Tuesday, February 03, 2015

QEPD Tony Mares. On-line Floricanto for February.

E. A. "Tony" Mares is one of the veteranos of the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto who joined the 2010 reunion floricanto, Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday•Today•Tomorrow, again at University of Southern California. Tony stands next to Manuel Ramos and Luis J. Rodriguez at right.

Tony transitioned to the Other Side last week, succumbing to the wear and tear of a good life and an illness that helped take him. 

Tony is gone, but his friends and readers of literatura Chicana can continue to share Mares' work via the USC Digital Library, where the 1973 festival videos and photographs are fully accessible.

La Bloga friend Jésus Treviño put this tribute to Tony at Latinopia, as the 2010 floricanto videos are not yet linked.

Mail Bag
Spec-Lit / Sci-Fi Resource

La Bloga friend Sabrina Vourvoulias joins La Bloga's Ernest Hogan and Rudy Ch. García in promoting reading and writing speculative fiction, science fiction, and related genre work.

Vourvoulias regularly shares her enthusiasm for the genres at her blog, Follow the Lede,  This week, Sabrina urges gente to read Tor.com, sending along the following (screen dump, links not active).

February On-line Floricanto
Rafael Jesús González, Paul Portugés, Margarita Cota-Cárdenas, Javier Pacheco, Betty Sánchez, Tom Sheldon, Mark Lipman

After the Lecture / Después del Discurso by Rafael Jesús González
North by Paul Portuges
Canto por ti and SB 1070, Ariztlán: A lo que nos llevó by Margarita Cota-Cárdenas
La Batea/The Washboard by Javier Pacheco
Vaivén por Betty Sánchez
(Lodestone) by Tom Sheldon
Goodnight America by Mark Lipman

After the Lecture   
by Rafael Jesús González

for Martin Luther King Jr.

A woman said I was not polite
to the opposition,
that I was harsh
and did not encourage

Perhaps if I were Christ,
I could say, “Forgive them
for they know not what they do.”
Or the queen, and apologize
for stubbing my executioner’s toes.

But only if I knew
the executioners
were mine only.

What courtesy have I the right to give
to them who break the bones,
the souls of my brothers,
my sisters;
deny bread, books
to the hungry,
the children;
medicine, healing
to the sick;
roofs to the homeless;

who spoil the oceans,
lay waste the forests
and the deserts,
violate the land?

Affability on the lips
of outrage
is a sin and blasphemy
I’ll not be guilty of.

© Rafael Jesús González 2015

foto:Peter St. John
Rafael Jesús González, Prof. Emeritus of literature and creative writing, was born (10/10/35) and raised biculturally/bilingually in El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, and taught at University of Oregon, Western State Collage of Colorado, Central Washington State University, University of Texas El Paso (Visiting Professor of Philosophy), and Laney College, Oakland, California where he founded the Dept. of Mexican & Latin-American Studies, Nominated thrice for a Pushcart price, he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English and Annenberg CPB for his writing in 2003. In 2009 he was honored by the City of Berkeley for his writing, art, teaching, activism for social justice & peace, and received the 2012 Dragonfly Press Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement. His latest book is La Musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse and his work may be read at http://rjgonzalez.blogspot.com/

by Paul Portugés

--for the children of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

When he was 8 in the white heat of El Infiernito
guarding their fruit truck they murdered his father
and the squawking blue birds of his young hope
flew away into the gut of lovely night
and the proud red plums he held rolled down
the blood alley as rain fell like broken feathers

When he was in the flesh of his blue youth
songs turned to skeletons in his best friend's eyes
they smiled as they slit her white naked throat
and stuffed panties in her red mouth of dreams
that día de los muertos she became the flowers of graves.
seeing a body was nothing anymore

When he was 12 narcos beat him blind
so he couldn't see their skulls of red death
his tearless baby cousins could only look on
Santa Muerte made him lick the white thighs of crack
"You'll feel freed like a bird entering
a red cloud in the bruise of bluenight"

His dirty government can't pull up its pants.
“If your house is burning, jump out the window"
so he took the lazy train of hopeful skeletons
with a handful of plums and his invisible hope
and crossed the red white and blue border of eagles
like a beautiful feather on the veins of lonely wind

Paul Lobo Portugés is a contemporary American poet, film maker, and essayist who teaches film and creative writing in the Department of Film and Media Studies and in the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Career. He was educated at UCLA (B.A.), at U.C. Berkeley (Phd.) and at the American Film Institute (M.F.A.). Allen Ginsberg has said of his poetry: "Paul Lobo Portugés' poetry sheds light on the myopic consciousness of a dark American night." Jack Hirschman, former poet laureate of San Francisco, on his poetry: "Portugés' poems are where the strength of future discoveries with language must come from in order for the continuity of poetry to be maintained in relation to the maddening and terrified middle class world which has taken refuge in the switches of television sets in order to fill the lives ghosted by capitalism They are worth reading many many times, and that is not saying a little in this day of one liners and walk-ons."
Portugés has published several poetry books, including Paper Song (Ross-Erikson), Aztec Birth (Mudborn Press), The Body Electric Journal (Plainview Press), Breaking Bread (Finishing Line Press), and Mao--1,000 Poems of Love and War (forthcoming). His poetry films include Fathermine, Kiss, To My Beloved, Stones from Heaven, et al.
Awards. Ford Foundation Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment Fellowship

Canto Por Ti
by Margarita Cota-Cárdenas

What happens in Arizona
Stays in Arizona?

SB1070 (What The)
Stem Immigration?
Speak English Only?

© Margarita Cota-Cárdenas
Poema written 2010

“SB 1070, Ariztlán: A Lo Que Nos Llevó
por Margarita Cota-Cárdenas

¿Cómo no leer un libro
Si la tentación
y el deseo
de saber
qué es lo que hay
que no quieren que sepas
que no te entre
ni en pensar
esos pensamientos
mi mente
es mía no tuya
mi alma me pertenece
no a ninguna ideología
y aunque dizque
somos minoría
tentación y deseo
de libertad
pá todos
aquí nos presentamos
¡la MAYORÍA…!!

Margarita Cota-Cárdenas is the author of the novels Puppet (1985, 2000), and Sanctuaries of the Heart/Santuarios del corazón (2005). Her poetry includes Marchitas de mayo (1989). She is Professor Emerita of Spanish at Arizona State University, where she had taught since 1981. Margarita mainly writes first in Spanish, and is currently preparing her third poetry collection for publication. Part One of her third novel, La gente de los girasoles, was published in 2010 and is in progress. She has had many poems and short stories published in anthologies and journals throughout her career.

La Batea del 2015
por Javier Pacheco

Mira la batea           
Como se menea
como se menea
el agua en la batea
~ Quilapayun (Chile) ~

Al comienzo del nuevo año
aquí estamos esperando otros nuevos daños
contra nuestros derechos civiles y libertad
que los ladrones burdos del poder
con su “circo de gorilas”
van a soltar;

Tantos que viven en el borde
queriendo crecer, brotar alas y volar
en cambio, son derribados
el cuerpo etéreo demasiado débil para resistir
las señas oscuras, choques, traumas y subordinación
creando una profunda crisis de confianza
en la brecha de virtudes desde bien alto.
Pero surgen nuevos guerreros espirituales
los bálsamos y piceas han llegado de edad
los vínculos entre generaciones son más fuertes
los jóvenes son cada vez más comprometidos
y menos dependientes de las “verdades oficiales”
muchos han llegado a comprender
las maquinaciones feudales modernas
manipulaciones de la voluntad, ilusiones
y sabidurías falsas dejadas de escapar desde
las tierras baldías de los medios corporativos.

Son verdades esquivas para aquellos todavía
atados a la rueda y sus mitos:
sordos, mudos, y ciegos
a la infamia de la corrupción nacional
una insensible indiferencia hacia la opresión
la cual no hay palabras para describir
las víboras conspiradoras
ésos evitando la responsabilidad de sus actos
la impunidad de asesinos
la impunidad de criminales politicos
la aquiescencia enfermiza de los oportunistas
autómatas que adoran al becerro de oro
la muerte espiritual de una cultura conflictiva
gente de poco discernimiento o percepción
el desglose de la moralidad en todos los niveles
apreciados ideales que han sido aplastados
por nigromantes tribales ricos que incursionan en
la piratería, el genocidio, y la brujería demoníaca;
titiriteros supremacistas Illumi-Nazis
quienes escogen sus bolsones políticos
para esclavizar y matar lentamente a sus víctimas
como en Ayotzinapa, Palestina, y las Amazonas.

Crímenes mundiales ignorados por indiferencia
de la superficialidad burguesa cosmopolita
un pueblo “propio” que siempre ha usado la guerra
como una herramienta útil para su expansión
como una estafa para enriquecer a algunos;
pero el fascismo no puede permanecer
no puede sostener la pérdida de la razón,
o bestias carentes de magnetismo y carisma
una discontinuidad que separa y margina,
el abismo autodestructivo del ego
tribus dispersas, descompuestas, y
la deriva hacia la disolución del conocimiento,
la cultura de la muerte abruma la innovación
mientras que los borregos son distraídos con sus
aparatos, juguetes y baratijas nuevas.
Nueva tecnología en manos de
los de la vieja moda buscando una via rápida
hacia la modernidad en medio del desorden.

Somos pueblos atrapados por ciclos de control
manteniendo nuestras manos arriba (“No disparen!”)
gritando, “¡No podemos respirar!”
a los elites cínicos pervertidos quienes,
en su supremacía trastornado
han desechado vilmente
a cualquier semblanza a ideales populares,
de moral, ética y compassion;
sus siluetas arcaicos y reconocibles
revelan un delirio melancólico convulsivo
ahogándose en una cultura del alcoholismo
en bateas incoherentes llenas de babas
gorgoteando pomposidad y burbujas de metano.

Existen cosas que nos duelen saber,
que ponen a prueba nuestra fe y carácter,
es la ley para los que se despiertan y se levantan
dejando atrás las ruinas perversas de explotadores:
el tiempo favorece a la Tierra reponiéndose
los pobres martirizados, mansos y sin esperanza
con sus sueños, amor, ideales, y justicia
©Enero 2015           

The 2015 Wash Board
by Javier Pacheco

Look at the wash board
Look at how it shakes
Look at how it shakes
the water on the wash board
~ Quilapayun (Chile) ~

At the start of the new year
here we are waiting for other new damages
against our civil rights and freedoms
that the clumsy thieves in power
with their “circus of gorillas”
are going to unleash;

So many living on the edge
wanting to grow, sprout wings and fly
getting knocked down instead,
the ethereal body too weak to resist the dark
signs, shocks, traumas, and subordination
creating a profound breakdown of trust
in the breach of virtues at the very top.
But new spiritual warriors emerge
the balsams and spruces have come of age
the cross-generational links are stronger
young people are becoming more engaged
and less reliant on “official truths”
many have come to understand
the modern feudal machinations,
will manipulations, illusions
and false knowledge blurted out from the
wastelands of corporate media.

These are elusive truths for those still
tied to the wheel and its myths:
deaf, dumb, and blind
to the infamy of national corruption
a numbed detachment from oppression
for which there are no words to describe
the conniving vipers
those eschewing responsibility for their actions
the impunity of assassins
the impunity of political criminals
the sickly acquiescence of opportunists
zombies who worship the golden calf
the spiritual death of a divided culture
people of little discernment or perception
the breakdown of morality at all levels
cherished ideals that have been squashed
by rich tribal necromancers who dabble in
piracy, genocide, and demonic sorcery;
supremacist Illumi-Nazi puppet masters
who vet their political bag boys
to enslave and slowly murder off their victims
as in Ayotzinapa, Palestine, and the Amazons.

World crimes ignored by the indifference
of cosmopolitan bourgeois shallowness
a “proper” nation that has always used war
as a handy tool for its expansion
as a racket for enriching some;
but fascism cannot stay forever
cannot sustain the forfeiture of reason,
or beasts devoid of magnetism and charisma
a discontinuity that separates and marginalizes,
the self-destructive abyss of the ego
decomposed, scattered tribes, and
the drift back to the dissolution of knowledge,
the culture of death overwhelms innovation
while the sheeple are distracted with their
new gadgets, toys, and trinkets.
New technology in the hands of
the old fashioned seeking a fast track
to modernity in the midst of disorder.

We are peoples trapped by cycles of control
holding our hands up (“Don’t shoot!”)
screaming, “We can’t breathe!”
to the cynical perverted elites who
in their deranged supremacy
have vainly discarded
any semblance of popular ideals
of morals, ethics, and compassion;
their archaic and recognizable silhouettes
reveal a convulsive melancholic delirium
drowning in a culture of alcoholism
in incoherent wash boards full of spittle
gurgling pomposity and methane bubbles.

These are things that hurt us to know,
that put our faith and character to test,
it’s the law for those who awaken and rise up
leaving behind the perverse ruins of exploiters:
time favors the Earth replenishing itself
the martyred poor, meek, and hopeless
with their dreams, love, ideals, and justice
shall endure.
©January 2015

Javier B. Pacheco writes poetry and performs on piano in the S.F. Bay Area.

por Betty Sánchez

Siendo adolescente
Cargaba una libreta
Bajo el brazo
Por si de repente
Alguna  musa inquieta
Se cruzara por mi paso

Todo a mi alrededor
Se conspiraba
Para inspirar poesía
Los pétalos de una flor
Una casa abandonada
El ocaso que moría

Escribía versos de prisa
Los encerraba en mi diario
Por temor a que escaparan
Los repasaba en misa
Como cuentas de rosario
Para que no marchitaran

Mi juventud se alejó
Los afanes de la vida
Reemplazaron a la prosa
La inspiración  me dejó
No hubo adiós ni despedida
Se fue con las mariposas

Hoy que quiero ser poeta
He invocado su presencia
Y aunque se muestra elusiva
Cuando la noche esta quieta
Aspiro su dulce esencia
Y retorno a ser creativa

La veo en mi taza de té
En la risa de mis nietos
En la lluvia  y la neblina
Esta vez la atraparé
Conoceré sus secretos
Será ella quien me defina.

Betty Sánchez is a Yuba City poet.

by Tom Sheldon 

We worship at a backwards altar
where what’s wholesome is not, what’s abhorrent is condoned.
A battlefield bonanza
of whitewashed graves...
The true face of our world uncovered.
A breed, whose moral compass,
is warped by violence.
It doesn't take much for the infection to take hold and spread.
A country of birth, an expression of faith,
a nightly broadcast.
With the Angels of deception lying infected out in right field
where hate is fermented in the belly of rigid dogma.
Likewise, the jagged splinters of hate,
keep the seeds of malice germinating.
Ever ready they push through the skin, like weeds.
Always insidious, ever vile.
With your thinking god
Hanging down at the starlight cafe
evangelistic and sadistic-soul mining with corrupt currency
A corona puffing Godzilla.
A modern burner of souls
spitting out words
like a hymn of sorrow and shame
like a dying prayer.
Choking the life from everything decent,
while fanning the flames of intolerance.
that consume us from within.
While there's still time,
do you think society will be determined to
keep the lodestone of their heart pointed true?
© Copyright Tom Sheldon January 27, 2015 

My name is Tom Sheldon and I come from a large Hispanic family with roots in Spain, Mexico and New Mexico. I enjoy writing poetry which allows me connection ,healing and a voice.Thank you for reading my work.

Goodnight America
by Mark Lipman

All hail, the American night,
  the fading crimson light
     on the horizon
From birch woods
  to redwood forest
From vast canyon
  to trickling stream
From Appalachian Trail
   to the concrete garden
     a shadow has covered this land.

The shining seas still beat
  against these shores
  yet its echo fades off into the wilderness.

The tide of man has not waited
  impatiently dragging the row boat of our civilization
     out into open waters
       where the waves of progress
          have soaked our dreams to the bone
            until the very marrow of hope has dissolved
               shivering with wet and cold
            this lonely seaman
          clings to his oars
       rowing as if his very life depended on it.

His eye straining to find a safe port
     beating back the swelling tempest
        while the watery sheet of time
          towers above his head
             in threatening posture.

In the distance the proud eagle roars
  untouched by the tears of field mice.

     The crash is a foregone conclusion.

Tonight, the last generation of memory
  will be put to sleep
     a new reality awoken.

Yet, staring up into the hurricane’s eye
  the force of almighty upon him
    his salty brow stained and grizzled
      hands calloused from years of labor
        his age bearing down upon him
The old man finds serenity
  as he too is swallowed up by
     the star-spangled experiment.

Down, he is pulled to the depths
  the weight of water all around him
     crushed into the foundations
He too has become a building block
  for the concrete walls
     and razor wire
       that are raised up high
          to pierce the sky
             in praise of what has been long forgotten.

For ten thousand years we did
  live in harmony with the world,
     with the buffalo and salmon,
       and yes, with even the crow
  our trees were not cut
     but grown
We rode free, savoring the open plains
  on a land that knew no lord.

But then the ships arrived
  and the flowers of May
     no longer held their savor
       they bloomed instead a steely grey
          and spoke to us of a savior
            who ushered in an age
          of Calvary swords
        and gunpowder
     to save us from ourselves
  our descendants tied to anchors
     and dragged away in chains
       from their native shores
  while monuments guard the gates
       for those tired and huddled masses
          sleeping homeless at the foot of the door
       denied entry
     to their promised land
  an Eden no more.

Conquered and defeated
  by the mighty arms
     of Technology
       we do not shed a tear
          instead we stand proud of our accomplishments
        for our clean food and water and air
     for our cultures that have all but disappeared
  the nature of life is impermanent
     and we must sail to where the winds of time will carry
       across that golden sunset
          into the house of our ancestors
       while those of the computer age
     simply die from within
  a hollow, rootless tree
     tumbling at the first hint of wind.

So built your statues of granite and light
  to the vast decaying greatness.

Show in them the chiseled faces
  not of presidents
     but of slaves
       and peasants
  those who were whipped and beaten
     for their masters’ sins
        who toiled to build
          these bastions and battlements
  born into their poverty and position
     as we today are born
       into our debt and indentured servitude
          humbling to the banker’s chicanery
       begging for mercy
     selling our blood for rent money
  while they snicker in the shadows
     still over-shadowed
       by our true potential
  lest we forget
     how close we came
       to the promise they gave
          of a world without regents or kings
  eagerly the passage we bartered
     pressing our aching bodies to the ship’s rail
       gleaning the horizon of a new day
          as it slowly rolled into view
            catching that glint of a better life
               of all the possibilities
                 right there before our very eyes
               and holding it as our own      
          breathing in the freshness
        of the long and winding tale
     known only as America.

For generations we laid down brick
  and miles of rail
     and built up their tall towers
We worked the mines
  and sweat-shop mills
     for what they’d pay by the hour
We died in wars
  we fought and killed
     those who were our brothers
We sowed the crops
  and paid our bills
     yet reaped only the hunger.

So too shall pass these final days
  and many will be left to wonder
      where went those amber fields of grain
        and the promise of a better future
  while millions walk the picket lines
     living without job or shelter
       we huddle close and bide our time
          for all will come asunder.

We gave all that we had to give
  and from us was taken the rest
     we put down our books
       and forgot to question
          what the television said
     we became afraid
       of different shades of color
       of them who had what we wanted
          cowering away from any idea
            that was in our own self interest
               holding tight to the status quo
            while the merchants of war
          made it illegal
        and worse unpatriotic
     to stand against the grain
  and just say, No
     out of habit
       did what we were told
          selling off our birthright
             for a handful of oil and gold.

Marching to a goosestep drum
  squeezing us to become
     the lowest common idiom
       that old man with his lonely oar
     pushed down to his knees
       still sings his praise to the failing light
          a twinkle in his eye
            a man he was, and still will be
               until the day he dies.

His whisper lingers
  in the ear
     raspy and full of homage

Yes, he said, I did make a difference

If then, just a little
  then a little to create the needed balance.

Perhaps, a word to the wind
  may not be heard
     and all ears have gone deaf
Yet, if it is our fate to be deaf
  then let us be deaf like Beethoven
     screaming our joy to the void
       filling our own minds with music
     and the love of what might have may
  and say, Yes, I will be remembered.

Slowly he lays down his tired head
  and takes his much needed slumber
     the stars watching over
       with their infinite gaze
          silent as forever
            all that is written
          all that must be
       will eventually come to pass
     we are merely another chapter
  in the unending saga  
     no greater, no less
       so close your sleepy eyes
          and take your well earned rest
        goodnight, farewell, adieu

Mark Lipman, founder of VAGABOND, is a writer, poet, multi-media artist, activist, and author of six books, most recently, Poetry for the Masses; and Global Economic Amnesty. Co-founder of the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition (USA), Agir Contre la Guerre (France) and Occupy Los Angeles, he has been an outspoken critic of war and occupation since 2001.

In 2002, he became writer-in-residence at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, under the guidance of its founder George Whitman. In that year he worked with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Hirschman and the Italian poet, Igor Costanzo, in Back to Beat, a Fluxus art and poetry event in Breccia, Italy.

He is currently a member of POWER (People Organized for Westside Renewal), Occupy Venice and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade. www.vagabondbooks.net


Unknown said...

Sorry to know about Tony Mares's paSSING. I love all the poems. Thank you Em Sedano and Odilia Galván Rodríguez of coordinating the selection of these poems.

Odilia Galván Rodríguez said...

You're welcome Francisco. I too am sorry to hear of Tony Mares' passing qepd. Em, great edition of the On-line Floricanto and your Tuesday, La Bloga. Como siempre, gracias!