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Big world with the heart of summer
swaying horizon after horizon on a hope string
with flies
I don’t know what Paul’s doing
hair strings
trees of hair in a wine breeze
shoe after shoe
lace knotted on lace
what doors everyone walks through now to now
Spanish broom blooming wildly all along the roads
Ghana beat the U.S. 2 to 1 in World Cup soccer
full moon in each hair string

Full moon in the string hair
Spanish broom blooming yellow on the roads
horizon swinging on horizon
shoe after shoe
ocean snail with knife cut noodles and tiny meats
swung wild
fishbowl moon and streets in the sky
cracked black
paint in the string hair
hair string smile
folding magazine
smily hair of America
dirt horse in the surf
plastic ware in the gleamy water
cell call in the hair breeze
knotted lace on lace

Harry Gamboa has a book of poems and a chapbook of prose out!

the poems: FALLEN, $15

FALLEN – a collection of poems that evoke emotional and psychological distancing from the edge of the abyss.

the prose: RIDER, $12

RIDER diverts the reader via off-route trips aboard public buses and trains across 21st Century Los Angeles. Welcome aboard!

Since 1972, Harry Gamboa Jr. has been actively creating works in various media that document and interpret the contemporary urban Chicano experience. He was a co-founder of Asco (Spanish for nausea) 1972-1987, the East L.A. conceptual-performance art group. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally: Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (2009); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008, 2001); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2006); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006); 1995 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art. His work has been featured in numerous publications: Los Angeles Times; The New York Times; Reforma (Mexico City); Artforum; Art in America; Frieze (London); The Wall Street Journal; The Journal of American Drama and Theatre. He is the author of: Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr. (ed. Chon A. Noriega) University of Minnesota Press 1998 ISBN 0-8166-3052-6 paper ISBN 0-8166-3051-8 cloth

caption id=”attachment_2061″ align=”aligncenter” width=”450″ caption=”photo by Carolyn Castano”][/caption]

Creston Lea, author of the short story collection WILD PUNCH, keeps body & soul together and supports the family making prime electric guitars.

Check out the fine short story collection:

and crafting guitars:

Ceramic sculpture by Citlali Foster, Father's Day gift 2010

I dreamed that I went to the bureaucrats at LAUSD (as in fact I have) to request a leave of absence, and they summoned me to fetch my paperwork, my application—with their decision—even though I figured as previously (in 2003, though someone pulled strings for me and got the decision reversed) they were going to deny the application (as indeed, in life, the office of personnel specialist one Ezequiel Gonzalez already has without bothering to notify me, and when I found out, he refuses to return any of my phone calls), and as I rose from the desk with my application paper marked leave of absence denied in the dream, I felt there was something familiar about the expressionless toneless bureaucrat who slid the paper across the desk to me, and as I left I looked back at him, it was Mikhail Gorbachov

why is it summer already, summer forever?
because it’s yours.

why is the sky blue and the leaves green?
because sometimes it’s black with points of light and the leaves brown.

how did we make it through in one piece?
because we don’t know a piece of what.

why was the street last night covered in a sheet of water?
because i thought there was a large crack in the street.

how did the palm frond furl in the street like a dead dog?
because i assumed that it was a dog.

why were the police standing in the intersection where soto becomes huntington drive?
because smoke rose from the top of the hill above.

how was it we sped through the streets without noticing?
because they’re yours.

photos: Citlali with friends, Halloween 2009, and Luis Vega and Iván Erich Corpeño-Chávez at CHIRLA immigrant rights civil disobedience, Costa Mesa, CA 2010

BDS LA and TNP present ” Palestine: Thirsting for Justice”
Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Aratani Courtyard – 120 Judge John Aiso, Los Angeles, CA

USC SJP is proud to announce a special collaborative performance put together by Tuesday Night Project ( BDS LA for Justice in Palestine ( that will take place June 15th, 7:30pm-9:45pm, at the Aratani Courtyard in Little Tokyo (which is wheelchair accessible).

Tuesday Night Project (TN Project) is a space for LA artists that has been flourishing since its creation in 1999, and has showcased the work of multi-disciplinary artists from the Asian Pacific Islander community as well as the larger Los Angeles arts community. TN Project’s purpose is to build space for people from a variety of backgrounds to connect through artistic expression and to provide time for cultural, social, and political awareness with opportunities for involvement, collaboration, real relationship-building and action.

The intention of the June 15th performance around the theme of water justice is to bring awareness to Los Angeles’ complicity and participation in water crimes in Palestine and to connect people of color’s struggles in Southern California for clean, accessible and affordable water to those of Palestinian communities in an apartheid state.

Performers/visual artists include:
Ching-In Chen, Ami Patel, Shoshani Vogel, Naaz Diwan, Tasneem, Patricia Torres

~Dedication to John Delloro~
The TN Project community has recently incurred the loss of a dear friend, activist, educator and young father, John Delloro. John founded the Dolores Huerta Institute and brought labor education, research, activism, and organizing onto community college campuses across California. John was a national leader of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO as well as the Phillipino Workers’ Center. He will be dearly missed and there will be a special dedication to him during the June 15th performance.


