Saturday, June 30, 2007

Poem #181 of 365

my arms are floppy / my basketball droopy:
need to get pumped.

my legs are lifeless / my tennis racket lazy:
inert on the floor.

my stomach is sagging / my jumprope is coiled:
must get stretched out.



we must:
get out for some air / work out together soon.




copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, June 29, 2007

Poem #180 of 365

My hair got lifted
once the balloons
got attached,

and the helium
took it high

up off my shoulders
in the smoky night
den of the Wreck Room.

And i felt like a
clown in the
circus tent
who spellbinds
the children
and their
slightly resistant
elders,

but once the
austin music
began and the
mood became
buoyant it was
quite instinctual
to dance and
turn and slowly
dive to the floor,

sending my hair-
tied balloons
racing up
towards the
ceiling,

causing sudsy
smiles, as people
grinned at me
between their
gulps of beer,
showing me that
the so-called
antics and tricks
that bring laughter
to town,

is not the work of a fool,
but is probably
actually
the mission and duty
of the kindest of kindly gods.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poem #179 of 365

Ever been in an elevator
so crowded with people
that you believed that
if your body gave out
and you felt like sinking
to the floor

that the sheer volume
of body mass
surrounding you
in that moment--
all those people
at your elbow
and other elbow--
would keep you from
falling down,
would save you from
being crushed?

And there you would
be, propped up, giddy
and sweaty, thankful
for their passive
effort to just merely
be there to hold
you straight and up.

Well, that's how I
felt on Wednesday
at Embargo, dancing
til my toes shrank
to sleep in my heels,
and my breath was
spent on twirling
and none was left
for standing.

And yet, you guys
kept up your
mad hot stepping
and gyrating, up
close and next to
me, so tightly
packed were we
on that little dance
floor.

If I dared to stop,
a little jostle of
my arm would
send me jiggling
which spread to
dancing, and then
my shoulders
would straighten
and I'd be there
awake again
in full-body
motion.

I wanted to
climb out of the
spin cycle but
you guys kept
me twirling and
stomping in
this cathartic
washing machine
until our
bodies came
out--in the
early dawn light--
twisted and
damp as clean clothes.


(despues de una noche bailando con la musica de FUGA! and 0P3R4D0R)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Poem #178 of 365

There is no one to prompt you,
there is no one here to lead,

when the footbridge stares
before you and it looks like
heaven on the other side,
there is no one to tell you
about men with machetes
and coups on county roads,
and the disappeared whose
ghosts walk these dirt paths
on darkened nights.

There is no one to stop you,
only you can compel
your feet to keep moving
in spite of caution in the wind,
only you can decide
there’s adventure ahead
with profound valor
awaiting your heart,

so you walk the plank
boards and you cross
the shallow creek and
up ahead
the grass is higher
than you are tall
but there is only one life
and no return ticket
so you say 'why not?'

There is no one to see
you do this,
no one to rise so early
and empty bad spaghetti
into the trash for city men
to collect at 8am,
there is no one else who
cares to do this,
no one else who should
caretake your life,
it is your doing,
your damn leftovers,
your chore to get done,
and there will be no fanfare
or cannonfire
when you do the work,
you must hum your own song
to bolster for this.

And there is also no one
now to insist on what you choose,
to point to the one on the left,
or the thing on the right,
there is only you to confirm
your chosen act,
and you must be alone
in your moment, there is no
witness who will prompt and
assign the next step,

There is only you in your pajamas
and your quotidian day,
redeeming and esteeming
from wake to sleep,
saying 'yes, this is how i
should do this, this is how
i should live',
and feeling so deeply
you're right.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Poem #177 of 365

I played Frogger in the rain
as the standing water puddles
deterred my low-riding car
at every turn.

In rainstorms such as this,
we are permitted to make
any random parking lot
our lily launching pad,
as we wait out the torment.

I've hopscotched a few curbs
and sidestepped some
spillways and enjoyed a
moment or two of flagrant
lane-straddling.

I'll do anything to keep
the car running,
my drive dry,
and the boss from
exploding into
thunder if i'm late.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, June 25, 2007

Poem #176 of 365

Roky Erikson cries out
"Don’t Slander Me, nah nah nah nah",
"Don’t Slander Me, nah nah nah nah",
and i want to scream out a new headline:
a new fuck-you song:
Don’t brand me, nah, nah, nah, nah
Don’t BRAND ME new,
with iron on my cheeks,
don't fire up my face with
burnprint-stains.

You have etched your hate
with iron heat, and i now
live with your anger upon my meat,
my woman flesh is now cast red,
fingered for talking,
singed for snitching.

My skin shall sing pumped with rage,
etched as it is with a word
not of my mouth,
all because my voice
dared to be the island of truth
in the waters of dark violence
in this city,
and for that i should pay?

What did you want me to say?

Now every glance at my face echoes this
warning, like a scarlet letter in the village,

that to break the silence,
to show compassion,
to report abuse
to help another,
is now out of fashion,
is now taboo and
unneighborly passion?

