Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poem #151 of 365

i have peaches
on two trees
hanging thick

eat the peaches
on two trees
juicy sweet

up the peaches
from the ground
fallen down

hot the peaches
in the dish
swallow up

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beautiful B.I.K.E. ride tonight - yep it was!

About 50 folks came out to Hemphill 1919 for a group ride to our movie-screening site. We rode from South of downtown to Northwest of downtown and it felt like nothing, no effort, little exertion, no time, no sweat. Why? Cuz it was with a group of laidback though hard-peddling youngsters, midsters, and oldskoolsters on an assortment of two-wheeled conveyances that made us look like a night-time circus act. Some mutant bikes were definitely in the mix. I love those tall bikes, and watching the smooth dismounts from those elevated seats, well, it's pretty cool. I think only one person skidded out, but that was only a minor mishap.

The film itself (B.I.K.E. -- the documentary about subterranean bike culture in NYC, Minneapolis, and other places, was provocative and lively, with plenty of tall bike jousting sequences--if you're into that kind of thing) was projected onto the exterior wall of a FW studio art building (Studio 817) and we all sat outside popping open our carefully-packed bottles and cans for relaxing consumption. When the night clouds pulled back like theater curtains, you could see the full-ish blue moon (yep, it's officially full tomorrow, but it's blue right now, if you know what that means) peeking out for a shine over the top of the building.

Eventually, the lightning chimed in for its equally-inspiring display which competed with the film for our attention. Some folks peeled off to head home (Denton people came out for this, dudes!) before any rain could sour the proceedings, but at least 20 of us stuck it out 'til the end. Then, we quickly unplugged, coiled up the cables and cords, packed up the stuff we'd brought with, and climbed back on our steeds to outrun the storm. It never came: the rain, the hail, the winds. Nothing like that impeded our flow, and neither did the motorists who had thinned out on the roads by midnight, and we seemed to have Henderson to ourselves. There is care and concern when you ride in a group, and we made sure we got home in one piece.

Thanks to Ramz and Trae and all the other individuals who worked collectively to organize this mad rad monthly bike ride.

Stay tuned for info on the next. !Hasta la proxima!

Poem #150 of 365

Daddy, I can't remember having
a beer with you, once you were
blind and I was finally legal.

Did we forget that we could bond
in celebration as easily as we did
in pain and suffering?

Daddy, I would have gladly paid
for the beers and opened them
up, letting the caps clatter so
you could count up the bottles.

I cannot remember ever laughing
and tipsy, sharing a joke or
whistling bad songs, once the
tumor had taken its toll.

But I do recall as a kid,
sitting in the baby blue Impala
on a Friday night, waiting for
mama to finish in the store.

She was smart to not let you drive,
because you had had way too much
of those beers after work. And she
was buying groceries as you sat
shotgun in the car, hiccuping and
hiccuping without much of a pause.

We thought it was so funny, me and
Miranda, when you numbered
your hiccups out loud, and the whole Impala
was a big counting shout with giggles
and our heads tossed about.

But mama was not thrilled
by your hiccup performance,
she clamped us shut
all quiet for the drive home.

And you tried to stifle your hiccups
but every one or so out of five
exceeded the limit on volume
she'd newly-imposed, and we'd giggle
under cupped little girl hands.

These days there is one bottle
I buy yearly for you, my painstaking
hunt some times yields just one
quart. A Schlitz just for you,
just like you once liked, I place it
atop the day of the dead altar
I build in October. The one you
really liked. The beer that made
my daddy famous.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

MY FORT WORTH: Bike to the Movies - Wednesday, May 30th

Join the mad hot biciclistas of cowtown (the 817, tejas, man) on Wednesday evening for a cool (and maybe wet) ride on two-wheels together. We meet up at 9ish pm at 1919 Hemphill and push off as one at 9:30pm. The word has been sent out about this to the hinterlands of Denton & Dallas, so we might have some new friends along for the ride. Our destination is a surprise location for an outdoors film screening party; the film for the night is B.I.K.E.

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL! See ya manana en la noche!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Poem #149 of 365

There's a foot traffic jam
on Everest today, because
summer climbing season
starts in May, and the
life-risking pedestrians
from all over the world
show up for an extreme
vertical hike.

I am younger than the eldest to
accomplish this summit, as I am
also older than the youngest to
reach the same.

If I climbed it myself, what would
be my claim to fame?

The first left-handed, bilingual Tejana poet with scoliosis?
The first Buddhist Texan with a college education?
The shortest adult female from Fort Worth?

I dunno, but I feel myself drawn
to this highest of heights
and start budgeting in
my head for the gear and the fees.
One day I may again find myself
in the kingdom of that
magical mountain,
Everest, Sagarmatha.

Once more, I will sip the hot
lemon drink, once more get lost
in the evening fog, once again
fall in love with the sherpas,
and weep at the sight of the sites.

I wanna get high, at least a little bit high,
in the mountains again.

(Missing Nepal and giving kudos to Samantha Larson, who at just 18 years of age recently became the youngest American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, May 28, 2007

Poem #148 of 365

Someone should really
stop Miguel from
playing disc golf

in those black stretch
pants i painted with
skeleton bones

for him to wear
exclusively, mind you
for that dia de los muertos

wacky performance
we staged at metrognome
last november

but Miguel, actually
should stop himself and
cover his ass with

something less clingy
and revealing when
he's flinging discs

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poem #147 of 365

there are a few people i'd like to:

throw pickles at

give my money to

share a boxcar with

teach to throat sing

make films with

cook soup for

invite to penny springs

send to sing sing

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Poem #146 of 365

damn sentimental
you cannot write
about anything

without throwing
emotion and feelings
all up in it

it complicates the
themes and the page
when you weep

why don't you
suck it all in
just like them

you tear-eyed fool

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, May 25, 2007

"An Idiot Divine" in Cowtown this weekend (May 24-26)

Herb Levy--experimental & new music fan and founder of an org that produces shows of such music--is hosting yet another avant-garde artist: this time a 2007 Pulitzer Prize nominee.

From Herb's emailed announcement:

"I'm bringing Rinde Eckert, a great singer & performer, to Fort Worth for a three-night run of "An Idiot Divine", a concert length performance of two solo music-theater pieces: Dry Land Divine & Idiot Variations. The show is really wonderful, I've appended a quote from a NY Times review below that describes it better than I could. I hope that you'll come to see the performance. And please forward this to anyone you think may be interested."

Rinde was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for his play Orpheus X) and is also a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow for music composition. He's performed his own work throughout North America, Europe and Japan; he's also collaborated with many composers, musicians, and choreographers including Paul Dresher, Bill Frisell, Jerry Granelli, Margaret Jenkins, Steven Mackey, Sarah Shelton Mann, and John Oliver.

An Idiot Divine runs at 8pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 24-26 in the Sanders Theater of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (the old Modern). Tickets are $20/$15 for seniors/students.

If you have questions, or wish to make reservations, you can e-mail Herb Levy at:
By the way, Herb's new organization is OTHER ARTS. Herb tells me that he will be producing a full year of concerts and shows starting in the fall of 2007. A new website is forthcoming...

Here's a photo of Herb (with Carol) at the Fellini birthday party earlier this year. (Uh, that's your typical wood faun lurking in the background.) Hosted by Don Young (of the wildly popular Fellini film festival (2006) AND the Fort Worth Prairie Fests), this celebration of all things Fellini featured a costume contest. Yep, Herb and his lady Carol won--this year.

That night, Herb slapped a slammin' 2-disc "mix tape" cd into my hand. It was the best thing you'd never hear on the radio. From Gang of 4 and John Zorn to Four Tet and Caetano Veloso, these songs were savory and unique. Move over, Paul Slavens. Herb Levy's the guy for 90.1 at Night--if you ask me. At least Paul and Herb could host on alternate Sundays, right? I go dreamin'......

Okay, the recommended show for this weekend:

"An Idiot Divine"
Friday & Saturday, May 25-26
Sanders Theater (at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center--y'know, the old Modern) Tickets are $20/$15 for seniors/students.

For more information on Rinde, you can check his website here.

_________________ critic's notes _________________________

Ben Brantley of the New York Times, on "An Idiot Divine":

"The line between man and music curves, squiggles, blurs and dissolves in 'An Idiot Divine,' Rinde Eckert's inspired set of performance pieces. Eckert is an instinctive showman who preens his considerable skills with contagious enjoyment. The idea of an instrument as something that is passively played upon takes on a swirl of shades of meaning: mechanical, cosmic, anatomical and psychological. Therein lies the essential premise and the great joy of Mr. Eckert's work. The music is everywhere, just waiting to be tapped, with results that may be beautiful or ungainly. This remarkable performer has the humility to acknowledge his own human awkwardness as well as his divine grace. How indeed, Mr. Eckert seems to be asking with equal parts earnestness and irony, do you separate the singer from the song?"

