Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm doing a reading/performance @ 1919 Hemphill on Thursday, January 3rd

I'll be the featured poet at the January 3rd episode in this ongoing monthly series.

Check me out from 9:30-10pm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poem #352 of 365

The lessons have found me unprepared,
as a student without a manual,
and I am skidding as best I know,
learning how to maneuver mayhem.

I have lost so many kin, and
have attended more funerals
than weddings, yet the way and means
to handle the pain is something
that befuddles, eludes me still.

So when I walked over to the New Books section,
at my workplace tonight,
it took me by surprise when I laid my eyes
on a relevant new book:

Grieving for Dummies, the title read,
and I thought to myself--how insulting to me!
I would not care to share this
with a mourning family member, as if I thought her dumb.

But I thumbed through the pages and
found advice that could help us,
one and all,
and felt less a dummy than a smarty,
though sad as sad can be.

(Grieving for Dummies was written by a guy with a Ph.D in bereavement counseling, so it ain't no joke.)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, December 17, 2007

Poem #351 of 365

that cookie tasted awful,
like refrigerator--
but then, i smell like carport
and my cat smells like coal mine.

then to the parked car,
neglected and undisinfected.

i sniff and tell:
the backseat, of oranges and brake fluid,
and the floorboard, of moldy vanilla.

i have a sharp nose,
its sense of smell
propels me to the kitchen
to see what now
i’ve burned.

blackened skillets,
streams of smoke,

i hold them out the window,
see the vapor get took.
and the backyard takes
one great whiff.

you bet i can cook,
you bet i can burn,
when i feel it in
all of my senses.

well done.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Poem #350 of 365

I pay ten dollars
once a week
to speak with
a man from
another nation.

He is quick to
smile, and bless
my day. He speaks
of lands with color
I cannot see.

We travel together,
show our worlds
and world perspectives
in the few minutes
I've paid for this.

His skin is sometimes
burnished brown,
with accent thick
as my strong morning
coffee, but stirred in
with sweet caramel
of kindness.

One man recited couplets
of Shakespeare, one
told me not to worry
about Darfur, and today's
man told me that every
single day is a beautiful day.

I arrive at new thinking,
new conclusions, but the
same destination, when I
ride with them. They are
my immigrant international
taxi drivers and they are
my Sunday morning teachers.

For the lessons, I tip them well.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poem #349 of 365

The six dollar
Bombay Sapphire
gin and tonic
stirred my muse
6 times.

With a fine point
red ink Sharpie.

For those of you
who are readers, not writers,
that is the equivalent
of 6 orgasms
on a hard wooden chair.

In an Irish pub.
In public.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Now that the Wreck, Black Dog, & Metrognome are gone where do artists ART?

[a local painter who goes by the name of Semone ( sent along this invitation to an art show happening inside the Bar 9 Lounge tonight at 6pm - downtown FW]

[thanks to Gloria aka "glo (D-Tx)" for the following anuncio about a doc film screening tomorrow in the Bar of Soap laundromat, Fair Park area of Dallas, Friday, December 14th.]

Laura Tabor's documentary DFW PUNK will screen Friday at the laundromat area at the Bar Of Soap @ 10PM.
Bring a small chair if you like.

FREE TO KILL AGAIN goes on at 11:30 in the front window.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The address for Bar of Soap:

3615 Parry Ave
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 823-6617

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Poem #345 of 365

do you see what i see?
people in endless shopping spree

do you see what i see?
for cutting down tree is only time outside the city

do you see what i see?
some workplace parties are scenes for enmity

do you see what i see?
wives desire a lexus and husbands hdtv

do you see what i see?
advertising sets the bar for what is hard to really be

do you see what i see?
that we can be at war as we make merry glee

do you see what i see?
orphans can get a free toy but no one gives a family

do you see what i see?
we act so rich, but still so many are in poverty

do you see what i see?
the u.s. tries so hard, smile and sing in harmony

(in a moment of despair & disgust for rampant mass consumerism in wartime)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, December 10, 2007

Poem #344 of 365

It was a surprise
to me, too, but a
for different reason.

