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Proyecto Sur Los Angeles will hold an auction and fundraising event on December 1—Join us! (información en inglés y en español)

Looking for holiday gifts that will give back to the community? Proyecto Sur Los Angeles and Vena Cava Bookstore make it possible for you to find special gifts for those you love, and support community-based activist cultural projects.

Saturday, December 1, 2012
4 – 8 p.m.
Vena Cava Bookstore
449 Savoy Street
Los Angeles CA 90012

Our silent auction will include art, books, services, and many other amazing items (examples include framed historical photographs, paintings, jewelry, gift certificates for local restaurants, and much more). Mexican singer Liz Retolaza will perform while we enjoy a delicious Oaxacan meal and excellent drinks—all thanks to generous donations made by friends of Vena Cava Bookstore and Proyecto Sur Los Ángeles.

The silent auction benefits Proyecto Sur Los Ángeles, a project of the community-based organization Cielo Portátil (Portable Sky). We promote autobiographical writing as a tool for the development of critical thought and free expression, among communities of Spanish-speaking exiles and migrants in Los Angeles, California.

Vena Cava is a cultural center and alternative bookstore specializing in Spanish-language and bilingual (Spanish-English) books, with a particular focus on independent presses and contemporary writing. Part of the purpose of Vena Cava Bookstore is to provide sustenance for activist projects like Proyecto Sur.

The funds we raise will finance 10 workshops in autobiographical writing, at various non-profit organizations that work on behalf of the Spanish-speaking community in the United States. The organizations to benefit from this campaign are: Eastyard Communities for Environmental Justice (, FIOB (, IDEPSCA (, JovenesINC (www,, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance ( We are also in conversation with Unión de Vecinos (, CHIRLA ( and CARECEN ( and MALDEF ( One workshop will be open to the general public and will take place at Vena Cava Bookstore.

For more information on Proyecto Sur Los Ángeles, or to make a direct donation, visit us here:

To learn more about Vena Cava Bookstore and our independent imprint, Vena Cava Books, visit us here: You can also make direct donations to Proyecto Sur via Paypal on our webpage.

Subasta Silenciosa a beneficio de Proyecto Su Los Ángeles-Vena Cava

¿Aún estás considerando qué regalar para fin de año? Te ofrecemos la oportunidad de llevarte un regalo especial y, al mismo tiempo, de apoyar nuestro proyecto cultural.

Subastaremos arte (incluyendo fotografías históricas enmarcadas, pinturas, joyería, certificados para cenas en restaurantes y muchas cositas más). Nos acompañará la cantante Mexicana Liz Retolaza mientras disfrutamos de una deliciosa cena oaxaqueña y un buen vino. Todo esto gracias a la generosa contribución de amigos y amigas de Vena Cava.

Vena Cava es una librería alternativa que se especializa en literatura en español. Promovemos la apropiación de la escritura por parte de los miembros de nuestra comunidad como una herramienta de experimentar procesos liberadores y para dignificar nuestro idioma. También alentamos la publicación de escritores independientes a través de nuestra editorial “Vena Cava Books”. Estamos construyendo un espacio para la expresión artística con una participación multilingüe.

Si te interesa conocer más a cerca de nuestro Proyecto Sur Los Angeles, haz click aquí:

(213) 908 9835

It’s no wonder at all, not wondrous or beautiful
it’s louder than sleep and dreams
like overpasses arching over a car on fire overnight
so CalTrans uses their community service workers to cut all the
flowers and trees down to concrete

“My chicken shit encircled the fuckin bucket,
My soul never to return any of YOUR calls.”
“These enclosed forms, sprawl in a circular edge,
glistenin on edge, tossed the books on the upside over.”

Who decided to walk onto the freeway like the traffic was hypnotic
I couldn’t stop looking at the cars zoom by louder than bombs
I drifted into the edge, which was loudest

“Eat your bread Peter”

Don’t assume in your hyperactive state that mind isnot
sliding over body in funny ways like
eyeballs rolling eyes sarcastically

I won’t be cutting you any breaks today Crushing Nausea.
my body will continue moving until you have left.

Crumple your hat,
into your bag
Use your key
open the restroom for me

Ten minutes ago,
rubbing alcohol and nitrogen swept into the gutter
step aside from the smell



see also

Recent elections reveal mountainous piles of sleep emerging from folds,
California sticks bridges out huffing buckwheat redness like rusty nails in a breeze—
wrap it up with one arm folded over a blanket of peace made from corroded cardboard flaps—
one seat in the corner of the room vacant for the last 2 days, Bryan Romero was deported they said,
I didn’t have time to find out any more, headed home with my cough, weary damp gray Friday—

I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.

I shall pass like a child’s curlicue cut with a burnt stick at night.
I know I shall pass like the front of dark clouds blown hard by dry desert wind.
I know I shall pass like the pitter-patter of toddler’s feet on this floor have already passed.
I know we shall pass like like the reflection of 1960s shoppers off downtown storefront windowpanes. They have passed from that glass and we have passed, glancing at our reflection perhaps.
I know this world shall pass like silver light in receding flecks from the ocean surface. Any minute now.
I know know the messages of this world and its glow shall pass like words that went unsaid, unheard.

Say them now.




Native Los Angeles author Sesshu Foster is known for several award-winning books including Atomik Aztex, World Ball Notebook, Angry Days and this one, CITY TERRACE FIELD MANUAL, published in 1996. Written as a series of prose poems, it is one of the best books ever written about East LA. Foster knows his subject and writes with the authority that comes from hard living. He writes mature words substantiated by life experience. There’s a story behind every line. He’s earned every inch, esoteric, fantastic, fast, fierce. Bleeding songs of Eastside Los Angeles like only one from the depths could sing: “I witness Pan-African colors of night, Mexican tricolor streetlights, Vietnamese yellow dawns. Guileless colors for normal eyes, regular babies, City Terrace Elementary, Hammel Street Elementary, dead-end streets, Ramona Gardens illuminated from within by irregular shapes of life & death.”

Gracias to imaginary red ants that eat the American torso through, vast oak shaking in a musky thicket of horrible impenetrable brush
that pretends not to shed human tremors and skin, that pretends not to rise in sweat and writhe slowly in the rank mud and thick dust,
reeking creosote stench of endless night.

Gracias to the red ants that eat the dirty oil and numbers off aluminum and stars.

Gracias to the cracks filigreeing my eyeglasses and my eyesight, that spread where my shadow falls on error, in the ringing of my ears
all night where stiffness overtakes my face gone left or right, in little thoughts drifting like chalk dust off stars of chalk,
fingers of dirt on money of my little thoughts I sent to you when you weren’t there, dead American bank of old dad, for deposit in the
cracks of the town of drunken shipyard hills where you walked up and down, in order not to kill in order to die.

Gracias, gracias again for “red forgetting,” also, in tremors scurrying into a vastness opening suddenly across the clear sight of your reddened eyes,
across from east to west, tipping land shuddering back and forth behind the dirty windshield of a vehicle that supposedly went away,
went from here to there (supposedly), before somebody’s “red forgetting” falls upon us like the rotted park awning overcome with wind,
anything turning was nothing, nothing was like anything, everything in that red emptiness.

Gracias for instructive terror of regret, a penny for your fortune at the entrance to the five & dime, for your thoughts back of the bar,
a penny for Abe Lincoln, a nickel for a buffalo and an Indian, secret ore in one shoe only when all shoes come paired, secret town
existing only over the right shoulder and open water over the left, belt blackened by anxiety cinched unutterably tight, half-grin
of uncles also who looked in and tumbled in to die, too.

Pull that knot taut, finally, tomorrow.

—for Nacho and Ray

November 2012