The New Yorker Magazine on "An Idiot Divine":

"With an assortment of musical instruments and his otherworldly voice, Rinde Eckert channels two 'edjits'. The first is a murderer doing time in prison, who teaches himself how to play the accordion and dowse for water. The second is harder to pin down: he speaks with a brogue, dresses like an Indian guru, plays a horn, a guitar, and various bells and whistles beautifully, and discourses amusingly on the individual personalities of his five fingers. With these talents, and his ability to perform one-man duets, Eckert elevates incoherence to a poignant clarity."

Poem #145 of 365

I never thought you'd say that.
The soggy thing with no bones,
only vowels. When you looked
twice away, I knew you had some
doubt, needed to spit, find your

Don't worry, I've forgiven you since.
And other soggy things have been
flung my way. No matter, I dodge
and I duck, or else carry a rag to
wipe away the soot of the smear.

But one day, all of yous will find
that your teeth have gone soft
and the jaws of your mouth
have clamped tightly shut, for the slurs
that you spoke that cut to my bones
have eaten you from the inside to out.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Poem #144 of 365

In the distance I
saw 4 young elephants

They passed the hill
to walk towards me

Their skin was blue
painted ever so lightly

I wondered who, what painter
could have reached so high

They had followed my footprints
and could smell my scent

I watched to see what
they might do next

My tent was anchored
in the deep hot sand

They would be welcomed
if they came as friends

When they spoke it shocked me
I never knew that

4 young elephants
could speak with grace:

We are four young wishes
we must grant to you.

I did not believe them
it seemed untrue

I want it to rain then,
demanded I

With a laugh I waited
for nothing to change

Instead the clouds broke
upon my head

I dashed for cover
for 40 days

The sand became mud
and my tent was soaked

I looked at the elephants
only three were there

It was all too much
The rain was a plague

The three who were left
stood stoic and blue

And reminded me of
three wishes to make

I wished it to stop
for all rains to stop

Impatient was I for
my tent to be dry

And before I could blink
I saw two elephants now

The one who just vanished
left drought in his wake

The land became dust
and I shriveled with it

The sun did its part
to parch us with heat

I hungered for drink
and wanted the rain

But recalled my luck
the first time that I wished

With caution I spoke
no fool would I be

My words would be chosen
with prudence and thought

For wishes last long
and can turn out all wrong

If one does not pause
with internal debate

And so when I spoke
it was careful and slow

I said make things go
the way of before

I want life the same
as before you came

My wish is for things to
be the same and for nothing

for nothing ever to change

And for my last wish
the final elephant blue:

I want you to leave
just vanish and go

I wish to never see
another elephant like you

And so, just like that
no blue elephants now

The landscape is vast
but those wishes are gone

and things are the same
no river, no rain, no
drought and no plague

but instead of relief and joy
my mind is clogged and vague

for i have killed a species
because i thought it easier
to not have to think of
the consequences of my choices

I’m drunk with prayer
and yet change won’t come
and yet nothing
no change at all

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Poem #143 of 365

We flirt with the sharpest things, our knives
and our blades to clean and to cut, to
trim up our trails.

We bleed with the thickest blood, our pulse
in red suds to drip and to surge, to
clog up our towels.

We swim in the deepest sea, our fins
and our gills to breathe and to dive, to
float up our tears.

We read in the darkest room, our words
and our books to think and to grow, to
pile up our truths.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jason Eklund and Kevin Hayes--tonight @ 7th Haven in FW

These guys start jammin in a coupla hours. And I have to work tonight--waaa--so i can't be there early, if at all.

They’ll be playing at 7th Haven on Crockett Street – down 7th Street to Currie (west of Montgomery Plaza – turn south to Crockett, turn west – next to the dead Black Dog).

Tuesday, May 22nd - 8:00 PM
No cover (free & open to the public)
7th Haven
2929 Crockett St - Fort Worth

Tonight's show is a casual thing, Kevin Hayes (Old Crow Medicine Show) trading sets with Jason at the 7th Haven.

