Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Poem #59 of 365

Multi-tasking hurriedly on the day before traveling is like

me starting a sentence that

working out a mathematical improbability

delivering a baby before time to push

making the smoking alarm go off yet again

forgetting who i dialed once the numbers are punched

and wondering if our book should have been titled HECHO EN CHAOS instead.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Nuestra Palabra Book Festival this weekend in Houston

I haven't had a Greyhound Bus experience in many a year; maybe it's about time I gave it another chance. What I have to remind myself is that, no matter the measure of unpleasantries I may have to endure just to get to this festival, it's probable that all the good times, good people I'm likely to meet with in Houston will make it all WORTHWHILE.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poem #58 of 365

Eating a lemon bar
while others finished
a 26-mile marathon

may have made me look
piggish and sluggish,

but I must suggest that
my gratified smile
and amped-up pep

--after i ate it--

was something I shared
in common with runners
in cowtown today.

(yes, i ate a lemon bar downtown
while others panted toward the finish line
in Saturday's Cowtown Marathon.)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, February 26, 2007

Poem #57 of 365

they opened their mouths
in unison and out flew

a bird launched from a bed of autumn;
a wave birthed of blood dewdrops;
a dance tapped on rain-pelted pavement;
a breeze coughed from a diseased dying lung.

their sounds permitted a story
to be told without words as

small chirps collapsed the silence;
gruff rumbles chewed up the scenery;
tonal beeps conjured machinery;
hummed voice cajoled labor and delivery.

(awed by the Academy Awards program segment
on sound design, as demo'ed by a vocal orchestra)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Poem #56 of 365

the vinyl record has traveled
in suitcases and backseats

from New York to Madison to
Fort Worth, only to be

baptised with windstorm
dust on the living room table,

and i just want to believe that
the grit in the grooves

can somehow make that music
sound even more down and dirty

than it already is.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Poem #55 of 365

An anthem played in the distance,
a Miles song heard for kilometers.

Words came to mind, a lyric of
contention subsided by redemption.

When you repeated the refrain
on the radio, I wanted to sing.

But I was driving on a bumpy torn
street, and traffic was brutal.

If honking horns could croon in
harmony, we might call it jazz.

If new anthems were played for this nation,
our legacy of war might get tuned out.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, February 23, 2007

WORD PLAY at the Jubilee Theater in FW - Monday night, 2/26/07

Check me out at the upcoming "Evening of Spoken Word", which is happening on Monday, February 26th, at Fort Worth's premiere African-American theater--the Jubilee. Downtown on Main Street, plenty of parking curbside along Main on a Monday, i would think.

I'm particularly honored to be performing at the Jubilee because, as far as i can tell, I'll be the first Chicana/Latina to be invited to do her original poetry at the Jubilee. Thanks to the innovative thinking of new artistic director, Ed Smith, we'll probably be seeing alot of new forums and art forms at the Jubilee in coming years.

So, call (817.338.4411) the theater today, make your reservation. I'm hoping we fill the venue for a rockin' good time. You must check out the other poets who are performing that night, particularly Chuck Jackson, the UTA undergrad who is making a name for himself in spoken word and slam scenes rather quickly. Expect him to blow me away with his eloquent utterances.

Oh, here's the 'official' press announcement:

Jubilee Theatre's 26th Season continues with "Word Play: An Evening of Spoken Word" for one night only on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main Street, Fort Worth.

The evening will feature the area's hottest spoken word artist/poets, including: Tammy Gomez, nationally recognized leader in Latino Literary and performing arts; Chuck Jackson, one of the hottest young poets in Texas today; Michael Guinn, 13th in the World Poetry Slam 06 and a member and co-founder of the Emmy nominated Performance Poetry Troupe "Spoken Images;" and special guests the Fort Worth National Poetry Slam Team, ranked third in the country in 2005 and 8th at the National Poetry Slam 2006.

Tickets: general admission $10, Jubilee Theatre season ticket holders $8. For information: 817-338-4411 or check this link.

Poem #54 of 365

i'm trying to be a dearie.
that means i don't need any challenges,
cuz that complicates my niceness.

[notices a moderate irritant
in her midst and suddenly turns cold, critical]

hey, stop it!

[anger escalates]

stop it, you piece of _________!