Three envelopes landed
in your lap from Chicago,
blew open your future
and blasted a snow globe
of dancing light upon
your plans to study art.

Money is possible,
and it is coming.

Three tears, one from
each eye, and another from
my heart of eternal sadness,
stirred as I felt the surprise.

I've known you now for less
than five years, but have
become sister and listener,
mentor and friend to
offer new roots for
the potential i saw
blossom in you.

So, tonight when you softly
shared the scholarship news,
and the world turned faster
with change, I felt a letting
go, and not just of
one-two-three tears.

I'm sending you on your way
to your dream, and am so
thrilled i've had some part
in your early life, the fort
worth phase, and cannot
wait for you to become
the woman you've
sketched out on the
drawing board
in your mind.

I've glimpsed her in you,
that potentiated art-chick,
the one who'll be learning
the answers to all those
questions you've been
directing my way.

Find your answers
when you find yourself,
my friend, and then
please paint them onto the world,
your canvas spectacular
of a million confident strokes
in bold vermilion oils.

(adelante and good luck to Andrea G, who heads off to the Institute of Art in Chicago in less than a month!)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Record a message for loved ones behind bars--CALLS FROM HOME project--tomorrow, December 11th

I produced a community radio program called "Mandatory Prison Talk" in 1998-99 in Austin, and it was such an eye-opener. What I found, during that experience, is that community radio can be an easy way to connect the outside community with people locked up in jails, prisons, and other penal institutions of confinement. I received a few letters from prisoners who got to hear my show, and they were so appreciative of my dedicating time to disseminate info on the prison-industrial complex, prisoner abuse, and other topics not readily offered in the mainstream media.

KPFT (90.1 FM) in Houston features a Friday night program--run by Ray Hill since 1980--called simply THE PRISON SHOW. During the last hour of this 2-hour program, friends and family members can call in messages, love letters, and words of encouragement which prisoners within broadcast range can hear.

CALLS FROM HOME, a special project of the Thousand Kites organization, has the same intent as the KPFT show--except that
CALLS FROM HOME has the potential for nationwide impact and broadcast.

More info below, from the folks at Thousand Kites:

Dear Friend,

The Thousand Kites Team would like to ask for your support for a special radio project called Calls from Home. Calls from Home is a simple project. We open our recording studio's toll-free number from 2-10pm (Central Time) on Tuesday, December 11th and record calls from prisoner families and supporters from across the country.

We then broadcast the program on over 120 radio stations across the country and bring hundreds of voices (people singing songs, reading poems, and speaking from the heart) to hundreds of thousands of prisoners. We need your help in spreading the word and making the program as strong as possible. Here is how you can help us.

- Call in to the show on Dec. 11th from 2-10pm central time. Call toll free at 888-396-1208 and the Thousand Kites team will be there to take your call. We usually just say "Caller, you're on the air, who would you like to send a message to tonight?"

- If you want to call right now, you can leave a message on the answering machine at 877-518-0606.

- Spread the word to other people. Please pass this on and ask other folks to get involved. You can learn more at

- After the show is recorded we put it up for free downloads. Download it and get it played our your local community radio station, play a section at a meeting, get it played at a church, class, or even in a prison and hold a discussion about incarceration in the United States.

Finally, help us spread the word on My Space. Please re-post this to your friends.

Thousand Kites Team

phone: 606.633.0108

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Poem #343 of 365

Be your own hero,
feel like a champ,
layer up in wool and cotton
and pedal to work
after dark on a cool cold night.

Thrash the front wheel
in a single track mind
picking out the surest
way to get you there
less bumpy but fast.

Turn up the music
that beats a good pulse
to help you make
quick circles with your
feet and smile with
song and shivering.

Feel the warm air
between layers and
be thankful for sheep
and wool and wicking
ways on winter streets.

Leave that metal machine
behind, sitting in the driveway,
as you coast fuel-free
across the bridge spanning
the Trinity which sparkles
like a sheet of icy gems.