Here's the myspace places where you can sample audio files of Jason Eklund's music and Kevin with the Old Crow Medicine Show.

Jason and I have known each other for a number of years. Met through poets Kell Robertson and Kendall McCook, who did hard-time with me @ the Hop in the days of "The Miracle on Berry Street." The three of us keep crossing paths, either here in North Texas or in Albuquerque (or "I'll be quirky" as Jason likes to call it), Santa Fe or Taos or Kell's tiny shack on Refugee Ridge up off the Turquoise Trail. I love the Turquoise Trail. That's the back highway btwn. Santa Fe and ABQ that you can take if you are into--and I am--hilly, winding roads and ole sleepy former mining towns where you can buy good but cheap turquoise jewelry and find a place that sells organic coffee and somebody serving it to you who remembers when Bob Dylan used to have a house there in Madrid (and they say it like MAD-rid, not like the Spanish do). Me and a coupla different boyfriends used to drive up in my blue Mazda B2000 pickup truck and just pull off the Turquoise Trail, hidden behind some brush or patch of trees, and just sleep in the bed of the truck with the New Mexico sky for a roof. I swear, everytime I tossed or turned for a comfortable position--and that's often when you're lying in a truck--I would open my eyes and catch a falling star in my momentary glimpse. Ah, those were some beautiful times...

Well, I feel lucky that these renegade troubadour types have taken a liking to me--and my poems. So much so that I stay on their radar when they're passing through town and wanna share a beer with a working class Chicana like me. Kell Robertson is getting up there in years, and Kendall McCook has been scheming for a way to get a documentary film produced for and about Kell's crazy beat poet life. This is one of my favorite photos ever taken of Kell.

I happened to be in New Mexico when they threw a big party for Kell's birthday at the Mine Shaft in Cerrillos. People drove in from different villages in the region and there was a great hoedown; Kell even sang and boot-scooted with several pretty young ladies in the bar. He turned me down when I asked him to dance; he's a persnickety codger, and I acccept that all right. But he always calls me "dahr--lin." No matter what.

Well, anyway, tomorrow Jason and Kevin are gonna come by my porch to videotape me for the documentary film they've decided to start on their own--funding or not. I'll read from some of the letters that Kell has sent me over the years, and I'll get to share a poem I wrote for him, and whatever else I can think to say. Maybe I'll talk about the Christmas day I spent at his house here in Fairmount--when he lived in Fort Worth. Kell was drunk, no surprise, but on beet wine--of all things. Tasty stuff, but it could stain your clothes forever. He was crooning some old Vicente Fernandez rancheras in the hallway, pacing back and forth in the cowboy boots he seems to wear 24-7, with the oven door open cuz that was the only source of heat in the house that winter. My new boyfriend--at the time--seemed amazed that I could be friends with an old grizzly like Kell. Let nothing surprise you.

Jason and Kevin will be out on Refugee Ridge, taping video of/with Kell by Thursday. No doubt, there will be cases of beer and songs aplenty involved.

About my old buddy Kell: He "has been a rodeo cowboy, a country & western singer, and is the first man on a horse to get killed off in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. He has always been a poet."

Here's a link to more info about Kell Robertson.

Poem #142 of 365

Dress Obama in a Scottish kilt,
give Hillary a Oaxacan huipil,
tell McCain to sport a dashiki,
put Giuliani in a long black burka,

and make them soak together in a melting pot,
or drop them at a border checkpoint without papers,
or have them work a convenience store graveyard shift in the meanest hood in D.C.,
or embed them with students fighting it out with the TAKS test,
or put them in a hospital without medical insurance,
or lodge them in West Bank, post-Katrina New Orleans,
or simply let them get LOST in the REAL WORLD u.s.a.

for the most bad-ass intruiging reality tv show.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, May 21, 2007

Poem #141 of 365

Karen, you pushed on me
and dug into my shoulders,
pulled my hair in thick tufts
between your fists, and it
was the most beautiful
cathartic full-contact fight.

I surrendered completely to
your masterful cues, crouching
in the child's pose and rising
for other salutes to my suffering
physique. Every word spoken
touched something, shifted soft
tissue, and I confessed my short
comings with long moaning breaths.

You analyzed the problem in
the soma and told me to get out
of my head and revisit my body
at least once in a while.

