Yesterday, somewhere in Arcadia, beneath the dappled shade of trees that I don’t know the names of and large colorful dangling flores de papel, I ate hotdogs and tacos and drank lots of alcohol. It was Saturday, after all, and Lillian, who was sitting to my right, took it upon herself to become the bartender at our table. She’s good.
Anything can happen in a dream. Anything can happen in Bruja. Cats multiply and scurry; sharks lurk in lakes; an ocean wave floods a living room one minute and then becomes a calm ripple the next.
Back in 2014, soon after posting the above picture on FB, Sylvia noticed that the photo of her and her girlfriend Lillian, interlocked in a kiss, had suddenly disappeared from her wall. Someone had “disapproved” and reported the picture, claiming the image contained nudity.
We’ve seen them repeatedly—images of women soldiers from the Mexican Revolution. Sometimes they appear in Agustίn Victor Casasola’s black and white pictures, sitting atop train cars with their heads covered in rebozos, or standing solo by the train tracks, donning men’s clothes and cartridge belts crisscrossed against the chest, or as a firing squad in long flowing dresses, pointing their 30-30s up towards some mythical horizon.
Resurrecting delatierra.net: Recovery and restoration of the literary website of queer Colombian-American escritora, tatiana de la tierra.
Shortly after tatiana de la tierra passed away in the summer of 2012, her website went down. My brother managed to temporarily put it back up. Later in the year, though, the link was dead again. For the past two years, the website has flickered in and out of existence. Mostly, its been dormant.
Myriam Gurba: How Some Abuelitas Keep Their Chicana Granddaughters Still While Painting Their Portraits in Winter
The motif, el hilo, that runs through Myriam Gurba’s latest collection of stories is death, and when it comes to writing about death, Gurba knows how to kill it. Yes, la muerte es triste (that’s why La Llorona can’t stop crying), but Gurba’s stories remind us that from the mulch of the dead bloom flowers.
This past week was finals week for me, both as a teacher and a graduate student. When I wasn’t grading student essays, I was cramming for my own exams and rushing to submit final portfolios. Imagine an out of shape 44-year-old baseball player sliding into home plate. Asί terminé.
Last year, the doctors deemed her a dead end, but tatiana de la tierra, who believed in the power of metaphors, created an alternative reality for herself. The cancer cells blooming wildly inside her were not evidence of imminent death; they were proof of a metamorphosis.
I have a fond memory of my father. In the 11th grade, as part of a school fundraiser, I had to sell glazed donuts. I took home 4 dozen with nothing but good intentions, but since donuts are a weakness of mine, I ate one and then another. Originally, this was not a big concern.
Don’t ever lend me a book. Aside from being notorious for not returning things, I have a habit of stuffing what I’m reading into my purse and carrying it around wherever I go. Pages get dog-eared. Words circled. Passages marked. Covers trashed.
“It’s interesting, don’t you think, how politicians don’t even mention the working class anymore,” said Elba, a friend and fellow poet. “We don’t even exist. Everything is either about the wealthy or the middle class.”
The first time I ever saw Manuel Acevedo’s work was last year at ChimMaya Gallery in East Los Angeles. Evocative and beautiful, Acevedo’s large portrait of a naked man holding a bouquet of roses stood out and pulled me in like a magnet. I was drawn to the emotions the piece evoked and the combination of colors, rich blue and red, popping out against what I originally thought was black and white charcoal.
Banda music in the seven regions of Oaxaca rules. Whether at weddings, funerals, baptisms, first communions, quinceañeras, or annual Guelaguetzas, banda music is the beating heart of every town and every town festivity. It’s music that’s super-winded and oh, so alegre. Te jala de la mano. Te sacude lo gringo. Te cura de celulares y computadores. Sones y jarabes.
Amo a mis libros. The ones I’ve been lugging around since my college years. The Ethnic Studies ones that saved me. Frantz Fanon who helped decolonized my mind. The memoir of a Woman Warrior slaying ghosts. James Baldwin who took me to Another Country. I love Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Langston Hughes’ insurgent verses, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up…?”
Cardboard boxes, those that transport Cambodian candy, office supplies and Florida oranges, now have a higher purpose: poetry. Thanks to la necesidad, the mother of all inventions, poets and writers till the earth, pick through piles of trash, and stretch the imagination
This past week I had the opportunity to talk with Luis Becerra about his current exhibit at Trópico de Nopal, Remembering Conscience. The show, curated by Domingo Rodriguez, is a unique and gripping collection of iron and steel masks that evoke historical and political themes. I highly recommend it.
It’s 5:30 PM on a Friday evening and while many Angelenos are unwinding and getting ready for the weekend, a small group of female artists/activists
This past week, I was smitten by The Woman in the Zoot Suit. I carried her around in my plastic book bag like a secret treasure. She rode shotgun in my car, spoke to me in Calo. We shared Vietnamese coffee and sandwiches over lunch. And of course, she was my bed buddy in the early mornings, late nights, or whenever time allowed.