Tuesday, March 24, 2015

QEPD Tony Mares. Medal of Honor Day. LéaLA. On-line Floricanto

Michael Sedano

QEPD Tony Mares

Margaret Randall writes:
Please join us on Saturday, March 28th at 2 p.m. at the Journal Theater, National Hispanic Cultural Center, for a tribute of poetry and music honoring our beloved fellow poet Tony Mares who left us much too soon.

Click here to view Tony Mares reading at the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto held at the University of Southern California. Here below is Tony's reading at the 2010 reunion floricanto, Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow.


Medal of Honor Day in L.A. (Tomorrow) March 25

Readers of La Bloga know that I am a Veteran of the United States Army, 1969-1970. Few know that my great uncle, Joseph Rodriguez, earned a Congressional Medal of Honor during the Korean conflict.

My mother's Uncle Joe is one of forty Chicano and other raza soldiers to go "above and beyond the call of duty," and one of only a handful who lived to wear the Medal and die of natural causes. Below, find a video interview with Joseph Rodriguez, qepd.

Interview with Joseph Rodriguez, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

I met Joseph Rodriguez only once, during elementary school. Naturally, I asked him about the Medal. He told me having lost his boots he'd wrapped his bloody blistered feet in rags. After walking for days like that, getting pinned down was the last straw for him. He got mad as hell, so he rushed up that hill and killed all those men. That was his story to a 5th grader. He also laughed that the Medal earned him a $25.00 a month pension. It's over $1200 now.

Here's what his Citation reads, in part:
Fully aware of the odds against him, Sgt. Rodriguez leaped to his feet, dashed 60 yards up the fire-swept slope, and, after lobbing grenades into the first foxhole with deadly accuracy, ran around the left flank, silenced an automatic weapon with 2 grenades and continued his whirlwind assault to the top of the peak, wiping out 2 more foxholes and then, reaching the right flank, he tossed grenades into the remaining emplacement, destroying the gun and annihilating its crew.

QEPD, my mom's Uncle Joe.

For additional details on Joseph Rodriguez and all the raza Congressional Medal of Honor holders, visit the Eugene Obregon CMH Foundation website. I am an advisory member of the Obregon committee.

LéaLA Returns to L.A. Convention Center

Great news from Los Angeles. Plans to demolish the center to replace it with a professional football stadium have fallen through. Who needs pro football, or an expensive gift to an NFL team owner, when you can have a Spanish Language book fair and other genuinely valuable events?

Special Invitation to Library and Other School Professionals From the event organizers:
For the first time, LéaLA will open its doors to librarians and representatives of educational institutions who are eager to renew and expand their book catalogues. Friday, May 15 will be a special day for individuals from these sectors to establish business contacts with publishers attending the fair.

This will be a great opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of new developments in the publishing industry and create networks that will help expand the distribution of Spanish-language books in the state of California and throughout the rest of the US and also enrich the collections of libraries, schools, universities and other institutions. 

All librarians, teachers, students and others interested in acquiring books for their institutions are cordially invited. We look forward to seeing you there!
 Friday, May 15, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

More information: Carolina Gutiérrez Perini / Exhibitor and Professionals Coordinator

Spring's First On-line Floricanto 
Roberto D. Hernández, Liz Durand Goytia, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Sonia Gutiérrez, 
Pedro Enriquez, Paul Portugés, Mario Angel Escobar

The Moderators of the Facebook community Poetry of Resistance:Poets Responding to SB 1070, led this month by Iris de Anda and Sonia Gutíerrez, nominate seven poets who bring nine poems for today's La Bloga On-line Floricanto.

Every World Must First Be Dreamed
By Roberto D. Hernández

I met an old friend today
That Inner child
I had long last seen...
So long I met a new me
At once child
And twinkling eye
I smiled
I cried

To be a kid again
Carefree innocence
Singing soul
Dancing feet
Drumming heart
Endless games
Cartoon fame

Imagination without bounds
Magic incarnate
Love lived with every breath
For such is the how
And of what we are made
Confirmed in every parent's
Protective gaze
Each warm embrace
Creator's way

Roberto D. Hernández was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico but raised in San Ysidro, California, just a short ten blocks from the U-S///Mexico border, which has figured prominently in his political, poetic and professional development and commitments.  He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University but is grounded first and foremost in Chicana/o-Indigenous anti-border movements and traditions.

Pesa tanto la noche
Por Liz Durand Goytia 

en medio de la primera noche fría
con este corazón picado por avispas
me miro arder las manos y los ojos
me desconozco la voz este aullido
me desconozco en el dolor más negro.

en donde ya no encuentro nada
busco el otro sonido
el de sus pasos que no suenan aquí
donde cada rincón me desconoce
y no guarda los mínimos recuerdos
para velar los diminutos restos
de esta memoria cercenada.

