Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Interior Gongs Puro Fun. News 'n Notes. On-line Floricanto

This Is For Puro Fun - Throwback Tuesday

Michael Sedano

It’s after midnight when the phone rings. Time for a study break, she commands. I head out for a neighbor’s apartment building, gratified for the distraction from the term paper.

My knuckles tap shave-and-a-haircut on the front door then I listen for someone inside to stomp the floor twice, or call out in two-bits rhythm “come in!” Nothing.

They laugh a lot behind the green door. I hear excited shouts of “Wow!” and "Uu, groovy." People talked like that in 1966. The door's unlocked.

I push open the door to see five people bent at the waist, fingers in their ears, dancing weirdly and laughing wildly. They are swinging wire coat hangars that dangle from their necks, gyrating side to side in a manic dance, striking the wire against furniture and shouting in pleasure.

Interior Gongs

That was my introduction to Interior Gongs.

Undergraduate study breaks went like that sometimes. Wild and out of left field. There was the night we levitated the drama starlet who later ran off with a professor. And the night the swamp creature freaked us out. But those are transitory events, like the night Greco taught Bob Dylan to do the dog. You had to be there.

Nowadays, gente just push buttons on their $500 telephone and replay a movie of everything. Interior Gongs are "old tech" bordering on quintessential rasquasche. In fact, eschewing luxury you'll find few cheaper and easier ways to pass time come that brief December day when weather locks you inside--or during Dead Week and Finals study breaks--than Interior Gongs.

Fashioning Interior Gongs as a group activity gets everyone involved from the git-go, no gloomy gus sitting around watching. Once everyone is swinging their Interior Gongs, even the most curmudgeonly will jump in and do the dance.

1 ea wire coathangar.
1 ea sewing thread.

Untwist the hook end of the wire coat hangar and pull apart the ends to form a wire U.
Hangars with cardboard tubes are ready-to-tie by removing the tube. Plus, they have half-loop ends.
Measure an arm’s length of thread and cut to length.
Tie the string to the open ends of the wire. Bend over the wire to ensure the string doesn’t slip off.

Using Your Interior Gongs
Wear the string over your head and across your ears.
Position string across a thumb or finger tip and gently press and hold the string in the ear hole.
Bend slightly at the waist to allow the Interior Gongs to hang freely.
Move your shoulders slowly side-to-side until the wire strikes a solid object.

To observers, the action is silent. Your ears are filled with mighty reverberating peals.

Interior Gongs makes a great holiday gift! Make six of them and give as a matched set.

Artist Sale at Ma Art Space

Yolanda Gonzalez' studio resides in a quiet industrial park. It's worth the easy drive from anywhere in Southern California. Heck, the quality of art and jewelry at the annual event makes a drive from Arizona or Texas worthwhile.

Gonzalez' paintings command major league prices because they are major league works. She also has smaller pieces and ceramics that have Yolanda Gonzalez style without the MOMA prices.

Luring me to Gonzalez' space is the rare opportunity to see Sergio Flores' silver and gold wearable sculpture. Flores brings three cases filled with pins, aretes, necklaces, bracelets, rings. He work features gems like amethyst, ruby, tourmaline, coral, onyx, fire opals of incredible brilliance. Sergio will design custom pieces. I ask him to convert pierced earrings to clips for my wife's ears.

Gonzalez' niece has a tabletop where she sells watercolors and ceramics. I am going to pick up at least one of her black ceramic skulls for my calaveras collection.

Located at 800 South Palm Ave #1 Alhambra CA 91803, Alhambra, California (626) 975-4799, Ma Art Space is just south of a large Costco so if you've driven from Texas you can gas up at Costco.

San Antonio
Aztlán Libre Celebrates Two New Collections

Los Angeles
La Palabra Lines Up Poet Laureate & Friends

La Bloga friend Karineh Mahdessian writes:

We are completing my first year of becoming the hostess with the mostest. What better way than to celebrate but to welcome black man of happiness, Peter J. Harris, poet laureate of Los Angeles Luis Javier Rodriguez and singer of Las Cafeteras Hector Flores.

Our circle will be round. Our open mic will be open. I will smile, hug and laugh.

Please bring money to purchase the new poetry Bless the Ashes publishes by Tia Chucha Press.

On-line Floricanto: ¡Faltamos 43! 
Alma Luz Villanueva, Paul Aponte, Francisco X. Alarcón, Felix García, Graciela Vega

December opens with five poets joining voices with last month's 13 for Ayotzinapa On-line Floricanto. As with last month, the poems are nominated by Moderators of the Facebook group, Poets Responding to SB1070 Poetry of Resistance.

"Forty-three Lost Sons, Each One" by Alma Luz Villanueva
"No estamos lejos de mi México" por Paul Aponte
"Ayotzinapa Haikus & Tankas" by Francisco X. Alarcón
"El corrido de los 43 estudiantes" por Felix García
"Itzpapalotl: Prayer for the Dead" by Graciela Vega

Forty-three Lost Sons, Each One
by Alma Luz Villanueva

La Llorona y Coatlique,
weeping mother,
skull mother,
dangerous, alive mothers,

magical mothers,
furious mothers,
tender mothers,
raging mothers,

mothers of life
and death
and birth
and rebirth,

give birth to our lost
43 sons, you know
their names,
each one,

sing their
each one,

their names,
each one,
remember their

each one,
our 43 lost
sons who wait
at your womb

gate, give
them light,
give them

each one.

**To the 43 so young men teachers
in training, massacred in their
Mexico lindo y querido--we will
remember each one.

Alma Luz Villanueva was raised in the Mission District, San Francisco, by her Yaqui grandmother, Jesus Villanueva- she was a curandera/healer from Sonora, Mexico. Without Jesus no poetry, no stories, no memory...
Author of eight books of poetry, most recently, 'Soft Chaos' (2009)- and a new collection, 'Gracias,' to be published in 2015. 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.' Four novels: 'The Ultraviolet Sky,' 'Naked Ladies,' 'Luna's California Poppies,' and the most recent, 'Song of the Golden Scorpion.' 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, and 'Prayers for a Thousand Years.' 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 sixteen years.
     Alma Luz Villanueva now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the past nine years, traveling the ancient trade routes to return to teach, and visit family and friends, QUE VIVA!! And taking trips throughout Mexico, working on stories and memoir, always the poetry, memory.

"No estamos lejos de mi México"
por Paul Aponte

Hoy quitan las vendas de sus ojos,
desvisten los susurros, sueltan su gran voz,
y su son quiebra el cristal transparente de sus gobernantes.

¡Poder a mi México!

La música de mí México es bellísima:
Amistades por doquier, fiestas por cualesquier,
vecindades entretejidas en sarapes coloridos.
Valentía de sobras, y familias de obras.
Trabajadores de gran ética,
y pueblos de gran estética.
Posibilidades económicas para cantar,
y todos listos para subir a su albar.

La música de mi México es bellísima
y el tiempo de acción es hoy!

Traigan su música a los pasillos gubernamentales,
y con su música limpien esas sillas, paredes, escalones y pisos
y sáquenle brillo – un hoy y futuro nuevo.
La revolución de renovación.
El águila devorándose a la serpiente.

Erradiquen las palabras altisonantes,
las frases elocuentes que dicen nada,
y las explicaciones exculpatorias
para que la frase de arriba desaparezca.

Si nomás “tomás” -
te vas al “arrás”!

El nuevo lema.

Los que sí quieren justicia,
los que sí quieren la paz para todo mexicano,
los que sí practican lo de Don Benito Juárez,
los que sí escuchan a los Emilianos Zapatas,
los que sí toman acciones para un mejor México,
los que sí están listos para librar la música de México,
son los que deben
dar liderazgo a México.

México grita por justicia.
México somos todos.
México somos 43.
México mide 43x43.
México llueve 43,
un número primo,

Paul Aponte is a Chicano poet from Sacramento, California USA. Paul, was a member of the performance poetry group "Poetas Of The Obsidian Tongue" in the 90's, and now is a member of "Escritores del Nuevo Sol". He is the author of the book of poetry "Expression Obsession" published in 1999, and has been published in "La Bloga" and in the book "Un Canto De Amor A Gabriel Garcia Márquez"

facebook website:

"Ayotzinapa Haikus & Tankas"
by Francisco X. Alarcón

o burning fire
o flower of words –

“Ayotlinapa” —
great Pregnant Turtle
weeps for her sons

* * * * * * * * * *

oh fuego vivo
oh flor de palabras —

“Ayotlinapa” —
gran Tortuga Preñada
llora por sus hijos

"El corrido de los 43 estudiantes"
por Felix García

Cuarenta y tres estudiantes,
De noche se los llevaron
Policias municipales
Al narco los entregaron
En presencia de soldados
Se hicieron que no miraron.

Amí no me queda duda
Es terrorismo de estado
Tres niveles de gobierno
Estaban involucrados
Con sus narcos militares
Y el crimen organizado.

Masacre de Ayotzinapa
No eres un caso aislado
En Acapulco copreros
Cayeron asesinados
Por pistolero a sueldo
Pagados por el estado.

Narco estado mexicano
Represivo y criminal
De Ayotzinapa, Aguas Blancas
Sin olvidarnos de Acteal
Son genocidios de estado
De lesa humanidad.

Nos han cerrado la lucha
Pacífico, electoral
Sólo nos queda un camino
Que es la guerra popular
La autodefensa del pueblo
De la bota militar.

De insensato, irrresponsable
Vas a llamar mi corrido
Si no tomamos a las armas
Nos van a quemar los niños
En Hermosillo, Sonora
La justicia nunca vino.

Guerra sucia no ha parado
En este estado costero
Desde los años 70s
No encuentran los guerrilleros
1200 camaradas
Del estado de Guerrero.

La normal de Ayotzinapa
Tiene principios muy finos
Lucio y Genaro salieron
A defender campesinos
Genaro Vázquez y Carmelo
Te vigilan el camino.

43 estudiantes
Son hijos del mundo entero
Con un diluvio de amor
Te esperamos con anhelo
Con cantos de libertad
Desde tu pueblo sincero.

Vuela, vuela palomita
Palomita de la paz
Si vivos se los llevaron
Vivos deben regresar
Tlateloco los espera
Pa’ que vengan marchar.

Mi nombre es Felix Garcia. Escribo corridos.Imperial beach california 91932
corrido 43 estudiantes. Dedicado Ayotzinapa Guerrero.

"Itzpapalotl: Prayer for the Dead"
by Graciela Vega

A poem for our 43 young sons
whose dreams were cut before the harvest

Tzinaka call into the night
prayers for the dead
Tzinaka call into the night
prayers for the dead
Search for our babies
until we have them again

Tzinaka flex your muscles
sparrow wing soar
Tzinaka flex your muscles
sparrow wing soar
Safe in our homes
to laugh and play

Tzinaka find our disappeared
with your night voice
Tzinaka[1] find our disappeared
with your night voice
locate their injured bodies
to give peace.

[1] Tzinaka is nahuatl for bat.

© Graciela Vega

Graciela Vega Cendejas born in Michoacán, Mexico and raised in the Central Coast. She earned a BA both in Film and Video Production and Gender and Feminist Studies. An artist, organizer, educator and cultural promoter Graciela Vega is raising her two children, promoting the arts with Hijos Del Sol Arts, arts non-profit and teaching in a dual-immersion program at Alianza Charter School in Watsonville, CA.
Following the example of the National Writing Project philosophy, Graciela Vega models writing in her classroom alongside her middle school students.

On-line Floricanto Bonus

On Friday last week, Manuel Ramos marked the completion of our tenth year. Xánath Caraza, who shares los Monday with Daniel Olivas, contributed a poem that has since become a You Tube hit. Click the link here to read along with the poet as she reads Aterrizando en St. Louis, Missouri  por Xánath Caraza.
Today is the first Tuesday of La Bloga's Eleventh Year. A day like any other day, except you are here. Thank you for reading La Bloga.


juanita salazar lamb said...

from the whimsical interior gongs we are ushered into the space where words paint pictures, mourn the disappeared, and call for justice. then Xanath Caraza's voice sounds an ethereal gong in the closing words of her poem as she recalls the recent past and ties it to the present.

Manuel Ramos said...

Excellent post. One thing - I think I remember that one had to be smoking something to fully enjoy those "interior gongs." Details are fuzzy.

msedano said...

thank you, Juanita. Manuel, botanicals are one of those optional ingredients.