Wednesday, September 27, 2006

- Devin Adams - que descansas en paz -

(oh, friend, the day was not quite what i told you it would be.)

I got the tragic news that another friend, a very young (early 20s)woman, performer & singing musician, died. Devin Adams was a friend and collaborator who lived & played here in FW. I got the news at 5:30pm yesterday. After teaching the kids.

I cried outloud in a parking lot and looked to the sky for answers. Devin was in San Francisco when she was in some sort of bicycle accident. Her email name was ==> AUTONYMY STAR. Very fitting. A bright light for many of us.

I went to the Tejano Democrats thing and drank beer and kept to myself, and then went to a poetry open mic (the car seemed to drive itself....and i had the blues station on REALLY loud--"Whiskey, Take Me Home Tonight"--and the breeze was mysteriously cold.

I saw the sliver moon and dedicated it to my beloved friend. At the open mic, I was the first to speak. I actually sang my song "My Final Resting Place" and spoke of sliver moons and Devin and beauty.

Other poets in the room remembered Devin, and shared their reminiscences.

I will start an ofrenda to Devin on Saturday on my front porch.

release my
white knuckled
hands from the throat
of my day and giggle
and squirm as sunrise and
I begin foreplay. Seducing me
slowly she tickles my toes, her
light kisses the small of my
back and my mind's garden grows
while shivers they creep up my spine
and I drink in the air like a fine French wine.
I breathe in like I'm drowning in my bellies deep
deep sea like it's my last chance my last breath to be free

and I smile
and moan with delicious
delight as life penetrates me
magical magentas, bequesting blues, grappling greens
it's a passionate scene, me out of breath, raptured sweaty limbs
intertwined into every space of time because each imperfectly perfect moment
is the bed I will lay
as I make love to each and every day.

- a poem by Devin Adams

Monday, September 25, 2006

Texas documentary on undocumented immigration - airs Tuesday, September 26th, on KERA - Channel 13 @ 9pm

" L E T T E R S F R O M T H E O T H E R S I D E "

---Documentary reveals impact of undocumented immigration on Mexican families on both sides of the border---

September 14, 2006, a U.S. Homeland Security official watches a videotaped message from Laura, a Mexican woman whose husband died in 2003 along with 18 others in the worst immigant smuggling case in United States history.

"How many more deaths does it takek for the U.S. government to do something?" Laura asks.

The videotaped message is one in a series of video letters carried across the U.S.-Mexico border by Heather Courtney, director of LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE, a one-hour public television documentary premiering this month on KERA-TV, channel 13, in the Metroplex of Texas.

The documentary will be aired on Tuesday, September 26th, at 9pm as part of KERA's Hispanic Heritage Month programming. (A free advance public screening of LETTERS--with director Heather Courtney inroducing the film--took place on Sunday, September 24th at the Ice House Cultural Center in South Dallas.)

LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE is a co-production of Front Porch Films and KERA-Dallas/Fort Worth in asssociation with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

As the immigration debate heats up during this election year, Courtney's documentary draws on those video letters to offer a fresh perspective: an intimate look at the lives of the people most affected by today's immigration and trade policies. Over two years in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, Courtney followed the lives of four Mexican women and their families, interweaving their stories with cross-border video letters between loved ones and strangers.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

MY FORT WORTH: Permaculture study group offers FREE lecture this week

I was suffering a miserable break-up with someone in Boulder. It was around 1989, i guess. I was looking for a way or reason to catapult myself out of that geography of tears and regret, and so I ended up in front of the community notices board at the Boulder Public Library one evening. There was a flyer for an Intro Design Course in something I had never heard of before: Permaculture. "Permanent Culture." An approach to living symbiotically with the land, in your bioregion, that focuses on observing and studying what already exists before employing a shovel, bulldozer, or concrete mixer to change it. I had a growing interest in sustainability and so I signed up for the 2-week course, which took place on a small high-elevation organic farm in Basalt, Colorado. Sounded like a great way to heal a broken heart and start over with something new in mind.

"PERMACULTURE... a practical concept applicable from a balcony to the farm, from the city to the wilderness, enabling us to establish productive environments providing our food, energy, shelter, material and non-material needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures that will support them. a synthesis of ecology, geography, observation & design.
...encompasses all aspects of human environments and culture, urban and rural, and their local and global impact. It involves ethics of earth care because the sustainable use of land cannot be separated from lifestyle and philosophical issues.
...encourages the restoration of balance to our environments through the practical application of ecological principles. In the broadest sense, Permaculture refers to land-use systems and lifestyle options which utilise resources in a sustainable way."