No se tiene respeto
en este claustro sitiado
por las heridas viejas ni las nuevas.
No hay voces que prometan
que nunca más habrá dolor en vez de pan.

Liz Durand Goytia, Orizaba, Ver., 1955. Poeta y artista plástica, promotora cultural independiente. Ha publicado Caja de Colores, Cincelar el tiempo, Alrededores del Perdón, Poemas en un Cuaderno y la compilación de relatos Mujeres que Cuentan. Ha sido antologada en varias publicaciones en México, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica y Berlín. Ha formado parte del Comité Organizador del Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres Poetas en el País de las Nubes y es organizadora del Festival Internacional Palabra en el Mundo en Ensenada, B.C., donde reside. Imparte talleres de escritura creativa.

Tiger Wasp
By Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

My mother wakes up
in the morning
before my father
to make his lunch for work.
He leaves two large plums
where her eyes used to be.

I know I am supposed
to look
away from them,
and I do.

Their nectar must
have the sweetness
of plum skin
after wasps
bury their young

She smiles at me
and though I know
I am supposed to look
away, I don't—
her eyelids
open long enough
for me to see
the purple
and ripeness
my father’s hands
are capable of
tying in a knot.

I unbutton her eyes
and tuck them in my pocket
and put her to sleep
and I bury them
somewhere far,
so she will never find them,
so they will never turn into plums,
so that the young will have no choice
but to eat their way out of their mother

until all that is left
of the wasp is a brittle piece
of string with legs.

I think of how
I too wasn’t pulled out
of her body
too soon,
too angular—
and demanding food
from her wringed and
limp body flapping with air.

Originally appeared in Huizache 

By Sonia Gutiérrez

Hay puertas
que solitas se abren.
Pero hay otras
que aunque
estén desmoronándose
están atrancadas
con tres chapas
invisibles; sus llaves
están oxidándose
en el fondo del océano
de tiburones blancos.
Esas puertas
no intentes abrirlas
a caprichos o a golpes.
Mejor arremángate
la camisa
y ponte a construir
puertas con brochas
y pinturas,
clavos y un martillo, o
con la barita mágica
de tu imaginación.
Y verás que de pronto
aparecerán fundamentos
con puertas
amables a saludarte
porque te habían estado
esperando. Entrarás,
te darás vuelta, y verás
a lo lejos que las puertas
antiguas sólo tienen
los siglos contados.

By Sonia Gutiérrez

There are doors
that open on their own.
But there are others
that even though
they are crumbling
they are locked
under invisible
triple locks; their keys
are at the bottom
of the ocean floor
by white sharks.
Those doors
do not attempt
to open
on whims or with blows.
Instead, role up
your sleeves; build
doors with paints
and brushes,
nails and a hammer, or
with the magic wand
of your imagination.
And one day
you will suddenly see
foundations with friendly
doors greet you.
You will enter,
turn back, and see
from afar those ancient
doors only have a few
borrowed centuries left.

Sonia Gutiérrez’s work promotes social and human dignity.  She teaches English Composition and Critical Thinking and Writing at Palomar College and Chicana and Chicano Prose: Creative Writing at San Diego State University.

Her poems have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, La Jornada Semanal, Tres en Suma: Espacio de Arte, and Tijuana Poética, among other publications. La Bloga’s “On-line Floricanto” is home to her Poets Responding to SB 1070 bilingual poems, including “Best Poems 2011” and “Best Poems 2012.” Her vignettes have appeared in AlternaCtive PublicaCtions, Mujeres de Maíz, Huizache, and forthcoming in Sunshine Noir II fall 2015.

Sonia’s bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña (2013), is her debut publication.  Kissing Dreams from a Distance, a novel, is under editorial review. She is completing her second poetry collection, Legacy / Herencia. Sonia is a moderator for Facebook’s Poets Responding to SB 1070. To learn more about Sonia, visit SoniaGutierrez.com.

La palabra
Por Pedro Enríquez

Cuando la luz de la distancia no tiene voces para el olvido,
cuando se acribillan los sueños de los símbolos huecos,
cuando se duerme con un fulgor de espera en letrina de
nubes oscuras.
Soledad de sables en el humo de los labios, dulzura amarga
de palabra escondida, escalera de sonrisas cuando no
hay salida y el mundo gira sobre la sal de una lágrima centinela.
Cuando la piel es alma y duele una espina de ternura,
cuando la noche es silencio que devora los segundos de un
misterio irresoluble, cuando en el alba duele ser hombre y
mirarse es atravesar la distancia del miedo.
Cuando el espacio se engrandece con el impulso del yo libre,
cuando se mira el horizonte manchado con la miseria
urbana de las bocas pequeñas, cuando se inunda el espíritu
con un viento hermano y se convive con el impulso de
la alegría.
Cuando naufraga la frente en los besos, cuando se quiebra
la distancia de las manos en una batalla de lenguas enlazadas,
cuando se hunde la vida entera en los suburbios
donde sueñan los no nacidos.
                 Entonces la poesía.

