Tuesday, June 01, 2010

On-Line Floricanto: Poets Respond to Arizona Racists

June 1 Poets Respond to Arizona

1. "Invocación al Sol" by Maria del Carmen Cifuentes
2. "The Ghost Dance" by Hedy Treviño
3. "I Am From Two Different Homes" by Itzie Alarcón
4. "La regla de los ladrones / The Law of Thieves" by Avotcja
5. "Scavenger Dreams" by Jeanette Iskat de Aldana
6. "Hierba Loca: The Children of Aztlan" by Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano
7. "Three-Ten to Tule" (Mixtek, Spanish, English) by Octaviano Merecias-Cuevaso

1. "Invocación al Sol" by Maria del Carmen Cifuentes

invocación al sol

arizona-coral, the rocks, tenacious, we face uplifted toward our ancestors’ spirits;
amethyst, the furled ravines, deepened witness of our grounded stance;
brown, the wrinkled earthen flesh, crackling under solar touch.

tonatiuh, we are yours
ya'áí, we are yours
taawa, we are yours
inya, we are yours
somos hijos del sol

crispened ivory, the strains of our history herniated by stampedes in the pursuit of—
somber, the starred manta upon our shoulders settles to ease the rupturing borders;
musky, the prominence of sweat evaporates in the drought of others.

than, tuyos somos
‘anya, tuyos somos
tavaci, tuyos somos
gui, tuyos somos
we are children of the sun

from the hours gardening their dreams, green, my nopal palms;
and magenta, now, its flowering, resolute, along my vessels overflows:
my soul shall be released from the venom their infection seeks to mold.

yaqui, ndikandii, shá, giizis, kìsiz, k’in, anchü, inti…
somos tuyos, somos tuyos

¡cuidado! this prickly pear heart in my grasp resounds—
it bursts the bounds of penned thorns, consumes the irons branding.
my children vein this arid terrain in the succulence of mixed languages;
through us, this maize land of bronze breathes;
red as the clay, golden as the sun we are nascent.

Sun invoked in Nahuatl, Western Apache, Hopi, Maricopa, Tewa, Mohave, Ute, Triqui, Taa’a, Mixteco, Navajo, Ojibwe, Algonquin, Maya, Mapuche, Kichwa…

2. "The Ghost Dance" by Hedy Treviño


By Hedy Treviño

Boots at the door, ya vienen por allí. With baton in hand the sound of metal crashed thru the door. Ya vienen for allí. But we fear not the tempest for we know this journey well a long long time ago as we stood by the shore and we welcomed our own destiny in 1519 the year of reed 1 remember, but here we are, look, here we are, forever more.

There by the door where you keep your memories at the ready is the little bag con tierra santa that abuelo gathered before you were born combined with cornmeal from the milpa he tended with such care. Can you hear the rustling of the corn like a symphony in the air guiding you and lifting you like a feather in the air. We are the children of the ghost dance, we are here, we are here. A new nation has risen we are the prophesy of the ghost dance fulfilled we are here, we are here.

The ancient journeys, passages and visions will guide us through the fire to bring in a new day, for a new nation has risen. Float like a feather ghost dancer, we are here.

3. "I Am From Two Different Homes" by Itzie Alarcón


By Itzie Alarcón

I am from Aztec Battle cries and Spanish Conquistadores
I am from Spanish backgrounds and English Borders
From Chilies and tortillas
From dirt roads and grandpa’s horses
I am flowers twisted in braided hair

I am from Abuelita’s cooking and mom’s burnt attempts
I am from breakfast enchiladas and frozen waffles
I am from Sunday McDonald’s breakfast
From late night quesadillas
And most of all “you’re legs aren’t broken, go make it yourself.”

