Saturday, March 31, 2007

Poem #90 of 365

I was excited to finish my reading to see
what the next place held. Cesar scooped me up
and walked me TWO TON for spell of wine and film,
good talk with new folks.

Met his middle school old friends, and sat languidly
learning the scene. Anna over paneer
had spoken of la Mago (Orona Gándara),
the elder-artist who let go of family to live
amidst clay, stone, and tile, making pictures
in the desert. That's the film that passed
over my eyes as Cesar touched my knee
and said, "That's you, Tammy."

When the lights went up for applause, a band
of young urban artists stood in good stead,
showing me the range of their cinemelodies--
all pretty good films.

Cime smothered with hugs the likes of which
he'd never offered in Big D, I guess he's more
affable and fuzzy in the EP. Yolanda leaned
in, herself a new transplant, I feel so multi-
national, multi-city at once.

I never want to kick this dust off my shoes.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, March 30, 2007

Poem #89 of 365

The boy is so young, yet so tall, and I want to
keep my knee against his
to steady his nerves.

I can hear the metal music pounding his ears,
though the plane engine is loud,
and I wish I could know what he thinks.

He gestures in kindness and is
brutally shy, this I can tell with
the slight shift in breezes
between us.

A soldier in sand-colored trousers
with a heavy-set face and
a mouth set on mute, he doesn't even
order a drink.

I want to stroke his hand, ask him
what's wrong. Give him my shoulder,
show him who's strong.

Yet, I honor his privacy and make
no drama mid-flight, he has a right
to fight this battle alone. But I stay
poised to his flinches, space between us
is inches, and welcome a time to
maybe share words.

It comes eventually, as all deserved and
desired things do. He is on the jetway
in front of me, and I quicken my steps
to say something. Looking quickly
for a reason, I spot the name on his
army-issue daypack. It is the same as mine:
Gomez. I smile without shyness, and
call out to him: We have the same name.

There, it is done. We are connected,
as I thought. And now he is given
a turn to reply. But I speak again:
I didn't think I had relatives down
here. But maybe we're related.

He smiles and says, "There's alot
of Gomezes in El Paso. You never know."

You here for good or just on leave.
"R and R" he says.

Have a good time. Take care.
I'm glad you've come home, I wish you could stay.

Which is all I had really wanted to say.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poem #88 of 365

Nathan, your art work is gone,
the little dog, the bonneted
dog in the doorway.

Nathan, your keyhole is
gone, the lock is gone too,
and so is the door and the
wall of the door.

Nathan, your gallery's gone,
and the bulldozer laughs
in the yard. The rubble around
shows the trouble it took
to destroy what you worked hard
to create.

But the fence is still there,
and your crayons aren't broke
and the glue and the printer
all live, so no doubt in my mind
you'll a new gallery find, and the
people can laugh while they drive.

(for NK, whose guerrilla art posters were taken down with the old building at 7th & Henderson. bah-developers!)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

FREE shows: 10 micro-mini Suzan-Lori Parks plays @ the Jubilee in FW--April 2nd and 3rd (Monday/Tuesday)

FREE shows: 10 micro-mini plays Monday/Tuesday @ FW Jubilee

365 PLAYS/365 DAYS by Suzan-Lori Parks
Week 21: 7 plays from the 365 Plays cycle

SOUND CULTURE in conjunction with
the Jubilee Theater presents

Week 21: 7 Plays    (plus three Constants)

April 2nd and 3rd, 2007 – 8pm
Jubilee Theater - 506 Main St.
Downtown Fort Worth

FREE ADMISSION / open to the public !! / FREE ADMISSION / no reservations necessary.

WITH GUEST DIRECTORS:                      
Claudia Acosta + Rob Bosquez + Tamitha Curiel + Stormi Demerson + KelleyDianne + Yvonne Duque
Tammy Gomez + Tyrone King + Laney Yarber


For more information: Tammy Gomez/Sound Culture - at 817.924.9188 or

History of the project:

Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks sat down to write 365 plays in 365 days in 2002-03. In this unprecedented project, Parks has made it possible for hundreds of performers to stage all 365 plays from Nov. 2006 to Nov. 2007.
Read more about this amazing festival here.

Tom Dodge review of HECHO EN TEJAS for the DMN


ANTHOLOGY: Mexican writers give a fresh take on Texas

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, March 18, 2007

By TOM DODGE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

For literary insights into Mexican life and culture, students of prior generations had Ernest Hemingway's The Pearl and assorted stories and books by John Steinbeck. While these were sympathetic insights, they portrayed Mexicans as cunning idlers, natural artists or lovable thieves. If they worked at all they were fishermen, bus drivers, soldiers, farmworkers and the like, all worthy occupations but hardly indicative of an entire culture.

Texas history books of that era never revealed the fact that Texas Mexicans defended the Alamo and fought with the Texans at San Jacinto. Certainly we never heard that Mexican soldiers in these battles believed they were fighting for their country. Neither did schoolchildren learn that the Texas Rangers, in addition to the good they did, gave rise to the Mustang Grays, a Ranger company notorious for murdering innocent Mexicans in cold blood.

There were no writings in the classrooms of Américo Paredes, a Texas-Mexican historian. His life of Gregorio Cortez, With His Pistol in His Hand, refutes the inaccuracies and stereotypes perpetuated by Texas historians such as Walter Prescott Webb.