A new local group, URBAN SMALLHOLDING, has surfaced in Fort Worth, with an eye towards bringing Permaculture principles and methodology to inner-city folks. Here's what they say about themselves:

"Urban Smallholding is a community of people in the Tarrant County area dedicated to learning and implementing permaculture principles in our own homes, neighborhoods. Subject to natural law, we work with what we have and where we are (whether it is a city lot, apartment or rural homestead), to integrate people, land, water, plants, animals, and technologies towards a more regenerative culture and sustainable life and livelihood. Hopefully, we'll have some fun along the way. We have monthly meetings, bi-monthly speakers as well as projects."

Their next public event - a lecture in E. Fort Worth:

presented by Wayne Weiseman

Wednesday, September 27th - 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Meadowbrook United Methodist Church - 3900 Meadowbrook Dr. - Fort Worth, TX

Talk Outline:
Basic Permaculture Methodologies and Ethics
Edible, medicinal, culinary, and utility landscapes and food forests
Land Restoration
Long-term food preservation
Practical Homesteading Skills
Basic Renewable Energy Systems
Ecological Building construction Methods

For more information contact Kirsten at or phone at 817.915.1392.

You may prefer to join their Yahoo group, via this link.

By the way, I completed the Intro Course and was given a piece of paper certifying me as a Permaculture Introductory Design Trainee. As an urbanite, I've not had too much of a chance to do rainwater catchment or set up a goose pond, but many of the design principles of Permaculture have stayed with me and manifest in my life style choices, decrease in consumption, and resolve to live as low-impact (on the land) as possible. Plus, I now know the difference between a gabion and a wiggle-waggle--both design elements used to prevent land erosion. I've also grown fond of cattails. And the heartbreak? I got past that and found someone new.

Hiroshi Sugimoto chooses favorite films for Modern screenings

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Presents
Films Selected by Hiroshi Sugimoto

October 7 - November 25
This film series is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Hiroshi Sugimoto: End of Time; on view to the public at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from September 17, 2006, through January 21, 2007. Tickets are $7.50; $5.50 for Modern members


Enjoy this rare opportunity to see seven Japanese films carefully selected by Mr. Sugimoto to be shown in conjunction with the exhibition Hiroshi Sugimoto: End of Time. Organized and first presented at the Japan Society in New York in the fall of 2005, it is with their cooperation and approval that the Modern Art Museum proudly offer this unique series here in FW.

Mr. Sugimoto comments: "The Japanese films I have chosen are less cinema verité, more theatrical. The synergy of the artifice of photography and of the theater generate a three-dimensional fiction. The more outrageous the fiction the more credible it becomes. No doubt this is how ancient myths were born."


The World of Geisha (1973)
Saturday, October 7, 2 pm
With this film—based on an original tale by Kafu Nagai that was banned for its sexual explicitness—Tatsumi Kumashiro, the leading director of the "Nikkatsu Roman Porno" genre, brilliantly succeeds in bringing the art of the Japanese erotic woodblock print to life.
72 minutes

Due to sexual content, this film is recommended for adults only.

Ten Dark Women (1961)
Saturday, October 14, 2 pm
Filmed in high-contrast black and white and set amidst the background of Japan's explosive economic growth, this film depicts a philandering playboy whose wife and nine mistresses seek vengeance on him.
105 minutes

The Water Magician (1933)
Saturday, November 4, 12:30 pm
This Kenji Mizoguchi masterpiece from the silent era portrays the ethos of a country on the cusp of modern nationhood.
110 minutes

The Face of Another (1966)
Saturday, November 4, 2:30 pm
A man who has lost his face in an accident acquires another man's face and a double life through the ministrations of a plastic surgeon/psychiatrist. The artists who collaborated on this film were pioneers of Japanese literature, music, art, and architecture in the 1960s.
124 minutes

Blind Beast (1969)
Saturday, November 11, 1 pm
A blind sculptor imprisons a perfectly proportioned woman in a quest for the world's first "Sensory Art."
Due to sexual content, this film is recommended for adults only.
86 minutes

Tokyo Drifter (1966)
Saturday, November 11, 3 pm
Director Seijun Suzuki explodes the yakuza film genre with his overtly colorful sets, costumes, and dramatic lighting in this visionary experimental film.
82 minutes

Tokyo Kid (1950)
Saturday, November 25, 2 pm
Set amidst postwar ruins, this beautiful, tragic musical stars Hibari Misora as an orphan surrounded by the eccentric tenants of a low-rent tenement building.
81 minutes

(Film descriptions are excerpted from the Japan Society brochure for Hiroshi Sugimoto Film Series: The Moving Image of Modern Art.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Reprise performance of SPILLWAY SONATA - Friday, September 15th at 1919 Hemphill in FW

Photo by Stola Subrogo.

