Thursday, February 28, 2008

Juan Felipe Hererra on raulsalinas

photo of raulsalinas by Bruce Dye

From Lisa, La Blogista: We hope this stirs and ignites you. Please leave a comment and more importantly take raulsalinas' example to heart....Gracias to Juan Felipe Herrera

hail raúlrsalinas :: 1934 – 2008 :: hail liberationlove
raúlr was in red. he came in lower-case, strutting down thru the brown cadre in red, a red bandanna across his forehead & taut around his black tresses down to his shoulders, smilin, boppin’ slow & glowin’ hard, in blue tramos planchados & curled to show the calcos spit-shined black solid, bluish tattoos, turquoise rings & gold medallions, a slung-fine chain swingin’ down the black spaghetti-thin belt, under the amber light in the center of the waiting audience, this is where the street-royal carnal found his calling, throttled the mic & peered into the brown cadre huddled on the floors, some of us squeezed against the shadowy aisles, the rest of us in crescent shaped circles, in strange awe, smeared hot against each other’s shoulder bones, the dark jeweled man in red stood under that first-time sparkle-light, his veined muscled arms swayed at his sides, then, he spoke, his bold baritone sounds found a silky-river way into our head, then coursed through our blood as if we were one blood, what was he all about? what was happening to us? where were we headed, now that we had been set off in motion? raulr was riffin’, blowin’, boppin’, snappin’ spittin’, talkin’-singin’ for the new freedom-body, without the locks, fetters & guards of officialized history, policies, and summations of our multi-dimensional self. november 13th, 1973, raulr appeared in the morning, at the floricanto first national chicano literature conference at USC, thirty-eight years old, one year after he had finished doing his time at leavenworth penitentiary, i sat in the center row, dressed in a tzotzil tunic i had brought back from chiapas in ‘70, miguel mendez, tomás rivera, teresa palomo acosta, zeta acosta by the doorway, then raulr popped the mic again & flowed into “un trip thru the mind jail y otras excursions,” he was speakin’ black, caló, tex-mex, chicano & some kind of san francisco beat mantra chakra choppin’ language meant to pierce your awareness: who are you? who did you think you were? what is oppression? how is it constructed? how many of your rooms does it occupy? who else resides in these chambers? is there a way out? then, the baritone voice slid back into the crimson body under the lights – raúlrsalinas ambled away, into the fresh trembling borderless nation. raúlr’s nation was borderless, he had crossed it, on foot as on the page & the stage, speaking, riffin’ & teaching human verses & unity actions – from working class “barbed-wired existence” barrios, from the land of high school force-outs, from grave stones of bullet-riddled camaradas, from “narcotic driven nerviosidad,” from suicided “colonias” & familias, to “ex-convictos activistas doing good in cities of chavalos gone bad,” to “trenzas indigenas,” dedicated to a revitalized indi@ collectivity, to “cantor de cantinas, pasándole poems a perennial pachukos prendidos, hoping to ease their pain,” “cantando colores de flores in arco iris danza,” ”learning en la lucha,” honoring the oak tree at the margins of a desolate collective capitol, honoring “indias, comadres wearing ski-boots so essential para caminar.” raúlr too was a walker, a walker-writer of the chican@ inferno & finder-seer of "rainbow people spirit." raulrsalinas was a true liberator: a kind fire-word man of soul-jazzed languages, a writer within & without prison walls, a socio-political mind-jail wall-breaker-scribe-singer, a collector, reader & translator of stolen cultura-tablets, a speaker of & for tender homage & eulogy to the invisibilized, a fearless warrior seeking the paths to our indigenous selves, lands & pueblos, relentless in responding to the “animales transnacionales” & militarized hydra machines, a shaman in demin, re-conjuring herstories of unwritten pachuka murders & oppressions across the southwest & pacific northwest, undoing the anthropological & sociological tyrannies of el pachuko, that is, all of us, in lower-case motion – raulr sings in a mid-fifties bebop alto & baritone gold-gilded sax voice, from pine ridge to chiapas, from el barrio de la loma to the diné rez, from shoshone & arapaho tierras to la selva lacandona, healing-gathering, healing-working – “respeto, paz y dignidad,” raúlr offers his life-quest harvests to all of us. what else, raúlr? you were speaking of lower-case love – everything we all are, have been & will ever be. in liberation --juan felipe Herrera, 2/25/08


And from poet Oscar Bermeo:

Just wanted to pass along that last week, there was a tribute to raulsalinas

Among the readers sharing their thoughts and presenting the work of Raul

Alejandro Murguía
Tomás Riley Francisco
J. Dominguez
Marc Pinate
Naomi Quiñones
Leticia Hernández-Linares
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Nina Serrano
Jack Hirschman
Darren de Leon


More teatro news, Denver-style

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare Thursday – Saturday, February 28 – March 1 Thursday – Saturday, March 6 – 8 7:30pm King Center Rawls Courtyard Theatre Auraria Campus, Denver Tickets: $12 General Admission $5 UC Denver students Sponsored by: Theatre, Film and Video Production Department.

José Mercado, new Assistant Professor of the Theatre, Film & Video Production Department, directs a contemporary telling of a classic comedy driven by mix-ups, coincidence and slapstick humor, with the events confined within the action of a single day. The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s earliest, shortest and most farcical play. It tells the story of two sets of identical twins and the wild mishaps that occur through mistaken identity. Before joining the faculty at UC Denver, Mercado was head of the theatre department at North High School where he directed "The Zoot Suit Riots", the first high school production to play at Denver Performing Arts Center’s Buell Theatre. Prior to teaching, he worked as an actor in Los Angeles after earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from UCLA. He is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Actor’s Equity Association. He is also a member of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs.


Women and Creativity Conference/Lisa Alvarado Shameless Self-Promotion Department

Gente: I've been blessed enough to have been asked to perform The Housekeeper's Diary at the conference -- Friday, March 7, at 8 PM at the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Roy E. Disney Center for the Performing Arts, as well as a reading for high school students at the Center's Wells Fargo Auditorium, Monday, March 10th at 10 AM.

Conference Info: Women and Creativity 2008 is organized and presented by the National Hispanic Cultural Center in partnership with more than 25 local arts organizations, artists, writers and independently owned-business. This year, we have an inspiring offering of more than 50 exhibitions, performances, workshops, classes, and engaging discussions in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Women and Creativity
partners invite you to dedicate an afternoon, evening or entire weekend in March to attend events and workshops that awaken and nourish your own creativity and support the creativity of our communities. Although we shine a special light on women’s creativity during this festival, we invite and encourage the participation of men at all events.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center, along with our partners in Women and Creativity 2008, believe that creativity, art and self-expression are central to sustaining healthy individuals, organizations, business and communities – so, join in and celebrate the creative women in your community and the creativity inside yourself.

There will also be a fabulous PEÑA FEMENINA Sunday, March 9th at NHCC's LA FONDA DEL BOSQUE;

Other Artists:
Alma Jarocha,
Leticia Cuevas, Anabel Marín,
Otilio Ruiz, Victor Padilla

Jessica López

Bailaora Xicana, Flamenco
marisol encinias, vicente griego, ricardo anglada

Lenore Armijo


National Hispanic Cultural Center
1701 4th St, SW Albuquerque, New Mexico


Teatro Luna Fabulousness!

Teatro Luna has a BRAND NEW SHOW opening on March 6th, but you can catch it now! This Saturday and Sunday see a sneak preview of Teatro Luna's most intimate show yet... SOLO TU, a collection of
four interwoven solos all about different women's experiences with PREGNANCY.

One woman thinks she's finally built the perfect family - Mom, Dad, Cute Kid- until an invasion of mice makes her wonder what's really going on. Another woman finds herself caught up in the worst kind of Baby-Daddy-Single-Mama Drama. Meanwhile, a woman in her third year of trying to get pregnant decides her pregnant friends make her want to vomit, and her close friend wrestles with pro-life activists, hospital robes, and how she feels about having an abortion in her 30's.

Saturday @ 7:30 pm and Sunday @ 6pm

SHOW RUN: March 6-April 6 2008
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 7:30 pm
Sundays @ 6pm
Chicago Dramatists 1105 W. Chicago Ave, at Milwaukee
Tickets $15, Student and Senior Discount on Thursdays and Sundays only, $10
$12 Group Sale price, parties of 8 or more
For tickets, visit

Lisa Alvarado


Anonymous said...

that's some good loving, herrera, enough to turn a bilingual educator into a code-switching loco, and more than enough to twang a chicano heart.

gracias, y sigue cantando.


msedano said...

raúlrsalinas' work epitomizes both chicano and unitedstatesian art in so many ways. over at gemini there is a series of five videos featuring the aged poet reading his own stuff.

hey, lisa! glad to see you're gonna perform soon. while we're all morose over our fallen comrades, it's always great reminding gente, especially kids, that we, they, are the future. adelante!

Rebel Girl said...

"in liberation" indeed!

powerful - thanks so much - I'll share with my students next week - Lisa Alvarez