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5:15-6:15 PM Docent tours at the Guest House

6:30PM Readings

Beach=Culture and the Red Hen Poetry Series present three poets and a musician in this fourth evening in a four part exploration of current poetry.

Ron Koertge (pronounced Kur-chee) was born in 1940 in Olney, Illinois. Koertge received his BA from the University of Illinois and his MA from the University of Arizona and taught English at Pasadena City College from 1965 to 2001. He is the author of Fever, Sex Object, 12 Photographs of Yellowstone, The Hired Nose, The Father Poems, The Jockey Poems, Men Under Fire, Diary Cows, Life on the Edge of the Continent, High School Dirty Poems, Making Love to Roget’s Wife, and Geography of the Forehead. He is also the recipient of an NEA fellowship and a California Arts Council grant for his poetry. Koertge’s work has been included in Best American Poetry 1999.

Sesshu Foster has taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 20 years, and has taught writing at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts and the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems. One of his last readings at St. Mark’s Poetry Project NYC is audio archived at http://www.salon.com and local readings are archived at http://www.sicklyseason.com. He is currently collaborating with artist Arturo Romo and other writers on the website, http://www.ELAguide.org. His most recent books are the novel Atomik Aztex and World Ball Notebook.

Eloise Klein Healy is the author of six books of poetry, most recently, The Islands Project: Poems for Sappho (Red Hen Press, 2007). Healy has been awarded artist residencies at The MacDowell Colony and Dorland Mountain Colony. She directed the Women’s Studies Program at CSU Northridge and was founding chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her imprint with Red Hen Press, Arktoi Books, specializes in publishing the work of lesbian authors.

Jared Burton is a prolific writer of songs that range from folk to rock-pop, although he would rather describe his style as “amerikana” with direct reference to Kafka’s novel. As the offspring of poet parents, his pointed lyricism holds its own with his musical talents in guitar, piano, mandolin, and voice. Burton is an avid bird watcher, aspiring librarian, and lives in Pasadena with his fiance, Kelly. You can learn more about Burton and hear some of his songs at http://www.myspace.com/jaredburton.

A national presence in independent publishing, the fifteen year-old Red Hen Press publishes twenty titles of poetry, fiction and non-fiction every year and presents seven reading series in New York and Los Angeles. The Red Hen Poetry series at the Beach House is cosponsored by American Composers Forum Los Angeles. http://www.redhen.org; http://www.composersforum.org/chapters_about.cfm?oid=1460.

Stop by early for Beach House tours by docents from the Santa Monica Conservancy before every evening event, first come, first served.

Tickets: Free but seating is limited and reservations are required. If you would like to attend, please reserve online. Please plan to arrive by 6:15pm to retain your reservation. Late seating is not guaranteed. To adjust or cancel your reservation for this event, email beachhouse@smgov.net. We appreciate your keeping in touch!

Parking and Driving directions: From the Pacific Coast Highway north of California Incline, turn at the Beach House Way traffic light into convenient parking ($4/hr, $8/day, disabled placards and Santa Monica senior beach parking passes accepted).

Interview with Arturo Romo-Santillano

It’s an outstanding terrific day, a beautiful great day, you know, isn’t this exactly why we don’t live in Chicago, Seattle, Missoula, London, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis or Denver, one of the reasons we’re here? Breezy December days—sunny, high seventies like this—knock me out, and I’m happy to be driving around with Eastside artist Arturo Romo. Romo has an art exhibit at one of the only galleries that matters, Galeria Tropico de Nopal, on Beverly, [from September 25, 2009]. Ostensibly I am interviewing him about his art and about his show and everything, but I heard this rumor about his aunt, and I have to slip the question somewhere. Romo is the nephew of Paula Chrisostomo, the protagonist in the new HBO movie, Walkout, directed by Edward Olmos about the East L.A. walkouts and the jump starting of the Chicano movement. The question is, hey, you know your aunt they’re making the movie about? Is it true she’s Filipina, but since it’s an HBO Hollywood movie, they’re going to give her a race-change operation and turn her into a Chicana?

            What’s more important in the world, anyway, real life or movies? Reality or illusion? Let’s not fool ourselves. As I drive I tell Arturo, who at 26 is slim and dark and kind of serious with long hair in a single thick black braid, I want to know all about his art exhibit, but I’m itching to ask this question about his famous aunt and the movies, while just now we’ve turned onto Indiana from Whittier and I start looking for Oscar de la Hoya’s gym where he sponsors boxing programs for kids. I am downing the last of my paper cup of coffee and I thought de la Hoya’s gym was on Indiana in a remodeled pink stucco church that takes the prize for ugly, but we must have missed it. Indiana takes an overpass over the 60, and I figure we must’ve missed it because the gym is south of the freeway.

            “Ah, shit!” I say, tossing my cup out the window. The coffee is gone and I’m still semi-retarded as usual. I always hope coffee will help me think better. What a beautiful day it is, too.

            “What?” Arturo asks.

            “Nothing,” I say. “Something I was supposed to remember. But I can’t. Anyway, the art exhibit, your show at Tropico. What’s it called? Chingazos Echoing Inside the Echo Chamber? Do you want to explain that title a bit? I mean, chingazos, you know, people on the Westside, what are they gonna—”

            Arturo answers without hesitation, “Chingazo is like getting cold-cocked in the dark, chingazo’s metallic element is vomit, its plant is stinging nettle and dirt clods, its month is February. Chingazo comes from the root verb chingar, which means among other things, to screw, to throw into chaos, to make cloudy, to leave ruined, to throw down. Chingazo is neither here nor there, but that’s why it hurts so much when it fucks you up.”