(De Sueños en el laberinto)

Pedro Enríquez. Poeta, narrador y editor español, académico con la letra Z de la Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada. De su obra se han publicado 15 títulos y poemas suyos han sido traducidos al francés, hebreo, árabe, inglés, italiano, portugués, turco, ruso, quechua, catalán y japonés. Director y organizador de múltiples actos culturales como Festival de “Poesía en el Laurel”. Codirector del Festival de Otoño de Poesía y del Libro de Granada. Director del programa de radio emitido por Internet: La voz a ti debida. Tardes de radio y literatura. Asesor Cultural del Centro UNESCO de Andalucía (España). Presidente de la Filial España del Consejo Americano de Todas las Sangres (Lima, Perú). Presidente de la Asociación Cultural “Granada13artes”. Propuesto para el Premio “María Zambrano” a la mejor contribución a la cultura andaluza. Condecoración con la Orden José María Arguedas en el Grado de Maestro, por el Consejo Nacional e Internacional Todas las Sangres, en Cusco, Perú. Gran Premio Internacional en la decimocuarta edición de la Feria Internacional del Libro de Puerto Rico, por su importante aportación al mundo literario a través de su obra poética. Escritor perteneciente a los intelectuales miembros fundadores de la Maison de la Sagesse de Grenade. Miembro del Consejo de Consulta de la Fundación Club del Libro en Marruecos. Parte de su obra ha sido musicada por cantautores de Argentina, España y Marruecos. Ha impartido conferencias y talleres de poesía en Universidades y Festivales de Panamá, Colombia, Puerto Rico, México, Estados Unidos, Marruecos, Argentina y Uruguay. Como antólogo ha publicado: Desde la otra orilla. Poetas de Rosario, y Antología poética de las dos Granadas (edición en España y Nicaragua).

César Vallejo 
By Paul Portuges

César Vallejo my mystic velvet poet
whoring confessions from an ethereal gutter
you trace with word shadow an immense mime of Western guilt
you still winged lean Christ my beat compadre dance me naked
beyond revolutionary dark oh sublunar genius
skirting emotional hopes of boyish scholar priests

César I am your cowboy of death
a hateshod fugitive driven by headline destruction
where humans are eating the rivers and trees
César I sing them your political songs of pure white narcissus
mouth barbaric yawp and unbury your man-eyes
blazing a trail through pandemonium with your hairy brain

César my dove-tame fugitive teacher I am breathing
your future as you take me like Dante through night flowers
festered in barrio dreams masturbating the absurd
what is the militant secret behind your exiled eyes
can we help uncover the media's lips
glide beyond the wave of a wave-driving wind

César my desolate angel let’s wing past eons
of backbreaking words shoving the no longer take it
into badges of dignified work and border crossing poems
César my Amazon bird we’ll fly fire-blooded
singing thigh deep in the phantasmagoric self
working sounds woven on the sweat loom of la raza’s cry

César buried in sister-brotherhood we'll catch myths
from a net of stars inebriate of night born in our mouths
loving the bluest planet we'll wring her stolen air
and arise with words of freedom arise with prisoners of the soul
in a better world birthing ourselves green and more than we are
not the wretched they have made us but one for all and all for one

Paul Lobo Portugés is a contemporary American poet, film maker, and essayist who teaches film and creative writing in the Department of Film and Media Studies and in the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Indocumentada confesión
Por Mario Escobar

Y uno aprende
a volar sin alas,
a dar el paso preciso...
ante la sed y el hambre
y a descuidar el ego.

Entre largas horas de jornada
uno aprende
a quitarle el polvo a la pasión
a planchar los suspiros
aunque el día tenga cara de noche.

Y también uno aprende
la diferencia
entre un camino
de asfalto
y un camino de desprecios
y que vale más sonreír
aunque más tarde
el llanto te cobre
el doble.

Undocumented Confession 
By Mario Escobar

And you learn
to fly without wings
to take the necessary step
to neglect the ego
amidst thirst and hunger

And you learn
during long working hours
to dust off the passion
even when the day
has a face of night

And you learn
the difference between
an asphalt road
and a road of disdains
and you learn
to smile
to suppress
the salty pearls
of your eyes

Mario A. Escobar (January 19, 1978-) is a US-Salvadoran writer and poet born in 1978. Although he considers himself first and foremost a poet, he is known as the founder and editor of Izote Press. Escobar is a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages at LA Mission College. Some of Escobar’s works include Al correr de la horas (Editorial Patria Perdida, 1999) Gritos Interiores (Cuzcatlan Press, 2005), La Nueva Tendencia (Cuzcatlan Press, 2005), Paciente 1980 (Orbis Press, 2012). His bilingual poetry appears in Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry by Kalina Press.

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