Wednesday, August 29, 2007

from j.p:

"This news from Lalo Alcaraz, of pocho cartooning fame... The Houston Chronicle just removed his cartoon and put in some cartoon from New Zealand about penguins. Qué buena decisión puesto que tenemos tantos inmigrantes de esa parte del mundo en Houston. Not. Este es el aviso de Lalo":

The Houston Chronicle has dropped the ONLY COMIC STRIP IN THE UNITED STATES that regularly supports Latino immigrant rights and explores Chicano/Latino/Mexicano political and social issues- "la cucaracha," by me, Lalo Alcaraz, and has replaced it with a PENGUIN-themed comic strip by a New Zealand cartoonist!

You can help me get "la cucaracha" back in to the paper. It can happen, as in March I was dropped WITHOUT NOTICE by the LA Times and reader response was so OVERWHELMING they brought La Cucaracha back in 36 hours!

Gracias Lalo Alcaraz, Creator of "La Cucaracha"

Please email and call the Houston Chron if you have ever enjoyed reading comics about Latinos and immigrants more than reading about penguins from New Zealand!

To comment on Arctic Circle or any other comics in the Chronicle:
E-mail Call 713-362-3222.
Chicano Moratorium, Aug. 29, 1970, East L.A.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Eagle Poem

"Eagle Poem" by Joy Harjo (from her book In Mad Love and War) is one of my all-time favorite poems that I return to whenever I feel the need to reconnect with what I believe is most essential. The secret to all of human existence and peace is in these lines for me: "We pray that it will be done / In beauty. / In beauty."

The Navajo prayer of "walking in beauty" is also along these lines.

Voices Behind Walls

A big shout out to poet Lee Rhyanes, an incredibly gifted teacher who donates so much of his time to Voices Behind Walls in Las Cruces, NM. I was fortunate to work with him in an El Paso detention center for young adults last year for the Spoken Word Project. The project has evolved into Voices Behind Walls, a name that the students came up with themselves, and their collaborative poem below describes their workshop. He has aired some of his Las Cruces students' poem recordings on his radio show (he's a dj too AND an MFA student). I can't speak highly enough of his dedication and effectiveness working with young adults. He is one of the very modest and the very best.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Art of Dakar"

"art of dakar (or, tourist trap)" is a poem that i keep thinking about and greatly admire by evie shockley from her book a half-red sea. the whole poem resonates and resonates for me, especially the opening lines (below). i keep coming back to this poem, days and weeks after first reading it this summer.

the poem has an epigraph from the nation, from a 2003 article about how trees in senegal "some more than a century old, had been cut down everywhere the [u.s.] president was scheduled to pass."

the poem begins with these lines:

"poems are bullshit unless they are trees a century old, sentries lining the streets of senegal. in dakar, the darker brother keeps his peace, while a bush burns in effigy. a poem should show, not tell, so hold up your arms as if they were trees: if you have enough digits to make a fist, you are now a double amputee..."

from a half-red sea, carolina wren press

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Attempted intimidation and generosity are cousins. Look one in the breathing face, behind language, and see hair growing on the tongue. As if dead, and the nails still growing. As if Nosferatu. As if falling off the roof and rising from the red dust to slink in the cracks of an adobe wall where spiders plump as wild persimmons fall from the branches.

The clay earth beneath feet cracking but so soft—it gives just so when walking after yesterday’s dried up rain. And all the pieces of glass uncovered, halved marbles, even when you dig to plant carrizo extracted from the canal banks. Keep expecting small bones to surface, but only smashed caguama bottles.

And generosity is the out of state cousin who feels like home years after your one chance meeting. A frog the size of a desert grape emerging from the rain puddles. (S)he has always been here. And here and here and here. And in the patches of desert that exist along freeways in the urban city. A bunch of white jimsonweed like calla lilies. An owl too thin guarding home from runaway dogs--the burrow lined with dung to distract them from the scent of chicks. A neighbor’s dogs broke through another neighbor’s chicken coops and killed three gallinas last night. And it is all genuine and generous, the way neighbors speak kindly to each other and offer to help mend the fences.