he was striving for a poetry that was understandable. I asked him, as I ask all students, what he was reading. Bukowski, which is what most of my students answer, and whatever they remember or are offered in their literature courses — not much poetry at all. Clearly.

Finally, I decided to take the devil by his horns, and I began by repeating something I say in class, often: that poetry comes from the experiences of the body — flesh into word. And I asked him, delicately and diplomatically, about his subject matter, saying: "Although I don't know you, I assume you are not a rapist or murderer." He blushed. "My mother gives me a hard time about it, too. She asks me why do I write about such terrible things. But I want to enter into a mind like that, opposite from myself."

I forget what else he told me. It was hard to listen while in the peals and nausea of a deep grieving. As he spoke about fractured consciousness, I wracked my brain for a way to crack into that nut, that hard shell of artifice, into something resembling poetry — good poetry. And I remembered the good poetry I loved, from a truly tormented soul, a "Crazy Gypsy" poet, Luis Omar Salinas, who was, along with Austin poet, raulrsalinas and El Paso poet, Ricardo Sánchez, among the first Chicano poets I read as a high school student who routinely saw more of the Office of the Dean of Girls sitting in detention than she did of her teachers in the classroom. I turned to a poem which grounded me as it shot out of my tiny multilith press years later when I had the honor of publishing his book, reading the same line over and over from the opening of "Last Tango in Fresno" — a poem I still love. Here's the opening and ending, from memory:

Mid-noon, and I'm stuck between
heartache and a pastrami sandwich,
in love with bad love or no love
at all. I want to grab the nearest
woman and make love to her — but
the nearest woman is dreaming of vegetables (...)

So I meet a lesbian friend who is out
of work and hungry. I give her five bucks and know
that in the end, I'll get it all back.

(MANGO Publications, 1977)

He flushed red and bolted forward, his body, electric, a wide grin of pleasure breaking over his face. "Ah!" he said, "I love that! I love that." I talked about discarding the film of artifice, to kick out the veil between the self and other by chucking out the filter of art; that the greatest asset a writer could have is integrity. Something I once said in an interview dinner when a candidate for a position in Chicano literature asked me that question, "What is the greatest asset a writer can have?" And at my reply: Integrity, my Chair blurted out, loudly, "BULL....!"

But bullshit ( a philosophical term; see: Frankfurter), the feedlot of literary criticism, has no place in the construction of poems. Beyond the simple and simple-minded advice — to write what you know, lies the incomprehensible made matter.

I launched into a description of duende. A knowledge rooted in an Indigenous American consciousness that our death is always beside us, how the duende arises from the energies deep in the bowels of earth and up through us, through our hands and mouth, infusing everything it touches with "deep song", as assassinated Spanish poet, Federico Gárcia Lorca theorized; how, as poets, the earth and the changing hemispheres play us, exquisitely, like a master flamenco guitarist improvising faster than one could possibly play on one's own. I speak of Philip Levine, alone and wrestling the Dark Angel of his death in an apartment bathroom late at night, and winning the battle, his death, his Muse, foever more his helpmate, and not the source of his personal destruction.

As I read aloud to him, as I always do with students, more of Omar's poetry, that intricate weaving of grief and what Milan Kundera calls the incredible lightness of being, he asked me, "What IS this? What kind of poetry is this? I've never read anything like it. Is there a name for it?" I quickly checked off all the myriad forms of taxidermy that exist in academia as inadequate and finally I say: Chicano poetry. It's Chicano Poetry.

