Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Altars for our living Oakland: Mass shootings

Mass shootings

No one hardly
our children
till they’re shot down on the streets
Desi’s mural
did not ward off
the bullets
or the liquor stores
that blew holes
in the soft bodies of teenagers
and in the livers of hopelessness
Hip hop has one more one less
octosyllabic story
to rhyme
Now not even a street corner altar
No candles
No balloons
No empty bottles of
No photographs
No vigils
Just the ghosts
and their unarmed drive-by cries
The new mayor sends
more police
to push our dead off the sidewalks
into the Santa Rita jail
the school of the future
the resting place of our martyrs-to-be . . .

arnoldo garcía | January 2023
Image: A wall in Oakland. (A feo photograph; 2021)

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Café solidario: Brew Zapatista coffee, drink solidarity without borders

Everyday acts of living and surviving, as simple as sipping a cup of coffee, can unfold as acts of solidarity with other people who are in struggle and movement for justice and the land.

How can a cup of coffee chip away at the capitalist social-economic and political structures that have our communities the natural world, communities of color, Indigenous women and Indigenous people, migrant workers, undocumented children, women, men and elders, queer people and African Americas  struggling under siege?

I am not talking about just any old coffee. I am talking about Zapatista-grown and harvested coffee. Zapatista coffee is produced by an autonomous community, a people standing with self-determination, on their own lands and relying on their own shoulders.

Café Sin Fronteras

I am inviting you to a cup of solidarity coffee to break down the economic barriers imposed by neoliberal capitalism. My invitation means purchasing a bag or two of Zapatista coffee that has been roasted and packaged by Oakland's own Sin Fronteras Coffee.

"It has been a wonderful challenge to stay open and still provide coffee to folks. The special thing about our coffee work, however, is that we empower folks to make their local purchase have a global impact," the owners Rocío and José wrote in an email.

Order your Zapatista coffee on-line

Pick-up your Zapatista coffee freshly roasted by Sin Fronteras Coffee at:
Akat Café Kalli

1601 2nd Avenue

Oakland, CA

Take it from someone who has been drinking coffee since I was five years old: This coffee is bold, delicious and good any time of the day.

Sin Fronteras Coffee describes the taste:
"A medium roast coffee with notes of apple and cinnamon. This coffee is sourced from Zapatista Communities in Chiapas, Mexico."

Sign up for the Sin Fronteras Coffee newsletter here:

Waffles & Zapatismo

If you want to join me for a cup of Zapatista coffee sometime, join the Chiapas Support Committee in a Saturday session of "Waffles & Zapatismo" where we share consciousness-raising Zapatista-inspired liberation ideas and practices AND good tasting Zapatista coffee.

Check out the CSC website for information and opportunities to take action for solidarity and justice:

Monday, September 21, 2020

Earth Justice

SPARE the air
Spare the water
Spare the soil, the land, the sun
Spare the born to be
Spare the new born
Spare the children
Spare the young, the youth, the youthful
Spare the young and old, the abuelas & abuelos
Spare the elders, the ancestors and the dust
Spare the sacred sites and their people
Spare you, me, us, them
Spare the colors and the seasons
Spare the roots, the seeds, the flowering suns
Spare the rivers, creeks, oceans, clouds and the mud
Spare the wind that whirls on your tongue
Spare the waves across your skin
Spare yourself from the contamination
Spare the souls of everyone
Spare the two-legged creatures, the worms,
the serpent-clouds, the four-legged,
the two-winged, the insects and their nuptial bed
Spare the bees, the butterflies, the ants, the gnats, the mothers-to-be
Spare the future from the past
Spare the past from the present
Spare time from space and space from time

Spare everything except our hearts,
an offering to spare the cosmos from the human sacrifice
Struggle dismantle the extinction
Don't spare the human predators
Don’t spare the capitalists and their weapons
Don’t spare war and racism
Don’t spare the smokestacks and their e-industrialists...

[September 20, 2019]

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Five Questions

What were the best five lives,

the best five big bangs

the best five galaxies

the best five universes

the best five suns

the best five worlds

the best five centuries

the best five decades,

the best five years,

the best five months,

the best five days,

the best five hours,

the best five minutes,

the best five seconds

of a moment

of your family?

If you hear creaking mattresses

in the night of your home

is it ghosts or the orgasms

of unrequited lovers?

How many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandma’s, grandpa’s, aunts, uncles

have given their lives

so that you may have a shot at happiness?

What happens to you

when you see old photographs

of your ancestors,

do you fall in love with them

or do you wish they could tell you their stories?

Do you know

your grandmother’s favorite colors,

her birthdate,

the name of her first boyfriend,

if she loved someone other than your grandfather

and never left?

Will you be like her,

give birth to twelve children

with a man she may not love?

Will your love be that strong to survive anguish and wars?

My grandmother taught me

that my success was the offspring

of 1000 relatives and ancestors

who failed,

who struggled,

who suffered

and only knew happiness

as a legacy she, he, they gave to me.

I carry the anguish of thousands in my bones,

I get to smile, laugh, be nourished, be hopeful,

because they had no happiness,

only disease, deaths, harsh work

and tender lovemaking that birthed dead or dying children.

All my ancestors are light as an orgasm,

as deep as my belly laughs,

as clear as my tears.

When my grandmother tried to choke to death her husband

she was trying to kill the woman she never became.

She was a woman who loved women,

who loved me,

who loved plants and seeds,

who took care of all children

– because no child could be illegitimate –

who only believed in horizons

and where the waterfalls were her prayer beads.

She said:

You will become a revolutionary of love,

a revolutionary to destroy solitudes,

to resurrect all the old ones who didn’t make it

because they harvested someone else’s crops,

tilled their lands for other people,

who were killed by work and hate,

whose love was never honored,

whose lives mattered because they, she, created more life and lives.

My grandmother said she did not have children so that they would be slaves.

She had children so that they would have lives, not hers, their own.

And she would live in us, in me,

in whatever life we chose

and she would be free, lazy, drinking coffee,

have more free time to debate Protestants

and make her body the theology of the future.

My grandmother made love, made children, made a new god of her body…

[September 2013 | Oakland, Califaztlán, Ohlone Territory]

Sunday, October 20, 2019

I was born in the wrong world

I was born in the wrong world
I was born at the wrong time

In my world you could peer into the waters
So clear
That you could see

all the way
to the other side
of the universe
 the constellations curving around you
in a deep hug

I was born in the wrong world
In my world you could scoop up the dirt
Taste it
Eat it

Drink the soilOn occasion
To commune with the souls of the ancestors

To remember the electricity of the big bang

I was  born in the wrong world
A slave to humans who thought
they could enslave everyone and everything
And I was the soil, I was the stars,
I was unbreakable,
i was another world
that would implode this wrong world
You will return
even if it is on my back
my skin branded
my land demolished
my past scuttled (but not for long)
to the world
where our roots will be the electric grid
where our language will be the banner of the wind
where we will dream by gazing at the stars
where we will weave our lives
with maize squash beans muddy embraces...

Monday, December 10, 2018

International human rights day | Día internacional de los derechos human

to international human rights day:
Human rights day is
the day
when you
can be fully human,
to stop the U.S. disaster,
to the past,
with the possibilities
of liberation,
human liberation,
in the new day.
When indigenous
The People of the Earth
The original human
The human emblem of humanness
When migrants
are the norm
for humanity
To be fully human
is to be a nomad, a migrant
to walk without weariness
to the define the horizon of liberation
I am 
we are
A little ration
(of humanness)
never hurt anyone...


al día internacional de derechos humanos:
El día de los derechos humanos es
el día
puedes ser plenamente humano
frente al desastre estadounidense,
al pasado,
con las posibilidades
de la liberación,
la liberación humana,
en el día nuevo.
Cuando los indígenas
los indios
El Pueblo de la Tierra
los humanos originales
La bandera humana de la humanidad
Cuando las migrantes
son la norma
de ser humano
Y ser humano integral
es ser nómada, es ser migrante
es caminar sin cansancio
para definir el horizonte de la liberación
por lo tanto
Una pequeña ración
(de humanidad)
nunca ha lastimado a nadie ...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Un-Notes on Unutopias | Unlike me or others

Unlike unme unyou unothyers unyoke
uncola unthink unenemy unstranger unpasserby uncitizen unimmigrant
unart unpoetic unlove unhate unindifference
unstruggle unliberate
unwalk ungestate unborn
unsmile unlink unsmirk
untweet unspam unhand unhug unfuck
unsing unerase unwrite unread
unfight uncheat unchew unthrow-up
unrainbow unblush unlaugh unemail
unfinger unhand unspit unsnitch
unstrum unstrung unlynch unrace ungender unclass unconsciousness
undeath unlife unalone unloan unloner
unteach uneducate unliterary uncommunicate
unspeak untongue unswallow unstupid unsmart
unwash unclean undirt undirty unshit
unfool unface unspy unwear unstare
unpage unfan unlist unserve unlick unfart unsmell unsquelch unbelch
unpregnant unquote uninseminate
unvote unbomb uninvade unoccupy unassassinate unnuke unstate unpower unexploit unoppress
unsex uncolor unlanguage unclass unpigment unskin unborder unmilitarize
unmigrate unmigrant undisplacement
unneoliberalism unimperialism
unpioneer unpilgrim uncowboy unbuffalo ungenocide unfemnicide
unwarm unclimate unglobalization uninjustice uniequality unfreedom unrights
unguns unkill unwound unheal undrive-by-shooting
untag ungraffiti unheart unburn unleave unabandon
unproletarianize unbourgeosie unroot unforget unmemory
unfist unviolence unpeace unwar
unfront unliberation
unearthquake untsunami untide
unsuck untuck unplastic
untrash unflash unarm
unhorizons uncosmos unnations
unweapons unmanifestos
unzoo unpollution uncontaminate unhear unfear unbit
ungallop unfast unslow undie unold unage unyoung ungreen
undentures unfang unraid unhuman unwoman unman unboy ungirl
untongue unargue undebate undefine unjoke unwhere unhere unthere uneverywhere
unmarichi unson unzapatista unqueer uncorrido unhuasteca undance unhip-hop unrap
unmexicanize unmexican unearth unmoon unsun unplanets
unwinter untragedy unbreak-up unhook-up unone-night untype
unwipe unsurrender
untenderness unharshness unpoet ungods unchurch unpriest unnun unaltarboys unbelievers
unsaints uncommunion unlevitate unjesus uncross
unterrorist unwar-on-terror unabu-ghraib
unjail undeport unnaturalize uncitizen unresident unwelfare
uncapital uninvestments
unvirgin unwhore unmother unlady unscrew
unadmit uncomment unpost unthanksgiving unX-mas
unrock-n-roll unjazz unmix unears unclick unsew
unsing uninvent unclap unnote unscream unerror unferal unbreak
unsteak unvegan unsquash unsunset unwake unsleep unthroat
unaztec unaztlan untwirl unfurl unyou unme unus unasshole
uncondemn unbury unship unletter unbreath unsmoke
unhigh unlow unaddict unscreech undrunk unhangover
uncry undump unhump unbruise
ungoodbye unforever unvow unmarry undivorce unpregate
unerection unerectile unfunctional unviagra unsmooch
unsting unscammed unscar unbar unculture unignorance unclassconscious unimagine
untime unclock undeposit
unwork unemployed unstrike
unslap uninsult unlusion undeception undeceive
unmoan ungroan undespair unweary
unalone untogether uncollective unfamily unhome unhouse unhomeless
unmop unsweep unclean unutopia unleft unright unmiddle-class unday-laborer unservant
unwarmth uncold unwow unmow unkick unhistory
unrain unsnow unscarce undrought unshortage unflu unpoor unpoverty unillness uncommunity
unpurity unpeople unbatter unpolice unresist unfist unfightback unmarch unprotest unslogan
undogmatic undogma unchrist unkneel unprison unclouds unaccident
uncall untext unpicture unbed undream unnightmare unsnore unanxiety unanxious
undownload unupload unradio untv uncommercial unactor unsit-com uncapitalize
unpride unbrown unsleep unmurder unbrand unwhite unblack unputdown unfalse-consciousness
uncortez uncolumbus undisappear uncolonize unempire unracism unclassism unsexism unheterosexism
unagonize unhurt unhibernate uninsured uncorporations unfreetrade unponzyscheme unscheme
unshame unfallapart unaccent undiscriminate unlead unhello uncontrol
ungrey unagism unhomophobia unxenophobia unborders unlimited
undependent unco-dependent undocument unillegal unminority
unlast unfirst unalone unbetter unindividualism ungatedcommunity
unbarrier unprofiling unpush unhush
unchachacha unipod undisaster unpredictible unstoppable unutopias