The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement to challenge Israeli apartheid is gaining momentum throughout the world. BDS is a non-violent form of resistance, which played an instrumental role against South African apartheid in the 1980’s. It’s simple: as long as Israel continues to violate human rights, no city, state, country, or company should invest in or support it.

The U.S. gives it $3 billion in military aid per year and billions more in indirect economic aid. Those of us in the U.S. have a particular responsibility to do our part in advancing the BDS movement.

In 2008, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mekorot, the Israeli National Water Company. Among other things, the MOU provides Israeli companies with access to DWP facilities for pilot projects, and forsees installation of Israeli technology in DWP facilities. Via this agreement, L.A. and its institutions legitimize, finance, and profit from Israel’s 60 year history of resource theft, and identifies L.A. as a “partner” of Israel.

More on BDS LA and water justice in Palestine:

BDS LA for Justice in Palestine has launched the “Palestine, Thirsting for Justice” campaign. It is an LA based boycott and divestment campaign directed at severing all cooperation between the city of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Israel’s Mekorot National Water Company and Kinrot water technology incubator. This partnership would encourage sharing water research, technology and facilities while Los Angeles profits off of Israel’s water management experience, which has been built on apartheid and occupation for 60 years.

Conditions for Palestinians in the occupied territories in terms of water access and affordability are dire. It has been reported by Amnesty International and B’Tselem that Israel has monopolized water consumption and distribution by controlling and limiting access to the main sources of water, the Western Aquifer and the Jordan Basin. Israel’s “security” wall has unjustly dispersed water resources on the Israeli side while Israeli Water Authority forces Palestinians to pay 3-7 times more for water tankers than Israelis. Israel has not allowed the construction of any new Palestinian wells for agricultural purposes since 1967 and Palestinian water valves are often shut off in the summer. This widespread deprivation of water that Palestinians are suffering explains World Health Organization figures which state that Palestinians get 70 Liters of water per person per day while Israelis get 350 Liters of water per person per day (while the WHO sets the minimum standard at 100 Liters).

Join us in saying “no” to Los Angeles’ support of Israeli apartheid.
Tell the Mayor and DWP: “No business with apartheid states.”

Help build a grassroots anti-Apartheid movement in Los Angeles! Take part in the campaign to end Apartheid. Again.

For information: bdsinla AT gmail DOT com

They fly low slung along a horizontal line of thought. At least they used to. How lucky do you feel today? I saw them rise, one after the other, arrive at a height and dive into the water. The sun rolled through cool cloud cover. It wasn't emerging any way complete.

On the drive to drop his child off at school, the radio related this certain news item. As he glanced up from his coffee at the cafe, his cousin talking about the economy, he caught a glimpse of a TV news anchor with a certain image related to this news item emblazoned on a widescreen. Driving Hollywood Blvd east toward the freeway, instead of the souvenir T-shirt shops and tourists, instead of the sportswear billboard, an image came to him. It took a trip around the block, outside the coffee shop to locate a parking space.

I strike the existential mode, you lean to the essentialist, with stylish lifestyle gestures. I hanker to caress quotidian notes, while you go off beyond the horizon. Yet there you are still, I would remind you. It doesn't matter, you assert, you have the look of hard-won endurance in your spleen and soul. What is it that we are drinking, that surrounds us, this coffee?

A teacher complained about a student. Another complained about the administrator who many seemed to dislike for an abrasive voice and pronounced indifference. A couple of students complained about various lacks of the latest issue of the school newspaper. Somebody complained that the latest round of budget cuts caused the district to cancel all recycling programs, yet the district produced massive amounts of paper waste. A bus driver cracked acerbically about another driver who had taken his usual spot. That was as far as he was going with the grievance at this time.

I would speak to you. I would detain you on your way and speak to you. It's all a rush pell-mell to get from point A to point B, and when we get there we may be well and dead. As we go the distance, I would detain you. The moment was, or will be, illuminated by light in the sky.

Man on the sidewalk sticks out his tongue; every passersby who puts a quarter on his tongue can view the man swallow the coin and in an obvious conditioned reflex, punch himself with terrific fury in the face as hard as he can. After ingesting a full day's work, he can collect himself off the concrete and make his way off across a parking lot.

More than 170, 000 men, women and children are in prison or jail in California. The United States, with 5% of the world's population, imprisons 23% of the world's prisoners. Somebody's out there looking for somebody to kill. Marine platoons go house to house in Iraq. In Afghanistan the sons and grandsons of men funded, armed and supplied by the CIA plant shells in the highways. Entire blocks of neighborhoods of New Orleans, Detroit, and other cities are destroyed or abandoned houses. The transient who killed the teenager was caught with his arm around her neck on an ATM video. One third of air strikes by unmanned predator drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen are estimated to kill civilians. These drones are 'piloted' by people at facilities outside of Las Vegas, NV. It may not be apparent yet, but this picture is on fire at the margins.

The monk’s hoods of automobile front ends meditating upon us. Cabover semi-trailer trucks. Containerization (or containerisation) is a system of intermodal freight transport using standard intermodal containers as prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In Laurel Canyon where I picked them up at Esme’s house, I told the girls that the front of the “Country Store” used to be scrawled with psychedelic flowers, peace signs and filigree in primary colors, around the corner from (according to blogs) Jim Morrison of the Doors house. After dropping Ruby in Highland Park, an older gent in lurid flourescent yellow peddled across our lane, cutting us off on his reclining bicycle with mirror dangling on an extended armature from his helmet. My daughter complained about his get-up, his presumption of our lane in the public road. I said that our larger engine, all these engines surrounding us in the traffic stream, didn’t remove his right as a human being to a place in traffic. “Bikers have rights too,” I said. “Cars have to share the road. The world doesn’t belong to them.”

The animal is there before you covered with loathsome reeking tar. You know that if you reach out and grab it, that it will become alarmed and react with who knows what alarming reflexive strength and speed, survival instinct causing it to respond to your grip and presence with what awkward horrid movement, gawky flopping filth-spattering thrashing about. It is exhausted and likely to die on this spot, this animal.

“Who wants to prevent the fishes in the sea from getting wet? And the suffering themselves share this callousness towards themselves and are lacking in kindness towards themselves. It is terrible that human beings so easily put up with existing conditions, not only with the sufferings of strangers but also with their own. All those who have thought about the bad state of things refuse to appeal to the compassion of one group of people for another. But the compassion of the oppressed for the oppressed is indispensable. It is the world’s one hope.”
—Bertolt Brecht

What roads and highways have you in your long leg bones. What rain and winds you have in your tangled hairs and curls in your ears. What ranges of temperature, frost on granite and poppies blooming in the highway median, in your hapless attitudes. What voices and memories of voices have you in your misty DNA and DNA saliva. What bodies, what California, what coastlines you take in stride in your walk, in your arrivals. What atmospheric shadows, what thunderheads rolling across the terrain, what discoloration swirling in the liquid, in amber distillation of words. You didn't make this language of conquerors, English. With its bits, avocado, tableau, tyranny, chokolatl, crusted on your lips. I am looking at your mouth to see what you will say.

We have a situation here. Someone runs off. Empty hallways, later on, empty hallways. I stepped between the guys who were fighting, somebody pulled one of them off the other. I pushed another one up against the wall. His face was blanched, his stare hollowed out with adrenaline, he was breathing hard. I don’t know what was happening behind me. I turned and they were gone. He had his hand to his face, blood streaming from his nose. Blood drips on the floor. “Come on, let’s go downstairs,” I said. I took him by the arm, and he followed meekly, holding his nose. “Jesus, you’re getting blood all over,” somebody else said, leading another teen by the arm. We put them both in the elevator. “Are you okay?” the other guy asked his charge. His eyes were glassy, blood on his mouth, but he asserted, “Okay.” When we got out of the elevator, someone said, “Wow, you were so cool about this whole thing. You went right in there like you deal with this kind of thing every day.” I didn’t say how hard my heart was beating, how I flinched and tensed up immediately, and hesitated till I saw an opening. Only then I stepped in.

I never thought I'd live to see some of these changes. That gives me some effulgent purplish feelings and tumescent impulses. Like Quitobaquito desert spring water welling up from the Organ Pipe Natl Monument landscape alongside the AZ/Mexico border, three strands of barbed wire north of Mexico highway out of Sonoita. Three stars fell over the horizon, and they slaughtered all those Indians all over California. Who knows, who remembers, but that we might do something now. Who expected to be alive?

All this bullshit creeps up on us. Our children look on us with suspicion, noting our discolorations, our aura of rainbowish encrudences, our fuming at the air. Silence compiles it; there's no hiding behind wordless boxes while it falls out of the air like petroleum bullshit. Walking around shopping in Lower Manhattan in the used-to-be Village, in the used-to-be Soho, in the used-to-be, does not scrape off the accumulate muck. We're moving slower, we're getting wearier of the spike of sky. Time will come. Time will come! It has. They talk about this, they talk about that, but where was the money spent?

I sent you a message, a card. Did you get it? Circumference of darkness with a line of lights, almost a ring. Vitality of night so much the larger for it. Center edge of aluminum and error. Wan steel of our habit. I had to say something urgent. It was about the moment and the opportunity. I had to presume on the basis of our shared correspondence even if it was perhaps too much in the past for you, or seemingly so. Someone said you were dealing with your drug problem; and you yourself told me more than once you could barely take care of yourself, no way you’d ever be able to deal with “someone else’s problems.” But I was reminded of our visions before that, you know we appeared there, you and I. Now we’re here. My messages were about that. I’ll try to get in touch with you again, in some other way.

June 2010