1. one or 2 new little notebooks
2. rei tent
3. cook pot kit
4. stove, propane i suppose
5. water filter
6. matches
7. 2 pairs of pants
8. pair swim trunks (?)
9. 400 page thelonious monk novel by joe milazzo
10. laptop
11. cell phone charger and automobile adaptor
12. small cooler
13. yellow (day) backpack
14. water bottle
15. first aid kit (?)
16. extra shoes
17. a change of light stories by julio cortazar
18. sequoia kings canyon guidebook
19. calif. coastal parks guidebook
20. calif. topographical map book
21. new hiking shoes: i just exchanged old torn hiking shoes at rei, for for a cost of about $40, first time i ever used their “lifetime guarantee” even though i’ve been a member for over 30 years and a year or 2 ago they rescinded their lifetime guarantee policy and replaced it with a one year policy, i wanted to use it once before i never could again (never having used it on anything in 30 years, i had purchased previous shoes on sale which accounts for additional $40)
22. poems to read at city lights on thursday
23. black t-shirt for reading (?)
24. cotton sweater
25. wool coat
26. wool sweater
27. rain coat
28. underwear, socks
29. box for misc junk in the back (angry days, bungee cords, tree identification books, CDs)
30. cotton layers, shirts
31. duffel for this stuff
32. knife, a couple spoons, forks
33. plate (?)
34. french press daughter gave me
35. food—coffee
36. toiletries, tp, paper towels, toothbrush etc.
37. hand towel
38. sleeping bag
39. sleeping pad
40. city terrace field manual

41. always forget something

42. box of ashes: males in particular (i’m thinking of my dad when i say this), talk about zen or god or art (or anything like that of supreme importance) and consciousness or politics and all the big issues, like women don’t have a hand stuck in the machinery of every single day. but i know that every day of my life mom has (she’s 88 now), without being asked, done everything she could for everyone, not one day—every day. every day. on mother’s day women like her will get some lip service. then the discourse will turn immediately to the usual stories, wars, money, parties, parades, programs, death and waste. and the women like her without whom nothing could survive will go on working. meanwhile, dad (or his ashes) is in his box—and he’s going for a ride from the sierras to the pacific. the box will come back empty. come on, dad.





philip seymour hoffman, actor makes sweeping gesture

philip seymour hoffman the spider seems crushed it tries to get away with only four legs

i am helping it with paper mind(s)

philip seymour hoffman trapped between republicans and democrats makes a gesture

(visualize faint puckering around his mouth, as if a sour taste here)

p. s. h. performs the phases of the moon in palatial chiffon of greenish PVC

i saw this special movie where he did voice over

the movie was projected upon rows of parked cars and somebody’s green furry handcuffs

voice over did shift a grand decisive gesture

the movie was called synecdoche, to the left of david hockney

the movie flickered and got on a plane

the plane rose into a red sky

but that was not the gesture, the gesture itself was italian which is some would suggest, coastal

ate whole fish bones and all

(shot of vast glittering ocean surface along long serrated coast line fading into distance like sea of cortez)




certainly so much comes our way, extra faces.

extra heat, extra wind, what am i going to do with all inside it.

inside, even lucy, the dog that ran away worried about it all.

she ran right into the 4th of july. when faces hung

on the bushes like plastic bags. fluttering

with a wave of fingers, not hello or goodbye. just

dismissal. such extra faces i’ve been given together with

so much else—extra trucks, extra freeways, sites. fistfulls

of forms i must fill out describing my illiterate passions.

canned stuff, eye storms, a writhing fruit at once a living egg.

cilia, scent of a woman recently departed. faces

still hanging around, emptied out from behind,

but still speaking. slack at the edges like a wetsuit

sandy and hanging to dry. cuffs where eyes used to be.

i don’t feel i can simply leave them on the fence line

where the day breaks. no one will be there.

if i turn abruptly their lips brush my face,

or it’s a threadbare cuff. it’s a shift

in the air. i recall when boys and men wore

them under the trees and smoke. so many, so many

i was given with electric current, fried chicken,

chickens in the yard, propellers and tales of the

distant city. why does it all press a stain the air.

can’t i wring it, like a woman who takes

her broken

life in hand

without even looking,

remakes it every day?








Image by Arturo Romo-Santillano

Image by Arturo Romo-Santillano




i was hiding from security forces official and unofficial in some leafless chinese elm type trees that were clipped and pruned to bare nubs and stumps, where presumably the nightblind forces would have difficulty locating me in spite of the lack of foliage, but the trees were crawling with fat pale ants, and the security forces trampled the terrain below in their search, radios and voices coming from all points, i thought maybe i could drop to the ground and make a run for it, that there was a border nearby for escape somehow (dont we always think that?)—(sometimes it must be true)—


Image by Arturo Romo-Santillano

Image by Arturo Romo-Santillano



walking across minimall parking lot to storefront that used to be variously (?) a curandero botanica fake doctor’s office, next door to actual doctor’s clinic of some sort, and/or “health food store” of the type mostly filled with “supplement” pill bottles, but was now vacant (probably, or partly) due to current economic disaster of economy, i walked through group of martial arts students, young people mostly hanging around the parking lot as night fell, they were chatting and smoking and waiting for what, i don’t know, mostly led, via strength of personality by late 20s tall strong woman of pronounced character, i left them all outside in the dark parking lot with traffic headlights going by the busy urban avenue, went into the empty storefront purposely (i don’t know for what purpose, but i had some purpose, that’s the way i always am, it’s a dull aspect of my personality that i always know my purpose, i go DO something)—the place was perhaps being used illicitly, but was unlocked, all fluorescent lights on doors wide open, shelving and discarded fixtures remaining everywhere, signs of recent vacancy, recent economic spiral downward, maybe i was going in to practice karate which i used to do for more than five years, but when i went in the back to check out the practice space, it was an abandoned doctors clinic full of gurneys, scopes and computer screens, beds and stools and cabinets full of doctor stuff, cartons, bottles, papers and everything in place, and a group of people had taken it over, vaguely affiliated with the martial arts group—perhaps the martial arts group was sort of a front, serving two purposes (as does everything in the world)—(to train these cadre)—because in the abandoned doctors offices a group of young anarchist computer hacktivists was attacking government and specifically pentagon and nsa computers. they were going about it all casually as if planning a picnic or setting a barbecue. they sent off some viral mechanism and waited for some sign it was breaking through the firewalls of the target. the computers abandoned by the failed doctor business began ticking with suspicious regularity, a sign something was happening. “i think it’s working,” somebody said. i didn’t think too much about who were these people, they accepted me because i was purposeful and didn;t question them and they were anyway unafraid. except that they were watching their computer screens waiting for a counter-reaction, a sign that their targets had targeted them. they casually, silently, prepared to leave at the first signal. (which might be security force vehicles roaring into the parking lot outside the back door. or more quietly, an alteration of the number pattern on the computer screen.)


We are pleased to invite you to the launch event of the sixth issue of Párrafo Magazine, dedicated to the city of Los Angeles. The event will take place at 5:00 pm on April 18, 2014, at UCLA (Royce Hall 306). Join us to celebrate our new issue and have some drinks with our authors, artists, and Editorial Board! We will also have copies of our magazine for sale at a special reduced rate!

Están todos cordialmente invitados a la Presentación del número 6 de Párrafo, dedicado a la ciudad de Los Angeles. ¡La cita es este viernes 18 de abril a las 5 pm en UCLA (Royce Hall 306)!

Párrafo No. 6 includes texts by Deborah Aguilar Escalante, Sesshu Foster, Alberto Fuguet, Pere Gimferrer, Vinicius Jatobá, Román Luján, Nylsa Martínez, José Luiz Passos, Anthony Seidman, Vickie Vértiz, and Maite Zubiaurre.

The Los Angeles Issue also features photos and artwork by Ryan Allen, Daniel González, Jean-Paul deGuzman, Mario de la Iglesia, Román Luján, Vinícius Praxedes, Johnny Taylor, Noah “Kast” Teran, and Elizabeth Warren.

At this time we will also release the online version of our issue with some “bonus tracks,” including an interview with film director Chris Weitz by Jesús Galleres, artwork by Sandy Rodríguez, and a photo by Oliver Shou.


P1000970 P1000971 P1000972 P1000973 P1000974 P1000975 P1000976 P1000977 P1000978 P1000979 P1000980 P1000981 P1000982 P1000983 P1000984 P1000985 P1000986 P1000987 P1000988 P1000989 P1000990 P1000991 P1000992 P1000993 P1000994 P1000995 P1000996 P1000997 P1000998 P1000999 P1010001 P1010002 P1010003 P1010004 P1010005 P1010006 P1010007 P1010008 P1010009 P1010010 P1010011 P1010012 P1010013 P1010014 P1010015 P1010016 P1010017 P1010018 P1010019 P1010020 P1010021 P1010022 P1010023 P1010024 P1010025

maybe if we entertain this vision of gangsters killing people we can forget about the wars.

maybe if we yelp endless restaurants and eat lots of food we can forget about vast doom of our lives.

maybe if we purchase a new vehicle and attach its motor to ourselves and drive our debt we might dream.

maybe if we consider fictive problems of astronauts lost in space we might forget about all these other people.

maybe if we purchase new clothes and apply them to our person we might forget about too many past successive incidents.

maybe if we exercise our vexations and protuberances by focusing on arcane requirements of vicissitude, we could obliviate.

maybe if we dote upon something formerly comforting in another life, we might achieve proper attitudes toward the east.

maybe if we console ourselves accurately with ministrations of adequate cuteness we could orientate formally our one-time notions.

possibly if we overrule our concessions with obsessions of comeliness then we could emerge on the other side of blue lavender scale.

finally could we deal with raising heretofore fuzzy invisible embryonic personality from shreds of reality we could get on.

perhaps if we inveigle marked shrapnel embedded in our morphology we might see pools of viscous liquid in new light.

pico desk BW

I was hanging around the Parking Lot of an evening, minding tall racks of steel shelving, stacked with electronics I presumed, crated and tarped.

My buddy sitting nearby talking at me from a folding chair when a student, 19 or so striped in the bright colors of South Vietnam, joined us. She energized our dull waiting around, but she couldn’t stay.

She was hungry, she wanted to eat, she wanted me to go with her, she promised Steve (or whoever that was) he’d be fine without me awhile, took me by the arm and hauled me off (pouring her breathy voice in my ear), suggesting there was a whole evening ahead, we didn’t need to hang around the Parking Lot.

Besides, I could get something to eat too. Dragging me along, she clung to me like the personification of youthful desire, chattering happily. How tired was I of being myself?

I put my hand around her waist, lithe as pheromones on air. Were we soon to weary of each other’s face, me of her sweet thoughtstream of shiny chatter, her of my heavy inertia and lack of impulse?

These thoughts crossed my mind but for the moment I was buoyed by her presence. We emerged from the garden and entered a cafe, selecting a table, I told her to have a seat—I just had to check on something, it would only take me a minute, I’d be right back.

She looked up hesitantly; “Be back in a second,” I assured her, threading through the mostly empty tables and cream tablecloths in the lights of evening, hurrying off, between fern fronds seemingly along the same path as before.

But perhaps not—the path, winding between dense brush and trees, ascended toward a distant ridge, mountain peaks shining with the last light of day in vertical distance. Finally the damned path was not only barely a trail, it was no longer even easy hiking—it had become a slog stepping gingerly in sodden black mud.

It was like some transcontinental trail somewhere between Nicaragua and the Pacific Northwest, and I doubted my purpose, if I had ever had 0ne. Time to turn back!

On the way down, I bumped into yet another former student, Alyssa, stouter and more muscular perhaps than the actual Alyssa, nylon rope coiled over one shoulder, hiking her way to a climbing route in the peaks above us.

We exchanged greetings, I wished her luck (surely darkness would catch her high in the peaks? I wondered) anyway she seemed very strong and determined, without a doubt, confident smile as she hiked on, close-cropped hair dyed lighter than I remembered or perhaps bleached by long exposure out of doors.

The path descended through a ravine like Boulder Creek, a rushing stream pouring over and under large boulders, down into the steep forest. I strode down determinedly, hurrying back to the 19 year old.

Fate Ever Pursues The Leviathans of the Air



sepia pollos rostizados

of course the rain is beautiful— and faces appeared out of that dampness where they did appear. stevenson 152, faces like calif. poppies in the rain, which is to say these gentle blossoms (young student faces) flattened and mushed by wind and rain, orange, even folded on the ground by parsley-green foliage, orange. kara, grad student, angel dominguez and dan talamantes, terrific poets, former students from a couple years ago sat in front. i should have asked them questions, shouldn’t i find out something important? karen yamashita said i did okay so i take her word. shortly after, scanning the crowd of 150 or so students in humanities lecture hall i knew i should make them descend en masse and exercise, chanting in the martial spirit, as some look despondent, maybe the majority, under incessant attack by market forces and representatives of capital. plus they are young and need to feel their strength. since they have it. droplets drifting through oak and redwood— angel read poems where his grandfather became a cenote. alyssa young joined others welcoming me to read, which i did, reading some poems about death, then alyssa said she had a hand in several projects like the art bar at the brewery. we gave doctor james lew a ride to his car, globes of lights floating through trees, droplets spattering the shining long drive down the hill toward the bay, we met people at the pier. micah perks (with a new novel manuscript) and karen y. hosted (before she flew off to seattle), stephanie chan was there, joseph shannon, less harried and frazzled than years back, heartened my spirit telling how he stood up for his students. micah asked me what was wrong with the shrimp salad, but i didn’t admit it, i was talking and listening too much to eat. my friend the doctor, i should’ve stood to give one of those embarrassing toasts— he’s provided healthcare to farmworkers and the poor in hawaii and california (and flown out to mexico and nicaragua) these past thirty years, long waves of white foam washing underneath us through the pilings, long white crescents of surf cast on the drizzly beach. we got too much history to go into, the three of us at one end of the table, doctor jimmy, dolores and me three decades ago hiking the olympic peninsula in dark winter rains (trees floating down the flooded hoh river, logs booming together in the waves on rialto beach, jimmy, dolores and me soaked to the skin on rialto beach) when my daughter was born on that camping trip. that night history, in the dark and in the rain. we went out into the misty night, stepping to our vehicles, i stood at the railing a moment and took it in: the sea glowing and swelling in spots of green from the lights of the pier, it must be the very same darkness as all these years or some different dark, the very same rain or different rain. in the morning the downpour coming down hard, as dolores and angel and i, and laura kincaid chatted over coffee in the breakfast room of the motel overlooking the pier and the beach.





April 2014
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