            All right, I got that, or the little $100 digital recorder does, according to its tiny red eye. “Yeah, okay,” I nod, encouragingly. The idea I have is that chingazo is like picking yourself up from a sucker punch. Art that comes at you with a sucker punch, or bounces back from one? Or both.

He adds, “The echo chamber is like a house of mirrors, except within the echo chamber the imagery overlaps.”

            What about that? We’re in Boyle Heights—Casa del Mexicano, knobby microwave radio towers, birria storefronts, First, Fourth, Sixth—numbered avenues streaming downtown,  indifferent restaurants called Siete Mares, Evergreen Cemetery with vagrant bones, Gold Line expansion, etc. I worked on Soto about a decade ago. Time for a general question? “How would you characterize your work? What do you see as the role of art?”

            Arturo reflects. “Well I think of my work as a response to the world at large, I see it as a response to the type of sad isolation and sameness of everything—my response to oppressive, closed imagery, and apathy, and multidimensional, raging violence is to put some type of subversive image or iconography out there. I mean, I think all of these numerous violences come from that mainstream culture that promotes isolation and conformity—it’s like a perfected closed system. I guess I see that subversive image as being a magic that can break open that shell of consumerist illusion and at the same time never be absorbed into that system.”

            I brake for a stop sign, the avenue ends, and Arturo points, indicating a left across the Fourth Street bridge. We take the narrow old bridge with ancient street lamps suspended above one of those half-hidden neighborhoods in Boyle Heights leftover from the twenties or thirties, the old clapboard houses, some of which still open out on unpaved alleys and others only accessible by parking at the bottom of the hill and climbing stairs up a terraced slope, small bungalows with tiny cement yards. Laundry flutters brightly in some yards like pictures of days gone by.

            “You work in different media. Is that a way to bring that multidimensional, ah, magic to bear on objects?”

             “Yeah, magic and making lists are kind of the same— like assigning attributes to specific deities that conflict totally with each other— like you were saying, Giver of Life and Filth Eater. I think that’s exciting, it makes everything resonate and vibrate, because the contradiction keeps it from being firmly grasped and understood. I like the idea of a self-subverting image.”

            I had mentioned the Aztec gods had dual aspects, positive and negative, accent on the negative. Name-dropped, the goddess Tlazolteotl flitted through the conversation. “Pull over a sec,” Arturo says when we get to the end of the bridge.

            I park on Fourth, we exit to the streetcorner, the adjoining street sloping below the bridge and a little black and white pooch rushing out from a hole under a house and standing at the edge of his yard to bark. He’s a tiny dog, but he tries to make up for it by fierce ferocious barking. “Snoopy’s the guardian of the Fourth Street bridge,” Arturo says, “Huh Snoopy? Hey Snoopy!” Arturo says. We laugh, and walk toward him. Snoopy decides we have the advantage, and beats a retreat back under the house. Arturo has been snapping photos with his camera. “Come on out Snoopy!” he calls.

            A big guy comes out of the house in his undershirt. “What’s the matter?” he asks.

            “Just taking some pictures,” Arturo says.

            “What for?” the guy asks.

            “Of your dog,” Arturo replies.

            “Why? What did he do?”

            “Nothing! We like him. We like your dog,” Arturo says.

            “Oh,” the guy frowns, puzzled. “Okay,” he says thinking a bit too hard about that, then he ducks back inside, the screen door slamming. Later, Arturo inserts this clip of digital video he shot of Snoopy barking on a website he designs and produces, www.ELAguide.org, that maps significant cultural and historical sites throughout East L.A. Later, we see Snoopy re-emerge to guard his end of the Fourth Street bridge.

            Walking around the old neighborhood briefly, we’re passing by the remnants of a nursery, with a dead car in a gravel driveway, a No Trespassing sign and glass house that looks like it’s still in use. We’d like to check it out but the sign stops us. I ask Arturo about his project called the Botanica Poder del Mestizo, which seems to draw on the healing mythology and actuality of a thousand years of Mexican herbalism. And vegetal images appear in his work, from digital snapshots of trees and bushes, to nopal cactuses sprouting from the groin of a hanged man, to a man reclining—perhaps dreaming he is dead—under the jagged spears of the maguey century plant. Arturo discusses the mysterious connection that exists between humans and plants, the vegetable inertia of human lives, the overlapping vibrations, tonalities and tendencies that exist, the creative forces that co-join people and plants.

            Back in the car, west on Fourth into the orangish glare of afternoon sun, I ask, “What about influences on your work? How do you see your work relating to other Chicano art or artists?”

            “Seems like most Chicano artists my age went to some type of school— most Chicano artists of the movement didn’t go to school, or if they did it was later— and weren’t part of this crazy system of being picked up by a gallery at your last open studio. I’m done with art school. It’s like the same illusion of freedom that we all complain about in society at large— we have the appearance of freedom of thought, but we all tend to think the same things, and I don’t think that’s coincidence or human nature. I mean, one of the things the Chicano movement attempted to do was draw eyes away from Howdy Doody or whatever— to create an alternative culture that wouldn’t be as uh,” Arturo rephrases, “out of sync with our everyday. I see too many people coming out of art school with a boring idea of what exciting work is all about. The thing is, I think of galleries— it’s like they only give you one ladder to climb, a certain type of gallery, a certain type of people to associate with, certain way to talk about your work, certain frame of reference to see your work through— that makes for a certain boringness. But it’s also a super hard path to walk, trying to fit a Chicano of L.A. experience into one of the modes they give you.”

