Dispatch From Muraltown: Ban Remains In Place.
(City Hall, El Lay. July 12, 2012) I marvel at the City of Los Angeles’ palatial council chamber. Magnificent marble columns whose understated capitals allow eyes to wander across murals painted twenty feet overhead on vaulted alcoves. Up there above my head, Calliope stands like a sprig of mistletoe in Winter. I toss my speaking notes and go with poetry, a la brava.
|Margaret Garcia, Yami Duarte|
Payment rules, the changes recommended in the Staff report, intricacies and loopholes, access and application details will be the subject of a
sponsored by Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles,Thursday July 19 at Highland Park's Avenue 50 Studio.
|Isabel Rojas-Williams, Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles|
Banned Books Update: Arizona Ban On Schooling Mexicans Remains In Place
Arizona and TUSD's book-banning power continues undeterred. No amount of outrage, shaming, derision stands in their way or the highway. No judge has yet declared Arizona nor TUSD illegal educators.
Books and the Mexican American Studies curriculum are still banned in Arizona U.S.A.
News 'n Notes
Barrio Writers Programs in TX and CA
News 'n Notes
San Antonio's Gemini Ink Litfest Underway
Last week, La Bloga published a link to the Texas GOP's education platform so readers can see for themselves the words "We oppose the teaching of higher order thinking skills"in an earnest political statement rather than political satire. Shock and awe.
I suppose the brittle partisans of that ilk don't get out much, at any rate not around regular, decent folks. Thus I'd encourage those living in Bexar County to enroll in one of Gemini Ink's University Without Walls literary experiences among regular gente. Upcoming is a music writing class and a Yoga health class. I'd enjoy seeing one of those TeaPublicans take that Yoga class seriously enough to "get it." In the 60s we called it tune in turn on drop out.
In one of those parts of Texas where gente exhibit higher order thinking skills, San Antonio's Gemini Ink marshals sufficient resources to hire an out-of-town industry professional to run the place. Las Cruces NM's Sheila Black has moved to the Texas metropolis assuming the reins as "Executive | Artist Director."
La Bloga extends congratulations to Gemini Ink and Ms Black, and warm encouragement for their Mission. Read further at Gemini Ink.
Wrapping up La Bloga-Tuesday for the middle of July 2012 are five poets bringing six works:
Tara Evonne Trudell, Mari Herreras, Elizabeth Marino, Hedy Garcia Treviño, Francisco X. Alarcón
“Quoting Zapata” by Tara Evonne Trudell
"Just a Girl from South Seventh" by Mari Herreras
"Daughters of 1898" by Elizabeth Marino
"Las Tías" by Hedy Garcia Treviño
“SB 1070 & 1492: A Historical Recount / SB 1070 y 1492: Recuento histórico" by Francisco X. Alarcón
by Tara Evonne Trudell
while voting Obama
in a time
when being brown
is a crime
fake and untrue
poisoning the poor
the constant need
leading cactus borders
struggling to exhale
offering dirty work
lying in wait
to choke out
to feel us
their heavy handed
back room ways
if you can't handle
fighting to resist
of our motherland.
tara evonne trudell c/s july 8, 2012
Just a Girl from South Seventh
by Mari Herreras
How can I explain this life to you, except
she’s just a girl from South Seventh.
A girl, who on her way to mass every Sunday,
hid her gloves under a rock before
meeting her friend who didn’t have gloves.
They walked hand in hand. Same, equal.
who cried with her sisters at the dinner table,
wondering if the rabbit on their plates was
the bunny from the backyard hutch they loved
and named the day before.
Their father yelled never make friends with dinner again.
who still remembers her Christmas gifts.
Every year – fruit and an ottoman given to
each sister for radio listening.
At the end of the year, each seat permanently
bent from nights of fireside chats, serial radio shows
and the happiest news, the war
over, over, over.
who had to learn Spanish so she could talk with her
great-grandmother, who made a brandy only
served on her Saint’s Day – the only day the sisters
allowed in the parlor. Although in the kitchen,
on the table where the sisters were born,
everyone gathered for carne machaca
great-grandmother dried in the back yard,
a yard guarded by the mean goose never anyone’s dinner or friend.
who remembers speaking the same Spanish
she spoke to her great-grandmother to
friends on the school playground,
only to be slapped by a teacher
only to be slapped hard and told that English
was the only language they could speak, even if
it wasn’t the only language they could speak.
who saved Spanish for home, weekends, summer
at El Cine Plaza to watch movies with the beautiful
Maria Felix and laugh at Catinflas.
There was no Mickey Mouse Club at this theater.
Just Spanish, love stories, Ranchero music.
Life in what she remembers as the “neighborhood”
everyone now calls Barrio Viejo, the destroyed
Barrio Viejo that ripped, ripped, ripped
nicknamed Papus and told they suspect she
was dropped off by Indians from down the road
and adopted. Her father would remind them to look
at her face – she’s an Herreras, he'd say.
Look at that, she’s an Herreras.
told by her great-grandmother to never buy
black licorice at the candy store on Fourth Avenue
the dark, black, dirty candy she loved was not for ladies.
Never to be eaten, except in secret, just like Spanish
on the playground, gloves hidden under rocks,
and sometimes the cultura she’d explain this way,
“I am a girl from South Seventh.”
by Elizabeth Marino
Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, Guam: determined,
we lived in the spaces between names. From Spanish navy backwash
to the hairy back of the United States Protectorate of 1917, we took a step back,
as a nation non-republica, self-determined, living in the spaces between, calling ourselves Borinquen.
We journeyed under no country’s passport, named ourselves without permission, we lived
in the spaces between. Mestizo people do not fit easy anthropological categories -- we went
unnamed – confused when choosing for our selves a "race" on US forms. A sun people,
the light ones stayed out of the sun, as if born an Anglo Daughter of the Revolution.
We gave the world a test group for the first Pill. We knew the power of our own fertility. Does
the medical professions insure our unborn children proper care? Does our created knowledge shine like
beacons throughout the Academy, or are our studies the background work for others' achievements?
Step out, daughters, step out. Endurance can be the knife under the skirt.
-- Elizabeth Marino
by Hedy Garcia Treviño
They sang 'canciones'
that harmonized with the song of the wind
the yearly ritual of preparing the dried Maize was underway
laughter would echo off the canyon walls
Bits of corn would fly in the air
landing on the ground
lighting up the soil
like golden stardust
Leaving trails of powered corn as they walked
leaving trails for little girls in braids
there by the river the trail that leads home remains
covered in stardust awaiting the rain
SB 1070 & 1492: A HISTORICAL RECOUNT
by Francisco X. Alarcón
in 1492 the first deed
Christopher Columbus did
was to ask Natives
“where is the gold?”
then said, “since this is India,
you’re now Indians ”
took possession of
all the land, all the waters,
declared Natives to be
all squatters living on land
given to him by God
started to build fences
and formed the first Migra
to run up Natives
put them to work in mines,
tend and harvest crops,
serve as nannies, maids
Columbus went on
raiding towns, demanding
Natives for their papers
he founded the “Tent City”
where held hundreds under
“they all are illegal aliens
and as such, have no rights”
in a press conference
holding a copy of the anti-
indigenous SB 1070 law
© Francisco X. Alarcón
July 5, 2012
"Just a Girl from South Seventh" by Mari Herreras
|Tara Evonne Trudell|
I am a fifth-generation Tucsonan who studied Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. Currently, I work as staff writer for the Tucson Weekly. I am also the lucky mom of a beautiful 11-year-old son, and the daughter of a strong woman who is the "girl from South Seventh," in the poem above. I am honored to have had my poems part of Poets Responding to SB 1070 and La Bloga.
Mari Herreras and mom
Elizabeth MarinoElizabeth Marino is a Puerto Rican poet and educator, based in Chicago. Her chapbook, Debris: Poems & Memoir is available through Puddin'head Press. She holds an MA in English from the UIC Writers' Program.
|Francisco X. Alarcón|