Tuesday, August 03, 2010

On-Line Floricanto August 3

Selections for the August 3, 2010 issue of la Bloga:

From the Facebook Group "Poets Responding to SB1070"

1. ”Trespasser Shoes” by Cesar Love
2. “We are all illegal” by Luise Alberto Ascencio Cortez
3. “Hands” by Odilia Galvan Rodriguez-Francisco
4. “By the time I get to Arizona” by Oscar Bermeo
5. “A Poet's Plan for World Peace” by La Tigresa (Dona Nieto)
6. “Native American Wisdom” by Susan Deer Cloud
7. “Ejido” by Fernando Martí
8. “Rear view mirror” by Dionisio de la Viña

"Trespasser Shoes"

by Cesar Love

Shoes perfect for the fastest dance

Shoes so cool

Even jaywalkers swoon.

Shoes that scale barbed wire

Two taps and you’re invisible

To every cop and guard.

Shoes that violate the dress code

Shoes that never came in a box.

The shoes that skip over stairs

That short-circuit escalators

Three taps and you leap above

Foul lines, flag poles, border checkpoints.

Trespasser shoes

Polished with a darker shade of saint.

Hiding in your closet

Waiting to walk on water.

“We are all illegal” by Luis Alberto Ascencio Cortez

We are all illegals angels and demons, who crossed the border into earth, we claimed this planet ours, but it wasn’t ours to claim, like the mother and her offspring’s they fight over who she loves more but she loves us all equally, as mother earth does Tonantzin, some say they are superior just because their skin is a brighter color, or that they have papers that say they can live in a country, where anyone who seeks a second chance can live and prosper, and then say those who crossed a wall can’t live here. Yeah we crossed a wall to come here but they crossed the sea, we crossed it today they crossed it yesterday, the pilgrims the first illegal aliens, we where native to this land. This was our Aztlan, our Mother earth not America, this was a place of culture, where everyone wore their own skin proud, now some of us walk down the streets hoping the police won’t come and stop us for the color of our skin, to ask us if we are illegal, As if we would destroy their country when in fact they benefit from our stay, to deport those who worked hard who are more loyal than some who are legal, but we can’t be scared, because they’ll win we must stand tall, chins up, walking strong, fists up because it’s through, we can’t take anymore of this segregation, deportation no more.

Luis Alberto Ascencio-Cortez


by Odilia Galván Rodríguez

we storm

the border between

here and there

the border

has been replaced

by people

holding hands


a human chain

across the southlands

our hands are joined

our hands holding

our hands sharing the power

from one palm to the next

a chain of energy

thousands of hands

held in hope

held in love

holding and sharing

in solidarity

for a new world

possible in positivity

in visions

of other realities

our hands


of our hands

red, yellow, black and white




legal hands

just because they are human


sending out a message


sending out love


saying basta ya!




out the hate


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2010

By The Time I Get To Arizona

by Oscar Bermeo

The desert will be dusted with a thick sheet of snow.
Thousands of voices echoing amongst the dead cacti:
Lead us, lead us, there is no food here. Lead us back!

In the now brown mountains, laughter rolls downhill,
a curandero reaches into his bag, pulls out a snow globe
gives it a hard shake, cackles as he see the little flakes

run into each other, bounce like blind birds against
the glass some call home, others claim as border, and
the proudest in the flock declare all mighty nation.



Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently To the Break of Dawn. He now makes his home in Oakland. www.oscarbermeo.com


by La Tigresa (Dona Nieto)

When the children are young
Send them all to summer camp together:
Black, brown, white, red, yellow, caramel,
Mexican, African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, Australian, Everybody
Let them share secrets and become best friends around the camp fire
Then when their hormones start to burst and bloom and leak and seep
Send all the teenagers to summer camp together:
So they fall in love and sneak off to the bushes to make out
Yellow skin, black skin, red skin, white skin, soft skin, newly bearded skin, sensuous adolescent skin
Skin rubbing skin
So that they fall in first love with each other
So that they make their first love with each other
So that they kiss and caress and yield and penetrate and make babies with each other
And then they get married and the in-laws meet each other
And suddenly we all remember
That we are all related
And there is only one family on earth:
And that cutting up the body of our Mother with imaginary lines called borders
Is as stupid and obscene as trying to lasso the moon with a rope
Or trying to chop up the sun into little pieces
And grab the biggest share
And claim it for your own.

Copyright 2010 La Tigresa (Dona Nieto)

Native American Wisdom

by Susan Deer Cloud

Every so often people ask me
for my Native American wisdom.
First I stand there, silent.
Possibly I am remembering
all the times I’ve been a fool,
having a flashback to
a William Blake quip ~
“The road of excess leads
to the Palace of Wisdom.”
But the sky-eyed seekers see
my silence as smoke-signaling
my Native American wisdom.
Once this silent noble Indian
stops toking on holy memories,
I breathe dramatically, lifting
arms up like eagle wings.
I soar, “You have your own
native wisdom. Simply fly
far down into your heart
and all your whirling atoms.
It’s right there.”

Often I flap my wings happily
because I am thinking about
the firefly night a cousin flew
his van off a bridge, us in it,
too drunk and exuberant to die ~
or the Yuletide my sister sped
over parkway meridian Yield sign
and kept right on driving as if
we were in a cartoon, “Thwap!”
and nothing could ever touch
us and our laughing.
“Oh,” I add to those who hunger,
“if anyone charges you big bucks
for their traditional wisdom,
that is known as Native American
fakery.” Then I come in
for a landing, ask
if they’d care to barter
ten bucks for my poetry book.

Susan Deer Cloud

© Susan Deer Cloud 7.13.10


by Fernando Martí

Todos somos Marcos, todos somos Ramona,
todos somos ilegales, in somebody else’s eyes...

Tex the Indian gets up
from his blanket on the sidewalk,
wipes his stubbled chin with
the edge of his hand.
He hasn’t sold a thing today,
but above us business is good
at the 16th Street Hotel,
“chiva, chiva,” “mota, mota,” and “hey baby,”
we listen to the sounds of my street.

Tex points to a square of dirt carved
out of the concrete, where a tree used to be.
“That’s my ejido,” he says, “that’s
where I’ll plant my corn this year.”
We laugh, because the dirt is hard as rock,
and the only thing it’s good for
is growing candy wrappers and needles.
But Tex says, “I’ve been planting corn
in the desert all my life...” and
turns to a new customer.

Funny how borders have a way of
passing over us, funny how white people
like to surround the land they’ve taken with
concrete walls and shiny barbed-wire fences.
Funny how we find ourselves perdidos,
buscando asilo en el corazón de imperio,
donde nadie existe sin su precio,
y todo está de venta…
“And this one,” Tex says, “this little Zapatista doll,
she’s Ramona, y'know, the comandante:
You can have her for 50 cents…”

Todos somos Marcos, todos somos Ramona,
todos somos ilegales, in somebody else’s eyes.


by Dionisio de la Viña

“Ahora vivo en la montaña, querido.
Te estoy extrañando, tú bien lo sabes.

I got the postcard this morning
A nice house nested among mountain trees
The little sky to see was gray
Everything green and wet.
One phrase repeats like a drum
“tú bien lo sabes… tú bien lo sabes”
The truth is … I don’t know
How should I know?
"Been on this lonely desert road."

Been on the road for two hours already
Been on this lonely desert road.
I hear the crunching of tire against gravel
Not much dust in my rear view mirror
Rained a little this morning
The smell of wet desert dirt is strong
The scenery recedes slowly in my
Rear view mirror where my memories
Are proud saguaros standing firm.
They belong on the desert hillsides
Like my flashbacks with this woman
Who whispers in my ear
“tú bien lo sabes… tú bien lo sabes.”

I ask myself if she wants me to find her.
Why not more instructions?
Why not say so? So why am I going
On this uncertain dirt road that
Now spins upward in my rear view mirror.
No more saguaros in my rear view mirror.
My memories remained down in the desert floor.
Hours ago....hours ago....
I am climbing up a memory-less landscape
Covered with pine trees and little gray sky.

Up ahead I see a little sign
“Sanctuary Bed & Breakfast” it says.
I take this uncertain turn
I notice that I am no longer breathing,
I feel the ice in my veins
I roll down the windows and smell
The cold air of estrangement
One more time I hear the chorus
“tú bien lo sabes… tú bien lo sabes”
I want to believe, I sadly admit
As my rear view mirror details
Several cars with license plates
From here and from there.

"As my rear view mirror details
several cars with license plates
from here and from there".


1. ”Trespasser Shoes” by Cesar Love

2. “We are all illegal” by Luise Alberto Ascencio CortezI am thirteen years old.
I write poems, because i ponder on my deepest thoughts, and I see the struggle of the so called "undocumented people" through my family's eyes. I hated this injustice from the start and that drove me to write more and more.

3. “Hands” by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
Poet and Writer, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, is of Chicano-Apache ancestry born in Galveston, Texas and raised on the south side of Chicago. She has done extensive work as a labor /community organizer, with the United Farm Workers of America AFL-CIO, and as a cultural worker and social justice activist. Most recently she worked as the English edition editor for Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba. She is the author of three books of poetry, of which Migratory Birds: New and Noted Poems is her latest. Odilia offers Empowering People Through Creative Writing Workshops nationally.

4. “By the time I get to Arizona” by Oscar Bermeo
Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently To the Break of Dawn. He has been a featured writer at a variety of institutions including the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Kearny Street Workshop, Rikers Island Penitentiary, San Quentin Prison, UC Berkeley, UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU and many others. Recent poems appear in Bestiary Magazine, 580 Split, Milvia Street Journal, and phat'itude Literary Magazine. He has taught creative writing workshops to foster youth in San Jose, bilingual fourth graders in Oakland, and to adults through the Oakland Public Library's Oakland Word program.

Oscar makes his home in Oakland, with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes. For more information, please visit: www.oscarbermeo.com.

5. “A Poet's Plan for World Peace” by La Tigresa (Dona Nieto)

Dona Nieto (born Donna Sue Scissors, aka La Tigresa) made
international headlines in the fall of 2000 when she blockaded logging
trucks with bare-breasted recitals of her poem, “I Am The Goddess,”
putting her body on the line in the struggle to save California’s
ancient redwoods. A Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the
University of Michigan, she did graduate work in Creative Writing at
San Francisco State University, and received a Writer-in-Residence
grant from the Hedgebrook Farms Foundation for Women Writers. Her
writing has been featured on NPR and in The San Francisco Chronicle,
and her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She
is the author of the newly-released book, NAKED SACRED EARTH POEMS
(Regent Press, 2010). As a spoken word artist she has opened for
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder and is a frequent headliner at
poetry events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The documentary film about her forest activism, Striptease to Save the
Tress, created a stir at Sundance 2002, and can be seen by clicking
“Watch” on her website, www.LaTigresa.net. Some of the poems in this
book are presented with jazz accompaniment on the CD, Naked Sacred
Spoken Word, also available on her website.

She lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, California.

6. “Native American Wisdom” by Susan Deer CloudSusan Deer Cloud is a Métis Catskill Native of mostly Mohawk/Blackfoot lineage. She has received various awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Chenango County Council for the Arts Literature Grant, First Prize in Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition (twice), Prairie Schooner’s Readers’ Choice Award, and Native American Wordcraft Circle Editor’s Award for multicultural anthology Confluence. Deer Cloud’s most recent books are The Last Ceremony and Car Stealer (FootHills Publishing); her poems, stories and essays have been published in numerous literary journals and in anthologies such as Sister Nations and Unsettling America. She has also edited a Native anthology I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool) plus 2008 Spring Issue of Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought (she is now an adviser to Yellow Medicine). Currently Deer Cloud is editing FootHills’ Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry and her next book of poems, Braiding Starlight, will be published by Split Oak Press this September. Susan dwells mainly in two third floor poet garrets with her Persian cat of Chinese name, Wu Wei (Doing Nothing) and her one constant lover, Poetry.

You can find Deer Cloud on Facebook or contact her at susan.poetrymatters@gmail.com.

7. “Ejido” by Fernando Martí

8. “Rear view mirror” by Dionisio de la ViñaLike all children in Nicaragua in the 1960s, Dionisio de la Viña memorized poems to recite at school events. In San Francisco, California he received a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in Spanish Literature, and a Ph.D. in education. He has been very fortunate to have studied in Perugia, Italy as well as in Madrid Spain.Mr. de la Viiña has taughtSpanish literature and Education at the University of Arizona for the last 35years. He has had the opportunity to study in Italy, Spain and Brazil. This experience has taught him to appreciate the cultures of many people. He is the father of two daughters and resides in Tucson, Arizona.

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