            It strikes me that this is an opportune moment to stick in my question about the movie about Paula Chrisostomo and the Chicano Movement. But he’s talking about something else. “I want to see figures and ideas that are open. Things that seem to be changing, in flux, operating with change in mind.”

            “What about artists who were part of the Chicano Movement,” edging the conversation toward the movies quite successfully in my mind, I add, “You mentioned—”

Romo goes on about precedent-setting Chicano artists: “That’s why I like Asco, they seemed to reject and embrace at the same time— it’s like they grabbed a piece of that formative Chicano language and stopped it from setting into stone and played with it for awhile. People always say nowadays that Asco’s work was good because they didn’t do what everybody else was doing, calaveras, lowriders, you know, but I don’t think they were good because they rejected that stuff— they were good because they had something to say and weren’t afraid of crossing boundaries put up by mainstream culture or Chicano culture or intellectual culture or any culture.”

I can finally just jump out and ask that question I wanted to ask. Also, I have to pull over for the sirens, for a fire engine and paramedics going by. Then some cop cars roar by, heading toward Soto. It gives me time to think. Arturo keeps his concentration intact, I don’t know where mine is, I pull back into traffic while Romo’s talking about the social role of art being revelatory and duplicitous, insidious and relentless, always attempting to peel back people’s false consciousness instilled in them from the ordinary, the every day they come to conceive of as real and factual. Messing with that. Meanwhile, I am thinking to myself, what the hell was I thinking about? I had some question about some movie, or Harry Gamboa, or something. Now I can’t remember my question; we reach Soto Street and we have to make a decision. “You hungry?” Arturo asks.

“Yeah, sure,” I say.

He continues, “I think hybrid forms need to be understood from within, you have to at least try and know what being half and half is— it’s probably not enough to just put two things together.”

I can’t even understand what he’s talking about any more. See the show though. It’ll be a great show. Arturo says, “And hybrid forms don’t just talk about two things at once— they talk about so many things— it’s like that combination creates all kinds of noise and dissonance and new ideas are thrown off of that hybrid with all kinds of unpredictability. Hybrids are irresponsible and won’t do what you tell them to.”

Time for some coffee.

“How about Homegirl Cafe?” I ask, “You like that place?”

“Yeah, sure,” Arturo says. “Let’s go.”

 

Holy Jolina! opening at Galeria Tropico de Nopal
1665 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
September 25, 2009

http://www.tropicodenopal.com

 http://vimeo.com/6230040

http://www.revumbio.com/

Velcro wiki

1. Hair, fuzz, lint, cobwebs, your poodle, a little lamb, anyone wearing their Velcro-loop suit…

velcro

when I wear my Velcro-hook suit.

2. The vivid memory of a childhood dream when I was 10 or maybe 7, of sitting on the swing set in John and Mark Peterson’s front yard negotiating with the giant black widow spider spindling above me, to convince it not to bite me.

3. Cockleburs, fish hooks, foxtails, the top of the chain link fence, the nail in my tire, the stealthy Jumping Cholla that hitched a piggy back when I brushed by. Smoke from the bar last night.

4. Now that it is 3:39 and 26.4 milliseconds in the afternoon and I remember it all the more for trying to forget IT, and THAT you did this to me at the bus stop: the Lionel Richie song you were singing this morning….“this feeling down deep in my soul that I just can’t lose.”

5. The picture of the man in the peanut suit on the cover of the magazine CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE (see #1 inre suits that suit you or me). http://dl.lib.brown.edu/cu ltural_correspondence/shel f.html

6. Free associations (see #5).

7. Out the window of the Metrolink train on that slow ride in to Union Station, looking down into the concrete arroyo of the L.A. river and seeing the silent drama of one man running along side the grave, treacherously swift water in the deeper channel cut into the center of the river bottom (the only water in the river at that time), holding his hand out to another man being washed down the channel. Then the train went around the bend and they were gone.

8. Incurable, incorrigible, language inveteracy.

9. Wishing with all my might that my imaginations and others’ fictions would be real.

10. That idea for a story, the one where the people win.

5. The picture of the man in the peanut suit on the cover of the magazine CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE (see #1 inre suits that suit you or me).
http://dl.lib.brown.edu/cu ltural_correspondence/shel f.html
6. Free associations (see #5).
7. Out the window of the Metrolink train on that slow ride in to Union Station, looking down into the concrete arroyo of the L.A. river and seeing the silent drama of one man running along side the grave, treacherously swift water in the deeper channel cut into the center of the river bottom (the only water in the river at that time), holding his hand out to another man being washed down the channel. Then the train went around the bend and they were gone.
8. Incurable, incorrigible, language inveteracy.
9. Wishing with all my might that my imaginations and others’ fictions would be real.
10. That idea for a story, the one where the people win.

hadron colliderXunantunich-PyramidWhen Mortals Work on Cosmic Time

By JAMES GLANZ
Published: August 8, 2009

Our guide, an acerbic Belizean named Albert, walked us up a hill, around a bend in the path and toward the weathered stone ziggurat and weedy surrounding structures that rose out of the jungle like a real estate development gone bad.

Xunatuch

The Maya put humans in line with the heavens with a pyramid; physicists try to unlock the universe’s secrets with a particle collider.

It was Xunantunich, the sacred Mayan pyramid carefully aligned with the sun, moon and stars and built layer upon layer over hundreds of years by successive generations until something went wrong — nobody knows exactly what — and the inhabitants simply left. I am not sure what most visitors think when they behold that crumbling majesty and mystery. As a former physicist, I thought of the Large Hadron Collider, another grandiose structure with cosmic aspirations and earthbound problems that could thwart its ambitions.

The collider, a giant machine outside Geneva that is hunting for subatomic particles that could help explain the origin of the universe, was already idle and behind schedule during the recent visit to Belize. And last week, the laboratory where the accelerator is located announced that when it finally starts smashing particles together this winter, it will run at only half power because of a disastrous electrical short that caused extensive damage and revealed problems with the experiment itself.

hadron

On the hill in Belize, we were sweating from the climb and distracted by Albert, who was squinting with his one good eye and poking a stick into a tarantula’s hole to entertain a family from Oklahoma. But standing before the ruin, I had at least a hint of the thought that gripped me with full force last week: In Xunantunich and now again in Switzerland, the vast reaches of cosmic time and space have a way of humbling the puny efforts and resources of mortals who try to figure out the universe.

It may have been the local rum punches, but to me the similarities between the two projects were clear-cut. The collider is a gargantuan structure at the European Center for Nuclear Research, called CERN, that scientists have built over generations to help them connect the smallest and largest structures in the universe, and perhaps make sense of why the cosmos is so hospitable to life.

 

Sans particles, Xunantunich was designed to do more or less the same thing in the Central American hills. Instead of quarks and leptons, the friezes ringing the pyramid depict the gods of heaven, earth and the underworld, and humanity’s place among them. The stone structures themselves were laid out according to careful astronomical observations to help priests, rulers and common folk alike organize their lives and accurately mark the passing of time.

And like Xunantunich, the collider these days is silent, if not abandoned. After $9 billion and 15 years in just the latest phase of CERN’s life, the collider — a multinational collaboration that includes the United States — has been idled by an electrical short involving its colossal magnets, leading some frustrated scientists to ask whether it will ever fulfill the dreams, and justify the money, that have been invested in it.

Xunantunich1

Many other scientists ardently believe that it would be an injustice if the collider, built in an underground ring 16 miles in circumference, were threatened by delays that are minuscule in comparison to the lifetime of the cosmos, which the experiment seeks in large measure to explain.

“I don’t see it in quite those apocalyptic terms,” said Steven Weinberg, the Nobel Prize-winning particle theorist, who said he visited CERN just a few days ago and saw no signs of a Maya-style pullout. “Everyone there was unhappy about the earlier accident, but I didn’t get the feeling that there was panic or that they were resigned to anything but a delay.”

Still, Dr. Weinberg was heavily involved in trying to save an earlier project that became a monument to unfulfilled cosmological aspirations — the Superconducting Supercollider, now a muddy hole in Texas after problems with its cost and schedule led Congress to withdraw financing in the early 1990s. And scientists watching the latest particle drama concede that as physics experiments get so large that they must be passed from generation to generation and expensive enough that a single country cannot even afford them, it does not take as much to deal a catastrophic blow to a project.

“When I was doing particle physics back in the ’60s, a three-month run was enormous,” said Allan Franklin, now a historian of science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “You put together the apparatus, you took the data and you analyzed it, and if you weren’t done in a year it was a failure.” Now, with billions of dollars and thousands of scientific careers at stake in the CERN project, Dr. Franklin said, “if it fails, it’s almost a disaster for an entire field.”

Even the Large Hadron Collider has not been around as long as Xunantunich was before the Mayas mysteriously left it behind. The central pyramid, nicknamed El Castillo, was built like a birthday cake in three or four phases over roughly 300 years, starting sometime between A.D. 500 and 600, said Richard M. Leventhal, a professor of anthropology and director of the Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He has led many archeological digs at Xunantunich, which is located in the hills of western Belize near the border with Guatemala.

Scientists have variously proposed that earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, malaria and yellow fever led the Mayas to abandon Xunantunich. But Dr. Leventhal said he believed such explanations were beside the point.

What happens first, he says, is that a worldview or belief system underpinning a culture begins to weaken. Only then can some unfortunate event like a natural disaster, or an electrical short, threaten the whole system. “All of these multigenerational projects are based upon a strong and ongoing belief system in how the world works,” Dr. Leventhal said. As long as that system stays intact, he said, “construction continues and is slightly modified within each generation to fit the current time.” If not, all bets are off.

In particle physics, that system is uninspiringly called the Standard Model, which accounts for all known matter but has one gap: the elusive Higgs boson. Physicists at the collider say they hope to capture that particle, which supposedly explains the origin of mass, and perhaps a few other particles that could point to an extension of the model.

For his part, Albert, who appeared to be very well read on the topic, took a hard line on the disappearance of the Mayas at Xunantunich, asserting that they were forced to leave solely because they failed to rotate their crops.

“There was no food,” said Albert, who said that he had some Maya blood on his mother’s side.

Whatever the true cause of the Maya exodus, a CERN spokesman, James Gillies, said that he did not expect the laboratory to suffer a similar fate any time soon. Mr. Gillies added that if, in some very distant future, visitors gazed on his laboratory’s ruins as I did on those at Xunantunich, there would probably be far fewer mysteries to ponder.

large-hadron-collider-on-hold

“I sincerely hope that if the human race has managed to survive that long,” Mr. Gillies said, “we will have left a big enough imprint on science that people will not have to speculate on what the priesthood of CERN was up to.”

