Tuesday, December 15, 2015

For Francisco X. Alarcón. xMás Stocking Stuffer. Mid-December On-line Floricanto

Sending Health From the Four Directions to Francisco X. Alarcón
Michael Sedano

The terrible news reached me via email and then Facebook. La Bloga friend and my erstwhile Albuquerque traveling companion Francisco X. Alarcón is diagnosed with stomach cancer and faces the crises of a health setback, the processes of medical care, and an eventual cure.

Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no te curas hoy te curarás mañana, Francisco.

Francisco's familia and friends gathered around him and Javier Pinzon at their Davis home to laugh, read poetry together, and share strength-building moments as Francisco gears up for the road ahead. The beautiful videos of those moments, viewable on Facebook, offer an important reminder of the healing power of love, laughter, friends, and poetry.

Juan Felipe Herrera encourages gente to write or video themselves reading for Francisco. At Facebook, Herrera recently noted: Keep your poems coming' for Francisco X. Alarcon -- who already is enjoying your poems and visits. He is already smiling and appreciating your words. Every poem you send will brighten his day. Thank you so much! Or a video clip of you reading it or reciting one of his poems. A small gesture always makes a mega-difference. Abrazos - jƒ

Visit Poets Responding to SB 1070 Poetry of Resistance, founded by Francisco, to share videos and poetry accumulating there.

I put together a visual poem, portraits I've captured of Francisco, showing him where he belongs, in front of an audience, reading his poetry, inspiring listeners, smiling laughing cantando del mero corazón, and together--poet and audience--squeezing every scintilla out of life-enriching creativity. We are the Fifth Direction.

Francisco X. Alarcón reads at USC's 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow
©michael v. sedano

Blogueras Xánath Caraza and Olga García Echeverría with Francisco X. Alarcón at
USC's 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow. ©michael v. sedano

2011 National Latino Writers Conference, Francisco X.Alarcón workshop

2011 National Latino Writers Conference. Tim Z. Hernandez, Francisco X. Alarcón, Michael Sedano
and NLWC writers. Foto: either Adriana Dominguez or Monica Brown

Francisco X. Alarcón's call to the Four Directions is from Francisco's performance at the 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow.  You can share Francisco's entire presentation by downloading it from USC's Digital Library at this link.

Stocking Stuffers 
Don't wait until gift-shopping frenzy grows increasingly fevered and you find yourself at the sales table choosing the wrong color socks or a fancy and costly vacuum cleaner for a hard-working mate.

Instead, find an independent bookseller, or go directly to the small press publishers, and stock up on books.

Books are incredibly good bargains. What other present captures thousands of hours of personal physical labor than a collection of stories, or poems? And made-in-the-USA with zero degrees of planned obsolescence? So instead of gifting some crud shipped overseas in huge freighters stacked to the gills with 40-foot steel containers, remember "there is no frigate like a book."

La Bloga happily recommends two titles that will make yours the gift that keeps on giving, day after day after month after month, year after year, per omnia and all that.

First, for $75.00, all five issues of Huizache. Or, for $15.00 Huizache number 5, hot off the presses. Use this link to place your order in time for Huizache to reach your stockings hung by the chimenea with care. Buy one for yourself, too.

Second, for $77.00, a full set of The Más Tequila Review, Poetry for the rest of us. That's 11, count 'em, eleven, wonderfully entertaining and often stop-you-in-your-tracks collections. For only $7.00 you can get the eleventh Más Tequila Review, hot off the presses.

Click here to place your order for TMTR. One for the gifter, one for the giftee.

I was just leafing through my copy of TMTR #11 and Diana Pando stopped me in my tracks with her "Conjuring Adela." This stanza in particular, stays in my thoughts:

(Last time I saw her she had turned to dust
Carried her ashes through airport security
Had to explain why they were in my carry-on luggage
We were taking her to the ocean to set her free)

Mid-December 2015: On-line Floricanto
Francisco X. Alarcón, John Hernandez, Jackie Lopez Lopez, Armando Guzman, Tom Sheldon

a kiss is a kiss by Francisco X. Alarcón
My Name is All You See by John Hernandez
I've Got the Samba Juice by Jackie Lopez Lopez
Dark Skies by Armando Guzman
Jazz spirits play by Tom Sheldon

a kiss is a kiss
By Francisco X. Alarcón

a kiss is a kiss -
all love is equal love and
the Earth still turns around

un beso es beso –
todo amor es amor igual;
y la Tierra aún gira

foto: Claudia D. Hernández
Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, including, Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010), From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002), Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books 1992), and Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes (Creative Arts Book Company 2001). His most recent books are Canto hondo / Deep Song (University of Arizona Press 2015) and Borderless Butterflies / Mariposas sin fronteras (Poetic Matrix Press 2014). He has published six books for children available through Lee & Low Books, among them, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (2008) and Poems to Dream Together (2005). He teaches at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Spanish for Native Speakers Program. He is the creator of the Facebook page POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070 and co-founder of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol / The Writers of the New Sun, a writers’ group of Sacramento, California.

My Name is all You See
By John Hernandez

It doesn't matter to you that my name has a story here in this land, a history.

That my name has helped build this country.
My name has worked the fields, tended the cattle, paved the roads,
constructed the buildings, manufactured the automobiles and contributed to society.

My name has educated the children, cared for the elderly, rescued the victim,
defended the boarders and bled for the ideals of liberty.

My name has been a part of the club, graduated with honors,
gone for the gold, dotted the i's and crossed the t's.

My name has paid its dues, towed the line, pitched in,
lent a helping hand and turned the other cheek.

My name believes in this country, this concept of land of the free.
But no matter how hard it tries
No matter its dedication, sacrifice, its quest for liberty... you do not see me.

If it's lucky you see your gardener, your waiter, your dishwasher or your nanny.
Cheap labor, someone to stock your shelves, build your home, wash your car and mow your lawn.

But more than likely you see an illegal, someone who doesn't belong.
A criminal, a gang banger, a thief, a dealer, a junky, a welfare queen... a burden on society.

You see your own misconceptions.
You see your own assumptions.
You see your own stigmas of who you want me to be... never once seeing me.

I want you to see me... not just my name.
I want you to consider me... not just your stigmas, assumptions or misconceptions.
I want you to see acceptance when looking at me.

My name is American, the same as yours and I want you to see you when looking at me.

John Hernandez is an American 3D illustrator & animator of Mexican ancestry living in Chicago, IL.
Growing up on the outside looking into homogeneous rural America has given him a desire for people to understand and accept each other.

I've Got the Samba Juice
By Jackie Lopez Lopez

The sweat drips from my body

I’ve got the samba juice for all
those who thirst.

My smile will give you a shot of

My foot will give you a
self-esteem that gets closer.

I’ve got the samba blues, and it does me well.

I should start a poetry samba

I will invite all my mischievous
word nymphs to join me.

Yes, it will be a poetry/samba
jamboree and it will be consumed

by the all.

It will be without water.

It will be as you hover out in

It will clean your lungs.

It will speak in tongues.

You should try the intrepid samba
step and go ecstatic on me.

You should brave the high winds
and sail your sail boat into the pond.

Samba dreams with samba steam is
happening, and I am wet.


I’ve come across many a misnomer
and madness is one of them.

For I am not mad.

I am a samba queen.

I’ve got skirt tails on me if you
want to touch the hem of my garment.

I am free and open.

I give you a smile when there is
none to give.

If only…if only I knew how to
tell time.

I would know when to take you
home, but I don’t even know when I, myself, am to go home.

I wish you well.

Good luck.

I’ll give you a ride on my

I’ve got cataracts from staring
at the moon.

I’ve got a locomotive for an eye

I’ve got whimsical tastes for a

If you wish it, I can drip my sweat on your drapes.

If you wish, I can stand it all out loud.

I can say that I have always been
poetic in my samba inclinations.

Saint, this is for you!

Swim disheveled hair and hear me

I’ve got osmosis of the gnosis,
and I am all supreme.

Try a little adolescent misadventures
with me.

I’m a just a dancer in distress.

Jackie Lopez began writing poetry at 15 years of age because a young boy in her class wrote poetry for her in notes.  When she entered UCSD, she won a poetry award and that is when all hell broke loose and she began to write poetry in her special journals.  She majored in history and began writing what were to be her activist poems.  After graduation from UCSD, she became somewhat known in the poetry field in mostly Southern California.  She became known as an activist poet.  She has read for Janice Jordan, Centro Cultural de la Raza, The World Beat Center, N.O. W., and many other venues for over 20 years.  She was founding member of The Taco Shop Poets.   Graduate school for her consisted of time in The New School for Social Research in New York and at SDSU in San Diego.  She experienced a spiritual awakening in graduate school and dropped out only to join a writers’ group called “Cabin 20” headed by Luis Alberto Urrea.  He is still her mentor and has learned much about writing through this remarkable mentee/mentor relationship.  She has been published in “La Bloga” six times, “The Hummingbird Review” twice, “The Border Crossed Us:  An Anthology to End Apartheid” and other Literary journals.   You can contact her via email or facebook.  Her email: peacemarisolbeautiful@yahoo.com and her facebook:  Jackie Lopez Lopez in San Diego.

Dark Skies
By Armando Guzman

American dreams fade into dark skies.
Political horror and hatred have taken over the night.
American screams for justice are denied.

Building barriers; feeding hate; empathy dies.
The working class is stepped on; it is time to fight.
American dreams fade into dark skies.

Family detention; mothers, children are imprisoned as the media lies.
We are called murderers, rapists, making the noose ever more tight.
American screams for justice are denied.

Unarmed, innocent, women in jail cells mysteriously die.
We are the minorities; majority, where are our rights?
American dreams fade into dark skies.

Murder by cop; mothers cry.
The Grand Juries hide from the light.
American screams for justice are denied.

Immigrants; natives, all are vile in their eyes.
It is time to soar; to take flight.
American dreams fade into dark skies.
American screams for justice are denied.

Armando Guzman is a poet born in Nogales Sonora Mexico. Pueblo entre los cerros that is divided by steel and concrete. He has written "60 Miles From Heroica" and is releasing another chapbook entitled "Burque Soul" with Marcial Delgado of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Contact at sanchomando@gmail.com

Jazz spirits play
By Tom Sheldon

spirits topaz
gold and emerald
humid and glistening
festooned and fecund
verdant green garlands
between trembling hands
memories warm this amber
an aroma hidden in mystery
woven out of parted twilight lips
vowels and consonants of delight
your mouth/breath visits a flower in bud
blood coursing …portals recede with the tide
half open eyes grow dim, in steps to heady paradise
as passion does arise from a surrender to the moon surrender...
a perfumed garden in bloom bowing to your breath of surrender and beauty…

My name is Tom Sheldon and I was born and raised in New Mexico and come from a large Hispanic family. I have always loved and appreciated the gift of creating in various forms. Southwestern themes and landscapes are among my favorites and the wonder and beauty of the the history here and my surroundings  continually inspire my artwork. Thank you greatly for considering my words. Mil gracias.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Estimado Michael: Muchas gracias por this great issue, Abrazos, Francisco