I am from two different homes
I am from mommy’s hopes and dreams to daddy’s little princess
From step moms and daddies
I am from mom’s lingering perfume and big curlers you sleep in
From daddy’s Harley and fast cars to papi’s Honda and computers
I am from two different houses but one linked family

I am from sparkly tutus and big head pieces
I am from soccer games and screaming uncles
From pom poms and worn jazz shoes
I’m from jungle gyms and always seeking adventure
I am from playing dress up and pleated skirts
From sleepovers where no one slept
I am from scraped knees and tree climbing

I am from hair spray and bobby pins
From beach days and bonfires
I am from cheer skirts and Friday night lights
I’m from a summer job at the pool
From noisy, fist pumping car rides
To a needle and thread
I am from unforgettable memories

I am from “make me proud” and college is everything
I am from maybe a future teacher or maybe just maybe…
From “follow your dreams and you can do anything”
I am from fears of the future
I am from the pride of my past.

4. "La regla de los ladrones / The Law of Thieves" by Avotcja


La Frontera
Grandisima fantasía
Laberinto malvado
Una monstruosidad increíble
Una mentira mortal
Hecho de alucinaciónes santificadas
La Frontera
Una línea imaginaria
Nacida de la muerte y una dieta de misería
Esta pesadilla venenosa
Fortificada de un montón de codicia
Solamente una soga moderna de hipocresía ilimitada
Una ilusión cruel
La Frontera
Un cuchitril lleno de bobería desmoralizada
Una casa grande creada de robo
Y nadando
En bañeras calientes de lágrimas importadas
La Frontera
Una línea pá esconder un concepto artificial
Alrededor de vallas invisibles
Muros transparentes pá proteger tierras robadas
La Frontera
Dos palabras endiabladas
Dos palabras malvadas
Dos palabras sucias
Reglas de
Ladrones bestiales que no tienen derecho de existir
En la tristeza indescriptible del corazón
De esta vieja Poeta negra

© Avotcja 4/27/2010


The Border
A bigger than life fantasy
An evil maze
An incredible monstrosity
A deadly lie
A creation of sanctified hallucinations
The Border
An imaginary line
Born of death & fed on misery
This poisoness nightmare
Armed & held up by a mountain of greed
Just a modern day noose of unlimited hypocrisy
And cruel trickery
The Border
A hole full of Soul stealing stupidity
A mansion created by thievery
And swimming
In hot tubs of imported tears
The Border
Just a line hiding an artificial concept
Around invisible fences
Transparent walls to protect stolen lands
The Border
Two demonic words
Two evil words
Two filthy words
Laws of
Thieves & bullies that have no right to exist
In the too awful for words sadness in the heart
Of this old black Poet

© Avotcja 4/27/2010

5. "Scavenger Dreams" by Jeanette Iskat de Aldana


By Jeanette Iskat de Aldana

Heed her
this muse of yours
EMA at 5 am
saying get up
write now
get up right now
write now
right now
if you cannot find your glasses
make the type
72 point
and you will see her.

Why am I brewing Pavlov’s coffee?
Because I couldn’t write in the notebook fast enough
I couldn’t find my glasses
too EMA early
for contact lenses
but it is too wrong to go to sleep
so I brew the espresso
light a cigarette
grab a donut
dodge the cat who swipes my passing ankles
seeing fat, sleepy doves
and type
very blindly.

I sometimes
want my dead self back
find the rag picker
and the bone collector
to haul me in.

I said it.

It’s real.

It is hard
to be awake.

And who wants to admit that?
No one.

We strive, right?
That’s what Americans are.
But we are
and we’re not.
Not really.
This country is locust swarm
feeding on its
own self
life scavengers
we want to see ourselves
as collective tiger
or we would
if we could find any tigers left on the planet
outside of casino cages
or cut into
in secret stores.

I sit
paralyzed by my consumption
calling myself locust
looking at what
I take
and what
I give.

The biggest thing I have to give is my heart and mind.

What if I never fall in love again
because now I know
so much more about what it is supposed to be to really love someone
and who is ever going to want
to work that hard with me?

I’ve moved past the lies of love
happily ever after and easy
that love of locusts
swarming, taking the hearts and moving on
I think love is work, work, work, love, work, work
and it is so much work
to really create
love and everything else

They’ve told us we’re hard workers
and we are
but we’re hard workers for them.