NY Times August 9, 2009

 

8-09 1929
8-09 1815

8-7

8-09 2117

At 6 AM at Erik Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop CA we got coffee, sour sourdough bread, and pastries, good early AM bakery, and by 8:30 AM we were driving down the pot-holed Old Tioga Road to the Yosemite Creek campground (first come, first served), to check to see if we could find a campsite among the summer crowds of Yosemite. 3 loops of campsites, we stayed for the next six days in one of the last two vacated in the ten minutes or so after we showed up. Midweek days had a lot more campsites open than weekends, but at Yosemite Creek government budget cutbacks bring mixed benefits: if you can’t find a vacant campsite, just across the condemned bridge at the creek is another campground which has been abandoned—unmaintained and unattended, people set up camp in these abandoned campsites, many of which are nicer, along the creek and in the trees, than the official maintained sites across the bridge that cost $10 per night. In short, no reservations? Try Yosemite Creek and you’ll find a campsite of some kind. One dark night a European couple, German guy with Brit woman, started setting up their tent in our campsite—I told Dolores it was all right with me—though they ended up balancing their tent atop their car and moving on to a vacant site, unasked. The lower loop of campsites along the river was a sort of barren noisy tent city; but I was pleased to see it a rare diversity (rare in national parks and forests): multigenerational Mexican family(s) with music going, older women in the cook tent, guys sitting to the side at a table, a couple middle-aged African American women, a vehicle full of Asian kids (maybe college students), a number of European travelers, white Americans, Anglos, working class campers and the college educated. However, the camp offers no purified water—bring your own or boil the tannish creek water.

8-09 2084

Watching over everyone, a flock of happy ravens, with their three calls:
1. a raspy sawing sound dry and drawn out like two dead trees rubbing against each other in a windy forest—
2. cawing like regular happy crows—
3. burbling a bubbly soft clicking sound, a modulated chortling (I saw one raven make this bubbly noise shuffling dancelike alone in a dusty campsite)

8-09 2097

Then we hiked a couple miles off Tioga Road to Elizabeth Lake, pretty alpine lake in the trees under the granite talus slopes of Johnson Peak. We ate salami on the sourdough and fell asleep, buffeted by chilly alpine winds off the lake (the clouds merging overhead, gray) till we woke up. On the distant shore across the lake, a pink guy waded out in the water and bathed; a couple fishermen (a woman with her dad and his two grandchildren) caught brook trout on that side.

8-09 1727

8 – 8

8-09 1778

Easy 1.2 miles to May Lake with two camps above it, a crowded “backpacker camp” where you can fill up on water, and a “High Sierra” camp of tent cabins where guests with reservations can walk in and be fed by chefs. We huffed and puffed two miles from the lake, zigzagging up Mount Hoffman, topping out at 10,850 feet. Actually we probably ate lunch at around 10,700 feet on a precipice just below the peak, a blade-like ridge line topped by a radio repeater antenna. The north face is a vertical wall falling straight a thousand feet to a scattering of alpine lakes. Mount Hoffman scans a panorama of Yosemite National Park; I’d picked up The Geologic Story of Yosemite in the visitor center, which explained the granite structures of the mountains ranging in all directions. The book contined a panorama of the view from Mount Hoffman, with the peaks and landmark lakes labeled. Tuolumne Peak to the north, Tenaya Lake (named after the chief, later assassinated, who was leader of the Miwok Indians the U.S. forcibly kicked out of the area to make the park) and Mount Lyle to the east, Cloud’s Rest, a massive granite formation with a bald face larger than any other visible land mass, and to the south—Half Dome above Yosemite Valley.

8-09 1978

8 – 9

8-09 1944

Porcupine trailhead, .7 miles down abandoned remnant of Old Tioga Road through a ravaged forest, many huge trees still standing, though brown branches stuck on almost all, the rest dead where they stand or fallen in various stages of disintegration, with barren snags defiantly skeletal but upright, shorn limbs twisted or scattered on the ground like tusks, sometimes with piles of bark around the bases and the naked wood burnished to a sheen by weather, some trees fallen and leaning against neighbors, or sectioned on the ground, or—finally—disintegrated completely into a loamy, spongy mass of chips and pieces of bark, sinking into the earth. On all sides a forest being destroyed by beetles or some pest. Chipmunks, chikcarees, and ground squirrels flitted through piles of shattered trees and orange wood. Quiet forest, across two stagnant streamlets, a couple miles later we’d hiked onto Indian Ridge where a sign directed us to a natural stone arch on top of the ridge; climbing up into the arch, you could see to the southeast the wide face of Half Dome. Another 1.5 miles along indian Ridge (south) the trail jogs down a cliff and slowly ascends North Dome, a windy bald granite dome towering over Yosemite Valley. The Merced Rikver winds through the valley, which seems varrow from above, cars jamming the road looping below, from the entrance to the west (hazy, partly because of fires) and above the granite face that fell straightaway thousands of feet into the valley, in the slight shelter of dwarf twisted pines, sweet-smelling Jeffrey pines maybe, that’s where we ate our peanut butter sandwiches. Ground squirrels, cute with bright brassy heads and tiny ears and chipmunk racing stripes on their sides, emerged from the rocks (one rock had a hole like a donut on top, sculptural) and squabbled over our crumbs. A family with a six year old girl had also hiked the six miles out—they took our picture standing before Half Dome—we took theirs.

