Monday, November 28, 2016

El Aniversario: Twelve Years and Counting

El Aniversario: Twelve Years and Counting

Xánath Caraza

It was twelve years ago the first post on La Bloga came to light.  Today we celebrate La Bloga’s anniversary.  A strong team of writers, La Bloga continues to bring a myriad of news stories to the world.  Pero, aside from writing for La Bloga, de qué escriben los blogueros? Here are some palabras of this team of diverse Chicanos and Chicanas.  May these words fill you with strength, dear La Bloga readers.

Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes:

Felicidades a la Bloga!  Here is a paragraph from my latest publication, “Rituals of Healing,” in _The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Popular Culture_.  

"Illness and wellbeing is a topic that is of much interest today.  The media continually feature advertisements touting drugs, surgeries, the latest program that will relieve us of pain, of illness, of chronic diseases.  A number of Chicanas and Latinas are looking to incorporate indigenous ancestral healing methods, often much different from Western medicine, which tends to rely, at times heavily, on pharmaceutical drugs to mask pain.  Alternatives to western medicine focus on herbs, foods, physical movement, and touch that nurture the body to heal itself.  Food is an important healing component and has figured prominently in Chicana/Latina culture and literature."

Rudy Ch. Garcia, Denver, Aztlán:
excerpt from first chapter of The Closet of Discarded Dreams (2013), honorable mention in SciFi/Fantasy, from the International Latino Book Awards, 2013:

"More odd than all these oddities, was that the participants seemed totally involved in their own special thing, paying no attention to groups near them. As if they didn’t know they had neighbors. It was like I’d Google-mapped in real-time and max-zoomed on a world of suburban barbecues. A place where each backyard gathering pretended it existed in its own private mini world, despite the nearby competing commotion. Except, these people needed no eight-foot fences to aid the illusion, and suburbia had never looked this loco..." 

Manuel Ramos:

 "I need your legal advice, Luis.  So, what do we do counselor?"

Móntez stood up and stretched his arms over his head like he was greeting the sun.  He reminded me of the prison's yoga class.  He walked behind his desk with his arms reaching for the ceiling, his fingers vibrating.  Gray hair streaked his temples and mustache.  His dark jaw tightened and his shining eyes shrunk to black dots. He stared at a poster that hung on his wall:  a bunch of deep purple grapes dripped with blood.  The words "Boycott Grapes!" stretched over the fruit like an ironic halo.

"Time to call the cops."

“They were in the storm now. The two Koreans were sharp silhouettes against the blinding whiteness. Ski gunned the motor at the third switchback. Something felt wrong. The truck slid weirdly sideways. To the furious spinning of wheels and grinding gears the truck slid backward. The two Koreans coiled their bodies in readiness to leap out. Costillas’ eyes bulged in sheer bloodcurdling terror. “Oh fuck, I’m not gonna make it. Damn it, menso. Damn it damnit.”

He should have been with his wife back in warm California, going about his quotidian duties of taking roll, ogling hippie chicks…not plunging off a mountain in a picturesque arc in the middle-of-nowhere.”

Ernest Hogan:

“That was Itzcóatl O’Gorman, who I used to consider to be one of my best acuaches—I was one of the charter members of his Surrealist Terrorist Voodoo Network—but lately he’s been taking everything too seriously, wanting to be a terrorist rather than a cultural rabble-​rouser. “Reality makes terrorists of us all,” he once told me. I’m not ready to believe that.”

Daniel Olivas:

“When I first met Elizondo, he lived in the small house at the back end of my abuela’s property.  Ana Ortiz Camacho, my grandmother and the only grandparent I had the opportunity to know, had died the week before, a life of cigarettes and Mexican food and hard work and not a little beer finally catching up with her.  My mother, abuela’s only child, died seven years ago when I was in my senior year at Reed College, so it fell on me to make the funeral arrangements and then begin the arduous task of emptying out abuela’s house and selling it.”  From the short story “Elizondo Returns Home” (first published by the literary journal, Fourth & Sycamore) which will be featured in Daniel Olivas’s new collection, The King of Lighting Fixtures (fall 2017, The University of Arizona Press). You may read the full story here.

Xánath Caraza:
Mammoth Publications, 2016

Puertos silenciosos

Zarpan las miradas de los puertos silenciosos
ondulados recuerdos se impregnan en las conchas.
Racimos de algas verdes bailan con el vaivén de las olas.
Agua que choca en el corazón, se estrella en la profunda voz.
Grave exhalación es el sonido del mar
con el que me enredo, me jala, no hay salida.
Puertos donde los taciturnos viandantes suben
y arrastran pesado equipaje, doloroso ayer
terror en las maletas, Pandora se inquieta.
Mar, mudo destino de las inmóviles almas
extensas aguas llevan los cuerpos endurecidos
nos dejamos llevar a esos puertos silenciosos.
Algunos muertos en vida saben dónde desembarcar
otros, nos dejamos llevar por la brisa de esta noche violeta
por el último rayo de sol que ingenuamente seguimos.
Lacustres sílabas exhalamos con el suave movimiento de esta barca.
Espesos pensamientos nos embriagan, nos engañan los líquidos
aún no he encontrado mi último Puerto
el silencio no ha llegado para mí.

Silent Ports

Gazes set sail from silent ports
undulating memories soaked in seashells.
Clusters of green seaweed dance with the swaying of the waves.
Water that strikes the heart, crashes into the profound voice.
Deep exhalation is the sound of the sea
where I’m entangled, it pulls me, there’s no exit.
Ports where taciturn travelers arise
and drag heavy bags, painful yesterday
terror in the luggage, Pandora distraught.
Sea, silent destiny of motionless souls
extensive waters carry hardened bodies.
We let ourselves be taken to those silent ports.
Some of the living dead know where to disembark
others let ourselves be led by the breeze on this violet night
by the last ray of sunshine that in our innocence we follow.
We exhale lacustrine syllables with the gentle movement of this boat.
Heavy thoughts intoxicate us, liquids confound us
I still haven’t found my last port
silence hasn’t come for me.


msedano said...

happy anniversary colegas!

Steve said...

Felicidades! Who started the blog?

Pablo Miguel said...

¡Feliz aniversario! And muchas thanks for doing the work! We're all in your debt.

Denise Low said...


Xánath Caraza said...

Feliz aniversario blogueros y blogueras!