When you stare at my face--
as i know you itch for
my photo to hit
the national press,
just remember the
way i earned this:
under duress.

i got the brand
trying to do right by
others even as they
spit onto that other cheek
i turn, not the one
that got burned with iron,
but the one that now burns
with anger at your betrayal.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez




(And don't be surprised to hear about more stories like the one in Mesa, Arizona where 4 people -- James Strandbridge, Jackie Getz, Preston Valdez, and Kibbol Avila -- are accused of kidnapping, aggravated assaulted and unlawful imprisonment after allegedly luring a 'snitch' into their apartment, shaving off a portion of her hair, using a branding iron to burn the word "snitch" on her face, assaulting her, and holding her against her will.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

MY FORT WORTH: New, different, and upcoming

Things I need to share, cuz you might not have heard, and I gotta spit this fast cuz you know how new news becomes old news if you sit on it:

1. Gracey Tune met with Ronald Shannon Jackson a few weeks ago to discuss a new project; seems he wants to produce a jazz opera...!
2. Nia, from Roots 'n' Kulture, is said to be opening a children's clothing boutique in the space formerly known as Junketeria on Magnolia St. She has both designed and assembled (sewn, knitted) the clothes for this venture.
3. A documentary film festival is slated to take place in Denton in late August, early September. The Thin Line Film Fest, organized by Texas Filmmakers (a Denton organization), is still accepting submissions ('til June 30th).
4. The 4 Star Coffee Bar is opening a new satellite location inside the Lewis Medical Library--where I work--in July!
5. Momentum Productions is interested in meeting artist/performers who would like to be involved with their upcoming (late July) production of a new show, based on interviews and meetings with families in Juarez who have been impacted by the mass disappearance-murders of hundreds of young women in that northern Mexico city.
6. A new kid in town, from Boston by way of Austin, is mounting a new stage work--heavy on spoken word and movement--about "world travel and internationalism". He seems sweet and energetic, and is also influenced by eccentric Waco-born theater visionary Robert Wilson. He moved here from Austin to work with Johnny Simons and the Hip Pocket Theater. As soon as I find his name/contact info, I'll pass it along to those who want to know more about his performance project.
7. The Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth is about to get an up-do, with a new logo and newsletter design. I know this because I am on the Board of Directors and also serve on the Public Relations Committee.
8. Lori Thomson of the Firehouse Gallery tells me that her gallery is about to get a feature in Fort Worth Magazine, which is great news for the gallery which was voted "Best Art Gallery of Fort Worth" in the FW-Star Telegram "Best of" awards. (I do find it a bit odd that the FW Mag reporter slated to write the article doesn't plan to actually visit the space...)
9. I just heard that Rahr Brewery accepts volunteer help for their bottling process--on Sunday afternoons. And you get to take home any of the "mess-ups" for later consumption...
10. The Caves Lounge and Ozzie Rabbit Lodge staff personnel (and their crazy buddies) will face-off in a bout of paintball on Sunday, June 23rd, in FW.

Poem #175 of 365

you left the knife
you left some blood
you left the cracks
in the floor
some crackers in the fridge

you left the bike
you left the litter
you left me despondent
and bitter

you left some fleas
they inked my feet
you bred some enmity
and spliced our web.

how can our connection
stay true
when you lie and
manipulate, defy
my reason and slam
the doors.

one day, you will take
some things:

my advice;
a moment of thought;
those damn black fleas;
the print of your presence;
the phlegm of your pain.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Poem #174 of 365

roadside bomb
roadside bomb
suicide truck bomber
suicide truck bomber
roadside bomb truck
roadside bomb truck
roadside bomb truck
bomb truck
bomb truck
bomb truck
bomb truck
bomb truck
bomb truck

roadside
roadside
suicide
roadside suicide
roadside suicide
roadside suicide
roadside suicide
roadside suicide

suicide
suicide
suicide
roadside

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, June 22, 2007

Poem #173 of 365

You never know what’s
around the corner,
another corner perhaps?

I cannot type, but somehow
my fingers make connection to
the dreamland in my head
and my ego does
the right thing,
it stays out of the way,
that internal editor
smashing lightbulbs
and song.

Don't want that red ink
pen when it wants to
bleed all over
my fine print.

Around the corner,
another story,
narrative of drama,
punchline of humor,
around the corner
another corner, i try to
not second guess it, and just
be glad i don’t collide head-on,
oh wait-what am i saying,
i DO want to collide,
collide head-on,
headfirst into the
next line,
the concise next phrase,
the pivotal paragraph.

Precisely, undoubtedly.

I want to stay blessed with the
courage that's kept me curious
and pushing on down the city block
fearlessly headlong into the
circumnavigating paths of my
poems and stories and tales,
it's a thrill to careen round
the bends in my
waterstreams of writing
so that every word
is a stranger i
am happy to meet
face-to-face
on the page.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poem #172 of 365

Lori veered straight for the
glass window, like some folks
head for the cheese tray
at the happy hour buffet.

