Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Alfredo Véa Meets Stanford Readers. November's Holiday On-line Floricanto

Alfredo Véa Visits Stanford Alumni Book Group

The Book Club of the Chicano/Latino Stanford Alumni Association of Southern California welcomed author Alfredo Véa to its quarterly meeting Sunday where they engaged the author in spirited discussion of The Mexican Flyboy.

In the course of human events, discussion flowed around and through the upcoming regime change in the United States, the election, and the sundry folk and feelings that seethed out of the political landscape.

La Bloga's Manuel Ramos and Michael Sedano both highly recommend The Mexican Flyboy for its literary quality and arresting story. The Stanford friends share the reviewers' enthusiasm.

A richly literary novel, The Mexican Flyboy raises critical issues about communicating, U.S. justice and processes to achieve or deny that, interpersonal relationships, and a complex array of ideas, allegory, and metaphor.

Blended with humor and science fiction elements, the extensively researched novel introduces historical characters like Joan of Arc and the Rosenbergs, and unnamed people like the 133 slaves murdered by the crew of the slave ship Zong.

The Mexican Flyboy is an excellent gift or stocking stuffer for deserving readers. It's one of the must-read books of 2016. Order from your local independent bookseller, or directly from the University of Oklahoma Press.

The Book Club of the Chicano/Latino Stanford Alumni Association of Southern California meets quarterly. Members include Mario Vasquez, Roberto Garcia, Angel Flores, Deidre Reyes, Manuel Urrutia, Margie Hernandez, Juanita Naranjo, Michael Sedano, and Concepción Valadez.

Area Stanford alumni are welcome to join the discussions. Membership is not exclusively Stanford alums; the regular meeting includes graduates of the University of Chile, UCLA, and USC. Joining the recent discussion were Melinda Palacio, Angel and Mario Guerrero, and Barbara Sedano, who hosted the tertullia.

The April meeting returns to its Monrovia home and features Désirée Zamorano. The Amado Women. For details, email stanfordbookclub@readraza.com.

November Feasting Week: La Bloga's On-line Floricanto.
Raul Sanchez, Linda Rodriguez, Ralph Hoskins Elizondo, Alma Luz Villanueva, John Martinez

"Growing Up in the New Amerikkka” By Raul Sanchez
“In Time of Trouble” Linda Rodriguez
"Household Shrine” by Ralph Hoskins Elizondo
"Warriors of the Rainbow” By Alma Luz Villanueva
“She is a Rock” by John Martinez

Growing Up in the New Amerikkka
Raul Sanchez


classroom full of kids, different colored skins
learning the difference between a noun and a pronoun
remember the playfulness everyone had—
all together in the schoolyard?


how you shared your lunch and others shared theirs with you
different flavors, different tongues.
Now you are in high school, the faces in the classroom
full of kids, different colored skins all changed


how it didn’t matter where you came from
and your indigenous features
were not a subject of repugnant scrutiny
and criticism?


from others the “differences” between races
and why one ethnic group does not get along with others
notice, the same color :: hang together—
like worms in compost…

ostracized because of your skin color,
your name, your features, your other language
How does that feel? You— get pushed—
to the end of the line your hair pulled

They tell you:

“you are a greaser and a wet back, your dad
washes dishes at a Mezkin restaurant and your mother
cleans toilets at juvy hall”
they mock you—playing your violin

They tell you,

“go back where you came from
don’t speak your Espanish language
speak English”
there is no class in the classroom.


class divisions ignorance and prejudice
based on racial differences. Red man, Yellow man,
Black, Brown, White ones too—
what happened to the innocence of the early years?


learns the poisoned language of snakes
they use nouns, pronouns and verbs to hurt others
with their serpent tongues bifurcated contaminated
diseased approach to the culture of hate

growing up in the new amerikkka

In Time of Trouble
Linda Rodriguez

I was taught—
go to water,
running water.
Build a small fire.
Sing a prayer.
Offer tobacco.
Sing a prayer.
Clean up the fire.
Offer cornmeal in thanks.
Walk away,
leaving your illness
or problem
behind you.

Household Shrine
Ralph Hoskins Elizondo

Inside the heart of the darkest part of night,
a lonely yellow glow flickers from within.
A window reveals velorio candles---
their tiny fiery tongues carrying light conversations
with a congregation of clayed clergy---
La Virgen de Guadalupe, San Martín de Porres,
El Santo Niño de Atocha, and the not-quite sainted
Don Pedrito Jaramillo. Each holds a rosary.
Old family photographs of the dead keep them company---
and before them, their favorite things:
abuelito's Waltham pocket watch, la tía's crucifix and tea---
recuerdos, or offerings more likely---the random roses---
with Jesus, hanging on the wall and bleeding over all---
an ongoing pilgrimage procession going nowhere,
marking penance on the heavy shoulders of a small armoire
weary with the weight of a family’s faith.

Warriors of the Rainbow
Alma Luz Villanueva

“One day…there will come a time, when the Earth is ravaged and polluted,
the birds will fall from the air, the waters blackened, the fish poisoned
in the streams, and the trees would no longer be, humankind as we know
it would all but cease to exist…a new tribe of people shall come unto the
Earth from many colors, classes, creeds and who by their actions and
deeds shall make the Earth green again. They will be known as the
Warriors Of The Rainbow. – Old All Nations prophecy

“Global Warming, a hoax, bullshit.” Trump

Will you drink oil?
Will you eat fracked earth?
Will you hide from the
sun, moon, wind, the fierce Ancestor Stars, the
cries of your children, grand
children, great grandchildren,
the next Seventy Generations, the
human family extinct or thriving,
either way color blind, starved
for Beauty, praising each spring
flower (however spring survives,
Madre Tierra), cursing or
praising the Rising Sun, dreaming
the way to madness or sanity-
what I know is, only those who
remember the language of trees,
clouds, East/West/South/North Winds,
each fragile flower, each fragile
dream, rainbow praise and song,
only those who remember the language of

stone will survive/thrive, love.

To the Standing Rock Rainbow Warriors

She is a Rock
John Martinez

She is a rock inside of a rock
That wants to breathe

That wants to unravel from within,
Arms, fingers shouting,
Like dazed dandelions

Wants to stand,
Cloud rinsed torso,
Wants to love again-

Like a flash of rain drops,
She sighs, heaves to breath

She is the small girl, who fell
Asleep, naked by the lake

And then her spirit rose
Into the galaxy’s

And her body became
This rock
Her thighs, round, protruding
From the sand

Rock in rock, a heart beating
In rock, rock without being rock,
Rock, living again

And formed, so delicately
A million years of unspent dreams

And treads her feet
Like a hush of tadpoles
When the water rises

Her eyes, like yesterday’s stars,
Blown out of the darkness

Never lost their lantern glow
Against a full moon

Meet the Poets
"Growing Up in the New Amerikkka” By Raúl Sanchez
“In Time of Trouble” Linda Rodriguez
"Household Shrine” by Ralph Hoskins Elizondo
"Warriors of the Rainbow” By Alma Luz Villanueva
“She is a Rock” by John Martinez

Raúl Sanchez. Raúl’s inaugural collection “All Our Brown-Skinned Angels” was nominated for the 2013 Washington State Book Award in Poetry. He was a 2014 Jack Straw Fellow, mentor and judge for the 2014 Poetry on Buses, a TEDx participant in Yakima WA. Recent publications; The 2016 Texas Poetry Calendar, “Poetry of Resistance Voices for Social Justice” ,“Shake The Tree” Volume Two and the anthology “Poets Unite” Litfuse at 10”

Linda Rodriguez. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel (11/30/2016) available for pre-order
Every Family Doubt: A Skeet Bannion Novel (forthcoming 6/13/2017)
The Skeet Bannion novels: Every Last Secret, Every Broken Trust, Every Hidden Fear, St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Competition, Las Comadres National Latino Book Club, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Books 2014, Premio Aztlan Literary Award, finalist. http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com

Ralph Haskins Elizondo was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. His family moved to South Texas during the social turmoil of the 60’s. The new cultural challenges he experienced led him to express himself through poetry. Many of his poems touch the cultural and political issues of our times. Today, Ralph lives in McAllen, Texas where he supplements his poet’s income by moonlighting as a science teacher at a local high school.

Alma Luz Villanueva. Author of eight books de poesia, most recently 'GRACIAS.' Four novels, most recently, 'SONG OF THE GOLDEN SCORPION.' Published in many magazines, anthologies and textbooks (which I love, from grammar to university- I receive the most wonderful emails from students). I've taught in the Antioch University, Los Angeles, MFA in Creative Writing program, the past twenty years. Have lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the past twelve years, and I love buying fresh strawberries, honey (and more) on the street, the sound of Spanish in my ears- where I'm called 'Almita.' Today I bought the largest, most beautiful, strawberries, from a young guy on the street, his plot- his smile, you can always tell when someone hasn't been called "spic, wetback greaser, illegal" etc...the dignity is intact.
My Authors Guild site www.almaluzvillanueva.com

John Martinez has published poetry in several journals, including, LA WEEKLY, EL TECOLOTE, Red Trapeze, Poetry Of Resistance 2016 (Odilia Galvan Rodriguez/Francisco Alarcon Editors) La Ciudad 2016 (Ana Chig Editor) and this will be his 23rd poem published in LA BLOGA. Martinez studied creative writing in the early 80's at Fresno State University under, the late U.S., Poet Laureate, Phillip Levine and has attended seminars with several established American poets. For the last 30 years he has worked as an Administrator for a Los Angeles Law Firm and has recently complete his long awaited manuscript of 60 poems entitled A Tale of Submission, which will be published by IZOTE Press in late 2016

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great issue! In particular the second Poem: In Time of Trouble. Wow.