It is one of 131 selections included in this extraordinary book of Texas-Mexican writings compiled by Texas author Dagoberto Gilb. His introduction is a paean to a heritage in which joy is found in:

"... An avocado green bedroom and baby blue dining room. Respect wrapped in a black shawl, patience scratched into a wooden toy trinket, love in a piñata or paper flower, work in polished boots and huge buckles, saddles or beaded car-seat covers, hats of hard plastic or straw. Strength in simple mashed frijoles seasoned with oregano, ajo y cebolla, in a hot flour tortilla puffing upon a cast iron comal. In the pico of fresh serrano chile spooned into a taco and gordita, from a shiver of sweet from a leche quemada candy, in the sigh that comes from the first sip of horchata or agua de jamaica."

The selections begin with the journals of Cabeza de Vaca and end with the works of young Texas writers such as Cecilia Ballí, Macarena Hernández (who writes for The Dallas Morning News) and Oscar Casares. They represent not only the work of some of Texas' finest poets and fiction and nonfiction writers, they also include lyrics by Tejano musicians, 20 pages of photographs by Gregorio Barrios Sr., and 20 plates by painters including Luis Jimenez, Manuel Acosta and Gaspar Enriquez.

A place of birth and brief biography of the artist accompany each selection. They matriculated at the best universities, though their parents often spoke only or mostly Spanish and were members of the working class. In other words, they dreamed the American Dream and made it a reality. Their work is a tribute to the traditional values of family and hard work that some members of the American middle class declare are missing from their lives.

There is an absence in these pages of the pretentious experimentation for its own sake that controls much of American poetry and fiction today. These artists had no time or inclination for posture. They were, and are, struggling, striving and under siege, evidenced by John Rechy's "El Paso del Norte" in 1958:

"The hatred in much of Texas for Mexicans. It's fierce. (They used to yell, Mexicangreaser, Mexicangreaser when I went to Lamar Grammar School ... ) Many of them really hate us pathologically, like they hate the Negroes, say, in Arkansas. Here it's the bragging, blustering bony-framed Texan rangers/farmers/ranchers with the Cadillacs and with the attitude of Me-and-God on My ranch. ... They don't really dislike Mexicans in Texas if they're maids and laborers."

By 1992 the attitude has softened, but the elegant simplicity of diction and theme remains throughout the stories. In Tomás Rivera's "The Night Before Christmas," an agoraphobic mother desperate to get her children Christmas gifts is falsely arrested for shoplifting during a panic attack. Such is the fear shared by strangers in a strange land. And Tony Díaz, in his 1998 story, "Casa Sánchez," shows the Mexican family adopting American behavior by staying indoors and mingling its own harmonious cacophony with the random images and sounds of the television.

As the selections move into the 1990s and 2000s, the dialogue turns rawer, and family life further imitates America's alienated ways. In "I&M Plumbing" by Richard Yañez, nursing homes enter into Mexican life. In "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation," by John Phillip Santos, a character states: "When we were on the other side, in Mexico, they taught us to respect the older ones. This is gone now. No one respects the old people."

Well, some still do, and many still respect art. But probably not enough to prevent this book from being banned somewhere. That will be its highest recommendation.

NPR commentator Tom Dodge, www.tomdodgebooks .com, lives in Midlothian.

Hecho en Tejas
An Anthology of Mexican Literature
Edited by Dagoberto Gilb
(The University of New Mexico Press, $29.95)

Several authors will take part in "Un Dia de Cultura – Hecho en Tejas" at the University of Texas at Arlington on April 12. Watch the "Author Tours" listings for details, or call the Center for Mexican American Studies, 817-272-2933.

Fort Worth's Rose Marine Theater, 1440 N. Main St., will sponsor a separate event, "Hecho en Fort Worth, Palabras del Barrio" at 7:30 p.m. April 13; visit or call 817-924-9188.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Poem #87 of 365

Amazingly calm, after an argument, are you?

Bitterly bile, down by the bridge, boo-hoo.

Crazily cool, counting egrets on the cliff, cuss you.

Dreamily dazed, driving down fast by the ducks, dig yo.

Eventfully erred, eyeing east edge glowing like elderly, eek no.

Fundamentally frank, four fat foreign fools hugged on fairways,
fuck yeah.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poem #86 of 365

In Santa Fe, they buy your clothes
right off your back. Wavin' money,
that's a big passtime--a pasatiempo--
in ole Fanta Se. Rich lazy people who
make profit on investments and gaze
greedily at galleries, they're the ones
with the big bucks. The locals are chintzy,
making do with their dough. A six-pack
for the Indians, a vintage cabernet
for a tourist.

At Trader Jack's with my brother, we marveled at
African beads and bags made of hemp. Things
made by folks with dirty skin--people like me.
These goods were spirited with wear and travel.
I wanted to rush home right then, to hammer
metal into retablo and string beads onto leather.
Do ritual with hands.

With my back to the crowd, I leaned into the
artisan's wares and scarcely noticed the tap
on my shoulder. When I turned around, a voice
met my face: "50 dollars." She touched my
denim jacket, the vintage dark indigo Levi's
version that I'd bought at a Goodwill for five
dollars, back in the early 80s.

I glanced at my brother, searching for signals
on what I should do. He merely shrugged,
and I clutched my Levi-ed arms. No, I quickly
replied, "it's not for sale." Off she went, to
bid on other hard-to-finds on the dusty trail.

A few hours later, bro and I were hoofing
it along Paseo de Peralta, with the air of
summer crisping our skin. A slow stream
of cars passed along on the left, and I barely
eyed them--typical pedestrian insistence.