She was hell- or heaven-bent
on pressing her hands to
the glass and peering peering
peering with such lustful
gazes that we almost
pulled back,
to let her have a moment alone.

It was a Calder,
a free-standing Calder,
about as tall as she,
low enough that Lori
could have swooped it
in an easy
but passionate
embrace had not the glass
been there
to partition her from it,
separating art from its lover.

Her voice became throaty and low,
and I tiptoed through the
precision-cut
landscaped lawn of the
Nasher Sculpture Center
to be a witness,
as if tucked behind a banana tree
to see Adam get down with Eve
in the first delicious lap dance
of humanity.

But this time it
was art and woman,
sculpture and girl,
in a quiet midnight tryst.

All she did was stare and sigh,
coo and admire, like a child
in a garden of delights.

In downtown Dallas,
Lori got it on with a Calder,
and this love
needed no shame.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Poem #171 of 365

I needed a six-pack
for the next seven days
and the one of choice
was a Texas brand.

In Fiesta, during
Hispanic Happy Rush Hour,
I cruised up to
a young Latino couple
making light conversation
over a shipment of yogurt.

Can you help me, I asked.

I’m here for some beer,
and the one that I want,
well, it’s not on the shelf,
and it’s on sale, could you
check in the back?

The smiling couple took
my interruption well, after
all they were on the clock.
And when the young man
of the pair, headed towards
the warehouse, he called
out a question, “Shampoo,
right?”

Dude, it’s a beer, Shiner Blonde.
It's made in Texas.

The young girl laughed out loud,
and asked, a beer called Blonde?
As in Dumb Blonde?

I walked away from their
ignorance and playful
jesting, and settled for
a pack of Shiner Light
so I could rinse
out the darkness
in my brunette mind.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Poem #170 of 365

The Miller Lite delivery man
spent 3 hours, by his own
admission, trying to convince
the cute young mesera to go
out with him on a date at
"a very fancy restaurant",
as if she would want to sit
in one tonight after working
at one all day. He was persistent,
and I silently applauded his
attempts to woo her in Spanish,
which set her and the happy
hour drunk at the bar to laughing
in multiple languages,
while my nachos got cold and
my tea glass remained unrefilled.


(btw, a mesera is a waitress)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, June 18, 2007

Poem #169 of 365

A fill in the blank poem for your summer June consideration:

My crazy hair swept suddenly around my lover's _______.
This startled my lover, who responded with a resplendent ____________.
Amazed and touched by this __________, I replied with a kiss.

Up we moved together, finding ___________ in one another's eyes.
If I chanced to blink, it was an eternity of __________ that I lost.
So I forced my eyes to remain open, __________ up the visage of my lover.

In less than 10 _________, my eyeballs dried up and ________.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Poem #168 of 365

My ears are ringing louder than the wind.
My eyes are flashing faster than lightning.
My skin is burning hotter than potatoes.
My mind is flooding deeper than the streets.

I am my own flash flood.
I am my own severe storm.
I am forecast in the night.
I am moving through your town next.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Poem #167 of 365

I used to tease you
in mock-anger about
whistling circus music
in my house

but then I learned
how real
your anger
gets to be, so
indulgent, bloated.

I wish the memory
of your calliope tunes
could drown out the
bellows, the fire in
your eyes,

and that what I feel
now could somehow
qualify as mock-sadness.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

"Ride 'n' Write" bicyling & writing session - TODAY, Saturday, June 16th, 1-4pm


Sound Culture summer 2007 writing workshop

Theme: "Ride ‘n’ Write" / Hosted by Tammy Gomez

Open to writers and riders of all levels.

Bring your bicycle for a group ride in the Fairmount neighborhood.

Afterwards, we'll discuss and practice strategies for
writing about the bicycling experience: physical, communal, spiritual.

Saturday, June 16th, 1-4 pm

Arts Fifth Avenue
1628 5th Avenue - Fort Worth

Fee: donations will be accepted - $ goes to support Arts Fith Avenue

For more info: 817.924.9188 or sound_culture@hotmail.com.

About the workshop facilitator:

Tammy Gomez is a performance artist, writer, and activist now based in Fort Worth. Many of her poems have been published in literary anthologies and online. Her essay “Bicycle or Boyfriend” (Breakaway Books, 2004) was published in BICYCLE LOVE.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Poem #166 of 365

With arms upraised,
roaring words that cannot
be spoken, he has cast a spell
and I am not sure it is
legible to me.

In sign language that could
easily be popularized by a
millionaire heiress bimbo,
Joaquin confounds me, and
because I am not familiar with
his swimming strokes and
fisted gestures, I am left to
watch him as a dancer.

"Absent father"--that phrase
is captivating, one I must learn,
to keep talking about the deadbeat
dads with fast-paced hands in
angry sweeps.

"Poetry"--the way he signs that
word is like a swan dive and a
cough put together in a rhythmic
thrust that makes my eyes blink
as if I have snapped a picture to
make it last.

He talks with his body, swaying
and stepping, arms swinging and
bending. Touching his face, touching
our eyes. Throwing out signs,
pulling in hearts.