He blushed bright red again, confused. "But ..., But... I'm not Chicano." Which is obvious. "But I like it." I tell him that the tradition of poetry on this continent goes way back, to before Chaucer, before even The Song of Roland and the rolled tapestries of narrative text, to Nezhualcoatl and others, to the tradition of Floricanto, Flower and Song — as flowers and songs are the only things we human beings have to pass on to the next generations when we are gone to dust. I tell him about the poetry of a people that matters, written by a people whom, for the most part, don't matter to the dominant classes. Of a consciousness ruptured and fractured by genocide and a concentrated effort to wipe the accomplishments and knowledge of a people off the face of the planet — a poetry written in resistence to de-facement, in resistance against the bloody faces of more than my mother alone. I didn't tell him this, exactly. Instead, I speak about the seemingly magical power of poetry to present experience as opposed to the mere representations of a past. I talk of how there is no veil between Omar the poet and Omar the man, an admittedly flawed man. And, most important, I speak of those "found poems" within when "things speak to us," when the layering of matter and time and circumstance weaves us into a web of understanding, puts us in the place of the ineffable where we breathe in the will to live. And how that teaches us something about the power of the poetic symbol, that singular moment clustered around something which holds our myriad contradictions in check in a seemingly impossible state of balance and equilibrium. And, in this way, each good poem teaches us something about constructing an experience outside ourselves — into the poem of the other, much the way Gloria Anzaldúa's early poems of the Texas Ranger humiliating and brutally murdering Mexican Indian women — all told in the chilling voice of the exterminator — render. A voice that speaks from histories.

Bad poetry is clearly that in the face of the good. And it is for the reasons I stated, that so much of Chicana/o poetry is good — and has an effect on others outside of the culture, language and experience of our bodies, Chicano bodies, Mexican Indian bodies held under a particular moment in history, a moment that repeats and repeats in the imaginaire on a nation, ad nauseum.

It's this history of brutal conquest and the experience of genocide which sets us apart from most poets and poetries. Not a style, not a literary effect, and we certainly don't all write alike, but duende infuses everything we write with an awareness of the presence of death — no matter how light or lightly we broach our subject. The Canción y Grito of our Liberación as Ricardo Sánchez described it, in the face of Stupid America, a la Lalo Delgado, talks back.

I'm here to speak about the role of the activist writer in America and my resistance; my activism insists on speaking about poetry (one of these days I will be invited to a conference just to speak about "The Line" in poetry), as politics, to me, is what you do: hechos, acts, deeds in the real world — not the rarified avenues of books, and not what one says, or writes.

Chicana/o poetry matters because we take the heart of the matter and make it into matter: The Vato Loco who goes on to college, the single mother who becomes a professor, the gang-banger who stays clean, the alcoholic who cries and dries and heals. For, as we "radical" activist poets say: "La cultura cura" — culture cures; and, at the same time, "la locura cura — out craziness, our play, heals when we, as poet Robert Hass wrote in his long poem, "Songs to Survive the Summer," give (our) fears a shape."

Today, our gate-keepers, those who held and turned the key of conciente in so many school-shattered minds, have left us — cruelly, suddenly, and cruelly slowly; recently, one of our first poets of the renaissance, Corky González, who organized the first youth leadership conference in Denver. A conference that was broadcast over KPFA radio in 1969 when I listened to "I am Joaquin" with my brother at 15, savoring and testing the word "Chicano" in my mouth and breath: You soy Chicana, as the first published Chicana poet, Sylvia Gonzalez wrote in my hometown of San José in 1968.

I stand here before you today, celebrating 40 years of Chicana and Chicano literature when our critics first started writing articles about the renaissance of Chicano voices in places like La Voz and the anthology, El Espejo. A renaissance of literatures written out of the experiences of the body — a border-trampled body, a thirst aborted soul, bodies beaten into twisted towels on the picket lines and rallies of our resistance against a power historically bent on our destruction.

And yet we survive. And our words nourish the next generation, and the next. New poets who, like me so many years ago, feel liberated as writers from the subject matters and styles which came before us; from poets such as Sánchez, José Montoya, Dorinda Moreno, and the (recently passed) poet, Trinidad Sánchez, Jr., just to name a few. New poets, freed anew, as Chicanao poetry frees us from the shackles of, what the poet, Stanley Kunitz termed the "tyranny of a single idea:" racism, classism, sexism, much as a nearly forgotten Chumash story from my heritage describes the hummingbird soaring out from the wing of an eagle and up and beyond in order to claim the prize of "He Who Flies the Highest."