8-09 2003

Two hour hike through the blasted forest, I felt like I was strolling through dinosaur bones, the forest floor littered with skeletal remains of a lost age, with the atmosphere of an abandoned and shuttered amusement park, rides boarded up and even the plywood collapsed and rotting, stilled machinery falling to pieces, all alluding to a liveliness that might be absent for centuries. Back at camp, Dolores whipped up an excellent dish of saifun noodles with carrots and broccolli while Citlali made a roaring fire and read The Great Gatsby.

8-09 2234

8 -10

We rolled out slow every morning, maybe it was the altitude. I breakfasted on hot tea, while Citlali liked ramen noodles, Dolores yogurt and maybe an apple. 1.5 miles up atop Lembert Dome (named after some French sheepherder who ran sheep in the meadows after the indians were displaced; he “collected insects for the Smithsonian”)—the Tuolumne River unites two branches flowing out of the mountains to the east, Dana and Lyle forks under Mount Dana and Mount Lyle, Dolores and I scrambled up over the top of the vertigo-stricken featureless granite dome after the final ridge while Citlali rested on a penultimate crest. Easy (9,450 feet), if you set aside the notion that if you took a tumble and started rolling, there was nothing to stop that momentum for hundreds of feet to the slopes below. Out on the meadows to the east, we crossed the Tuolumne River on a couple bridges and walked out on a granite waterway of carved and polished stone, big boulders serving as spillways for the river winding through, balancing on a log, and behind a slope of polished stone was a little beach where we ate tunafish for lunch. Dolores picked rocks out of the bank to throw in my vehicle to bring home. “Hey, what if everybody did that?”

8-09 1957

We were low on food, so in spite of the brake light telling me something was up with the brakes, we rode the Tioga Road over the pass (9,943 feet), swooping around the windy mountain curves, Dolores avoiding looking over the edge down to the gorge below with its meadows, talus slopes and trees, to the Mobil gas station in Lee Vining on 395, above Mono Lake and the Mono Lake basin. I’d heard of it, the Whoa Nellie Deli, and it packed them in, 50 to a hundred people, the best restaurant on 395 for hundreds of miles in either direction, open only during summer (fishing) season: Dolores had lobster taquitos ($15), Citlali had seared ahi sashimi ($14), and I went for baby back ribs ($18). Citlali also shared with Dolores the lemon cheesecake, which Dolores said was the best cheesecake she’d ever had. $34 worth of groceries in the Lee Vining grocery mart and an hour drive back through the dark to Yosemite Creek.

8-09 2055

8 – 11

3 to 4 miles down the Glen Aulin trail under Lembert Dome alongside Tuolumne meadows shining in the sun. The trail went through the trees, though at some point, nearing the river, we went out on the river and upstream. Lunch on granite boulders in hot sun beside cascades. We wandered back upstream, where kids were swimming in the river, sliding down the cascades, diving into pools. Families took dips in the river and dried off on boulders. We hiked a couple miles up the river and veered off from the meadows (mule deer grazing) to get back on the trail back to the road. At Lembert Dome, among the cars parked on the road, a bear had smashed out a car window, and the rangers tagged the car with a slip of paper that read, “valuables impounded for safekeeping,” which Citlali laughed at.

8-09 1794

8 – 12

8-09 2216

Packed our gear and tossed it into the vehicle. Drove 120 west to Hetch Hetchy reservoir, desending 5,000 feet into the oaks and brush and poison oak—sun sparkling on the rocks and on the reservoir, it was in the 90s there. The water behind the dam black green, drowning a “little Yosemite Valley” that John Muir once loved, winding back toward the “Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River” (area closed due to a 300 acre fire burning north on the river in the canyon—I’d seen smoke from it wispy above Tuolumne Peak from Mount Hoffman). In ’05 or ’06 starting at the dam, I’d backpacked 4,000 feet up to Lake Vernon (11 miles or so, switchbacks) and at the dam were posters about a missing hiker who disappeared in the backcountry, leaving his backpack behind. I don’t know if they found him. There’s a movement to bring down the dam and restore the drowned valley. Activists had roped down the face of the dam and painted a big crack in the dam—the City of San Francisco, which controls the dam and drinks the water, painted over the slogan or words they’d graffittied on the dam. Out of some underground pipe below the dam, released at great pressure, a jet of water blasted into the gorge, splashing on the rock wall opposite. There wasn’t much water in the river below in spite of that. Wind scudded the choppy surface of the reservoir like an inland sea, a few clouds shadowing us as we hiked out across the dam (through the tunnel on the other side) to Wapama Falls a few miles on the other side of the reservoir. When we reached Wapama falls, spilling out of a saddle 1300 feet above into great piles of shattered boulders that are washed with spray in the spring melt, as are the foot bridges below, the stream was only a shadow of the full force during spring run off, but fed beautiful clear pools where we washed—after a week on dusty trails—we washed our hair and rested and got back on the trail, under that hard hot sun, freshened.

8-09 2307

 

8-09 2320

 

8-09 1965

 

8-09 1812

8-09 2302

Recently I forwarded information about violence against women in Juarez, MX, and an event August 8th at Self-Help Graphics in ELA which protests the atrocities against females in Mexico, and several people who had previously not found anything objectionable (out of the wide variety of my random postings) asked to be removed and not receive such information again. Why is this?

Femicide

Femicide is not simply the murder of females but rather the killing of females by males because they are
female.

It is a form of terrorism that functions to define gender lines, enact and bolster male dominance, and to
render women chronically and profoundly unsafe.

Femicide occurs throughout the world – China, India, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Approximately 40% of violent deaths of women in Guatemala take place in Guatemala City.

Famous Case: Claudina Isabel Velásquez Paiz
Claudina Isabel Velásquez went to a party in Guatemala City, where she lived with her family. The next
day, her body was found abandoned on a city street. Because of her father’s quest for justice, her story is
known internationally (Killer’s Paradise, BBC, 2006).
To date, her case remains unresolved because of the authorities’:
Failure to promptly open an investigation
Failure to preserve the crime scene
Failure to collect evidence from the crime scene
Failure to perform adequate forensic tests and analysis
Failure to interview witnesses
Frequent rotation of investigators
Re-victimization and harassment of victim’s family

Feminicide

Feminicide is a political term. It encompasses more than femicide because it holds responsible not only the
male perpetrators but also the state and judicial structures that normalize misogyny.
Feminicide connotes not only the murder of women by men because they are women but also indicates
state responsibility for these murders whether through the commission of the actual killing, toleration of
the perpetrators’ acts of violence, or omission of state responsibility to ensure the safety of its female
citizens.

In Guatemala, feminicide is a crime that exists because of the absence of guarantees to protect the rights of
women.

Guatemala Human Rights Commission / USA
Fact Sheet
Year Number of Women Killed
2001 317
2002 317
2003 383
2004 497
2005 517
2006 603
2007 590
2008 722
Total: 3,946
3321 12th Street NE Washington, DC 20017-4008
Tel: (202) 529-6599 Fax: (202)526-4611 http://www.ghrc-usa.org

http://www.ghrc-usa.org/Programs/ForWomensRighttoLive/factsheet_femicide.pdf

http://www.ghrc-usa.org/Programs/ForWomensRighttoLive/ThreethousandandCounting,AReportonViolenceAgainstWomeninGuatemala.pdf

To read more about
violence against women
in Guatemala, check out
http://www.ghrc-usa.org

 To take action on
behalf of women and
girls facing violence in
Guatemala, sign up to
GHRC’s Free Listserve
by sending us an email
to ghrc-usa@ghrc-usa.
org. GHRC will alert
you when you can take a
simple action to help
stem gender-based
violence in Guatemala.

I can’t see you, little man, I can’t hear you. So, you mentioned my name to Mike Willard, so what? You and Mike walked through Icehouse Canyon under oaks and Douglas fir, yakking about whatever, along the stream, you pointed out the red columbine, so what? What about you, besides a whiff of dirty laundry, coffee, and sweat? I see all these mountains without seeing, I hear the little black rattlers underneath the underbrush—underneath the stars—without hearing, I smell your tiny feelings little man—without feeling. I feel that ocean distant from these slopes, its turbidities in my oils. Something seems to be a sneeze in the breeze, or something less, something wobbles like a stink beetle on the trail, or something less, whatever it might be, something, more momentary than the shadows of each pebble in the trail, stark, vanishing in light.

poison oak's oily insouciance

poison oak's oily insouciance

"Golden State Freeway" is name-changed to "Brew 102 Freeway, Only Beer Made from L.A. River Water except for Anheuser-Busch" is the monument to caterpillar tracked memories of old Los Angeles my white grandparents left for the Bay Area in the 1920s because grandpa thought L.A. was "too dangerous."

"Golden State Freeway" is name-changed to "Brew 102 Freeway, Only Beer Made from L.A. River Water except for Anheuser-Busch" is the monument to caterpillar tracked memories of old Los Angeles my white grandparents left for the Bay Area in the 1920s because grandpa thought L.A. was "too dangerous."

I am bulldozing new freeways thru my mind and my heart so traffic goes at juggernaut pace bleeding jimi hendrix from its nostrils while picking its teeth with femurs of 10,000 murdered in L.A. between 1985 - 2005. And no one outside Los Angeles noticed.

I am writing a sentence here because I don't like the spacing on this one yet. I am bulldozing new freeways thru my mind and my heart so traffic goes at juggernaut pace bleeding jimi hendrix from its nostrils while picking its teeth with femurs of 10,000 murdered in L.A. between 1985 - 2005. And no one outside Los Angeles noticed.

However I admit that as soon as one of these new-fangled speedways is finished it's jammed full of cross-eyed child neglectors and robots with their pockets full of squirrels (alive and dead). Luckily the pigeons are paying attention.

However I admit that as soon as one of these new-fangled speedways is finished it's jammed full of cross-eyed child neglectors and drones with their pockets full of squirrels (alive and dead). Luckily the pigeons are paying attention.

101 Freeway is rechristened "Ray Foster Highway" in honor of some old dude in Chico CA convalescent facility because, ah, he left major parts of his life scattered along the roadside all his life, cars, wives, children, lives. If he looks close, he can probably see this image in his coffee.

101 Freeway is rechristened "Ray Foster Highway" in honor of some old dude in Chico CA convalescent facility because, ah, he left major parts of his life scattered along the roadside all his life, cars, wives, children, lives. If he looks close, he can probably see this image in his coffee.

This junction of the 14 and the 5 is re-named "USA Alzheimer's Epicenter" in honor of the State of California gutting public education at all levels, kindergarten thru university, and seeking to balance its bankruptcy from deregulation on the backs of immigrants working for almost nothing to pay for everything.

This junction of the 14 and the 5 is re-named "USA Alzheimer's Epicenter" in honor of the State of California gutting public education at all levels, kindergarten thru university, and seeking to balance its bankruptcy from deregulation on the backs of immigrants working for almost nothing to pay for everything.