(after watching Joaquin Zihuatanejo in an impressive performance at the late-night DMA spoken word showcase)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Poem #165 of 365

Grandmother is at one window, looking
out onto the yard, while her tiny nieta
granddaughter stands alone
at another in a different room, with the
cream-colored curtain
falling behind her.

I see both of them unsmiling as I
pedal past, and I wonder if they are
quarantined at home,
diseased under doctor's orders,

or if they had merely become
disgusted with one another
inside their house,
over a game of old maid
a few minutes before.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Poem #164 of 365

I was misunderstood when I
pulled the pages apart and
ripped them into little fragments
like bad chapters
with no decipherable
beginning or end,

and this was taken so out
of context--i had made a long
and tedious introduction to
my performance--by those
who were paying more attention
to their cocktails than to my
explanation,

but once they heard the ripping,
saw me breaking the book apart,
they thought first of Hitler and
burning books and Fahrenheit
fires.

what they missed is that i'd
said this book, in specific,
was a gothic romance novel, and i
thought it was a particularly bad
one at that, and that to see that
good resources were wasted on
such insipid books was an insult
to the fine writers who sometimes
could never get published.

and so, the spewing and hard
stares, and Richard on a different
soapbox, and a misleading mention
in the Weekly, and all i could think
was:

welcome back to fort worth.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Poem #163 of 365

I cannot find my iced tea,
so it's sweating somewhere
without me
in a paper cup
with workplace ice,
which is surely melted by now,
while I sit thirsty but lazy
and water won't do,
and beer is off-limits,
and after I looked twice
in the kitchen and
paced outside 'round
the car, i know it's
not on the porch
and the stray cats
wouldn't take it,
and it's not in
the house,
where could it be,
where is my cool
dark sip of summer iced tea?


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, June 11, 2007

Poem #162 of 365

they banged:
drums of a king kong firefeast

they struck:
strings of a drunken flea

he played:
keys of a dancing monkey

together they sang:
in the voice of a rasta sage

we heard the:
songs of struggle and fight,
songs of resistance to might,
songs to bring us to our feet
songs to take to the street

we are now:
spilling our lungs out with song
shouting as one people so strong
jumping and dancing to show

the power of music does grow

they throw one great:
communal peace sign
a big banner of Che
fist of unity into the air
cheer to Sub Marcos

we have clearly:
taken over this space
remembered our heroes
forgotten our sorrows
lifted our eyes

and the band looked so glad to be here,
in Texas to sing away fear
in Dallas to accept us as equals
to remind us we are all just people
who know it is poison to
summon adversity,
and so we turn to each
other again, not as
strangers, but as exhausted,
beer-stained, and smiling
kindred folks and we
reach to one another in the
highest Loft with
sweaty but welcoming arms.


(a bit giddy and satiated after the Manu Chao show at the Palladium in Dallas on Sunday 6/10/07)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Poem #161 of 365

Rupert is no longer a fat fuck,
not that i ever thought he was--
so many tape recorded
messages to play in our heads,
but he doesn't have to
rewind anymore.

Oscar Wao is the fat fuck,
a fictitious ghetto nerd
who never gets the girls,
Junot Diaz introduced me
to him, and now i say wow
to Wao.

Ugly Betty is the hideous
hispanic that's inverting
beauty on the tv screen,
you wanna root for her
and see her smile, and
fast forward to her
winning day.

I wanna be the brainy barrio babe,
with a crooked smile and
a Buddhist limp, no lie
here, i don't mind a label
just don't expect me ever
spread out on a table.

Booty lies in the bed
of the beerholder.


(with props to J.Diaz on his forthcoming--Riverhead Books, Sept.2007--first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which i'm reading in "uncorrected proof" form at this time)


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Poem #160 of 365

I stopped chewing gum
as a regular practice
on the day they told us
that chewing gum
is pretty much like
playing with your
own spit, twisting
that gum around
in your mouth,
wadding it, and
stretching it with
your tongue, is
basically you
toying with saliva,
and the thought
of that got all mixed
up with the thought
of playing with
toejam and eating
your own snot and
even worse things
i'd rather not list here,
but making a
habit with saliva
by gum-chewing
was not gonna be
no sir, was never
gonna be something
i would be caught
doing. i once
received a painting
that an old boyfriend
made for me, he
painted the canvas
with his own penis.
damn right, i threw
that thing out first chance
i had, after he left.
don't be playing with
your body parts that
way, is what i would
say, not if you have
a mind to impress or
please me. so, go
wash your hands,
i don't know what
you been doin'.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, June 08, 2007

Poem #159 of 365

A pair of shoes to:

sweep up the grass piles;
soft shoe my regret;
backpeddle my argument;
sidestep an insult.

A pair of boots to:

foothold a ladder;
2-step a bold lie;
brake pedal a bad choice;
trample my ego.

