Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Comida Chicana. Veterans Welcome Home. On-Line Floricanto.

The Gluten-free Chicano
The Gluten-free Chicano’s Native Food: Tortillas de Harina

Michael Sedano

My people are wheat-eaters, especially tortillas. One grandmother rolled out sabana-style thin tortillas reflecting her Yaqui heritage, despite being born in Pomona a third-generation Californiana. That gramma was more likely to feed me a baloney sandwich on white bread with mayo lettuce and tomato, than a taco.

My Mexicana grandmother’s migrations originated in Michoacán then stopped in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska before settling in Redlands, California, where my mother was born at a time when girls were esteemed for skills like crochet and making tortillas.

Both sides of the family eschewed forks; we ate with our hands and taqueábamos. I still do, though I remember the waitstaff at Patricia Quintana’s Ixote restaurant in Polanco staring wide-eyed—aghast?--as I scooped up my refín with their teeny tiny tortillas de maíz. Maybe the chilangos prefer knives and forks, or they’ve never seen a country boy eat?

Taqueando makes food taste better, and gets the diner up close and personal with comida: tear a piece off the tortilla; pinch or scoop some food into the tortilla; sweep the little taco up into a grateful mouth.

The food blog, Las Dos Gildas, recently published my sentimental encounter with my mother’s lost palo, the rolling pin she used making tortillas. One of las Gildas let me know the other Gilda intends to do a column on making tortillas de harina. I look forward to it. Despite having my mother’s recipes—both amasando by hand and by Cusineart--I don’t know how to amasar and I can’t handle a palo. Besides, the arte and skill of making perfect tortillas are far beyond my words.

My grandmother's recipe for tortillas de maíz, by the way, starts with buying a pig and sowing seed for the cosecha, and ends with a tina full of home-made soap out in back under the nopales near the escusado. Tortillas de harina are a breeze, compared to mixtamal-based tortilla.

Today, La Bloga's Gluten-free Chicano segment features egg and tortillita, a ten-minute breakfast using a single frying pan. The meal is from my mother’s side of the family and infinitely variable—add canned string beans, for example, or sliced weenie rounds. No, corn torts don't work but one can use them if you don't know what you're missing.

Egg and Tortillita - Not Gluten-free 
Flour tortilla. Store-bought torts are usable straight from the bag. Home-made tortillas may want to air-dry a bit for the crispiest finish.
Oil in a frying pan
Beat the eggs in a bowl or cup.

Fold the tortilla, tear it into 2” strips, then tear them into two inch pieces.

Drop the tortillitas one at a time into hot oil in a frying pan. Toast well on both sides.

Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and scramble with the toasted tortillitas.

Serve with hot tortillas recien hechos de mano and taquear to your heart's content. Add grated yellow cheese to the scramble, serve with sliced fresh tomatoes and chile.

Veterans Welcome Home Day Honors Women Veterans

On Saturday April 13, 2013, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Inc. hosts the organization's 5th annual WHVVD celebration at California High School in Whittier, California. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Organizer José Ramos, a Vietnam combat medic, writes:

"there will be live music, food, booths with information for our Veterans in regard to school, benefits, health. There will also be vendors with items from books written by Veterans to military paraphernalia, blankets, Native American items and of course we have or Kiddie Korner with free face painting and jumpers for the kids. We will have our military vehicle display and Classic Car Show.

I ask all Veterans and folks who read this email to spread and share the date, time and place of our event.

Some Veterans have asked me why I continue to have these events, how many times do we need to be welcomed home? At the beginning, this was about fixing the past, about acknowledging the service of all Veterans who served in and during the Vietnam war. Today this celebration is important because we have fun when we come together, enjoying the brotherhood, meeting of other Veterans, sharing the pride on our family members' faces as they show us off.

But in my heart I also feel it serves to acknowledge that we made a mistake, as a nation, at the end of the Vietnam War, and that March 30 will always be a reminder that the United States will never again blame Veterans for delivering the message we sent them to deliver.

And the big plus is meeting new Veterans attending their first celebration, letting them know there's a support community always present, connecting Veterans with service organizations.

For those out there who know female Veterans of any era, please make sure to let them know this celebration is all about them; we are honored to have our comrades and sisters there. The event will not be complete without their presence.

We will be hosting a Message Wall along the edge of the school's athletic track. We encourage all who attend to bring something they would like to share with others; military ribbons, badges, pictures, poetry, letters, memories of their service or the service of a Veteran in their life.

To get more information and details, contact Ramos via WHVVD site at http://www.whvvd.org

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto, Second of 2013
Andrea Mauk, Christopher Carmona, Andrea Hernandez Holm, Iris De Anda, Hacha C Norris

Making a Choice (My Shout Out for the New Year), by Andrea Mauk
The Art of Bleeding, by Christopher Carmona
Letting Go, by Andrea Hernandez Holm
Are You Listening?, by Iris De Anda
Read A Poem Last Night About Burning Bridges, by Hacha C Norris

Making a Choice (My Shout Out for the New Year)
by Andrea Mauk

In this wide world of hope and fear and destruction where
we cower because
good things are always coming to an end,
calendar myths and fiscal cliffs
ice upon the polar caps,
and our old familiar sun,
I choose hope.

On this crazy planet of closed doors and cold wars,
battle scars and condemnation,
corporate sleeze and naked greed,
where guns are the answer
not a problem,
magazine rounds pop off at the mouth
more often than the neighborhood chismosa,
I choose peace.

This hunk of rock that we call
Home Sweet Home
though we don't listen to its needs
or celebrate its glory,
this breathtaking,
life-sustaining marble
spinning like a top
while bottom feeders
do lunch on us,
drink Scotch on the rocks
and pollute the water supply,
its all in a day's work
in this neverending
land of plenty,
I choose to open my eyes.

In this upside-down retrograde existence
where love is an excuse for
bondage and beatings,
mayhem and murder,
a proclivity to jealousy,
a propensity to rage,
where hatred is the motivator
and reading a quote from the Bible is a "brave"
excuse for everything,
where even with stitches and
Neosporin applied,
wounds never heal,
I choose to follow my generous heart.

In this land thats more wack
than the characters high on bennies
in On the Road with Jack Kerouac,
where finding opportunity is becoming
as tricky as stealing honey from a bee,
we dont know what to think
unless we see it on TV
more coverage of making floats for the Rose Parade
than remembrance of Wounded Knee,
when theres too much static
on every frequency,
I choose stillness.

At a pinpoint on this Milky Way satellite
that moves faithfully through day and night,
a place where image is everything,
beauty comes cheap and easy,
where education is valued,
the quality stuff kept under lock and key,
though language is devalued,
and dialect is a sign of weakness,
where books are burned,
trespassers hunted with no rock unturned,
where chasms and rifts
are the name of society’s game,
I choose deep understanding

I choose the immense power of love.

Copyright 2013 by Andrea Mauk

the art of bleeding
by Christopher Carmona

the art of bleeding is the art of kneading
of feeling the dough between your fingers
day in and day out until your hands are worn
fingernails brittle from the grinding
fingertips replaced with calluses from the rolling
and the simmering of the stove leaves
burnmarks all over your arms

the art of bleeding is the art of feeding
hungry children at the end of long days
after working at the clinic
pollo con aroz or pork chops con papas
albondigas with mashed potatoes and corn
six days a week breakfast and dinner
chorizo tacos and meatloaf
the pain in your back from all that standing
you covered with a smile and a diet coke

the art of bleeding is the art of cleaning
every room in the house
from kitchen to bathroom to living room
but we had to clean our rooms
wash the dishes and cut the yard
that was our job
you did everything else from laundry for six
to mopping the floor with a fabuloso scent
and a month old sponge
sometimes on knees sometimes with cuts

the art of bleeding is the art of tending
treating our scrapes, bruises, and cuts
with that old brown bottle of alcohol and cotton swabs
band-aids and tweezers to pull cactus needles from buts
bandages for our sprains, broken bones, and torn hearts
with just a caress of our hair or a hug after a hard day
you nursed our wounds while yours were covered
with heating pads, pain pills, and grins that bare it all on your back

the art of bleeding is the art of needing
from your hands of cuts and burns
to the fresh smelling tabletops
you were always constant with care and Lysol
you did not create in words paints or song
your medium was in bleeding
not the substance that coursed through your veins
but bleeding as someone who
cherishes the tending
not the cut
and that is why you were a master
in the art of bleeding
because you bled for us everyday
every breath

your art, mom, is the art of bleeding

Letting Go
by Andrea Hernandez Holm

You can’t leave my mom’s house
Without a blessing. She doesn’t make
The sign of the cross
Anymore and sometimes, she doesn’t
Even say the prayers out loud
But she catches you before you leave,
Holds you close and you know,
May God bless you and keep you safe.
Every time. All the time. Always.

I send the boys to school
Alone and am tempted to keep them home
Where I can see them and kiss them
And talk with them any time I want.
I can make taquitos for lunch and
We can watch movies in the afternoon.
I bought a cake mix, we could bake that for dessert.
If I keep them home, I can hear them laugh and fight
and breathe.

I let them go.

But not without a prayer first, you know
May God bless you and keep you safe.
Every time. All the time. Always.

© 2012 Andrea Hernandez Holm

Are You Listening?
by Iris De Anda

Actions speak
louder than words
silence holds the space
louder than bombs

I see you marching
thru mountains of green
I hear you even
when you say nothing

For we are one in the same
we are revolutionaries of heart
spanning the web of stars
our corazon carrying grace
no need to see our face

Pasamontañas reveal the eyes
only the windows to our souls
emerge fierce & lit with fire
the doors closed long before
only bridges beginning to surface

Winds of change
shift the leaves of our
ancestral trees
stand strong like ancient temples
of remembrance

The capitalist plague
will not take hold of our roots
because together we move
like rushing water
swiftly cleansing
scarlet stains & death
in our path

Stillness speaks
silence thunders
we peak like rainclouds
embracing the sun
we make ourselves heard
by telepathic knowing
a sixth sense that is growing

Do not fear the roar of Giants
for they are few & their time is gone
listen to the whisper of the Cosmic Earth Keeper
for they are many & their time is here

Read A Poem Last Night About Burning Bridges
by Hacha C Norris

I read a poem last night about burning bridges
communications failings
to telling, unfolding truth, and mistruths
to defending when attacked
to betrayal and silence,
worse than a death rattlle
I read a poem last night
where defense was a plastic shield
where sincerity was thin ice
creating conditions for you to fall
into the cold pit of no coming back

I read a poem last night where visions
lying in wait to tell you
to point another
as others watch you
over the cliffs edge

I read poem last night
where nouns became yours
and pronouns lifted you up,
to where you want to be
while adjectives describe
what you wanted to see
leaving me
beneath you
is clearly indicated
in your redefining
and setting limits
to not uplift
but to break down

I read a poem last night
where embracing
was long enough
to pick your pocket clean
as they take
without ever giving back,
their insincerity burned like a hated flag,
so the bridges I burned in my path
of your defining moments
of victories not yours to own

Copyright 2012 Hacha C Norris

Making a Choice (My Shout Out for the New Year), by Andrea Mauk
The Art of Bleeding, by Christopher Carmona
Letting Go, by Andrea Hernandez Holm
Are You Listening?, by Iris De Anda
Read A Poem Last Night About Burning Bridges, by Hacha C Norris

Andrea García Mauk grew up in Arizona, where both the immense beauty and harsh realities of living in the desert shaped her artistic soul. She calls Los Angeles home, but has also lived in Chicago, New York and Boston. She has worked in the music industry, and on various film and television productions. She writes short fiction, poetry, original screenplays and adaptations, and is currently finishing two novels. Her writing and artwork has been published and viewed in a variety of places such as on The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder; The Journal of School Psychologists and Victorian Homes Magazine. Both her poetry and artwork have won awards. Several of her poems and a memoir are included in the 2011 anthology, Our Spirit, Our Reality, and her poetry is featured in the 2012 Mujeres de Maiz “‘Zine.” She is a regular contributor to Poets responding to SB 1070. Her poems have been chosen for publication on La Bloga’s Tuesday Floricanto numerous times. She is also a moderator of Diving Deeper, an online workshop for writers, and has written extensively about music, especially jazz, while working in the entertainment industry. Her production company, Dancing Horse Media Group, is currently in pre-production of her independent film, “Beautiful Dreamer,” based on her original screenplay and manuscript, and along with her partners, is producing a unique cookbook that blends healthful recipes with poetry and prose from the community.

Christopher Carmona is a beat poet following in the tradition of beat poets like Jack Kerouac, Bob Kaufman, and Raul Salinas. He was a nominee for the Alfredo Cisneros de Miral Foundation Award for Writers in 2011 and a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2012. He has been published in numerous journals and magazines including vandal., Bordersenses, and The Sagebrush Review. He has a collection of poetry called beat by Slough Press and is also editing a Beat Texas anthology called The Beatest State In The Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writings. Currently he is organizer of the Annual Beat Poetry and Arts Festival.

Andrea Hernandez Holm is a graduate student in the Mexican American Studies Department at the University of Arizona, and holds an M.A. in American Indian Studies. Andrea's primary research interests include indigeneity, identity, and the intersection of identity with creative writing. She is an Instructional Specialist, Sr., in the University's Writing Skills Improvement Program where she provides tutoring services to undergraduate and graduate students and teaches writing workshops for high school students, graduate students, and the general Tucson community. She has also taught Mexican American Studies, American Indian Oral Traditions, American Indian Literature, and American Indian Religions at the university.

Andrea has worked as a research/publications specialist, a freelance writer, editor and writing consultant. Her most recent projects have included working as an editor for Veronica E. Velarde Tiller's book, Culture and Customs of the Apache Indians (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2010) and serving as the Project Researcher/Writer of the award-winning Tiller's Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations published by BowArrow Publishing (2005). Her essay "Prayers and other Ofrendas" appeared in Wisdom of Our Mothers (Familia Books, 2010). Andrea is also a published poet with works appearing in The Blue Guitar, La Sagrada, Tribal Fires, Collegiate Latino Underground, Red Ink, and the Cuentos del Barrio II art exhibition of the Tucson/Pima Arts Council. Two of her poems were selected for the 2010 commemorative issue of El Coraje, a Chicano Studies student publication produced for the Conference Combating Hate, Censorship and Forbidden Curriculum held in Tucson.

Andrea is currently a member of the moderating panel for the Facebook page "Poets Responding to SB 1070". She is also a member of the women's writing group, Sowing the Seeds de Tucson. Her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction essays appear in the group's anthology, Our Spirits, Our Realities (2011).

Read interviews with Andrea:
"The battle over Mexican American Studies" by Chrissie Long, University World Newshttp://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120824101851900
"Does Tucson need Three Poet Laureates to bring it back from the brink of censorship?" by Jeff Biggers, The Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/tucson-poet-laureate_b_1396176.html

Iris De Anda is a writer, activist, and practitioner of the healing arts. A native of Los Angeles she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams. She has been published in Mujeres de Maiz Zine, Loudmouth Zine: Cal State LA, OCCUPY SF poems from the movement, & online @ La Bloga. She is an active contributor to Poets Responding to SB 1070. She performs at community venues & events throughout the Los Angeles area. She hosted The Writers Underground Open Mic 2012 @ Mazatlan Theatre & 100,000 Poets for Change 2012 @ the Eastside Cafe. Follow her story @ http://irisdeanda.typepad.com/la_writer_underground/

1 comment:

msedano said...

A wonderful second On-line Floricanto for 2013! Several and many thanks to the poets and moderators of "Poets Against SB 1070; Poetry of Resistance" for their efforts.