Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow This Week. On-Line Floricanto

Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow. Tomorrow (Wednesday September 15, Day One!) and Tomorrow's Tomorrow, and Then Friday's Final Festday.
Michael Sedano

Here are Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to this week's Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow events.

I am driving into LA. How do I get to USC?
The University Park campus of the University of Southern California is immediately west of the 110 Harbor Freeway, north of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park. Here is a link that will get you to campus. The address of Doheny Memorial Library is 3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles CA 90089.

Where do I park?
Park on campus and pay $8.00. Do not park at University Village at Hoover and Jefferson Blvd. Street parking can be a lucky find. Entrance 5, on W Jefferson Blvd and Entrance 4 on W Jefferson may have public spaces. The friendly parking kiosk attendants at any of the 8 entry points will direct you to available parking structures.

How about public transit?
The downtown DASH F line runs every 10 minutes until 6:30 p.m. and is most convenient. Thereafter, regular bus routes serve the area. Cash only. LA is not a taxi city. The kindness of strangers option should work at the end of the day to catch a ride to a nearby drop-off point.

Where is Doheny Library?
Students and parking kiosk attendants are friendly and happy to point you in the right
direction. You'll see several tall buildings. Head toward those and the Library will be a few steps southeast.

Where is Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall?
2d floor, north side of Doheny. There will be signage. Follow the signs. Library Staff at the main entrance and at the stacks desk will be happy to point out the elevator and stairwells.

What if I'm late?
The literary festival model means the only people who have time certain schedules are writers who will appear at their appointed time. The public is welcome to come and go (quietly, please) throughout the day. Overflow seating will be nearby.

I love Magu's floricanto graphic. Can I get a t-shirt with that?
Magu licensed his copyrighted work to the festival for publicity purposes. There is no provision for t-shirts. If you want one nonetheless, La Bloga will put you in touch with the artist who will make arrangements. The original is in Michael Sedano's collection and is not for sale.

Can I buy books of my favorite poets?
The festival has set aside time for writers to meet and greet you, autograph copies of their work. Copies are limited at the festival, but you can easily order from the publisher or your local independent bookstore.

What is Un Floricanto Adelanto?
Corazón del Pueblo in Boyle Heights is independently hosting a night of poetry and festivities on the eve of Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow. Numerous festival poets will be reading, together with a host of independent artists. It's sure to be a superb event. Click here, for a larger reading.

Is the festival really free?
Yes. There is no admission charge to attend. There is the parking fee of $8.00, but no other fee.

I want to see the full schedule.
Your wish is my command: click here.

I want to know more about some of these poets and writers.
Click here for portraits and biographies of readers.

I am disabled and need accommodation.
Doheny Memorial Library has accessible entries on the east side. You will see signs directing you to accessible portals. Click here for a PDF map.

Parking for disabled drivers is less felicitous. Show the parking kiosk attendant your placard and she or he will direct you to the blue spaces, which may be parked up. Parking structures and parking lots are distant from Doheny Memorial Library. The campus features wheelchair ramps and sits on level ground.

I want to hear the writers but won't be in LA for the festival.
Producer-Director Jesus Treviño is videographing the entire program. The USC Digital Library will post the videos in a short time for worldwide viewing. Treviño is preparing a broadcast documentary of selected artists. Be a regular La Bloga reader and when the production hits the screen, La Bloga will publicize it.

Are the original, 1973 floricanto videos on sale?
The Dean of the USC Libraries will announce at the close of Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow the release of the nearly lost 1973 performances to the USC Digital Library, along with the complete archive of Michael Sedano's photographs from that historic first Festival de Flor y Canto.

You can buy museum quality, limited edition prints, of Michael Sedano's portraits of 1973 artists. Information on these is here.

You did not answer my question.
My apologies. Please email your question for a personal response.

On-Line Floricanto. Poets Respond to Arizona's Hate Laws

The Facebook group, Poets Responding to SB 1070 offers thriving proof that some good comes of even the worst events. The ugly developments in Arizona, whose lawmakers fashioned hate laws to punish gente whom law enfarcement agents think "look illegal," provoked poet Francisco Alarcón to use the internet to organize poets to voice their disappointment.

As this week's selections by Francisco and the moderators show, there's good coming out of Arizona ugliness. The weekly on-line floricanto has become one of La Bloga's most popular features.

