Sunday, May 28, 2006

National Performance Network (NPN) showcase next FRIDAY, June 2nd

I am one of nine performing artists in the Metroplex who have been invited to perform in a showcase for the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK.

Here are the 9 invited performers/performing groups: Teatro Dallas, Amon Rashidi (Rapademics), David Marquis, Uriah Elion, Will Richey, Venus Opal Reese, Tammy Gomez, GNO, and Laney Yarber.

Vicki Meek, artistic director of the SOUTH DALLAS CULTURAL CENTER near Fair Park, is the person who invited us to perform in this showcase. The South Dallas Cultural Center is an arts partner--or member performing arts venue--of the NPN, so because the Regional Meeting is to happen in Dallas this year, she's the one who's setting up the June 2nd show.

Here's Vicki in her own words: "We will present you at Richland College's Fannin Performance Hall on Friday, June 2.  The showcase will start at 8 pm and conclude at 9:45 pm.  Each artist will have 10 minutes maximum. Even though this is for a regional meeting, meaning only the Southern partners will be in attendance, your work will be known beyond the region since so much of how an artist gets booked has a lot to do with word-of-mouth accolades from other NPN partners. 

I am very excited about presenting you to my fellow NPN partners since I know the calibre of talent your work represents.  The DFW area artists you represent need to be known outside Texas!  The South Dallas Cultural Center strives to create those opportunities whenever possible."

So---my friends and readers--I am pretty stoked to have been included on this roster of performers. I'm gonna do my best, with a 9-minute (i timed it last night) monologue titled MALINCHUCA. Almost hard to believe that I wrote this piece over 10 years ago, and that I've never performed it myself, though 2 different actresses have taken on the role--under my direction.

A bit of background: Dona Marina, also known as “Malintzin” and “La Malinche”, attained mythical stature because of her association with Hernan Cortes--as his personal translator during the conquest of Mexico. In MALINCHUCA, Dona Marina reappears as a mad-as-hell ‘chuca with a tongue-lashing for historical revisionists.

I was commissioned by MEXIC-ARTE MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY in Austin to write MALINCHUCA--the script--in 1994, when it was first performed for an SRO audience. This work went on to receive a first-runner-up award in the Fort Worth Hispanic Playwrights' Festival in 2001.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Support the South Central Farmers in L.A. !

An URGENT update from Tezo, spokesperson for the South Central Farmers:

Greetings to all our supporters and allies and thank you so much for your support.

We have information from reliable sources that the Sheriff's Department will be evicting the farmers and supporters on-site very soon, and daily now there is an overwhelming presence of police helicopters circling in what appears to be their preparations for the eviction. The only way to prevent this is to grow the numbers of supporters both inside and outside the farm gates.

There are now nightly candlelight vigils taking place at the farm at 7pm. We are asking everyone here in Los Angeles to come down to the farm and stand with us in solidarity!!!

Come down and bring food, water, candles, flashlights and your passion for the largest urban farm in the United States!

If you can't join us, please spread the word to everyone you know. Create phone trees and email blasts and remind everyone that if every Los Angelino just gave $1 we could save this place.

In the last 24 hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars has been committed by so many of you to help save the South Central Farm, but unfortunately we are still far short of the amount we need. What we really need is time, and we are running out of that too.

Contribute your donations at either this or this site--NOW!

And stay up-to-date by calling the HOTLINE at (866) SCFARM1.

There is still time for a miracle! Let's save this national treasure!

In solidarity,

Tezo, for the community of South Central Farmers

Background: Since 1992, the 14 acres of property located at 41st and Alameda Streets in south Los Angeles have been used as a community garden or farm. The land has been divided into 360 plots and is believed to be one of the largest urban gardens in the country. According to a Free Speech Radio report, the South Central Farmers grow enough food to feed "roughly 350 families" on an ongoing basis. The land ownership has changed a little over the past six years, and now the current owner is demanding that the farmers--the current tenants--pay up $16.5 million or face eviction. (Of course, Wal-Mart figures into this, as the corporation is reportedly offering to pay at least that amount of money to have this land.) So here we have another David v. Goliath scenario, and many folks and activists and urban farming advocates are drawing connections between what just went down in Atenco, Mexico (the federales went in after some "ugly-looking" flower sellers and basically declared war on poor Mexicanos trying to make a living.

