Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I'm a guest performer for the MAD SWIRL spoken word event at Absinthe Lounge in Dallas

That's tomorrow, Wednesday, December 2nd. Kicks off at 8pm.

SWIRVE--Tamitha on voice, Chris on trumpet and effects pedals, Gerard on drums--have invited me to be a guest poet performer with them tomorrow. I haven't sat in with these folks in about a year, and they are so much fun to play with. I'm hoping for a big crowd, despite the cold weather, as it's pretty rare that I get to spend an evening in Dallas doing spoken word.

Absinthe Lounge --- fun performance-friendly spot at Southside on Lamar in Dallas
MAD SWIRL --- a monthly open mic and performance melee in the best possible sensessss..

FREE and FREEING!!!! Join us, y'all.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

GROUND WAVES art/djs/comunidad today in Diamond Hill 11/28/09 'til 8pm

Today! FREE! All Ages!

No bad moods, big sells, proprietary attitude.

It's ALL good vibes cuz it's a PAIN FREE production. Big ups to Mike and Mercedes for coordinating this event.

Hope to see y'all there: 3509 Oscar Street -- Mapsco 48-V -- in the field behind the Dixie Heights Baptist Church

Monday, November 23, 2009

I was selected to perform at the Out of the Loop Fringe Fest next year

Forgot to mention that my application and proposal to present my one-woman show "Saliendo Abierta" was selected for the Out of the Loop Fringe (Performing Arts) Festival in Addison, Texas. The Festival takes place in March 2010, and my performance will be presented on the mainstage on the evening of Sunday, March 14, 2010. Save the Date!

Looking over the Out of the Loop website, I see that some wonderful performers and shows will also be featured during the 2-week span of the Festival. Check it out.

I'm hoping to tour "Saliendo Abierta" to other venues and festivals, possibly even on the Eastern seaboard, in the coming year. (My undergrad alma mater, Goucher College, in Towson, Maryland, has invited me to speak on a panel about literature and poetry next April for the 125th anniversary its founding.) Also, my friend and colega, Claudia Acosta, has tentatively invited me to take my show to New York City for a monthly performance series she is spearheading called "Culture Shock: a melting pot of raw arts." So many possibilities. I hope the planets configure to make good on the promise and the plan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The glass ornament i painted for the State Capitol holiday tree

I finally finished the holiday ornament that Lon Burnam's office gave me to decorate for the Lone Star Celebration Tree, which will be displayed in the State Capitol through the beginning of January 2010.

Photo credit: Four Hearts Photography

Thanks to the O'Briens (Danny and Kathy) for giving of their time to photograph the ornament before I delivered it to Lon Burnam.

To achieve the smoky color effect on the ornament, I poured silver, black, and white acrylic paints into the small opening at the top and swirled the colors around to mix them together for a marbleizing finish. I also used a pipe cleaner to spread the color evenly. Afterwards, I used a permanent paint marker to write the following poem on the exterior of the ornament:

sleeping panther rise
remove the smokescreen from our eyes
no more gas drill lies

I think this ornament will aptly represent what's on some of our minds lately here in the District 90 sector of the Metroplex.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chi Kung is making me move some energy - creative impulse is surging now

I am in a burst of creativity now, and feel boosted by the Chi Kung (!) and Tai Chi class i am taking on Thursdays at the Acupuncture Wellness Center located right in my 'hood--Fairmount of Fort Worth, which even has its own website.

The instructor, Martha Fiddes, is so great to focus on the Chi Kung, which has been my favorite internal martial art so far in life. (I took a coupla classes in the 1990s in Austin, and somehow felt i couldn't afford to stick with it. Now I know I cannot
afford to NOT stick with it.)

We are breathing into our internal organs and practicing the Sun form of Tai Chi which is so elegant and beautiful to me.
It's considered the most "flowing" form.

More relaxed in my body and ready to focus on some new writing, I've started on a collection of poems about the border (Texas-Mexico border as well as the borders within) and hope to have them finished by next week. For a competition deadline.

I am not now as socially-available as before, but am choosing to enjoy my new focuses (foci) at home. Have been marbleizing glass holiday ornaments, a new experiment and expression for me. I was brought to this because of a request by the folks at the offices of State Rep. Lon Burnam. They gave me the task of decorating a large transparent glass orb which, when I've finished with it, will be mailed to Austin and hung on a holiday tree in the State Capitol. How's that for a poet who doesn't do much visual art?

Will show the results when I'm finished working on it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sometimes family just has to come first...

...which is why i spent a coupla weeks putting together this new photo blog for my nephew, who just turned one year old today. Channel 4 News' daily morning show has a feature wherein photos of children (5 years and younger) can be emailed in for brief broadcast on the kid's birthday. I emailed in a jpg of Lucas and it was shown on the telly twice this a.m.! While the photos were being displayed, there was a technical problem that happened right when Lucas' picture was on the screen, and so it was "stuck" for all to see for at least 30 seconds. Pretty funny.

Happy First Birthday, baby Lucas!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dia de los muertos - commemorated around the U.S.

All you have to do to get an idea of how prevalent and culturally-relevant that celebrations of Day of the Dead have become on this side of the border is visit the NALAC website. Click on October's special Dia de los Muertos newsletter/calendar and check out the multitude of events, gallery shows, and performances scheduled for this special commemoration of the dead.

Here in FW on Friday evening, the Dia de Los Muertos event at the Rose Marine Theater/Gallery/plaza drew an estimated 400 attendees and participants. That's awesome. Today (Sunday, Nov. 1st), the Arts Fifth Avenue homegrown community arts space in the historic Fairmount neighborhood of Fort Worth will host its annual Day of the Dead shindig (featuring tamale-making, papel picado workshop, live adolescent mariachis from JP Elder Middle School), and more).

Also today in Dallas, the LCC (Latino Cultural Center) will host their Dia de Los Muertos pachanga with visual art, ofrendas (tribute altars for the dead), and two performances by the wonderful Teatro Flor Candela of the stage adaptation of the classic Mexican story "Guajolote hasta la muerte" - based on the movie "Macario". I saw the Flor Candela show at TCU this past Wednesday, and though there were some technical snags, I thought the work (less than one hour in length) was delightfully visual and engaging. The costumes, choreography, and acting were a big attraction for me, specifically. Great casting choices, Patricia (Urbina--the artistic director of Teatro Flor Candela). Oh, I also love love loved the tiny shiny calaca string puppet--with red hair! The two performances at the LCC are at 5pm and 7pm. The LCC is located at 2600 Live Oak in Dallas - just a little east of downtown.

Whatever you do, don't forget to enjoy LIFE as you never deny the eventuality of change, transition, and the ultimate step towards death.

Hope to see you out & about today and tomorrow (All Saints' Day and All Souls" Day) for DDLM 2009 festivities!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

San Antonio oral history project: Stories of the Uninsured

Writers In Communities, a program of GEMINI INK seeks Stories of the Uninsured

from the latest Gemini Ink e-newsletter:
"According to the American Medical Association, 46 million Americans are uninsured due to the high costs of insurance, or have limited access to health plans and benefits for various reasons including being self-employed, between jobs, or having a pre-existing medical condition. It’s essential that we document our stories for history’s sake, for future generations, for ourselves."

The Writers In Communities program of Gemini Ink wants you to share your story about how not having health insurance has affected your life and well-being. Send a brief narrative of your experience to:



mail it to their offices at

513 S. Presa, San Antonio, TX 78205 (ATTN: WIC).

Twenty stories will be recorded and transcribed in this oral history project between Gemini Ink and Methodist Healthcare Ministries.

(No deadline was mentioned in any materials I came across about this, but figure that interested folks should submit their narratives sooner than later.)

ADDENDUM: As per the comment below, Gemini Ink plans to interview people throughout the month of November 2009. Again, please contact the Writers in Communities program at wic@geminiink.org if you are interested in participating. Thank you.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Today is the deadline for proposals for 2010 Out of the Loop Fringe Fest - Dallas

This almost bypassed my attention; download the app via the Water Tower Theatre website asap -- postmark deadline is today!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"They fear us because we are not afraid."

Honduran women stand up in resistance to military forces which oppress the people, abuse the women.

[Thanks to Frieda Werden for sharing this link via Facebook. Kudos to the women of FIRE--Feminist International Radio Endeavour!]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eulogy for Grace: an appreciation-in-progress

THANKS and MUCH APPRECIATION for all the generous expressions of love, sympathy, and kindness that have been extended to me via Facebook, Myspace, phone calls, email, and person-to-person moments. Without you, my beautiful tribe and family of friends, I would be nowhere and nothing...

Quite suddenly, I lost my young little Grace,
a cat who chose me about five years ago. It was
one unmemorable day that she showed up at my front door,
eager and trusting--
with one ear partly clipped to show that she'd been
a recipient of the "catch, neuter, release" program
of the neighborhood association. We took to one
another with the greatest of ease.

She grew to be very memorable.

She was smart and full of vitality, and today
she is gone. The vet said that she died of
an allergic reaction, which made her throat close
and she could not breathe.

I am devastated.

I truly valued this little animal friend who showed
such an affinity for my homebody writer lifestyle,
and didn't seem to like it when I had to leave for
appointments. Indeed, she had recently started brave
attempts at following me to the bus stop as I rushed to

I had just bought a collar/harness for her in hopes of
working with her comfort level to be able to someday
take long walks together. And take her to Spiral Diner
or another street cafe nearby.

A brilliant, fun cat, she took to tree- and roof-climbing
as well as sidewalk rolling with equal gusto. I admired
her keen insights and instincts; cats have these in general,
I know. But Grace was particularly dog-like, coming to
me when I called and even bringing her little puffball
toys to my feet--in exchange for Whisker Lickin treats.

I could go on, but you get the idea. She was very special
to me, and I am going to revere and miss her forever.

Sometimes Grace would squint her eyes as she lay in bed,
seemingly wanting to ask: "It's way past midnight and you're
still on that computer. Can't you at least dim the lights?"
One night, I got up from the desk and gently placed my
sunglasses over her eyes. She seemed to appreciate that.

Thanks for listening, dear friends and family.
Thoughts of our kinship are helping to keep me comforted.



Extra note:

As i recall, these are the pet names/nicknames i used for Grace in all the time we were together:

Grace - Kitty - Pookety - Ani (short for Animal) - Ahn-i-mahl - Kitty of the City (pronounced "kittay of the citay") -
Autonomy Cat - Pookety of the City -
and Sunshine Cat (when i would find her, mostly in the mornings, luxuriating in the patches of sunlight beaming through
the eastside windows onto the floor)

Monday, September 07, 2009

How i've labored since i was 15 years old

However you commemorate Labor Day, I hope that you consider the protesting, stalwart activists who made sure that legislative and institutional changes were made to ensure and protect laborers in this country--young and old, male and female, white and otherwise. Cheers for labor unionists, labor organizers, and we the workers ourselves. More protections and considerations need to be brought to eventuality in terms of our comrades and counterparts from and in other countries. And lastly, I would ask that we remember that when we purchase goods manufactured by the hands of exploited laborers we are supporting bad/unfair/often illegal labor practices. Let's do the better thing, as often as we can.

And now, a list. I thought it would be--here on Labor Day 2009--an interesting exercise to list all the jobs i could remember ever having worked. So here it is, from my fast-food inaugural work experience to my current job. For what it was worth...

Wendy's - Fort Worth - front counter, food prep, dining room cleaning, drive-up window

General Cinema - Seminary South Theater - Fort Worth - concessions, ticket sale, popcorn maker

Texas Grain & Feed Association - Fort Worth - general office assistant

Minyard's Grocery Store - Fort Worth - bakery clerk

Black-Eyed Pea Restaurant - Fort Worth - waitress/host

Goucher College - Towson, Maryland - Office of Public Relations - work-study position

Gander's Restaurant - downtown Baltimore - waitress

Southwestern Petroleum Co. - Fort Worth - clerk/typist, data entry

Union Equity Cooperative Grain Exchange - Fort Worth - general office assistant, data entry

Goucher College - Towson, Maryland - Office of Dance-Movement Therapy - work-study position

University of Texas-Austin - Journalism Department - phone survey - data collection

University of Texas-Austin - General Libraries - Administrative office - receptionist/office clerk

University of Texas-Austin - University Inter-scholastic League (UIL) - Administrative office - assistant to three directors

Tarrant County Mental Health Mental Retardation Services - mental health therapist tech and manager of three-quarter-way facility for chronically mentally ill adults

Boys and Girls Club - Eastside branch, Fort Worth - Cultural Enrichment Director

Chinese restaurant - downtown Fort Worth

Warehouse - Boulder, Colorado - shipping/receiving assistant

Frying Pan - Basalt, Colorado - waitress (one day only)

Live-in nanny on Buttermilk Mountain - Aspen, Colorado - cooking, cleaning, childcare, food shopping

Poetry consultant (for musician Jimmy Ibbotsen) - Aspen, Colorado - one-shot thing

Tesuque Village Market - Tesuque, New Mexico - cashier/waitress

Tia's Tex-Mex restaurant - Fort Worth - waitress

Nokoa-The Observer - African-American Progressive weekly newspaper - Austin, TX - office assistant, reporter

Boys and Girls Club - Montopolis (adjacent to Austin) - summer instructor

University of Texas-Austin - Natural Fibers Research & Information Center - research assistant

Website development consultant - Fort Worth

Booker T. Sparks Performing Arts Program - Fort Worth - afterschool arts educator

University of North Texas Health Science Center - Lewis Medical Library - Fort Worth - library assistant

Latin Arts Association (Artes de la Rosa) - Fort Worth - afterschool arts educator

Veterans for Peace - 2005 National Convention - Irving, Texas - convention coordinator

Fort Worth Independent School District - substitute teacher - middle school and high school levels

(Plus various temp job assignments through temporary employment agencies
commissioned art assignments (performing, teaching, mentoring youth, and writing)
paid artist residencies in Nebraska, California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Texas.)

Volunteer positions - the following list is about 15% complete
(Women as volunteers contribute most of the world's unpaid labor, which is not considered as part of the gdp (gross domestic product).

St. Andrew's Catholic Church - Fort Worth - youth lector, liturgical performing artist/director
ACLU - Fort Worth - student intern
Texas Civil Liberties Project - Austin, TX - free legal clinic - administrative assistant
The Other Screen - founder/director and coordinator of this monthly independent film/video series in 1980s Fort Worth
Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (and organic farm) - Basalt, Colorado - intern
KO.OP (91.7 FM) Radio - Austin, TX - producer/programmer, outreach coordinator, and elected member of the Community Board

Sunday, September 06, 2009

My Life According to Martin Espada (a fun literary exercise or total waste of time, depending...)

My Life According to [fill in the name of a poet you like)

Thanks to Sesshu Foster for the following meme. And to Lorna Dee Cervantes whose inspired answers, using Pablo Neruda poem titles, totally made me want to try this. Spread it around!

Using only POEM titles from ONE POET, answer these questions. Pass it on to 12 (or a million) people you like. You can't use the poet I used. Do not repeat a title. Repost as "My Life According to (POET)."

[I decided on Martin Espada, who was my favorite poet in the late 1990s, because I own about 6 of his books--hence more poem titles from which to choose. Also, i liked so many titles that i listed more than one--at times. That's just me...]


Are you a male or female?

"The River Will Not Testify"
"Blackballed by the Rainbow Girls"
"Watch Me Swing"

Describe yourself:

"The Toolmaker Unemployed"
"Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper"

How do you feel?

"Job Search Got Us Down"

Describe where you currently live:

"Where the Disappeared Would Dance"
"From an Island You Cannot Name"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

"Transient Hotel Sky at the Hour of Sleep"
"Latin Night at the Pawnshop"

Your favorite form of transportation:

"Sleeping on the Bus"

What's the weather like?

"Ashes and Donuts"
"Rain Delay: Toledo Mud Hens, July 8, 1994"

Favorite time of day:

"When Songs Become Water"
"Cada Puerco Tiene Su Sabado"

Your relationships:

"I Apologize for Giving You Poison Ivy (by Smacking You in the Eye with the Crayfish at the End of My Fishing Line)"

Your fear:

"The New Bathroom Policy at English High School"
"Tires Stacked in the Hallways of Civilization"
"The Chota and the Patron"
"Thieves of Light"

What is the best advice you have to give?

"Sing in the Voice of a God Even Atheists Can Hear"
"We Live by What We See at Night"

If you could change your name, you would change it to:

"Beloved Spic"
"Transient Hotel Werewolf"

My soul's present condition:

"Preciosa Like a Last Cup of Coffee"

Friday, September 04, 2009

A Woman's World - pictorial mosaic

[Thanks to Tamitha Curiel for suggesting this link. Enjoy!]

"A Woman's World" - Readers submitted photographs that illustrate the theme of women's empowerment.

In accordance with this theme, the NYT is also promoting an online competition that helps put a spotlight on projects and agencies/groups that empower women across the world. For more info, go here. Contest deadline is September 23rd, by the way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Coming up next Saturday, August 29th - free workshop for women

[for no-squint viewing, click on the flyer]

Let me know if you need more info!
Please spread the word. Ages 17 and up.

Monday, August 17, 2009

50 years ago today: a classic is born ==> "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis

45:08 (minutes, seconds) of smoldering genius.

i just want to eat my fist, i am so blown away by this amazing music...i'm gonna lay back and listen to this on audiocassette* tonight, sipping on chilled savignon blanc.

here's one blurb about the album via MOG.COM:

"Kind of Blue was both a radical stylistic experiment and an album parents could put on after dinner without waking the kids. It's a manifesto, a meeting of musical minds, and it's moved millions of copies to remain the bestselling jazz record of all time. Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," released in August 1959, featured what might be the finest group in jazz history; it virtually founded a new musical style -- called modalism -- but it also marked the beginning of the end of the genre's mass popularity."

more info on Miles and "Kind of Blue"here and here.

lastly, i want to challenge all of you to consider my idea that this nation needs to update its national anthem to reflect the changing times and tenor. twenty years ago, on the 30th anniversary of the release of "Kind of Blue", i suggested that one song off that legendary lp--"All Blues"--would be an amazing choice for national anthem. a soulful instrumental (no lyrics) to play at Olympics award ceremonies, on national holidays, and for other honoring ceremonial purposes.

and, oh yeah, i know that Miles had a history of abusive behavior with Cicely Tyson, but i'm knowingly choosing to give props to the music--but certainly not that aspect of the man.

* the very audiocassette i carried w/ me in the Sony Walkman while bouncing around on the streets of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, in 1990. i cannot now ever hear this album without having flashbacks to those amazing weeks in Mexico.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

After the "Reign" parade on Wednesday, August 12th

Over 200 women, children, and men marched silently from the Tarrant County Convention Center to the old Courthouse, straight down Main Street during the noon hour yesterday, August 12th. Permits and arrangements were successfully secured so that no automobile traffic was allowed on this route of the pedestrian parade. Donning red-and-white umbrellas emblazoned with the catchphrase of the march, the procession cast a striking image for downtown workers who stopped to watch. At the end of the march route, a 30- or so minute rally took place on the east steps of the Courthouse, featuring women leaders Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks and Fort Worth Commission on Women chair Marcy Paul, among others. All spoke vociferously about the various factors that lead to high infant mortality rates in the eastside of Fort Worth.

Kim Parish Perkins, executive director of the D/FW Birthing Project--the beneficiary of a $1,000 check raised at the march/rally--emphasized the prevalence of health disparities in communities of color. Mincing no words, Perkins pubicly called out obstetricians who prioritize their time "out on the golf course and seeing private patients" while treating their lower-income and minority patients as merely "birth canals." Perkins finished off her eyebrow-raising speech with the presentation of a $1,000 scholarship award to a young woman who has been served by the D/FW Birthing Project. Pregnant at the age of 12 and living in foster care, this woman received the services and mentorship of a "SisterFriend" and is now a high school graduate, postured for a college education.

State Senator Wendy Davis appeared towards the end of the rally to remind us of Mark Perry's recent ill-advised veto of state legislation which would have allocated federal dollars to the CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program). With a tone of consternation, Davis announced that "80,000 more children would have been served" by this legislation.

You can, at least for the moment, read the Star-Telegram article ("Tarrant County's infant mortality is high despite efforts") about the Stop the Reign march and rally here.

An excerpt from the article:

"The infant mortality rate for blacks in the [Tarrant] county is 14.4, more than twice that of whites (5.6) and Hispanics (6.0).
Programs such as the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project, established in 1997, have helped by providing services such as SisterFriend, which matches volunteers with pregnant girls."

A few of the rally speakers referred to the need for increased "pre-conception care" for young women, which I found interesting. I'll be looking into what exactly is meant by this in the health services community.

(And, yes, if you're wondering, I participated in the march. Check me out in the front page photo of today's Star-Telegram.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stop the "Reign of Infant Mortality" and Save our Children - FW march and rally on Wed., August 12th

Did you know Fort Worth has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country? Come find out more and support concerned citizen-activists in a public event.

Join up for a "Silent March of Awareness" along Main Street in downtown Fort Worth.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
12 noon - 1pm

Begins at entrance to Fort Worth Convention Center on Main Street, and ends with a rally on the steps of the Old Courthouse.

Make sure YOU and YOUR organization are represented. (Spend your lunch break for a worthy cause.)

1,000 women will march with 1,000 red umbrellas the full length of downtown Main Street in Fort Worth in order to heighten awareness of the serious issue of infant mortality in our community.

The Fort Worth Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the City of Fort Worth Commission for Women, and the Fort Worth Junior League have partnered together to sponsor this march to educate our community on the issues surrounding
infant mortality.

The Hispanic Healthcare Professionals Association (HISPA) will be participating in the march as well.

Please meet at 11:30 am on Main Street in front of the convention center.  Wear white & red to show your support.
Red umbrellas, for use in the march, will be available at the gathering point for $5 apiece. The proceeds benefit the Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project

FMI: stopthereign@yahoo.com

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Help Andrea get to art school in Chicago - benefit @ Club Mint in FW

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Club Mint in West FW - 7pm to late

This is a benefit for Andrea Gonzalez, a local painter who has been granted admission to one of the most prestigious art institutes in the United States. Help a young woman's dream come true.

"I believe through art we have the power to make a positive impact in our community." - Andrea Gonzalez


introducing Andrea's Art School Benefit
a fundraising event / art exhibit & sale
to help my homegirl get to the Art Institute of Chicago

Thursday, August 6th
Club Mint 6865-A Green Oaks Road
Fort Worth, TX 76116

Viewing of art from 7pm to 10pm
Live performances: Tammy Gomez / Dielex Kemposed

Monday, August 03, 2009

I wrote six sentences for SIX SENTENCES

Back in 2000-01, I decided to try my hand at writing sudden fiction, also known as flash fiction. By using the clock on my computer desktop as a stopwatch, I timed my freewrites to 3 minutes max. Though this was a purely self-imposed exercise in trying to generate fresh prose writing, I abided by some hard fast rules. I didn't allow myself to "cheat" by bringing to the page any pre-considered characters, locations, or plot lines. And I had to stop right at three minutes. Wow, what a jumpstart for my brain this practice proved to be. I found that I could do no more than 5 sessions back-to-back, because the pressure of continuous conjuring and composing to a strict deadline took me to a higher plane, and made me light-headed like when I practice my throat singing.

Well now, fast-forward to 2009, and here am I, submitting six sentences of fiction writing to a delightful blog entitled "Six Sentences". After reading about three weeks of previously-accepted entries, I decided to take a poke at this myself, and my first submission was accepted for posting today. Take a look at what I submitted, as well as other writings--leave comments if you like.

(The text above was completed in 10 sentences and about 20 minutes...)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Radio's Latino USA to look at Latina/Chicana writers - today, Sunday 8/2, at 5:30pm

KERA 90.1 FM has seen fit to schedule the broadcast of "Latino USA", a 30-minute syndicated program produced at UT-Austin, at a much more opportune time. Sundays 5:30pm. This week, la Barbara (Barbara Renaud Gonzalez) sent an email anuncio to let us know that Chicana writers are going to be the focus on this week's episode. Barbara herself will be featured in interviews, as will Sandra Cisneros and Josefina Lopez. I'll be tuning in; "sheck" it out.

From Barbara's email:

"Got the word from Latino USA today! "Books & Women" is a special feature to be aired on LatinoUSA's weekly program this Friday. It includes an interview/reading with Sandra Cisneros, Josefa Lopez, and me. Hope you like it."

Josefina's just released her debut novel, HUNGRY WOMAN IN PARIS. She is probably best-known as the playwright who brought us "Real Women Have Curves." Barbara's GOLONDRINA, WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME? is a novel that she had to leave Dallas (so she has told me) to finish writing. And Sandra, oh gosh, how does one begin? Sandra is the ever-busy, awards-laden and Chicago-raised poeta and novelist who has kicked open the door for burgeoning and future writers such as myself.

Adelante, mujeres de literatura en los Estados Unidos. Let's be inspired by our fellow Chicana sisters and keep focused on our own emerging literary voices.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

upcoming coming up

Been busy with some educational focuses, grassroots-style. Submitted an app to NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts & Culture) and it was breezy-easy; I'm getting better at this grants application process. This time, decided to propose a project I've been wanting to launch for a coupla years: a spoken word choir--voicestra is how I might've referred to it in my narrative text except for the fact that ole Bobby McFerrin has nabbed the term for the name of his performance ensemble.

Here's the 50-word project summary: "I will direct the Sound Culture Spoken Word C.H.O.I.R., a performance ensemble comprised of emerging writers and underserved (marginalized) youth in Fort Worth. This C.H.O.I.R. (Cultivating Harmony with Our Insightful Rhymes) will perform my original poems--in chorus style, accented by music and digital projections--in showcases throughout Texas."

I am hopeful that this project will receive funding, and I'll certainly need to hustle up other sources of support in this community to really make this happen. I am excited for the possibilities of working with underserved youth again--it's been awhile and I have to say, I do have some skills when it comes to teaching and directing young people.

Wish me luck, write a check, whatever. You'll be hearing more about this from me in the coming months.


The other grassroots education thing I'm working on involves a few other cool women, and we're collectively dubbed "Sisters of the Southside" (thanks Lindsey!). What is up? Well, we're putting together a street-level self-defense without violence workshop for women ages 17 and up. It's titled "Self-Defense, Yo!" and the focus of this workshop is on becoming more conscious of the subtle ways in which our behaviors/body language/clothing/etc. somehow give off an implicit "here i am, come take me" message, as misconstrued by would-be perps and pervs. Women and girls want and need to know how to rebuff and resist in ways that don't involve physical confrontation.

Our first workshop is now scheduled!

1 to 4pm

Ella Mae Shamblee Public Library - Evans Street (just north of E. Rosedale)
Free and open to women 17 years and up

Light refreshments will be offered.
PAIN FREE Society, a fresh design company, will also be in the house.

Save the date - spread the word!!


About tonight's MINDSHARE

Getting to the MINDSHARE was relatively easy by local bus service--basically, you get to the stop when it's due to arrive--but it sure was a pain having to wait for half an hour (probably longer) to catch the #4 home, and I was definitely on the verge of just calling a cab. But the bus finally showed, and I felt this super-endurance bravado, which when I get it, I have an automatic urge to splurge. Like on a call liquor beverage at the Chatroom. But I resisted, and walked straight home, once I disembarked from the bus. And had an ice cold bottled Shock Top in front of the computer. But I do digress...

The MINDSHARE is what I want to tell about. I got there right on time for the scheduled 30 minutes of chewing and chatting, and there was a sizeable finger food spread set up--which was nice. Fruit, tiny sandwiches, tea, and veggies for me. I greeted a few women I recognized in the friendly crowd, including Lucy from La Panorama, Marcy Paul from the YWCA's Racial Justice program, and of course, Hispanic Women's Network of Texas - Fort Worth chapter prez, Christina Elbitar (who also co-owns Chadra's Mezza Grill). The panel discussion got started right on time, with an effusive introduction by Pat Alva-Green, followed by a brief recitation of the "rules" of the session--time limits for panel speakers, dismissal of formal titles in favor of just using the women's first names "since we're like a family."

And then the women got down. The testimonials and commentaries were frank, but still socially appropriate--no mean name-calling or slurring in this setting. The HWNT ladies are too gracious for that. But it did seem that the mostly-female audience counted on ex-mayor pro tem (but still on the FW Council) Kathleen Hicks to bring out the edge in the dialogue, and she did. Thank god for that. Otherwise, it might have been a long, dull presentation. It just takes the presence of one surefire truthteller to up the ante for the others at the table, because that's just what happened. Inspirational and advocacy-oriented, but never adversarial or prissy trite, this first-time MINDSHARE allowed women in power suits to speak their powerful minds--forthrightly and sisterly.


From Kathleeen Hicks (who announced that she will be joining the Board of Trustees for Texas Wesleyan U later this year):

"Sometimes it seems that leaders [in Fort Worth] think there are twenty men who run it all."
"The bathrooms in the pre-council chambers are just for men."

From Mary Lou Martinez, the first Hispanic appointee to the Castleberry ISD Board of Trustees:

"Fort Worth is still very much a 'good ole boy' town."

MINDSHARE, a public dialogue sponsored by HWNT, tonight @ 6pm in FW

[This event has been coordinated by the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (HWNT)--Fort Worth chapter. Thanks to Layne for the heads-up.]

Fort Worth Chapter Brings Together Councilperson Kathleen Hicks and Honorable Judge Jo Ann Reyes for Panel

Empowering Leaders through Experience

Moderated dialogue led by Dr. Valerie Martinez-Eber, co-author of “Politicas: Latina Public Officials in Texas”

July 29, 2009
Texas Wesleyan University
1201 Wesleyan Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76105-1536
6:00 p.m.

What motivates women to serve their communities?
How does the recent nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor affect our nation? In light of Sotomayor’s historic nomination as the first Latina for the U.S. Supreme Court, they will discuss how this affects women at the local level. We’ve gathered a forum of passionate female role models to break open a dialogue of social issues concerning women today. Our panelists have served or are currently serving as a public official or board member and have agreed to openly share their experience as leaders. Men and women are welcome to join the discussion in a safe, trustworthy environment where we can explore our community, and strengthen our understanding of those that serve us.

The HWNT Mindshare Forum panelists in attendance:
• Mary Lou Martinez, Secretary Board Trustee for Castleberry Independent School District (CISD)
• Honorable Judge Jo Ann Reyes
• Councilperson Kathleen Hicks - District 8
• Dr. Camille Rodriguez, former Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) board member
• Mayor Dorothy Ortiz, Hall of Cool, TX

WHEN: Wednesday July 29, 2009 -- 6:00 PM

WHERE: Texas Wesleyan University – Louella Baker Martin Pavilion, 1112 Wesleyan St. Fort Worth, TX 76105

WHY: “HWNT advocates for the advancement of Latinas in the public, corporate and civic arena. We are truly proud to see a ‘wise Latina’ as a nominee for one of the highest political sectors in the U.S.” said Christina Elbitar, president of HWNT-FW. “Sotomayor is a shining example of the American dream and a role model to younger Latinas.

About HWNT
HWNT is the largest Hispanic-based women's organization in the State of Texas and is recognized as one of the Top 10 Latina organizations in the country by Latino Leaders magazine in 2009. Since 1987, the organization has served the Texas community by sponsoring programs which reflect the group’s vision and impacts the lives of HWNT members. For more information about HWNT and upcoming events, visit www.HWNT.org/fortworth.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Metroplex is poppin'

Starting later this evening is a Puerto Rican-flavored cultural event. I'm sure the music is gonna be great!

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Asociacion Boricua de Dallas, Inc.
Cultural Activity

6:30pm - 9pm

Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak @ Good Latimer
Dallas, Texas 75204

Special Performance by: Bomba y Plena by Danza Cultura/Latin Mix


For more info.: cnoemisanchez@yahoo.com


There's an all-day YOUTH-oriented arts fest, with graf writers, mural painters, hiphop mc's, slam poets, and more. All day at the Rose Marine Theater, in the outdoor plaza. Check it out--today, Saturday, July 25th, FREE.

1440 N. Main. St., Fort Worth, TX

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 25th--Dallas--for world premiere of "Crystal City 1969"

Crystal City 1969---Auditions!!!

Preliminary auditions for Crystal City 1969 will take place Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Park Cities Yoga studio (5934 Royal Lane, Suite 252, 75230).

Participants are asked to bring a prepared monologue (2 minutes or less), a head-shot photo, and a performance resume or typed list of experience. No experience necessary to audition. Please arrive dressed to move. No high heels, hard-sole shoes, dresses, skirts or slacks.

Cara Mia Theatre Co. is looking for actors of all ages, from 11-years old and older, to play roles of students, parents, teachers, and general community of south Texas farm town, Crystal City in 1969. Latino, non-Latino, bilingual, English-only, Spanish-only, young, adolescent, old, middle-aged, less-than-middle-aged, short, tall, skinny, gordito/a, moreno/a, guero/a ...


Contact Raul Treviño at (469) 438-0692 or ritayraul@gmail.com, or contact David Lozano at dvdlzn75@gmail.com to sign up for an audition or to inquire about play.

Network ya Artwork - again at the NEW Melody Shop on Race St. in FW

i love this scene: Network yr Artwork @ The NEW Melody Shop

o, i went to the last "Network" and got my ears refreshened. Arlington's Imaginary Friends is awesome. first-time empanada-maker, Neeky D, blew me away with her homestyle foodstuffs. buena gente, young creative crowd that don't refer to themselves as "creatives"....huh?

Let the Music Move Your Soul 3 - Saturday, July 25th - SE Fort Worth

WHERE: Echo Lake Park, Ft. Worth, TX. Take the RIPY STREET exit, off of I-35 W.
Follow signs for Echo Lake Park/Community Center.

WHAT UP: FREE, ALL AGE EVENT. FREE FOOD. 2on2 CommanDOS Battle. 1on1 BBoy/BGirl.
1on1 Popping. CASH PRIZES!

More info here!

Get out there and shake it - open and free to the public - family-friendly.

Let The Music Move Your Soul 3!! JULY 25th 2009!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Queer LiberAction is a Dallas-based, but currently VERY Fort Worth-active, group that is not afraid to be out and outspoken. Kick that kowtow(n) into action, yo!

AND--everyone please save the date (JULY 31st) for the teach-in scheduled to take place in the TCU area. Learn and live. Highly recommended.


From: Queer Liberaction ..
Subject: Queer LiberAction News - Direct Action Gets the Goods
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 7:48 PM

Direct Action Gets the Goods

Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and other city officials know very well that stall tactics drive away interest. Ultimately all that is left of important stories such as the harassment and intimidation used at the Rainbow Lounge become whispers in the middle of the night. Moncrief et al knew the city of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Police Department were wrong and acted under the assumption that GLBT North Texans were going to sit passively by and accept direction from our political betters. Queer LiberAction members stood up and proudly said that violence against our people will never again becomes whispers in the middle of the night.

Mayor Moncrief made an apology after being requested to do so by members of Queer LiberAction. Because he found himself in yet another politically awkward corner, the mayor has subsequently and shamefully rescinded his apology.

The agenda was ultimately restructured so that the issue regarding the raid at the Rainbow Lounge could be heard sooner.

TABC administrator Alan Steen has apologized for his officers committing “clear violations”, the Fort Worth TABC sergeant has resigned and the commission as a whole now seems eager to work openly with the GLBT community.

All this comes after weeks of street protest and agitation, culminating in the finest celebration of our freedom of speech by taking our grievances as an oppressed people to our elected officials. If there hadn’t been so much noise, history could have well repeated itself by allowing our anger to turn into whispers in the middle of the night.

Check out the Dallas Voice article where Queer Liberaction founder, Blake Wilkinson, stands up for the group’s direct action tactics. You can find the article here.

If you haven’t been to QL’s website recently you’ll want to pay a visit. All the photos, video, media links and even a new blog are now up on Queer LiberAction’s site, www.queerliberaction.org

Coming Events

Milk box
Saturday, July 25
Houston and 3rd St
Sundance Square – FW
7:00 PM

Queer Liberaction is set to take its Milk Box to Sundance Square in the heart of downtown Fort Worth this coming Saturday, July 25th at 7:00 PM. Topics sure to ring out over QL’s megaphone will primarily focus on the Rainbow Lounge raid and ensuing debacle in the city of Fort Worth but conversation is open to all. Those that were at the Rainbow Lounge raid are expected to speak on the events they witnessed.

Ambassadors and leaders from the Queer community will be setting up Queer Liberaction's Milk box outside of the gayborhood as a way to engage the public in a discussion on GLBT equality. Named in honor of Harvey Milk, our public free speech event is a fun and engaging way which encourages dialog regarding homophobia and the civil rights denied to GLBT people. Join Queer Liberaction as we stand up and speak OUT to our neighbors about how discrimination affects us all.

Ft Worth QL Meeting
Wednesday, July 29
Starbucks at 404 Houston St in FW
7:00 PM

We are very please to introduce Joe Remsik, the new Queer LiberAction Leader of Community Development in Fort Worth. This new position is part of a drive to foster visible, direct action GLBT activism in Fort Worth. We will hold meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month, with an introductory meeting taking place on July 29th. Meetings will begin at 7:00 in the evening at the Starbucks located at 404 Houston St in Fort Worth.

Joe says that he’s “very excited to help foster the GLBT civil rights movement here in Fort Worth. I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday, July 29th as we begin to write a new chapter in GLBT history right here in North Texas.”

QL still holds meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at Buli Café, 3908 Cedar Springs. We will have a meeting this Wednesday, July 22 beginning at 7:00 in the evening.

Queer LiberAction Teach-in
Friday, July 31
Location by TCU – TBA
7:00 PM

One of the major issues regarding the raid at the Rainbow Lounge is how the city and public officials have responded. We in the GLBT community have been angered by many of the statements of Fort Worth Chief of Police Jeff Halstead and Mayor Mike Moncrief, to name a couple offenders.

How is Mayor Moncrief supposed to stand up for our GLBT community if he isn’t even able to utter the words “Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender” in public?!? This, on top of Jeff Halstead playing the “gay panic” defense by suggesting that Chad Gibson was sent to the hospital for a week after “groping” an officer is so 1969. There is no room for homophobia in Fort Worth in 2009. A city where a GLBT community proudly stands up for itself and doesn’t tolerate homophobia is the new Fort Worth way!

On Friday, July 31 Queer LiberAction along with Spectrum, the Gay Straight Alliance at SMU, will host a public teach-in regarding homophobia and heterosexism and the consequences of it. Statements from Mayor Mike Moncrief, Chief of Police Jeff Halstead and other city officials will be enlarged and displayed for all to see. Speakers will address the public to illustrate how the LGBT community is upset by many of the remarks made by our public officials.

Witnesses of the Rainbow Lounge raid, religious and political leaders of the LGBT North Texas community will be teachers for a day as they address the damaging effects of homophobia and heterosexism.

Come and give your two cents on how you feel the City of Fort Worth has responded to the Rainbow Lounge raid crisis! This event is a hybrid between a Milk box and public education, in its most literal sense. Come and let your voice be heard and speak OUT against homophobia and heterosexism!

Queer LiberAction

Saturday, July 11, 2009

FDA to get tobacco regulation authority...

[Lori S, who works for the American Cancer Society, sent along the following news several weeks ago, and I forgot to post this then. Thanks, Lori.]

In an historic vote, the U.S. Senate today passed a bill that would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, sale and distribution of tobacco products. Tobacco is virtually the only consumable product that is unregulated, and it is a product that when used as directed kills. One-third of cancer deaths in the U.S. are attributed to tobacco use. Research also shows that 3,500 children pick up their first cigarette each day and 1,000 will become addicted. The American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), have long pushed for this lifesaving legislation, joining more than 1,000 public health and faith-based organizations who support the bill. The House of Representatives has already passed similar legislation. Congress will now reconcile the two bills and send a final version to the President, who has already committed to signing it.

Oh, Banksy, do you have a brother who can live and work in Fort Worth?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Breanna, my niece, is rockin'

I am so proud of and happy for my little niece, that girl who's all of 15--round the corner from 16. She just got her first-ever payroll check today and that is a major milestone for a family member in our tribe.

We've all been pullin for her, all her life, and maybe even before she was born.

Back in late May or so, Grandma saw something in the newspaper about summer jobs for teens, 14 and up, a by-product of the "Obama stimulus package" opportunities abounding right now. Grandma told little B, and right away B's mom took her to library and B filled out her online app. Meeting, orientation, and other bureaucratic processes later--she's got a job through the Tarrant County Workforce Solution's "Youth in the 21st Century" program. At a church, doing a theater project.

Because B had taken advantage of some cool opportunities with the Rose Marine Theater and with her tia Tammy, she had some "theater experience" credentials to add to her job app. So, she got hooked up with a theater production, and we all assumed--B included--that she would be doing lights or some tech assistant tasks. Oh, no. This girl got her a gig performing ONstage, with professional (Jubilee Theatre) performers involved, and together they will be presenting LIVE at the Scott Theatre (!!) in early August. (B did reveal that 100 teens were hired to be involved with this production...)

Apparently, the show title, theme(s), and other details are a big secret to be kept from the public--til the opening night, of course. Which makes me all the more curious and intrigued. B is keeping it cool with the Jubilee folks whom she knows know me; she thinks it best not to drop my name and just earn/learn her way on her own cred (credibility and credentials).

So, with the first paycheck in hand, my little B is a "professional performer" in the 817. I couldn't be prouder and happier for her.

Hey--I'll let you know the performance date(s) and more specifics as I get them myself.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Support the LGBT community in FW - Call for Justice in the Case of the Rainbow Lounge Raid on Sunday, June 28th

It's all over the local (DFW, TX) news--radio, television, print--and apparently, even various national media news outlets covered this in front-end broadcast segments. The newest gay bar in town, the Rainbow Lounge, is located less than a 5-minute drive from my home, and was recently the site of a now-controversial raid by FWPD and TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) that has sent a Lounge patron to John Peter Smith Hospital with a serious head injury.

Q Cinema founder Todd Camp, present during the raid, was compelled to take action and so has created a Facebook group, "Rainbow Lounge Raid", which in less than three days time has attracted over 4,000 members.

At tonight's community policing forum, local residents spoke out against what is increasingly being labeled "excessive force" and "homophobia" on the part of the arresting officers at the Rainbow Lounge on early Sunday morning. Police Chief Jeff Halstead so far seems to be doing the right thing: promising an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the arrests and urging witnesses to step forward and offer their testimony. Of course, many folks in the LGBT community--and their allies--are alarmed by what this bodes for the future, given the historical (hysterical) homophobia of Texans in general and that of Texas law enforcement officers in specific. Because of this, local activists are mobilizing quickly to build solidarity networks and to organize public demonstrations of support for the Rainbow Lounge, its patrons, and those who suffered at the hands of the FWPD on that fateful Sunday morning.

Some folks are even calling on nationally-syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage to make a trip to Cowtown for an appearance at an upcoming protest rally...



July 1 - Wednesday - evening candlelight vigil in front of the Rainbow Lounge - 8pm - 651 S. Jennings
July 5 - Sunday - "Milk Box" speak-out at Sundance Square, downtown FW - 7pm - Houston & 3rd Streets
July 12 - Sunday - LGBT North Texas Rally - Tarrant County Courthouse - 7pm - 100 E. Weatherford


More information, via the Equality Texas blog.

More information, via Queer Liberaction:

From: Queer Liberaction
Subject: The Rainbow Lounge Raids - Stonewall 2009
To: lgbtliberaction@gmail.com
Date: Monday, June 29, 2009, 6:00 PM


This past Sunday, June 28th was the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellions, the moment which sparked our civil rights movement. At Stonewall we were indignant and outraged. With this anger we got energized, got creative and got organized and stood up to society to proclaim that we are not going to be treated like any less than the human beings that we are.

Forty years on, GLBT people are still being harassed and brutalized within their own bars and clubs. At about 1:00 AM on the exact anniversary of Stonewall, the Fort Worth Police, along with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), raided the Rainbow Lounge. A patty wagon along with several police cars were parked outside as the police entered with plastic handcuffs ready to make arrests.

The Fort Worth Police are claiming that arrests were made for public intoxication. You can’t get drunk at a bar in Texas anymore? The police are also claiming that customers made “sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor” and that other officers were “groped'.

Customers from the Rainbow Lounge have a sharply different account of the events. First hand accounts indicate that this raid was a clear-cut case of police brutality and harassment. These sorts of vile intimidation techniques must not be allowed to pass without angry condemnation from the North Texas LGBT community.

While there is still uncertainty as to the exact number of arrests made, those who were present at the Rainbow Lounge that evening are reporting that about fifteen people were arrested.

Violence was used to such an extent that a Rainbow Lounge customer, Chad Gibson, is still in the ICU suffering from internal hemorrhaging on the brain. His condition is reported to be worsening. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chad and the Gibson family.

Please visit the Dallas Voice Instant Tea blog for a more complete story and for the latest developments. (I recommend hitting the refresh button every few hours, at least for the next week or so...)

LGBT North Texas will rally again at the Tarrant County Courthouse on Sunday, July 12 at 7:00 PM. If in the next two weeks there is city-wide condemnation of the Rainbow Lounge Raid then the rally will then be one to congratulate the city on their swift and sharp action. On the other hand, if first hand reports still contradict the official story, if arresting officers are not seriously disciplined, if the officer responsible for Chad Gibson’s brain hemorrhage is still an active member of the Fort Worth Police Department, if apologies are not issued by the mayor, Mike Moncrief, and the Fort Worth Police Chief, Jeffery Halstead then the tone of the rally will adequately express the indignation from our community regarding the City of Fort Worth’s less than aggressive response to homophobia and police brutality.

Rainbow Lounge Raid Rally
Tarrant County Courthouse
100 E Weatherford
Sunday, July 12
7:00 PM


Chuck Potter and Todd Camp were both at the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, June 28, when it was raided by Fort Worth police officers and agents with the TABC. Seven people were arrested and one man remains hospitalized with a serious head injury that may require surgery as a result of the raid — which by the way, happened on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

Potter, Camp and many others were outraged by what has been described as the officers' brutality during the raid, and by what appeared to many as nothing more than an effort to harass management, staff and patrons at the newly-opened nightclub. Potter and Camp organized rallies on Sunday that drew as many as 200 people to the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse to protest the raid.

Now Chuck Potter and Todd Camp are coming to Dallas Voice's monthly "Freedom of Speech Night" on Tuesday, June 30, to talk about what happened. We want you to come, too, to get information and to give your opinion.

Come on out and exercise your freedom of speech!

Tuesday, June 30
8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Buzzbrews Kitchen
4334 Lemmon Avenue


In response to the raid at the Rainbow Lounge, Queer Liberaction is set to take its Milk box to Sundance Square in the heart of downtown Fort Worth this coming Sunday, July 5th at 7:00 PM. Those that were at the Rainbow Lounge Raid will speak on the events they witnessed.

Ambassadors and leaders from the Queer community will be setting up Queer Liberaction's Milk box outside of the gayborhood as a way to engage the public in a discussion on GLBT equality. Named in honor of Harvey Milk, our public free speech event is a fun and engaging way which encourages dialog regarding homophobia and the civil rights denied to GLBT people. Join Queer Liberaction as we stand up and speak OUT to our neighbors about how discrimination affects us all.

Milk box
Sundance Square in Fort Worth
Houston & 3rd St.
Sunday, July 5
7:00 PM

All the information coming out regarding the Rainbow Lounge Raid is all very new and a single consistent story has been difficult to establish. Please keep checking Queer Liberaction’s website for the latest steps we will be taking in the coming weeks.

Queer Liberaction

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Howl" - a live theater adaptation of a poem- at the Hip Pocket Theater in FW

Allen Ginsberg's book-length seminal poem "Howl" has been adapted by Johnny Simon of the Hip Pocket Theater in Fort Worth. I'm going to see and hear it tonight. I've been told the performance runs a brief 45 minutes. "Howl" was written 50 years ago, and apparently still speaks volumes about the state of our society--I'll let you know my first impressions later this week.

I've also been reading that producer Christine Vachon (one of my living cinematic heroes) has been working on a narrative film which focuses on the drama and controversy that surrounded Ginsberg (and a few other Beat poets) in NYC. Titled "Kill Your Darlings", this film has been generating alot of buzz, though it's not slated to be released later this summer or in the fall. A biopic, also based on Ginsberg's "Howl" is forthcoming in 2010.

Check out some related images here, here, here, and here.

One online pundit suggested that Jemaine, of hot indie band-of-the-moment Flight of the Conchords, woulda made a great onscreen "Ginzy"--as many of us affectionately called Ginsberg over the years.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Do Dance, Do Music--in Dallas, Saturday, June 13th

The city of Dallas will be host to two exciting fests in one day. First, there will be a 6-hour TangoThon at the Latino Cultural Center. Afterwards, the Dallas Symphony Latino Festival will commence at the Meyerson Symphony Center, in the downtown museum district. Both events are FREE and open to the public! Details follow.


SPONSORED BY Latino Cultural Center and Target

(Argentine Tango Classes for FREE. ALL classes are geared toward beginners.)

Saturday June 13th, 2009
11am - 5pm

Location: Latino Cultural Center - 2600 Live Oak St. - Dallas, Texas 75204
(The Latino Cultural Center is located just east of downtown Dallas.)

Registration for the Free Classes is Highly recommended.

How to Register:
Send an e-mail to dancing@evolutiontango.com with the following information:
Subject: TangoTHON 2009
First and Last Name of all the participants
Class # (you can take one, tw,o or all three classes)

Class #1 - 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.– Intro to Argentine Tango taught by George and Jairelbhi Furlong

Class #2- 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. - Intro to Argentine Tango taught by Karen & Larry Hallman

Class #3- 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. –Intro to Argentine Tango taught by Reese Fuentez & Gail Horne

2:30pm to 3:00pm – Performances by Tango Instructors

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Open Practica (This is the time to practice what you have learned in the classes)

NEW THIS YEAR: There will be a Tango Performance in between classes by Tango Students

If you have any questions, please call: 469.939.4120 or email at dancing@evolutiontango.com.

[Thank you, Jairelbhi Furlong, for sending along this tango fest invitation.]


Dallas Symphony Latino Festival 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009 
7:30pm -- FREE and open to the public

Meyerson Symphony Center - in the downtown Dallas museum district - Dallas, TX

Admittance will be on a first-come , first-served basis. Please arrive 45 minutes early to ensure seating.
Vouchers can be obtained by calling: 214.692.0203

GNO - live tonight - presented by WordSpace in Dallas

[Thanks to Adrienne Cox Trammell of WordSpace for the following announcement.]

WORDSPACE of Dallas, Texas, will present veteran slam poet John E. Doom aka GNO, tonight, June 12th, at Cafe Madrid in Dallas.

Date: Friday, June 12
Time: 10:00 p.m. to midnight
Place: Cafe Madrid - Bishop Arts District - 408 N. Bishop - Dallas, TX

I've known GNO for over ten years, and he always, quite capably, delivers a fun and riveting performance poetry set. He's worked solo, and he's also been on several slam poetry teams representing Dallas at the National Poetry Slam competitions over the past 12 or so years. I also booked his threesome, OIL (Ordained in Lyrics), which performed to thunderous ovations at the Texas Book Festival under the Poetry Tent (which I curated and hosted for seven years). OIL is one of the best spoken word performance ensembles I've ever heard in the great state of Texas. The first time I witnessed this trio, performing well-orchestrated group pieces with the flavor of jazz, was at Mojo's Coffeehouse in Austin during South by Southwest. OIL slicked me down and fried me deep--wow. For now, it appears that GNO is doing a solo routine for his public appearances. No worries, this man can definitely entertain on his own. Highly recommended.

More info at wordspacetexas@yahoo.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My personal Nepal anniversary

This week, this precise week, marks the 10th year anniversary of my FIRST (yes, someday i WILL return) journey to and in Nepal. I long-ago started a blog which was designed to depict at least a few of my experiences and impressions while there in the summer of 1999. So, you can go there if you want to read more details about that. For here and now, let's just enjoy these two images and some elevation stats. Yeah, I trekked up to see Everest, and yes, it rocked my world.

Uhm, some folks got me to do an interview for an August 1999 edition of the Sandhiya Times (a Nepal Bhasa-language daily that's distributed in Kathmandu). Pretty unexpected thing to happen to a Chicana from Tejas, que no?

Kathmandu, 4500 ft. elevation

Lukla, 9380 ft. elevation

(Oh, that's right: I flew into Lukla, at the "most dangerous airport in the world". Glad I didn't know this back then. You gotta watch the embedded video footage of a SAFE landing into Lukla on this site. No wonder all the passengers and flight personnel break into excited (and relieved) applause whenever this plane lands in one piece..)

Namche Bazaar, 11,300 ft. elevation

Khumjung 12,400 ft. elevation

Tengboche 12,670 ft. elevation

Pangboche 12,800 ft. elevation

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who's Counting?

[Thanks to Lionheart, who identifies as a "Nerd for Word," for the following news and links.]

"check this out. the english language will be getting its millioneth [sic] word very sooooooon."



1. This
2. is
3. very
4. fascinating
5. especially
6. to
7. folks
8. who
9. enjoy
10. playing
11. with
12. words

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm performing at tonight's Spoken Word Salon @ Christopher Walker in FW

There is going to be a special edition event at the Christopher Walker Salon tonight, Saturday, June 6th, from 6-9pm. Apparently, one of the owners at Christopher Walker is a poetry/spoken word aficionado and has spearheaded this first-time Spoken Word Salon--which will feature various "speaking" artists, including some mc's (rappers). I'll be on the mic too, starting sometime between 7:30pm and 8:30pm. Doing about a 15-20 minute set.

Wine/fruit/spoken word/camaraderie with creatives/Los Vaqueros tex-mex-----sounds good to me.

10 dollars at the door.

817.207.9898 to rsvp or for more info.

6-7pm wine reception
7-8:30pm performances
8:30pm more food, catered by Los Vaqueros Restaurant

Christopher Walker Salon
3065 Greene Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76109

What's in your camelbak?

The one and only time i ever participated in a foot race (it was a 10k), i was about 18 years old. Near the finish line, the organizers had set up barrels and barrels filled with ice-cold cans (the 8 oz. size) of Budweiser. As the legal drinking age at the time was 18, I swigged a couple cans of Bud--ahhh. Quite refreshing, if not actually hydrating.

Back to the garden(ing).

Sometimes I fret that I am spending (my all-too-precious) time doing the wrong things. I often double up by listening to some interesting radio (KERA's Think or This American Life or Radio 360) as I move to and fro cleaning, arranging, blogging, cooking, cat-bonding, etc. Today, I decided--with utmost intent--to push everything aside so that I could finally make fresh herb bundles to share with neighbors and friends who live in my very walkable neighborhood. It was a gorgeous sunny day, with a mild cool breeze blowing, and so I knew that a walk could do me some good. As I listened to Middle Eastern students and young professionals interpret and analyze President Obama's recent speech in Cairo, I carefully arranged and tied together short cuttings of fresh rosemary and oregano from my garden. It was a little bit of a fight that I had to wage, within my mind, to keep myself from labeling this activity as frivolous and dashing back to the internet for online browsing, researching, bulletin posting, whatever, whatever. Seems that, more and more, it becomes harder to justify spending time OFF-line. This concerns me greatly. And so, I am trying to liberate myself from the cyber-hood by doing things that really matter. Er, because they deal with actual matter. Hence, I have been gardening (i.e., growing things in dirt, specifically in the dirt around my house). So far, I have the following new little lovelies soaking up sun (and water) and stretching up, millimeter by millimeter, every day--much to my delight and unwavering fascination: basil, cabbage (c'mon, little guy, you can do it!), onion, carrots, collard greens (from seed, mind you), chili peppers, squash, pole beans, mint, and parsley. I am so protective of my little growing project that I cannot imagine the pain I am likely to inflict on anyone caught trying to heist my garden edibles.

I wanna say some words about my experience of the ABC network special "Earth 2100", which I caught on the telly this past Tuesday. But all I can manage to share about this right now is that 1) the info and narrative of this program was very sobering; 2) I'm glad i've been living my "economic downturn" lifestyle for over 15 years already; and 3) we really need to grow a solid mentality and practice of living the aphorism that "we're all in this together."

If you want some fresh-cut rosemary or oregano, just let me know. I'll be happy to share the harvest.

Recommended reading

Peak-Oil Prophet James Howard Kunstler on Food, Fuel and Why He Became an Almost Vegan

* By Kerry Trueman
Alternet, May 7, 2009
Straight to the Source

I grew up in Woodland Hills, Calif., a nominally pastoral, petrocentric Los Angeles suburb, so peak oil prognosticator James Howard Kunstler's dim view of our car-crazed culture really resonates with me.

Kunstler's relentless skewering of suburbia, and his penchant for apocalyptic predictions have landed him a reputation as a cranky Cassandra. But as Ben McGrath observed while strolling around Saratoga Springs with Kunstler for a recent New Yorker piece, "Far from the image of the stereotypical Chicken Little, he was more like an amiable town crier whom the citizenry regarded fondly, if a bit skeptically."

So, when a friend and I found ourselves headed to Kunstler's neck of the woods for a conference recently, we arranged to have dinner with Saratoga Springs' resident soothsayer. Contrary to his contrarian reputation, Kunstler proved to be an affable, upbeat guy.

We chatted about food, politics, urban planning, gardening and a dozen other topics, but I'm not much of a note-taker; I'd rather eat than tweet. So our dinner conversation was off the record, including, mercifully, his ribald remarks about Alice Waters and Martha Stewart, which decency should preclude me from even alluding to.

However, he graciously agreed to answer my questions via e-mail about his conversion from carnivore to (mostly) vegan and other foodish and fuelish topics.

Kerry Trueman: Let's get right to the meat of the matter -- or, rather, the lack thereof. You used to enjoy eating "lots of meat, duck fat, butter by the firkin." What made you decide to go more or less vegan in recent months? Was it hard to make the transition to a plant-based diet?

James Howard Kunstler: It was as simple as a trip to the doctor's office. My cholesterol and blood pressure were too high. I had to take some radical action. I've enjoyed the challenge of cooking with a very different range of ingredients. But I like cooking and am pretty good at it -- I worked in many restaurant kitchens when I was a starving bohemian -- and I figured a lot of things out.

For instance, that you can make stocks and sauces by braising onions and aromatics without oil or butter. The only thing I really miss is making really bravura dishes for company, like chicken pie with a butter-saturated crust, duck-and-sausage gumbo, brownies ... you get the picture. ... I'm still excited by the challenge of vegan (or nearly vegan -- I use skim milk) cookery.

There are some excellent cookbooks out there, by the way, like Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein, and the Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza.

KT: A study has just come out showing that although the French spend two hours eating each day -- roughly twice as long as we do -- they're among the slimmest of the 18 nations in the study. Americans were the fattest, with more than 1 in 3 Americans qualifying as obese. How would you explain this phenomenon? What compels Americans to eat so many of our meals in our cars?

JHK: Americans eat so many meals in cars because: 1) The infrastructure of daily life is engineered for extreme car dependency, and 2) because the paucity of decent quality public space and so-called third places (gathering places) for the working classes (and lower) -- and remember, it is the working classes and poor who are way disproportionately obese. The people portrayed in Vanity Fair magazine are not fat. I suspect that the amount of time Americans spend in their cars is roughly proportionate to the amount of time French people spend at the table.

Fast food is not a new phenomenon in the USA, however. Frances Trollope's sensational travel book of the 1830s, The Domestic Manners of the Americans dwells on the horrifying spectacle of our hotel dining rooms, where people bolted their food with disgusting manners. Americans have been in a tearing rush for 200 years.

KT: In The Long Emergency, published in 2005, you predicted with astounding accuracy how the subprime mortgage meltdown would unfold. Your latest novel, World Made By Hand, takes place in the near future after a massive flu outbreak that originated in Mexico. Um, what should we start worrying about next?

JHK: Worry about the "recovery" that never comes and the insidious collapse of our institutions and arrangements that will proceed from this. Worry about lost incomes and vocations that will never come back (e.g. marketing exec for Target, Inc.) and the need to find new ways to be useful to your fellow human beings (and incidentally perhaps earn a living). Worry about finding a community to live in that is cohesive enough to stave off anarchy at the local level. Worry about building the best garden you can and making good compost. Worry about how difficult it is to learn how to play a musical instrument at age 47.

KT: You recently wrote "there's no way we can continue the petro-agriculture system of farming and the Cheez Doodle and Pepsi Cola diet that it services. The public is absolutely zombified in the face of this problem -- perhaps a result of the diet itself." OK, so how will we stock our post-peak-oil pantries? Do we really need to start hoarding rice and beans?

JHK: Get some kind of a hand-cranked home grain mill. Personally, I think it is indeed a good idea to lay in a supply of beans, lentils, rice, oats, other grains and don't forget salt, boullion (soups can sustain us with any number of ingredients), dried onion flakes, spices (chilies and curries especially). Our just-in-time, three-day's-worth-of-inventory supermarket system is very susceptible to disruption. And we're very far from establishing workable local food networks in this country.

The fragility of petro-ag is being aggravated by the collapse of bank lending now. Farmers need borrowed money desperately. Capital is as important an "input" as methane-based fertilizers. I think we could see problems with food production and distribution anytime from here on.

KT: You're an avid gardener -- do you grow much of your own food? Do you worry that you'll have to guard your greens with a gun if our collapsing economy sends the mall rats outdoors to forage after the food courts run out of pretzel nuggets?

JHK: I don't grow any grains. I have successfully grown potatoes, but won't this year (I'm renting my current house and its accompanying property). This year, I'll be planting mostly leafy greens -- collards, kale, chard, lettuces, plus some peppers and tomatoes (pure frivolity). It is not hard to imagine that food theft will become a problem. The trouble, though, is that the sort of people liable to do the thieving are exactly those with the poorest skills in cooking. You have to know what to do with kale to make it worth stealing. It may be more like kitchen theft: "... what's that you got on the stove, pal?"

KT: You evidently enjoy cooking and entertaining. Who would your dream dinner guests be (limiting your guest list to those folks who are currently among the living)?

JHK: I have a pretty good revolving cast of characters among my friends locally who make regular visits to my table. This week, a farming couple who are renting 20 acres off a wealthy land-truster (and doing a great job of market gardening) are coming over, along with the Rolling Stone environmental reporter and his wife, who is writing a gardening book. I don't need no steenkin' outatown celebrities.

Friday, May 22, 2009

3 recommended events for this weekend in Fort Worth

Humanization 4tet--featuring Aaron and Stefan Gonzalez, Metroplex musicians who are also brothers--begins its U.S. tour this weekend here in the FW. Humanization 4tet's first release (on Clean Feed Records) won best Portuguese CD honors as selected by the biggest Portuguese jazz magazine, Jazz.PT, in 2008.

The Humanization 4tet is led by Lisbon guitarist Luis Lopes & features tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado. Lopes and Amado selected the Gonzalez brothers--sons of Dallas-based jazz virtuoso Dennis Gonzalez--to join them as the rhythm section to fill out this "freebop" quartet.

Friday, May 22 - Firehouse Gallery - Ft. Worth
4147 Meadowbrook Dr. - 76103 - 8 pm - $5

For more info, check out this compendium of reviews of the 4tet.


Saturday, May 23rd: Check out Jesse Sierra Hernandez' solo art exhibit opening at the Rose Marine Theater Gallery (Galeria de la Rosa), 1440 N. Main St., 5 minutes north of downtown FW. Jesse's exhibit, entitled En Una Manera Silenciosa, will surely draw a crowd of dedicated fans and friends.

I'll have to miss the opening, cuz I'm going to be in Tulsa, OK, for the premiere weekend screening of "Barking Water".


Lindsey D sent word about a free film screening, sponsored by the local chapter of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).
Never had heard of this doc before. Check it out.

Sunday, May 24th
1919 Hemphill, 5 minutes south of downtown FW.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Barking Water" premiere in Tulsa, Oklahoma--where it was filmed

"Self Portrait: Homeland Series" by Richard Ray Whitman, 1986, photo collage, mixed media
Richard Ray Whitman (the guy in the middle in the image above) is a friend who I met, quite serendipitously at a New Year's Eve party in OKC (Oklahoma City), back in 1999 when the last place I wanted to bring in the new year was in Austin. I called up fellow poet and wondering wanderer Kathianne O and told her to pick me up from the OKC airport around 10pm that night. She, not expecting this call, tried to beg off, saying that she was boring, had no friends and no food in the fridge. I told her that I didn't care, and that I was on my way nonetheless. When she picked me up from the airport, her entire mood had transformed: "there's a party happening at my house--i bought a buncha food and beer--and my Indian friends are coming over!" You never know when a random call to a distant friend can stir up a nice hot diggity. At Kathianne's later that night--and into the next morning--I got to meet and hang out with Richard Ray and his brother Joe Dale. We shared fresh poems, lotsa drink, and kindled a wonderful new friendship. I celebrate Richard Ray Whitman with this post, cuz he's the sort of quiet smoldering presence who defies description. He is a visual artist, poet, committed Yuchi Indian activist, and now--an actor. He is a caring, compassionate person whose gentle spirit can truly transform any room you find yourself sharing with him. I'll never forget the day last May (2008) when he led me to his special altar and lit some sweetgrass and gave me a special blessing mere weeks after I'd survived my closet ordeal. It was a highlight of my visit to Oklahoma City last year. Vicki, Richard Ray, me, Kathianne in OKC, May 2008 - photo credit: Bryan Parras

I cannot wait to see him on the big screen in his first starring role.

THE EVENT: Oklahoma Premiere of "Barking Water", Native Indian indie filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s new film featuring Casey Camp-Horinek and Richard Ray Whitman.

The film got great reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and was screened at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City on the opening night of the Native American Film and Video Festival in March. That was followed by screenings at the Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art.

Now, it’s opening in Oklahoma. Circle Cinema in Tulsa will host the
Oklahoma premiere, from Friday, May 22nd through Thursday, May 28th.

Circle Cinema is located at 12 S. Lewis, Tulsa, OK
Phone at 918-585-3456 for more info.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday, May 21 by phone or online.

Additional links:





Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Issue, YELLOW MEDICINE REVIEW - now released

There is nothing like capping off an amazing afternoon of backyard gardening (also lit my firepit as it was actually cool enough outside to deal with that) with a great mail delivery. I received my contributor's copies of the latest issue of the
YELLOW MEDICINE REVIEW yesterday and put the huge yellow envelope aside 'til I was done in the backyard. Then, I took a quick bath, put on some fresh clothes, and walked--with envelope under my arm--to the Chatroom for a celebratory pint. It's my tradition to toast myself whenever a new publication credit comes to pass; typically, I've ended up at the thinks-it's-schmancy-but it's actually pretty laidback upstairs bar at the Worthington Hotel downtown. I once dragged a box of books and a box cutter up there, plopped down on a leatheresque settee and ordered a Bombay gin and tonic. Never mind trying to get a friend to join you; they're usually at work or otherwise occupied. And, what I've come to realize is that this celebration is really about you, the writer, and your book. Ain't no one else really gonna understand the import and necessity of unpacking the book from its delivery wrap with great anticipation, and the delicious feeling of first seeing the book design and cover art, and turning the book over and over in your hands--knowing that your own written words have contributed to its weight and value. Then, when you open the book to see where your poems have been placed, you marvel at how your work seems to hold its own settled in among poems written by people you have never heard of before. I try to read my poems with the eyes of a new reader, imagining what they might find or appreciate most in my words. All these gestures and rituals of welcoming a new book are a quite personal experience for the published writer. If you as friend or family member don't really understand but applaud me from afar, that's cool. Me and my new book will continue to celebrate over at the corner table, glistening with pride and good humor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get out, get active today - Monday, May 18th

For some reason, tonight's a big night for community action and activism in the Metroplex. I might end up at the ACT meeting; I have met a few ACT organizers and they are very cool and creative problem-solvers, and so I want to learn more about their work in Tarrant County. But right after I post this, I'm dragging my boombox out to the backyard, and I'm turning into a gardening fiend for the next few hours. Bean pole plants are looking good. My collard seeds have sprouted!



ACT's (Allied Communities of Tarrant) general membership meets at 7 pm at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in the library tonight, Monday, May 18th.  The address is 3717 Stadium Dr. (west of Granbury Road, in the Westcliff neighborhood).
Tonight's agenda includes final planning for Tuesday's education action (see below), updates on the ACT May 28 GALA, and work on JPS's new community clinic initiative and the beginning of immigration workshops.  Nine ACT leaders met with legislators and participated in a press conference at the state capitol last week, and they will discuss progress on legislation around job training, TAKS testing, and children's health insurance.
Tomorrow, TUESDAY, May 19th at 6:45 pm, parents, congregrations, pastors and principals will meet to determine the political will for challenging the status quo in schools.  This includes
• challenging how schools treat parents
• how teachers and parents can be more effective together,
• how to challenge the geography of failing schools.
Please arrive at 6:45 pm at Beth Eden Baptist Church,  3208 Wilbarger St, Fort Worth.  The leadership team and Education Coordinator Tara Perez have led listening sessions with hundreds of parents, and these stories will form the basis of a summer organizing strategy. 
More information on ACT (Allied Communities of Tarrant):

Jose Aguilar - 817-443-4152 (cell) - joseaguilar_58@hotmail.com

Allied Communities of Tarrant - 817-921-2228 (phone) - alliedcommunities.org



The Fort Worth Police Department will hold a police public awareness forum TONIGHT:

MONDAY, MAY 18th, 2009
7PM to 8PM
SHAMBLEE BRANCH LIBRARY (about 2 blocks east of I-35, minutes from Magnolia/Fairmount 'hoods)

This forum will be conducted to:

- Build a better verbal dialogue between the community and the police department.
- Maintain a continuous working relationship and address the various concerns of the community.

In this meeting, community groups and residents will have the opportunity to hear about the latest projects and programs, ask questions and give feedback to numerous police officials.

Chief of police Jeff Halstead and other police department representatives will attend the forum.

Because you care about what happens in your neighborhood, please attend. For more information, please contact Office Sharron Neal at 817.392.4215.

Please invite your neighbors, your neighborhood watch groups, and your copwatch allies.


And, to close off the night, if you can get out to Denton---a benefit for the QUERENCIA COMMUNITY BIKE SHOP!

Doors open at 7pm

$5 if you come by bike

8pm- Chris Flemons
9pm- The Slow Burners
10pm- Boxcar Bandits
11pm- Sara Jaffe

Bike sale, Bake Sale, Raffles, Bike Valet!!!

Help us buy some tools!

We are celebrating our recent approval of 501c3!!! We are officially a tax-exempt nonprofit organization!



GET OUTSIDE, GET ACTIVE, the weather's gorgeous so roll your car windows down & turn OFF the a/c !!!!