Squeeze out inertia through
your pores, keep the energy
of spirit in your chest and
hear your stunning laughter
blaze indelibly against
the blackness of the night.

Surge in triumph,
sweat like you mean it,
and ride ride ride
to cross all the starting lines
of your dreamy life
like the hero you
were meant to be.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Poem #342 of 365

in the metro tunnel
with gabriela

she rubs the lamp
while i click my heels

and the amused gentlemen
in the sports jacket
holding a broken flashlight
smiles gently as he watches

and the soot-smeared
face of the now-orphaned
child lights up as we smile
in her direction and reach for her hand

in the metro tunnel
with gabriela

she has remembered the radio
and i distribute the bread

and the shaken wife
whose blonde husband
is lost, asks to sit with
us and we quietly oblige

and the hungry teacher
with the frostbitten toes
thanks me for bread as
i put my gloves on his feet

in the metro tunnel
with gabriela

we have not rehearsed
for this moment,
we have instincts that
we trust in one another

the tunnel fills with warmth
and the voices begin to
hum with happier notes,
tenderness is shown

and i know we have brought
comfort without plan, and it
is the least we can do, our lives
have prepared us for this

in the metro tunnel
with gabriela

the light in our eyes
illuminates reality, but shines faith
in the future, bracing with hope
that uplifts the weak

in the metro tunnel
with gabriela

the sirens sound, but all i can
hear is the thump and
continuity of brave strong hearts,
loving in the darkness.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Poem #341 of 365

i can tell that things in your head
are coming to a head,
and i feel for you, believe me,
i am lighting a metaphorical
candle on your behalf,
slashing together wood for a raft
so you can float, escape the moat,
and have new & wider doors
open to your stride and
friendly posture
despite what pain and
sorrow it may cost you.

keep up the writing, channel your
inner tremors through some words,
it can really help.

welcome on-board, compa-bard!

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Buzzworms in the Backyard -- art exhibit opening at FW Community Arts Center on Saturday, December 8th

I have been invited to present a performance at this opening reception tomorrow, taking place in the back gallery @ the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Sound Culture presents

"Greed, Caution"
a performance ritual lament

w/ ramsey sprague, angelique, gabriela lomonaco, tammy gomez

featuring the photographic art of shannon atkinson

(7pm presentation)

open to all / no admission charged / rahr brews in the house -- OPENING IS FROM 6pm to 9pm!!

Please, nuestra buena gente, help spread the word about this serious issue, even if you cannot attend tomorrow.


buzzworm n : a quaint, western euphemism for a rattlesnake 2 : an insistent, noisy vibration 3 : a warning sign 4 : a metaphor for a natural gas drilling rig.

Opening Reception:
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Fort Worth Community Art Center (Back Gallery)
1300 Gendy Street Fort Worth, Texas 76107

In 2006, Fort Worth, Texas, became the first large city in the nation to allow drilling for natural gas in densely-populated areas - as close as 200’ from dwellings. While relatively few may be enriched by this unprecedented event, many others are concerned about the negative impact and far-reaching implications of industrial drilling in their communities.

With drilling either underway or planned for nearly every neighborhood, issues such as safety, air and water quality, property values, destruction of natural habitat, and threats to neighborhood integrity are very real. Gas drilling companies are waging an all-out advertising campaign to win public support. Many residents remain skeptical and ill-at-ease. Many feel powerless and resigned.

Because billions of dollars are at stake, the powerful energy extraction industry, aided by political interests, are trying to control the debate. However, as drilling operations move deeper into residential neighborhoods and parks, many people are turning their apathy into activism.

In the grand tradition of political protest art, and participatory democracy, FWCanDo (Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Ordinance), is hosting this art exhibit as an opportunity for artists to publicly express their concerns about these important issues. It also encourages them, and the community, to take a closer look at the facts concerning gas drilling in Fort Worth..