Yes, too, you determined that I
have been pushing too long
and too hard, for ambition is the
car that we think we must drive.

And Judy was there, watching and
laughing, at some point when she
teased, I yelled to shut up. Karen
could tell this was part of my purging,
and both of these women tolerated
me total.

Oh, now I am stretched out in relief.
Blessed breath, elongated wisdom.
Thank you poet-muses, Karen & Judy,
merciful, merciful friends.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Poem #140 of 365

Jarid, I blame you for the headache,
if someone must be at fault,
for I sat and lay in bed reading
your manuscript at 5am today.

I got it from Greg yesterday
and didn't think I'd take the time
to get my eyes up in the book
because I've been so tired lately.

Yet, I woke up so early feeling good,
but didn't want to get dressed, so I
reached for GP and devoured it for
two hours straight.

I recall the various positions in bed. I shifted
with the book in hand to stay comfortable,
on my belly, on my back, sitting up,
but something locked in my neck.

And yet, I couldn't pull away, your story
answered questions and brought others,
so I flipped and turned here and there
to learn about you more.

And, too late, the pain started rising,
in my shoulders and my neck, so tight
and stiffened with contortions
was my body in reading repose.

When the headache came full force,
I cussed my curiosity and my
lascivious reading tenacity and
pressed my temples and walked
the floors, trying to come back
to my senses, get away from the pain.

I never recovered that day or night, though
I had brief spells of rest and latent ache. And
now I fear to resume the read, and Greg
thinks me superstitious, although I beg
to differ.

Lastly, I want to offer a back cover blurb:
"Reading this book gave me the worst
headache of this century, and it was
worth the pain."

Someone, though, please tell me how
it ends.

(Jarid Manos' GHETTO PLAINSMAN is due to be published sometime in 2007.)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Poem #139 of 365

Jason, you have no idea, but you appeared
on the plasma screen the other night
at the library. I was walking towards you
and marveling at how much you resemble
John Wayne.

The black-and-white film, some old war
classic, showed the chiseled and slim
youngish Wayne. The sound was turned
down so it was easy to imagine your voice
dubbed in with that face.

Of course, I had never considered this ever
before. Your uncannily similar looks. And it
was not lost on me that this was about as
close to being like John Wayne that you could
ever possibly be.

I think you are a different kind of Americana
hero, a rambling potluck of a man. You can
sniff out the fake from the real, yet the gold
is not what makes you rich--it's your musical
barefoot soul and the way you magically keep
the gas tank full enough to careen you towards
the next rollicking roadhouse on the odometer
of your lifelong national tour.

And that, my friend, takes true grit.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, May 18, 2007

Poem #138 of 365

I dream of bathing
in dimes, shiny
and cold, in summer
heat, buried in coins.

The monetary value
is not what I crave,
nor to lap at luxury
to pose or impress.

Instead, it's the din
of thin dimes crashing
in waves, smooth metal
on flesh, the sensual surge.

Perhaps too a cure for
arthritis, to swim in 10 cents,
and to waste not the water
for rinses and soaks.

To feel all the metal
abrading my skin and
sleeking me smooth
as a shimmery snake
or a moonlit miser.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tammy Gomez - at Paperbacks Plus on Sunday @ 7pm in Dallas

Come check me out--I'll be reading some pieces from my '365 poems' series, as well as a coupla experimental musical poems. Who knows what persona, what costumes I shall don that evening........? See ya!

WordSpace and Paperbacks Plus are proud to sponsor:

An ongoing series of poetry readings
on the 3rd Sunday of every month
at 7:00 p.m.
at Paperbacks Plus
6115 La Vista Drive, Dallas, TX, 75214 (in the groovy Lakewood neighborhood)

Hosted by punk poet yogini Karen X !!

THIS SUNDAY, May 20: Tammy Gomez & Kymberly Keeton (aka Black Coffee)

Tammy Gomez is an award-winning poet and performer, whose poetry and essays have been anthologized in collections including Terra Firma, Conjunctions (Bard College, NY), Cantos al Sexto Sol (Wings Press), and Hecho en Tejas (University of New Mexico Press).

Kymberly Keeton (aka Black Coffee) is a poet, playwright and visual artist. She is a Ph. D candidate at the University of Houston, where she is also artist-in-residence.


!!! Carpool from Fort Worth, you loveable monsters of art, music, & literatura !!!

Read more info at this here place.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poem #137 of 365

After he handed me my glass
and I leaned down to thank him,

he took hold of my head
and softly whispered to me:

never, never say thank
you to me again

and I remembered that gifts
don't need a please and a gracias

it's the joy that you show
when the giving is done

that is plenty the gratitude shown.

In other cultures, it is not
mandated of children that they
speak proprieties on cue,
their expressions are fresh,

unrehearsed, the pleasure
of petals in a spring rain.

So, of course, I shall never again
thank him with socially-scripted stiff words

instead I will smile, squeeze his
hand, and disappear in the crowd.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Poem #136 of 365

Pretend my face is a stop sign.
Take a good look and wait.

Hesitate before you pass me,
weigh all options before you go.

In a flash, you speed off,
and you never look back.

Too busy to miss you,
I'm stopping others in their tracks.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Poem #135 of 365

One at a time I face them
with love, feel where they're at,
nod while they speak.

It is lunchtime on campus
and the boys and girls
go searching for food
for their minds and
their mouths.

They approach our table
which is set to entice, and they
nibble at pamphlets and
cards, information for free.

I try not to leap, but am eager
to greet and hold conversations,
treat them as adults,
young as they are.

When I say 'recruit' they
recoil and step back, as if
sprayed with hot water
until I explain, speak softly
and slow.

No way, no way, many kids
declare. I'm not going to join, won't
fight in a war. I say, I'll do what
I can to show you some options,
you don't have to dress as a soldier
to get money for school.

And so then they relax, and bring
their steps closer, and tell me their
stories and open their hands. I'm
hoping they make the best choice
for their lives.

(tabling with Peaceful Vocations at one of 13 high school campuses in the FWISD)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, May 14, 2007

DTC's Daverse Lounge presents SPEAKOUT on Saturday, May 19

The show is free!! I just got an email from Dana Tanner yesterday, and she confirmed this.

You can try emailing for more info at:,
or check the Daverse Lounge website at:

Call for submissions: TEXAS BOUND - deadline fast approaches!

Background: Texas Bound is part of Arts & Letters Live, the literary and performing arts series founded in 1992 and presented by the Dallas Museum of Art. (You may think of this as the North Texas version of "NPR's Selected Shorts" program.)

Here's the blurb I received a week or so ago:

Texas Bound features readings by Texas actors of short fiction by Texas-connected authors. Notable authors featured in past programs include Sarah Bird, Oscar Casares, John Bloom, Larry L. King, Steve Martin, Sandra Cisneros, Shelby Hearon, John Graves, Larry McMurtry, and Tim O’Brien. Well-known actors participating in Texas Bound have included Tommy Lee Jones, Kathy Bates, Marcia Gay Harden, Larry Hagman, and Doris Roberts.

Texas Bound has published three anthologies and four audiocassettes; to order books and tapes, call 214-922-1256. We encourage authors to become familiar with stories featured on the audiocassettes and in the anthologies in order to gain a broader sense of the series.

Texas Bound programs take place on four evenings in Dallas and one in Fort Worth during Arts & Letters Live’s programming season (January through May). There are two performances each evening, and the average attendance for each evening is 700–800 people. Typically three or four stories are read at each performance. The audience is warm and supportive and open to some challenging material. Texas Bound presents a range of fiction, from lighthearted and comic stories to dramatic narratives.

Submissions should meet these specifications:

• Short fiction on any theme written by an author who has lived in Texas OR short fiction with a Texas setting, subject, character, or theme

• Reads aloud well to an audience

• Represent your best work; no more than 2 submissions per author

• Previously published stories are accepted as well as those not yet published (if published, please note source where story originally appeared)

• Excerpts from novels will be considered as long as the author specifies an excerpt with a clear beginning, middle, and end

• 2,000–5,000 words in length

• Submissions should be in a 12-point font, double-spaced, with numbered pages throughout

• Four-hole punched copies of each story, bound with paperclips

• Include your mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number

Selection process and compensation:

Submissions will be considered over the summer. Emails confirming receipt of manuscripts will be sent. Manuscripts will not be returned. A representative from the series will contact you if your story is chosen for the 2008 Texas Bound program; no other notifications will be sent. Authors whose submissions are selected will receive a $150 honorarium, complimentary tickets to the reading, and an invitation to dinner with the actors following the program.

