Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On-Line Floricanto.

November 23, 2010

Selected by moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070. Visit the group for details on submitting work to the moderators, index of poems submitted, fbtalk and similar. (Editor's note: some typographical features do not copy from Facebook to La Bloga. Apologies for not honoring the look of the piece. mvs)

1. "Cross Roads" by Poeta Power

2. "Last Words" by Manuel Lozano

3. Excerpt from "La revolución emplumada | the revolution is to be human" by Arnoldo Garcia

4. "Travesía Cósmica (Molino de Vida y Muerte)" by Araceli Collazo

5. "Monsignor Romero / Monseñor Romero" by Francisco X. Alarcón

"Cross Roads"by Poeta Power

Cross Roads
(Written at the Mundo Zurdo Conference)RO

by Poeta Power

Cross Roads (in four parts)

Out the window
I’ve thrown a lemon
into the grapefruit grove
at the Y on highway 107

Here I have left envidia
que la gente me tiene
porque así son

out the window
all the negative energy
everyone who has cursed me
everyone que se ponen celosos
porque soy muy chingona
ah! no te crees

Aquí at the crossroads
Me persino

En el nombre de
y el futuró

when standing at the crossroads
Porque dicen que aquí se aparece la Llorona
I’ve heard stories about spirits who can’t find rest
Don’t know which way to go, which direction.

La Frontera is my crossroads.

Which direction should I face?

I invoke all directions—

To the east –I invoke Yemaya!

To the West—The peregrine falcon, a cara cara

To the North—an evergreen wind

To the South,
To the South
To the South—

I invoke the struggle
I invoke hunger pains
I invoke resistance
I invoke amnesia
I invoke the ancestors
I invoke a Saturday listening to Esterio Mar, Rocio Durcal
I invoke Amalia Mendoza’s tear stained voice
I invoke Coatlique
I invoke the zopilote
I invoke confession
I invoke nightmares rooted in ventricles
I invoke fault lines, we balance and tether
I invoke my shed skin, I sew together prosthetic poetics
I invoke the indigenous woman to lick my wounds and patch me up to break again
I invoke La Virgen
I invoke cocaine to numb the awareness of violence and severed heads
I invoke street vendors drunkenly speaking Nahuatl, crying conquest tears
I invoke el vietre inconsolable
I invoke squatting and pissing in seatless toilets at bars where locals laugh
I invoke dulce de calabaza, soda de tamarindo
I invoke a dusty Saturday and milanesa con aguacate with a side of Los Cadetes de Linares
I invoke caguamas de Canta Blanca and trannies dancing tropicál

I invoke

She burns sage,
my hair soaks the smoke.
On my hands
I’ve smudge an x of ash.

Diosa Gloria,

I spread out my arms
My legs.

My body is a crossroads.
I’ve survived. I’ve survived.
Congratulations to me!
I thrive.

The wall has not split me into.
I am all directions.

"Last Words" by Manuel Lozano

Last Words

by Manuel Lozano

She came to me in crazy twisted dreams,
Said, “Everything is exactly as it seems,
The cutting edge is everywhere,
And it all sprouts into a living nightmare
”I opened my eyes and took a glance
Across the dimming room at mystery’s circumstance
Dressing up before the antique dresser.
In her woven bag she had my beating heart,
I somehow thought I could out-guess her,
But she had me right from the start.

“Take your chance on a broken bottle,
Might as well drown in a little puddle,
”She looked at me and licked her lips,
Tapped her foot and rocked her hips,
Continued, “Nothing is better than this rant,
You wish to catch me, but you can’t,
In here it is the phrasing that is twisted.
”She swirled her drink and took a swig,
Put her index finger to her lips and kissed it,
Yes, my broken dreams were always big.
Which way was out I wondered?
My thoughts were too wild to be plundered,
Words are more than just communication,
Her eyes were weary of interpretation.
I knew that silence was my only choice,
At least until she asked to hear my voice
Recite some sort of wicked verse.
I knew she felt she had it made,
I thought about that rant of hers,
Her voice was some enticing serenade.

Her tender ways came shining through,
Her dress constricting with its cobalt blue,
She lit a match and took a drag,
The rising smoke a ship with pirate’s flag.
It dipped and swayed then sailed along,

I kept thinking about her siren song
Taunting me to give some sort of chase.
All traces of reality had long since blurred,
My pulse was speeding through the race,
But still I didn’t say a single word.

Smiling she said, “You seem so quiet,
Cats as yourself seek the night to defy it,
I bet without darkness you’d put up no fight,
I see you constantly leaning into the light.
”Clearly I thought that it was more than wordplay,
It all turned to black pearls the philosophical way
As she swallowed me whole with the corner of her eye.
Turning she asked me, “So what is the plan?
”Her shoulders were ravens reaching for the sky,
And I answered, “I’m trying as best as I can.”

Her radiance flickered with my response,
The ravens exploded and turned into swans,
I squinted my eyes, but before I could think,
She reached for the bottle and poured me a drink.
The liquid red velvet poured into the glass
As another ship drifted with flag at half mast
In the sea of commotion that just disappeared.
From the mouth of her dragon arose ribbons of smoke,
And from her lungs phantom ships steered
Past her chocolate red lips every time that she spoke.

In her eyes I could see how serious she was,
She said, “You want something like every man does,
Maybe you are looking for what cannot be found,
You tip-toe through shadows not making a sound,
Or is it perhaps that you’re showing resistance?
Cats as yourself disappear into the distance
Where it all shrinks down into the vanishing point.
”She puffed on her dragon with one hand on her hip,
I took in the madness then sunk her third ship.

I too could play keep away I thought,
Especially while holding my breath between every shot,
I forced her to watch her dragon turn into a gargoyle,
Then her sea of commotion that ran into dry soil.
There at the shoreline seagulls are perching
Upon the skulls of her pirates that went out searching

For the edge of existence that recedes into forever.
I’m certain she felt my pulse through the hardwood floor,
I took in one last long drag then went on to sever
The head of her gargoyle after it let out one final roar.

“The crossroads could be anywhere,” she told me,
“The pleasures of life come to those that hold me.
Or was it to those that don’t play keep away?
”I didn’t even think of connecting the black to the gray,
My actions resulted from a need to survive,
Her dragon was doomed after being handed over alive,
And there was no chance her gargoyle keep its own mind.
She went on, “Everyone gets over their initial nervousness.
In the presence of beauty you will come to find
That all feelings of mad bliss require my services.”

I wondered a bit about her magic touch,
The difference between pleasure and pain is never that much
Her brown eyes were spear points that pierced me head on,
She could tell I was looking to somehow spread dawn.
I knew she was willing to help me ignite it,
What I wanted to do was catch the first beam and ride it
Right into the realm that simply keeps going.
Perhaps she knew places that have never been haunted,
She asked, “Why go upstream if you know you’re not rowing?
”I saw her straight on and then I just grunted.

It was more than just conscience that kept me silent,
The screams at the intersection were always too violent,
She was instrumental at helping distort them,
She knew I admired both the petals and the thorns on the stem.
Impulse itself would never allow me to follow the leader,
All this talk about bodies of water just turned up the heater
As I went against everything coming toward me.
She puckered her lips to help me forget,
My rebellious tendencies would always reward me,
But this was the first time these opposite forces have met.

The surface reflection has it all to depict,
The current was something I learned to contradict,
The heat wave came rising in no hurry to settle,
I wondered how she did it to quench every petal.
She said, “It ain’t easy when everything is dying,
”Leaning toward me she rambled on about every well drying
As the rapids descending beat against my chest.
Who would have known the whole thing could have been cursed?
In my desperation there was no further need to protest,
I reached for the liquid red velvet and quenched my thirst.

She was coming toward me with forward momentum,
Her radiance flashed through every color of the spectrum,
She said something that garbled with her unusual intention,
And just as usual I was not paying too much attention.
I was thinking the temporal was merely for mortals
As I dove in head on through those obsidian portals
Into a whirlpool vortex spun right into oblivion.
In my delirium absence took over without hesitation,
I always respected the properties of sacred obsidian,
And maybe I was thinking it was all in my imagination.

That ruby-red iron solution was quite a concoction,
Even I thought I’d fall for the old time seduction,
This modern rendition was quick and updated,
In a visionary way I felt I had somehow made it.
Even the whirlwind deciphered what I was thinking,
There was nothing else there when it all went down sinking
In an ancient conspiracy that brews the right blend.
Her curvature came flashing and I tasted her tongue,
Jade pendants were dangling and I would look for no end
With her inner thigh flashing and the moment so young.

All I can say is that time just stood still,
Trampling through thorn bushes I lost all power of will,
I still didn’t know if she was my ally or rival,
I felt her soft lips and the ceiling went around in a spiral.
It all compelled me to get lost in the rapture,
This hummingbird played hard, always evading capture
To the point where surrender was a dead man’s confession.
The moment was speeding through my adventurous quest,
And I didn’t even get to ask what was her profession
As she plunged an obsidian blade just under my chest.

The timing was perfect to regain consciousness,
Tinkering with mysterious forces has its consequence,
With a flick of her wrist she’d send me over yonder,
The light poured out in one flash as I got pulled under.
I never felt there was a reason to really impress her,
Now she just fixes half of her hair before the antique dresser
With my last words lost back there not worth repeating.
It never occurred to me to put up a white flag,
The equivalent here as I heard a faint beating
To the place I find myself in with my heart in her woven bag.
© Manuel Lozano 2010

Excerpt from "La revolución emplumada | the revolution is to be human" by Arnoldo Garcia

Excerpt from "La revolución emplumada | the revolution is to be human"

by Arnoldo Garcia

[excerpts | extractos}

my ancestors
have not yet
invented the wheel

they will never run over
innocent animals

they will never pave over
dam or divert water
never stop the flow
of rivers, creeks, streams
to the cosmic ocean of the natural world

my ancestors
will never invent
the wheel
the bomb
will never fiddle with DNA
will never fertilize in vitro anything
they will walk
where humans can walk
they will love
where humans can love
they will pray
where humans can pray
they will be human
where humans can be human
they will never be gabaxos
that step on plants and other ancestors
they will never
defecate or urinate
in the soul of the earth
in the water

Our revolution
has no martyrs
our martyrs
have no revolution.

we have no revolution
yet we have martyrs
young men and boys
who kill each other
because we have no revolution
police who shoot black young men in the back or in the front

The border brothers
make north and south

the north is nothing without the south
the south cannot exist without the north
yet young men and boys
kill each other
for lack of the four directions
the border brothers are both
north and south
North is a border
South of the border
North borders South
they are lost in their venganza
we are lost without a plumed revolution

Travesía Cósmica (Molino de vida y muerte)
Por Araceli Collazo

Para Conny Escobedo de León

Chispas de lo Divino
surgimos de la nada
del abismo obscuro
misterio profundo
brotamos del vientre del Universo mismo
el vientre de la madre
semilla sembrada por el padre
amor envuelto en odio
odio vestido de amor
amor puro
accidente fatal?
células que se reproducen
bajo la piel
se pelean se organizan
niveles de consciencia
una forma definida
un nombre nos caracteriza
ego que nos empuja hacia la vida
dos certezas concedidas
la entrada y salida a un planeta
sinónimo de dolor
antónimo de amor
repetimos lento
como un mantra
agrio-dulce secreto
la palabra
t- e-
seis letras que la conforman
hondo misterio
estrella fugaz
hoyo negro
una idea
un lugar
esperanza es la muerte
parte del todo
nada de nada
la vida
con su vestido de fiesta
pero la muerte
gota a gota
en la espera, las horas
dosis de miedo
vida eterna
invento del hombre que no salva
qué hay detrás de esa puerta
te llevaste contigo esas células de luz y sombra
células azules
sin nombre
que no se rindieron jamás ante tal batalla
ó las devolviste al Cosmos
de donde surgieron-
para qué?
tus dolores mis dolores
tu esperanza la mía
nuestra fe
tu amor-ir-a-hacia-la-vida
tu no-amor
tu corazón
se abrió alguna vez en verdad esa puerta
o se quedó cerrada
desde la eternidad hasta tu ocaso
la música de tu piano
que un día dejó de sonar
por qué?
quién se aferra a la vida
quién le teme a la muerte
para qué?
Ilusión óptica
fantasía Divina
qué somos
chispas de olvido
piezas de un mecano
que se desintegra
bajo la tierra
en el fuego
molino de vida y muerte
quien recuerda su sonido
cuando deja de andar
sombra de polvo
que no le hará falta a nadie
células sin nombre
chispas de olvido Divino
travesía Cósmica.

Araceli Collazo
Noviembre 14, 2010

Monsignor Romero by Francisco X. Alarcón
(La Bloga editor's note: click the image to read "Monsignor Romero" in larger type).

Monsignor Romero

by Francisco X. Alarcón

we come
to your tomb

the cathedral
of San Salvador

as your lost

the North
of love

we enter
this dark

as a crypt

and we find
your figure
laid down

by four

of bronze
mute and cold

as hummingbirds
we seek out
your flower

we call you
Padre Nuestro
who are here

next to
the poor
and their bustle

grant us
your fortitude
to face

every day
with your same

don’t let us
ever again

in the temptation
of not caring
for others

take away
our fear
to attempt

to alleviate
the pain
in others

fill the empty
glass of our

the refreshing
water of

the catching joy
of human

Padre Nuestro,
we speak to you
we hear you

we miss you
we mourn you
bring you life again

we remember you
we give you

now our soul
is a bit more

than when
we first arrived

to this
your home
of eternal light

next to the Savior
of the World
on his cross

San Salvador, El Salvador
November 9, 2010

Monseñor Romero

por Francisco X. Alarcón

a tu tumba

de la catedral
de San Salvador

como hijos

del Norte
de amor

a esta casa

como cripta

y hallamos
tu figura

en medio
de cuatro

de bronce
mudo y frío

como colibríes
tu flor

te llamamos
Padre Nuestro
que estás

aquí junto
a los pobres
y su trajín

tu fortaleza
para encarar

cada día
con tu misma

no nos dejes
caer nunca

en la tentación
de no importarnos
los demás

el temor
para intentar

para aliviar
en otros
el dolor

llena el vaso
vacío de nuestra

con el agua
de la alegria

de la solidaridad

Padre Nuestro,
te hablamos
te oímos

te extrañamos
te lloramos
te revivimos

te recordamos
te damos

ahora llevamos
el alma más llena
de esperanza

que cuando

a este
tu hogar
de eterna luz

junto al Salvador
del Mundo
en su cruz

San Salvador, El Salvador
9 de noviembre de 2010


1. "Cross Roads" by Poeta PowerLa Erika is Erika Marie Garza-Johnson. She is from Elsa, Texas a small town in the southern tip. La Musa Gloria Anzaldua inspired her to write the poem "Crossroads" while she was at the Mundo Zurdo Conference at UTSA. La Erika is an MFA candidate at University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg. Her work has appeared in Border Senses, LUNG, and The Texas Observer. Currently, she resides in McAllen, Texas with her two kids, two cats, one dog, a step-son and loving husband.

2. "Last Words" by Manuel Lozano
Manuel 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.

3. Excerpt from "La revolución emplumada | the revolution is to be human" by Arnoldo Garcia.

Arnoldo Garcia, músico, poeta, escritor-organizador, lives and works in Oakland, California at the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and serves on the Board of Directors of Centro Legal de La Raza. His bloga covers the center of the universe and has more poems & essays: http://lacarpadelfeo.blogspot.com

4. "Travesía Cósmica (Molino de Vida y Muerte)" by Araceli Collazo
Araceli Collazo es autora y cantante, una combinación que no se da todos los días. Como poeta, escribe versos emotivos, a menudo relacionados con las relaciones amorosas. Como cantante, da voz y modalidad a dichos versos.

Su poesía ha sido publicada en Ventana Abierta, Explicación de Textos Literarios, La Guirnalda Polar, Voces del Nuevo Sol (Voices of the New Sun), Cruzando Puentes (Antología) y demás revistas literarias en Estados Unidos y México. Así mismo, tiene publicada una colección de poemas bajo el título de Escenas… como de película vieja.

Los que conocen su poesía en ese medio, sin embargo, la han oído en las veladas literarias (tanto formales como informales) y conciertos de todo tipo. De hecho, Araceli Collazo ha presentao su música y su poesía también en radio y televisión, en México y Estados Unidos. La fuerza de su canto y la expresión lírica de sus versos halagan al público.

Nuestra cantante poeta revela su talento en su pasión por la vida, en general, y por la música, en particular, música que sus raíces latinas le han inculcado a través de su proyecto Paloma Negra, mediante el cual promueve una fusión de canciones tradicionales y ritmos de todo México y Latinoamerica ricos en percusión y otra instrumentación como cuerdas, violín, bajo, tabla Hindú, Cajón Peruano, etc. Así, demuestra que su aprecio por los estilos musicales de otras tradiciones es patente.

Araceli Collazo experimenta y explora diferentes géneros y estilos, dando voz a diversas formas musicales como Boleros, Son Cubano, Rancheras, Jazz, Blues, Rock.. y hasta cumbia, añadiendo a cada uno un toque muy personal.

Además de escribir canciones para su propio repertorio, ella ha dado letra a las composiciones que han sido utilizadas y musicalizadas por artistas de pop y artistas gruperos, como Lidia Avila, Rosalia, Ex Alumna de La Academia y otros. Por ejemplo, Araceli también escribió la letra para Tristeza, una bella melodía de Christine Bonner para su disco Sand Castles.

Araceli también ha realizado trabajo periodístico de reseñas de conciertos y eventos culturales y tuvo en alguna ocasión la oportunidad de entrevistar a Elena Poniatowska...

En su última colaboración "Siete Escritores Comprometidos", Araceli Collazo presenta a penas una parte mínima de su producción como poeta y cantante. No obstante, con ella se puede ver de sobra el talento y la pasión del artista.

Explicación de Textos Literarios
Vol 34. Añejo 1 2005-2006

5. "Monsignor Romero / Monseñor Romero" by Francisco X. Alarcón

Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, is author of twelve volumes of poetry, including, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002), and Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books 1992) His latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). His book of bilingual poetry for children, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’s Book Press 2008), was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association. His previous bilingual book titled Poems to Dream Together (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award. He has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions. He teaches at the University of California, Davis.
Francisco recently participated in the First Children’s Poetry Festival in El Salvador (Nov. 8-10, 2010) and was able to visit Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s tomb beneath the metropolitan cathedral of San Salvador. Monseñor Romero was killed saying mass in 1980 marking one of the most violent periods of the civil war in El Salvador.
He created a new Facebook page, POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070 that is getting lots of poetry submissions and comments. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poets-Responding-to-SB-1070/117494558268757?ref=ts

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