These accidents sites I zoom past glancing at out of one eye I memorialize with mental bronze placas that read, "Mass Transit Your Mom." Let's all drive cars toward the end of the world.

These accidents sites I zoom past glancing at out of one eye I memorialize with mental bronze placas that read, "Mass Transit Your Mom." Let's all drive cars toward the end of the world.

This stretch of highway where I left an elderly (60-something) hitch hiker named Kathy, on a winter's day with snow on the hills as far as you could see, she asked to be left off there in Lebec, this highway is named "Road of the Future."

This stretch of highway where I left an elderly (60-something) hitch hiker named Kathy, on a winter's day with snow on the hills as far as you could see, she asked to be left off there in Lebec, this highway is named "Road to the Future."

One of my favorite freeway interchanges of all time, I rename this "Whatever It Was," because whatever they started with, it got mixed up with more Mexicans that Guadalajara, more Nicaraguans than Matagalpa, more Koreans than Japan, more possibilities than sense, more dreams and delusions than good intentions, more mysteries than murders, more and more. Then it turned into something else that they had no name for.

One of my favorite freeway interchanges of all time, I rename this "Whatever It Was," because whatever they started with, it got mixed up with more Mexicans than Guadalajara, more Nicaraguans than Masaya, more Koreans than Japan, more possibilities than sense, more dreams and delusions than good intentions, more mysteries than murders, more and more. Then it turned into something else that they had no name for.

This site is Earth Street & Agony Way, you can google it: some to avoid it, some to peek. Some are dancing when the earth is tilting. It's not level---this place is sideways, it slips between us. Somebody yells "fuck you, motherfucker" and it sounds like "hello, my brother" and vice-versa. See you there.

This site is Earth Street & Agony Way, you can google it: some to avoid it, some to peek. Some are dancing when the earth is tilting. It's not level---this place goes sideways, it slips between us. Somebody yells "fuck you, motherfucker" and it sounds like "hello, my brother" and vice-versa. See you there.

"3 AM of the Soul" : 2009 on the 605 or 105 turning off toward LAX, this is the monument of the moment---we're taking somebody somewhere, we're rushing to meet someone, who knows what (it's going by at 70 mph), and by the time we notice, we're past.

"3 AM of the Soul" : 2009 on the 605 or 105 turning off toward LAX, or returning at a late hour---this is the monument of the moment---we're taking somebody somewhere, we're rushing to meet someone, who knows what (it's going by at 70 mph), and by the time we notice, we're past.

I live on a hill so I hear major car crashes in intersections below every once in awhile. I kid you not, there was one just a second ago as I looked at this picture. Great screeching of brakes, and not one but two concussive slams. Cop sirens, not paramedics yet. I memorialize this site, "Just Happened."

I live on a hill so I hear major car crashes in intersections below every once in awhile. I kid you not, there was one just a second ago as I looked at this picture. Great screeching of brakes, and not one but two concussive slams. Cop sirens, no paramedics yet. I memorialize this site, "Just Happened."

1. Vegetables = inspiration. No sex mutton, no meat justice, no bone crack. Zuccihini shapes.

1. Vegetables = inspiration. No sex mutton, no meat justice, no bone crack. Zucchini shapes.

 

2. Something flies by in our line of sight or in your peripheral vision, perhaps remembered later when you are drinking coffee.

2. Something flies by in our line of sight or in your peripheral vision, perhaps remembered later when you are drinking coffee.

3. You may find old plans or blueprints at yard sales or swap meets.

3. You may find old plans or blueprints at yard sales or swap meets.

4. Secure the best parts available from your sources on the outskirts of town or Ecology Auto Parts.

4. Secure the best parts available from your sources on the outskirts of town or Ecology Auto Parts.

5. Sometimes you have to look all over for hard-to-find parts for specific functions as air ships require peculiar items or valves. Don't give up, but be careful where you look.

5. Sometimes you have to look all over for hard-to-find parts for specific functions as air ships require peculiar items or valves. Don't give up, but be careful where you look.

6. You will need a wide array of tools, some quite specialized. We can rent tools or give you advice, ask for Zoilo at our offices on Main Street.

6. You will need a wide array of tools, some quite specialized. We can rent tools or give you advice, ask for Zoilo at our offices on Main Street.

7. Once everything is prepared and you have your mental concentration, you can get to blasting! I mean blasting!

7. Once everything is prepared and you have your mental concentration, you can get to blasting! I mean blasting!

8. I forgot to mention that you need a safe place to work in peace and quiet, like Leupp, AZ. Or one of our secret locations in abandoned aerospace hangars in Burbank or warehouses along the L.A. river, anywhere like that might be good for you.

8. I forgot to mention that you need a safe place to work in peace and quiet, like Leupp, AZ. Or one of our secret locations in abandoned aerospace hangars in Burbank or warehouses along the L.A. river, anywhere like that might be good for you.

8. Carnitas for when you are filthy, exhausted and mentally burnt out afterwards. Somebody should bring beer.

8. Carnitas for when you are filthy, exhausted and mentally burnt out afterwards. Somebody should bring beer.

 

 

9. Then when you are finished, you are ready to FLY! Just bring your air ship over to our take off tower in Lincoln Heights. Reasonable docking fees! This is a ship I made yesterday.

9. Then when you are finished, you are ready to FLY! Just bring your air ship over to our take off tower in Lincoln Heights. Reasonable docking fees! This ship I made yesterday.

August 2009
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