All for them.

What we get in their system
is the small love
the small crumbs allowed
after they’re done
with the main meal we’ve prepared.

Scavenging off the remains
I see clearly the vulture
is honorable
as a cleaner
but no one ever picks it as a totem.

The maggot serves its function
but no one ever says maggot
revealed a spiritual truth to me today.

No, we want to be hummingbirds
to only get our truths from hawks soaring
but dung beetles
have stories, too.

We feed our scraps to the world
but they’re developing their own appetites again.
They’ve been hungry way too long
How do you tell them
that there are no second helpings?

The cigarette is out.
The do-nut is devoured
The coffee is cooling
my muse’s locust twin
is snuggling back in my brain
curling in the old, soft folds
saying there is more
you could look at
but how much more
do you want to give right now?

Just go back to sleep,
the locust twin encourages me
don’t do the work.

Don’t think about the scavenger dreams.

Don’t think about the kids living on junk mounds.
You’re not them.
You didn’t put them there.

If I sit in my expensive comfy chair,
drinking my expensive capitalist Bustello
smoking my expensive American Spirts
"healthy" cigarettes
without thought,
then I am just on a nicer ash heap
in the middle of where
locusts swarm.

6. "Hierba Loca: The Children of Aztlan" by Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano


By Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

may we dance
in the living room of hope
our bodies hold memory
we are desert stones

may we rise
in the face of our pain
as Arizona weeds dare
our fists rise most when blown

our hearts pump through sorrow
making way for what is possible
we are farmers, we harvest our own

we are backyard children
playing, watched by la abuela
weaving through each other’s arms

we are leaves
on branches, on roads
fodder after being shade
cover to elders
food for new leaves to grow

we are the blood
rivers, mama’s veins
we are the return
though we never left

our lungs pump through anguish
manifest what is possible
we are Texas breeze in each other’s hair

we are nopal-raised abuelos
we play dice with tomorrow
betting we will overcome

somos, todos, aztlaneros
our roots run deep, run wild
unharnessed, tainted as the Gulf

we were free, we remember
thievery shall not hold us
we have no papers to show

7. "Three-Ten to Tule" (Mixtek, Spanish, English) by Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas

Three-Ten to Tule

(Mixtek, Spanish, English)

By Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas:

Ni’n ch’aa cha’aa ja coto nuu’dee
Ni akanti’de in, u, uni, te ni skunu’de.
In one minute the man reveals his uniform
The minuteman is now a ku klux clan
Two minutes took him to discharge his rage
The Third minute looks at him with accusation.
Yes, the third minutes have eyes and ears in the desert.
When nobody but Mrs. Conscience pays attention.

Four minutes, like a doll in the sand lays Alejandro.
Escarchas de tristezas se derraman en el cactus
Y aquel pobre hombre blanco ríe por dentro
Y la rabia le hierve el alma y le derrite el espíritu
Con la conciencia en su mano y con su dignidad.
Alejandro por los suelos queda plasmado como estatua,
en cinco minutos, en cinco minutos.

Alejandro, Roberto… whatever his name is,
They are all the same, greasy, dirty, poor,
Brown, short, illegal and they steal my jobs.
Nte’nu kiroo’ cha’ luli, nte nu kiro vey,
Seis minutos su rencor se levanta en vuelo
Y se vuelve boomerang de culpa y remordiendo
Siete minutos pasaron y siete veces se culpo.

Ocho minutos, the cholesterol rising like one thousand
Volcanoes waiting to explode in rhythmic contractions
The arteries start pumping lava rivers flowing
from his chest to the brain, from his brain to the mind.
Slowly death kisses his rifle and his hands,
With an open chest, a big heart, a great guilt
It falls to the sand in minute nine.

U cha’ chaku de ichi nuu’a
One shot by the guilty
The other, guiltiness shot him.
One soul flies over the cloud’s people
The other to the Aryan land—no man’s land.
Two humans from the dust of society
become one cloud of dust lost in time.

