Friday, September 29, 2017


As summer rapidly turns into fall, people gather to celebrate, contribute aid, or take in a bit of culture.  Here is a quick quartet of upcoming events before Día de los Muertos kicks in full speed.

Join Dolores Huerta, her family members and staff of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) and support the community organizing work of DHF and celebrate the release of DOLORES – a feature documentary about Dolores Huerta’s lifetime work for social justice.

Friday, September 29, 2017
6:00 – 8:30 PM

Su Teatro
721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver -- All proceeds benefit the Dolores Huerta Foundation

Untitled: Stories
Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Avenue Pkwy
Denver, CO 80204

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 6:00pm10:00pm.
Throughout museum complex
Included in general admission 

Tell your tales in a night dedicated to powerful voices and new constructions.

Produced with local creatives, Untitled Final Fridays is the museum's monthly late night program featuring workshops, performances, and tours with a twist. Experience the museum in an entirely different way—every time.

College students with valid ID receive 2-for-1 admission to Untitled Final Fridays.

Chulita Vinyl Club performances

DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club (CVC) will be at the Denver Art Museum as part of September’s Untitled Final Friday event!

Chulita Vinyl Club is an all-girl all-vinyl club for self-identifying women of color, which launched in 2014, with the context of providing a space for empowerment and togetherness. ALL visitors are welcome to stop by, bring their own vinyl and watch, listen and dance to the sets of the CVC crew.

To kick off the evening at 6 pm, Chulita Vinyl Club will host a Bring Your Own Vinyl (BYOV) set and visitors are encouraged to bring a record from their collection to be spun in-house while they enjoy the exhibitions on view.

Beginning at 7 pm, participants from a workshop held earlier in the day will return for their final performance to showcase their learning, with CVC jumping on the 1s and 2s at 9 pm to finish up the night with a set of their own.

Bilingual (Spanish and English) guided meditation on the plaza, led by Noemi Nunez will be a unique experience at the rocking musical cadence of the interactive installation of La Musidora, located outdoors on Martin Plaza. Enjoy the melange of art and wellness with an implied invitation dialogue of cultural relevancy. No previous yoga or mediation experience needed, neither is it necessary to master Spanish, or to bring a mat. Let's raise Denver's vibration together by uniting breath and intention in community.

Craftsman & Apprentice will be leading Latin American-inspired embroidery adult crafting workshops. Learn techniques and create take-home projects.

The Narrators will be here performing a series of animal-inspired stories to kick off the new exhibition Stampede: Animals in Art, joined by musical performances by The Playground Ensemble. Exhibition-inspired storytelling also will be led by Stories on Stage.

There will be community and artist led talks around the work in Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, facilitated by Flo Hernandez-Ramos of Latino Public Radio and including an artist chat with Jaime Carrejo about his border-wall inspired work.

MOTUS theater will be performing a number of monologues focused on issues surrounding immigrant rights and Latino cultural identity. Including monologues from actresses Ana Casas, discussing her brother’s deportation, and Teresita Lozano, leading a singing tour of Mi Tierra, focuses primarily on the Castas paintings and reflections on her Mexican identity, as a light-skined woman of color.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution
and special guest Jason Heller (@jason_m_heller), writer and Hugo Award-winning editor, will be pushing us to exercise our civic engagement.

Buntport Theater is here to entertain with Joan and Charlie improv in the elevator.

Sing Car-aoke in the Toyota to show off your powerful voice.

Denver, CO - A consortium of collaborating organizations and individuals lead by the Latino Chamber of Commerce and Barrio E' would like to invite you to the CO4PR Benefit Concert on Thursday, Oct 12, 2017, 4pm - 11pm.

All proceeds will go towards helping the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the recent Earthquakes in Mexico. Amongst the organizers are Jose Beteta, director of the Latino Chamber & co-owner of Raíces Brewing Co., Tamil Maldonado, Director of Barrio E' and co-owner of Raíces Brewing Co. and Aquilles Quiroga, director of Los Hijos de Tuta Latin Rock band in Fort Collins.

The event will include a silent auction with donated art and items from artists like Arturo Garcia and items from Beto's Hair Salon. Food will be provided by Dos Abuelas Food Truck, fruit from Oasis Fruits by Haydee Caraveo and desserts from La MoMo Maes Bakery.

Entertainment includes Barrio E' (Puerto Rican Bomba), Colombian dance troupe, Mono Verde, Latin Explosive Movement (LEM), Los Hijos de Tuta (Latin Rock), Son Moreno (Cuban Son, Cumbias), Roka Hueka (Latin Ska) and Orquesta La Brava (Salsa). Dance groups COSA and Zumba Jose Jimenez will present dance exhibitions and Timbalin the Clown will be presenting.

McNichols Building 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202

Sul Ross University and Alpine, TX welcome award-winning poet Sarah Cortez on October 10th.
The Sage, a student literary and art magazine of Sul Ross University, the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library, and the Department of Languages and Literature are hosting Ms. Cortez at the Wildenthal Library on the Sul Ross campus at 2 pm on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017. Ms. Cortez will read from her new book, Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials (Texas Review Press, 2016). 

Dr. Laura Payne, Chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Sul Ross University said, “Sarah’s poetry and her current edited collection both beautifully resonate with the cross-sections of landscape and the human spirit, touching on Texan lives and shared experiences when we take the moment to stop, rest, and enjoy.” 

Ms. Cortez has invited Mr. Jacob Gernentz, the Rodeo Coach at Sul Ross University, as her special guest. He assisted Ms. Cortez with the authenticity of her poems in Vanishing Points, which reference the rodeo. 

Alyson Ward, in the Sunday, March 26, 2017 Houston Chronicle, described Vanishing Points as "a sobering, gorgeous collection." Selected as one of 2016 Southwest Books of the Year, it features the poignant drama of Texas’s lonesome highways and bustling intersections illustrated by the stunning photography of Dan Streck. Four poets respond to the visual summons of roadside memorials with lyric intensity: Jack B. Bedell, Sarah Cortez, Loueva Smith, and Larry D. Thomas. Graphic designer Nancy J. Parsons brings her award-winning skills to perfectly meld photography with poetry in this gorgeous volume. 

Ms. Cortez won the 2016 Award for Editing from the Press Women of Texas and the 2016 National Award for Editing from the National Federation of Press Women. 

For more information about this event, please call the Sul Ross Department of Language and Literature at 432.837.8151 

For more information on Sarah Cortez and Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials, visit



Manuel Ramos is the author of several novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction books and articles. His collection of short stories, The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories, was a finalist for the 2016 Colorado Book Award. My Bad: A Mile High Noir was published by Arte Público Press in 2016 and was a finalist for the Shamus Award in the Original Paperback category sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Chicanonautica: SoCal Art Gets Sci-Fiized

A summer from Hell is over, and I'm glad to have something to announce other than dystopian absurdity and apocalyptic tragedy. La Cultura is rising. Getting sci-fiized. In Southern California.

Being a product of SoCal--my first few years on this planet were spent on Bonnie Beach Place, East Los Angeles--I'm glad to see it.

It's an art exhibit, to quote the official information offered by Tyler Stallings in “SouthernCalifornia Science Fictional Thinking in MundosAlternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas” in Boom California, it will be “on view from 16 September 2017 through 4 February 2018.The opening party for Mundos Alternos is 30 September 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at UCR ARTSblock ( UCR ARTSblock is open Tuesday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday– Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and closed Mondays. Open late until 9 p.m. every first Thursday of the month. Admission is $5.”

I'm also humbled to be mentioned as a precursor to this hemispheric cultural phenomenon:

. . . perhaps participants may walk the streets of Los Angeles anew and feel moments of being part of the first Xicano science fiction novel by East L.A. born Ernest Hogan, where in Cortez on Jupiter (1990) Pablo Cortez sprays graffiti across L.A. and paints in zero gravity, all in an effort to make a masterpiece for the universe and his barrio.

And that ain't all:

To illustrate further, East L.A. born Ernest Hogan, author of the seminal Chicano science fiction novel, High Aztech (1992), wrote ten years after its publication in his blog on Latino science fiction, La Bloga, “I’ve always been more interested in science fiction as a confrontation with changing reality rather than escapism. And as a Chicano, I’m plugged into cultural influences that most science fiction writers don’t have access to.” Three years later, after participating in “A Day of Latino Science Fiction” symposium at UC Riverside, he wrote in another La Bloga post: “One difference between Anglo and Latino science fiction is that making it to the future is something that can’t be ignored. The future isn’t a given, it will have to be fought for. And if you don’t fight for it, you might not get there.”

Maybe I accomplished a few things in my decades of struggle . . .

And with Mundos Alternos, not only is the border between La Cultura and science fiction being violated and broken down, but Latinoid fine art is being sci-fiized. Non-traditional media, and formats are being used. I like the idea of the future as a walk-through, multi-media, interactive construction. The past, future, and different cultures are getting rasquached. New cultures are being born. And the idea that the future is something you should be custom-building yourself, not buying off the rack from some corporate franchise.

I see hope amid the mayhem.

Ernest Hogan has been doing crazy stuff that zigzags in and out of science fiction and beyond since way back in the twentieth century. Maybe it's done some good.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos

by Lulu Delacre

  •             Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  •             Grade Level: 3 - 7
  •             Hardcover: 256 pages
  •             Publisher: HarperCollins (August 29, 2017)
  •             Language: English
  •             ISBN-10: 006239214X
  •             ISBN-13: 978-0062392145

Acclaimed author and Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre’s beautifully illustrated collection of twelve short stories is a groundbreaking look at the diverse Latinos who live in the United States.

In this book, you will meet many young Latinos living in the United States, from a young girl whose day at her father’s burrito truck surprises her to two sisters working together to change the older sister’s immigration status, and more.

Turn the pages to experience life through the eyes of these boys and girls whose families originally hail from many different countries; see their hardships, celebrate their victories, and come away with a better understanding of what it means to be Latino in the U.S. today.


"Middle grade readers will appreciate reading stories that reflect their lives, not their parents’ or grandparents’ stories" (, in their article "10 Exciting New Middle Grade Books with Latinx Main Characters")

“This welcome update to short story collections such as Gary Soto’s Baseball in April and prose alternative to Alma Flor Ada’s Yes!: We Are Latinos is a solid addition to libraries and would also add much-needed diversity to classroom study.” (School Library Journal)

“Pura Belpré honoree Delacre’s chronicles—each different from the next—offer moving snapshots of family heartbreak, disadvantage, dysfunctionality, heartbreak, privilege, and joy.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

Beautifully written with candor, honesty and perfect brevity...Delacre illustrates as well, providing a gorgeous mixed-media portrait of each story’s main character. A collection not to be missed.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Portraits are indeed beautiful...will surely inspire discussion of current issues.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Delacre’s collection challenges existing misconceptions by giving readers an intimate and varied look into what it is like to be young and Latino in the United States today.” (The Horn Book)

Three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1980. Born and raised in Puerto Rico to Argentinean parents, Delacre says her Latino heritage and her life experiences inform her work. Her 37 titles include Us, In Progress: Short Stories About Young LatinosArroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America, a Horn Book Fanfare Book in print for over 25 years; and Salsa Stories, an IRA Outstanding International Book. Her latest picture book ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado; Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest has received 20 awards and honors including an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor and an ALA Notable for All Ages. Delacre has lectured internationally and served as a juror for the National Book Awards. She has exhibited at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; The Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in New York; the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico and the Museum of Ponce in Puerto Rico among other venues. More at

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: A Weekend With Pablo Picasso. Almaraz. Bits'nPieces. On-line Floricanto.

Siguenza Breaks Leg In Picasso One-Actor Gem
Michael Sedano

“One-man Show” is parlance of an earlier day, when gendered slurs were lingua franca. I've learned not to allow my language to set the limits of my world, because the best One-man Show I’ve ever seen featured Siobhan McKenna doing Irish women. After McKenna’s work, the short list for second-best brings to mind immediately only Jack MacGowran’s Beckett monologues. I am a Beckett fan—once called Beckett a Chicano and riled up the MLA world--so I have a triumphant feeling welcoming a Chicano to the “best-ever” One-man Shows. Move over Beckett and McGowran, a genius is at work at Casa0101. The virtuoso performance of Herbert Siguenza in A Weekend with Pablo Picasso provides matchless entertainment for a critically limited period. The show closes October 8.

Standing ovations are de rigueur for Los Angeles audiences. The roaring ovation Siguenza received Friday night came with sincerity and gratitude, palpably out of a shared sense of achievement, “One of us did this!” “One of us did this!” is a kind of pride that counterbalances a common reaction among raza when reading disgusting news about a crime, “Don’t let it be a Chicano…” This time, it is, and unsurprisingly.

Audiences know Siguenza has it in him. Years of scene-stealing and spotlighting with Culture Clash honed the actor’s ability to slip in and out of character, do voices, be silly. At Casa0101, Siguenza inhabits his Picasso over 90 minutes, embodies in the personality a sense of practicality—the art worker has to finish a commission to complete a sale—while holding onto one’s personal aesthetic. Picasso the character is doing art, the business of art is making work for sale. Siguenza the actor is making art, voicing Picasso’s notions of essences of Art, simultaneously producing original art, painting and sketching live. Telling, showing, in a masterful demonstration of both.

Casa0101 is a place to run into friends, like this late arriver who will find seats in the nether regions. 
A few years ago, Siguenza’s two-actor monologue spotlighting Mario Moreno--Cantinflas out of character---offered eye-opening evidence of the actor’s multifaceted dramatic skills. That captivating performance in the enchanting environs of Ford Theatre was in Spanish, and a limited run at that. Everyone in LA who could have seen it didn’t get the chance. Those of us who attended, even English-only companions, found Siguenza’s portrayal riveting. (The Ford is LA’s best-kept secret for theatrical performances.)

Siguenza’s Picasso speaks in code-switching English-Spanish, tossing in a soupçcon of le Français for flavor. The actor’s rich baritone embodies a larger-than-life persona in this Picasso. I didn’t know Pablo Picasso, but this one’s a good version ni modo. The actor projects power that at times overflows with charisma, compelling the audience to get wrapped up in the character’s process of creation, holding attention on substance, even through long speeches.

Artist Margaret Garcia celebrates her birthday at a special place, Casa0101. Bonnie Lambert, left, and Rhett Beavers
will join Siguenza and others at Casa Fina for birthday cake and post-performance partying.
The script offers a show-not-tell psychological biography of the artist, goaded by the agent, forced to whip up a handful of paintings and three vases; production for commercial ends, not genuine art. Picasso spends one weekend just whipping out the paintings while reflecting on his connections as a sexual man and artist. The scenes devoted to the painting Guernica include some of the evening’s more arresting thoughts.

I confess that fatigue forced my eyes closed. I listened with one ear and phased out only a couple of times. So I feel pangs of guilt for how the actor must have felt, seeking eye contact with gente in the intimate confines of Casa 0101’s auditorium. He would scan the house to the aisle where he’d catch my chin resting on my chest. I apologize, that makes a tough audience. But in consolation, I sleep at the Opera and the Taper.

Audience and Art Collector Tip: Choose the front row center seat. Picasso addresses the audience needing a model. “I’ll draw you,” he says. At the conclusion of his bows, the artist Herbert Siguenza presents the audience member with the portrait Picasso sketches in the performance.

Watching the artist making art adds an aesthetic dimension theatre allows only rarely. Siguenza draws on a transparent window, a paloma, after daughter Paloma. It comes to life and flies away via imaginative use of projections. In one scene, Picasso selects a model seated in the audience and Siguenza draws her while declaiming the lines. In the climax, Picasso gives himself a few minutes to paint a  canvas to fulfill the order.

Siguenza whips together a Picassoesque bull fighter in rich black, rough, broad strokes. A perfect pastiche of a Picasso torero impression. Picasso Siguenza garnishes the bull’s blood with fiery red strokes. Picasso pulls the canvas off the easel, offers it to the audience as an illustration of what he’s said about art-on-purpose, not the accidental crap Jackson Pollock sells for big money in New York.

Casa0101 auditorium rises steeply so there's not a bad view in the house.
The auditorium at Casa 0101 is only a few rows deep and inclined steeply against the hard-upon rear wall. Everyone’s seat is close to the stage. The sound and projection systems are first-rate. Worn and compacted chair cushions make bringing a personal cushion a matter of importance.

Like the Cantinflas show, Casa 0101 plans a limited run of A Weekend with Pablo Picasso.  I hope, with enough advance notice, everyone in LA who deserves to see Herbert Siguenza in A Weekend with Pablo Picasso will line up for tickets or click the teatro’s website here. The performance runs weekends at accommodating hours, now until October 8. The production last played in 2014, Siguenza tells the house in his curtain call speech, intimating a demora of unknown duration until the next.

Teatro 0101 founder Josefina Lopez makes an important contribution with this space, and the nearby Casa Fina Restaurant. Culturally, Casa0101 extends professional theatre into Boyle Heights on a permanent basis. Audiences here enjoy popular fare such as Hungry Woman in Paris, rare performances as Siguenza’s Picasso, local-origin one acts about Frida Kahlo, and original work such as Lopez’ upcoming An Enemy of the Pueblo, opening October 20. Plans are afoot to bring Beauty and the Beast to Boyle Heights. Extending the reach of professional theatre into the community, Lopez teaches writing workshops and regularly presents student work on stage.

Director Josefina Lopez thanks audience and asks them to bring groups like several tonight.
A short walk to the west from Casa0101, Casa Fina Restaurant fills the void emptied when La Serenata de Garibaldi abandoned its wonderful location across the street from Metro’s Gold Line Mariachi Plaza Station. The theatre offers a pair of dinner and show options worth considering. Exceptional service and upscale but not hoity-toity comida make for pleasant dining. Being Mexican food, the menu offers lots of gluten-free choices. As usual, ask the waiter to let the chef know.

Eastsiders, particularly gente in Boyle Heights, are vehement protestors of gentrification. Iconic Mariachi Plaza, for example, threatens to disappear except by name, if developers plant condos in Metro-owned land adjacent to the plaza. Exogenous art galleries have taken space, one bragging the danger of Boyle Heights enlivens visits to the place. Where developers see profit for themselves, locals see a park, or affordable housing for all.

The clash of money versus pueblo will play out in coming months now that voters gave Metro a blank check to build and develop like urban robber barons. Change comes inevitably, but it doesn’t have to be at the business end of a wrecking ball. Josefina Lopez defines a useful model of change without gentrification. Raza-owned, razacentric establishments like Casa0101 and Casa Fina enrich not only the local economy but also give la cultura wider reach into the larger region’s sense of place and cultural space. In Boyle Heights, visitors find SoCal's most precious amenity, the unequalled pleasures of free parking to go along with great theater and fine dining.

September 16, 2017 - October 8, 2017
Fridays at 8 PM. Saturdays at 3 PM & 8 PM and Sundays at 5 PM

2102 E. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: (323) 263-7684


Carlos Almaraz: Chicano Genius Subject of Film & LACMA Exhibition Through December 3

I was stunned meeting Carlos Almaraz. I forget the course, perhaps Intercultural Communication but could have been Oral Communication. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to let the student invite a Chicano artist friend who lived in her neighborhood to share slides of his work. Chicano art was few and far between in those days.

The unassuming artist presented slides that knocked me out of my desk. His description of context and technique melded social awareness with fine art sensibilities. For the students, the forty-five mintues with the artist gave them a graduate seminar in Chicano painting. For a nascent collector, I coulda bought a painting. I shoulda bought a painting. I wish I'd bought a painting. "Broke" has different meanings at different times, and back then I needed a better dictionary.

I suffer from anomia, inability to capture names, so I forgot the artist's name as soon as I met him. His images indelibly etched themselves into not just memory, but awareness. I knew my Janssen, and this disremembered artist gave lessons in art to the best textbook on art appreciation. When I finally connected his art with that fellow in the Speech building at CSULA long ago, my heart sang and broke.

Almaraz was a member of Los Four, the foundation group of Chicano art whose members included Magu, Judithe Hernandez, Carlos Almaraz, Beto De La Rocha, and Frank Romero. Carlos Almaraz is  currently the focus of an exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, home of The Rock, and a set of videos.

Latinopia shares this teaser on one of the Almaraz films.

Latinxtalk New Current Affairs Kid on the Virtual Block

When I was deejaying at KCSB, getting a PSA spot assigned to the playlist was a bummer. Public Service Announcement, PSA, inevitably meant a poorly-recorded classroom lecture on an important issue droning from some remote college out there in the U.S. of A. Someone thought its message useful, and I was chosen to promulgate it. I wanted to talk, play jazz, and avoid PSAs. That's what newspapers and libraries were for.

Now in those days, KCSB wasn’t the FM powerhouse of Santa Barbara. Programming went out via carrier current. That means the signal arrived via the power lines in dorm walls. The Casitas, the old military cardboard barracks near the swamp where I bunked my first semester at UCSB, didn’t get KCSB. My audience was the late-night studiers living in the big new cinderblock buildings with poor broadcast reception. Until 1:00 a.m. sign-off, I was the only choice.

I dredge up my fame as a radio DJ because it seems to me the Internet has become one big PSA, with a difference. Messages come from the mass, initiated at no one’s will but the producer’s. Audiences flit from channel to channel yet will never land on any particular digital screen because the Internet is like the carrier current. It goes to limited places and only those who seek out the signal get to be its audience. If they're not turned on by what they get, they flit away. A dog eat digit world.

Enter Word-of-Mouth. In Sales training, WOM is the best gossip a sales organization can promote. Marketing and advertising messages inundate merchants, urging they spend money and buy stuff. All other things being equal, one marketer’s message is as good as another. The theory's familiar, an opinion leader's recommendation, even a casual observation or attitude, about the product or company can be pivotal to placing the order. Nothing happens in an economy until someone places an order.

This comes up because I came across a new PSA spot for Raza the other day. My friends, and you are my friends, as LBJ used to say, Latinxtalk is worth a couple of inspection visits. The site comes with clean layout, good white space, legible fonts, readily identifiable text holes.

The editorial board comprises a cross-country team of academics; professors and Ph.D. types. I'm not sure what the actual name is, Latin X Talk, or LatinXTalk, that's probably still up in the air so they use all caps.

Places like LatinXTalk can be vehicles for making academic research accessible to everyday readers. The journal is refereed. This may let academics get over the “publish or perish” hump and feel free to contribute publicly instead of behind the paywall of academic journals. The web PSA demands the kind of writing that seems in the offing at Latinxtalk: seminar speculations, protreptics, sociocultural analysis composed a few degrees above lowest common denominator, and who knows? The endeavor launched only recently and has yet to bring a second issue. So, a ver.

The inaugural issue comes with lively text and a compelling headline opining on a racist Arizona sheriff getting a “pass” from a pendejo with authority to do that.

Click here to visit LATINXTALK.

Tía Chucha Celebrates Chicana Chicano Arts • Benefit in October

Yesterday, Daniel Olivas shared details of the Tía Chucha fundraiser scheduled for LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in the heart of el pueblo de Los Angeles and the shadow of City Hall. Click this link for details. One seat is $80, when purchased right now. The meal and event go up to cien bolas soon. Hope to see hundreds of people at La Plaza. Save the twenty to pay for parking, buy now.


Wrapping September's Songs: On-line Floricanto
Daniel García Ordaz, Marian Haddad, Andrea Mauk, Anne Apfel, Aideed Medina

“In America*” By Daniel García Ordaz
“Big City, Glass Skyscape: Everything that sings” By Marian Haddad
“Mother Is Mad” By Andrea Mauk
“Reflecting in a Storm” By Anne Apfel
“Huelga” By Aideed Medina

“In America*”
By Daniel García Ordaz

technology has evolved
racist people have not

super imposed images on maps
they created of lands they did not

real people have also appeared
on this continent

a regular paradise
in the Land of the Gorch

with no puppeteer in sight
no papers

only their underwear and hopes—
the Electric Mayhem continues

*(a found poem from a newspaper article about Jim Henson’s Muppets and Sesame Street)

“Big City, Glass Skyscape: Everything that sings”
By Marian Haddad

I remember I was six-
teen when I first stepped
off a plane, into Houston’s

Intercontinental . The Big
-ness of it all, sixteen and my
first time there, the city, the airport,

the bustling masses; I heard languages
I had not heard before on El Paso’s streets;
yes, of course, our English, our Spanish—but I

heard the British inflections, the soft rounded
mouths around letters, the formality of it all; I heard
what I’d come to know as Venezuelan or the Brazilian

implementations of Js instead of the breathy Hs, Jah, Jah—
for yes, yes. South American accents, my uncle and cousins
had raised up before. Women in red kimonos, the gold-intricacies,

walked along husbands who spoke while walking, everyone making
their way to Baggage Claim; German woman speaking to her man, liebling,
schatzi; the French lilt and sway of words—the Italian fervency, prego, prego,

the opera of hand and mouth—and never had I heard our familiar family-language
spoken so naturally outside our house; Arabic, the idioms, prevalent here. New families,
seemingly stretched out among this Internationalism, in-deed, which Intercontinental claims

—so rightly; it felt as if I were being pulled up into it, immediate-ified; and mystified. EveryLanguage
framed, imported, into our Texas. Two blood-brothers made their marks here, in this big Chicago
of our wide state—in this Houston hustle. And oh, the downtown mirrored buildings, smoky,

or blue—city of glass, sky-line that seemed futuristic and beautiful; I remember
the night—brother graduated from South Texas School of Law, the masses at
the ceremony, the black, proud robes draped on young women, young or not

-so-young men. City which made them all; fast-paced, fast-thinking. Fast.
Turbo-charged at-once and elegant; Father housed the party, a pretty
penny, at Vargo’s—over what seemed a small makeshift river,

and the piano bar before; the meal, white linen and fine
crystal, fluted glasses of champagne, the braised duck.
Where were we? Far away from our west Texas

chiles rellenos, the scent that spun up
in our kitchens, the melted asadero
that filled our homemade red enchiladas,

our Arabic ground lamb or fat kabobs
grilled, smoking—above charcoal briquettes
in our backyards, this—was different, this

was Big City, crystal and silver, lobster and veal,
silk, satin—dim-lit jazz bars overlooking Houston lights,
fine Italian wines and real Italian restaurants, streamed along,

strip malls and quaint villages; yes, there was a way to get the Mex-
ican food we felt at-home with, Ninfa’s forever, or the very Arabic Fadi’s
—Phoenicia, where we could buy a durbukee, too, goat-skinned drum; the

clatter of plastic cassette covers as we’d pour over Wadi il Safi, Sabah, and the up-
and-coming contemporary voices—too westernized for me. I wanted—the authentic.
I remember the blue green seemingly velvet lush gardens, the landscapes, rich and verdant,

almost-blue. This was not green. Something about a tropical, humid sky. I remember Thanks-
giving and wearing a sleeveless shirt, late November and humid, warm. Dank. Driving into
The Woodlands to visit friends, whose wide windows all about their house, proclaimed

the waxmyrtle, yaupon, pines, the deep and towering evergreens shading the drive.
But I remember most, the down-town miracle of it all, the congested streets,
futuristic, somehow—The night my brother took me to see—Lynn

Redgrave, Shakespeare—for My Father, Jones Hall,
the large, inviting sweep of building facing
Louisiana. And to our left, facing up

into it, Capitol. And to our right,
Texas. The familiar
mouthy name

—Milam, behind it all.
I remember stepping up
the recollected many stairs,

the dim-lit wide entry, the red hue
of it all—I recall finding our chairs, the black
turtleneck Lynn wore—the black leggings, fire-red hair;

the stage-sized-large-as-living Michael Redgrave, facing us,
black and white sketch of him as Hamlet, the prince, behind her,
in front—of us, large as our lives—Truly, I was somewhat disappointed

when—I’d found out there were not more actors, not more pomp, in this
show my dear brother took me to; I wanted flash and fandango—
but, I entered there, this one-woman playing many roles, ingenious

script—unfolding, how often had To be or not to be
filtered into—our ears, our eyes, as Hamlet
wondered if life should—go on—

the drudge and moan of it,
the clopping unfairness
of a life—ah, but

something like The Lord’s
Prayer, or—The Pledge of Allegiance, the rote
recitation of words we did not stop long enough

to ever really hear—that night, became real, became
clear, as Lynn, mid-show, or nearer-closing, turned her back
to us, faced—her father, Hamlet—begged his wisdoms. And I heard,

as if, for the first time, real, alive—Father, I want to be—an actor!
Father! And she prodded him, almost god-like, for answers, quiet image bearing
more weight than a body, wanting him to give and be given—to answer; to be—or not to be

—Father? And the same small, but wide, words welled up inside me, outside me, the breath
in my body heaved and rose, for the beauty of understanding—
for the very first time, a meaning I might make clear, hear. TO BE

—OR NOT TO BE—FATHER? An actor. An any-
thing. That, my blessed master, is—
the question. I almost did not hear

the remaining words; caught up,
still, in the newness
of the old words,

the way poetry, itself, makes
something new—Lynn bowed, was done,
we rose with the power of our bodies, with the open-

ness of lungs, wanting to find ways to clap louder, to rise
up—to levitate, and we did, somehow, into the wide and high rafters;
my brother, fast-stuck two fingers, wide, into his mouth, whistled like a train searing

the night, the masses, thunderous in their applause, the baritone voices echoing, BRAVO
and BRAVA!!!!! That night, the city, forever—
sent me—singing.


And there was always Rice Village, where decades later, I’d
recognize the almost sci-fi silver or platinum circular street
signs, hung in the middle of intersections, flaunting

their street names near the Galleria: Post Oak
and its boulevard, San Felipe. Westheimer.
The many familiar names, shiny big

-city contemporary street
signs stirred me,

big and singular,
in their presence,
on my way to

The Village to meet
my Annie, who will always be,
my Annie, walked from her place

near Rice, we met on the Boulevard,
Croissant Brioche, for coffee, for tea, sweet
pastries in sun-light beaming through glass walls, mimetic of

French doors, frames painted sea-green, the cozy wicker French
country chairs; we poured over poetry, again, spoke of music and
cadence and language, of yoga, of where we should meet more—

of my friends, young girl who’d written a fantasy love—story, Nicole—
her mother, Sue. Annie and I walked under the dark green awning, entered
Café Mogador, where we’d sit, the four of us, loving the speaking about literature and

writing—of characters, fantasy—and possibility; the Brazilian waiter, so kind, we took pictures
of him, and he took pictures—of us, and with full smile, came up to embrace, stopped,
in his tracks, You have, a very good—energy, a light—sounding rich as his country’s

sea, even the service in this city, so often, seems, international
—the almost-European sensibility. I remember the same
elegance, this grace, the first and second time

my brother drove me through River Oaks,
to see—such sprawling homes—past
Memorial—drove from his place

on Voss, where music
played large: drums,
dumbek, guitar.

And after
reading poetry
with poets who’d invited

me—to Texas Southern University,
preceded first, by an Iraqi oud master,
who sang as well for us—about love

and war, where I spoke about Lebanon’s dark
summer, 2006—of Palestine, pronounced it, Philistene—
and my Hebrew friend who came, when afterwards, we late-night

ed in our American camaraderie, House of Pies, Upper Kirby, talking, fore
arm to forearm, at the counter, all night, into the late hours, into morning, and when,
having flown back from Syria, once, I stopped off in Houston, spent—one night at his

historic house, out-skirts of downtown, cardamom bush, dark wood kitchen, glass.
He gave me a Khamsa, Jewish, five-fingered Eye of God, for protection
on roads, maybe, as a gift, maybe just because; and as I drove back,

through Katy, to my central Texas Hills, I wanted the furthest East
Texas Piney Woods, sensed a hint of that lush leaving. Houston land
scape, the way the verdancy seems blue as velvet; miles later, blue

turns to green, the green that is left when blue fades out of blue,
that green before yellow, chartreuse—the different geoscapes
we travel through, leaving the Big City, and driving I-10

through Katy, then a way after that, the long hours
of blueless shades of green—that city, in spirit, in
memory, in-waiting, always larger—than it seems.

Twice-Pushcart-nominated poet and writer, Marian Haddad, MFA, is a private manuscript and publishing consultant whose clients have won book and chapbook contests such as The Ashland Poetry Prize. She earned her B.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. She studied The Prose Poem at Emerson College and earned graduate hours in philosophy as an NEH recipient at The University of Notre Dame. She holds a teaching certificate in secondary education and founded and directed The Writing Center at Bowie High School, five minutes from Mexico, in El Paso, Texas. Her work has been featured on The Hallmark Channel, in The Huffington Post and various media venues.

Mother Is Mad
By Andrea Mauk

I slept alongside the ocean last night, the faithful roar of waves hitting shore, the moon grazing the surface, the depths harboring dark secrets, stars batting their coy eyelashes, saying now you can see me. In the city, you forget to look.

I stare.

The mathematical regularity of gravitational pull, like a watch with Swiss engineering. The sky: the biggest blanket ever told, but the ocean says that's the problem. Our metaphors are self-centered and backwards. It asks me if I feel the awe.

I do.

I am calm and afraid at once. I look at the the thin row of cars parked along the PCH, and think, were there always so many lining the highway? Do they even have somewhere else to call home? We would not be parked here if this were the Atlantic, we would not be dozing alongside the shores of Lázaro Cárdenas or Zihuatanejo. The waves remind me that they aren't always this friendly.

I know.

I look to the hills. We are parked at the place where the people run down, the sandy white slide, the twinkle of transmission towers at the top sending red light messages to the sky, whether urgent or risque, and I remember, those could be flames and we could be running. Those could be one-minute warnings and we could be mourning our dead and digging out.

We're not.

There are mad men aiming missiles and we are parked in the crosshairs. There are causes worth fighting for and we take our stands. There are hateful outbursts, distractions which flibber our twitter and gnaw at our bowels. There is science silenced by economics. There is the immenseness of earth and the smallness of us which can only be felt in the dark, on a night when the ocean obscures the overwhelming detail, when it assures us that she is the strongest, and mother is mad.

We listen.

Andrea García Mauk grew up in Arizona, where both the immense beauty and harsh realities of living in the desert shaped her artistic soul. She calls Whittier, CA. home. She sells real estate, fights against gentrification, and teaches theatre there. She has also lived in Chicago, New York and Boston. She has worked in the music industry, and on various film and television productions. She writes short fiction, poetry, original screenplays and adaptations, writes and produces plays for children, and has completed two novels. Her writing and artwork has been published and viewed in a variety of places such as on The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder; The Journal of School Psychologists and Victorian Homes Magazine. Both her poetry and artwork have won awards. Several of her poems and a memoir are included in the 2011 anthology, Our Spirit, Our Reality, and her poetry ishas been featured in Hunches de Poesia and in several issues of Mujeres de Maiz “‘Zine.” Her poetry is also published in Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice and Sonadores: We Came to Dream. She has also been a moderator of Diving Deeper, an online workshop for writers, and has written extensively about music, especially jazz, while working in the entertainment industry. She has a cookbook project on the back burner. When she is not writing, she loves to take road trips, sing in front if an audience, and spend time with her dogs and horse.

“Reflecting in a Storm”
By Anne Apfel

Is a hurricane our collective anger
Is a fire our collective pain
We are all one...On this universal plane
What happens when we tip the scale
From looking away too long
What happens when we forget ourselves
Our pain and anger becomes strong
Taking off with the wind and rain
To remove with a cleanse our universal pain
We shake it off deeply in the earth
Rumbling and Quaking to destroy its girth when we become too fat
Tomorrow is a new day the sun will rise anyway
The moon will set weather we are here or not
Say a prayer for the wind and rain
Say a prayer to release your pain
Let go of your fear and hate.
As we all know, it’s never too late
Ask the wind not to blow and the rain to make the fires slow
The storms will dissipate if we promise to abate
See my hand making this first .. I open it I don’t resist
I just take myself away. I will not add to corporate greed
And then the fire I will not feed as my heart slowly burns away
Watching the storms recede.
Plant a tree and you will see..what happens when you give
Give back to the earth she is our mother
Pray for her every day and then I promise
When we are well the storms will go away....

Anne Apfel is a writer. poet and meditation instructor from Western, New York. Her books of poetry include "HerStory" and "Infinity Entwined." Both are available on amazon. Anne teaches poetry through meditation and visualization, allowing students to color different pictures that surface their own words. Her style of poetry writing is called two voices falling into one; calling on the spirit of the energy to form into words for the poet. In her books, she speaks with a spirit that helps her write. Notice if the spirit speaks to you? Enjoy her children's books, "Introducing Ellie!" a book about a sidewalk chalk girl finding a spider and her journey to kindergarten and "Bestify the Fairy," a book about a fairy a magician and a frog prince. For meditation, pick up a copy of "12 Weeks of Meditation." By Anne Apfel.

By Aideed Medina

We are family ,
you and I,
children of one heart,
one cause.
The spirit recognizes family
even before introductions are made
and lives are explained.
Tu gente y mi gente ,
somos una sola fuerza,
un latido,
Magandang corazon.
are gathered at the Filipino hall,
at sunset.
The sweet smelling ladies
of The Society of Mary ,
cooing motherly
to a chicanita
in Tagalog.
No translation needed,
I understood the words
and the sound
is a soothing call
I am learning
crucial piece of my history,
of our story.
I am learning
the shaping of my consciousness.
This is the beginning of my spirit,
years before
I was conceived
or imagined.
I am feeling the tearful happiness,
the sense of something lost,
of stolen time.
Our story,
our heart,
two siblings separated at birth,
and here we are
embracing ,
finding each other
at last.
Time is of the essence,
stand with me,
solidarity without hesitation,
we are on a journey
started by our fathers,
Itliong and Chavez.
My heart
sings , sings, sings,
chains of flowers
to lay upon the grave
of Itliong.
I am finding myself,
the whole heart ,
the entire story ,
a looping band of blood,
started by a man
denied a family,
Seven Fingers,
a day my course was set,
a day my father's course was set.
Remember the day hermanos,
remember the day my children,
September 8, 1965.
The spirit of one,
the courage of one
reaches out to another,
the blood calls.
We are one people.
You come for one ,
you come for all.
My rebellion ,
born in the heart of Larry Itliong.
Itliong and Chavez.
I am a woman made stronger with knowledge.
We are a people made stronger in this knowledge.
Un solo corazon.
This is your daughter,
blooming in your work,
generations later,
cooing the words in English and Spanish,
across time,
my Tagalog song.
Magandang Corazon.

Aideed Medina, poet and spoken word artist, creates and performs poetry in English, or Spanish, as dictated by the inspiration of each individual piece.

She writes about the human experience in relation to nature, love, and family, as well as social justice issues that are close to her heart.

Medina first published in the CSUF Spring 1998 Chicano Writers and Artists Association Journal, "Flies, Cockroaches and Poets".

After a thirteen-year hiatus from writing she began to create poetry again and went public with her work as the host of Every Day Fiction, a multi-lingual poetry open mic in downtown Fresno.

She marked her return to the literary scene in the CSUF Spanish literature magazine, "Austral" in 2014.
Her poem, "In Honor of the Women of the Trail for Humanity", was included in US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s celebration of unity poems that marked the end of his tenure as the California Poet Laureate.
Her latest collaboration with The Fresno Grand Opera and composer Nathaniel Díez Musso produced an original art song entitled, “The Wilting”.

Currently, she is coaching high school students under the direction of the Fresno Poet Laureate, Bryan Medina, with the Poetry Out Loud Program, and for youth slam competitions.

2017 Representative for the Loud Mouth Poetry Slam at the Women of the World Poetry Slam DTX.
2017 Fresno Arts Council Horizon Award recipient.