Friday, February 29, 2008

Some of my upcoming public performances

Just wanted to let you know when you might be able to see/hear/read me in the next few months.

(As I have broken my foot and am in the recovery process, I'm not getting out too much beyond scheduled performance commitments.)

Thanks, as always, for your support of and interest in my work!


FEBRUARY 25 - 8pm - I'll be performing a set of spoken word (and a few poems accompanied by The Shortest Distance a.k.a. Ramsey Sprague) - 1919 Hemphill, FW, TX (in conjunction with the RNC Welcoming Committee Resistance Workshop.


MARCH 1 - all day - I'll be facilitating the "VALUES session" at the TEXAS COMMUNITY MEDIA SUMMIT - Texas Union Building on-campus at the University of Texas at Austin - free and open to all (especially if you're into creating grassroots media) !


MARCH 1 - my article "For the Love of Bicycles--One Poet and Playwright's Wild Ride" is the FEATURED THEATRE ARTICLE in the debut issue of "HERE AND THERE:  A Resource for Creative Professionals Everywhere", a new online zine which launches on March 1st - Read my article here on March 1st.

The purpose of the e-zine is to support, encourage and inform artists of all kinds as they work to get where it is they want to go in life and in art.


MARCH 25 - all day, performances and workshop, FESTIBA arts and literature festival, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN-AM at Edinburg.


APRIL 4-5 - the debut performance of "Footprints" a new collaboration with dancer/choreographer Lori Soderbergh and musician Chris Curiel (of SWIRVE) - as part of the 2008 BAREFOOT BRIGADE showcases - BATH HOUSE CULTURAL CENTER - at White Rock Lake, Dallas.


APRIL 11-12 - performance of "Footprints" as part of the 3rd Annual DFW Fringe Festival - hosted by the Dallas Hub Theater in Deep Ellum, Dallas. ( t e n t a t i v e )


APRIL 26 - performance of "Footprints" as part of the 2008 Prairie Fest - Tandy Hills Natural Area, Fort Worth. ( t e n t a t i v e )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Early Voting ends Friday, February 29th - get out & do it


Vote for your favorite prospective national super-hero...

Tarrant County early voting locations for the Republican and Democratic primaries are open Feb. 19-29:

7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, Feb. 25-29

There are 32 early voting locations:

Tarrant County Elections Center, 2700 Premier St., Fort Worth. This is the main early voting site. Emergency and limited ballots are available here.

Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.

Azle Public Library, 609 Southeast Parkway

Benbrook Community Center/YMCA, 1899 Winscott Road

Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St., Arlington

Como Elementary School, 4000 Horne St., Fort Worth

Crowley Community Center, 900 E. Glendale St.

Diamond Hill/Jarvis Branch Library, 1300 N.E. 35th St., Fort Worth

Euless Public Library, 201 N. Ector Drive

Elzie Odom Recreation Center, 1601 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Fire Training Center, 5501 Ron McAndrew Drive, Arlington

Grapevine Community Activities Center, 1175 Municipal Way

Griffin Subcourthouse, 3212 Miller Ave., Fort Worth

Haltom City Recreation Center, 4839 Broadway Ave.

Handley/Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St., Fort Worth

Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Drive

Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway

Mahaney Community Center, 6800 Forest Hill Drive, Forest Hill

Mansfield Subcourthouse, 1100 E. Broad St.

Northeast Subcourthouse, 645 Grapevine Highway, Hurst

North Richland Hills Recreation Center, 6720 N.E. Loop 820

Northwest sheriff's patrol building, 6651 Lake Worth Blvd., Lake Worth

Sonny and Allegra Nance Elementary, 701 Tierra Vista Way, Fort Worth

Southlake Subcourthouse, 1400 Main St.

South Service Center, 1100 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St., Fort Worth

Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave., Fort Worth

Southwest Subcourthouse, 6551 Granbury Road, Fort Worth

Starrett Elementary School, 2675 Fairmont Drive, Grand Prairie

Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 N. Taylor St., Fort Worth (entrance off Burnett Street)

White Settlement Recreation Center, 8213 White Settlement Road

Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave., Fort Worth

All-day Saturday, March 1st in Austin : TX COMMUNITY MEDIA SUMMIT

[I'll be facilitating the morning and afternoon sessions on VALUE. What are our VALUES, in terms of community media access, production, and distribution?]

Texas Community Media Summit Promo

"Help Shape The Future Of Media" ------- FREE and OPEN to ALL! Register online or on-site on Saturday.

Join us March 1 in Austin for the Texas Community Media Summit.
Community media makers, storytellers, stakeholders, activists, and advocates will come together for a one day summit to discover who we are and how we can work together to transform the Texas media landscape.
For details and to register for the summit go to

channelaustin (PACT)
Houston Media Source
Dallas iMedia Network
Texas Media Empowerment Project

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Free International Films/Food tonight @ TCU !

[thanks to John Singleton of TCU's International Office for the following announcement. this sounds great! ]

*** 4 FOOD FILMS ****


Film & food pairings:

6:00 pm

"Tampopo" and Piranha Sushi:
"Big Night" and Mellow Mushroom:

8:30 pm

"Like Water for Chocolate" and Red Cactus:
"The God of Cookery" and Sapristi!:

film reviews - by John Singleton

TAMPOPO is the story of a Japanese Noodle house. Not so funny, huh! Not until you realize that the film director is in love with Clint Eastwood, and has adapted all the cultural variations of the great Hollywood Western to this Japanese film, right down to the black cowboy hat and a damsel in distress. Every Top Ten List I’ve read includes John Ford’s The Searchers. Personally, I’d rather go with Director Juzo Itami and his search for a perfect Noodle House any day, and if you were to put “The Searchers” in a blender with “Babette’s Feast” and “Shaolin Soccer,” this is what you’d have. Tampopo is paired with Kenzo Tran’s Piranha Sushi, a unique, trendy downtown restaurant that serves both sushi and style, and will be providing plenty of both tonight for film goers. Don’t miss the 6:00 pm start time!

BIG NIGHT is a uniquely Italian-American version of the “Coming to America” dream, as two brothers struggle with the identity of their cuisine on both a real and metaphorical level, while looming over them and just down the street is an “American-style” Italian restaurant with designs on the culinary skills of one brother. This film never makes anyone’s top ten list except mine, but I swear its beautiful, its simple and it is sublime. Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini’s part is small, but I’ll watch Italian advertisements for polenta if she’s selling. Mellow Mushroom is about as Italian as I am, but when Sapristi! Chef/Owner Carlos Cavasos passed up on both Latin American and Italian cuisine in order to do Chinese for us, well I could hardly walk away from that. Anyway, I like their pizzas and I’m ordering some strange ones tonight!

"THE GOD OF COOKERY" is the funniest movie I’ve ever seen!” Liz Branch and Dr. Carrie Currie both told me that before I ever saw Stephen Chow’s hilarious film. Ok, I know I sound like a broken record, but the point can’t be over done…Chow knows exactly what you expect from Hong Kong cinema, and he gives it you with both barrels, but... in 100 years they will say of Chow: “He clearly understood the expected stereotypes and used them both to fill his theaters but also to give the audience a deeper appreciation of their origins.” In the God of Cookery, an abominable, defrocked chef must battle all the demons of material gain, then their loss, in order to find his way back to culinary glory. Sapristi! remains one of the hottest and hippest, all-the-while keeping the southside’s finest happy with an atmosphere that is half crème de New York and half Eurotrash…but not-to-be overlooked is what emerges nightly from that amazing kitchen and the minds of Carlos and Brandon.

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE is the staple of Latin American Food films, and for good reason. Beyond a good retelling of Laura Esquivel’s opus, the film tries religiously to honor the role of food—primary to the novel—in the film. In Spanish, “Como Agua Para Chocolate” is slang for a woman who is “beautifully-inspired” and waiting for her love. The film rarely loses that sense of fire throughout, but is there anyone who hasn’t seen it? The film is destined for the kind of classic status that “The Wizard of Oz” has, and though you think I exaggerate, trust me that virtually everyone I’ve known across the planet has seen that film. Red Cactus will be providing an array of hand-foods or “entremeses,” and before you simply say, “what, fast food,” slow down. I, dubiously dubbed by my friends as El Rey de los Tacos (following Amy Culbertson’s article), absolutely swear by their simple, unpretentious and delicious stuff.

film country restaurant time space

1. Tampopo Japan Piranha Sushi 6:00 pm SRH #2
2. Big Night US/Italy Mellow Mushroom 6:00 pm srh #4
3. Like Water For chocolate Mexico RED CACTUS 8:30 pm SRh #2
4. The god of cookery China Sapristi 8:30 pm SRH #4

Directions: I-30 exit to University and take University South. When you pass through the light at juncture with W. Cantey you are close. Now there are only streets off University on your left. Take the second street past W. Cantey, which is W. Bowie . The huge building on your left is the Sid Richardson Complex, shaped as a huge hour glass with an opening in the center. In the second half of the structure, on a level lower than the street but closest to W. Bowie , you will find glass doors that open and immediately to your left are lecture halls 2 and 4. After 5 you may park on campus in spots that are not posted as reserved and/or are not listed as handicapped.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Friday, February 15th: Ruben Salazar art show opening party

Ruben, a comrade since 2005, is based in Waco, and we somehow managed to sidestep each other when we both lived in Austin in the 1990s. We also have more than a few mutual friends and he feels sometimes the way I do living in Fort Worth. Fish out of water. He invited me, back in 2007, to consider collaborating with him for a future art exhibit. Ruben specializes in papel picado (cut paper) design, but has done alot of different things in visual art over the years. He's worked with the folks at the Peace House in Crawford, Texas, and used to teach ballet folklorico in the past. I'm pleased that he has elected to include my brand-new poema, "Steps on the Earth", for one of his installation pieces at this new, environmentally-themed show in Waco. I'll be traveling down there on Friday (woo-hoo Amtrak!) to perform at the exhibit reception party. Exciting!

[please click on image to see larger version]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

raulrsalinas has passed to the other side. qepd.

so, i've started a new blog which will be an aggregate of messages and tribute testimonials about raul which are now vastly circulating on the web, via other blogs and emails, etc.
photo credit: Jana Birchum

you can find this at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

AUSTIN-based documentary project needs stories on E. Austin public schools

[my friend and comadre, Andrea Melendez, is at the helm of this documentary project. she received funding from the Austin Film Society, and award-winning cinematographer Lee Daniel has been working w/ her to some extent. help this friend, if you're in Austin or know any folks in E. Austin who might have a story to share. thanks! ]


*********** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY *****************


The Blueprint Schools Documentary Project
Producer/Co-Director: Andrea Melendez

The Blueprint Schools Documentary Project seeks teachers, parents, administrators, students, educators and community members for documentary/research project on school reform in East Austin

The Blueprint Schools Documentary Project (BSDP) aims to document and illustrate the process by which inner-city communities, educators and artists have worked together, tirelessly to break the mold of the failing inner-city school. This documentary asks the question: "What does it take to provide a challenging education to inner-city youth, to provide an education that will prepare them for college and to establish a true community of trust between communities, educators and families?"

We are looking for people that are willing to share their story with the project, for historical purposes, for archival purposes and to begin a dialogue on the in-depth reality of what is going on in our schools and communities. Participants will have the option to be interviewed on camera or off-camera. Off-camera interview participants’ identity will be protected.

If you are a teacher, community member, student, educator or parent of one the following schools currently or previously and have a story to share, please contact us:

Blackshear Elementary, Harris Elementary, Oak Springs Elementary, Sims Elementary, Dobie middle school, Pearce middle school, Reagan high school and Johnston high school.

Tuesday poetry events for your pleasure - 3 readings

The Writer's Garret
a non-profit literary arts organization based in Dallas

Gabor G. Gyukics
in a
Reading and Discussion
Upstairs at Paperbacks Plus
6115 La Vista Dr., Dallas TX 75214

Tuesday, February 12th - tonight
7 pm Discussion
8 pm Reading

GABOR GYUKICS will read his own poetry and also lead a discussion of the work of ATILLA JOZSEF, regarded by many as Hungary's greatest 20th century poet, who wrote in intense emotional tones that swung between despair and hope about both the personal & the societal, uncompromisingly, with vivid, often startlingly surreal imagery, or with stark confessional realism. He invigorated old poetic forms with a new freedom, orchestrating his poems with fresh rhythmic patterns that seemed simultaneously modern and timelessly familiar.

GABOR G. GYUKICS was born in Budapest, and divides his time between the US & Hungary. He has published five books of original poetry & five books of translations of Hungarian poetry to English including Swimming in the Ground: Contemporary Hungarian Poetry with Michael Castro. He received the first Fust Milan translator's prize from the Hungarian Academy of Science in 1999.

FREE, but donations will be happily accepted!
Call 214-828-1715 or email for more info.


2nd Tuesday Poetry Series
Fort Worth Community Arts Center
1309 Gendy St., in the Arts District
7 to 8 p.m.

Featuring Anthony Douglas and A.J. Houston
Of the Fort Worth Slam Team

Suitable for a General Audience - FREE admission and open to the public

ANTHONY DOUGLAS was born in Shreveport in 1965, and grew up in Fort Worth where he was graduated from Polytechnic High School in '83. In 1987, after a stint in the Army, Anthony was paralyzed in a drive-by shooting. He emerged from a difficult recovery motivated to work with at risk-kids; inspiring them to express themselves through the written word. He has worked for MHMR  and other agencies, and is currently teaching at the Fort Worth Can Academy.

Anthony started writing at Tarrant County College with encouragement from his English professor, Violet O'Valle. He received his degree from Texas Wesleyan University in 1999. In  1996 Anthony was the subject of a two-page feature in the Star Telegram. At that time, he was involved with the Zawadi writers, a group of community activists started by Greg Johnson, the late Fred Fowler, D.C. Cornish and Sonja Babers.

Also in that same year, he was invited to join the SawGrass Poetry Performance Troupe as one of its original members. In 200l he co-founded Fort Worth the Slam Team with poet/ entrepreneur Mike Guinn. Anthony is currently working on his second book, Memories of Duct Tape. His first book, Dismembered Rainbow by was published by Temba House Press in 2004.  His chapbooks include Scattered Snapshots, Expressions in Verse, and Kaleidoscope in the Dark, which he co-authored with Mike Guinn.  His poems have appeared in university journals. including Aries and The Script,

He ranked 19th in  an international spoken work competition in 2004 in Greenville, S.C., placed in several national competitions as a member of the Fort Worth Slam Team. Anthony says: "Writing is the most significant thing in life today for all of humanity. I believe that writing saves lives; that it has, and it always will."

A.J. HOUSTON, a five- time member of the Fort Worth Poetry Slam Team, grew up in Dallas where he was encouraged by his mother to spend extra time on reading and math after school. This taught him discipline, the love of words and performance, and put him at the head of the class.

On his own, and with the Slam Team, he has performed at schools, churches, recreation centers, colleges and libraries, and has participated in slam events throughout the U.S. He has produced three CDs, Love Seasons, The Awakening, Verse 1, and published five chapbooks, including Just Flow, Sunday Shoes, Counting Petals, Anchored in Prose, and Refrigerate After Opening. He lives in Fort Worth and has five children, ages eight through twenty-five. He is the founder of the production company, Not Just Alphabets,

Special Valentine's Program
at the Embargo
210 8th Street in downtown Fort Worth
8:30 p.m.


For Mature Audiences - FREE admission and open to the public

"A Special Valentine Poetry Showcase" with an open mic hosted by  with the Fort Worth Slam Team, features LaLove Robinson, "Austin's Most Divalicious Poet." Music provided by D.J., Francis J., and live music by Mo Brown and Company.

Embargo host Mike Guinn promises "Candlelight, soft music, and some of the most sensuous poetry ever written."

The Fort Worth Slam Team is the highest profile and most active performance poetry entity in the Metroplex, sponsoring ongoing contests, features and open mics, as well as special events. Slam Team members have distinguished themselves with performances of great power. For more information, go to

The Embargo sponsors a slam competition on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, and open mics on 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesdays.

Public performances in 2008 - so far i've done this.

I've been trying to make a minute to get my 2008 forthcoming gigs/shows/etc. calendar up on here, but have been distracted by the actual off-line work that this schedule of work has me committed to complete.

I've already done two public performances this year. The first was at the January 3rd "Open Mic, Open Minds" show at 1919 Hemphill. The frigid temps had us all bundled in blankets, sipping hot chocolate and tea, as we listened to the performers. I headlined for a 25-minute set, accompanied on some new pieces by Ramsey Sprague, playing guitar or clarinet. This is a new collaboration, to work with Ramsey (aka "The Shortest Distance"), and we'd actually spent a total of only 5 hours or so working up our set in the two days before the show. Still, we did pretty good for a first outing together, and the folks there seemed appreciative enough. I sold a couple of books, and got a modest guarantee, which I promptly shared with Ramsey.

The next gig was a last-minute sweat-and-inspiration effort to make good on an invitation from Lori Thomson, she of the Firehouse Gallery. Lori had asked me, on the night of the "Buzzworms in the Backyard" art exhibit, if I wanted to present or perform something in her "That's Not Art" show to be held at the F6 Gallery in Arlington--a warehouse space outfitted for art-making and -exhibiting by cohorts Kevin Thornton and Cameron Thompson, et al.

Saturday, January 26th
That’s Not Art - exhibit/reception
F6 Gallery, Arlington

What I ended up presenting was my M.P.S. prototype. M.P.S., or Mediated Peep Show is an interactive intervention performance box which consisted mostly of me being the peeped-at artist in a large cardboard box with cut-out peepholes. I sat and did the M.P.S. for about 30 minutes on Saturday, January 26th, wielding a handheld Sony audiocassette recorder which captured the comments and responses to questions I whispered to my viewers through the peepholes. It was a provocative study of: the lure of peepshows; the vulnerability of the peeper as well as the peeped-at; and the expectation of titillation and engagement despite being disconnected strangers. It was a little scary for me, in terms of my questions and spoken commentary being improvised on the spot as well as in the matter of making myself an object of gratification for people whose intentions and motivations were largely unknown. It was, of course, obvious to me which of the peepers were friends and acquaintances, and in those cases, the play was delightful and non-threatening. In other moments, however, it seemed that the peeper was aggressive and demanding--several folks pushed at the peepholes, pressed heavily against the cardboard box, and in one case, when I dabbled too long in theoretical conversation, the peeper slapped at the box and hastily stepped away. I would like to present M.P.S. again, in various and different environments, to see what kinds of responses and interactions might transpire.

Photos come soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Texas Community Media Summit - Austin - Saturday, March 1st

Texas Community Media Summit
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Texas Union Building
on the campus of UT-Austin
Austin, Texas

FREE and open to media producers in the public/grassroots realm. (bloggers, newsprint & web journalists, vloggers, public access tv and radio producers, performance artists)


For more information and to register online (asap, please), visit the Texas Community Media Summit website .


from Summit co-coordinator Stefan Wray of (Public Access Community Television) PACT-Austin:

"...the entire idea started last summer when we heard a report from Charles Benton about the Community Media Summit in Chicago. We're modeling off that. Chicago had a head start in that there was already a good network or directory of local community groups and organizations. We're a bit handicapped in that regard; there's not a good database for Texas community media. So really, one of the first things and main reasons for the summit is to start a conversation, to begin to get people involved in different community media to be able to recognize who we are all and to start figuring out ways that we can work together. We see this as the beginning of something."

some of the participating orgs and media outlets:

Dallas iMedia Network
Alliance for Community Media
The Benton Foundation
Texas Media Empowerment Project
Southwest Alternate Media Project
Department of Radio-TV-Film, UT-Austin
KNON-FM - Dallas
KPFT-FM - Houston
MIchael Verdi (San Antonio-based vlogger and co-author of the first book on videoblogging: Secrets Of Videoblogging)

Questions that will be posed for discussion:

1. How do we leverage our community media resources to expand and enhance our presence in the Texas media landscape?

2. How are we moving from traditional one-way media distribution and consumption to interactive media?

3. How do we transform our traditional funding strategies?

4. What are our community needs and how do we better meet them?

I'll be facilitating one of the break-out sessions--the one on VALUE--so I hope to see you there!
Fort Worth-Dallas represent! Houston represent! San Antonio represent! RGV represent! El Paso represent! Panhandle represent!


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Love-themed art parties this weekend

I'm sorry that I didn't mention the ARTS FIFTH AVENUE love-in "Heart Art Exhibit" earlier, but I went and it was pretty chill, good energy, lots of creating people on the spot. Live acoustic music from various singer-songwriters took place in the main studio, while food/bevs, art-making tables, and crafty d.i.y. women displayed their makin's for sale or trade. Part of the proceeds were pegged for the sustenance fund for Arts Fifth, which really needs some love this year. (By the way, Paige Hendricks Public Relations, Inc. (PHPR) will be consulting with Gracey Tune & the Arts Fifth Avenue folks about re-branding (new logo, website masthead).)

The same sort of sell-a-bration is happening tomorrow at the east-side sister space, THE FIREHOUSE ART GALLERY, at the corner of Meadowbrook and Oakland.

Hearts On Fire!
Sunday February 10th, 4 - 8pm
Community Event - All Are Welcome!
Benefiting the Firehouse Art and Education Program and the New Arts Form series performance

Sweets from the Sweets Bake Sale
Love Song Karaoke Contest - $100 cash prize!
Fun!draising Raffle - Theater tickets, Weekend Getaways at area hotels, Dining excursions, Dallas Zoo, & much more!

Today is a good day for free film screenings in the 817

Of course, there's the big SPIKE LEE retrospective that's been happening on the campus of UTA (Arlington) all week, which culminates in a keynote lecture which he is due to present this evening (Saturday). Check for ticket availability, film screening times, and more here. Looks like all the film screenings are FREE, but you gotta pay to see & hear the man himself.

Then, there's the REEL Religion film festival "of religious significance" (huh?), here in FW. Apparently, this festival was created as a partnership between a coupla churches (University Christian and Broadway Baptist), as well as two department/offices at TCU. No matter what spin they're putting on this festival, I still think it's pretty cool that these folks are presenting a total of 18 films (some of 'em pretty cool selections) for FREE and open to the public. Screenings at the University Christian Church, a stone's throw from the TCU campus.

Film selections & screening times &dates:

Friday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.

The History Boys
Amazing Grace
Good Night, and Good Luck
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Charlotte’s Web

Saturday, Feb. 9, 9:30 a.m.

Paper Clips
Bruce Almighty
Street Fight
Husbands and Wives
Being John Malkovich

Saturday, Feb. 9, 1:30 p.m.

Freedom Writers
Dead Man Walking
The Lives of Others
The Painted Veil
Vanilla Sky
The Prince of Egypt

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Theater Workshop--on military counter-recruitment -TODAY@7pm

*** INTERACTIVE THEATER WORKSHOP on Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 7pm, at 1919 Hemphill ***

PEACEFUL VOCATIONS, your friendly military COUNTER-recruitment volunteer organization

our first interactive theater workshop
on Tuesday, February 5th
@ 7pm at 1919 Hemphill in Fort Worth.

The workshop--free and open to interested participants--is part of a new initiative to create new and high-impact theater pieces which will be presented to students at schools in the FWISD and beyond.

Tuesday's workshop will begin with a screening of BEFORE YOU ENLIST (dvd documentary, 15 min.), followed by a discussion. Afterwards, a break-out session for participants to brainstorm and create original new skits and theater strategies for counter-recruitment will take place.

These new works will be shared with the group-at-large, and decisions may be made about further coordination of this theater project.

All useful and relevant ideas will be welcomed and considered.

Join us at:

1919 Hemphill
1919 Hemphill St.
Fort Worth, TX 76110




1919 HEMPHILL website