But I felt an energy pull at me then, and
I turned to see an outstretched arm, hanging
out through an open car window. In the
hand, a crisp dollar bill. It matched a mouth
speaking "your jacket." The man offered me
a one-hundred dollar bill for the couture on my
back, and it took only one look at my brother
to cement my decision. I would do it, I would
sell my warmth to the highest bidder.

Slowly, I took off the precious rarity, and
coveted it as I let it go--remembering all
the good times that it wore forever in its
stitches. And I took that money and turned
away. So quickly, I had been denuded for profit.

In Santa Fe, they'll buy your clothes
right off your back. But some nights, in Santa Fe,
I removed them for free. But that's another and
another story to tell.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

how we're directing 'em: notes on the 7 Suzan-Lori Parks' plays i'm producing at the Jubilee Theater

potential theatrical musicians:

Rachella Parks ?
Theater Fire ?
Shannon Jackson ?
Swirve ?
young Rebecca Montalvo ?

David & Quincy / as twins?

Titles of the Constants:

1. Remember Who You Are

2. Action in Inaction

3. Inaction in Action

trio of short plays--also by Parks, which are called THE CONSTANTS. These 3 short short plays have 1-2 characters each, and I had you in mind for one of them. (These scripts, mind you, are more about mood, tempo, and blocking than about DIALOGUE.)

I also was HOPING that Chris could bring his musicianship
to the project by playing soundtrack music for the THREE
CONSTANTS i am directing. Each play has a different mood,
so there would be variety. With his effects pedals, etc., it
would be very interesting to have him accompany the performances.

Rehearsals would be minimal, probably on Saturdays (morning, afternoon, early evening???)

I have (as production organization SOUND CULTURE) signed up to produce 7 plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-
winning (the first African-American Woman to win, by the way) playwright. She wrote TOPDOG UNDERDOG. and has written
many other, lesser known, plays. Her stuff rocks.

The 7 plays we are producing will be DIRECTED BY 7 DIFFERENT DIRECTORS, who i've already selected and who are all locally-based. I am not one of those 7 directors, but

time of the entire program will be about 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Downtown FW location----very established African-American theater called the Jubilee Theater.

to Tamitha Curiel:
It seemed, because you are in Dallas and couldn't rehearse
alot with me in person, and also because you have a theater
background, that I should just give you creative "authority"
and "space" to make choices about INACTION IN ACTION.
It just seemed practical, also, because you were going to
pull in props & things from your household (like kids' toys, etc.),
and know better what you have to choose from.

The plate-spinning concept occurred to me because it is my
personal image of how I feel when I'm overwhelmed with
multi-tasking and deadlines staring me in the face.
That sheer panic of having so so much to do, and being
deathly aware of the clock eternally ticking, edging us
to inclusion of our work, ambitions, and ultimately, our lives.
I always felt really sorry for the circus guy trying to keep
all those plates going.--- For a performance, I liked the
notion that those sticks (with paper plates perched atop or taped
atop) would be banging to the floor a few seconds after
you turned away from them.  What an insult to your effort...and
the hopelessness of the situation strikes me as a mix of
pathos and humor.

2-3 minutes duration will probably be long enough to get the point across.


set is limited ---- so environment has got to be interesting.

structually everything is light, minimal.

Greek Tragedy & Jerry Springer - to be directed by Yvonne Duque
toga & tablets look - would like some chant-ey chorus intro.

First Beginning - to be directed by KelleyDianne

would love music for “performances” sections

The look is very simple. I was thinking only blue light  as if we were outside under the star and moon. Two chairs or stools (if stools varying heights). and Bro. Chris.With each scene the lights should fade on us and go the chris in his performance and fade back up on us. when that happens we will be in a different tableaux/chairs(or stools) re-positioned. and so on.

I met with musician Chris Curiel
last week and he is happy to
play live music for your segment
of the show, FIRST BEGINNING.

Chris has a fantabulous sequin-y
multicolored gown which he will
wear for this particular play, to
distinguish him visually from
the other plays.

He is an amazing one-man musical wonder.

I would also LOVE to read any notes you may share about the LOOK of this piece. Am trying to get a feel of each work, in order to ascertain how much variety and complexity is emerging from our processes of production.

Look - to be directed by Stormi Demerson
performed by Paul Doucet, Michele Renee, Reign.

two speaking characters - are in an art gallery
artpiece is performed by an actor (pre-set)

Stitches - to be directed by Rob Bosquez
performed by Rob Bosquez and Annie

Home TV show actor will wheel in a cart of fabrics to demonstrate.
War sounds audio will be suggestive, rather than representational.

6’4” - to be directed by Laney Yarber
Each rung on a ladder will have a different sound, up and down.  maybe 5 minutes for entire play.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Poem #85 of 365

Some days I got words at my beck and call
and others, well some days I can't summon
any word at all. And it's not always the
words that stimey, it's the combination
thereof, the thematic constraints, the urge
to make sense, to sensitively connect the
verbs and the vowels, make my fingers
speak as a gardening trowel, digging beneath
and deep in the dirt to exhale and expel the
the story to tell. A spun little yarn
of my choosing, of living and dying, of
winning and losing. What to share and what
to reveal, how much of my memory is locked
under seal?

I want to not waste the moments I spend pecking
keys on a board, and lastly, but not leastly, this
space that I hoard, here on this page, I don't want
it ill-used like a key in a cage, I want it substantial
and radiant and relevant, not leftover
junk, idle white elephant.

I must earn my readership, spur rereads of the
words I write, cuz I want them to savor every
passage, every byte. Not one verb will be extra,
I'll delete the superfluous noun, if I work hard,
unceasingly, these lines might grow profound.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Poem #84 of 365

I let a net catch me once
as if a spider had gotten me snared,
and it felt tight, it was snug
and for a minute it feel right.

When you resist, that's when
trouble begins, when free will
ain't stronger than the vise
or the cuffs, and because you
like to squirm, well there's
problems with that.

The more you move, the
louder you yell, somehow it's
connected to black baton compel,
and sooner than later, your neck's
under a boot and your heart's in
a hold, no mercy in begging.

I've tried to be tough, and suffered
the webs and got floundered for
lunch, and the spiders that got me
are large as men, and yet i go back
and go back, again and again.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Poem #83 of 365

Wouldn't you like to wake with your bed made up,
and your lawn mowed down,
and gas tank topped off,
wouldn't you like for it to just get done?

Wouldn't you like to never have a dish to clean,
and dog to feed, and a mother to phone,
a garden to tend, and a mouth to feed,
no job undone?

Wouldn't you like the chores all complete,
the taxes filed, the floormats neat,
a tub and no ring, welcome mat clean,
wouldn't you like no reason to wake?

Wouldn't you like to sleep in dreams,
never to rise, and have no suffering,
puff in the eyes, no air to breathe,
no water to drink, no life to live,
wouldn't you like to just be dead?

maybe, fool, you would rather just be dead.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

MY FORT WORTH: Make Love, Not War - Sunday benefit for Peaceful Vocations


PEACEFUL VOCATIONS fundraiser on March 25, 2007, to feature North Texas jazz legends Dennis Gonzalez and Jhon Kahsen

MAKE ART, NOT WAR is the title of the fundraiser scheduled for Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 6-9pm, at Arts Fifth Avenue (1628 5th Avenue), which will benefit Peaceful Vocations, a local organization which serves high school youth--who are of military recruitment age--by offering info and resource options to enlistment.

MAKE ART, NOT WAR will bring to the stage, for the first time on the same bill, two North Texas avant-garde jazz veterans: Dennis Gonzalez with Yells at Eels, and Jhon Kahsen (nee Johnny Case) with his Anarkestra.

Kahsen, longtime resident pianist at Sardine’s Italian Ristorante and visual artist, and Gonzalez, the Dallas-based trumpeter and educator, will each perform with their bands, but may also perform an impromptu improvisational segment together for the first time.

Notable local spoken word artists Silence, Froze, and Zoe Pardee will each perform an original poem. Video art, visual art, and information about Peaceful Vocations will also be presented.

Admission: $10 sliding scale--includes hors d’oeuvres.

For more information:

on DENNIS GONZALEZ and Yells at Eels:



Last day to see "The Journey is the Destination" exhibit in FW


Fort Worth Community Arts Center
(the old Modern Art Museum)
1300 Gendy Street, 76107

9am to 5pm ONLY! Today is the last day to catch it!

"Dan Eldon was a world traveler who chronicled his life in a series of journals crammed with the ephemera of his adventures. By age 22, he had traveled to more than 40 countries and become one of the youngest Reuters news photographers ever. Just shy of his twenty-third birthday, he and three colleagues were stoned and beaten to death by an angry mob (who mistook them for Americans, actually, cuz this happened shortly after the "Black Hawk down" incident) in Mogadishu, Somalia. His journals and photographs testify to his prolific, boundless, energy and his love of Africa and her people."

Go see this today! Or go find the amazing documentary book Eldon wrote: THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Poem #82 of 365

Curtis leaned out the window
with a whiskered grin
thrusting an enveloped card
into my palm

a card from a shaman
in Austin, a poet with
diabetes named Ariel.

She is an initiated daykeeper
in the Mayan tradition and
pounds on the house
when the chimes are too loud.

I know the strangest people
with the most delicate
of temperaments, the quirks
and the quips of yearning,
learning destitute times.

Ariel read my back in a
night on the floor, measuring
my muscles with precise
pressure and surmising
that I carry my mother's
conscience in my hump
my hump my hump.

She, as housemate, cooked
one egg and set it on the
smallest plate, and she
wore her safari hat
to Chicago House on
dark nights with no a/c.

Someday I'll be that strange
and beloved, with many more
pals and admirers jesting my ways,
and it will come
again to mind that GM's
theory will possibly be true:

we love people and make them
our friends, despite their neuroses,
precisely because it is those neuroses
that endear them, dearly, to us.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poem #81 of 365

You're splashing the kitchen
with a happy laugh
and I imagine that your daddy
is smiling down at
your little girl face
or maybe instead
looking away to wipe down
the microwave plate.

Other fathers are cussing
and drunken, sudsing in
jowls of hollow bitters,
and grabbing their
daughters strongly,
too harshly, at the

Oh, to wash them down,
oh, to rinse away the
residue of daughterly
tears. Oh, to smite
the daddys who drink
and make their case
on six-packs, bellowing
epithets of authority
while they lose control.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poem #80 of 365

we moved away from the parkway, and climbed up the parapet-wall to our upper yard, and into the house, breezy and unlocked, in a trusting manor. we swept to our respective rooms, as one does after a day at the beach. to wash, to groom, to doze, to eat. all to do something alone. i moved into a room, past the open french-style doors and lazy white curtains gently swirling under a light breezy fan, to find a pink-lettered note [see attached] on my bed. it was charming and kind, attractive and soothing, and i thought oh, what a surprise. reading it for comfort, rather than for i.d., many seconds flew by.

another person came to my side, with a cylinder in her hand, lovely painted and feminine in style. “yes, this came with my letter! you got a letter too, i see. where is your gift?” i pulled the object from her gentle grip, and imagined it was a stylized candle of some sort. a candle, i told her, maybe that’s what it is. at that, i tugged at the fastening at the tip, the obvious top, to unleash the wick, certainly every gift candle--left in a house--should have a wick. as i pulled at the side foil and decorative top, a swelling began inside the canister. too late, i realized that this thing was more than a candle and worse, a quite unkind gift. i didn’t wait for smoke to begin emanating, as i quickly stepped towards the outdoors, and those following behind, putting their thoughts in order and coming to the same dismaying conclusion, called out suggestions and beckoned me to hasten my steps, but also to be safe and careful.

the cylinder of danger vibrated with potential and it throbbbed at its tip like a turned-on penis, and then i tossed it, hard as i could, away away, to another world, safe away from me and us.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Poem #79 of 365

Fascinated by the proper burial
and where it takes place,
you marvel at bodies in
boxes, bones in dirt,
when i've only seen humans
on riverside ghats
burning to the last
charred moment.

And, Al, my ex-housemate,
who worked a crematorium,
saw how oil flowed from the dead,
the fatter the body, the
higher the tide.

One day I'll be in Tibet to
see vultures at high table
and the ultimate ritual
flinging of bones.

And then there are the curtains
at night, keeping out shadows,
but always whispering softly
the remains of the day.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, March 19, 2007

Poem #78 of 365

I have a green football in my shoe
I have a yellowjacket in my coat
I have a salad green in my golf

You want a green day in your week
You want a pink slip on your girl
You want a purple heart in your cow

They sing a blue streak in their jazz
They sing a black hole in your soul
They sing a black and tan in my mouth.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Poem #77 of 365

When the orange-jerseyed
Buddhist monks did a head-to
head with the accolytes from
Burma, I knew a battle was

At the lip-off, the monk from
Dharamsala uttered lyrical
lines from the Dhammapada
while the Tibetan rinpoche
used a wisened tongue to
outline his mouth

as if he was sounding
a singing bowl at a stupa.

It was dizzying, the flashy
frenzy of the saffron robes
swishing this way and that,
as the bare-legged men
hugged and danced
from the starting whistle

to the mid-way timeout
at which point they feasted
on momos and butter tea
and debated the finer points
of Buddhist history.

I saw two monks from
Bhutan battle it out
over the last of the rice,
spitting smiles that could
charm a lion and frothing
with delight in the midwinter's
sun as the Shambhala in
their hearts became
a city for real.

(if Buddhist monks did exhibition sports on ESPN)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Poem #76 of 365


on days like today---it's gorgeously sunny
and NOT too cold---i get so angry seeing
drivers with their windows rolled up. i have
to assume that many of them have the a/c
or heat on.

those young frat Greek types, who live in
shorts and flipflops year-round, you can
imagine that they move from their perfectly
climate-controlled condo/apartments through
their heated/cooled garages and into an
automobile which can be quickly adjusted
for perfect temperature. they don't wear
coats or socks, and live in a constant
70 degree-temperature bubble.

they don't sweat, they don't shiver, i imagine.
evolutionarily speaking, they're becoming

and then one day, they might decide to go
summit a mountain in a far-off state, where
even the dumbest of the locals know that
you NEVER attempt to climb that particular
mountain after November snows begin. but
what do they know, they're swaggering
Texans who forget that it's NATURE that
calls the shots.

there's a quote i've saved from my first trip
to Nepal:

about the mountain---learn to honor its
way, or it will have its way with you.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, March 16, 2007

Poem #75 of 365

I remember the summer i was in love
with Sherman Alexie.

It was so nice to be in love that
way, with someone's writing, someone's
bookflap photo.

Then, i went online one day and found
an audio file of Alexie doing a reading,
so i listened, and you could hear the

like air quickly escaping through a
slash in a car tire,

that's how it sounded when my heart

I just didn't dig his voice, and there
was a little bourgie tint in it
that also put me off.

Thank god that Jerzy Kosinski and Kafka
and Dorothy Parker, and so many others
I admire, are long dead....

Hmmm, I wonder if people feel that about
me sometimes, wishing that they had
never met me in person...?

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Poem #74 of 365

She bade me lie
upon my back
and never mind
the world:

just close your
eyes and see
white light.

I heard the sound
of broken stems
as she pulled off
the flowerheads

and placed some
on my torso

then i felt sudden
as she rubbed
me down with blossoms

brushing the petals
into my skin with
short swift strokes
like erasing a name

striking a match.

The scent of the flowers
made my room
a midday garden,
a bed of serene
and quiet prayer.

The last one then,
a carnation white,
she perched between
my lips,

and it was that one,
that last flower,
that set me singing
tears melodic
down my face
in two racing liquid trails.

[recalling the flower limpia that Patrisia performed on me]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Poem #73 of 365

el tiene un mojo
atop his head
a hair magic
the firmament
of godliness.

he has a mohawk
hair with indian name
that bisects his
skull and thrusts
middle fingers
to the sky.

el tiene un mojo
asi se dice en
mexico cuando
hablan del
haircult de punks
in el Defe.

yo tomo un mojito
my first in this
life and the herbal
infusion takes me
to Colorado thirsts
and hot springs

puede ser que
mojito significa
'little mohawk'
and when we sip
this Cuban elixir
it makes our
stunned hair
stand up on end.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poem #72 of 365

Carrie this, Carrie that.