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Poem #53 of 365

the clompety-clomp of a
horse greeted my early morning
doze and i imagined the burly
officer in shirt sleeves on this
bright day, heaving his neck
in slight nuanced turns
towards this house and that,
sizing up the neighborhood
based on make and model
of cars parked in driveways;
quality and condition of paint job
on these old wooden bungalows;
and the chiseled precision of high-dollar lawns.

if i’d had more gumption i woulda
sprinted to the porch, disrobed under
the glorious warmth of today’s sun,
and mounted that horse clad only in
the forever length of my black hair.

we together would continue the
urban promenade, a 21st century
godiva whispering mythology
into the ears of a p.d. officer
wandering through the smitten city.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Poem #52 of 365

Mama is burning up her past
and it's the love that she's turned
to ashes.

- Yes, they're my letters, and i need
to get rid of them before I'm dead.

- There's 300 already burned. And
300 more left to burn, some of them
five pages long.

I hold back something as i hold the phone,
it's a lump or a tear or a throb or a word.

- They're my letters, i wrote 'em for daddy,
and he can't read 'em anymore, so nobody
else should read 'em.

- I saw him every Thursday, and every weekend,
and i still wrote to him.

Is the end of love letters the end of love? I don't
ask her, but I ask myself, recalling the bundled
and boxed things he & he & he & he once wrote to me.

In that moment, I began to hate fire & flame in my mother's hands.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poem #51 of 365

I used to skate and skid
drawing lines upon the ice
when girls could sing and
smile through wire braces

Letting go of the perimeter
wall felt as freeing as jumping
ino a volcano, airborne over
the bubbling hole.

And when I let go, I mashed
my soles into the blades,
drilling my pace into the
skate-chiseled floor.

My arms jerked and my face
contorted on its own, and it was strange
to be shaky toddler once again
with frequent smashing plummets.

But I never drew blood, angered
over my feeble feet. It was Sharon
who sliced her finger, red drops
dainty on the ice, cutting herself
with her own silver blade.

Crumpled and down for the anguish,
she laughed and cried, as I circled
her with mincing steps, absorbed
more by the round blood dots that
refused to freeze, refused to melt.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, February 19, 2007

Poem #50 of 365

i have to be strict-o-matic
that’s systematically strict
she says, pointing a punishing finger
because she had no ruler. they don’t
make them of wood for slapping.


now they send edicts and dictate
their cruelties via email

but it’s all too easy to sidestep
the culpability, feign regret,
and hit delete.

a wooden ruler left you stinging,
publicly pounded,
as crowds reverberated, huddling
to pass the word.

i miss them rulers, she finished
with a shrug employed by women her age
to draw the cape of the past higher up
onto the bones of shoulders.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Poem #49 of 365

my beautiful nights are made
of the sublime moments,
the sound moments,
when the trumpet flows through the crowd
and the air is dense with banjo.
i sing my smile to harmonize,
the hep accordion is on the rise,
and curtis he is focused plink,
plain and plink.

oh my listening soul
the ears of me so riled
and so in love
with this tone
and this tune
with this tone
in this town

and gig of songs
in the
town of sound
makes me play the keys
play the keys play the keys
the a-b-c's
with an itch to tell
to type and tell
how i fell in love
with the tone
and the tune
in this town
just now so soon

how it pleased
the little lobes when they
were drowned in the
key of rogues
of song
in a bar
a sound resound
the trumpet blow
and guitar on go

and end my beautiful night
with your special way
your special way
your special way
your special way
your wispy beard the air in your beard
the space within your beard
i see it
the back wall in your beard

[after a spectacular night of Theater Fire @ the Chat Room Pub]

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Poem #48 of 365

driving her home
from the party
she gushed with

"i have never been
served by a white
person, that was
my first time"

all she'd had was
designer water in
a wine glass and
a plastic plateful
of chic hors doerves,
but she was thrilled

"i feel like i just
read the emancipation

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, February 16, 2007

Poem #47 of 365

i removed my clothes for a juxtapose
and the camera stuck like luck no buck
anyway he liked and licked and generally
made me sick and i propose to him a rose

he sauntered to the drawing room
and the easel it screech no peach this teach
me not to pay the bill electricity overfill a pill
to swallow with water and lights out fodder

we hum like fur on the cat that purrs
and from the song we sing no words to ring
but pleased we are back of the car
to wink with stars in mouths a drink

i pay no mind and no clerk fined
and the barrister closed with hands held to nose
and he laughed with me to carve the tree the letter e
with hat in hand command all hourglass sand

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poem #46 of 365

the bar has sold to a new guy
even the cat must find a new home
they bury the mexican flag *
whistling dixie while the buffalo roam

two vatos are pouring the drinks so
now gringos have insults to sneer
i drank nearby and heard the barrage
but resisted temptation to leer

the growl in his voice was demeaning
but his neck had a pot-bellied jowl
the chilled out bartender ignored him
though i’m sure he heard every vowel

it’s annoying and wincefully painful
to hear ugliness voiced in a bar
all i wanted tonight was a pitstop to
relax with my pint of red rahr

but instead i got to hear bozos
--and that’s insulting the clown with that name--
reveal bigotry over their drinks:
so stereo-friggin’-typical lame

* beyond the vodka

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Detection of Early State Ovarian Cancer - keynote talk @ UNT Health Science Center on Thursday, Feb. 22nd

[This past weekend, I got to talk to my friend and dear compa in arts/letters, Ana Sisnett. Ana is surviving ovarian cancer at this moment in time, and it is to honor her struggle and courage that I share the following anuncio about an upcoming lecture/presentation here in FW. Please attend if you can and/or share the info with someone who might be interested. Thank you.]

David Fishman, MD, will be featured as keynote speaker in the first Distinguished Speaker presentation at the UNT Health Science Center on Thursday, Feb. 22nd in Luibel Hall of the campus of the University of North Texas - Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Dr. Fishman will present “The Detection of Early Stage Ovarian Cancer.” He is director of gynecologic oncology and the Cancer Detection and Screening Program at the New York University School of Medicine and Cancer Institute. He received his medical training at Texas Tech School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in Ob/Gyn at Yale University. He also completed a clinical fellowship at Yale in gynecologic oncology.

Registration for the event will begin at 4:30 p.m., with welcome and introductions at 5 p.m.

Dr. Fishman’s presentation will begin at 5:15 p.m., with a panel discussion to follow. Panel members include Alakananda Basu, PhD, professor of molecular biology and immunology; Lori Fischbach, PhD, MPH, UNTHSC assistant professor of epidemiology, UNTHSC School of Public Health; Salvatore LoCoco, MD, FACOG, UNTHSC assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Ray Page, DO, PhD, director of clinical research, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Texas Cancer Care; and Donna Rankin, regional director of health initiatives, Fort Worth Metro Market, American Cancer Society.

A reception will immediately follow in the Atrium.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is an ongoing series of presentations at the Health Science Center by internationally renowned scientists for intellectual and educational exchange with UNTHSC faculty and the North Texas community.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Poem #45 of 365

They clutched 99 cent things
in the dollar store, such big
spenders they were.

I grabbed two bottles of
brake fluid for 3 dollars,
and still i skid in love.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Poem #44 of 365

10 illicit confessions: in sets of 5

yeah, i ran the red lights - y que?
james, clarke wasn’t the only one.
that house on trail lake drive, that’s where it happened.
it was the one and only time i shoplifted.
i don’t like everybody all the time.

not even baptist church buses are virginal.
my carcass: your dumpster.
i know what you fear, and i’m saving it for later.
it was so palpable, my tongue lapping at your neck.
it was falling, i had no choice but to leave it.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, February 12, 2007

Poem #43 of 365

you walked the
straightest line,
steadfast and sure,
away from my door
and porch. your shoulders
unhunched, your footsteps
thorough, your head turned
straight, your heart locked

i'd never fathomed that
watching you walk away,
in that long straight line,
could tremor my flesh,
close up my throat.

you walked so
sure that you
didn't want to stay,
no longer belonging
with me.

it hurt to see you so

you could have zigzagged,
made a loopy path, turning
your head once or twice
with second thought.

but you did not, and this
insulted, left me lonely,
made me shrink.

you left my porch and
walked so directly away,
down the steps, across
the street, and up onto
another curb, someone
else's porch.

it felt like love broken
down, depressed
by the road.

but i kept watching as
you left, and allowed new
sadness to couple me.

you never looked back.

and you were only a cat.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Poem #42 of 365

i asked her to open
the shrink wrap
so i could see the book
and feel it in my hands.

its heft and weight, the new
book smell.

she obliged with a smile and
i inhaled, as i've done so many
times to mark the moment, to
make it last.

what swirled around me was
Chicano talk and Dago humor
and literary mumblings, backed
up by the softest of ranchera
melodies on Santiago's accordeon.

i accepted the book when she
held it up to me, saying 'i want to
see if they spelled my name right.'

my family in Chicano letters
surrounded me as my fingers swept
across their words: poems and other
writings by La Sandra and Tonzi and
raul and Carmen and so many others
who now walked this event, cheering
and applauding for our final release.

we are made here. we have spoken
and written aqui. aqui estamos y
no nos vamos. Latino/Chicano/Tejano
verse, lyric, rhyme, and story made
by us. Hecho En Tejas.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Poem #41 of 365

This blog sucks.
This sucks blog.
Blog this suck.
Suck this blog.
This this this.
Blog this.
Suck this.
This blog sucks.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, February 09, 2007

Poem #40 of 365

Such a generous Macarena:
she gave me bottled water
and a ride, as we made
our way to Austin in three hours
we found our mouths, sharing
stories, open wide.

She wouldn't let me pay ten dollars,
and i objected, but polite, i didn't
holler, we drank coffee, and she
had a pill to swallow.

I got dropped off in a parking lot,
and felt fine standing there, cuz
the car had been hot, and it was near
Andrea's pad or so i thought.
I was lost but refused to be overwrought.

In a minute, I found her door,
D'Mon and she gave me a little tour,
and she made me green tea which almost
spilled on the floor, it was chill to relax
and talk, both expressing to the core.

She gave me squash spicy soup in a flash,
and burned all the bread they'd bought for cash,
then offered oat straw from her sacred herbal stash,
after i watched them give Tree a welcome thrash.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Book launch of HECHO EN TEJAS -- party down in San Marcos!!

A wonderful new anthology of Tejano literature (essays, stories, poems, and song lyrics) is out now, thanks to a wonderful collaborative effort by the UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO PRESS and the SOUTHWESTERN WRITERS COLLECTION (of Texas State University in San Marcos).

My poems “On Language” and “Mexicano Antonio” (inspired by a night of dancing at the cantina formerly known as "Recuerdos de Kansas" on Hemphill Street) are included in this historic collection.

Award-winning (PEN/Hemingway and Guggenheim Fellowship) writer and raconteur, Dagoberto Gilb, took on the role of editor in this project that began in early 2006.

You can read Dago's introduction to the book, published in its entirety in a recent issue of the TEXAS OBSERVER, here.

And--you can join us at a major book launch event on Saturday, February 10th, on the TX State U. campus in San Marcos. Sandra Cisneros, raulrsalinas, Macarena Hernandez, and a slew of other Tejano lit famosos y famosas will be there for a schedule of readings, panel discussions, keynotes, and, of course, FOOD & BEER. Plus, the incredible and legendary CONJUNTO AZTLAN (they've been together since the days of the Movimiento, no lie!) will be performing for us.

For more info on the book, visit the UNM Press website.

Comments from editor Dagoberto Gilb [written in Chicano, so read on, compas!]:

A couple of years ago, I was asked by the Southwestern Writers Collection, in San Marcos, if I would be willing to edit an anthology, with its support, of Texas Mexican Literature.

HECHO EN TEJAS will be an historic publication which will include every important Mexican American writer and poet [who has lived or worked in Texas]--around 65 in total--from as far back as...well, I include Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca as the first. You will certainly recognize the rest as well, but what I am most pleased with is that even to those unfamiliar with our literary estate, and especially those outside the community itself, HECHO can be read as a story. Without having to know who any particular writer is, what will emerge is the largeness of the community as it is puzzles together--through each small piece, the land and its history, the people's sorrows and joys--what has been assimilated and what cannot be.

HECHO is a fine read. Its publication will insist on being noticed and will finally overwhelm the ignorance--and by that I would emphasize the Ignore as much as the dumb or mean or nasty connotation of the word--about raza here in Texas, the people who settled and were settled and still remain in Texas, who will soon be the largest population group in the state and region. The book will also include a page each of a singer-songwriter--from Chelo to Freddy Fender, Flaco, Santiago, Selena. HECHO EN TEJAS will be an event that will have to be covered by every newspaper and magazine in the state. My hope is that even in bookstores, etc, where the Alamo and its immigrants have been the only Texas history, this book will reclaim territory.