A pair of chanclas to:

footsy your heartstrings;
tiptoe a new love;
toehold the beachfront;
airwalk to heaven.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poem #158 of 365

The man, dressed in tight-fitting blue jeans
and a hand-tooled western-style belt watched
me from a distance and I, being the typical
lone woman traveler, eyed him eyeing me.

I couldn't ascertain if he was a station employee
or a hustler on the make for the graveyard shift,
but he seemed shifty, a bit nervous, and would
not meet my glance.

When I deliberately anchored myself to the pavement,
pretending to fiddle with the draw-cords on my pack,
it was he who had to finally approach me.

I drew in a small breath, so as not to appear stunned
or disturbed and listened as he finally spoke out loud.

Where are you going? Where have you been?
Are there drugs in that pack?

Who wants to know, I responded in a semi-retort,
looking him square in the face without meeting
his eyes.

I continued, you should never approach a woman
alone, traveling by herself, and ask such questions
without identifying yourself first.

If you are an honorable man, you will always do her
this courtesy. I don't, after all, speak to just any man.

He seemed taken aback, but kept eyeing my pack,
and he said he was with a drug trafficking unit of
the local police.

Well, show me some i.d., you think I am so stupid
that I would take a stranger at his word?

He pulled out his badge and authenticated himself,
and I straightened my posture a slight little bit.

I said, well, I have no drugs and don't use them either, and
if you need to check my pack you have plenty of time
for I am held up here for my next connecting bus. A
few hours' time.

And, furthermore, when a woman is traveling alone and
it is the middle of the night, you as a man will always
be perceived as an aggressor if you approach in such
a sneaky suspicious manner as you did to me.

How am I to feel safe around here when you as security
or local police are acting so shifty and cold?

The officer might have been impressed by my candor
and my upstart words, but for a moment I thought
I might have offended.

Instead, the officer presently smiled, and gave me his
name, and promised me he'd safeguard me closely.

He said, while you're here in the station, for however
long that will be, you have my word that I will do anything
and everything possible to make you feel safe.

And, he concluded, if any person troubles you, even
in the slightest, just let me know, and I'll handle it quick.

I let him stare at me, without glaring or retorting, I knew
when to retreat and go about my way. I pulled the big
pack up onto my back and felt his sincere concern
radiate around me like a protective wall.

We never spoke again, but I could catch glances of
him in the corner of my eyes, and for the next few
hours, while I waited and waited, I was proud of myself
for telling a policemen his job.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Poem #157 of 365

Polynesia, dude
it was the people
from Polynesia
they were the first
to get here
to America
and they brought
their chickens
grabbed 'em by
the necks and probably
flung 'em
up on their
papyrus-type boat
vessels for that
long-ass ride
man

that's the way it was
i heard it dude

and when they got
here it was like oh
yeeeeah, check this
place out, good to
get out that boat, huh
and they plopped down

and made a picnic right
then and there
chicken and sauces
and maybe some sort
of squash cassava root
type side dish, you
know those island people
got to get their root vegetable
freak on
man like totally

anyways
so that's how they ended
up having a picnic there
seaside in colombia or
chile, i think it was,
eatin' chicken and
leaving the bones

that's what that scientist chick
just dug up or found
on one of her bone digs
over there
in the south, dude

chicken bones, can you
believe it, man
leave it to the chicken
to be the one
gonna turn this on
its head, becuz it
turned into some freakin
clue about who might
have made
it here first
to the new so-called
world, man

whoever would have guessed
that bones from barnyard
fowl could become so
freakin important,
right

so next time you got a
box of KFC under your arm
and you're hiking over to some
luau or hangin out in Costa Rica
or some shit
try leavin the bones around

and maybe someday way in
the future, man, maybe some
hot scientist chick might get
her pickax down in some dig
and find your freakin KFC
dinner bone leftovers, the
evidence, dude. we're all
leaving evidence. it's like,
if you think about it, you
know, man,

everytime you leave some
trash behind, it's like you've
discarded civilization,
you've put a 21st century
mcnugget or
chunk of history there
where somebody might
eventually, like, come
up after you,
years and years later dude
and tell it
like it was

so lesson learned #1,
dude, be careful where
you leave your chicken
bones or else history,
our freakin' human
history, might have
to be damn well rewritten.

that's intense. dude,
i mean it. like.
go google it
read it yourself,
man, look under
"chickens polynesia".
you're mind'll get
fuckin freakin blown


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Poem #156 of 365

I heard him on the radio,
he said and i quote
"Bilingual countries don't work!"

and I imagine a nice little
mudfight I'd like to invite
him to, wherein I'd let him
have it with a few bursts of
truth in his face, along with
the mud, of course,

and i'd speak
to him with a
multilingual tongue

in between the shoving
and sloshy dunking:

so, you don't want us to
speak another language, eh?

so, i guess you better not
say WOW from now on
cuz that originates from
a Senegalese language
you didn't know that, now
did you?
and why don't we just eliminate
BANJO from the "official"
language while you're at it
cuz it just might be a word
we got from--
AFrica!

and what are you going
to order at the restaurant
to dip your friggin chips
into, if you won't say QUESO
anymore, not that you ever knew
how to properly pronounce it!

and all those French phrases
you pride yourself on being
able to sprinkle into your conversations
"je nois se quois", "comme ci comme ça "
to appear as if you're a world-traveled
cognoscente on the Rhine,

well, spit 'em out, cuz remember you
don't WANT this to be a bilingual
country, and so you need to remember
this the next time you're tempted to
say "faux pas" or "au contraire"
while you're drinking your sha-blee,
in between bites of ESCARGOT.

You're slicing your tongue
to spite our race
uh, the human one,
because it should never be considered
declasse or ghetto or damn pobre tirado

to be able to eloquently
and resoundingly
speak words of different origins!

and then, i'd give his befuddled
mug one quick flick of mud
from my can't-be-bothered hands

and i sashay my big
booty, nalgas, derrière
outta there with my
cabeza, noggin, head
proudly held high

fait accompli.
!hasta la victoria!

(dedicated to the dreadfully-confused Tancredo)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, June 04, 2007

Poem #155 of 365

Presently I am not reading the autobiography
of Hilton. Paris, that is. Alas,
"Confessions of an Heiress:
A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose"
will remain at-large inside a chain bookstore

as I spend my days engaging in more intellectually-stimulating activities,
including:

gathering my toenail clippings in equi-distant piles,
watching the ice inside my frozen beer bottle melt,
checking my cat for fleas,
and
trying to figure out what the world is coming to
when Paris can easily publish a book
but Valerie Plame cannot.


(after learning that the CIA is interfering with Plame's attempt to publish her memoir "Fair Game")

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Poem #154 of 365

When the mace hits your throat you want to run away from your body and that's the same thing as panic but you stay with your nose and your tongue and all the other sinus involvement as the burning icy feeling begins to grow and extend and you wonder if or when your legs might subside under you melting you to the walkway of concrete and you won't certainly won't be able to run away from your body at that point you'll just have to sink into that whole array of uncertainty and the icy cold burn will become the whole of who you are and what you feel and the words you've read about central nervous system start spewing from your memory as you also recall that when one subway car in the tunnel breaks down well that pretty much mucks up the rest of the day for the other cars and so it's that kind of worry that sets in your face and as tunnel vision encroaches you almost forget about other people when that's precisely what you should be doing to stop the over-involvement with your own waxing distress you should be thinking about others so i look at other people keep talking to them through the papers i have cupped up to my nose and mouth i am asking them if their small children are okay and what was that stuff anyway that they sprayed and so i am kept in the loop and i fight to keep my peripheral vision expansive and selfless that's how it works that's how i keep from sinking and soon there's another outbreak it explodes in a few seconds when i see a girl bent at the waist in a geometry you don't see in public often and i think someone's pulled at her hair or arm or shirt and there's a sudden vortex of movement to the portable toilet section of that world and my toes point otherly and i take hold of my friend's arm to make sure she toes herself in the right direction too because she is not as quick to gauge the shifting increase in tension over there and so we move together with things sharp in our mouths an odorless taste that makes me not want to swallow for a long time and i believe in fresh air even when we act in opposition to the perpetuation of that in our modern lives and i cannot wait to fill my lungs with something that doesn't cut my throat or impugn my precious lung tissue on an evening that was not supposed to go this way in dallas no it definitely wasn't supposed to be like this

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bill Daniel brings films/photos/spectacle to 1919 tonight!!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED * HIGHLY RECOMMENDED * HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Tonight, at 1919 Hemphill, in Fort Worth!
7pm-10pm.
$5 - but never let money keep you away from a 1919 Hemphill event.

Punk rock photos by Bill Daniel and Kat Shimamoto * experimental films * visual art * music by Cadillac Fraf

backstory:
I met Bill Daniel, back in 1985-86, when I moved to Austin for the second time. I was already friends with that whole Austin underground film scene that eventually spawned the Austin Film Society. Rick Linklater, Lee Daniel--I used to hang out at a house in Hyde Park across the street from where Lee and Rick lived. Rick was a film obsessive, who lived in tight blue jean cut-offs and t-shirts and seemed to eat only canned food. He saved his money for films at the Union on UT's campus. I had a huge crush on Lee, who seemed to have a huge crush on super-8 films, public swimming pools, local punk rock, and conjunto music.

Around the time that Rick and Lee decided to start an underground monthly film series at the Dobie Theater, for which I was a regular attendee from the beginning (sometimes i'd pay with a smile and a freshly-picked wildflower), Bill Daniel showed up. He was gregarious and informative, and I remember he had a 35mm (no such thing as digital cameras back then) slung around his neck every time I saw him, and he and I seemed to be digging on the same literature (JG Ballard, Philip K. Dick, for instance). A bunch of us seemed to be onto that whole '100th Monkey' thing as our habits and fascinations segued quite magically.

Later, in the 1990s, when I was living in Austin again, I had chance to run into Bill now and again. He frequented the Alternate Current arts space, run by David and Susan (wonder how they're doing...), both as an exhibitor and friend, and he always had a good word/hello for me. Bill was also running the Funhouse Cinema, with film screenings downtown, featuring the latest cinematic works of the independents.

I always trust that the people I'm meant to know/work with/follow will always show up in my path. It happens again and again. So it came as no great surprise when I was an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts for the month of March 2003, that I found out that Bill Daniel had also been an artist-in-residence there. I was shown photos of an installation that Bill created--in collaboration with the late great Margaret Kilgallen--which featured his hobo culture-themed films and images. It excited me to know that Bill and I were still on similar paths, if on different timetables.

Now, if only I could get one of them coveted Creative Capital grants like Bill has been awarded. (Actually, I got close once, making it to the pool of finalists back in 2004.)

His new project is titled "Sunset Scavenger," but I'm not sure if that's what he's bringing to us tonight at 1919 Hemphill. He potentially might present another recently-completed short, a kind of follow-up and response to that jarring & unforgettable 13-minute 16mm film that fucked me up one night back in 1985 or '86 when I saw it at the Dobie: "Selective Service System". A young California student, called up for selective service, basically shoots himself in the foot, and it's all on film. Mind-numbing, sad, disturbing. I remember walking home at two in the morning with my friend Clarke, all shocked and choked up, freezing up when we heard emergency response sirens in the distance. I can understand why Bill would've wanted to speak to the men who made this film.

So, to wrap this up, I want folks to know that Bill Daniel is one of Texas' (native Texan) most consistent and prolific outsider underground artists who is getting acclaim and funding for doing just what he originally set out to do. Show up and meet him tonight @ 1919 Hemphill; he's alot more than the "hobo films" that he's touted for producing.

Links to:

a pretty recent interview;

some descriptive text and photos on "Who is Bozo Texino?";

the site for Bill's book of punk rock photos; and

yep, his personal website.

Poster design contest: for She: Bike/Spoke/Love - deadline: June 22nd, 2007

Sound Culture is now accepting submissions of original art/designs (camera-ready or in digital form) which will be used for the She: Bike/Spoke/Love promotional poster (and subsidiary promo print/electronic materials).

I know there are a ton of visually-creative people out there with a little time on their hands right now (school's out, summer's here, you're bored...).

Please send all submissions, if in electronic form, via jpg, pdf, or html link to Tammy Gomez, Sound Culture producer/director, at
sound_culture@hotmail.com.

If you have only a hard-copy to submit, please contact me at the same email address or post a comment here.

We will be accepting submissions until the cold, hard dead-line of June 22nd!

Oh--$100 will be awarded to artist with the selected (winning) design.

(Note: If the winning submission is from an artist team, the cash award will have to be split between/among the artists on that team.)

Also, please feel free to ask your questions BEFORE you submit to assure that your design is both appropriate and relevant.

Thank you, all you energetic creatives!

__________________________________________________________
more details about She: Bike/Spoke/Love:
The main characters are women, Latina women. They're young and intelligent urban bicyclists who challenge all kinds of boundaries (cultural, political, gender). The play will involve lots of images of bicycling and bicycles, and a few other alterna-cultural issues. Feel of the work is spoken word/hiphop/downtempo ambient/raw and bilingual. Men/teens/transgendered&bi/punk rockers/urban artists/spoken word poets will also, mos definitely, be involved.

Enlisting/inviting participant artists for world premiere of She: Bike/Spoke/Love



She: Bike/Spoke/Love is a multidisciplinary spoken word theater work which celebrates the bicycle (as alternative transportation and thruway to nature) and bicyclist (as empowered low-tech activist and freewheeling rebel) featuring original poetry, freestyle and choreographed bicycling, video sequences, and live/dj musical score.

Because Texas’ history reveals it to be an automobile-dependent and oil industry-friendly state, bicycling Texans are often perceived as law-breaking, car-hating misfits. It is increasingly important, therefore, to present the positive aspects of bicycling and to celebrate the bike communities that are sprouting up all over Texas at this moment in time.

During and around the time of World Car-Free Day (September 22nd, 2007), Sound Culture (a young network of artists, performers, bicyclists, and activists) will premiere a radically new performance concept of bicycle theater to the state of Texas with performances of She: Bike/Spoke/Love in Fort Worth and other cities.

Between now and October 2007, Sound Culture will be auditioning and inviting many local/regional folks to join in the effort to present this original work. With the support of grants from NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Culture)—funded in part by the Ford Foundation—and the Puffin Foundation, we’re hoping to have enough resources to allow this project to realize its potential of unifying audience and performers in a cross-cultural cutting-edge community art experience in Texas.

For more information, or to offer resources/advice/skills, please email:

sound_culture@hotmail.com

or via this myspace profile.

Thanks!