1. "The New West" by Antoinette Nora Claypoole
2. "Una Receta" by Ramon Pinero
3. "The Ghost of Gregory" by Guillermo Gee
4. "The Dream that Sleeps with Power: A Sonnet for the Dream Act" by Edith Morris-Vasquez
5. "The Moving Train" by Gerardo Pacheco
6. "Huey Tlahtocan" by Victor Olguin
7. "The Proletariat's Plot" by Manuel Lozano

1. "The New West" by Antoinette Nora Claypoole


by Antoinette Nora Claypoole

"dreams are how the heart can see the vision. vision is how the dream is remembered. dream is what happens when we listen. vision is the always listening." --Wayne George, Anishanabe

an ancient trade route tells of toads
in the autumn desert sonora scaling
skies. toads leap defying time. a legend.
like billy the kid and his perplexing pardon.
pat garrett and his murder of the west. kiva
maps kiva secrets kiva stone people ladder
inward like that diamond in a heart old poets
define a remedy a random act of majestic.
amulet. purple saged toad seekers sleep deep
sweet baby the police will take all you dare dream.

he drives down the old highway like Morrison in American Prayer.

seeking autumn toad lore snazzy miami vice DEA agents
surround sound the desert. dark. orwellian vehicles
clandestine seizures. old power blue. mercedes. searched. puppy
eyes desperado no habla espanol. toads, officer.
drug road kid. drug cartels use this highway
kid. seriously? hunting toads? not a tom robbins
frog legs in pajamas piece. more tasered space more DEA
more unmarked cars. two hours crimson King twilight. no drugs
no connections all alone with Spartacus orthea the huntress
the pie eyed pooch from Washington State who chews willow.
smiling through the rhetoric of philosophy the young man muse recites.

the u.s. government hunts brown skinned young men
on sonoran desert highways like Garret and Geronimo
a post colonial cactused war two-lane road Marshalls are
like sideways 1950’s Jesuit monks, exotic butterfly collectors.
pinning wings to placards. they are. bored. and twisted spectators.
captured in the capture fossilized in the kill, stainless stolen pins
sealing freedom under glass. sassing back into winged extinction.

soon the fires soon the scorch of torch that lights a yesterday.

and a generation of toads search sci fi helicopter overflights
looking for a rare, human sighting to tell them kiva stories to the Sky

2. "Una Receta" by Ramón Piñero

The uncensored version of "Una Receta" on Seis Poetas\Six poets on KQED\ written in 1973


by Ramón Piñero

take one people
add five hundred years
of oppression
add countless murders
mix well with a
heaping spoonful of
add two or three cups
of EOP
or some other
self-help ingredients
add five helpings
of Vietnam
add Chile to taste
and stir feverishly
open two cans of
dehydrated anger
and add water

Pre heat oven
3000 degrees

place an airtight
lid on the
entire situation
and let cook
for five hundred
years or till
rifles start poppin’

Then move out
the fuckin’ way
cause it ain’t
gonna be
no birthday cake!!

3. "The Ghost of Gregory" by Guillermo Gee


by Guillermo Gee

A man ripped into pieces
Disenchanted with the world around him
Only trying to survive and make a living
How can we live in chains? he asked in his native Mexican tongue
He'd prayed to god asking for nothing but inner peace
instead he was imprisoned for being the wrong color
They said he shot a horse
they called him a thief
He never stole in his life
He sat waiting for a Texas style beheading
in chains like his brothers before him were
He couldn't understand why they put him in that celland took him away.
In the night time alone a man is left to his devices
thinking...trying to make sense of the senseless
but no one came but the devil
He told Gregorio that he would set him free
he offered him riches, and a wife, children and freedom
a new a better life.
He thought.. because he was alone
in pain from the beatings
and being tried and treated like second class
He was single.. a poor lonely farm boy
from my home state of Chihuahua
100 years ago.
The devil smiled as he smoked his green pipe
"I can give you the world"
the devil said
just give me your soul.
He turned away
and laughed.
"I'm in pain, but I will always have my convictions
"A day came the evil left him behind to rot
that day and angel came down from heaven
saying... "I can set you freegive you all you want if you come with me"
then he asked
why does god care about me?
the Angel Miguel replied
"because god loves all his children."
But he nodded
"I must go through with my execution"
"I have a story to tell the children I never had"
"I have an example to set for the future
to see the wrongs that were done to me and so many others
"He thanked the Angel Miguel and then he was dragged away
by Texas Rangers
Shot like the lowest dog
not even given a burial
but his ghost still lingered
in that prison cell
where God and the devil came to him
he stayed hoping that the people he loved would never have to go
what he did.
A choice
a decision
something that we all make yet, never fufill our destiny with
So this is for Gregorio..
that farmer who took his death like a man
even if it wasnt't fair
or right
he just did it so that gente like us
could live free, so that we could fight for our tierra!
Arizona, there is blood on your hands
America kills those to make a point.
so Gregorio knew he had to die
so that we could see how they marginalize us and
make us feel like second class citizens
in a country we already owned.
I tip my sombrero, mis lágrimas are for heroes like you
to Gregorio
may his ghost rest in peace.
So that we may one day be free...

4. "The Dream that Sleeps with Power: A Sonnet for the Dream Act" by Edith Morris-Vasquez

The Dream that Sleeps with Power: A Sonnet for the Dream Act

by Edith Morris-Vasquez

Soñar no Cuesta, an old saying

I traveled the road of dreams and did not
know that it would come to an end but I
believed it would extend and always start
again, and by its nature never die
or be detained. Dreams are not foreclosures,
bankruptcies, they're not bad deals behind doors
when economies decline, liberties abort,
and successes judged by tallies of war.
How many of what origin are killed
in a day, how proud and patriotic
is death's banner? Dark, dry, and deserted
the dead-end of dream's sad and symbolic.
It's not just the dollar that's lost its hour
now dreams are only for those in power.

5. "The Moving Train" by Gerardo Pacheco

The Moving Train

BY Gerardo Pacheco Matus

"Humanity is lost." GPM


wake up, wake up my girl, the train is coming,
fetch your coat and don’t forget your doll.
wake up and pay no attention to my crying.

cover your ears. open your eyes. the morning
dew is falling on top of your mother’s shawl.
wake up, wake up my girl, the train is coming.

get ready to jump as the train is moving
fast today. grip the rails tight and don’t fall.
wake up and pay no attention to my crying.

wake up to see all of your brothers bleeding,
and dying under the shadows of the metal wall.
wake up, wake up my girl, the train is coming.

you must run faster before their bleeding
limbs get cold. the sun is getting hot. if you fall…
wake up and pay no attention to my crying.

girl don’t be afraid, we must jump onto the moving
train. we’re ready to go to el norte like them all.
wake up, wake up my girl, the train is coming,
wake up and pay no attention to my crying.


6. "Huey Tlahtocan" by Victor Olguin


by Victor Olguin

Be all you can be, but not for them
be all you can be, but for yourself
Don't allow them inside your mind
it's just a piece of the white lie

don't play their game, we are not like them
it's a big lie, don't give a damn
come join my clan, it's a big gang
we are a new kind of mexicans

don't get me wrong we ain't got no guns
what we do have is "huey tlahtocan"
knowledge and wisdom we are trying to get
from ancient people, from ancient men

Time to go back, back to our ways
we are new men, new men of maize
let's show the world how we can save
this, our planet, our mother earth

let's make a circle holding our hands
please play the drum so we can dance
this is our people, this is our way
we are Mexica' and that's how we pray

Tlazo tonatiuh, tlazo tonantzin
tlazo ehecatzin tlazo toatzintli
500 years is a long time
time to wake up, this is our land

listen inside, inside your heart
and look at your skin, how brown you are.

7. "The Proletariat's Plot" by Manuel Lozano

The Proletariat's Plot

by Manuel Lozano

The privileged dangle their golden medallion,
They say if you work hard you can touch the sky,
Their biggest fear is the people’s rebellion,
The paupers will want their piece of the pie.
The eviction notice is stamped on your garden,
But the soft petals go dry only toward autumn,
And they will misquote us saying there is no pardon
For the agitators that rise up from the very bottom.

The picture is unclear in every exposure,
The flashcards show fields that never sprout,
They double the razor to create an enclosure
Out of the protection that kept the indigenous out.
Marching ants have been trained to just follow orders,
The uncommon will shout as the sun goes down sinking,
And the poor will be blamed by these foaming supporters
Who appose old tradition and all rebellious thinking.

Sleeping you find out waking up can be worse,
But that’s if you’re part of the walking dead,
Others, we wake up to get lost in verse
Knowing the fight has been on since the bad fire spread.
They’ll say that chaos is one form of cleansing
The sounds in the head that reject all compliance,
Then they will portray us as mad ones dispensing
All sorts of false hope that preaches defiance.

The peasants will rise up in orderly fashion,
Screaming injustice while holding it steady,
It is the suffering ones who have compassion
When morality is re-written on bits of confetti.
The pieces are scattered in the raging storm,
The pitchfork and machete never lay dormant,
And as if nothing else mattered the war takes a new form
When the hungry masses reject the old historical torment.

The new seed is altered in its infrastructure,
Suffocating varieties that don’t hold a patent,
The fencing will rise up and the levees will rupture,
Then the little individual will become combatant.
That’s when all dreaming will become real life,
The top will be saddened by the birth of its nightmare-
All of that scheming just so bacteria can thrive,
And all of a sudden the workers will want their fair share.

© Manuel Lozano 2010


1. "The New West" by Antoinette Nora Claypoole

2. "Una Receta" by Ramon PiñeroFirst generation Puerto Rican from La Manzana, landed in San Pancho in 1970, fell into a great group of people, among them, Avotcja, Janice Mirikitani, Ntozake Shange...read alongside Victor Hernandez Cruz
Jose Antonio Burciaga and many more

Moved to San Cheo (San Jose, for the uninitiated) in 1973, and met and worked with other poets such as, Javier Pacheco, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Naomi Quiñonez.

Was one of the founders of La Cosa Nuestra at SJSU, the first Latino\Chicano FM Radio in San Jose...was also one of the first DJ's at KKUP in Cupertino...

Recently read at Avotcja's Birthday Bash at La Peña in July of this year and co-featured with her at Poetry Express in Berkeley

I exist in Florida, but my soul has never left the Bay Area...a magical place

3. "The Ghost of Gregory" by Guillermo Gee
I was born in Las Cruces NM, Ive been writing since I was 13. I grew up working in the fields with migrant workers and was a product of a bilingual environment. I've been writing poems in english and spainish and have worked with several groups. I currently am president of a group called Soul Verse which is a group of artists dedicated to free expression. We throw monthly open mics and are involved in teaching kids in the community about the arts. I am very pro raza and believe that in this time period we the chicano people are being blamed for white america's problems and I aim to finish my book of collected works called Obras de Dios in 2011.

4. "The Dream that Sleeps with Power: A Sonnet for the Dream Act" by Edith Morris-VasquezEdith M. Vásquez, PhD. Her 2004 dissertation at the University of California, Riverside focused on Lorna Dee Cervantes and William Carlos Williams. She has two teenaged sons and lives in Southern California where she was raised after resettling there from El Paso/Ciudad Juárez. Her grandmother, Paula González, was a little girl when she and her family were deported from the Long Beach area in the 1940’s. By all indicators, it is known that Paula was a California Indian.

5. "The Moving Train" by Gerardo PachecoGerardo Pacheco Matus was born in Huhi, Yucatan, Mexico. He is Mayan. Pacheco migrated to the United States, when he was fifteen years old. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. Pacheco’s writing is influenced by his Mayan and Mexican heritage. He uses their magic & history to bridge two worlds that have been in conflict not only with their language, but their culture. Also, Pacheco's writing deals with migration and its social and cultural hardships. Pacheco had published poems at Cipactli Magazine and Transfer Magazine. He has been a Smart Cookie scholar since 2006. Pacheco is a candidate for the MFA Creative Writing- Poetry at San Francisco State University.

6. "Huey Tlahtocan" by Victor OlguinIn 1993 I joined the way of the Mexica. In 2006 I joined Calpulli Tonalpilli. To all my relations, native people, brothers and sisters. This poem is for you all and for all those who haven't found their way. This is from the bottom of my heart and I would like to share it with you. I advise you all to come back to our ways, to our roots because we need to know where we came from in order to know where we are going.

7. "The Proletariat's Plot" by Manuel LozanoManuel Lozano, self-taught writer and artist, lives in El Paso, “El Chuco,” Texas, cradle of the pachuco. Manuel writes traditional verse “to the rhythm of the Matachines.” His work has appeared in Xican@ Poetry Daily and La Bloga. Visit his blog, Manuel Lozano: Xicano Writing, at www.manuellozano7.blogspot.com for more information.

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