Okavio, Poesía Mixta, Voz de Nube. 2010.
Translation: The words in mixteco are the kind words Mrs. Death talking.
Prólogo: Three-ten to el desierto de tule relata la historia de aquél que dispara y aquel pobre indígena que muere sin que nadie más sepa, sólo el alma y la señora muerte, dos humanos.


1. "Invocación al Sol" by Maria del Carmen Cifuentes

On extended hiatus from a tormented relationship with her dissertation, María del Carmen Cifuentes is a medical interpreter/translator at a SF Bay area children’s hospital. A Latina of Ecuadorian descent, María del Carmen is currently working on a collection of haiku, headlines and misterios of the bordered experienced of U.S. Latinos. She is concerned with writing that can be experienced communally and builds solidarities across difference. This is her first published piece.

2. "The Ghost Dance" by Hedy Treviño

Name Hedy Garcia Treviño (nickname Jaritta Little willow) because i spent my childhood in the river by the willows.
Born in New Mexico
Hispanic Family was in New Mexico before this area was a territory of the U.S and native family has been here forever.
Mother of 2 wonderful children and 1 precious granddaughter who lives in Phoenix.
I started writing poetry as a young child when i was hit with a ruler for speaking Spanish in school. So poetry has always been my 'healer' my medicine, and poets responding is my temple.
Professionally I'm a substance abuse and mental health therapist.
I was raised by my Spanish speaking grandparents in rural new mexico surrounded by corn fields which sang to me. It was a blessed and fortunate event that my parents abandoned me to the care of my grandparents because i experienced the ancient histories of my familia due to that experience. I practice herbal healing and come from a long family history of 'healers' and gardeners and those who work the land. I feel best when my hands are connected to the blessed earth.

3. "I Am From Two Different Homes" by Itzie Alarcón

Hello everyone my name is Itzel Alexandra Alarcon. I am 17 years old and a recent graduate of La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California. In the fall I will be attending California State Channel Islands and will be an English major. I originally wrote this poem for a class assignment. The assignment was to write our own “Where I’m from” poems based on the original poem by George Ella Lyon. My teacher, Renee Cook, encouraged us to really get into this assignment and try to dig deep to make this assignment meaningful since it was about our own lives.

4. "La regla de los ladrones / The Law of Thieves" by Avotcja

Musician, Writer: Poetry, Short Stories/Playwright, Teacher
proud member & Director of:
Bay Area Blues Society's
Hall Of Fame
2005 & 2010"
37 plus yrs as Bay Area DJ @ KPOO-FM and KPFA-FM. www.Avotcja.co

5. "Scavenger Dreams" by Jeanette Iskat de Aldana

Jeanette Iskat de Aldana is a painter, found object artist and poet living and working in Los Angeles. She grew up around the world and is interested in our collective history and humanity. You can find her online at Facebook or hanging out in Boyle Heights at Corazon del Pueblo. She's working on her first book of poetry and is a newlywed.

6. "Hierba Loca: The Children of Aztlan" by Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano is a queer xicano poet and essayist, author of Santo de la Pata Alzada: Poems from the Queer/Xicano/Positive Pen (Evelyn Street Press, 2005), and editor of the queer people of color anthology series Queer Codex (allgo/Evelyn Street Press, 2004, 2008).

7. "Three-Ten to Tule" (Mixtek, Spanish, English) by Octaviano Merecias-Cuevaso

A trilingual Mixteco poet, socio-linguist, researcher, filmmaker and community educator. A member of H2@arte and Black Poets Society. He is leading the new movement of Poesía Mixta, where the indigenous languages mix with Spanish, English, and Portuguese, can be part of one whole song/poem/piece using simple mathematical structures. Currently he lives in Oregon where he serves as a faculty member for Oregon State University Extension Services working with youth at risk and leading New Media Technology projects. He has long hair, is single, and is looking for his musa. You can find out more about his new media projects at vozdenube.com and Facebook.com/octaviano.merecias or @ myspace.com/oktavio104

1 comment:

msedano said...

Welcome to La Bloga, poets. Thank you for sharing your work.

Michael Sedano