SPILLWAY SONATA is a ritual movement work which commemorates those who suffered and survived hurricane Katrina.

This work was created by Tammy Gomez, with Natalia Dominguez and Rachel Loera, and will be performed on FRIDAY, September 15th, at 1919 Hemphill. This work will be performed outdoors in the 1919 Hemphill parking lot.

Performed to the music of avant-garde vocalist Meredith Monk, SPILLWAY SONATA is created in the style of Butoh, a Japanese dance/performance innovation which evolved in the confusion and aftermath of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Butoh is sometimes referred to as the "dance of darkness" and is often described as enigmatic and mysterious.

Tammy Gomez studied Butoh with Doranne Crable, professor of Performance Studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Crable has practiced and performed Butoh for over twenty years, and she herself was taught by Kazuo Ohno, one of the founding fathers of this unique modern dance form.

To Crable, Butoh involves "stripping away the protective masks that humans wear as performers" in order to come into the "vulnerable and gentle part of the human heart."


Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Applied Theater workshop - Friday, September 15th - 1-3pm - in Fort Worth

Photo by John Sullivan.


Improving Health and Environment for Toda la Gente

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th - Fort Worth, Texas


1pm -3pm
Rose Marine Theater GALLERY - 1440 N. Main St.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - however, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Focus of the platica/presentation: Introduction to Augusto Boal’s "Theater of the Oppressed" theories and techniques to help families learn about health and environmental issues--towards the goal of finding solutions to the public health challenges in their communities.

John Sullivan and Bryan Parras actively use theater performance for public health education purposes in the south Texas region, but have recently become integrally involved in doing assessments of the post-Katrina environmental health crisis in the Gulf Coast region.

Bryan Parras is a performer with EL TEATRO LUCHA DE SALUD DEL BARRIO in Houston and is active with TEJAS (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services).

John Sullivan is a theater artist who co-directs the Public Forum & Toxics Assistance division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He previously directed two theater companies: Theater Degree Zero (Tucson, Ariz.) and the Theater of Liberation/Seattle Public Theater (Washington).

This will be a hands-on interactive workshop.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

FW downtown parade - September 9th, 2006

I was downtown on Saturday (September 9th) to hang out with Ed Smith, the new artistic director of the Jubilee Theater. I walked right past him and he had no idea, cuz I blended in with the group of students I was talking to. They were on their way to stake some pavement for an optimal view of the annual Diez y Seis parade, which was about to commence. What drew me to this group of people is that one of the young women was wearing a South Hills High School t-shirt. I called to her and asked her what she thought about the young kid (male teenager) who had been shot by armed p.d. the day before. She seemed to think that the kid brought it on himself by "acting up" and getting in a fight with another male teen on the South Hills campus. No blaming of the cop, no apparent distress about the situation. At least that was this her take on the incident.

Retracing my steps, I joined Ed on a cast-iron bench set back from the sidewalk and we both contentedly surveyed the downtown happenings. We spoke of jazz music and radio (we both have done live broadcasting), we discussed Dewey Redman's recent passing and his connection to Fort Worth. Ed asked me where I would like to call home, where I would live if I could live anywhere. Not surprisingly, I heard myself respond "Durango. Durango, Colorado, in the 4 Corners region." A sacred geography, with numerous Native American tribes ("first world" is Ed's preferred term) living there. I mentioned that a scientist friend, Ray in Albuquerque, told me that the four corners region (where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all come together) is a unique geographical location physic-ally, in that it was immune to all the natural "acts of god"--tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the like. As Ray put it, the 4 Corners region was probably one of the safest places to live in all of the U.S. I've camped, mountain biked, and hiked in Durango, and I loved it there. Fort Lewis College is also there--a place where I could probably get into Native Studies (history, literature, and environmental studies). Ed took this all in, marveling at the fact that no one had ever mentioned that part of the Southwest in conversation with him. Never before. All I could say was, "Fort Worth is where the West begins." A trite aphorism, but nonetheless true, in that we as Texans seem to pose our gaze westward. A direction that yields so much mythology and history, a place of vastness and visionary expansion.

And then Chuck showed up, the UTA student slam poet who is so much more than a "slam poet". He intrigues me, but I am patient to learn more about him--as he quietly reveals the layers of himself as the philosopher poet from Stop 6. The three of us--Ed, Chuck, and I--walked to the Corner Bakery for coffee and cheerily parked ourselves at a sidewalk table to watch the Diez y Seis parade. I, as Chicana with two African-American males, offered parade commentary, as the participants waved and pelted us with candy and other freebies.

" long as the women's hearts are still high."

The 9/12/01 message below is from Jean Reddeman. Jean is of the Stockbridge Munsee Bank of the Mohican Nation. Her Indian name is Wasaki Emani Wi, which means Strong Walking Woman. She is known by her people as a seer.

"Yesterday's incident seems to be what our elders had predicted a long time ago. It was predicted that there will be a Massive Spiritual Exodus of very advanced Souls in order to really change the value system in the world. This Exodus could have been avoided if the nation would have worked towards peace and spiritual values. This Massive Exodus is sad because it needed so many sacrifices of human lives to allow the global awareness to raise to new levels.

Our elders had predicted that Great Good will come after this tragedy, especially if people recognized the teachings of the event and if they honored those that sacrificed their lives. We have to thank and elevate these souls that died during the tragedy. They will still be around us for 9 days. We need to feast them, honor them and recognize their love for all of us. We have to listen to their teachings as they are very evolved souls that will be helping the major shift that the world so sorely needs. We are to honor them and ask them what we must do to change our world. They came into this lifetime to give us this gift, the gift of their lives and of their love, so that the world changes to a better place. We must honor them, we must go forward. We must listen to their messages from the Heavens.

There is much work to be done, particularly for women. Why women? It comes from an old Indian Proverb: "A nation is not lost as long as the women's hearts are still high. Only when the women's hearts are on the ground - then all is finished, and the nation dies. The women are the life carriers." Women need to reach inside and tap into their own female powerful energy. The world needs much nurturing right now, more than ever. From this female energy, men will gain their original strength. Not the strength that economic, political and military power gives, but true spiritual strength from where all lives truly flourish. We need to cultivate the receptive, docile and nurturing energy. We cannot go on with wars, we will all die, if we do.

We have to see in the middle of the pain and chaos the greater lessons. But, most of all, let us not miss the precious moment that we have in the next 9 days to talk to these souls that have left their bodies for our sake, for our salvation and true freedom. We must thank them from the bottom of our hearts, with incredible love, for they are great people. We have to share this moment so that together we can go to this new consciousness, the female energy that is so much needed at this time."

remnants of SONATA - day after the premiere

[what i sent to my friend Andrea about

"got caught up with the prep and step
of doing the show. plus, a diez y seis
parade happened on saturday morning,
and it was gallery night that evening.
alot of hubbub in the city.

our show (2 performances): has left
me completely physically exhausted. here
i type, the day after, all muscle achy and
on the border of cranky cuz i'm so tired.
it's a completely consuming immersion, this
SPILLWAY SONATA. 20 minutes long of
continuous slow-slow movement, where every
muscle of your body is engaged, and torqued
and clenched, depending on the gesture
or position you're taking. as my friend
said, "you were wearing the experience"
of being in Katrina. and it was true, we
were buffeted by strong winds, pummeled
by unforgiving rain, and wading through
waist-deep toxic our
minds, we were there and our bodies evoked
what we were thinking.

feedback from audience:
"you looked like dead souls"
"it reminded me of purgatory"
"i cried when you picked up the trashbags"
"people were wiping their eyes"
"i really felt like i was there"

so, all in all, i am pleased. we will perform
this work one more time, next friday, when
i host some events having to do with environmental
health impact of Katrina (workshop on using
Boal's theater of the oppressed techniques
to start dialogue with gente of Houston about
environmental toxics in their communities PLUS
a screening of a new doc video on Katrina
environmental damage). another busy week
coming up.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"After the Wind, Child, After the Water's Gone"

DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING - Friday, September 15th - 7pm
LOCATION: 1919 Hemphill St.


Just weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck, John Sullivan of the Sealy Center for Public Health and Medicine and Bryan Parras of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) were sent to Louisiana to meet with community leaders to find out how the National Institute for Environmental Health (NIEH) could collaborate with local groups. Their fact-finding journey took them from Baton Rouge, through Orleans, St. Bernard, Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, and to the city of New Iberia.

Their “day job,” asking about the damage sustained, the significant threat to human health in the area, and what environmental health projects are thought most important, ended with a report presented to the NIEH director’s conference in November.

However, Sullivan says, “The flood of fact and feeling we got back from our collaborators refused to stay inside the neat little box of our original purpose. From the moment we arrived in Baton Rouge we realized that the magnitude of the human and ecological damage demanded something more intimate and less formal, something grounded in fact but which also opened a window into how it really feels to live in the middle of an eco-catastrophe.”

So Sullivan and Parras took the videos of their interviews and pieced them together with music, still pictures, and color commentary from locals, into a film entitled ". . . after the wind, child, after the waters gone. . ."

Sullivan says the people in the film hope to promote “understanding and empathy with the plight of coastal Louisiana, home of so much of our energy industry infrastructure, a nexus of ongoing struggles by African-American, Houma, and Cajun communities for basic environmental, social and cultural justice, the most bountiful and endangered estuarine fishery in the Lower 48, way-station for innumerable species of migratory birds, and the cradle of so much of our national culture.”

The film will be shown on Friday, September 15th, at 1919 Hemphill Community Center, at 7pm. This screening will be open to the public with a suggested donation of $5--however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

To read John Sullivan's essay about the experience of making this documentary go here.

For more information about the film screening in Fort Worth, please call 817-924-9188 or email

SPILLWAY SONATA - Gallery Night, Saturday, September 9th in FW

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

SPILLWAY SONATA is a ritual movement work which commemorates those who suffered and survived hurricane Katrina.

This work was created by Tammy Gomez, with Natalia Dominguez and Rachel Loera, and will be performed twice on Saturday, September 9th--as part of Fall Gallery Night 2006.

SPILLWAY SONATA will be performed in the Plaza at Rose Marine Theater (1440 N. Main St.) at 6:30pm.

The work will also be performed at 8pm at Arts Fifth Avenue (1628 Fifth Avenue) in the indoor studio.

Performed to the music of avant-garde vocalist Meredith Monk, SPILLWAY SONATA is created in the style of Butoh, a Japanese dance/performance innovation which evolved in the confusion and aftermath of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Butoh is sometimes referred to as the "dance of darkness" and is often described as enigmatic and mysterious.

Tammy Gomez studied Butoh with Doranne Crable, professor of Performance Studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Crable has practiced and performed Butoh for over twenty years, and she herself was taught by Kazuo Ohno, one of the founding fathers of this unique modern dance form.

To Crable, Butoh involves "stripping away the protective masks that humans wear as performers" in order to come into the "vulnerable and gentle part of the human heart."


Gallery Night premiere

Rose Marine Theater - 6:30pm - outdoors in the Plaza
Arts Fifth Avenue - 8:00 pm - indoors in the studio

Free and open to the public.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Letter i emailed to Maria Limon, committed biciclista, writer, and activist. Great Austin compa:

Dear Maria:

I am well. Trying to get some labor done on labor day--a writer's work is never done, right?

Thanks so much for kindly sending me your Kwan Yin fotos. They are awesome: i love the color scheme and textures in each of them. Very cool....

The one of exposed roots looks so much like running water. I am SO into water right now.

Thinking of it in so many metaphorical ways.

With 3 other Chicana performers, I am co-creating a work of movement ritual to COMMEMORATE the people who suffered/survived Katrina. Water as flood, oppressor, is a deep thing (no pun intended), as we also dearly depend on water for sustenance.

I sit here and let these different tributaries of thought combine into a stream of parallel constructs. Theory as waterfall.

flood of memories
if it rains
if it rain
oh black water
chance/of rain
high waters
water, rose water
tanto lluvia
water retention
no one, not even the rain
poco de gracia
No ark
es regnet
a deep thing
running stream

Speaking of water, we got rain. Last night, all night. I just let it happen without getting attached, or celebrating too much. I just ate my dinner and continued doing my thang at home.

bliss is mellow sometimes.

TODAY is also CRITICAL MASS day, aqui en Fort Worth. Go ride your bike together with other local pedalers.

Wishing you a happy rainy bicycle path.