Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Poetry For A December Day: A Laureate's On-line Floricanto. Twelfth Month's First On-line Floricanto.

A Poet Laureate’s On-line Floricanto
Congratulations, Edward Vidaurre

La Bloga’s On-line Floricanto has long enjoyed sharing space with work by South Texas' Edward Vidaurre.  In addition to leading today's column, Vidaurre closes it with his selection to the month's first On-line Floricanto. Edward Vidaurre's work has been on several “Best Of” lists, including La Bloga's. See his bio below.

Edward’s work was recognized by Francisco X. Alarcón and Odilia Galván-Rodríguez for inclusion in Poetry of Resistance Voices for Social Justice (link), whose contents derive principally from La Bloga On-line Floricantos published since 2010.

Edward Vidaurre, hat and maroon shirt, with Poetry of Resistance poets at AWP 2016

La Bloga is elated learning Edward Vidaurre is the recently named 2018 McAllen TXPoet Laureate. ¡Bravo! In celebration and recognition of so singular an honor, La Bloga proudly shares A Laureate’s On-line Floricanto, selected by Mr. Vidaurre.

Early Morning
In My City
In Love With
Remembering Last Night’s Dreams
Lorca en La Frontera

Edward Vidaurre
Early Morning

rumi wakes to the scent of gunpowder

Ramona wakes and lights a candle for her tongue
it’s early enough to lay dead on a hyphen
a litter of cats die eight deaths

They welcome the fog, slow moving
feeling love for one another
she, his notorious kisses & poetry
he, her love for rolling around in fire

Without blinking, Ramona listens to his words
& how his moustache dances between syllables
rumi in awe, watches her stretch her stare from fall to winter

Both drink in the gossiping mist

He plants squash for his foes
she picks up a rock to stare at her reflection

rumi raises owls, feeds them plantains
they bring him cantos in exchange

Ramona, plants the songs next to a rosemary garden
in a month, teething children will sing the harvest

She chants for rain to go away
by stomping on the earth

He bottles up petrichor
so she won’t forget

porcelain doll with broken fingertips.
rumi, the gluemaster.

They look up at the stars.
Ramona says she sees a shooting opportunity
rumi stares into her eyes and points at stars.

Music plays on the turntable
rumi hums the tune of grackles and a speeding car.

Edward Vidaurre
In My City

Trees sway a slow dance
To the leg song of the cicada
To the long stretched accordion
To the hiccups of 2am taco truck customers

Tlacauches maraud at midnight
With handy footwork across lawns
Grappling the humidity, eating away at
The molding bananas and lettuce offerings left out in a bowl
as a thank you for snacking on mosquitoes and cucarachas

Dogs bark at barking dogs that bark at wolf
moons and passing shadows, at wobbly tire
passing cars, stray cats and late night chatter
from insomnia stricken artists burning the midnight oil

I pass by a home with a chandelier hanging from a branch,
another with a year round yard sale, and several with red doors
with scattered leaves from anacua trees confettied across their lawns

The people in this city move about like ants,
carrying the weight of life and hard work,
grackles stretch their song in long verses like the summers here,
I set my car on cruise control over the expressway and park
on a lot to see airplanes descent while scraping the syrup
top off my chamoyada raspa

I look at my phone and my friend just posted another
photo of palm trees under the hashtag #rgvpalmas,
Sundays choice of barbacoa or tamales
After being rattled awake by the neighbor’s lawn mower
Is a constant for me

I’ve lived in the stretch of the RGV,
from San Benito to Mission and in between
But longed to settle in McAllen, where my poems
Found their muse, and my dog ages at my feet.

Edward Vidaurre
In Love With

our house
and the wood flooring
the creaking under my bare feet
and my walk over to the kitchen for a glass of water
All leading back to you

In love with the bending hiss of the cat
and their hide-out: the broom closet.
Our cookbooks that opt out of my favorite dish: pupusas revueltas
and the motion in the king size bed
All leading back to you

In love with her music choices
the sound of faint trumpet sounds
melancholic piano suicides that are given second chances
and our future flower beds, tree swing, winter storms and child
All leading back to you

In love with gossip
and the mystery behind the words
the truth behind the lies
and the cutting of ties and relief
All leading back to you

In love with colors
the way our bedroom becomes an ocean
and our living room becomes a cliff overlooking the city
and our windows let the light in
All leading back to you

Edward Vidaurre
Remembering Last Night’s Dreams

I still walk the long walk with my hand in his, My grandpa and I take in the day, I breathe in the afternoon breeze,

he still has his throat intact. He has a stain on his grey suit and my shoelaces have come undone. He keeps apples in his pockets

for the horse. I keep mice in my socks for the owl. We don’t speak, still we talk through our hands. His watch has extra numbers

and he keeps looking at it, I smile and his throat is still intact. I grow a beard in my dream and he laughs, he has a thin moustache

that greys in my dream. It’s time, he says. I release the mice from my socks and he gets on the horse. He rides off, his throat opens up and he feeds the horse an apple.

Edward Vidaurre
Lorca en La Frontera

Donde juegan tu boca y los ecos
Se forman úlceras en los labios
De los duendes
Apenados por la masturbación
De sus propias sombras

Pequeños moribundos iluminados
Bailan en un mundo azul
Platicando en forma shadorma
Cuando cae la última hoja de la magnolia

El amor está en las plumas desgarradas
De la lechuza santa, de la estudiante católica,
en las manos del funerario, en la mentira de la luna
En la casa donde hay un cáncer

Una sola vela encendida canta,
México lindo! México Lindo!
Me llega un rumor
Me llegan gritos de mujeres

"Cuidado al cruzar el Río Grande"

Edward Vidaurre is the 2018 McAllen, Texas Poet Laureate and author of Chicano Blood Transfusion (FlowerSong Books 2016), Insomnia (El Zarape Press 2015), Beautiful Scars: Elegiac Beat Poems (El Zarape Press 2014), and I Took My Barrio on a Road Trip (Slough Press 2013). His new collection, Jazzhouse, is forthcoming from Prickly Pear Press & Ramona and rumi: A love story during oligarchy a chapbook with illustrations is complete. He is the founder of Pasta, Poetry,Vino and a moderator for the facebook page Poets Responding. He lives in McAllen with his wife and daughter, his dog Winston Bukowski and two cats, Pink Kitty Love-Love and Twinkie.

Mail Bag
Charlar With UNAM-Los Angeles 

Stanford Raza Readers Select Chicana Tributes As March Book

The Book Club of the Chicano/Latino Stanford Alumni Association of Southern California selects Chicana Tributes, edited by Rita Sanchez and Sonia Lopez, for its March 4, 2018 discussion. For information on the book club, write stanfordbooks@readraza.com for details.

2017's 12th Month First On-line Floricanto
Tomas Benitez, Andrea Mauk, Martivon Galindo, Jolaoso Pretty Thunder, and Edward Vidaurre

“Which One’s Pocahontas?” By Tomas Benitez
“Cadenas de Amor” By Andrea Mauk
“¡SALVE CAPITALISMO!” Por Martivon Galindo
“Chariot” By Jolaoso Pretty Thunder
“Huracán” / “Hurricane” Por Edward Vidaurre

Which One’s Pocahontas?
By Tomas Benitez

Which one's Pocahontas?

None of them are sir. They're Navajos.

Is there a difference?

Yes. Yes sir, there is a difference.

Are any of them related to Geronimo?

No sir. Geronimo was an Apache. Chiricahua.

Is there a difference?

Yes. Yes sir, there is a difference.

So these are not famous Indians?

Yes sir, they are. They are code talkers, they were instrumental in winning WWII.

Navajos. Navajos.

Was that a big deal?

Yes sir. A very big deal. You might say, a yuge deal.

Oh okay then. So which one's Pocahontas?

Just go give them the fucking medals sir.

Sure. sure. Are those Indians over there the Indians from Navajo land? Them?

Yes, sir.

They don't look that scary to me. They're all so old.

They are WWII Veterans, sir. Heroes. Warriors.

Warriors? Okay then. Watch my back.

Yes sir. And try not to mention Pocahontas. Sir.

Cadenas de Amor
By Andrea Mauk

I do not make arroz con gandules
all pegao on the bottom,
because I cannot reach across
to share it with my people in need.
Platanos rot on my counter,
as they drop on the island
into rivers of misery.

We find each other, reach our arms
like cadenas bound con fuerza gigante.
From the West Coast, there aren't
enough of us to stretch into the next
county, no less the Atlantic.
But we feel the power, the need
to spread the wing of the bird
pull it to safety,
here on the mainland.

We send prayers out
chains of voices with return addresses
hoping for a signal, a sign, something
to return like a boomerang.

A heartbeat echoing
from Ponce,
A voice trailing from Bayamón,
A tickle of laughter
from Yabucoa
A souvenir from
Old San Juan.

We are quiet...
Wait, that's just so wrong
because we are not a quiet people,
but you have to be still
to listen for breath
in the middle of el campo
across thousands of miles.

We copy the words
"Reboot your cell phones"
thinking maybe by God's good grace,
the phones are still charged.
We dial numbers, chains of digits
leave the names of loved ones,
and wait...

They are in a shelter
near Isabela,
they are with neighbors in Guayama,
the roof came off
in Mayagüez,
still nothing
from Cabo Rojo.

We find each other, fill our arms
with bottles of water and cans of tuna,
batteries and flashlights,
blankets and shoes,
only to be told the green stuff works better.
Cash only please.
We will donate 10% of all proceeds.

We go to bed in guilty comfort
wrapped in our blankets
of stripes and one star.
Why did we leave you there?
In the U.S. Away,
the once-prized-now-forgotten
We whisper ourselves to sleep,
"We are American."

We do not cry.
We are strong, resilient.
Those are traces of Maria
trailing down our cheeks.
We feel you.
We know you are out there.
We want to go
but we are told not to.
The coqui en el Yunque
sings in our slumber.
In our dreams, we hold you
en Cadenas de amor.
We love you...

From far.

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 Hinches 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.

Por Martivon Galindo

Nosotros moriremos con el
estamos sentenciados.
Pobrecitos de nosotros
y sin haberlo disfrutado.
"Pobres de nosotros"
Alfonso Kijadurías

Salve Capitalismo, vaca sagrada
en tu seno hemos vivido,
engordado y gozado
todos los elegidos de tu urbe

Nos amamantaste de tu dulce leche
nos diste el apartamento en Miami
la casa de verano,
los clubs exclusivos

Que te mantengan siempre viva
la milicia, los poderes y el pisto de los cheles
que te den medicina
para que tu sangre no se hiele

Salve tú Capitalismo
que haces del humano, agresivo ejecutivo, yuppie
inventor de complicados sistemas
para maximizar ganancias

Tu mensaje es claro:
al pan, pan; al tonto, infierno
sos la pura mengambrea
diosa blanca perfumada

De tus tetas sonrosadas
gozamos panza arriba
de tu credo en la venta diaria
hemos hecho la nueva filosofía, la ética

Salve reina y señora
a ti imploramos
nos mantengas intactas
las leyes, el ejército, la Banca

Salve centenaria ceiba
contigo el orden, la paz, el progreso
la libertad de prensa,
a cada quien lo suyo

Has creado los paraísos turísticos
donde quitarnos el cansancio, el tedio
ir a gozar de bellas
y olvidarnos de tanto jincho nuestro

América del Norte es tu sueño dorado realizado
tu máxima carta, tus cuatro ases
Coca Cola, Hollywood, la Banca y la bolsa de valores
¡Capitalismo has triunfado!

Por supuesto hay ghetos sucios y mugrosos
negros ladrones, latinos ilegales haraganes
desempleados, un Harlem,
puertorriqueños hacinados bochinchosos

Eso es normal cualquier ciudad o país los tiene
siempre habrá ratas donde hay gente
no es tu culpa Capitalismo,
ellos lo quieren

Te llaman perra, prostituta, imperialista
y otros nombres feos
cuando tú, Capitalismo, eres la madre santa nuestra
reina y señora que nos has dado la sociedad perfecta

By Jolaoso Pretty Thunder

Can I carry on like 500 convicts, 25 to Life
Colder than ice, colder
Strap me down
How many men does it take
“You are vulgar,” they tell me
Requiem from the rivers
Sweet overflow
Dread washed in the sea

Aloes and shea couldn't ever
soften his edges
They took away my husband in chains
He used to bring me flowers that I swear
Were funeral arrangements
Perfume of camphor and

He waited too long for me to die
I outlived him
Slammed and tossed
I was free falling
He tried so hard to be a felon
a thousand times over
And succeeded

Vandalizing my interior first
With his
Steady hands
Moving like an executioner
He was so precise
And kept calling for the guillotine
To roll my head

I wasted away
The antique band vowed
Enslaved me
It hung around my finger, wrist
Then my neck
I stepped out of it one day

They named me feral
Said my prayers won’t reach God
Many said he was so humble
But I saw how he was
always so hungry
He got off easy

By Edward Vidaurre

Carro del año, asegurado
Fotos de abuela, rescatados
Un gato negro, se ahogó nueve veces.

Mis pies nadan con los juguetes
de una niña, entre muñequitos
y ositos de peluche, el mar

se los lleva con las sirenas

Un pez se me acerca,
sus ojos con lágrimas,
en ellos, un llanto de canciones.

El tiempo se detiene, la música
Toca despacito... la garganta del mar,
El estomago de la ballena se llena
Con la calle donde te conocí.

Se desaparecieron los zanates,
Al otro lado del mar… plumas desconocidas
Entre el miedo y suspiros
Se escuchan los gritos de árboles caídos.

Hoy no nacen hijos ni hijas
Hoy la madre de la naturaleza
Camina de la mano con la muerte
Vestida de negro… comienza su luto

By Edward Vidaurre

New Vehicle, insured
Photos of grandma, rescued
A black cat, drowns nine times.

My feet swim with toys
Of a little girl, between dolls
And teddy bears, the sea
Takes them amongst mistreated

A fish nears,
It’s eyes with tears,
In them, somber songs

Time stands still, music
Plays on slow… throatsong of the sea
The stomach of a whale fills
With the street where we met

The grackles disappeared,
On the other side of the sea… unknown plumage
Between fear and sighs
You can hear the cries of fallen trees

Children won’t be born today
Mother Nature
Walks hand in hand with death
Dressed in black… she begins her mourning

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