Chicanao poets today, Xicanerati such as Rigoberto Gónzalez, Diana Marie Delgado, Eduardo Corral, Sheryl Luna, Tim Hernandez, Emy Perez, María Melendez, Blas Manuel de Luna, Carolina Monsívais, Brenda Cárdenas, Lisa Chávez, and even Anthony Robinson, who vehemently resists being called what he is, a Chicano poet, whose best work is written out of a state of opposition and infused with duende, perhaps a legacy from his Mexican Indian mother. And, many many more good poets writing good Chicanao poetry today— any way they freakin' want.

Chicana critic, Chela Sandoval, writes of the oppositional consciousness, similar to what Michel Foucault describes as that consciousness interpellated into being by an outside force bent on it's annihilation, a consciousness forged by the power of the force that is against it. As another student, a mixed blood Lakota woman, blurted out in class the day I left for this conference in resistance to poetry written by a non-native student which seemed to her to be written in the "voice of an Indian" person: "All we have is our knowledge, our culture. You have no right to take that from us and appropriate it as your own. Let us speak for ourselves. You will never know what it is like to live in our skins, to watch the store clerks follow you around, to be spit upon, to be assumed to be stupid, a drunk, a loose woman, to be raped, to have trash thrown at you, to be judged by your appearance and not by your deeds."

Deeds. Hechos. Actos. What William Blake called the "minute particulars" of poetry that makes poetry — matter. Chicanao poetry matters because it builds the bridge to mattter, to real material change resulting from shifts in consciousness, shifts in consciousness brought about by the acting of the poem, merely a poem; just as a poem enacted upon my student that day — a mere one page poem which I am certain changed him forever. At least, I know he will never see poetry, or Chicanos, in the same way again.

The role of the activist, and I'll say it, the radical Chicana poet, is to change your minds. And, then, your deeds, for all. Y ya, es todo.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Unconscious Mutterings #185 On 8/27/06"

  1. Cruel :: whirl, the passion of wide

  2. Jive :: angels, the litany of lace, your

  3. Weak :: heart stalling into

  4. Understand :: ing. Take apart now. Steer the

  5. Bum :: wheel through the Stations of the Cross.

  6. Stairs :: across the summer widen -- the quick

  7. Tone :: of autumn (all that letting go) goes. Go

  8. Quickly :: to the mount, por el monte, crisp

  9. Moment :: of the season ending. There, bless the

  10. Beating :: of bees, hummingbird wings, hearts.

Check your own monitors in the office of La Luna Niña and diagnose.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lorna Dee Cervantes - Poetry Foundation Guest Blogger Next Week!

Hey, I'm still in a daze from my Bay Area injection, that infusion of cultura and sense, synchronisms and syncretisms. Yes. There's no place like home. There's no one like home. And home is where the heart is -- make it a good one.

So, I've been off the blog, getting started and wrapping up. Classes start next tuesday. I've been preapring for my stint as guest blogger for the Poetry Foundation. I'm looking forward to it. I start Monday morning so look for me there or at I'd been hoping to update my links and fix my template before then -- in case anyone has any ideas as to how to do that. I deleted some things I thought weren't important and moved things around. I noticed at the hotel that it looked lame on a Dell; my sidebar was no longer that. But, time, well, time.

Here's the working titles for the week:

8/28 - "The Writer Who Never Writes; Or, When Good Things Come In the Mail (Why I Blog)"

8/29 - Essay on Xicanerati & Chicanao writers that I presented at the last AWP, title not in front of me right now -- if it's okay with PF.O (It's the anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium)

8/30 - "Poetry and the Rise of the Creative Class"

8/31 - "The Best Poets Make the Best Publishers"

9/1 - "On Neglect, Knowledge, and the Neglectorinos"

9/2 - "Fencing Flarf, Foetry and The New Sincerity; Or, All's Clear On the Poetry Front"

9/3 - "To Voice or Not to Voice -- That Is the Answer; Or, On Thinking Stuff Over On My Birthday"

Mas o menos. Hey, check back, you might come up in a blog. . . Or, any ideas?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Logopoetic Allen Ginsberg Live In London

via Youtube, 1995, his last recorded performance.

just because it's so relevant today. Do you want a bomb?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Some Pics: Wedding, Beach & Good Friends in San Francisco

Love well, where ever you are!

