Friday, September 29, 2006

Disturbing slides

Race, ethnicity, and class enter El Paso's downtown "revitalization" plan debate in a most disturbing way. Apparently, the city paid a marketing firm lots of $$$ (around $100,000) to find out what others think about El Paso's residents and community. These presentation slides suggest that a new marketing strategy should be employed to hide our faces and elders from visitors so they feel more comfortable visiting and spending money downtown. (Not only are some of these slides offensive, this so-called "research" will contribute to the displacement of hundreds of Segundo Barrio residents and destroying, forever, a historically signficant portion of the barrio for big box stores and trendy shopping):

Newspaper Tree article

"Offical Insult..." by We the People

whole presentation

Paso del Sur updates

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blog Nepantla

blog nepantla #1:

As a child I loved the movie Grease. In my mind it's at least 20 times I saw it at the dollar movie theater, though it was probably four times (playing the songs and staring at all the little photos inside the double album cover is another story entirely). This was an early indication of obsessive behavior.

Obsession as worship
Time to move on

Blog as electronic bracelet, as monitor

I’ll go thru moments of summer lovin', longing, Betrayal, Who’s the real me, Until we meet up again.

Slave to the email.

Enjoying hard peaches as genetic trait.

Why do I care to explore that? No one wants to know except me.

Everything is labeled so private these days, and I admit I enjoy my privacy and the few rights we have in this area. I’m also aware that we live under the illusion of privacy as U.S. citizens. Snazzy grocery stores like albertson’s: I don't like shopping there cuz of high prices but also the record keeping, all my purchases in da big machine. If anyone wants the so-called “discounts” gotta swipe your membership card. If you want discounts, gotta be a marketing statistic.

Blog as electronic anklet.

Birds in the grass hopping, pecking, chirping.

Could I learn to love that white brick?

This air conditioned, manmade cave.

Where do flowers live?

I saw a man in a wheelchair selling watermelons and pineapples on the corner.

I miss the oncoming traffic of bridge pedestrians. I miss that continuous line like an artery connecting us. The river an organ that runs dry and tattooed by graffiti artists of all ages.

The 'criminal' mind. Charming.

I mean it.

Back to privacy. The family’s business was to remain private. The students you work with, their business is to remain private. What little time is left in the day? Bloglandia.

I’m hungry but don’t want to eat. That is unlike me. It is because I’m somewhere unfamiliar and don’t want to consume just yet.

Many of us want food made lovingly for us by strangers. The erotic nature of food getting. I want some food. I don’t want to make it cause it don’t taste as good. I love the way food tastes when it’s made lovingly, even between strangers who never meet or who never meat. Hah, hah, gotta ruin the mood like that.

My dream... The lion on a leash... fun and happy... me too... then the leash slipped free from my hand... worry filled me, the danger unleashed to others, including the lion. The lion was happier than ever... plans filled its eyes.

Before that--flooding...

Tarahumara chief
Significant other
House
Etc.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bus

Thanks for info on the poetry bus tour, Eduardo. I haven’t paid much attention... maybe because I knew that under representation was likely. In other words, I’m not shocked. Perhaps it strikes a chord in some people because it is indicative of larger issues in our communities and country, such as school curriculums, the power structure, and many, many more issues beyond the poetry world.

“Emerging poets” is the key here. If few emerging poets of color are included, perhaps this strikes another chord that maybe things haven’t changed as much as many would like to believe, not just with this tour, but with other issues that affect people of color in our communities as well.

I propose to anyone who wishes more poets of color were included in the tour: on the day(s) the poetry bus stops in your state, ride the public bus and pass out poems by poets of color, read work in a public library or a shelter or a school... teach someone in the neighborhood who has never written a poem to write one.

And then let's keep it going beyond that date.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

feels green

gotta either step in or step out...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lorna's Essay

From Lorna Dee Cervantes (posted on her blog): "Please, if you like this piece: 'Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters', then go ahead and copy it, repost it on your blogs and sites, republish it -- with proper credit, of course, as I retain copyright. Please credit this blog and include url." The Poetry Foundation was going to publish it and due to "technical difficulties" the essay did not make it online.

I was present when Lorna read "Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters", at AWP this spring.

* * *

I still remember reading Emplumada as a senior in college (not in class... but at the suggestion of a professor from another department who organized a public reading honoring Audre Lorde, who had died a year prior, and women writers. It was the first reading I ever participated in. At the event, I read Lorna's title poem "Emplumada," one of my friend Flavia's poems, and two of my poems). I was about to graduate, and I was utterly amazed by the Emplumada poems that I had not read until I was nearly in graduate school. I am still astonished by the beauty of these poems and Lorna's subsequent work. It was a treat to meet her ever so briefly at AWP this year to have her sign a copy of her newest book Drive: The First Quartet. To all of you poetry teachers out there... please help your students find books that are going to feed them. I am eternally grateful to the professor who helped me find one of the first Chicana writers I ever read, one of our most important writers. It was a real awakening for me... I knew that I had to take my education into my own hands from then on.

I am saddened by what Lorna has gone through as a guest blogger at the P.F. On Aug. 29th, I showed clips from a video about the Chicano Moratorium and Ruben Salazar in my Chicana/o Lit. class. No students had heard about Aug. 29, 1970 before (I hadn't either as an undergrad). I came home to read Lorna's blog and doubted that anyone at the P.F. knew of Aug. 29th either. Whether they know of it or not doesn't really matter. My point is that this is further evidence that there is still a lot of work to do... I need to get my --- in gear and keep moving forward. I admire all of you out there who keep up the good work (groups like Amigos and PDS immediately come to mind).

I send gratitude to Lorna for her work and generosity.


* * *

I want to congratulate Sheryl for her finalist honor for the Colorado Book Award in poetry!!!!! Great news.

And check out Diana Delgado's poems online. Lovely work.