Here's an excerpt from an article by reporter Ruth Vela:

"Mexican police attacked flower vendors in San Salvador Atenco on May 3rd, as the vendors tried to sell in their usual area, now a future site of a Wal-Mart.

The flower vendors were occupying the space in the Texcoco market when they were assaulted by police. The next day before dawn the vendors returned with supporters from the town of Atenco to confront the police and reoccupy their space.

The police again responded with violence, this time using batons and tear gas.

Some 3,000 federal police surrounded the town of Atenco. They were later joined by state and local police. The troops proceeded to launch so much tear gas that the town was engulfed in a cloud. Some protesters were then arrested while others were able to escape and hide."

[The article can be read in its entirety here. Another, more recently-published article by Vela, focuses on the impact of the Atenco situation on the women who were taken into police custody there.]

So, you may not want to make a connection between what happened in Atenco and what is now going down in L.A., here in the States. You may be ultimately thrilled that Wal-Mart is looking into selling organic food in its stores, even as its unchecked growth as a multi-national corporation sends the small-scale growers and sellers scurrying off the land Wal-Mart covets. Once again, community is deprioritized as capital satisfies its greedy urges. But, at this moment, a vigil and concert are happening on the South Central acreage and folks like Julia Butterfly, Joan Baez, and Darryl Hannah are showing up in solidarity with the encamped farmers. The people are not going to quietly succumb...

One more info-link

Film casting call - at the Metrognome on Thursday, June 1st

The Metrognome Collective will be hosting an open casting call next Thursday (June 1st) from 3pm until 9pm for an indie film that will be shot in Fort Worth. The film will be produced by Zumpango Films, which might be an established film production company, but I'd never heard of it before this week.

If you are interested in auditioning for a part, the information is on the ZUMPANGO FILMS website.

Blurb from the casting call notice:

"Zumpango Films presents MOS 8411, the story of one Marine's complicated relationship with life and death - from behind the recruiting office desk. The film explores the internal struggle of a man bound by honor and duty to recruit the best and the brightest for an uncertain future away from the familiar violence of the 'hood."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Toxic fumes are burning lungs, hurting Texans!

[Thanks to Ramsey for the following info, which I'm pretty sure he got directly from the Downwinders at Risk organization.]

STOP TXI Tire Burning in Midlothian!  Send a Letter!

The TXI cement plant in Midlothian is requesting a Class 2 modification to burn tires in addition to the hazardous waste they are currently burning as fuel. To the best of our knowledge, there is only one other cement plant in the country burning both tires and hazardous waste.

A Class 2 modification requires no public hearing or opportunity for a contested case hearing.  TXI held a "public meeting", but the notice for the meeting was in the Waxahachie newspaper and turnout was low.  In order for TXI to be required to go to a Class 3 modification there must be "significant public concern".  Downwinders at Risk is asking you to download the attached letter (also pasted below) and mail to the TCEQ to help us show significant public concern.  Comments are due May 30 at 5:00 pm.

If you have questions, please e-mail us at

Thank you for helping us fight toxic air pollution in North Texas.

Downwinders at Risk

For information on the dangers of burning tires:

Sample letter to TCEQ:
May ____, 2006

Ms. LaDonna Castanuela
Office of the Chief Clerk, MC-105
Texas Commission of Environmental Qualityy
P. O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

Re: TXI Operations, L.P., 245 Ward Road, Midlothian, Texas 76065
Request for Class 2 Modification to Hazardous Waste Permit HW-50316-001
EPA I.D. No. TXD007349327

Dear Chief Clerk:

Regarding the above-referenced Request for Class 2 Modification, I am writing to ask that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) deny approval of this request.  Additionally, I ask that should this issue move forward
TXI be required to reapply for a Class 3 modification to allow the public better opportunity for participation.

This modification would allow substantial emission increases which will affect the health and welfare of my family and the use and enjoyment of our property.

Notification of this modification came from environmental groups.  There was no notice in my mail or in a newspaper I read.  Please require better notification of issues that impact the health and welfare of my family.


