Tuesday, August 06, 2013

20 Parts Per Million. On-line Floricanto

The Gluten-free Chicano
The Point Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Two Solution

Great news for gluten sufferers. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a standard for gluten-free products: twenty parts per million. Food containing .000002 percent gluten are "gluten free."

The Gluten-free Chicano reminds gente that the labels will appear in 2014, but only on USFDA regulated products. The agriculture and alcohol regulators are working to harmonize their own rules so as to provide uniform labeling standards for the nation.

One excellent resource to study the standard comes from the FDA.

On-line Floricanto Bringing Light in August
Abel Salas, Ama Luna, John Martinez, Peter J. Harris

August's first On-line Floricanto features five poems by four poets and one translator-poet.

Dreamer 9 by Abel Salas
Soñadores por Ama Luna
Some of Us Will Make It by John Martinez
Love is Our Nationality by Peter J. Harris.
Amor Es Nuestra Nacionalidad por Peter J. Harris; traducción al español por Abel Salas

Dreamer 9
Abel Salas

Again the sadness, the same
Ochre morass as nine young
Immigrant students don cap
And gown to change history
To change time, to show us
All what it means to dream,
To believe, to transform the
Planet with love and peace
Without losing liberty or the
Humanity that informs them
The nine dream like everyone
But speak an intergalactic
Tongue, touch celestial truth
Because earth can no longer
Bear the gaping wounds more
Known as borders and walls
Berlin witnessed an antidote
Now the greatest nation in
The world makes the same wall
In corrugated tin or electrified
Wire, blind to the millennial
History, to the imprint of two
Continents shared by so many
Peoples before the arrival of
The interlopers who now seek
To own and make and forge
A future that erases time like
The shackling of nine doves
who now sit in solitary
confinement for daring to
take the dream one step
beyond the safe and wistful
compromises with hate and
acid, bitter scapegoating by
the most natural allies, the
poor, pale working class that
is made to look for a Place to
lay blame, but the blame
is not with nine students
who know only here as home,
the nation we are rebuilding,
reshaping with a soft love that
forgives and soothes and
welcomes like the shores in
so many stories of our past,
a safe and promising harbor,
only this is a port that produced
the nine, children who
are more grown than most,
youth who live neither here
nor there in a limbo where
they are deplumed, their halos
made gray with sorrow
and pain, the anguish of the
nine or the song of the next
millennium or the courage they
carry in tender bodies, in the
hope igniting will and strength
that must make nine times
nine times nine an exponential
inevitability because the nine
are the new Boston Harbor, the
line in the sand and across the
ocean like the border between
a crown that we will no longer
worship, while we all know it
is only prurient vested interests
that profit from detention and
punitive measures imposed on
select communities deemed less
The nine are ours, they belong to
the globe and unafraid, they remind
everyone that the meek may well
so perhaps that alone may be
what troubles those who hold
sway, but the nine know this, they
face billy clubs, chancellors and
presidents and politicians with
heads held high in agreement
Nine are a perfect reflection of
triangular harmony, the math
of wisdom like the learning in
young hearts that beat with
the essence of these, our nine

Abel Salas is a poet, journalist and translator based in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in The Austin Chronicle, ZYZZYVA: A Journal of West Coast Art & Literature, Washington DC's Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Cipactli, In Motion Magazine, Kuikatl: A XicanIndio Literary & Arts Journal and Huizache, a new journal published under the direction of Dagoberto Gilb. He currently edits and publishes Brooklyn & Boyle, a community arts newspaper distributed widely in LA’s East Side, and he has shared his poetry with audiences across the U.S., Mexico and Cuba, where he participated in the 13th Annual International Poetry Festival. His work as a journalist has been featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, LA Weekly, Latina Magazine, The New York Times, The San Antonio Current, The Brownsville Herald, OYE Magazine, Texas Observer, The Austin Chronicle and The Austin American-Statesman. A Co-founder of Corazon del Pueblo in Boyle Heights, Salas was also an early organizer with Poets Responding to SB1070 and coordinated a public reading on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Watch his most recent video poem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKJFodvN3Bc&feature=youtu.be.

Ama Luna

Soñadores somos
nacemos, crecemos
y morimos soñando

somos soñadores de maíz
de frijoles y tierra fértil

caminamos de la mano
con el sol, la luna
y las estrellas

guiados por nuestrosancestros
nos volvemos jaguares,
leones y serpientes

Soñadores somos
atravezando desiertos,
rios y montañas

soñamos con los ojos
bien abiertos
con el sudor en la frente
con el arado en mano
sembrando esperanza

Soñadores todos
tejedores de rebeldia
incansables guerreros
quienes gota a gota
y poema en poema
moldeamos la piedra
de la sociedad
y conquistamos la paz.

Some of Us Will Make It
John Martinez

There is something painful but so far away,
Yet, in the center of my chest, in the pasty brown
Skin of my years

The desert floor rises at midnight
Dances in the star bunched sky,
Black, like the inside of my throat
Before my mouth opens,
Before I begin to speak,
This immense everything
Glistening in me
Is telling me; write about us,
Tell our stories

Yesterday a little boy cut an artery
On barbed wire, a mother, breast feeding
A bundled girl, felt the prison
Of an immigration van
Filled with the body odor of hope,
Filled with dreams, caught like fire flies
In the night

The day before this, our ten burned knees fell
Into the hot sand, heads down to the man
In the Khaki blue; listen to his hateful words?
He feeds his family with these words,
He'll feed his dog, before he feeds any of us

Tell our stories to the college students
With warm iPads on their laps,
Backpacks full of European conquests,
Tell our stories in the cafes,
Where sugar is a Queen’s crown
On carrot cake and 5 dollar cups of coffee-
One of us, kneeling, felt the horror of $ 3.65 day
In the finca's, felt the coffee bean
Like red pearls in his hands

The fincas are patrolled by the Mara Salvatrucha,
They learned their machine gun methods
From Pachino, from Gandolfini
On 18th Street, in the Pico Union,
Then thrown back to the jungle
To terrorize-America knows,
They have their Think Tank flunkies
Helping them do damage,
Anyway you look at it

Tell the story of Don Victor,
Who once lived by the river in San Salvador,
But lost his home to the credit card
Of McDonalds, Pizza Hut,
To a shirt made in Malaysia,
A Blue Dodgers cap made in Taiwan;
His children are grown
And on the other side,
This was his body’s last chance,
He is finished and on his knees

There is something painful but so far away, yet,
In the center of my chest, in the pasty
Skin of my years

And lastly, remember to tell them about you,
How you drank with them,
Fucked around in their torture chambers,
Watched the planes fly by
Through your office window
And not even a word written about us,
Tell them how we were looking
Through your eyes, while you ignored
Our very presence, tell them
How you were lost in their golden
Hair, Their Schick shaved grins,
And tell all of them, please,
That we won't stop coming over,
Not even if the shank if the line
Rips us in half,
Some of us will make it,
Like your Abuelo did,
Like we did, living inside of you,
Reminding you to write this poem

John Martinez studied Creative Writing at Fresno State University. He has published poetry in El Tecolote, Red Trapeze and The LA Weekly. Recently, he has posted poems on Poets Responding to SB1070 and has published in La Bloga (an online Blog dedicated to Latino/Chicano Culture and Literature. He has performed (as a musician/political activist, poet) with Teatro De La Tierra, Los Perros Del Pueblo and TROKA, a Poetry Ensemble (lead by poet Juan Felipe Herrera) and he has toured with several cumbia bands throughout the Central Valley and Los Angeles. For the last 17 years, he has worked as an Administrator for a Los Angeles Law Firm. He makes home in Upland, California with his beautiful wife, Rosa America y Familia.

Love is Our Nationality
Peter J. Harris

we disregard all borderlines
when we are together
we are delicate continents clicked into place
we are uncharted territory
home to the wanderer in each of us

paperwork is unnecessary
when we are together
exchange treaties signed sealed delivered
we need no vaccination reports for our passage
passports stamped by sunrise in our eyes

we are citizens of each other
when we are together
we honor shrines with silence & flowers
we are tour guides dedicated to patient exploration
breathless travelers visiting open minds

we learn hope from one another's past
when we are together
we are sweet talking freedom fighters
we are literacy to curious children
patticake & pick-up sticks play with bilingual rules

no soldiers trample our ancient passion
when we are together
we erase our fear of fear
we stand attention without rifles
we march to the cadence of dreams
love is our nationality
our embassy safeguards persecuted touch
we are ambassadors of intimacy
we are diplomats of secret whisper
we are beauty without flags
we are emotions elected by a landslide

Amor Es Nuestra Nacionalidad por Peter J. Harris. 
Traducción al español por Abel Salas

no respetamos a ninguna frontera
cuando estamos juntos
somos continentes delicados conectados en sus lugares
somos territorio inexplorado
hogar del aventurero dentro de ambos

papeles son inecesarios
cuando estamos juntos
tratados de intercambio firmados sellados y entregados
no hacen falta pruebas de vacunación para nuestro pasaje
pasaportes sellados por el amanecer en nuestros ojos

somos ciudadanos uno del otro
cuando estamos juntos
honramos altares con silencio y flores
somos guías turísticas dedicados a la exploración paciente
pasajeros sin aliento visitando mentes abiertos

aprendemos esperanza por nuestros distintos pasados
cuando estamos juntos
somos patriotas con palabras dulces
somos el alfabetismo para niños con curiosidad
tortillita mamá y topos se juegan con reglas bilingues

ningún soldado pisotea a nuestra antigua pasión
cuando estamos juntos
borramos nuestro miedo del miedo
nos paramos en formación sin armas
Marchamos a la cadencia de sueños
amor es nuestra nacionalidad
nuestra embajada protege el tacto perseguido
somos embajadores de la intimidad
somos diplomáticos del susurro secreto
somos belleza sin banderas
somos emociones elegidas por una abrumadora mayoría de los votos

(Spanish translation by Abel Salas)

Peter J. Harris, founder and Artistic Director of Inspiration House, is an African American cultural worker who has, since the 1970s published his poetry, essays, and fiction in a wide range of national publications; worked as a publisher, journalist, editor and broadcaster; and been an educator, and workshop leader for adults and adolescents. He is also founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual and artistic exploration of Black men and joy and author of the joyful ebook, THE VAMPIRE WHO DRINKS GOSPEL MUSIC, co-editer of Relive Everything & Live the Same: VoiceMusic from Avenue 50’s Black-Brown Dialogues Project, an anthology published by Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles (2011). He wrote the forward to New Wine and Black Men’s Feet by Keith Antar Mason (2010, Red Hen Press). His essay, “1,000 O’clock: Johnson Time,” was published in the 2009 anthology, The Black Body, edited by Meri Danquah (Seven Stories Press). Harris is author of The Johnson Chronicles: Truth & Tall Tales about My Penis and Safe Arms: 20 Love/Erotic Poems (and One Ooh Baby Baby Moan).


Unknown said...

This issue RIPS!!!!

Unknown said...

Abel Salas is smoking!!!!! Thank you, La Bloga, for my making our lives more interesting and giving us some cool stuff to read on Tuesdays..

Andrea said...

That's a rockin' picture of Abel! Great poetry and gluten-free news.