After the Ceremony in Precita Park

After the wedding ceremony at Precita Park, August 12, 2006 -- my son, muralist, Susan Kelk Cervantes: mother of the groom, Luz de Verano Cervantes with his daughter, Sequoia, and Shellie

Henry Sultan & Family, Janet & Cielo

Painter, Henry Sultan & family, w/ my nephew, Cielo Cervantes in front of mom, Janet & Bill

Luz & Shellie Cervantes w/ moms

Luz & Shellie with mothers, Luz's daughter, Sequoia and my son on the sides

Wedding Ceremony at Precita Park

Wedding ceremony presided over by Jorge Molina in Precita Park, August 12, 2006

Luz & Shellie @ City Hall

Brother, Luz de Verano & Shellie getting the state invloved in their personal lives

A Wild Lorna Dee @ Ocean Beach

A wild-looking Lorna Dee on Ocean Beach, a favorite haunt of my father's

T on Ocean Beach

T on Ocean Beach

Susan Cervantes & J Cervantes

My son & Susan Kelk Cervantes at the Cervantes statue near the DeYoung museum, a favorite stop of my father, artist, Luis Cervantes

Lorna Dee Cervantes & son @ the Cervantes statue

Me & my big little guy at the Cervantes statue just outside the DeYoung in Golden Gate Park

Lorna Dee Cervantes - Pic of Me & My Good-Looking Familia

Luz, Marina Gonzalez, her father, my cousin, Geronimo, & my uncle Frank, a former printer from Santa Barbara

Lorna Dee Cervantes & brother, Steve Cervantes

Me in a wide-cut poufy dress with brother, musician, Steve Cervantes who had to work through the reception

Luz & Shellie Dancing at their Wedding, 8/12/06

Naomi Quiñonez, Lorna Dee Cervantes & T @ Luz's wedding

Chicana poet, historian, litcrit, Naomi Quiñonez, Lorna Dee Cervantes & T at Luz de Verano Cervantes's wedding to Shellie, August 12, 2006

Naomi Quinonez, Lorna Dee Cervantes &T 8/12/06

Alfred Arteaga, Francisco Alarcon 3/05

Two of my favorite people in the world: Chicano poets & popular profes, Alfred Arteaga and Francisco Alarcon - from Alfred's website - click on the "Donate Now" link to donate to Alfred's lifesaving heart treatments.

Interview With Lorna Dee Cervantes in The Texas Observer, July 28, 2006

Cool. I just found this link to an interview I did with poet and journalist, Celeste Guzman, published in the Texas Observer. Nice shaping of a long long piece. Too bad, though, they left out my favorite quote in answer to the role of poetry in the 21st Century: "As for poetry in the 21st Century, I would hope that poetry will save it." Or, something to that effect.

Read the article here.

"Unconscious Mutterings #184 On 8/16/06"

  1. Kim :: some done, the tart taste of

  2. Designate :: and deny. The wry

  3. Liner :: notes in the heart's basket. I

  4. Weed :: the beds, the moist undercoats of

  5. Infusion :: and steep. I give out

  6. Nutritious :: and brandied. All my

  7. Favorites :: coming back to roost. I

  8. Transform :: the eggs, the daring laughter

  9. 42 :: times a day. Your sun, a

  10. Sunday afternoon :: Your life, a Venus garden.

Find and uncover Palenque in your own backyard at La Luna Nina's.

"Unconscious Mutterings #183 On 8/16/06"

  1. Affair :: of the heart to the attack victim,

  2. Package :: of diastole and hope, the

  3. Warner :: Brothers of colored life dreaming into a

  4. Drop :: of blood. We overcome the wake, achieve the

  5. Balance :: of hooves, of wings, of lips. An entire

  6. Shore :: of possibility arrives n the mail. A grand

  7. Confirmation :: in the skip, the systaltic letting in,

  8. Nose :: to the quake of shoulder, living,

  9. Talking ::, singing under your breath. To arrive at the

  10. Bend :: of you, the creek where I side. Beside. At last.

* Stick your own landing at the Land's End of heartmind, try a subliminal bus stop at La Luna Niña.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Alfred Arteaga

Alfred Arteaga

Lorna Dee Cervantes @ Intersection for the Arts, SF

Lorna Dee Cervantes @ Intersection for the Arts

Thanks to Steve Saldivar for this pic of me reading "For My Ancestors Adobed In the Walls of the Santa Barbara Mission" on my birthday, August 6, 2006.

Lorna Dee Cervantes w/ SteveSaldivar

They Lost My Books In Denver

... and they're still lost. 22 hardback copies of DRIVE I was intending to schlep and sell to help pay for the trip -- as I wasn't getting paid for the reading with Maurice Kenny. But I had the most incredible time. A lovely re-entering into the spiral on this 30-year anniversary of MANGO Publications. I reconnected with such dear friends: Maurice, Naomi Quiñonez, Alfred Arteaga. Alfred tapped my shoulder in the United baggage claim line at SF airport about 11 pm, and said: "You probably don't remember me." Always a joker. At least he didn't say what he said to Naomi: "You expected me to be dead, huh?" It was incredible to run into him that way (United lost his daughter's bag, too) and he was able to go to the reading with Maurice at Intersection, and later, we went to the Chicano Expressions show at the DeYoung. I had already gone with Susan & family, and it was great to go through it again with Alfred. I'm planning on reviewing the show or writing something extended on it. More on all that soon. I was expecting to sell my books, but I didn't even have one to show or give out to my family at the wedding, or take along to bookstores. I gave my reading copy to Maurice -- how could I not? The reading was exceptional. Maurice was great, and most important, as good as I remember. Jewell, too, was exceptional. I really enjoy reading with her. And when I asked my son what he thought of the poetry he said that she was his favorite: "That 'Rabbit Fence Run' lady was really good." I also really enjoyed the younger native poets. But, yes, more soon. I just came home broke and to a nice little royalty check from Pitt. YEAH! I gotta go to the bank now. The book is in the mail. . .

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Left My Placenta In San Francisco

Now I'm going back.

We hope to get a tour of the Mission (my birthplace) from Guillermo Gomez Pena -- that should be fun, with or without the tequila. And, I'll be reading Sunday night, my birthday! Then I'll stay until my little brother's wedding on the 12th. I may or may not be off the blog. I'll be traveling with my family, and my little guy keeps my busy.

Don't forget. I'll be guest-blogging for the poetry foundation August 28.

Back soon. Poetry On!

Poet Maurice Kenny Reading w/ LDC & Jewell Gomez in SF, Intersection for the Arts, 8/6

Poet Maurice Kenny
Originally uploaded by Lorna Dee Cervantes.
This Sunday, August 6, in San Francisco

• Native American Cultural Center presents Maurice Kenny and Lorna Dee Cervantes in a poetry reading, other acclaimed Bay Area Native American poets will read, Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia Street (& 15th), SF, tickets at the door, 7:00 (415/626-2787)

If you're in California, come witness one of my earliest influences, a poet/publisher/editor I've long admired, Maurice Kenny. And, August 6th is my birthday. Come help me celebrate. Pick up a copy of DRIVE and Maurice's latest new and selected poems.



Special Guests Maurice Kenny and Lorna Dee Cervantes
with Acclaimed Bay Area Poets

Sunday, August 6, 7:00 PM at Intersection for the
Arts/ 446 Valencia ST @ 16th: Native American Cultural
Center presents Maurice Kenny and Lorna Dee Cervantes
with acclaimed Bay Area Poets poets Jewell Gomez, Kim
Shuck, Gabriel Duncan, Gail Mitchell, Jennifer Fox
Bennett, Luke Warm Water.

Maurice Kenny is a revered Mohawk elder from the
Adirondacks, the author of 37 books of poetry and
fiction, winner of the American Book Award and
two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He edited
the influential Contact II Magazine and Press for over
20 years and has taught in a dozen Universities
throughout the United States.

Lorna Dee Cervantes (Chumash) is the author of
From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger
(Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (1981), which
won an American Book Award. In 1995 she received a Lila
Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. Her new book,
DRIVE: The First Quartet is five books in one
published this year by Wings Press to excellent reviews
in Publisher's Weekly, Bloomsbury Review and Library
Journal. She's an Associate Professor of English at the
University of Colorado, at Boulder.

Chad Sweeney, coeditor
Parthenon West Review
15 Littlefield Terrace
San Francisco, CA 94107

Some Fundraising Ideas For Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. & Others

  • Hold a live auction poetry reading with a really good, high-energy auctioneer selling arts and services inbetween readings.

  • Auction off galleys and copies of original manuscripts and works-in-progress.

  • Hold a month-long online auction for rare books, limited copies of original manuscripts and works-in-progress, signed.

  • Hold "Conversations Between" authors or other people, collect donations at the door or pass the magic hat; then, videotape and sell dvds. (Thanks to Michael for this idea.)

  • Have various people read and record the person's poems, then sell the cd and dvd of videotape. (Alfred Arteaga's idea.)

  • Hold a poor dinner for a rich cause. Prepare and serve beans, rice, vegetables, potatoes, mole', soup, etc., and invite your poor artists friends to share their talents.(I like to play spin the bottle read or share.) Others can donate $20 or more. Try to do it once a month.

  • Hate to say it, but owe it to Adrian and, unfortunately, it works: Sell beer.

  • Any other ideas? These are just a few.

    "Unconscious Mutterings #182 On 8/4/06"

    1. Italy :: was famous for its fascists.

    2. Honk :: if you're a goose-stepping consumer:

    3. Shades :: upon your head, the way of

    4. Tool ::s. Should I ask? Is it

    5. Modern :: or is the stollen set?

    6. Tension :: in the bombing, a ribbed net.

    7. Conservative :: or progressive obstinance? Your

    8. Weight :: for the gold. For the old

    9. Insurance :: there's a way. A non-

    10. Political :: stance, a clean river home, just ice.

    * Brew your own tea and battles in a tempest, call out your unconscious mutterings at La Luna Niña's web.

    Five By Five Meme On A Friday

    Since I have a lot of shirts I've bought in Mexico that I never wear again and a lot of white tee-shirts I buy to support whatever but never wear since I mainly only wear black (in mourning since the first Bush years, then it just got easy to do laundry) I consider myself tagged by Lee Herrick, an excellent poet, editor and critic.
    Rainbow Line
    Five by Five Meme

    Five things in my freezer:

    1. Five packs of hot dog buns
    2. Two packs Boca Original vegan burgers (3 years old)
    3. Dozen and a half leftover bagels, sliced (from class at my house)
    4. Frozen strawberries, organic and otherwise
    5. My son's placenta

    Five things in my closet:

    1. Burgandy velvet Navajo dress I wore to the White House.
    2. Blue, purple, teal woven Guatemalan belt.
    3. Leftover NEA poetry apps I just can't bring myself to toss
    4. Several velvet embroidered bags from Chiapas
    5. A painting I bought in Mexico painted after some soap opera about tontos; it's good but creepy -- surreal and a bit pop Bosch

    Five things in my car: I'm a lifetime non-driver, so 5 things in T's car

    1. Dangling plastic calaca
    2. Keychain pedometer from work
    3. Ice squeegy
    4. CDs I burned for him for the commute: "The Way There" and "The Way Back" (so far, it's about a 10-cd set)
    5. Good vibes

    Five books/magazines on my nightstand (or under):

    1. The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
    2. Oprah
    3. Indio Trails, raulrsalinas (galley)
    4. Food and Wine
    5. Bon Apetit


    Since there should be 5 by 5 Things, here's five things on my desk:

    1. Chunk of amethyst crystal
    2. Lightbulb (75 watt)
    3. Roll of cellophane tape
    4. Black Hawk "Chief of the Broadleafs" Indian head cigar box full of note paper
    5. Maroon plastic 2-file holder desk tray holding mostly masses of colored sticky notes, unsorted, messages ranging from everything from scores on Bookworm ("master archivist") to Memphis Minnie Notes to very important phone numbers (yours?) to current postage rates.

    Rainbow Line

    Now, do you.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Happy Birthday, Nando!

    You're in my heart every Thanksgiving.
    Rainbow Line
    And, Happy Birthday to Amy aka "Susan Sontag" King who goes the Big 3 Ohh today.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Tejana Power: Letty, Carolina Monsivais & Liz

    LM & CM & LA
    Originally uploaded by Lizard666.
    Here's a pic of three powerful, brilliant, talented and gentle women: Letty, Carolina Monsivais, and the photographer, Liz. These three friends were members of a Chicana writers workshop I hosted while I was a visiting scholar at the University of Houston in '94-'95. Did I ever tell you, I LOVE TEXAS! This is one of the reasons why: I love Tejanas, like the women I came to know in this workshop. The time was made strange and precious with the birth of my son that fall, and then bittersweet with the senseless murder of Selena. Tacos de lengua, palabras mojadas, carcajadas y Biddi Biddi Bum Bum all down the long Texas mile road I lived near in Montrose. I immersed myself in the culture and fact of that place. The good and evil. And the everything that bites that lives in Texas. I will always be indebted to the Mexican American Studies Center which afforded me that year when the seed for DRIVE was sown; it seemed a fittingly ironic title for one who is a lifelong non-driver living in the Temple of Petrol.

    So I found these pics, specifically this slide show of "A Week With Caro and Letty" today when I needed them most. So unnerving, to be messing with the mixed layers of one's life, in the ephemera and momentos and printed matter that matters in the end. I became sick again, after filtering and filing and letting go. It started monday night, my anniversary. Bummer. Then last night. I bought tickets for Pato Banton. We were going dancing -- helps get my yayas out. But something else wanted to come out instead, so I couldn't go, not even to pick them up and sell them or give them away. I had a friend over who was going to babysit. I made ocean scallops empanizado, sockeye salmon with dill, lime, lemon pepper and butter (with a dash of fennel and a couple of other things, and a rice pilaf with fresh baby spinach and peas. I couldn't eat any of it. And after serving everybody I had to go to bed. No Pato Banton for me. (although I do like having the opportunity to say his name: Pato Banton.

    Hard to do anything when I feel that nausea. The world shrinks along with my energy which seems to go down a giant swirling drain.

    Trino's death (a fellow Tejano), worry over the health of Alfred Arteaga and raulsalinas, worry for all those people who have dedicated their lives to art and others -- at the expense of their wallets, and now, their health. Worry over who will continue this rare and rich legacy, this cultura locura que cura. Poetry: "What does it do to take away the sadness?" My father asked me, on one of the last times we spoke. Sadder to be reading the accounts out of Lebanon. Monday I ended up describing to my son a father in Lebanon watching his 9 year old son lift into the ceiling by the force of a bomb and come down in pieces, and the horror of him sitting there for days, just staring, "already dead" with shock as the news account said. I remembered myself at 11, the fodder of the neighborhood boys, the television with its My Lai massacre on rerun, the hoses aimed at children with skin the color of mine. The dogs set loose on them. The smirks. The epitaphs. What will he remember? I try to explain amid "immigration reforms."

    Me da asco.

    Now these faces. These long lost friends of mine I've let go in the isolation. That's the thing about the internet, this web of affections we can weave with will and light and the moderation of the dark.

    It makes me good just to see them: Chicanas at the Jung Center, the Rothko Museum, reading, being friends.

    Do check out Carolina Monsivais's book of poetry, Somewhere Between Houston and El Paso: Testimonies of A Poet from Wings Press, awarded the Premio Poesia Tejana along with other fine young poets in the series. In it, Caro stays to the light while shedding the dark. Powerful.

    And check out Liz's other fotos. She's a excellent photographer. Some of you might remember her fotos of the Houston evacuation. I like the ones of the art houses in Houston.

    Sigue, sisters! Stay as bright as you are. You bring a light.

    Now, I'm ready for sushi & miso soup with seaweed.

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Farewell to Trinidad Sanchez, Jr & Other Fundraising Events For Trino's Expenses


    Wednesday, August 2, 2006
    Rosary and Mass
    Our Lady of Guadalupe
    1321 El Paso
    San Antonio, TX 7820

    Celebration of Life Blessing and Wake
    Following Rosary and Mass

    Bihl Haus Arts
    2803 Fredericksburg Rd.
    San Antonio, TX 78201

    In Lieu of Flowers, please send donations to:

    Mrs. Trinidad Sánchez, Jr.
    2803 Fredericksburg Rd. #1215
    San Antonio, TX 78201
    to help with medical expenses.
    Contact E-mail: trinidadjr43 AT hotmail

    Gemini Ink & Society 0f Latino & Hispanic Writers
    513 S. Presa
    Contact: 889-6274
    Friday, August 4, Gemini Ink, in partnership with the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers, will host a First Friday Reading benefit for our Honorary Chairman, Trinidad Sanchez Jr. The First Friday event will be at Gemini Ink, 513 S. Presa, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, admission is free and free parking is available at Gemini Ink's designated parking lot. Light refreshments will be offered.
    Donations will be accepted to help Trinidad and his family offset the medical bills.
    I would like to ask your support in two ways:
    1. Please consider volunteering to attend this event to read one of Trinidad's poems, or one of your own. Due to time constraints, we ask that the poem being read be limited to 3 minutes (maximum!) in length. If you would like to read a poem at this event, please email me by 5 p.m., Sunday, July 30. We only have room for around 8 readers since Gemini Ink will also be getting a group of readers together too. In your email, please let me know the name of the poem you will be reading so that we may avoid duplication.
    2. If you do not want to read, PLEASE consider attending the event anyway as a show of support to Trinidad and his family. Even if you can't help out with a small monetary donation, just your presence, thoughts and prayers will go a long way in bringing comfort to his family.
    He is a true giant in the San Antonio poetry scene--he has been an energetic proponent and performer of poetry in the schools for more than 20 years, and has appeared more than 1000 times in schools and poetry venues.
    3. Books By Trinidad for Sale
    Come celebrate the life and words of Trinidad Sánchez Jr.,
    poet, activist, teacher and author of the bestselling “Why Am I So Brown?”,
    at Ruta Maya Riverwalk Coffee House on
    Sunday August 6, 2006 from 2-8 pm.
    Suggested donation: $5.
    Trino is also uninsured, adding to the worry his family
    already feels, so please attend this celebration/fundraiser
    and help support one of the great voices in Chicano literature.
    There will be an opportunity to sign up and share our words,
    read from his poems, tell stories and make music that celebrates Trino
    and the spirit he has imparted to us and so many others.
    Books By Trinidad for Sale

    What: Trinidad Sánchez Jr. Celebration and Fundraiser
    When: Sunday, August 6, 2006 2-8pm
    Where: Ruta Maya Riverwalk Coffee House
    107 East Martin, San Antonio, TX 78205
    Contact: 210-223-6292
    What: Trinidad Sánchez Jr. Celebration and Fundraiser
    When: Sunday, August 20, 2006 2pm
    Where: Bihl Haus Arts
    2803 Fredericksburg, San Antonio, TX 78201
    Contact: 210-732.3502
    Details to Follow.
    Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
    $223,693,000,000 The Most Expensive Impeachment In History!
    Cost of the War in Iraq
    To see more details, click here.
    Radical Women of Color Bloggers
    Join | List | Previous | Next | Random | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Skip Previous | Skip Next