[your name & address]

Bush's Punkass Crusade vid - check it out!

yesterday was "armed forces" day.

why don't we work to decelerate:

the military machine...?
the "might makes right" mentality...?
the militarization of our lives and public spaces...?



coming soon: peaceful vocations/not your soldier fun-raiser!

works to raise awareness of the aggressive and deceptive military recruiting practices in the public schools and to offer youth (and their families) info and resources about non-military vocational and educational alternatives.

[please forward]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lowest Gas Prices in the 76___

Just enter your zip code in the site below, and it tells you which gas stations have the cheapest prices (and the highest) on gas in your zip code area.

It's updated every evening. Look!

RIDE-IN MOVIE : from 1919 to the Metrognome on 5/22/06

[please join us, folks! this one's even safe for the kids; me and Cri mapped the route and it's easy. bring yo' own water. this one's just the first, ya'll. it's gonna be a bikin' summer...! ]

Monday Evening May 22nd, 2006!

Celebrate Bike Culture!
Enjoy a group ride through historical hoods!
Get your movie-groove on!

+++++ RIDE-IN MOVIE +++++

Bicycle with us
from 1919 Hemphill (arts/performance/community space)
to the
Metrognome Collective warehouse (arts/performance/community space)

where we'll be screening the DOCUMENTARY FILM STILL WE RIDE

MEET: at 1919 Hemphill by 7pm
RIDE: at 7pm to the Metrognome warehouse on 1518 E. Lancaster
ARRIVE: at the Metrognome warehouse around 7:30pm
WATCH: the documentary film “Still We Ride” at 8pm

-about the film-

On Friday August 27, 2004 just days before the start of the Republican National Convention, a massive police operation was underway. By the end of the night 264 people were arrested. It marked one of the largest mass arrests in New York City's history - and the arrested had done nothing illegal.

For many New Yorkers, August was the first time they heard of what has become a monthly ritual for New York City's bike community; a free-forming ride called Critical Mass.

“Still We Ride” is a documentary that captures the joyous atmosphere of this August ride before the arrests began and the chaos that followed. It recounts how this ride first started in San Francisco over 10 years ago and chronicles the police crackdown and resulting court battles in New York over the last twelve months. The movie takes on issues of civil liberties, surveillance, the power of mainstream media, and the benefits of alternative means of transportation.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Two more local screenings of DANIEL JOHNSTON documentary

May 14th - Sunday - 2 & 4 pm
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

"Jeff Feuerzeig won Best Director at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival for this documentary portrait of manic-depressive genius singer–songwriter–artist Daniel Johnston."

I checked this out on Friday night and it made me: sad, nostalgic, laugh, uncomfortable, and empathetic. I also think i spotted myself in one of the historical footage sequences (of the bygone summer outdoor fest called WOODSHOCK), in my black-and-red lace top, and with really short hair...! You see, i was living in Austin during those early years of Daniel Johnston's musical emergence--when he worked at McDonald's on the Drag and showed up at clubs with copies of his individually-created audiocassettes. I remember when he gave one to Debbie at The Beach; i had to buy mine from him for a coupla bucks. It was YIP JUMP! and i still have it, gathering dust somewhere around here. But seeing the documentary brought back so many memories of that heady time that was the mid-to-late 1980s in Austin. With the Austin music scene teeming with New Sincerity acts like Zeitgeist and garage rock (pre-alternative) like Doctor's Mob and the Dharma Bums. And art rockers-cum-freaks like Glass Eye and the Butthole Surfers. It was certainly a special time--though i had no pretensions then that what was happening and what we were doing was creating legends. But so it--apparently--was.

Go see this flick. Sing along to "Speeding Motorcycle" and "Casper the Friendly Ghost". Be thankful that you averted or avoided an hallucinogenic meltdown in your youthful past, and see how brilliantly Feuerzeig cinematically depicts the redemption of a freakishly-talented mind.

Special memory that comes to mind: My favorite Austin New Year's Eve moment: standing in a packed CONTINENTAL CLUB watching Glass Eye deliver a most gorgeous and liquidy version of "Tomorrow Never Knows." It'll never happen like that, ever again.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

rinse cycle: ANGELS, H5N1, factory farms, and eating close to home

It so happens that I considered watching ANGELS IN AMERICA (the HBO version on dvd) today, as I wondered why it is that we--as a nation--continue to relegate AIDS/HIV to the margins of our focus. The mumps outbreak in Iowa and other parts of the midwest is big news--this week--but AIDS, as epidemic, simmers on the media periphery. Anyway, here's the info about a Dallas production of the first section (Part One: Millennium Approaches) of Tony Kushner's epic work.

May 11-28, 2006
Risk Theater Initiative presents ANGELS IN AMERICA
PART ONE: Millennium Approaches, written by Tony Kushner and directed by Marianne Galloway
at the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake in Dallas.

For tickets or more information about this production, visit Risk Theater Initiative or call: (972) 943-8915. For more information about the Bath House, call 214-670-8749 or visit Bath House Cultural Center.

++++++++ another threat to public health ++++++++++++++

The owners of Rehobeth Ranch in Greenville, Texas, Robert and Nancy Hutchins, sent the following info about H5N1 aka avian virus, otherwise known as the bird flu.

There is much being said about the bird flu. Most of it is wrong and deliberately intended to lead you to the wrong conclusion for the benefit of the mega-producers. Following is some information that I thought would interest you since most all of our customers want the truth about their food supply.

Small-scale poultry farming and wild birds are being unfairly blamed for the bird flu crisis now affecting large parts of the world. A new report shows how the TRANSNATIONAL POULTRY INDUSTRY is the root of the problem and must be the focus of efforts to control the virus. The full briefing, "Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisis," is available here.

The spread of industrial poultry production and trade networks has created ideal conditions for the emergence and transmission of lethal viruses like the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Once inside densely populated factory farms, viruses can rapidly become lethal and amplify. Air thick with viral load from infected farms is carried for miles, while integrated trade
networks spread the disease through many carriers: live birds, day-old chicks, meat, feathers, hatching eggs, eating eggs, chicken manure and animal feed. (Chicken feces and bedding from poultry factory floors are common ingredients in animal feed)

"Everyone is focused on migratory birds and backyard chickens as the problem," says Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN. "But they are not effective vectors of highly pathogenic bird flu. The virus kills them, but is unlikely to be spread by them."

For example, in Malaysia, the mortality rate from H5N1 among village chickens is only 5 per cent, indicating that the virus has a hard time spreading among small scale chicken flocks. H5N1 outbreaks in Laos, which is surrounded by infected countries, have only occurred in the nation's few factory farms, which are supplied by Thai hatcheries. The only cases of bird flu in backyard poultry, which account for over 90 per cent of Laos' production, occurred next to the factory farms.

"The evidence we see over and over again, from the Netherlands in 2003 to Japan in 2004 to Egypt in 2006, is that LETHAL BIRD FLU BREAKS OUT IN LARGE-SCALE INDUSTRIAL CHICKEN FARMS and then spreads," Kuyek explains.

The Nigerian outbreak earlier this year [2006] began at a single factory farm, owned by a cabinet minister, distant from hotspots for migratory birds but known for importing unregulated hatchable eggs. In India, local authorities say that H5N1 emerged and spread from a factory farm owned by the country's largest poultry company, Venkateshwara Hatcheries.

A burning question is why governments and international agencies, like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, are doing nothing to investigate how the factory farms and their byproducts, such as animal feed and manure, spread the virus. Instead, they are using the crisis as an opportunity to further industrialize the poultry sector. INITIATIVES ARE MULTIPLYING TO BAN OUTDOOR POULTRY, SQUEEZE OUT SMALL PRODUCERS, AND RESTOCK FARMS WITH GENETICALLY-MODIFIED CHICKENS. The web of complicity with an industry engaged in a string of denials and cover-ups seems complete.

"Farmers are losing their livelihoods, native chickens are being wiped out, and some experts say that we're on the verge of a human pandemic that could kill millions of people," Kuyek concludes. "When will governments realize that to protect poultry and people from bird flu, we need to protect them from the global poultry industry?"

The Price of Cheap Chicken is Bird Flu

CHICKEN HAS never been cheaper. A whole one can be bought for little more than the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee. But the industrial farming methods that make ever-cheaper chicken possible may also have created the lethal strain of bird flu virus, H5N1, that threatens to set off a global pandemic.

According to Earl Brown, a University of Ottawa flu virologist, lethal bird flu is entirely man-made, first evolving in commercially produced poultry in Italy in 1878. The highly pathogenic H5N1 is descended from a strain that first appeared in Scotland in 1959.

People have been living with backyard flocks of poultry since the dawn of civilization. But it wasn't until poultry production became modernized, and birds were raised in much larger numbers and concentrations, that a virulent bird flu developed. When birds are packed close together, any brakes on virulence are off. Birds struck with a fatal illness can still easily pass the disease to others, through direct contact or through fecal matter, and lethal strains can evolve. Somehow, the virus that arose in Scotland found its way to China, where, as H5N1, it has been raging for more than a decade.

Industrial poultry-raising moved from the West to Asia in the last few decades and has begun to supplant backyard flocks there. According to a recent report by Grain, an international nongovernmental organization, chicken production in Southeast Asia has jumped eightfold in 30 years to about 2.7 million tons. The Chinese annually produce about 10 million tons of chickens. Some of China's factory farms raise 5 million birds at a time. Charoen Pokphand Group, a huge Thai enterprise that owns a large chunk of poultry production throughout Thailand and China as well as in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Turkey, exported about 270 million chickens in 2003 alone.

Since then, the C.P. Group, which styles itself as the "Kitchen of the World," has suffered enormous losses from bird flu. According to bird-flu expert Gary Butcher of the University of Florida, the company has made a conscientious effort to clean up. But the damage has been done.

THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRY WITHOUT RAMPANT BIRD FLU IS LAOS, WHERE 90% OF POULTRY PRODUCTION IS STILL IN PEASANT HANDS, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About 45 small outbreaks in or near commercial farms from January to March 2004 were quickly stamped out by culling birds from contaminated farms.

Some researchers still blame migratory birds for the relentless spread of the bird flu virus. But Martin Williams, a conservationist and bird expert in Hong Kong, contends that wild birds are more often victims than carriers. Last spring, for instance, about 5,000 wild birds died at Qinghai Lake in western China, probably from exposure to disease at commercial poultry farms in the region, according to Grain. The virus now in Turkey and Nigeria is essentially identical to the Qinghai strain.

Richard Thomas of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organizations, and others dispute the idea that wild birds carried the flu virus from Qinghai to Russia and beyond. They point out that the disease spread from Qinghai to southern Siberia during the summer months when birds do not migrate, and that it moved east to west along railway lines,
roads and international boundaries -- not along migratory flyways.

What evidence there is for migratory birds as H5N1 carriers is contained in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers examined 13,115 wild birds and found asymptomatic bird flu in six ducks from China. Analysis showed that these ducks had been exposed earlier to less virulent strains of H5 and thus were partly immunized before they were infected with H5N1. On this slender basis, coupled with the fact that some domestic ducks infected for experimental purposes don't get sick, the study's authors contend that the findings "demonstrate that H5N1
viruses can be transmitted over long distances by migratory birds."

Even so, the researchers conceded that the global poultry trade, much of which is illicit, plays a far larger role in spreading the virus. The Nigerian government traced its outbreak to the illegal importation of day-old chicks. Illegal trading in fighting cocks brought the virus from Thailand to Malaysia in fall 2005. And it is probable that H5N1 first spread from Qinghai to Russia and Kazakhstan last summer through the sale of contaminated poultry.

Meanwhile, deadly H5N1 is washing up on the shores of Europe. Brown says the commercial poultry industry, which caused the catastrophe in the first place, stands to benefit most. The conglomerates will more and more dominate the poultry-rearing business. Some experts insist that will be better for us. Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota, for instance, contends that the "single greatest risk to the amplification of the H5N1 virus, should it arrive in the U.S. through migratory birds, will be in free-range birds...often sold as a healthier food, which is a great ruse on the American public."

The truly great ruse is that industrial poultry farms are the best way to produce chickens -- that Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods and Charoen Pokphand are keeping the world safe from backyard poultry and migratory birds. But what's going to be on our tables isn't the biggest problem. The real tragedy is what's happened in Asia to people who can't afford cheap, industrial chicken. And the real victims of industrially produced, lethal H5N1 have been wild birds, an ancient way of life and the poor of the Earth, for whom a backyard flock has always represented a measure of autonomy and a bulwark against starvation.

+++++ Kendall McCook, organic farming, and the Trinity Uptown development scheme ++++++++++

My friend and fellow poet, Kendall McCook, believes it would be wonderful if the as-yet undeveloped acreage (he says it's about 60 acres) just north of the Trinity River, adjacent to Henderson Street and east of University, could be converted to organic farming land. I think that would be amazing, of course, and Kendall thinks that organic food harvests could be quite profitable without compromising either the quality of the land or the Trinity River waters. The farm site could feature a public/visitor component, which might draw tourists--including those who are committed to the SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT and those opposed to genetically-modified food aka frankenfood. I shared with Kendall my beginner's familiarity with the 100-MILE DIET, as conceived by two Canadian journalists just about a year ago (June 2005). Given that fuel prices are so high, and that agribusiness produces tasteless food tastelessly (working farmland for maximum yield, employing the use of majorly earth- and people-unfriendly chemicals), why wouldn't Fort Worthians get turned on to the idea of a prototype organic farm project in near northside, just off the banks of the Trinity? It's time for a critical mass of critically-thinking, earth-loving citizens to dream and plan, organize and realize.

BTW--I voted today. Two seats on the Tarrant Water Board Regional District were up for grabs, and there were many contenders. I voted for candidates who oppose the boondoggle and potential environmental fiasco that is referred to as the Trinity Uptown development project. Apparently, what happens on the Trinity, in the Trinity, and around the Trinity is a big deal--with plenty of voices chiming in about what they believe should happen in the downtown section of the river. Flood control and availability of public water are also critical issues.

Do you see how this is all connected? Animal-borne disease, factory farms, food choices, environmental degradation, and community will?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Freeway blogger in the 817

Sunday afternoon i was driving a new friend home when we noticed some lettered signs on the Hulen Street pedestrian bridge over I-30. "Peace Now". We detected movement on the bridge as well--two guys were quickly moving about, affixing more signs to the chain-link fencing which enclosed the bridge.

We exited, just for kicks. We thought to meet these highway-blogging guys and maybe shoot some video footage, as i had a camera in the car. The guys were friendly enough, but we only got one name: Carl. He apparently had done this before, and seemed undeterred by the eventuality of getting "busted. We offered to help, but the work was pretty much done.

We thanked Carl and his companion and we left. Less than two hours later, driving home, i saw that the signs had been taken down.

The next day, Carl sent us this shot of the bridge work, with a report that the cops had been called by someone who complained about "Peace Now" being broadcast on that bridge. Yeah, actually.

Carl's report: "this one stayed up for about 2 hours before the police came and asked me politely to take it down. he said that he thought it was great, and that he agreed, but someone complained and he had to tell me to take it down. we shook hands, and then i went home. i still have the sign to use again... believe me i will."

I was glad to hear the cop was sympathetic, but what's up with the complainant? I mean, did somebody almost miss their freeway exit while reading "Peace Now"? geez.

The best online one-stop spot on freewayblogging.

666 - does it mean anything? - CALL FOR LIT for 6/6/06 event

Yeah, i know, this topic or theme may seem VERY insignificant or irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. After all, shouldn't i be creating something on the issue of the low-intensity war on the peasant and working class in Mexico (boycott Wal-Mart, perhaps?); or picking up yet another stick and shaking it at yet another oppressive regime, institution, political lackey, school board slimeball, __________ (fill in the blank with the name of the most annoying dominator-oppressor in your book this week)?

Well, i desist. I wanna play and have some freakin' silly fun too. I remember how deadly-serious i was (all work, no play) back in the mid-1990s. One night, i found myself cutting through a parking lot, late at night, hungry and exhausted from too many meetings. So, what did i do? I started singing. I made up a little "ditty" (really, i hate that word, but it works here) called "Sugar Pop Delight." And it's now one of my classic "hits"--about a breakfast cereal, country pop star, and a porn star. All in one. I wanted to perform this, rolling around on melted butter. Alas, i merely performed it with a trio of musicians, all country hillbilly-style (props to all hillbillies). I fluffed my hair big, put on a mess of eye makeup, and threw on my silver spurs over my favorite shitkickers. What a contrast to the typically-political serious me. ANY-way, think about the following CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS.

And submit to me.


666 - it's that weird number you don't want to be stuck with


new literary/creative PROSE, POETRY, MONOLOGUE, FICTION works which

treat, address, interpret, understand, and/or defy

all known (and unknown) depictions and definitions

of the numerical phenomenon

known as


I, Tammy Gomez, am interested in receiving such submissions of writing for

probable public display and performance presentation

on the 6th day of June, in the year a.d. 2006 - a rare day indeed,

(at the Metrognome Collective Warehouse on E. Lancaster St.)

Any and all should diligently and prodigiously send their literary productions, treating this theme--however humorous, serious, theatrical, or philosophical--in the quickest haste to:

Am hoping for the most intellectually-broad treatments of this theme.

Questions? Please ask them via the addresses provided above, or post comment below.

(signed) Tammy the literary-thing-make-happener

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cara Mia Theater announces auditions: May 13th in Dallas

[Thanks to David Lozano, artistic director of the Cara Mia Theater company in Dallas, for sending the following anuncio!]


Cara Mía Theatre Company presents
"Martín" -- a stage adaptation of the book-length poem
by Jimmy Santiago Baca

to be directed by Jeffry Farrell
PRODUCTION DATES: September 1-17, 2006

"A voice in me soft as linen
unfolded on midnight air,
to wipe my loneliness away—the voice blew open
like a white handkerchief in the night
embroidered with red roses…"

* * * * *
Seeking actors with courage to explore voice/ movement/ rhythms/ and the creation of imagined space for the staged production of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s epic poem – "Martín". The cast will execute a physical/vocal style using traditions of the epic chorus, pioneered by the late Jacques Lecoq.
* * * * *

AUDITION DATE and TIME ::: Saturday, May 13th :::::: 2:30pm until 7pm.
Contact 214.946.9499 or for details.

* * * * *
"All my life the constant sound of someone’s bootheels trail behind me—thin, hard, sharp sounds scraping frozen ground,
like a shovel digging a grave. It’s my guardian, following me through the broken branches of the bosque, to the door
of the Good Shepherd Home on south 2nd. Street, for a hot meal."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Anti-immigrant rally in downtown FW on May 6th

[The following announcement was found----this exact text---on the Stormfront White Nationalist Community website. I wanted you to know about this, but am in NO way 100% certain of what i want to do in regard to this. Would like to discuss this with a few of you---off- or online--if you care to respond. I don't want to be baited at a rally that these possibly racist haters will be dominating and organizing. What do you think....?]


[from the Stormfront White Nationalist Community website]


LOCATION AND TIME: We will meet and assemble at 3rd and Commerce between 8.0 and Flying Saucer sidewalk area. All protesters are expected to be present by 11:30am, as we will march to Tarrant County Courthouse at noon.

OBJECTIVE: It's time for Congress to hear from the voices that count! We must show them that OUR votes will unseat those who sell us out for big business and that we intend to take our country back from these criminals!

HONORED GUESTS: Veterans, Texas Minutemen, Texas motorcycle organizations, political candidates, student groups. See website for updates.

PARKING: FREE on weekends: 4th & Main Street, 4th & Houston, 4th & Throckmorton (SS Garage 3), Calhoun & 3rd (SS Garage 2), 3rd & Main Street (1/2 Flying Saucer Lot). Street parking and downtown buses are also free.

WEAR AND BRING: Think of this as "Independence Day in May." Wear and bring everything you have that is RED, WHITE, and BLUE including every American flag you have! Also, bring posters and signs that tastefully reflect our cause, but not hatred or racism. BYOW! Bring your own water!

CONTACT: for any questions, comments, or suggestions. Every idea is welcome and help spreading the word is greatly appreciated!!!!

Main website:
61 - The sweet Goddess of Peace lives only under the protective arm of the ready God of War. -David Lane

[end of excerpt from the Stormfront White Nationalist Community website]

Gringo, gringolandia...yeah, i said it.

My friend, Marco, who now teaches at Texas A&M-Kingsville, recently wrote to tell me about the stir that one of my little ole poems caused:

"...just to let you know, your section in Ray's film ("Voices From Texas") created quite the controvery before screening the film at Henrietta M. King HS. When the dust settled, 800 students viewed the film at the HS. It almost didn't take place due to your use of the word 'gingolandia.' Of all potentially questionable words, 'gringo' ruffled the district offices' feathers, sort of a reverse discrimination debacle ensued..."

Well, then.

How 'bout that for evidence that words are powerful things? And as a reminder that those in roles of authority will too often do what they can to silence those who dare to resist, reclaim, and rise...

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, let me now share the entirety of that "controversial" poem, with the "offensive" G word. Just to balance things out, lemme say that some Chicanas at prestigious Wellesley College (in Massachusetts) got me a gig to perform on their campus--based on this very poem.


On Language

No Spanish at home. No hablamos Spanish at home.
Even so, my English was deemed inferior,
incorrect, and irreverent. In school.

So off I was sent to speech class, singled out
in front of my classmates for special therapy...

sh instead of ch
sh instead of ch
ch en vez de sh
was my main problem. I couldn’t tell them apart.
If I wanted to sit, well then I would find a ‘shair’,
but if I wanted to compartir algo contigo, well that was ‘chairing.’

Because of this, I was poked fun of and embarrassed in front of my classmates,
so, after that, I vowed to speak it, English, better than anyone else.
I would no longer be singled out for intimidation.

Bee – geen – eeng ov thoe – row ah – seem – ee – laa – shun
Bee – geeneeng of tho – row ahseem – eelaa shun
Beginning of tho - rough assi – mila - tion
Beginning of thorough assimilation.

And so began my separation from my native tongue,
the family language—Spanish, no more, no mas,
the distance between me and my cultural heritage
grew larger and larger, as the ethnic roots of my familia
faded and blurred in the distance behind.

I was so keen on being blended in, whitewashed into the landscape
and not being discerned as diferente, me entiendes?

Because if you noticed that I was different, then you might treat
me different, and the way I viewed this, historically speaking,
different meant worse. Treating different means treating worse.

Yeah, I’ve been called nigger. I’ve perceived prejudice.
You can tell when the teachers don’t know how to talk to you,
how to pronounce your last name, your weird name.
How to act with a foreign species, illegal species.
You can sense their discomfort.

And a chota once told me, when we first met in person,
“Funny, but you didn’t sound MESKIN on the phone.”

So I tried, always tried, to keep myself invisible and mute,
be low-key. Don’t rise and shine. Lay low, be dull.
Don’t stand out, don’t risk the put-downs and humiliations.
But that’s hard when you’re also overcompensating
for your wrong history, wrong accent, skin color... keep up with the rules of Gringolandia U--S--A, vato,
the biggest theme park in the world today.
Gringolandia, U.S.A.

So me, la over-compensating, over-achiever:
I made sure I had the cleanest hands
(They weren’t going to call ME a ‘dirty’ Mexican!),
I had the straightest posture and the straightest As
(You weren’t going to call ME a ‘lazy’ Mexican!).

Pretty soon, the kids in my class started to not like me
as much, because I was so good at playing the game,
their game, by their rules, that I made them look bad.

Oh, I retro-fitted so well, I must have assimilated too much.
I even sent myself to an uppity women’s college in the northeast.
Why? To prove again, as I never stopped trying to prove,
that I could toe the line with daughters of
wealthy white professional men.

I’m talking about
progressive whitening of Latinos.
The gradual whitening of Chicanos, Chicanas,
and eventual whitening of Tejana Mexicanas.

You start off speaking Spanish, coming in with shy,
but respectful, gentle nature. And as that gets stripped away,
you become more anglicized, speaking a baby’s English.
But don’t worry, you can take remedial classes.

You begin walking the American pace, with rigid posture,
always in a hurry, but never on time. All the time for work
and none for familia. Until one day, you glance in the mirror,
and you don’t even know who that person is looking back at you.

But hey, I don’t wanna think about that, I’m here to party.
I’m here to celebrate my AmericanISM.

I’m ready for the red, white, and blue.
I’m ready to be red, white, and blue.
So long, Mexico. Farewell, Cuba.
Never mind, Nicaragua. Piss off, Peru.

I’m WHITE now. I’m RIGHT now. I’m MIGHT now.

So, what has this cost?
And what have I lost?

Copyright - Tammy Gomez

(If you want to hear this poem accompanied by music--with my band La Palabra--check out RAZA SPOKEN HERE, VOLUME 2, an anthology which features not one, but two tracks i wrote. Some of my closest spoken word compas are also on this joint.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

"The Sound is Brown" - Austin celebrates

Latino Music all during the month of May 2006 with this music series sponsored by ALMA (Austin Latino Music Association).

For more info, go to the ALMA website......orale, ya!