Artists, from Goya to Picasso to Keith Haring, to Anonymous have played a crucial role in bringing awareness and expression to the injustices of their times.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chicano Luncheon TODAY! 12 noon - 1pm

[Thanks to Renny Rosas for the following anuncio. These biweekly luncheons are an awesome networking opportunity!
My friend, Rick Leal, a producer for FW Community Cable Television, also told me that guest speaker Fajardo is here from Mexico City presenting his latest work--a documentary that he shot & produced about Russia in the 21st Century. He will screen part of the film at the luncheon. He is also interested in producing a film about the Chicano/Mexicano community here in North Texas.]

The Chicano Luncheon meets this
Thursday Dec. 6, 2007
Noon to 1:p.m.
La Trinidad United Methodist Church
1300 Gould Ave. (at Northside Dr.)
Fort Worth TX 76106

Our guest speaker: Raul Fajardo - Professor of Journalism, School of Performing Arts, Radio & TV
Photo Journalist & Documentary Producer

Please attend this informative meeting.
Everyone is invited.
($6 gets you a cheese enchilada plate and a slice of cake and iced tea.)

Renny Rosas
The Chicano Luncheon
817.924.8181 ofc

Poem #340 of 365

i am drinking shiraz, white shiraz, late into the morning,
celebrating my rise, my shine,
my finally finishing the Final Report
to my funders at NALAC, who
bankrolled my play this year.

18 pages of narrative to describe
the results of the project, and a budget besides.
all the money is gone, well-spent, and well-deserved.

now i'm on to the saturday gig, and moving fast,
with a photo shoot yesterday with Shannon and Angelique,
and Ramsey practicing a song, and me slimming into my
dance skin clothes, as i bike to work everyday.

those who now sleep are dreaming their wishes.
and then there are people, like us,
up late at night,
fishing for dreams.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Poem #339 of 365

Ryan the rescuer
fixed up my tire,
brought me a tube
from his old pick-up truck.

This is the story of
a Texas romance,
a tale that portends
the dovetail of a man
and a girl, a perfect
north texas courtship.

But this is only a favor,
a one-time howdy-doo help,
and the girl is grateful
and the boy feels useful
and as they part in the sunset
of so many beginnings,
they separate to different roads,
she on a gravel two-lane way,
and he on a bypassed heart path.

Such missed and sidestepped love.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Poem #336 of 365

Whizzing around my house is that flying thing
which you might call a bird.

But inside that bird, with its cardboard beak
and construction paper wings,
is another thing,
itself a flying creature
of smaller bulk,
and perhaps even that thing
is a facsimile of something
that it cannot ever be, and what lies within
is something smaller yet,
with wings of its own
that flap in darkness
and perhaps in light,
and it, that thing on the inside
of the inside
of that fake flying bird
in my house, is what i want
to identify
for what it could be:

The greatest creature of love,
or maybe
the strangest creature of evil,
or perhaps it is both at once.

When it stops gliding over our heads,
when it makes a choice to land,
then we shall all know and recognize.

I trust that it is a good thing,
an honest animal,
which merely plays strange
under a sheath of paper and twine.

It is only teasing to be cute,
and hopes soon
to share in an amicable bond,
here in my parlor of laughter and passion.

I succeed at removing masks
from preening creatures,
who long to finally show
their true faces of love, of goodwill.

We will stare at length into
each other's blinking,
unadorned eyes,
as the windows open,
and there is a moment to spring free.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Poem #335 of 365

i pull out the clipboard to which
i've fastened the quite lengthy
roll call of concepts to be developed
on the acreage of tract housing
in the cobwebs of your mind...

but what did you meme?

the vulnerability of desire PLUS
the schism between manual labor and desk thinking IN LIGHT OF
the campaign to hand wash with woolite BECAUSE
you need media storage when the memory fails.

breakfast before poetry FORESHADOWS
risk assessment in the dungarees AND YOUR
impulse to propagate in exclusivity DESPITE
my arguments that you must allow comments on your blog IMMEDIATELY.

(and i sincerely meme that.)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Greening X-mas

A great little article came to my attention via Christine Granados, who spotted a photo of my friend Donna Hoffman in last Sunday's New York Times (style section). Sure enough, Donna or "Ms. Demeanor", as she sometimes referred to herself when we were on the air doing KO.OP Radio stuff together in Austin, was interviewed for the article about folks who are divesting from the hyper-commercialism of christmas.

My mom gave me a cute little live tree last December--a Norfolk Island Pine--and I've actually kept it alive for a whole year now. It stays indoors year-round and I'll probably hang the same 3-4 holiday ornaments on it as I did last December. One christmas, my live-in boyfriend made a blatant commentary on how I threw my clothes on chairs instead of hanging them up or putting them away. I arrived home from work one evening to find a short stubby tree brandishing miniature holiday lights. Upon closer inspection, I found that James had taken one of my garment-laden chairs and merely thrown a string of lights around that. Hah, I got back at him by decorating a free discarded (y'know how some folks'll throw out their x-mas trees BEFORE the 25th) tree with his dirty tube socks.

One of my best xmas-es was the year, 1996 or so--when I took off for Mexico City on x-mas eve, but flaked out at the border. I returned to Austin, but told no one that I was back in the states. I wrote, meditated, strung fresh popcorn for the birds to eat, attended a jazz/poetry x-mas eve concert, and got drunk at the x-mas night karaoke at the Hole in the Wall down on the drag. I guess, for me, the better approach is to relax standards, be willing to embark on new (and different) traditions of celebration, and to detach from expectations.

Anyway, here's the link to that NY Times article: "JOLLY AND GREEN, WITH AN AGENDA."


And, if you do feel like shopping this weekend, I recommend stopping by this year's version of:

the Annual Alternative Holiday Bazaar,
Sat./Sun., December 1st and 2nd,
at the First Jefferson Unitarian Church, 1959 Sandy Lane,
in East Fort Worth.

Homemade edibles, handcrafted gifts, and fair trade imports are all available--for reasonable prices, I might add.

World AIDS Day - December 1st

Emanuel Xavier, from New York City, is a performance poet and queer activist/educator whom I met in Austin several years ago. He reposted the following poem on his bloga (yes, we Latino/Chicanos have decided that blogs are female) recently, and I thought to share it now with you--as a way to commemorate World AIDS Day 2007.


I search for laughter
down an empty Christopher Street
remembering innocent smiles
with every used condom
every vial
of crack
never looking back

but all the sisters are dying
all the legends are dead
our sanctuary closed
always living on the edge

Children floating by
on the Hudson
love is the message
still lingering
in their vacant eyes

Winds call out my name
but I will not listen
I will stay behind

© 1997 by Emanuel Xavier for Pier Queen Productions.
Taken from the poetry collection, Pier Queen.

(photo credit - by Greg Wharton)

I find it very interesting--and definitely disappointing--that many folks here in N. Texas aren't aware that December First is World AIDS Day. In Austin, the conceptual/performance artist Sally Jacques created the tradition of organizing "Body Count", a sobering and amazing interactive ritual that involved hundreds of people. The public was invited to lie on their backs, along the Great Walk (wide sidewalk leading to the front steps of the State Capitol), with flashlights directed below their faces. It was an eerily beautiful sight, but it was also mournful because these lit-up faces were suggestive of the numbers of people who have died from AIDS.

from the AVERT website:

"According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done."

A few days ago, I was at the FWCAC (Fort Worth Community Arts Center), and Marla Owen--business manager--shared with me some information about an upcoming, month-long "arts intervention" that is scheduled to happen from:

May 10 - June 8, 2008

From the save-the-date postcard:

"During the upcoming More Life Festival, more than 20
arts and science organizations will focus their energies
and talents on programs that increase the awareness
and knowledge of AIDS in our community."

I'm considering how I myself--along with some possible collaborators--might get involved with this month-long festival next May. (And you can get more info too by visiting the MORE LIFE website.)

I'll close off by sharing some lyrics from a Michael Franti/Spearhead song I've been listening to lately:

"...and how am I going to live my life if I'm positive, is it gonna be a negative? how am I going to live my life?"

live well/be safe!