Deadline: May 18, 2007

Mail submissions to: Texas Bound Call for Stories, Arts & Letters Live, Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201.

Poem #134 of 365

Were you an engineer in your home country,
land of your birth,
or a physician or lawyer,
an architect maybe?

You deftly swivel your palms
this way and that,
beneath my hood
in the middle of morn.

I hear you in Arabic when
you trade clues with Abdul,
assessing my problems
and determined to solve.

I think you said Nigeria,
but definitely Africa, though
I could be wrong, I try not
to stare at your stunning black face.

Washed up and dressed for
dinner at eight, would you
wave away wine
and the pork and my gall?

Would you open up your vast
past life to me til the waiter
says go, or would you bore
me with talk of the trade?

(with respect for my mechanic's assistant, who shall go unnamed)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Poem #133 of 365

I will FedEx my love to you
in a box of rich fudge
bowtied with red leather
and satin stars.

I will email my heart to you
in a message of swoons
attached with pdfs of
kisses and hugs.

I will airlift my devotion to you
in a basket of love letters
drizzled with champagne of
Paris, France.

I will erase this love poem to you
for it is cheezy and unerotic, and
must soon be replaced by the
silent profound embrace I'll share
with you til dawn.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Poem #132 of 365

I spotted a bear in the adjacent garden
and left the wedding plans to the pros.

In Europe, I sought pastries and passed
some women in bridal gowns head-butting
their wedding cakes.

My man was lost in a funhouse, his sobbing
and sadness reflected in the mirrors, and when
I arrived at his side to embrace him, he smiled
when he saw me and me and me and me.

And yet the inevitable walking away, inevitable
as dawn.

Looking for bears, perhaps, only to run scared
when they pursue.

(translated from the language of dreams)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, May 11, 2007

Poem #131 of 365

feo foe
feo foe
you know when you know
feo foe

(to all my ugly enemies.....hehehehehe)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Poem #130 of 365

there are no bones on this map
not even the dead have a bed,
we've paved it with concrete and tar
and not even the birds can peck
sustenance now. it is all sealed up like
a contract, with expiration for all
guaranteed, and though this map
has no bones or veins now, i believe
it is certain we'll bleed.

that is how we will suffocate
on a planet shrink-wrapped
with the asphalt of greed.

and the stars will glisten on
and the stars will glisten on

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Poem #129 of 365

Run over there with this clothespin
and clamp that snoring mouth shut,
'cause he's bound to wake the baby,
and I won't, will not have that tonight.

So then drag the red wagon
up near to his bed, before
the milkman comes to
clatter the porch, and roll his
whole body down into the wagon
and pull him quick through the
gate to the yard, where the
clotheslines are hanging back there.

And take hold of his collar
and both of his liquor-soaked
legs, and hoist him high up
over the lines, and use more pins
and the rope if you must.

O, this is pitiful tonight.

I can just see the birds all
flying down on him, 'til that
first whiff of his stinky
drunk's breath. But just so he
don't get hurt, if he happens
to fall, take some pillows to
throw down beneath.

And honey, we don't mean
to mock him a fool any
more than he made
of himself on his own.

And we can't be worrying
about the neighbors neither,
so go do what I asked and
please don't you cry,
'cause your drunk daddy right now
must be hung out to dry.

Your daddy must be hung out to dry.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Poem #128 of 365

Precisely, she voiced the songs
she'd heard in her dreams,
the yodeling songs of the hills.

A sheep-herding little lass,
that's what she dreamt she was.

A Heidi with black hair,
sleeping a new quiet life,
with a concomitant suitable song.

Yo, the lady.
Yo, the lady.

In a soft bonnet and laced
up dress, she was the picture
of childhood innocence.

And the latest, last thing
I would expect to hear is
the sound of the Amber alert.

Another girl done gone.
Another young lady laid out.
Yo, the lady.

Just keep to the mountains,
and watch for the wolves,
reminds the Heidi girl.

Stay hidden in the hills,
don't even come down for
supper, don't sing
for nuthin' or they'll hear
where to find you.

And unlace your sweet vest
and pull up your skirt,
as the bell tolls and
highway signs announce
another Amber alert.

Yo, the lady.

No, we don't laugh.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Monday, May 07, 2007

Poem #127 of 365

There was no witness for me, and
no one to vouch for the scorpion either.

And so a year passed.

The next June in Mexico, I stood
in that house. In the big room.
With my same blue duffel as the summer before.

We had gathered, arriving from various states,
so many excitable women. Hugs and hellos all around.

To reach for my bag, I stepped past Lorna.
And, along the zipper that spanned its length,
there was the scorpion. Same color and
size as before.

A series of screams, but my mouth stayed closed.

It was that same scorpion, or so I believed.
Come back to greet me.

This year, everyone saw it, and regretted
their doubt.

Its body, smashed and inert, was placed
on a plate.

We'll never forget.
To check our shoes and
to better believe.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Poem #126 of 365

This poem is 2 coats of paint on the outside of this house.
This poem is a scrumptious lunch with the veggies in the crisper.
This poem is 5 letters, 74 emails, and 2 bulletins to post.
This poem is several overdue lunches with close friends I miss.
This poem is a visit to my daddy's grave.
This poem is a trip to AutoZone for yet another thing my car needs.
This poem is a stack of unopened gift cds that I want to hear.
This poem is a pile of films that Ramsey has lent me, don't know when I'll watch them.
This poem is the lapse in attention to my other blog.
This poem is the jewelry I neglect to polish with the silver cleaner I bought last year.
This poem is the unweeded rainforest in my backyard.
This poem is the unkept solemn promise to exercise outside.
This poem is the half-read pile of books next to my bed.
This poem is the laundry basket heaping in the corner.
This poem is the sleep I deny myself.
This poem is the poem I write instead of doing anything

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Poem #125 of 365

I clutch my pain as a thief
in grief when the sound alarm
brings security to everything
and everyone but him.

Even my hands cannot hold
my arms as the aching burn
escalates with rage.

You may think that swollen
muscles are sexy, and it may
be hot when they are plumped.

But I am tightly wound like
wood around a tiny pencil point
and there is no happy way
to write this down.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Friday, May 04, 2007

Poem #124 of 365

I told my students that we
would be playing loteria,
Mexican bingo, to celebrate
Cinco de Mayo.

One of the brighter kids,
and by that I mean amped,
quickly spoke up: "I don't
speak Spanish." Fine, I replied,
this game can help you learn
some Spanish, but you can
speak English too.

Right away back at me: "I don't
speak English either." Perfect
diction, unaccented.

Well, that's cool, I continued,
whatever language you're speaking
is fine with me.

Seemingly satisfied, he smiled,

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Poem #123 of 365

I've been so tired that I cannot
manage my mouth at the
brim of nightfall.

At the front desk, at the library,
I told Dana she could go up to
check the 4th floor while I
stayed available to help some
students "troubleshit".

I could see her doubling over
in the hallway, laughing her
head off while my hand was
slapped over my mouth in

Normally, I can self-censor
pretty well on the clock, but
tonight I just couldn't fucking
manage to keep my shit together.

Godammit, I need some sleep.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Poem #122 of 365

A broken tree,
2 stalled white cars,
a soaked kitchen floor---a few features of
the high-wind storm that hit tonight.

A glistening street,
some sizzles of lightning,
a swath of white cloud---a few things I
notice on the way home.

A clearing night,
a walk with my brother,
laughing in the middle of the street---a few ways
to find a good ending to this long & stormy day.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Poem #121 of 365

"Indonesia", one student calls out.
Another tries to say "Brunei Darussalam",
but ends up spelling it out. I've asked
60 young people to look at their shirt
labels, they are twisting about and
squirming to read.

"Japan" and "China" don't surprise me,
but "Columbia" and "Brazil" do.
Nice to know that a kid's clothes can
easily show them that they are connected
to the rest of the world.

I ask them why their clothes are mostly
made in other places. They give me answers
that are guesses, and I choose not to pontificate.
"Slave labor" and "sweatshop" are not words
I want to use so early on this morning.

Instead I point to my own shirt--made in
Thailand--and indicate the three words
prominently displayed on the front:
"Hecho en Tejas". "Made" "in" "Texas".

I ask the students if they were "made in Texas" too,
or are they from here. Quickly I throw in,
"if you got here even just yesterday, you
can still be called a Texan, at least that's
what I believe." All hands shoot up--we're
all Hecho en Tejas, even though it seems
that our clothes are not.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez