Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bits&Pcs. On-Line Floricanto

Michael Sedano

The National Latino Writers Conference comes to Alburquerque this week.

Students and faculty from across the nation gather at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for the three day intensive workshopping and interviewing experience.

This year's faculty includes bloguera Lydia Gil and bloguero Michael Sedano.

La Bloga will post daily digests and fotos.

Celebrating Words Festival This Weekend in Sylmar, Califas

Books, panels, family fun, free admission. Click the image above for a closer look. Bloguera Melinda Palacio and blogueros René Colato Laínez and Dan Olivas are on panels and moderators thereof.

On-Line Floricanto

1. ‘Why I Feel the Way I Do About SB 1070" by Andre Yang

2. "Poema para la Madre 'Ilegal'" por Teresinka Pereira

3. "Poets Rose To The Occasion" by Joe Navarro

4. "Minimum Wage" by Raúl Sánchez

5. "Operación conciencia cardenche" por Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas

6. "An Open Letter to the Dean: A Poem" by Margaret Rhee

Why I Feel the Way I Do About SB 1070
by Andre Yang

“If the hurt in someone else hurts us, in a man
we don’t know, who is
present always and is the victim
and the enemy and love and all
we need to be whole.”
–Rosario Castellanos, The Other

Because my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Sanchez
compared my future to gold. Because,
when I told my friend Ernesto
about an uncle’s 3-day funeral,
he told me about his grandmother’s 3-day funeral.
Because of what Christianity has done
for me. Because there is corruption
in all organizations. Because we’re all victims
of colonialism. Because
when the first girl I thought I loved
didn’t feel the same way back,
Tommy Bernal surprised me with the first hug
I’d ever received from a friend.
Because no one else hugged me
again for another three years. Because
Sherman Alexie recognizes that the Hmong
are the Native Americans of Asia. Because
John Doe Xiong is suing the United States
for the right to go back to Laos
to die with his family on land he still calls
home. Because there are still
animals like the Saola that, when forced
behind walls, would prefer death. Because
I’ve read about the Native American man
who, the last of his tribe, refused to give
his name to the white remains
of humanity. Because indigenous peoples
are closer to the land & its spirits,
& in being so are closer to one
another no matter where they are
in the world. Because SB 1070 is hate
manifested on paper in words. Because I
believed for too long that I couldn’t do anything
about anything. Because a girl named Rosa
once kissed my cheek. Because I have not forgotten
what it means to “love thy neighbor.” Because
my cousin, Virus, never acquired
citizenship, was convicted of manslaughter
after a gang fight, spent six years in
an Arizona prison, & is on parole release
pending deportation once US-Laos relations improve.
Because no one stood up for my people
when they needed the help. Because the Hmong,
running for their lives in the jungles of Laos,
still need help. Because America
fucked things up in Vietnam, The Secret War,
the Middle East, & is desperate to prove
it knows how to finish something.

por Teresinka Pereira

¡Quiero decirte que eres más legal
que cualquier otra madre en el mundo!
Con el hijo en el vientre escalaste la montaña,
sufriste el calor y la fatiga del desierto,
cruzaste mojada el Río Grande.

Tu sueño era que el hijo naciera en el Norte,
para que tuviera un futuro mejor,
para que fuera estudiante, ciudadano y trabajador.

Llegaste cansada y temerosa
y a los pocos pasos de la frontera
te humillaron y te han detenido.
Después te torturaron en la cárcel y
mientras tu hijo nacía, estabas esposada.

No tienes derecho a nada, y tu hijo
nacido en Norte América, vive clandestino.
Pero no vamos a esperar que
las madres "legales" te regalen el derecho
y te devuelvan las tierras que te han quitado:
Hoy día declaramos que la tierra es tuya
aunque sea para sufrirla, trabajarla
y hasta mismo para parir tus hijos.

¡Hasta siempre, vencerás!


poets rose to the occasion
by joe navarro

each anti-mexican word
slithered out of their faces
identifying the law to
rearrange people's social places

declaring lies to be truths
honest is declared criminal
looks became metaphors
rights transformed to minimal

brown turned ugly
from south is scary
another language gave rise
to become cautious and wary

hue abandoned hue-man
while people lost their humanity
in the eyes of a law
paranoid to insanity

yet, through the smoke and mirrors
poets rose to the occasion
creating colorful word murals
an enlightening sensation

truth returned to reality
the world presented in mosaic hues
with a tinge of heart and soul
balancing happiness with blues

languages crossed borders
without any incident
no one was criminalized
all were recognized as decent

the poets shouted on the internet
justice and equality for all
no matter where you came from
you can still stand tall

poets responding to the wrong
demanding people's rights
to change an unjust law
promising justice at new heights

flying free in people's minds
the freedom and justice bird
from the mouths of poets
whose weapon is the word

Minimum Wage
by Raúl Sánchez

I risked my life climbing walls
jumping barbed wire
crossing desserts, mountains
crawling sewage ducts
eluding la migra.

I almost died, but survived
I made it to the promise.
I am free to work and live
in the land of plenty.

I am not a thief.

I keep your dishes clean
your table served
your food warm
your kids fed.

Your house clean orderly fresh
bed sheets crisp
your dog walked, shinny car
your yard neat and clean,
trees pruned your pantry full.

Yet, I live scared::
homeland security
and your SB 1070
tell me to go, to leave
my home.

This is my home
my community
my church
my neighborhood
my family
my home.

They don’t like the way I speak
they don’t like the way I talk
yet I do what they can not do
risking my life every day
for a miserable minimum wage.

Operación conciencia cardenche
Por Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas

Y en la arena se dibujan los corridos

Como letras del lápiz del poeta

Como cantos de guitarra del viajero

Como labios del sonido cardenche

Como lágrimas de la madre que recuerda

Como alas de un grito del alma que vuela.

En la arena se oculta una mano

Una carta apretada por el espíritu

Un hueso que fue infante y gallardo

Y un suspiro que dio luz a una aventura

Ya se fue a los desiertos… dijo la luna.

Fue ahí bajo las estrellas y balas

Hombre y macho, valor y batalla

Canto libre, fuerte y perdido

Tantas voces y visitas del cuerno de chivo

Tantas pólvoras que vieron el viento

Donde la muerte se degolló con la vida

Allí donde la vida rasgo el suelo hasta

Desprender sus uñas… tratando de respirar.

Y de la arena brotan flores

Como nacimientos de un nuevo sol

Como raíz del Sahuaro que un día vio

Aquella fosa de gritos atrapados

Y espíritus que al fin salieron en busca de ti.

"An Open Letter to the Dean: A Poem"
by Margaret Rhee

This poem is dedicated to Ethnic Studies student-activists, hungerstrikers, dreamers of California and Arizona, from 1968 to now.
In particular, the undergraduate hungerstrikers of May 2011, Berkeley.

For my comrades/activist-scholars of the Berkeley Ethnic Studies Graduate Student Alliance: Abraham, Jorge, Ariko, Ziza, Kim, Edgar, Peter, Michael, Jose, and Marcelo.

“An Open Letter to the Dean: A Poem” was written for the panel, “The Next Stage of Jim Crow: Arizona/California, ‘Outlawed’ Bodies, and Forbidden Curriculum” organized by the Ethnic Studies Graduate Student Alliance of UC Berkeley. (March 15, 2011)

An Open Letter to the Dean: A Poem

by Margaret Rhee

“I wanted to give you a poem, but I offer my body instead.”
-- Allison J. Harrington, 1999 Berkeley Ethnic Studies Strike

Dear Dean,

I’ve haven’t met you yet—but I imagine when we’d shake hands, yours may be pale, a bit rough, like paper that cuts small through my flesh. I picture your eyes will be bright blue like the doctor who tended to my father during his death. I figure you’d be cordial to me—though I heard what you said, Dean, because the University who is often unkind whispers secrets. I heard that you said: “Whatever your Ethnic Studies students plan to do, don’t let them hunger strike.”

Dear Dean, do you know what hunger is? Are you remembering in ’99 when six students went without food for days, because the University had starved Ethnic Studies, hoping we’d slowly die away? Or are you recalling last year, ten days of hunger—of only bottles of water, Chicano Studies undergrads who responded to SB 1070—because above all, their bodies are free.

Dean, when you were a child, did you ever yearn for milk, your family could never buy? Have you ever taught students who looked just like your own daughter and son? Students brilliant and hungry to learn but deemed unworthy by the state, but you do everything to teach them? You do everything, even though its not allowed, it’s against the law, even though they may be undocumented?

Dear Dean, hunger begins as your stomach slowly becomes empty. When you are starved, you become weak, all your muscles, joints, your bones, ache. You can’t move. Swallowing becomes unbearably painful. When you are starved, after a while, you don’t even know you’re thirsty.

Dear Dean, sometimes I wonder why my immigrant father stopped eating and if he knew he would soon die, after only drinking apple juice for days. Sometimes, I think about that doctor at the hospital, who asked me only two questions: “What is your major?” “Should we do this now?” before she unplugged my father into dreamscapes and journeys too beautiful to reimagine here. It’s been seven years, and every time I eat alone, I always remember him.

Like the hospital, the university is also unkind, Dean. Have you ever felt so hungry, to learn about your ancestors, generations of survivors, of dreamers, who did everything they could, even though they were never meant to survive?

Dear Dean, so please understand. Please understand if students want to hunger strike, please empathize we are angry, please note: with my sincere apologies, “I wanted to give you a poem, but I offer my body instead.”

Bios • Andre Yang, Teresinka Pereira, Joe Navarro, Raul Sanchez, Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas, Margaret Rhee

‘Why I Feel the Way I Do About SB 1070" by Andre Yang
"Poema para la Madre 'Ilegal'" por Teresinka Pereira
"Poets Rose To The Occasion" by Joe Navarro
"Minimum Wage" by Raul Sanchez
"Operación conciencia cardenche" por Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas
"An Open Letter to the Dean: A Poem" by Margaret Rhee

Andre YangAndre Yang lives in Fresno, California and is a founding member of the Hmong American Writers' Circle (HAWC). Currently studying in the MFA program at California State University, Fresno, he is a Provost Scholar, a Philip Levine Scholar, and works on the editorial staff of The Normal School literary magazine. Andre is a Kundiman Fellow, and his poetry has appeared in Paj Ntaub Voice, Hyphen Magazine, and the chapbook anthology Here is a Pen (Achiote Press). He is a coeditor of How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011) due out August 2011.

Teresinka PereiraTeresinka Pereira was born in Brazil. She is the Founder and President of the International Writers and Artists Association (IWA) which has more than 1511 members in five continents of the World.

She is also Ambassador and Senator of the International States Parliament for Safety and Peace, and Minister of Human Rights for the World Organization of Indigenous Peoples.

Pereira received the title of "Dame of Grace" from the Sovereing Order of St. John of Jerusalem from the Knights of Malta, the title of "Dame of Magistral Grace" from the Prince Dom Waldemar Baroni Santos (of Brazil) for her literary merits, and the title of "Gran Dama della Crisalide", from Count Giuseppe B. Raddino, Italy.

Among other literary titles she has received are: National Prize for Theatre in Brazil, Poet of the Year by the Canadian Society of Poets, Personality of the Year from the Brazilian Writers Union, Gold Laurel Wreath from the United Poets Laureate International, Su-Se-Ru International Literary Prize (Korea), Prize City of Athens,
Medal Sergio Vieira de Melo from the ISPSP.

Pereira is the Director of International Affairs of the Society of Latin Culture and Member Correspondent of the Royal Spanish Academy.

Pereira received the Philosophy Doctor Degree from the University of New Mexico (USA), Doctor Honoris Causa from the University Simon Bolivar (Colombia), Doctor Honoris Causa from Internationale Akademie St. Lukas (Antwerpen), Doctor Honoris Causa from International Academy of Culture and Political Sciences (Moldova), Doctor in Political Sciences from the American International University of Paramaribo, Surimani. Pereira lives in Ohio, USA.

Joe NavarroJoe Navarro is a literary vato loco, poet, creative writer, educator, community activist, husband, father and grandfather and currently lives in Hollister, CA. His poetry can be found at http://joenavarro.weebly.com

Raúl SánchezRaúl Sánchez is a Seattle Bio-Tech technician, translator, DJ, and cook who conducts workshops on The Day of the Dead. His work appeared on-line in The Sylvan Echo, Flurry, Gazoobitales, Pirene’s Fountain with La Bloga being the latest. In print his work appears in the second Anthology by The Miracle Theatre Viva la Word!, Latino Cultural Magazine, on Bookmarks by the Seattle Public Library 2007 Poetic Art Project, and in the Anthology Speaking Desde las Heridas (Publisher: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

Octaviano Merecias-CuevasA 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

Margaret RheeMargaret Rhee is an interdisciplinary writer, poet, and media artist. She has published poetry in the Berkeley Poetry Review, Kartika Review and co-edited the chapbook anthology, Here is a Pen: An Anthology of West Coast

Kundiman Asian American Poets (Achiote Press). She is the managing editor of Mixed Blood, a literary journal on innovative poetics and race, edited by C.S. Giscombe. Currently, she is a doctoral student at the

University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies, with designated emphasis in New Media and Gender and Women Studies. Her first poetry chapbook Yellow/노란/ 노랑/Yellow is forthcoming from Tinfish Press. She is a Kundiman fellow.

1 comment:

christian book publishers said...

I love Andre Yang's wonderful work, thank you for posting that poem.