I am very excited about this book, and I hope you will be too. HECHO will be a book that reaches every school in Texas and almost certainly beyond. I sincerely believe this book will put an end to the passive apartheid of our literary accomplishment. The book will insist on being used by professors teaching Texas or Southwestern Literature: No longer will there be any excuse for those in power to behave unaware of the intellectual and literary power and wealth that is our community.

Mil gracias, Dagoberto Gilb

Poem #39 of 365

i live my life
at the end of the tunnel
near so many colors
to blind,
but i lack the push to
step out and out.
round walls are soothing
and that’s the tunnel
for ya.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Poem #38 of 365

The best upgrades
are forgotten tomorrow,
so arriverderci, baby,
cuz you been sidelined
for the latest model
of the updated bimbo
or himbo--as the case
may be. It's not your
fault that the manufacturer
designed you for obsolescence,
and your tetas are downward-
spiraling. Genetic predispositions
have left you human and vulnerable
and pulsing in a wasteland of big box
showroom exposition fairs of materialism.

Go ahead, get old. Go ahead, don your
aging flesh. Go ahead, and honor your
sweat, bleed your blood. History will show
you the better make, the diehard rain-resistant
model that people feel really really good to be around.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Poem #37 of 365

a hotbed of pulsing palms.
a refrigerator of cool kisses:
there is no predicting our coital climate
in this universe of body smother.

and if well-versed in anecdote
you must be, then i will
listen to your stories in the dark
as you whisper in every orifice,
so many portals to my heart.

i hum in relaxed overtones,
vibrating in my rudder
as the colors behind my eyelids
melt into the beginning of time.

every caress makes me feel purple
and when you squeeze,
an explosion of sparks liquefies
this body with nocturnal narratives.

leave no flesh untouched while my hair
climbs your chest and shoulders
as a vine, and the forgotten sheets
twist in braids hot as challah.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Job opening at Poetry Foundation

Cool job up in freezing Chi-town, for those with poetry backgrounds and editorial inclinations. Thanks to Bronmin Shumway for sending this notice along.

Oh, hurry, cuz the deadline's coming up FAST!!

Associate Editor wanted for POETRY magazine, the "oldest magazine devoted to verse in the English-speaking world."
More info here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Poem #36 of 365

wigged and inauthentic
she fouled the room
with obscenities
equal to her reek.

she is prom princess
white and ill-advised
with racist costume
for Celebrate Black History week.

(in consideration of diversity celebrations
at Highland Park HS in 2006)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Poem #35 of 365

The translucent bubbles
in my bottle
wear precise corners
and the
smooth facets of a
precious jewel.

But never will i drink
those diadem geometries,
never shall porter diamonds
drizzle down my throat,
gems of diaphanous thirst.

But wait---my mind changes.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Poem #34 of 365

i am ohm-ing
in the ohm-ent
and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

we wonder why the newsman
is so penile
and wraparound vanilla plain revile
and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

you are shlepping in
the vain grey daytime
with a brain jackhammer on surge wine
and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

she be chumming bonedaddys on
the cell phone
with a lollipop face on a brain drone
and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

he like tricking razorblades on
his wet tongue
he has to swallow harmonies sullen unsung
and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

and the clock
waits on the
drying of the cement.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, February 02, 2007

Poem #33 of 365

mama, say Abdullah
don't be sloppy
with his name
it's not abdoo--
that is just not the same,

mama, stop slurring
calling asians like
they're rugs
they aren't oriental--
uh, are you on drugs?

mama, don't say the
n word unless you
ready for consequences
it's time we made some
bridges instead of
building fences

mama, say a different word
and substitute a few
extra others
cuz old-time thinking
makes your mouth so crude:
you talking 'bout MY brothers.

so, mama, if you choose to
speak with those hurtin words,
please do so at least 10 steps
from me
cuz i won't be debited for your
and though they say the apple
never falls far from the tree,
this piece of rebel fruit
proclaims RESPECT
can help begin
to set all people free.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Poem #32 of 365

Snort with impunity
sneeze effervescently,
we all have allergies
either that or a cold.

We wheeze like great windfalls
and cough like choking payphones
we must be sucking on luden's
either that or a brandy.

All the snotty people are dreadfully breathing
and rubbing their nose holes with zest
we cling to our soggy old hanky
and new tissues all ready to go.

We compete like flutes in the band hall
tooting and honking like woodwinds
but our windpipes could use a deep cleaning
or a visit to that old windbag, the doctor.

(i'm deeply congested and phlegmy this week)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez