Saturday, November 29, 2008

Indigenous Wisdom Block Party Today In The Mission, Capp & 24th - End Violence Against Women & Girls

Indigenous Wisdom Block Party today in The Mission, Capp St.
I'll be at the Indigenous Wisdom Block Party in honor of the U.N.'s "International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls." The final event of three days' of observances, including prayer circles, film screenings, press conferences, and more, focused largely on the shockingly underreported femicides in Mexico and Guatemala, includes lots of live music, from Steve Taylor-Ramírez, Manicato, Chemystry Set, and others; healing ceremonies performed by curandera and curator Mamacoatl, and danza Azteca.

Come and check it out. Today until 5pm on Capp Street between 24th & 25th in SF - in The Mission.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"They're Going Home In the Mission" (an election poem)

They're Going Home In The Mission

On the 48 bus no one would think
to stare, no gawking in the windows
of the poor. The poor that hate
that phrase; they wouldn't use it.

I gawk out the glass, hawking
my wits, for sale in this post-election
Mecca of my birth. My placenta dumped,
buried here 50 years over, fish into flesh

in the bay. Trumpets weave through traffic.
The ocean comes to visit in the eternal
spray, a fine mist curling the pages.
Quintana/24th to 3rd+20th, at every stop, the walkers.

How far is it to Paradise? Each
holds a different map. The birds know
the way, have traveled here, remember, tell stories.
Some told of a better future and had their tongues cut out.

Now, a pink Hello Kitty rolling backpack sounds
the calaca ritmo of Oyoyotl ascabeles, Ayoyote foot rattles.
Something sacred in the skin painted by heat,
the desire for peace, for prosperity, and for all.

Now, the calling of a single conga,
persistent with clarity reminds
of African roots; something strong in the afterword,
afterworld. A blood red armored vehicle passes.

This, too, shall pass: the strong-legged gente,
the eager children, the industrious truck
chugging away. I still wear my "I Voted!"
sticker, proudly. I like its blood red face.

Now, in this window, I remember my relatives,
all my relations, my ancestors, their guttural whispers
in the velas; how I sang to the dead
in an ancient ritual. And they heard, and confirmed.

"Ceremonies heal." And here, in the ceremonial
streets, the dead come home, heavy on their feet.
They board the bus (the yellow "First Student"
is packed.) They hustle and bustle, alive in the smile.

A new stretch limo snakes toward Mission.
Drugs? Fortune? Or fame? The skaters dare
their youthful bodies to the husky frame of an SUV,
the moving van. How far it is to the Great Highway!

My ancestors would walk. Some still do.
Some practice the art of projection. Some
handle the path of projectiles. Another eight slain
on the streets. Dripped concrete remembers the taste of blood.

The pigeons come home to roost, flagrant
in the fog. My new neighbors celebrate the passing
of a human rights bill for chickens while we humans mourn
the passing of an act to re-criminalize love.

The pigeon coos through a motorcycle cop's discussion;
his black hog blinking like an UFO. Today, red, white and
chrome are the National colors of The Mission. The Chicano cop laughs,
says to "Have a nice day!" Cantiflas mustache crooked with smile.

There is a new mission in America, here where the Américas
represent through the four directions. The colors
of the rainbow in a mural, in the murales, the many
missions of the Spirit. Here, where the heart lasts.

Here, the Quantum of Silence is silhouetted in the shadow of a gun.
The few and far between stitch the fate of a community
while the many, united, can turn the hand home.
Here, in the celebration of the many, united, going home.

Lorna Dee Cervantes
November 5, 2008
6:08 pm

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America, we are the poem waiting to happen.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

TODOS SON AMERICANOS! Fasting for Human Rights With Fair Trade & No More Raids

I'm on day 2 of a 3-day fast in solidarity with people all over the US who are fasting, some for 22+ days in order to encourage people to vote for immigration reform, support those affected by ICE raids, and to educate themselves as to the history and issues of the U.S./Mexican border. TODOS SON AMERICANOS! I'm fasting for fair trade and basic human rights. Won't you join me and donate?

Lorna Dee Cervantes

Subject: State News Article

7 in E.L. fast for immigrant rights

By Keiara Tenant
The State News
Published: November 3, 2008

Recent nationwide raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to apprehend immigrants illegally working in the U.S. have prompted immigrant rights groups across the nation to take a stand.

On Oct.15, RISE, a nonviolent immigration rights organization based in Los Angeles, began one of the largest hunger strikes in America to encourage people to vote for immigration rights and support those affected by the raids.

More than 100 people are fasting and will continue to fast until at least 1 million people have signed a pledge to vote for immigrant rights.

Kai Newkirk, an organizer of RISE, said thousands of people have pledged thus far.

“We know that when people make personal sacrifices for a cause that’s true and just, it moves many other people to take that seriously and go into action and that’s what we’re seeing,” he said. “Thousands of people have signed it and we know that the pledge is the tool to help take the story and the sacrifices and the power of the fast and channel (it) effectively to mobilize people to get out there and vote.”

On Saturday, seven community members and members of Chicanos y Latinos Unidos, or CLU, committed to a four-day fast.

“I feel really good,” said Gabriela Alcazar nearly two days into the fast. “People don’t realize how much hunger is a psychological thing. … Every once in a while I get the urge to put food in my mouth, but it’s not really hunger.”
The fast, which permits only water, will end at midnight Nov. 5, said Alcazar, finance committee co-chair of CLU.
To help the families affected by the raids, CLU also is asking for $5 donations for each person fasting. The group has raised $150.

“The people who are being taken away from these homes are the main breadwinners in their households,” Alcazar said. “People have to get by, and we’re trying to help the families that are being affected as much as we can.”
Alcazar added she hopes the demonstration will raise more awareness about the way Immigration and Customs Enforcement has performed the raids.

“What we’re fighting for is not whether people are legal or not legal, whether they’re documented or not documented — it’s an issue of human rights,” she said. “People being raided in either their homes or workplaces and they’re doing absolutely nothing wrong, and they’re being treated like worst criminals ever.”
Ruth Verdin, political action co-chair of CLU, added that if more people know about the issues, it would better their chances of ending the raids all together.

Verdin said after speaking with the wife of a man who was recently deported, she fears for her own safety.

“I could see the pain in her face and the fear of not being able to walk around. It’s devastating,” she said. “I don’t feel safe in my own community, and that’s something I just can’t stand.”

Published on Monday, November 3, 2008

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

3 100-Word Love Poems

These were posted on the Heretical Consumer Researchers site; I've been reading them in here in Washington state so I just thought I'd post them here. Provecho!

100 Words Against Poverty

I’m not afraid of poverty.
I have your golden touch.
I have your threadlike hair.
I have the gold coin
and gentle rain of you.

I’m not afraid of poverty.
I could sip your soup
all day. I would play
with your remains, twist you
into endless mouthfuls, love you.

I’m not afraid of poverty,
not with this filling music,
not with these eyes, lips
that could cradle a tongue,
all that lean of you.

I’m not afraid of poverty.
I have your meaty heart.
I have the best of you.
I have your art
of loving back, have you.


100 Words Past Poverty

You were meant for me.
The rest is just poverty,
a piss poor way home,
a basket of backyard oranges,
fat potatoes, too many eggs.

You were born for me,
born to the losers class,
born to sorrow, born full
of all that you’ve been
missing, born half-way there.

You were waiting for me,
waiting to eat your fill,
waiting out tomorrow, a future
tense, a perfect reunion: you,
last splash in the present.

You were once my destiny, my
one-way ticket out of poverty,
a full tank of gas,
a brimming goblet, a lotto
love for you—for me.



100 Words for Money

Baby, you don’t need money.
You need me, my siren
in the surf, my song
in the dawn for you.
Who needs money? Anyone’s got
money. Ah, but who you
are, your inner change, that
spare coinage when you speak,
the enchanted gold of your
tongue — and its place! Baby,
who needs money? You’ve got
a gal like me, even
for a bargain. You, my
blue light special: with those
raptor eyes, lackadaisical sighs, wise
assed smiles in the comments;
every hundred dollars in your
heartbeat, that shirtful of soul;
Baby, who puts a price
on a heart like that?


Lorna Dee Cervantes

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