Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anniversaries. César A. Martinez in Chicago. On-line Floricanto.

Michael Sedano

The Moderators of the Facebook poetry community, Poets Responding to SB 1070: Poetry of Resistance, couldn't let the month go by without another opportunity to share Mother's Day poems.

I am remiss in not observing the seventh anniversary of the first On-line Floricanto on May 4,  2010. Back then, Francisco X. Alarcón and I were discussing the reunion Floricanto that would be convened at USC in the Fall. I had invited mostly local poets, with out-of-town writers footing their own bill to get to LA. Francisco was receiving hundreds of poems weekly. Many were outstanding quality. So he and I agreed time and distance was no reason poets should not be heard. Thus we began our collaboration between Poets Responding and La Bloga.

Today, the Moderators of Poets Responding continue the labor of love Francisco founded. Anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of submissions come in weekly. Moderators collaborate via email and messages to select the work of five poets to comprise that week's La Bloga On-line Floricanto.

A final anniversary in May, the 48th anniversary of the photograph below. A late-May1969 field  training problem. Go into the boonies of Ft. Ord to a spot indicated on a map. Set up a pair of 25-foot antenna poles. Using an AM radio set, make morse code contact with a second team somewhere in the Monterey backwoods.

 I was pretty good at that stuff. As it developed, these were skills I never used.

Memorial Day 2017. Veterans salute one another. Veterans remember their comrades who didn't come home. Remember the good times. They were so young.


Martínez in National Museum Show

Mother Songs On-line Floricanto
Javier Pinzón, Jackie Lopez Lopez, Ralph Haskins Elizondo, Meg Withers, Odilia Galván Rodríguez

"Dulce Recuerdo" By Javier Pinzón "
Menudo” By Jackie Lopez Lopez
“We Belong To Our Mothers” By Ralph Haskins Elizondo
"Mother's Days" By Meg Withers
“Mother/Màthair” By Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Dulce Recuerdo
Por Javier Pinzón

tus palabras
las encuentro
en el ropero
entre blusas
pañales para niño

al desdoblarlas
tus alegrías
para ti cada día
era un triunfo

te fuiste
a que te operaran
y después
te recibimos
en la sección
de carga
del aeropuerto

tu ausencia
cubrió de gris
mi mundo;
me pesaron
los hombros

no has muerto
estás viva
como viento
de mi pecho

tu recuerdo
dulce miel
de mi vida

Javier Pinzon ,Mexicano,llego a Los Estados Unidos en la época de los ochentas ha publicado su poesía en periódicos comunitarios del área de la Bahía de San Francisco, y en diversas revistas literarias, entre ellas Revista Mujeres, de la Universidad de Santa Cruz, y la Palabra de la Universidad de Davis.

By Jackie Lopez Lopez

Your sweat,
my homemade stew,
was always given
and served to me
by your caring hands of
time circling round your children.
I remember, Mami,
when I danced with you
those warm nights you summoned
your spicy treasures
and sang mariachi
lullabies and held me
at your fragrant breasts.
In harmony, I fell asleep and woke up
dancing at my prom while
the breath of your kitchen
filled my lungs the red morning
I forged the application.
In English tempo, circling tiempo,
mixing time, you smiled in Spanish
and saw that it was good
tasting the American accent you gave
me, your little girl, that daydreamed
slept, melted into your aroma
and, oh, at night sleeps so well
remembering all the ingredients
a menudo.

Jackie Lopez became, somewhat, known as an activist poet, in mostly, Southern California. She has read for Janice Jordan, border activists, 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 legendary Cabin Twenty writing collective headed by Luis Alberto Urrea. She is a UCSD graduate, and 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. Luis Alberto Urrea is her mentor and she has learned much about writing through this remarkable mentee/mentor relationship. Her spiritual awakening transformed her into a mystic poet but one still in keeping with activism. Her journey has been one of a persistent search of truth, courage, magic, research, ecstasy, enlightenment, and justice in an unequal world. Her poems always end in faith that the light shall always overcome the darkness. She has been published in “La Bloga” twelve times, “The Hummingbird Review” twice, “The Border Crossed Us: An Anthology to End Apartheid” and other literary journals. “La Bloga” selected one of her poems for the “Best of 2015 La Bloga Edition.” You can contact her via email or facebook. Her email: peacemarisolbeautiful@yahoo.com and her facebook: Jackie Lopez Lopez in San Diego.

We Belong to Our Mothers
By Ralph Haskins Elizondo

More than to our fathers,

who gave us only half their genes;

and yet amidst the density of our DNA,

our mothers also gave us theirs,

as well as their cell and all that comes along,

the organelles, the mitochondria,

the mighty mitochondria with their own DNA,

belonging to our mothers, and to their mothers,

and to their mothers’ mothers.

They even give their bodies for us to grow inside

as parasites and tumors often do.

Mothers are funny that way,

always giving more of themselves.

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. His works have appeared in Puhnk And Miscellany Magazine, The Best Unrequired Reading In American Literature 2011 (Harcourt), Poesía En Vuelo, La Bloga (Poets Responding To SB 1070), and Poetry Of Resistance Anthology. Today, Ralph lives in McAllen, Texas where he supplements his poet’s income by moonlighting as a science teacher at a local high school.

Mother Days
By Meg Withers

When men came marching back home in ’45, children pulled
the uniform from your back stuck memories of burned
flesh of battle victims in Pearl Harbor cats clawed
your mind your heart opened new husband with alcohol
on his breath your wedding consummate conception next
generation of sailors and soldiers’ daughters who smoke
pot and drop acid response to the next war never called war
you feared glowing coals at the end of roach clips far more
than hell flinging itself from B-52’s that damned country
everyone knew the little girl running naked screaming
she was a communist’s kid – later you said if they legalized pot
you would try some – we couldn’t bring anyone’s burnt dead back
or put your uniform back on your slim shoulders were round now.

Giornis Della Madre
By Meg Withers

Quando gli uomini arrivarono a casa marciando nel ’45, i bambini
ti hanno tolto l’uniforme dalla schiena memorie conficcate di carne
bruciata di vittime di guerra a Pearl Harbor i gatti ti artigliavano
la mente il tuo cuore si aprì ad un nuovo marito con l’alcool
nell’alito la tua concezione consumata al matrimonio la prossima
generazione di marinai e soldati figlie che fumano
erba e ingoiano acido la risposta alla guerra successiva
mai chiamata guerra temevi i carboni ardenti ai mozziconi
di spinelli più dell’inferno che si gettava dai B-52 quello stato
maledetto tutti sapevano che la piccola correva nuda urlava che
era un esserino comunista – più tardi dicesti che se avessero
legalizzato l’erba ne avresti provata un po’ – non siamo riusciti a
riportare i morti bruciati né a rimetterti l’uniforme
le tue spalle magre erano rotonde ora.
--Italian translation by Anny Ballardini.

Meg Withers is a poet and publisher who teaches English and Creative Writing at Merced College. She has been published in journals and literary reviews, and has three published books of poetry.She is a community activist and fervent follower of the concept that: All the Voice Belong in the Room.

By Odilia Galván Rodríguez

you were deep roots of old trees
that never let us stray too far, no
you kept us tethered to hearth
even the housing projects a home
like a spider you had eyes everywhere
there was no place we could hide
complex those feelings of wanting love and
the fear of being smothered
as a child it’s difficult to understand
the lash as embrace later you would admit
it was just your way no child spoiled no child lost
we knew what was expected
no guessing games or riddles
as sure as there was always work to be done
there was something left for dreams
when the long sleep would finally come mercifully

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, poet, writer, editor, educator, and activist, is the author of six volumes of poetry, her latest, The Nature of Things, a collaboration with Texas photographer, Richard Loya, by Merced College Press 2016. Also, along with the late Francisco X. Alarcón, she edited the award-winning anthology, Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, University of Arizona Press, 2016. This poetry of witness anthology, the first of its kind, because it came about because of the on-line organizing work of Alarcón, Galván Rodriguez, and other poet-activists which began as a response to the proposal of SB 1070, the racial profiling law which was eventually passed by the Arizona State Legislature in 2010, and later that year, HB 2281which bans ethnic studies. With the advent of the Facebook page Poets Responding (to SB 1070) thousands of poems were submitted witnessing racism, xenophobia, and other social justice issues which culminated in the anthology.

Galván Rodríguez has worked as an editor for various print media such as Matrix Women's News Magazine, Community Mural's Magazine, and Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba. She is currently, the editor of Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal online; facilitates creative writing workshops nationally, and is director of Poets Responding to SB 1070, and Love and Prayers for Fukushima, both Facebook pages dedicated to bringing attention to social justice issues that affect the lives and wellbeing of many people and encouraging people to take action. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, and literary journals on and offline.

As an activist, she worked for the United Farm Workers of America AFL-CIO, The East Bay Institute for Urban Arts, has served on numerous boards and commissions, and is currently active in Women’s organizations whose mission it is to educate around environmental justice issues and disseminate an indigenous world view regarding the earth and people’s custodial relationship to it. Odilia Galván Rodríguez has a long and rich history of working for social justice in solidarity with activists from all ethnic groups.

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