Saturday, December 19, 2009

A few old lines for a hard year in Richmond


when you find yourself against it

with the winter and hard windows on your shoulders

say your name right

be it bold

or stand up treacherous

bind myth back to the bone

take shape again

drive cedar through the crevice of your accent

call your father’s mother’s name

and if you know it

ask the sun to find its place

in all your questions

disappearing man

so fabled

rocking urban camouflage

to fade into the abscess infinitum

so desensitized


with your hands outstretched

and yes brother

i feel you

touch deprived so tough derived

your story’s stole by viacom

remote against technology’s advance

call it division

call it border leap of faith

but you call someone in your midst

and brother


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Iron Jesus - Father, Son, and the Holy Toast - The Daily Beast

Last week, Mary Jo Coady of Methuen, Massachusetts, spotted a pattern on the bottom of her iron that she believes resembles Jesus. The 44-year-old mother was reassured about the religious imagery by her two daughters and frien

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Postethnic Sales Pitch: Que Viva el Hybrid

I know it's entirely esoteric (and beyond that lazy), but I wanted to write a piece without writing the piece. So instead I assembled all of the parts. I'll let you fill in the blanks...


"A moment's consideration of this case shows what a really great advance in the theory and practise of breeding has been obtained through the discovery of Mendel's law... Then we had no explanation to offer for such occurrences other than the 'instability of color characters under domestication,' the 'effects of inbreeding,' 'maternal impressions.' Serious consideration would have been given to the proximity of cages containing both black and cinnamon-agouti mice. Now we have a simple, rational explanation, which anyone can put to the test. We are able to predict the production of new varieties, and to produce them. We must not, of course, in our exuberance, conclude that the powers of the hybridizer know no limits."

–William Ernest Castle, "New Colour Variety of the Guinea Pig"


“I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean, the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passions by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object”

–Roland Barthes

“I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction."

–Barack Obama

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

AMATE: Pinta tu Propio Mundo 8

Saturday October 24th at 8 p.m.
Galeria de la Raza
2857 24th Street

Amate: Women Painting Stories
(formerly Pinta tu Propio Mundo)

Sandra García Rivera
Irene Faye Duller
Aida Salazar

Special guests, Las No Que No (Son Jarocho)

Hosted by Leticia Hernández
Artist Bazaar and the sounds of DJ Special K

$10-$15 sliding scale

$5 for Galeria members

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo

The paradox of public art is that it's pervasiveness often renders it invisible. Even as it buffers us against dystopian streets and marks our common landscape with the signs of culture and humanity that keep us whole, sheer volume contributes to its opacity...especially in the Mission District where the abundance of murals shoulders also the misfortune of a movement sometimes taken for granted. Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo attempts to refocus our gaze pointing in poetic and glossy color pages back some three decades and forward as the poetic narrative leads us through more than 600 illustrations documenting the progressive reclamation of the city's walls. More tour guides than docents many prominent Mission voices offer their site specific meditations on the populist gestures and overt political commentary to be found in the work we walk by sometimes daily, and the inclusive character of the list of contributors reveals a tribute to the efficacy of dialogue, collaboration and community involvement that ground the Mission Mural Movement. In other words cop this book, and don't just sit it on the coffee table. This one was meant to be shared.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Audacity of Post Ethnic Pozole

On 16 de septiembre, Mexican Independence Day, our pozole-to-go from our favorite sustainable, organic Mexican kitchen came with a set of instructions. For those of us who spend time thinking about if not watch-dogging the social implications of the mundane (in particular the crazy s**t white folks do) an immediate tension develops. Should I be offended or at the very least be feeling overtly patronized seeing as how my Mexican self knows how to eat some pozole even if it comes in a recycled plastic or maybe even biodegradable take out container? Or do I give them a pass on this one because I want to believe the instructions come directly from the chef and are aimed exclusively at the spice-fearing, crushed ice margarita drinking uninitiated? In the end, practicality trumped inquiry as I considered a scenario in which the planet friendly packaging would begin to melt on my front seat meaning time was of the essence, and we went home where I began to wonder exactly what kind of idiot doesn't know how to eat a bowl of soup. So I decided to do some research...okay, I Googled it..."how to eat pozole" and found this instructional video:

While informative (I guess) this didn't do anything for my growing sense of unease with the whole notion of foodies co-opting one of Mexican cuisine’s most perfect offerings for reified notions of the cultural product set to a hegemonic down beat. Even worse, am I complicit in the bourgeois pretense that fetishizes a presumed authenticity as it consumes? Maybe I’m sensitive that way given my history of politicizing taco shops across the country, but the scientific aspect of the “how-to” belies the assignation of a truth value that’s anchored in a repeatable process. The prescription then does double-duty as a gateway to the authentic while isolating that experience as an alleged essence. In other words, as soon as you tell me how to eat pozole, you’re simultaneously telling me that you know what it means to be Mexican. What matters most in this arrangement is pretty obvious. Who’s doing the telling? And it’s not that I’m fired up and ready to regress into early an 90’s discussion of Chican@ identity politics; it’s just that it’s still so disappointingly relevant…even in these post-racial times.

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Taco Shop Poets on Visiones

Flashback to 2004 when Visiones hit the festival circuit with a segment directed by Paul Espinosa (of ...and the earth did not swallow him fame). This snippet of a longer short is a great introduction to what he Taco Shop Poets were all about. The group has recently reconvened to discuss the possibility of a collectively authored memoir documenting the 10-year history. That possibility got me looking for this clip:

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cal Poly and Litquake in October

October 7
Another Type of Groove
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Chumash Auditorium (University Union Building)
7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

October 17
Litquake's 10th Annual Lit Crawl
Que Tal Cafe
1005 Guerrero St, San Francisco
8:30 - 9:30 p.m.

I'll be holding it down solo at Another Type of Groove at Cal Poly on the 7th for the U's MultiCultural Center in honor of Latino Heritage Month.

The 10th Annual Litcrawl features Leticia Hernández, Bruce Smith, Karen Carissimo, Rebecca Foust, Jules Gibbs, and myself. It's a little off the main drag so start heading over early if you're making the rounds that night.

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Mexican American astronaut isn't changing course on immigration stand --

NASA went ballistic when Jose Hernandez advocated legalization of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. shortly after his return to Earth. The California-born son of migrants isn't backing down. --

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