I watch her type the
life's cruel joke
or paradoxical question
for the episode.

And I am growing weary
of her pedantic murmurs,
the frantic asides
between Manhattan mixed drinks.

Yet I also have moments
of fascination, which I honor
and anticipate within the
30-minute spurts.

It gives satisfaction, I
suppose, to know that
I didn't have to type no
damn column to figure
out whether I'm lonely
or just horny.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, March 12, 2007

Poem #71 of 365

The mother wondered about
her daughter's dirt mustache

mentioning it several times
in gentle teasing tone,

and I thought to myself
did it matter more
because the kid was dirty

or because the kid
didn't give a shit.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Poem #70 of 365

Save you, those who can.
Save yourself now, if you.

There are ropes and things
so fragile as spider silk,
something like that
wherever you can find it

throw it down
i can throw it down
cut off the dead parts
take off the rough cuts
save you.

Save you, those who can.
Save yourself now, if you.

Mamas wrap their babies
in beds and toss them
out windows from fire
and fights

throw them down
i can throw them down
save all the good parts
stave off the bad bites
save you.

Save you, those who can.
Save yourself now, if you.

Use water to think of a
better way, wash face
to bring a new look

splash it up
i can splash my face
squint all the ache off
clean out sad eyes
save you.

Save you, those who can.
Save yourself now, if you.

[listening to Juana Molina again.]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Poem #69 of 365

i'm not certain how you feel,
you're hard to read

i reach for your lifeline--
it bisects your palm.

it's hard to find when your hand
is a fist and your mouth
is a crushed-up cheeto's bag

a little air, a lot of noise.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, March 09, 2007

Poem #68 of 365

I must be made of honey this week
cuz the bears are lurking close
in grunts and rubs that send
big chills up my crooked crooked spine

If they only knew that I am sugar and
turbinado and sucrose willing
and the jar is overrun by bees
of the voluptuous kind

Once I stretch along the horizons
of sweet melted bedframes
perhaps then they'll know,
it took MC a minute to come to his mind

They lure and i can lure back with
a bend in the back that sure rockets
the tame, and it's the season of spring
that sets things off, making all of us intertwine.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Poem #67 of 365

"hey little sister shotgun..."

i her this
hear this

she's my sister
could be my blood

why spill hers

i don't wanna hear no damn
man sing or speak the

gun and woman
kill and girl
sister and shotgun

together in the same sentence

not on any day
in my house no mo'

[clock-radio reset to some crappy station, waking me to "White Wedding" by Billy Idol on INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Events on Tuesday, March 20th - in Dallas

Paul Rusesabagina - Featured Writer
The Writers Studio
Tuesday, March 20, 7:30PM
Theatre Three 2800 Routh Street
Dallas, TX 75201
(in the Quadrangle)
$28 Members, Students & Seniors
$34 Others
Group discounts available

Ten years ago, as the country of Rwanda descended into madness, one man made a promise to protect the family he loved—and ended up finding the courage to save over 1200 people. Over the course of 100 days, almost one million people were killed in Rwanda. Hotel Rwanda, nominated for three Academy Awards, tells the inspiring story of real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina. His autobiography, An Ordinary Man, delves into Rusesabagina’s personal journey, which has since led him around the world with his message of hope, peace and “never again.”

"I've become a humanitarian and I never thought I would become one. And, as a humanitarian, I wanted to take this message on a wider scale, to raise awareness of what happened in my country so that the international community can help others who suffer now."

An Ordinary Man, was published on the 12th anniversary of the genocide in 2006. A moving story, it delves into Rusesabagina's personal journey while explaining the history behind Rwanda's Hutu and Tutsis conflict. He has also founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) which provides support, care, and assistance to children orphaned by, and women abused during, the genocide in Rwanda.
Tuesday, March 20, 11 am - 1 pm
In partnership with the World Affairs Council of Dallas / Fort Worth and The Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

Join Mr. Rusesabagina for lunch and engaging discussion, Tuesday, March 20th at noon. Lunch included, reservations required.

Where: The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
Dallas Convention Center Theatre Complex
650 South Griffin Street, Dallas, TX 75202

$25 for Members / $35 Others
$5 late fee for reservations made after March 17th
Call the Reservation Hotline at (214) 965-8412 for more info.

Reserve your seats now for Señorita Extraviada on March 20th at the Latino Cultural Center

Oxygen, Time Warner Cable, and the Vistas Film Festival invite you to a complimentary private screening of the award-winning film, Señorita Extraviada — a gripping documentary that tells the story of the hundreds of kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. The murders first came to light in 1993 and young women continue to "disappear" to this day without any hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice. Who are these women from all walks of life and why are they being murdered so brutally?

Tickets are available via RSVP only. All you have to do is visit There will be a small ad for the screening on the bottom of the page. Click on that ad and then click on the “Get a Free Ticket” box. All you have to do then is fill out the RSVP form and you’re set. Please note: Tickets are for one person only, so anyone who wishes to attend will need to fill out the form.

Here are just a few of the awards this film has won:

Ariel Award, From the Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences, Best Mexican Documentary, 2003, Mexico City, Mexico.
Special Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival, 2002, Park City, Utah.
FIPRESCI Award to Best Foreign Film 2002, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, 2002, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Best Documentary, Malaga Film Festival, 2002, Malaga, Spain.
Grand Prize "Coral" for Best Documentary, Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, 2002, La Habana, Cuba.

Please don't miss this incredible film. There are only 250 seats available – RSVP today.

Señorita Extraviada film screening
March 20, 2007
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak
Dallas, Texas
Screening begins at 7:30 PM

from J. Frank Hernandez of the Vistas Film Festival

My great cookin' comrade, Karimi, stirs it up in the Twin Cities

I think I might have said this before, but my friend & fellow spoken word/performance artista, Robert Karimi, is always COOKIN SOMETHIN UP. When he helped fly me out to the Bay Area for a gig at Newark HS where he "taught" English, he kept feeding me. And when we drove out to the hot spot in San Jose, FUEL, for our cd release party/performance for RAZA SPOKEN HERE VOL. 2, Robert seemed more concerned with barbecuing the hot spicy wings than with cueing up the music and testing the mic. He's the consummate host with a wooden spoon perpetually in his fist. I love this guy forever...he can rock the mic, though, and you best not forget it.....


Featuring Mero Cocinero Karimi,
Comrade Castro and the Community Cooperative Collective of Bucko, Gutiérrez, Lundeen, Murphy and Reynolds
Directed by Meena Natarajan / Costume Design by Erin Lavelle Lundeen

March 1 - 11 (Thursdays - Sundays)
7:30 p.m.
@ Pangea World Theater Studio
711 West Lake St, Suite 101
Minneapolis, MN 55408

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!! at or 612-203-1088
Tickets only $18/discounts for seniors, students, and groups!!


Back by Popular Demand, Pangea welcomes progressive public access chef, Mero Cocinero Karimi, the idealistic, Iranian-Guatemelan, public-access host, and chef to revolutionaries, dreamers, and community builders for Cooking Con Karimi and the Quest for the Secret Ingredient. Mero Cocinero Karimi is the host of Cooking Con Karimi, a traveling public access show, and is joined by his leftist right hand man in the kitchen: Comrade Cocinero Castro, on their War-Causes-Indigestion Tour. Both Mero and his Comrade will cook up revolutionary recipes LIVE in their quest to spread culinary consciousness and create social change one kitchen at a time.

There will be comedy, food, and politics swirled together into a feast for the senses!!!!

Don’t forget every audience member eats! Yes, free food for everyone! Post-show community discussion and food!

Get your tickets now, as this show sold out last time in the preview run in Minneapolis. And there’s only 8 shows, as Mero and Comrade Castro will take their show on the road where they will finish their tour in New York City at the 1st Annual Asian American Theater Festival in June 2007.

Come early and nominate your proletariat employee of the year (Must be present to win) and bring a recipe to the show and it may be included in our episode or in our cookbook.

about the show:
Mero Cocinero Karimi becomes overwhelmed by the continuing war in Iraq, community apathy, and the idea that the Home of the Food Co-op: St.Paul is also hosting the Republican National Convention in 2008. With the help of community friends, he seeks the secret ingredient that will bring the community together to share stories and revolutionary recipes in order to stop a war that is making everyone sick in the stomach.

Cooking con Karimi is a concept conceived by spoken word artist/performance artist Robert Karimi, Mero Cocinero’s cousin, who sees the show as a way to discuss social change and concepts of mixed culture in a project that engages audiences and performers alike. The show is written by Comrade Castro’s cousin John Castro, and Robert Karimi, who volunteered their time to help the two chefs create the show. Also as part of the creative team are the Community Cooperative Collective of Steven Bucko, Armando Gutiérrez G., Erin Lavelle Lundeen, Melissa Anne Murphy, and Scott Reynolds, who helped invite the other community members who are part of this fun-filled, yet provocative episode.

Robert Karimi is a fiscal year 2007 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Art Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cooking Con Karimi is made possible in part by a grant from the National Performance Network’s Performance Residency Program. Major contributors of the National Performance Network include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), Altria and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

The National Performance Network is a group of cultural organizers and artists facilitating the practice and public experience of the performing arts in the United States. NPN serves artists, arts organizers, and a broad range of audiences and communities across the country through commissions, residencies, culture-centered community projects and other artistic activities. For more information: .

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!! at or 612-203-1088 or tell friends in Minneapolis.

Poem #66 of 365

i stare at 400
watts of bulb llight
with upturned voice
and face,

asking the heat
from those glass orbs

to be strong enough
to burn me hard
smite the spite
melt the chainlink
razor wire gates
that clutter
my walk
make me stumble
unsure, untrue.

the light is unblinking,
closer than stars,
and i am unashamed
to request catharsis,
and a flame that might make
me singe pure:

please make me deserve this role,
this responsibility.

and please help me remember to honor
to honor
to honor
to honor
those who can no longer do this work
alongside me on this path
(ken hunt first, then pasha and devin,
then lorenzo and then michael meyer and
those who have asked for poems and time and calls
i have not had the time to give back

please don't let me wait until it's too late
let me now
and honor
and honor
the elders
and the children
and every one of my tribes
people today

[after re-reading Kamala Platt's essay "Social Justice Theories in Performance Poetry" (1994) about my literary work, written when i was still so very wet behind the ears and so fast out the chute...]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Poem #65 of 365

One of the final tasks before leaving
my beloved Austin was to do a
drive-by on Congress in a borrowed car.

My friends had bade me farewell with
a series of lunches, parties, and happy
hour drizzles,

and I had kissed pretty Emily in a tipi
of my own making before the storms came,

and Julia had made a Mount Everest cake
with a four-legged toy making do as a yak,

but then we split into two different houses
when the rains pelted down hard
and i phoned Julia: "we're dancin' cumbia over heah",

and she urged, "honey, the cake is over HEAH!".

But, back to the drive-by and the task at hand,
after the suds of the Woolite had slipped down
the drain, i air-dried and carefully folded the
gift for the man.

And i drove to where i'd find him, any one could
find him on the streets on the nicest of days,
primped on a chaise lounge in the barest of clothes.

Leslie was the man, the s/him of the city, an icon
poised halfway between the banklords and the
government mansion, smiling so broad through
s/his beard unbrushed.

I pulled the car swift to the curb, holding out
the black garment as s/he turned towards my words:
Take it, Leslie, it's yours. I brought you some lingerie,
before i leave town. Now i can really leave.

[Leslie is one of the most popular people in a city with the most colorful street life in Texas.]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, March 05, 2007

Poem #64 of 365

"We must unprepare for the land"
were the last words of my final
dream this chilly morning

thanks to the ill-timed phoning
by an uptight chick with a dayplanner voice

nonetheless i lapsed back into my
reverie, remembering my dream,
once the phone was cradled and quiet.

i am seeing a boy, that is, when i squint
to recall, and he has a gingerbread
face and a thrilled ebullient laugh,

so what was i to learn from this lad?

to unprepare for the land, i supposed
meant you can't be composed when you
surrender to the breeze of an outside
excursion these days.

we must undo what we've learned,
and take off the watch, and forsake
all high-tech dependence.

my friend was just there, in forest
in tent, and perhaps that is why i
am thinking of land.

are you unprepared? are you ready
to let go the net, and leave off the
phone, and relinquish your
refrigerator for a life face to
face with the sun?

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Poem #63 of 365

I am shivering back in Dallas
and the scratchy upholstered
seat on Flight 415 now seems
so long ago

as i step up to a glass partition
that breaks some of the cold-chill
wind as i wait for the last train at night.

I am alone, there are no other people and
it is the stars and parking lot lights
that keep me warm inside and bright

until i step up to a red lump on the
platform, inert and breathless, a red-combed
cardinal in its death.

He must have made a mortal mistake,
slapping into the glass walls that now
make my wait sufferable. I step up
and stare down at its plumage,
seemingly primped for a burial

yet I know that abandoned souls
on the tarmacs and platforms
of this world often get overlooked
and certainly stepped over

despite the beloved chirps we once
freely shared from the highest of treetops
unencumbered by plate glass
and late-train schedules.

And so i sing, i sing to the bird,
to the twinkling sky,
and the parking lot lights,
and the coin-machine fixtures,

and there is no waiting anymore.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Poem #62 of 365

Beer for breakfast,
and why not,
the stores closed too
early the evening before

so we set off on a walking
good start today.

L and B gave me a tour,
and we passed orange
trees and chickens,
puppies with crooked gaits,
as Maxwell House aromas
swirled to our nostrils
when we approached
the factory plant.

We stopped at the Reynita
panaderia to order 100
fresh pieces of bread for
our show, and L pulled down
barstools so we could
comfortably drool in unison
at the pastries behind glass.

As we munched on conchas
and tri-colored cookies, we
continued our hike in search
of a drink. The Country Club
was the oasis that B led us to,
and i could hardly believe that
the building was not yet condemned.

We laughed over the voice of
John Fogerty and other jukebox
throwbacks, as we munched
on french fries and burgers to
salt our Modelos. Especial, so special.

I told them that this weekday
cantina moment rivaled the
delectable memory of visiting
a Chicano lounge up in Denver
during play-offs season,

where the Budweisers were cheap
and the first styrofoam bowl
of menudo was delivered
to each table
on the house.

(recuerdos de un Friday well-spent with friends Liana and Bryan in H-town's 2nd Ward)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, March 02, 2007

Poem #61 of 365

She skims the carpet as she steps
and it occurs to consider
that there may be no footprints
once she has passed

But not because she does
not leave an impression
as we know she always does,
leaving us awed in her wake

Like a ship's figurehead
she has certainly charted miles
and sometimes troubled waters
yet she seems innocent from her travels

Until we hear her speak
which in her bassoon alto voice
becomes more like chanted
morse code than actually talking

And we are coaxed and
metamorphed into her galaxy
of vowels and her stories of
pills, multicolored as anime,
a delicious cinema
of non sequitur tales

We reach for her words as
freefalling petals without nets
hoping to piece together her
blossoms, remaking the bouquet
of her invincibility.

Stay strong, little sister,
as strong as the thunderclaps
of laughter that emit
from your crystal robinsbreast soul.

(para Tonzi, con todo respeto---for more info on my dear hermanita-en-poesia, go here. )

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Poem #60 of 365

It wasn't as bad
as i thought
it would be

even an hour
in Dallas at
the station
was mild

and i love
anyway to
stare at the

of course.

That one guy,
wearing a black
who kept ogling
himself in the
window as we
queued for
the bus

i think he
might have been
going for the
ska-meets-Kid Rock
look that
definitely gets
lost on me.

But he's fascinating
cuz i don't
know guys like him:
sliding off his
black leather
coat to reveal
bare shoulders
(at 3am)
in a white undershirt
out of season.

Later, i eye him
again from my
bus seat
as he smokes
one last pre-board
cigarette and i
see him easy to
smile and do
relaxed and

and i turn
away with
a nod, accepting
that a young
male Greyhound
can actually
also be nice

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez