Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And now they are reunited! Foto help needed. On-Line Floricanto.

And Now They Are Reunited!
Michael Sedano

Over the last three years I've been searching for videotapes documenting the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto held at the University of Southern California.

Across the three days of that 1973 event, dozens of poets, novelists, critics, and community activists had addressed enthusiastic audiences, SRO in many events.

As Chief Photographer for the Daily Trojan, I assigned myself the pleasure of photographing the event. I wasn't the sole documentarian. A two-camera television production crew worked the floor. I poked my head into the production trailer and noted the state-of-art Ampex 2" recorders spinning away. The way it worked, first generation stuff went to 2" tape. This was transferred to 3/4" U-matic reels and the 2" original was blacked and re-used. Those second generation 3/4" tapes would preserve the historical record and were infinitely copyable. Hold that thought.

As I noted in an earlier La Bloga, I thought that videotaped record had been lost after I discovered neither El Centro Chicano--who hosted the event--nor Doheny Memorial Library, had copies, much less the 2d generation "original" U-matic dupes. Then, using UC's Melvyl system and Worldcat, I located a set of tapes at University of California Riverside, and Texas A&M Kingsville. Of all the artists who read in 1973, only thirty-nine performances (35 writers, 1 pianist, 3 teatros) made it to the UCR/Texas A&M holdings.

With that list of 35 writers in hand, I set out to contact the surviving videotaped performers, thinking to hold a "then and now" reunion of the readers on videotape, as a way to connect historical artifacts to the living, ever-developing body of Chicana Chicano Latina Latino literature, and hold a 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto.

In conjunction with this dream, I set out to digitize the analog material to allow access to these wondrous performances by today's students, scholars and readers. Even if there could not be a 2010 floricanto, the record of that earlier event deserved an audience.

After a protracted series of phone calls, emails, and visits, I received copyright clearance from USC. I contacted Juan Felipe Herrera, a 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto videotaped poet and professor at UCR. Juan Felipe located the last functioning U-matic cassette player at UCR and smoothed the way through channels at UCR's Tomás Rivera Memorial Library. Thanks to Juan Felipe and the incredibly helpful Jim Glenn, head of UCR's Media Center, I was able to accomplish most of that goal.

Ironically, both UCR and Texas A&M Kingsville had lost the videos of José Montoya and Roberto Vargas.

Several institutions, in California and Arizona principally, listed audio cassette holdings of the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto, including California State University Long Beach.

Last week, Barbara Robinson, the librarian managing Doheny Library's growing Chicano and Latino Studies collection--and who secured the copyright clearance from USC's legal department--arranged an Inter-Library Loan of the Montoya and Vargas tapes from CSULB.

Sadly, the aural quality of these informally duplicated tapes is dismal. Someone had placed a microphone next to a loudspeaker and pushed the Record button. The source is likely those same U-matic tapes. The "originals"? A couple hours work dubbing into my Macbook, then processing through Bias Soundsoap 2 software, and the once was lost but now are found voices of José Montoya and Roberto Vargas are retrieved.

At last the 35 voices have been reunited! At the September 15-17, 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow, USC will announce the availability of those 1973 historic literary performances--33 on video, 2 on audio--via the USC Digital Library.

Flor y canto graphic by Magú. Prismacolor on artboard. ©2009 by Magú.

Almost 50 poets and fiction writers will read at September's Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow, including 13 veteranos from the 1973 videorecordings: Alurista, Alejandro Murguia, Enrique Lamadrid, Ernest Mares , Estevan Arellano, Jose Montoya Juan A. Contreras, Juan Felipe Herrera, R. Rolando Hinojosa, Roberto Vargas, Ron Arias, Veronica Cunningham, Vibiana Chamberlin. USC will provide live video streaming and the event will be videographed by documentarian Jesus Treviño.

Details of the schedule and other important information regarding Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow shall be available in the very near future. Click here to be added to the P.R. e-mail list for the festival.

Floricanto Foto ID Help Needed

Two weeks ago, La Bloga posted images of poets with no names, along with links to two web pages of unidentified work-in-process fotos.

If you know any of the gente in these fotos, or suspect you know, or have an inkling they look familiar but they're all old now, please send what you know to Michael Sedano.

On-Line Floricanto: Poets Respond to Arizona Hate Legislation

Regardless of a court enjoining Arizona from enforcing SB1070--a decision very much up in the air--the legislature and governor of that state have sent a loud and clear message to the world: the United States of America legislates hate.

And what are the targets of hatred and murderous intent to do? In his circa 1969-1972 poem "Dawn Eye Cosmos," Alurista gives one answer that poets in 2010 are reaffirming. Alurista writes:

do we want to go
and blow up a building
or can we change
the place of many pueblos heart
through the calles
cantando about nuestra
ofreciendo la vida
a cambio de armonía

Singing about our nation, working constructively to share a community's heart and soul, are among things poets do best. Working for harmonious change is something I wish Unitedstatesians, like the pendejos in charge of Arizona, understood. If they had ears to hear and eyes to see, the haters of Arizona could see themselves as the rest of the world sees them.

Each week, La Bloga proudly shares space with moderators of Facebook's Poets Responding to SB 1070 who send a selection of current poetry que canta about nuestra nación expressing visions of cambio de armonía.

late corazón
late y canta
tu canción

1."First Joy" by Alma Luz Villanueva
2."Dragoon Mountain Dreams" by Abel Salas
3. "The Feminine Principle" by Devreaux Baker
4. “if you want them to listen/how to write a successful poem part 2” written by Unanonymous Pookie De La Cruz Haros Lopez
5."Tell Them You Don’t Know Who Those People Are" by Edith Morris-Vasquez
6. “Poem With a Phrase of Isherwood" by Francisco Aragón
7. "OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: A diptych" by Gregg Barrios
8."POEMA-TATOO SB1070" por Adrián Arias

"First Joy" by Alma Luz Villanueva

It's in my nature, if
there's flowers I
will pick them, put
them in water, a

bright spot on the
table- if there's
food I will cook it
with basil, garlic, onions,

salsa, curries, good
wine- if there's music
I will dance in circles,
hands up in the air, simple

joy- if there's beach
I will walk it, ears
tuned to her undying
song, my feet happy with

salt- if there's water,
ocean, creek, river, lake
I will swim, expand myself
into dolphin leap, beauty

into air- if there's
air I become the oldest
tree on Earth, my newborn
leaves sipping sunlight,

my ancient roots sipping
darkness, wisdom, secrets,
first leaf, first breath,
first flesh, first joy.
* * *
If I laugh too loud,
forgive me-
if I sing too much,
forgive me-
if I dance without warning,
forgive me-
if I love this journey,
this path, this time,
this moment, this fresh
yellow lemon rose scent,
for give give give give me,
now for get get get get
simple so simple rose
petal first flesh. Joy.
* * *
For give us, Mother,
our Earth, our human
desecrations, violations
of your spirit home

spirit, I worry, will
you survive us, then
I see you turning turning,
raising your hands, first

A mi hijo, Jules, who loves la Madre Mar, dances with her, surfing...

Alma Luz Villanueva
Santa Cruz, Califa, July 2010

"Dragoon Mountain Dreams" by Abel Salas

I am running, breathing
Fast and climbing, the
Pebbles underfoot scattering
in echo of genetic memories
carried in the wishful capillaries
That sting with child sweat
And desert dust in the Texas
Canyon not far from the
Dragoon Mountains along the
Interstate that flings us,
Me, my father, sometimes
A carload with three or four
Spirited girls who take turns
Reading or drawing horses
for me, always, on every ride
a quiet, beautiful brother seven
years ahead like a prince walking
alongside my father in a Stetson

This is Arizona and they are
Here with dinosaur-sized rocks
Scampering across the rest stop
So familiar from countless Texas-Cali
Criss-crossings it has become a ritual
for them, a glittering reward for him
He knows already of Goyaalé, the
The true human name of the one
Known by the whites as Geronimo,
Has spoken Crazy Horse in one
Dizzy exhale alongside the names
Cochise and even Mangas Coloradas,
Spoon-fed Black Elk's prayers, he has
Watched in quiet awe while his brother
Carves V-I-L-L-A and Z-A-P-A-T-A
and C-H-E onto planks of wood with
a soldering iron that glows and smokes,
Has played at Apache and Nez Perce
Even longer now than cowboy or cops
He is the child who shapes a pyramid
Of clay in fifth grade for a teacher
Who marvels at the boy who reads
the sad story of Chief Joseph and writes
A bi-centennial essay scolding the U.S.
For its broken treaties and the wars
inflicted on its noble and native people

The teachers are openly proud
And honor him with a task as tutor
To children in the special room
Or the library where he tells
Them stories of wakantanka and
The trickster coyote when they
Cry and beat the floor with their
closed fists because the words, letters,
Pages dance and move in backward
somersaults before their sad, tender
eyes and the 10-year-old storyteller
Does not yet know the real name
For what hinders them or even how
to tear the gift from inside himself
and lodge it gently in their souls,
these smaller boys he reads to in
The afternoon when his classmates
Are sent on crossing guard duty
Or recess in an oak tree playground

Always, he remembers Arizona
Thinks he will find a vision there
If he walks through the night
Toward the desert strongholds
That once sheltered the stoic
Warriors who make him proud
He is able to say Azteca and Maya
And Comanche in the same phrase
He builds a lodge and a small travois
Because there is not enough earth
For a hogan or poles for a tipi
He looks for flint and obsidian
Collecting feathers from the
Chickens and the turkeys his
Mother is grooming for meals
Inside the small trailer home
where the seven in his family
live until it is time to leave
the empty patch of land where
a pony named Billboy has died
and been burned and buried
until the move to a crowded city
named for the dark-skinned angels
who led his horse and his great uncle
to a peaceful field far beyond the stars

The sweat lodge at seventeen
Takes him back to every moment
Leads him on the road to four
Directions as the sage steams on
Blistering, white-hot volcanic rocks
Rocks unlike the canyon boulders
Left behind outside of Tucson
Near the ancient saguaros and
Their phantom sign language
To his cousin Anthony and the
Accidental elbow fracture,
a mere seven years before, to the
Shame on his father's face when
He confessed he was responsible
Even if Anthony smiled with pride
After the gesso was set and painted
No one knew the backyard scuffle
Had been over who would be chief
Because Anthony was Arizona and
Could claim a connection to the
Cotton and the hard Yuma sun while
He could only dream of disappearing
With the Dineh or the Yaqui for good

The ceremony and an uncle poet like a
Granite stone come to life with fire
Bring me to myself just as the dance
And the circle and the drum remind
Me of a bond from birth and creation
To Relatives reclaiming the traditions
A strong medicine woman much later
who knew the poet and has forsaken
the dance that was not hers because
it came not from the ice mountains of the
Raramuri where her mother was born
Has spoken new dreams and opened
Doors to the spirit world like tendrils
I could not have foreseen or known
And still a part of me resides there in
each palm that came to shape the song
and the healing with notes and melody
as if wind in flutes made from bone or
Earth or reed in the throats of these
Teachers and honored aunties, uncles, or
The soul sisters and wise grandmothers
And also the lost lovers who guide me still
Even in their echoing gray absence after they
Have made the move to other places on the
Water path that glows like a red silk ribbon
Leading us to places of peace and joy like
Amber or turquoise stones fused tightly,
Bound with silver and leather clasps for
Hearts seeking, beating together always
Over and again. Again. Heya, heya-ho

"The Feminine Principle" by Devreaux Baker

It began with a dream of the moon-goddess
Belly filled with rain
Arms and legs stretching far across man-made borders

It began with night and the wind moving
Like drum beats
Against the face of the land

It began in youth
With a deity the color of the rainbow
Ix Chel calling her children home

It began with a song and gourds
Rattling seeds
Feet stamping out heartbeats

It began in love and moved into war
Entwined serpent as headdress
Skirt of crossed bones
Claws for hands and feet

This is what it means to embrace
The female warrior
Cihuacoatl Yaocihuatl

War Woman

It began in night
Filled with stars
And fire

Chichen Itza calling us home
Ixchel, Ixchebeliax, Ixhunie, Ixhunieta
It began with blessings and the
small tightening
in the back
of the throat

It began with that song rising out of the
dreaming place
flying across man-made borders
welcoming us home.

“if you want them to listen/how to write a successful poem part 2” written by Unanonymous Pookie De La Cruz Haros Lopez

don't use the word border
don't use the word scapegoat
don't use the words nation of immigrants
possibly don't use the words minute men
maybe don't use the word pilgrim
don't mention N.A.F.T.A.
or the Mexican Gulf water war
don't mention Treaty of Guadalupe
don't talk about native america,aztlan or turtle island
don't speak about one nation,mitakuye oyasin,eagles,condors
madre tierra, no borders, no papers
don't scream about dolphins,whales,turtles burning
don't mention the genocide of so many water breathing nations
don't use the word excuse or lie or maybe or truth
don't mention 2013
don't use the word poem
don't think evolution
don't scribble revolution
don't speak your real name
forget the words oppression, false histories or herstories
don't speak of ancestories, ancestrees, ancestor homes
don't ask them to re-member
don't say the words always or never
because it never happened
don't tell them you know they are lying
don't mention forgiveness or seven generations
don't sing about water or fire
don't use the word 1992
delete the words 500 years from your vocabulary
don't mention their great great great grandfather or abuelas
don't say connection,corazon, alma
and never ever ever use the word love
use deeply coded synonyms for fear and hate
acknowledge them without using the word you
don't say the word us or u.s.
don't use more than one language without a multilingual translation
don't mention ghandi, budda, martin, malcolm, dolores, rigoberta, chavez,ramona or maria
dont use the word god, dog, spirit, ometeo, yemaya,serpent
don't speak in tongues
please again let me remind you
don't ever ever never ever ever use the word amor

unwritten por Learsi Saroh Francisca Xotchil De La Donia Lopez

"Tell Them You Don’t Know Who Those People Are" by Edith Morris-Vasquez


I am eight. Us kids sit
according to age…the older ones
get the windows. I am in the middle.

My eyes have swallowed whole
a picture of what Mama’s doing
all dressed up for some fun

Though this is not that cuz we're at la linea.
I remember what I'm supposed to do.
Even though we don’t believe it,

we all say “American.” Except for Mama.
She has to explain that she's not.
She gets her picture to prove it.

Its on a shiny plastic card she keeps
it hidden so I rarely see it. I remember
another thing I need to remember cuz

I might never see it again. I look at it.
She hates it when they take her picture.
She says she’s dark, short, and ugly.

I think it’s because she’s
beautiful, wise, and dominant
that she was turned into a document.

It is green to say she’s different,
not deserving of white, the color of
barbies and brides. She’s driving us from Juarez

and back to California. The trick
is that all the people we love have to
stay here and we have to leave them

until they come see us only when its dark night
they rush in, clean up, and leave before the sun
comes up. They say, “We’ve just come to say goodbye.”

And Mama says, "Quick take your lunch...
I'm not kicking you out but you better get
going." NO, I think but don't say it.

I run fast and go hide my face so nobody knows
in a towel that hangs in the bathroom.
It's still wet from my tio’s shower.

We crossed okay but then got pulled over by
one of those green trucks. Nobody told me this
would happen which was a good idea

cuz I was so happy when I noticed my tio
--what was he doing out on the highway?
So happy he’s coming too and he got across

---But, no, oh! Mama's scared now
she looks back at us and says, “if they ask tell
them you don’t know who those people are”

"but there's my tio," I wanna say and Mama looks
into my eyes to say shut it up. And when the man wearing
green comes over to talk to her

Mama says she doesn't know nothing.
He don't believe her so he turns asks David my brother.
“Who’s that man? Do you know him?

Is he traveling with you?" David’s mad
but he don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone.
I look out at my tio and I look in at Mama. Then I hear

my brother speaks back “Why are you asking?”
And he remembers, like a good boy what he needs to say,
"I don't know who those people are."

“Poem With a Phrase of Isherwood" by Francisco Aragón

to Jan Brewer

by Francisco Aragón

Cruelty is sensual and stirs you
Governor, your name channeling the sludge
beneath your cities’ streets. It’s what

spurs the pleasure you take whenever
your mouth’s anywhere near
a mic, defending your law…your wall.

Cruelty is sensual and stirs you
Governor; we’ve noticed your face
its contortions and delicate sneer

times you’re asked to cut
certain ribbons—visit a dusty place
you’d rather avoid, out of the heat.

Cruelty is sensual and stirs you
Governor, the vision of your state
a dream you treasure in secret

though we’ve caught a glimpse
in the jowls of your sheriff:
bulldog who doubles as your heart.

July 2010

"OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: A diptych" by Gregg Barrios


Blackbirds fly
across the desert
dark clouds dip
then vanish into
Chiricahua Peak
and Cochise Head
where an 11-year
war converted
the patient Apache
red-sleeved renegade
avenging a nephew's
death as vultures still tear
at carrion flesh red rock
stained glass monument.

Ft. Bowie, Arizona

* * * * * * * * * * *


clouds hang over
ashen mountain
mesquite tumbleweed
spotted arid landscape
here the great chieftain
Cochise once moved free

caliche caked soil
dry lake bed filled
impervious to rainwater
residue glazed perfect
moment for a mirage

he walks on water
tender footprints
marked forever.

Cochise, Arizona

"POEMA-TATOO SB1070" por Adrián Arias

Adolorido el cuerpo se levanta
y descubre que el cielo no es firme
que las estrellas se mueven y no se caen
que los espejos son difíciles de atravesar
pero eventualmente los atraviesas y llegas
a ese lugar donde las estrellas
son agujeros en la piel de la noche
a ese lugar de fuegos artificiales
de alambre de púas y rayos de sol
que marcan tu cuerpo con el nuevo tatuaje

La noche con la que viajas de regreso a casa
es la más oscura y cierras los ojos
y descubres el cuerpo que se esconde en el cuerpo
en el borde invisible del tiempo
el ojo del cielo está vivo y dentro tuyo
el vestido de luz que es la piel del sueño
se transforma en tu propia carne
que lleva escrita la inscripción

Y te sacas la piel y la piel de tus hijos
y la piel de tu familia
y coses todas las pieles juntas
con la máquina de luz que es el miedo
quieres esconderlos en el vestido que es
la piel imposible de la libertad
y atrapada en las costuras
guardas mensajes de alivio, cartas de amor
fotos recortadas en forma de corazón
sobrecitos de azúcar
souvenirs de una pesadilla en technicolor
que llevan impresa la marca

oh cuerpo atrapado en la fabricación de sueños
cuando abras los ojos sólo vas a querer un
pero sólo obtendrás
y una voz maquinal que a lo lejos te canta

© Adrián Arias 2010


Alma Luz VillanuevaAuthor of eight books of poetry, most recently, 'Soft Chaos' (2009). A few poetry anthologies: 'The Best American Poetry, 1996,' 'Unsettling America,' 'A Century of Women's Poetry,' 'Prayers For A Thousand Years, Inspiration from Leaders & Visionaries Around The World.' Three novels: 'The Ultraviolet Sky,' 'Naked Ladies,' 'Luna's California Poppies,' and the short story collection, 'Weeping Woman, La Llorona and Other Stories.' Some fiction anthologies: '500 Great Books by Women, From The Thirteenth Century,' 'Caliente, The Best Erotic Writing From Latin America,' 'Coming of Age in The 21st Century,' 'Sudden Fiction Latino.' The poetry and fiction has been published in textbooks from grammar to university, and is used in the US and abroad as textbooks. Has taught in the MFA in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, for the past eleven years. And is the mother of four, wonderful, grown human beings.
Alma Luz Villanueva
Now living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the past five years, traveling the ancient trade routes to return to teach, and visit family and friends, QUE VIVA

Abel SalasAbel Salas is the Publisher and Editor at Brooklyn & Boyle, an Eastside arts, lit. and community journal based in the historic Boyle Heights neighborhood. He has taught creative writing in LA County juvenile halls and his work as a journalist has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Latina, The Austin Chronicle and The Brownsville Herald among many others. Salas has been invited to share his poetry on stages in Havana, Cuba, Toluca, Mexico and Mexico D.F. "Dragoon Mountain Dreams" is dedicated, he says, "To all our relations."

Devreaux BakerDevreaux Baker's new book of poems is "Red Willow People", published by Wild Ocean Press, San Francisco.

Pookie De La Cruz Haros LopezIsrael is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English and Xicano Studies and an M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. He is both a visual artist and performance artist. His work is an attempt to search for personal truths and personal histories inside of american cosmology. The american cosmology and symbolism that he is drawing from is one that involves both northern and southern america that was here before columbus. The work both written and that which is painted is attempting to mark and remark historical points in the americas and the world.The mark making attempts to speak to the undeniable presence of a native america that will continue to flourish for generations to come.The understanding which he is drawing from is not conceptual but fact and points to the importance of honoring and remembering ancestral ways of living as a means of maintaining healthy relations with all humans,the winged, all those that crawl on this Earth, all Life, the Water, the Sacred Fire, Tonanztin, Tonatiuh,the Sacred Cardinal Points,everything inbetween, above and below and at the center of self and all things in the universe.
His Poetry can be heard at www.reverbnation.com/waterhummingbirdhouse
He can be found creating poetry and arte on Facebook

Edith Morris-VasquezEdith Vasquez, PhD is a teacher, scholar, and DREAMTEAM member. She hopes that everyone will do everything possible to urge the Senate and the House of Representatives, to immediately deliver the votes necessary to Pass the Dream Act as a Stand-Alone Bill.

Francisco AragónA native of San Francisco and a former long-term resident of Spain, Francisco Aragón is the author of Puerta del Sol (Bilingual Press) and Glow of Our Sweat (Scapegoat Press). He is also the editor of the award-winning The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press). His work has appeared in a range of anthologies, including Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies (W.W. Norton & Company), Evensong: Contemporary American Poets on Spirituality (Bottom Dog Press), Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark Press) and, more recently, Full Moon Over K Street (Plan B Press) and Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices from the Academy of American Poets’ University & College Prizes, 1999–2008 (Academy of American Poets). His poems and translations (from the Spanish) have appeared in various print and web publications, including, Chain, Crab Orchard Review, Chelsea, The Journal, the online venues, Jacket, Electronic Poetry Review, and Poetry Daily. He directs Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also the editor of Canto Cosas, a book series from Bilingual Press featuring new Latino and Latina poets. He is a CantoMundo fellow and a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop in San Antonio. He serves as a VP on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). For more information, visit: http://franciscoaragon.net

Gregg BarriosGregg Barrios is a playwright, a poet, and an independent journalist. He received a Ford Foundation grant to write his award-winning play Rancho Pancho (2008). It will have its regional premiere at Teatro Bravo in Phoenix in late September. His forthcoming play, I-DJ (2010) was awarded a grant from the Macondo Foundation. His book of poetry, La Causa, with an introduction by Carmen Tafolla is due this fall from Hansen Poetry Series.

Adrián AriasAdrián Arias, poeta y artista visual peruano residente en California desde el 2000. ha publicado ocho libros y obtenido importantes premios literarios en Latinoamerica y Europa. "La poesía de Adrián Arias florece en un lenguaje sencillo y eficaz, sus poemas evocan lo concreto y al mismo tiempo trazan un giro conceptual que echa una nueva luz sobre lo cotidiano", Peisa Editores, Lima, Perú.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats Sedano on all your hard work getting the 35 voices together again.
You're a historian we owe much to for this momentous record of Chicano lit.