Poem #153 of 365

When you waved towards me,
i looked at you and tried
to figure out how to help.

as you approached, i saw the
light had not yet turned green.

your mouth moved, but the radio,
i looked confused, so you came close.

a folded bill, a dollar bill
was held high up in your hand.

still on red, i held the brakes,
and tried to see what you said.

you asked me if i wanted to
drive around, had some time.

i merely squinted, it was bright,
so you asked if i sucked dick.

i gripped the wheel, and held
my poise, you said you could pay.

shook my head, and eyed the light,
i don't make my money that way.

you turned to go, and so did i,
but the red kept me in that lane.

what to do, i felt my heart race,
got to scream, or to help someone else.

i was scared, the blood pumped fast,
it was shock that i felt.

the man in white shorts, head is balding,
i would not forget.

i drove in circles, like a stunned bird,
until i stopped at a store.

call the police, give my details,
make the man go away.

-make the man go away
-it was shock that i felt
-got to scream or to help
-i would not forget.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, June 01, 2007

Poem #152 of 365

i'm going to Palenque from Palenque
with my Tribe Called Quest On,
with my Tribe Called Quest On.

it was an early December morning,
yet so humid i could almost see
my breath in sweat vapor before
my nose, and the walk from my
hotel room, where the night before
i’d had a bout, Kafkaesque, with one
large bug that haunted me from
beneath my bed, well that walk
was a relief, as it meant i was
leaving that bug behind.

and the signs from the little
pueblito of Palenque pointing
me to the pyramid ruins of
Palenque kept me from getting
lost, but really, how could i lose
my way, when there were so
many rv’s and merry milers
with u.s. plates and
fat-necked men behind the wheel,
all heading in the same direction.

no one stopped to offer me a ride,
but that was fine, i was up early
and the sun wasn’t so high yet,
and it was easy to hear the students
doing their morning fitness exercises
on the concrete slab behind their
school building. they looked so
crisp and lean in their blue skirts
and slacks, but i knew they’d be
soggy and spent by midafternoon.
how strange to be warm in december,
during radish harvest season, with
sweat beads on your brow.

i'm going to Palenque from Palenque
with my Tribe Called Quest On,
with my Tribe Called Quest On.

that trip to Mexico,
to Oaxaca and Chiapas,
Tehuantepec and Guerrero, was the
trip of Miles Davis, Primus, a Kendra
mix tape, and A Tribe Called Quest.
there’s one specific Miles song, title
doesn’t come to mind, that when
i hear it takes me back to my long walks
lost in Oaxaca, Oaxaca. i can almost
smell that city as if i was there right now.
and so that morning, my Sony Walkman
was giving me an upbeat backdrop as
i went to Palenque from Palenque, and
it occurred to me that it might have been
culturally sacrilegious to be listening to
Black American hiphop in my headphones
while siphoning sights in the Mayan
highlands. But that is the way of the
viajero, bringing something new, finding
something old.

From this morning walk, i have one
sole photo. It’s a black-and-white,
and i’m facing the camera with an
uncertain not-quite smile. It’s a self-
portrait, of course, and i remember
where i stood when i snapped it. An
inspiration to lose the perspiration
propelled me to dip in a small watering
hole, a shallow creek with cool water.
i slowly stepped in, a little undressed,
and let myself get saturated in the jungle
shade. Thinking back on that moment,
it occurs that i had no fear, wasn’t trepidated
about possible water moccasins, scorpions,
or spiders. The water looked refreshing and
that’s all that mattered for the few minutes I
squatted in it, taking a picture to help
remember the moment.

i'm going to Palenque from Palenque
with my Tribe Called Quest On,
with my Tribe Called Quest On.

After the dip in the little creek,
i continued down the road, air-drying
as i went, and singing along to “I Lost
My Wallet in El Segundo”--gotta get
it, got got to get it. i was surprised to
happen on a tourist hippie campsite,
with dreaded Europeans and tie-dyed
types swinging in hammocks and
smoking breakfast in quiet murmurs
and soft song. I turned down the volume
on my headphones to get the full effect,
but was satisfied to keep on walking,
to get to the pyramids, to see Mayan
ruins for the first time.

And when i reached the pyramids park,
it was as if someone had mowed down
a forest of redwoods to reveal an iconic
and majestic gem. The pyramids pierced
the sky, and the early morning tourists
stooped as they hoisted themselves
up the many block steps to the top, as
if they were bowing in humbled awe.
i joined them, overwhelmed by thought,
as i had just passed a Lacandon indian,
native to this region, who had practically
begged me to buy one of his handmade
tools: a carved bow, an arrowhead, some arrows.

These were as authentic as one could get,
and it pained me to see this young father
--somehow i knew he had a family to feed--
willing to almost give away his hand-wrought
implements of survival for a chance at
some few dollars. Is that what it’s come
to, i wondered later, as i stepped to the
top of the first pyramid. we protect the ruins,
but not the people.

Mixed feelings overtook me as I imagined
the great Mayas who'd built and lived among
these pyramids. Surrounded by selva, I
wished for the trees to grow back and crowd
out the tourists, so the developers would
leave and the Lacandon father could
keep all his tools and use them to subsist.

The howler monkeys never showed their
faces, but I heard their gutteral cries as
I felt my mouth itch to howl in reply.


copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez