Monday, December 06, 2010

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Excerpts from/Extractos de
La revolucion emplumada
the revolution to be human

Arnoldo Garcia

my ancestors

have not yet

invented the wheel

they will never run over

innocent animals









they will never pave over


dam or divert water

never stop the flow

of rivers, creeks, streams

to the cosmic ocean of the natural world

my ancestors

will never invent

the wheel

the bomb

will never fiddle with DNA

will never fertilize in vitro anything

they will walk

where humans can walk

they will love

where humans can love

they will pray

where humans can pray

they will be human

where humans can be human

they will never be gabachos

that step on plants and other ancestors


they will never

defecate or urinate

in the soul of the earth

in the water


Our revolution

has no martyrs

our martyrs

have no revolution.

we have no revolution

yet we have martyrs

young men and boys

who kill each other

because we have no revolution

police who shoot black young men in the back or in the front

The border brothers

make north and south

the north is nothing without the south

the south cannot exist without the north

yet young men and boys

kill each other

for lack of the four directions

the border brothers are both

north and south

North is a border

South of the border

North borders South

they are lost in their venganza

we are lost without a plumed revolution


Sunday, October 24, 2010

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Oakland Has Disappeared: Record Deportations

On September 30, 2010, Oakland, California closed its doors; the elections were canceled; property tax notices stopped being served, street sweepers stayed motionless, teachers and students, families all gone.

The power was turned off and what remains of the city government, elected officials are claiming that Oakland crime is no more. Gentrification is now the good word, the savior. But there's a problem, Houston.

Oakland is off the grid.

Oakland decimated by deportations! A total of 392,862 residents were deported during the last twelve months.

Through an assortment of immigration-police programs, employer sanctions and E-verify programs that allow the employers and the government to check if a worker is authorized to work in the United States, through ICE carrying out illegal street sweeps targeting day laborers, mothers with children in tow on their way to school; at community health clinics, at church services, at funerals, in houses and apartment homes, at "DUI" check-points where anyone without a license was arrested, ICE picked up an average of 1076 residents per day. hauling them away to Mexico, Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines, China, South Korea, Ecuador, Burma, Nigeria, Poland, and at least one family from Bosnia.

Oakland Now Belongs to the "Secure Communities" Family

Former Oakland Mayor, now California Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate, Jerry Brown was a big player in Oakland's demise.

As Attorney General, Brown signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that allowed the Oakland police to send the fingerprints of all persons they arrested directly to DHS to check their immigration status. This turned out to be a gold mine.

Called "Secure Communities," Oakland police was able to get tens of thousands of Oakland residents who are legal permanent residents fingerprinted. Because of the 1996 immigration and welfare reform laws, the police were able to entrap many residents because they had committed an "aggravated felony" some time in their lives and got them automatically deported.

This is a nightmare.

The Fruitvale District, once a thriving neighborhood struggling with crime, first saw street vendors and their customers disappear.

Then ICE and Oakland police agents starting going into grocery and clothes stores: clerks, customers, owners feet first.

When the Fruitvale went kaput, ICE and local police began picking up anybody who looked like an "immigrant" somebody: passer-bys including hipsters claiming to be from the Hills, transit village voyeurs, wanna-be artists living in warehouses from West Oakland to Jingle Town, late night taco truck and Meso-American vegan burrito connoisseurs all rounded up indiscriminately.

A policeman was overheard telling one of the persons being handcuffed, "If you're in Oakland, you must be illegal," -- this according to one lucky hipster who happened to be carrying his passport and spoke impeccable English.

ICE and Oakland Police also scoured quineceñeras, weddings, funerals and rosary services, and Buddhist temples. ICE found a mother-lode at St. Elizabeth Church that has three Spanish Masses on Saturdays and nine masses on Sunday, starting at 6:00 a.m. and ending with the last Spanish mass at 7:30 p.m.

The Evangelicals went flying into the DHS buses; norteños, border-brothers and sureños shared aisles.

Refugees were easy targets. After ICE deported their fellow churchmembers, legal services providers, neighborhood health clinic workers, refugees stood out like a sore-ass thumb.

ICE and company hit high schools, the charter schools, elementary schools, childcare centers and arrested anyone remotely suspected of being a gang-member or didn't look white.

Chinatown is a ghost town, too. Korea-town, Little Saigon, Old Oakland, even Piedmont restaurants, where all the food and service workers were immigrants, are closed down.

A few U.S. citizens and quite a few legal permanent residents were picked up and deported. No more morning lattes, no more cheap Vietnamese sandwiches, no more Oakland the most diverse city in the universe. Even former California Governor and immigrant Arnold Schwarzennegger was stopped at the Oakland Airport. Lucky for him that Jerry Brown vouched for him.

Oakland Police Department is largely intact; the overwhelming majority of Oakland police do not live in Oakland. They were right. It's not safe to live in Oakland, unless you're a cop with a gun patrolling the 'hood.

There are only 4,205 residents left, wandering the streets like nuclear war or zombie virus survivors.

They are not lucky; all of them do not know how to plant seeds, wouldn't know a planting season if it hit them in the stomach. None have ever tended or grown a vegetable or even a flower garden.

Most have not cooked in years -- and there's no children among them. The youngest one is almost 40. Their maids and other domestic workers were all rounded up.

They will die off one by one.

Does anyone think we can get some French or British to migrate to Oakland?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

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Che means the people | Che significa el pueblo

Liberation poems, theater, music, art, hip hop

Friday, October 8, 2010
Doors open at 7:30 pm
Program starts at 8:00 pm

This is a benefit to support Zapatista communities.

$10 donation requested at the door!
Show your support in many ways, just give, speak out, get together!

Sponsored by the East Side Arts Alliance Cultural Center with the Chiapas Support Committee

At 2277 International Blvd * Oakland, CA 94606-5003
Call (510) 533-6629

Liberation poems, theater, music, art, hip hop with:


Poemas, teatro, música, arte, hip hop liberación con

Francisco X. Alarcón
Gina Madrid
Nina Serrano
Lisa Gray-Garcia
Howard Wiley
Andrew Kong Knight
Arnoldo García
Daniel Camacho
Pancho Pescador
"El tractorista" video poem by Rubén Rangel
Alejandro Murguía
Son Jarocho Music Group and Fandango Jam sessions to close!
& others!


What does Che mean in 2010 and beyond?

Recently the semi-retired elder Cuban revolutionary and leader Fidel Castro said that the Cuban model does not even work for Cuba anymore. What does liberation mean in the era of neoliberal capitalism, the international "war on terror," global climatic change, Indigenous peoples' liberation movements and governments, and small islands and movements of difference?

In this time, what does Che mean, if anything at all?

Tonight we will try to imagine and re-imagine not only Che's significance, but the meaning of our lives dedicated to progressive social change for racial justice, immigrant rights, human rights, poetry, cultural, music, clean air, water, soil, and what we can do to ensure that the revolution is to be human, like Che.

The world economic crisis has meant a re-evaluation of everything sacred and mundane in the capitalist worlds and the remaining socialist utopias amidst the harsh conditions reigning in South countries and the Third World. How does the working class survive, how are Indigenous people organizing their communities and defending the natural world, what is happening to our countries with the migrant upheavals marking the developed world? What do our words mean to do?

In this contradictory time and threatening developments, Zapatista communities and Che still remaining shining figures and examples of human dignity and struggle for a better deal and a better world for all. Tonight we will celebrate with our own words and actions Che Guevara and collectively raise some solidarity for the Zapatistas in Chiapas.

Come celebrate Che & the Zapatistas!


Ernesto Che Guevara was born in Argentina, became a revolutionary on several motorcycle road-trips across Latin America, where he saw first hand the problems of impoverished and landless Indigenous peoples, exploited workers and the devastation resulting from hundreds of years of colonialism and empire. After being expelled from Guatemala, when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz, Che met up with leaders of the Cuban July 26 national liberation movement led by the Castro brothers in Mexico and joined their cause. He rode aboard the famed Granma (yacht) to Cuba as the nascent Rebel Army launched its war of liberation, which culminated in victory on New Years Day 1961.

In the revolutionary war to overthrow the U.S.-backed Bautista dictatorship, Che eventually reached the rank of Comandante in Cuba's Rebel Army. He led a column of guerrilla fighters across Cuba in the final march and assault that caused the final defeat and overthrow of the dictatorship.

Che became a leader and creator of revolutionary guerrilla theory and practice, Although he was a medical doctor by training, Che was also a talented writer by vocation and became a noted chronicler of his youthful escapades and of the Cuban revolution, becoming an internationalist practitioner of what he preached.

Ernesto Che Guevara was a multifaceted and selfless individual in the revolutionary world movements. In Cuba, Che became an economist, helping lead a socialist re-organization of the Cuban economy, participated and lead in the development of volunteer workers the sugarcane fields and other sectors to become and shape, as part of a shared vision, the "new man and woman." As a representative of the Cuban revolution, he traveled to Third World countries developing both economic and political relationships to ensure the success of the Cuban revolution and national liberation movements worldwide.

In these new travels, Che reinvigorated his commitment to international solidarity and revolutionary movement-building. he helped organize Cuban internationalist support and eventually spent almost one year leading a guerrilla war with an African liberation movement in the Congo.

In Africa, he continued developing the vision and the members of what would become Che's most well-known and final initiative of creating an internationalist liberation army and movement in Bolivia in 1966. Che lead a small column of guerrillas in the mountains of Bolivia, engaged in several skirmishes and battles but eventually would be surrounded and captured one October 8, 1967. He was executed shortly after capture and the rest is Che history.

Si Che viviera, con los Zapatistas estuviera


If Che were alive, he'd be at the Zapatistas side.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

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Unveil Me!

On October 10, Arnoldo García, el FEO, will be reading at:



still in English, Spanish, Spanglish y Lo Que Sea

3:30 – 5:30PM No Cover

hosted by Avotcja

(Donations for flyers accepted & don’t forget to bring your Congas, Guiros, Maracas, Panderetas etc.)

Always the word festival to remember!


(a Science Fiction & Fantasy bookstore)

3264 Adeline Street

wheel chair accessible

(½ block North of Alcatraz & 2 short blocks South of Ashby BART)

Berkeley, CA 94703 (510)848-0413

or (510) OK HOBBIT

Sunday October 10th

ARNOLDO GARCIA (Poeta del Pueblo) & “TINY” LISA GRAY-GARCIA/TONY ROBLES (of Poor Magazine) or or

Friday, September 24, 2010

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Come on Baby, Let Me Light Your Fire!

In August, Matchbook Story published my short story "Day Laborer Love." The catch? My short story had to be 300 characters long. So, literally, your story has to fit on the inside of a matchbook.

Now, creating, writing and then editing are always tough.

As a writer you do not want to cut up your baby; but when editing becomes akin to flesh offerings, spiritual gateways to deeper understanding and transformations of consciousness, then editing is easy, not necessarily painless, an art-form. And even more so when I am talking about a short story that is 300 characters long, including spaces; yes, 300 characters!

Kyle Peterson, who publishes Matchbook Story, provided wonderful, insightful feedback and editing suggestions helping me craft a neutron-like compact story with many layers and meanings. He has struck a different kind of matchbook and has created a permanent, eternal-like, bonfire out of my story.

OK, try this at home or at a cafe, or at a laundrymat, or on the bus. write your matchbook story. Then check out Kyle Peterson's blog, where he posts a "pick of the week" matchbook short stories. Then send him your 300 character blast and keep the fires burning -- or as KP states, Matchbook Story (is on fire)!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

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Record Year of Repression

For those claiming that the immigration system is "broken" and needs "CIR," comprehensive immigration reform, think again and ask someone who has had a loved one, a co-worker or a family member taken away by the police, jailed and deported. Short of any reform, relief can be provided by taking a few commonsense and humanitarian steps. For example, the U.S. must fully restore civil rights and due process for all persons, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status. The abuses immigrants are subjected to in detention and deportation have to be investigated and prosecute those accountable.

This has been a signature year for the U.S. government, notable for the runaway repression of immigrant families, workers and communities. This is nothing to brag about:
  • The U.S. is reporting that the number of people coming in without authorization, or who may have overstayed a visa and have also become "undocumented," has decreased.
  • At the same time the U.S. is deporting record numbers of immigrants,; expected to surpass 400,000 by the end of the fiscal year ending in September.
  • And, worse for immigrant families, workers and communities, a record number of migrant dead have been recovered on the U.S. side of the Mexico border.
These are the results of U.S. laws, practices, measures and policies that have criminalized immigration status, militarized immigration control and border communities, and that do not address the root causes of migration that forces a person to risk their life to survive. On top of all this, immigrant workers face additional hurdles to employment with living wages -- and immigrant workers are scapegoated for the other record, record unemployment. Nothing or little is said about protecting labor rights, ensuring an income or a job and other remedies. U.S. immigration laws and policies fuel the banner year of scapegoating and anti-immigrant hate violence, another record this year.

Are more coming with authorization? Nope. The U.S. could drastically reduce the number of unauthorized entrants by decriminalizing status, issuing sufficient visas for family reunification and ending the backlog. And by regularizing the status of those already here.
    Is repression the hallmark of "21st century law enforcement," as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) touts itself? The U.S. continues investing billions in expanding immigration controls, extending immigration-police collaboration programs, building jail bed space exclusively for immigrants and continuing the deadly strategy of militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. border security deliberately funnels migrants into the desert and mountains of Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Texas where thousands have perished or disappeared since this strategy, called "prevention through deterrence," was implemented in 1994.

    System of Repression

    The U.S. economy is still in a tailspin; unemployment is deep and jobs are shriveling up. Instead of protecting the labor rights of ALL workers, native and foreign-born, the U.S. has increased immigration policing in the workplace by creating a new generation of employer sanctions using E-verify. The GAO studied and found that employer sanctions cause new forms of racial discrimination in employment, housing and services. While this is old news, employer sanctions continues being expanded and in all its forms gives almost warlord status and power to employers. With E-verify and employer sanction in hand workers, employers believe they can and fire workers who assert their rights or organize unions. Employers violate wage laws and safety protections with impunity because they believe that the immigration status of an employee determines if they have to obey labor and other laws.

    The old adage of "When the U.S. gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia" is more true than ever. When U.S. workers, especially white workers, face such dire times, immigrant workers, whether Mexican, South Asian, African, Haitian or of any nationality that does not pass as white, are literally thrown onto the street corners and are at the mercy of the the wolves of exploitation.

    The U.S. government's treatment of immigrants is nothing to be proud about. Official policies have unleashed waves of scapegoating along with a proliferation of repressive legislation by state, county and local officials targeting immigrants -- or anyone perceived to be born outside the country. SB1070, the controversial Arizona law that gives local law enforcement additional powers to check a person's immigration status, is the tip of the iceberg of anti-immigrant repression.

    Over twenty states are considering SB1070 copycat laws. The Obama Administration has implemented "Secure Communities" and other federal immigration-police collaboration programs in over 500 jurisdictions; final the goal is to extend Secure Communities to every county by 2012.

    Get ready for more record years of repression.

    We will need to all "Dream, Rise, Organize" with fierce human determination to rollback and reverse the climate, much less get socially just immigration reforms any time soon.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

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    El hogar/la casa o las estructuras donde residen las relaciones sociales

    Una casa, un hogar, un edificio, un rasca-cielo, una oficina, un apartamento, una fábrica, una calle, un callejón, una carpa son las estructuras donde residen y reflejan las relaciones sociales, económicas, raciales, de clase, de género.

    Son marcadores de tiempos y espacios pasados de relaciones humanas antiguas y que ahora son hospedaje de lo que vivimos y lo que soñamos, como un campamento de campesinos migrantes que antes era un alcazar o fuerte o una misión y ahora en lugar de encarcelar indios, alojan migrantes que también son indios.

    Quizás una hetero-mujer sueñe con casarse con un hombre, tener una casa, un hogar y criar familia. Y esto es una fotografía del pasado. ¿Qué sueñan los desempleados, las prostitutas (trabajadoras del sexo), los jornaleros, los poetas? Con un lugar, cuando no tienen lugar, con estabilidad, cuando no tienen estabilidad, con abrazos cuando no hay ternura, con un cuarto limpio y con calefacción cuando están tirados en la calle desahuciados, con un futuro optimista cuando el presente es opresivo, pesimista. ¿Podremos retomar espacios viejos, abandonados por la fuga de inversiones capitalistas y las de-estructuraciones gubernamentales y del Estado? Sin capital?

    Renunciamos y denunciamos las estructuras explotadoras y las queremos retomar con nuevas relaciones sociales, solidarias, abrigadoras, comunitarias, familiares, íntimas, diferentes pero de todos modos ligadas a lo caduco o tratando de rebasar y deshacerse de la caducidad. Remover, destruir, superar lo caduco que pesa contra nuestras resistencias y sobre nuestros ideales. Convierte nuestro solidario servicio para cubrir los agujeros de su falta de responsabilidad social, su extracción económica, su poder político que nos descuenta, nos deshace, nos agota, nos agacha.

    Sunday, August 08, 2010

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    Philosophical Materialism

    I have gone mad, lost my mind in a mall.

    I have gone from nothingness to everythingism:
    I need to buy everything
    CDs, shoes, blouses, shirts, underwear, designer jeans
    earrings, perfumes, lotions, vacation homes, maids

    I have gone from idealism to materialism
    turned the world into a store
    turned my ideas into a thrift shop
    turned my heart into an auction
    turned my body into an wishful-thinking six-figure salary
    I am what I own
    I am worth something because I own, I buy, I shop for the very best

    What is primary?
    My idea of a sale; can I buy it; can I own it; can I take it home; can I make it mine
    What is secondary?
    Whether I can beat out the other shopper.
    What is tertiary?
    whether i need it or not, i have it.

    The thing determines my being
    my being is a reflection of the things I can buy
    the thing has become a thing-for-my-self

    What is primary?
    Materialism, own, own, own, property, things, people in my service
    Matter determines ideas
    Ideas are in the stores, I look for sales, I shop therefore I am.

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    Update on community mural in east Oakland

    Desi along with Leo, Pancho Pescador, Jane and others are creating a new work of community art almost in my backyard. Part of a citywide initiative called, "Community Rejuvenation Project," which includes neighborhood participation in the mural design and painting and growing community gardens, Desi explained that they went to the store owner and asked permission to paint this historical mural on the outside wall of the store facing Seminary, close to MacArthur Boulevard.

    From left to right on the mural, the artists depict ancient history starting with African and Mesoamerican roots. The you have two historical figures a black woman who led a slave revolt and Cuauhtemoc, the last leader of the Aztecs who fought the first Indigenous battles against the incipient European invasion of the Americas.

    In the background is the "Black Eagle" of the farmworker movement. Cesar E. Chavez, founder and leader of the United Farm Workers union, designed the logo associated with the UFW. He explained that the "Balck Eagle" was a reminder of the long and deep history of farmworkers and agriculture in the Americas, dating back to the Aztecs and beyond.
    On each wing of the farmworker eagle you have Elaine Brown, Black Panther leader, and Inez Garcia, who was raped and in her cause celebre was represented by a Black Panther lawyer in Oakland. Desi explained that the Black Panthers had a historic meeting at Mills College back in their hey-day, which is a few blocks around the corner from the actual mural.

    In the center of the mural you have a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican symbol for movement right above the Black Panther party symbol. Then you have images expressing voices being raised for justice and community members expressing their power.

    A large image of a woman, acting with fist raised high and exclaiming words, comes from
    another photograph that turns out to be that of a Iranian in protest. Behind her you can see images from Alcatraz and Angel Islands, where Asian immigrants were jailed awaiting entry or deportation.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

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    New Mural Rising in east Oakland

    I drove right by it and did a double take. I turned around, taking some photos with my
    cellphone camera and then decided to return later with my camera.

    Here's a few photographs of a new mural in progress. I will go visit the painters when I see them out there and find out more about this exciting mural and community garden project they are developing.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    arnoldo garcía

    Eye Contact | Contacto Visual

    Mis palabras
    el amor
    tus ojos


    My words
    your eyes

    Saturday, May 08, 2010

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    Next stop for the Earth and what are you gonna do about it?

    The world doesn't stop for humans. She keeps spinning, wobbling around the sixth sun.

    Lately, she's hobbling after being badly hurt once again by human activity that humans, some of us, call corporate greed for oil, profits, accumulation for private consumption.

    BP was drilling into the crust of the earth, to suck up oil to process into fuel for our cars, trains, and other energy and forms.

    We are now living under one of the worst oil spills in human history after an explosion ripped open a gash in her belly allowing crude to swoosh up in hundreds of thousands of gallons per day, poisoning everything in its wake.

    Humans, specifically corporate humans, are responsible for the spill; it was not an accident; the spill is a warning and a sign that our relationship to the natural world doesn't work.

    The human corporate polluter, ravager of the earth, has a name, British Petroleum, BP. And he has accomplices, every day sitting in gridlock on their way to shop, work or home.

    The Big Bang Strikes Again at the Belly-Button of the Moon

    Six millions years ago, give or take a few millennia, an asteroid ripped into earth, gashing a crescent wound into the continent where the Yucatán peninsula now sits. The impact was of such an intensity that part of the earth was lopped off and drifted into space, eventually becoming our moon.

    Humans in the Mesoamerican region venerated the almost perfect arc after arc of cenotes, wells (that were created by the backfire of the asteroid's impact on the earth), that covered the Yucatán peninsula. The cenotes were treated as sacred portals or places that were given human and plant sacrifices or offerings.

    Mesoamerican naturalists thousands of years ago made the connection between the moon and Mesoamerica and began calling the entire region Mexico. Mexico is the Spanish-ized version of Mexica (pronounced: meh shee kah), formed by the fusion of two Nahuatl language words, metztli (moon) [pronounced: mets-tuhlee] and xictli [sheek-tuhlee] (belly-button) "Belly-button of the Moon."

    The asteroid's destruction of animal and plant life created the sediment that eventually over millions of years was compressed and transformed into crude. Coal, oil, in other words, fossil fuel, are the remnants of animal and plant life, which humans have learned badly to use as fuel for extremely short-sighted needs. Human dominant industrial social formations, mainly Europe and the U.S. are using up the past faster than we can create the future, any future that might be sustainable or survivable for humans.

    The Wétiko Disease: Gulf of Mexico Oil Disasters

    This is the second oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1980s another oil rig accident caused a tremendous oil spill. I lived in south Texas, close to Padre Island, at the time and I remember the oil clumping into fist-sized balls of crude. The beaches, the sea-life, the water suffered tremendously; other than sitting on the beach sands, the gulf waters were deadly to all life forms.

    But no one should worry.

    Humans, especially those of us who have lived under and through the the dominant industrial society cannot destroy the earth. We can only destroy the habitat, the eco-systems of air, water and soil, that support human life.

    What is destroying us is what Jack Forbes, renown Native American scholar and poet, calls the "wétiko" disease. Jack Forbes writes, the wétiko disease is "... the consuming of another's life for one's own private purpose or profit."

    The wétiko disease is the disease of possession, that anyone of us can own land or build, drill, shovel it around -- or in the case of BP, oil that is over five thousand feet below the surface of the Gulf waters -- without consequences.

    The U'wa a few years ago reminded humans, especially those of us from the dominant industrial societies, that the oil in the land and under the crust of the earth is there for its own reasons.

    The oil is part of the balance and once you pilfer it, suck it up into ocean carriers and transport it to refineries, we will pay a heavy price, said the U'wa. The whole process of unbalancing comes to the fore. The result? The current and most deadly spill ever of crude gushing from the bottom of the Gulf.

    Friday, April 30, 2010

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    arnoldo garcía

    [Scribblings for Poems 29 and 30 April Poetry Month]

    these are poetic deviations
    doctrinal disasters
    for power
    for individualism
    for my heart
    to beat the crooked
    root into the sky
    waggle our legs
    in the sea
    swim in the wind


    1. una llamarada
    una ternura de camarada)
    2. tu voz entra a la electricidad alámbrica e inalámbrica
    para llegar completa
    a mis oídos
    (y entre la electricidad
    de los kilómetros y
    kilómetros que se estiran
    sobre montañas, llanos
    y ciudades
    corriendo por los alambres tendidos sobre los postes
    que desfilan al lado
    de las carreteras solitarias
    tu voz delgada llega tras
    las olas eléctricas ondas traspasadoras
    3.esto te puede matar, sí
    esto sí te puede matar.
    poesía y amor
    gasolina y fuego
    una bomba molotov
    es lo que cargo en mi pecho
    que ustedes le llaman corazón
    una bomba molotov
    para las luchas callejeras contigo
    traigo sangre combustible
    y palabras eléctricas
    para ponerle fuego a tus sentidos
    4. que se acaben las mentiras
    que se ahoguen
    en mi garganta ronca
    que se mueran todas
    y que triunfe la ternura...

    is the self-inflicted wound
    of lovers
    who make themselves free


    tu cuerpo
    le habla
    a mi cuerpo
    una arma biológica
    un terremoto de ondas y olas
    que me estremecen
    no aguanto mi propio sexo
    me transformo en agua, lluvia
    tu cuerpo un relámpago
    de huesos, senos, labios, electricidad
    luz en el techo
    tu cuerpo
    la habla
    al mío
    y me transformas en silencio
    que gime en los pulmones
    que gira en mis irises
    que se libera con tus manos
    tu cuerpo cerca del mío
    y ni las sombras
    ni las opiniones
    el mundo desaparece
    en tu risa
    y el sol explota entre mis
    piernas o mi lengua trabada
    por las vibras
    de tu cuerpo


    for my grandfather purépecha

    When you are the Cloud people
    the clouds are the most powerful
    (my grandfather's words)
    When you are the Mud people
    mixtery, fusion, convergence, gestation
    muddy waters' mongrelity is the most
    (my heart mestizaje of lands' words, mixtery of cloud, rain, dust)
    When memory is an infinite
    fragmentation bomb
    then we are everywhere
    (the chorus)


    Seismic skin
    your hands transform me
    turn me into a tremor
    your skin against mine
    (the earth quakes
    our jaws unlock)
    I am buried in the rubble of my existence


    I am
    a glutton
    for words
    It's not just
    that I want you
    your body,
    it's that your mind
    is strapped
    to your body
    and I cannot
    get to your


    los deberes del che

    El deber de cada
    es hacer revoluciones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer poesía
    El deber de cada
    es hacer actividades en la calle
    El deber de cada
    es hacer movidas movimientos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer pensamientos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer caminos
    El deber de cada
    es hacernos las barbas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer rebeliones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer martirios a martillazos
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer a la muerte
    El deber de cada
    es rehacer la vida
    El deber de cada
    es cantar espirituales
    El deber de cada
    es hacer lenguajes
    El deber de cada
    es hacer tristezas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer mesas
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer deudas
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer la pobreza
    El deber de cada
    es deshacerse de sus riquezas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer Cuba
    El deber de cada
    es hacer arcoirises
    El deber de cada
    es hacer oídos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer locuras
    El deber de cada
    es hacer enfermedades
    El deber de cada
    es hacer suciedades
    El deber de cada
    es hacer sociologías
    El deber de cada
    es hacer obras
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer mujeriegos
    El deber de cada
    es deshacerse de ser hombre
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer ansiedades
    El deber de cada
    es hacerse anciano
    El deber de cada
    es hacer temblores
    El deber de cada
    es hacer estornudos gordianos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer guevaristas
    El deber de cada
    es redetirse
    El deber de cada
    es hacer religiosos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer liberaciones
    El deber de cada
    es deshacer cárceles
    El deber de cada
    es hacer sonrientes
    El deber de cada
    es hacer zapatistas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer insurrecciones
    El deber de cada
    es desdoblar los origamis del ombligo
    El deber de cada
    es hacer nalgadas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer garabateos
    El deber de cada
    es hacer cucharadas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer adicciones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer nervios
    El deber de cada
    es hacer señales
    El deber de cada
    es hacer guerrillas
    El deber de cada
    es cuidar montañas
    El deber de cada
    es hacer charcos e inundaciones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer asequias
    El deber de cada
    es hacer pordioseros
    El deber de cada
    es hacerse dios
    El deber de cada
    es hacer porquerías
    El deber de cada
    es hacer palaobreros
    El deber de cada
    es hacerse hechos
    El deber de cada
    es calar de veras
    El deber de cada
    es hacer nudos
    El deber de cada
    es desnudarse
    El deber de cada
    es hacer explosiones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer opresiones
    El deber de cada
    es hacer depresiones
    El deber de cada
    es alargarse
    El deber de cada
    es hacer resurrecciones insurreccionales
    El deber de cada
    es hacer canosos
    El deber de cada
    es desembarazar a los imbarazables
    El deber de cada
    callejón sin salida
    es abrirse a la poesía y a los carros abandonados
    El deber de cada
    es asombrarnos por ser fiel al sol
    El deber de cada
    es desahogarse
    El deber de cada
    es hacer livianos los pesares
    El deber de cada
    es hacernos soveranos

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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    arnoldo garcía

    Manos incómodas / Uncomfortable hands

    Ella con sus manos incómodas
    teclando sueños sin electricidad
    cabeceando sí sí, ignorando al público
    Qué diría la tierra sin nosotros
    qué haría la naturaleza sin tantos
    carros y chimeneas qué haría
    yo sin ella?

    Las cáscaras del tiempo
    la migajas de las carcajadas
    las urnas de tu piel y amor

    La dictadura de tus ojos
    tu cintura, espacio cósmico para mis manos

    El ruido de la periódicos en guerras
    la ventana de tu lengua
    el lenguaje de tu envidia
    la verdura de tu vientre
    las costillas de tus palabras
    los campos de concentración
    donde el ajedrez es un horno
    para sublevar soles y antepasados
    el deseo de no tener deseo
    el deseo de aburrirme ante tus desastres
    para que veas que todo está bien
    El diálogo de bayonetas y trincheras
    Los bemoles de las llantas
    los blues de las carreteras a las
    tres de la mañana
    Tus labios come-lunas, luna de crema
    y pecados con vela llena de mojados
    clandestinos sin papeles sin cosmos
    sin estrellas sin nada pero con tierra
    y camposantos donde viven para morir
    en una fábrica en Chicago o de
    autonomía en el sudeste mesoamericano
    qué sería de los horizontes sin tus
    cadáveres, sin tus pecados falsificados,
    fraudes electorales y monturas
    silvestres? Qué será de mí sin
    tinta y ternura, las ametralladoras
    de mis sentidos, qué será
    si nunca tengo el tiempo para
    escucharte, para tocar la infinidad
    de tu cuerpo y su cosmos, curvas y caricias?


    She with her uncomfortable hands
    clicking dreams on a keyboard without electricity
    moving her head back and forth, yes, yes, ignoring the public
    What would the earth say without us
    what would the natural world do without so many
    cars and smokestacks what would
    I do without her?

    The peels of time
    the scraps of belly laughs
    the urns of you skin and love

    The dictatorship of your eyes
    Your cosmic waist, space for my hands
    the noise of newspapers in wars
    the window of your tongue
    the language of your envy
    the verdure the fresh greens of your womb
    the ribs of your words
    the concentration camps
    where chess is an oven
    to organize uprisings of suns and ancestors
    The desire of not having desires
    the desire of boring myself with your disasters
    so that you see that everything is ok.
    The dialogue of bayonets and trenches
    the b-flats of tires
    the blues of the highway at
    three in the morning
    Your moon-eating lips, moon of foamy cream
    and sins with a wind-filled sail full of clandestine
    wetbacks without papers without a cosmos
    without stars without nothing except land
    and holy ground where they live to die
    in a factory in Chicago or from
    autonomy in the Mesoamerican Southeast
    What would become of the horizons without your
    cadavers, without your forged sins,
    electoral frauds and wild
    saddles? What will become of me without
    ink and tenderness, the machine-guns
    of my five senses, what will of me
    if I never have the time to
    listen to you, touch the infinity
    of your body and your cosmos, curved spaces and caresses?

    NOTE: Poem 28 for April Poetry Month 2010.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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    Arnoldo García

    curanderas dignidad

    The curanderas put their hands on
    my body, rubbed my skin with
    plants and the palms of their
    penetrating hands. My body
    becomes one body as their
    hands shape and pull at
    every contour and curve of my
    body. The curandera is the
    body of bodies, who embrace
    themselves, who absorb all
    my sorrows, ghosts and
    pain massaging me into
    myself: I have a curandera,
    therefore my body exists.
    I am reassured of the
    existence of the world, the
    cosmos and my body where
    her hands reside, live,
    struggle, dream, become and
    make my body real. My grandmother,
    who healed with her thoughts, prayers
    eyes and hands, had three bodies:
    her body as mother, lover and
    Her body as a woman who loved
    other women equally and in
    some cases more than she loved
    her husband and her family and
    even herself.
    Her body as a healer, a curandera,
    who negated her own body
    who leapt out of her body
    to make your body bodily, a
    maternal temple, existence. This
    was the only body capable of holding
    all her bodies together. She could
    cuddle and nurture babies, even
    baptize them when she didn't
    believe in the baptizer.
    Because she was a bodily-healer, she
    died but her body continued living
    not only in my body and in those
    she healed and cared for
    but in her own body. She rescued
    us even after death, took care
    of us after we buried her and
    then came back to visit me
    twice before saying farewell
    to this place, this part, this dimension
    of the world
    she built, healed, smiled at,
    cultivated flowers, plants and
    fruits. The curandera is a
    seed, floating, holding on,
    taken care of, planted, cultivated,
    watered, sprouting people and
    flowering for the next
    She wanted to be wanted and
    she would dress as a man
    to go to the dances and
    dance with women, she would
    charm and seduce and make
    them whole, make each one
    two women in one and she, three
    women in one body forever
    gestating herself, self-gestating
    the community, her family, her
    lovers. Her hands, her stretched
    body stretched by having given
    birth to six girsl and six boys,
    were, are her dignity, not mute
    out loud gentle tenderness from
    her lips. She counseled:
    if you are in a tight situation,
    violence or humiliation aimed at
    you, do not answer in-kind.
    If you don't know what to do,
    what to say, how to react:
    respond with your dignity,
    react with your dignity,
    answer with your dignity
    and nothing can stop you,
    no one can get away from you
    no one will raise their voice
    against you because dignity
    and nothing else will matter
    Your dignity will shut down ignorance.
    her dignity was the cure,
    la curandera la dignidad

    Monday, April 26, 2010

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    Arnoldo García


    my home
    the rolling hills belonged to no one
    yet drunk Indians and Mexicans thought they were theirs
    (that is drunk Indians all).
    Three syllables
    three roots
    dirt roads
    cold seasons every winter
    putting us in our place
    My grandmother and grandfather
    thought this place better than Texas
    where whites lynched Mexicans
    Here they strangled us with
    hard labor in the fields
    Even the Indians had to
    change the spelling of their
    names, their homeland
    so that no one would confuse
    Mexicans with Yakamas
    that is whites only,
    who took their land
    and made us work it
    made fertile volcanic soil and dust
    mesh with our sweats, our
    dream of return
    only to die paupers
    without land, work or home
    except in the cemetery.

    Toppenish, rolling hills, makes
    me dizzy
    swallows me up
    my soul is tumbleweed
    dried up at the emrcy
    of northern winds
    Toppenish is my hose
    my horizon my word
    my roots also
    buried there.
    My hands lie fallow
    I hibernate in dreams
    of toxic-free seeds
    and uneven rows
    meant for walking
    and not tractors
    we grew up walking
    migrant comet trails
    blazing, cornstalks,
    greenbeans, hops,
    orchards across the
    brown sky of the land
    In Toppenish you see everything
    and you see what you need to see
    You cannot ignore me
    or forget me in Toppenish.

    I did not choose this land
    This land did not choose me
    or my people
    Now she is mine and I hers
    Toppenish is the wind become
    mountains, hills, valley,
    volcanic paths, migrant tomb,
    laughter and bully.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

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    arnoldo garcía

    Poem/poema 25 de abril 2010

    i don't want you
    to read my thoughts
    but here you are...


    manos abiertas
    ríos salvajes
    territorios libres


    que vuelva la tierra
    que vuela la tierra
    qué lengua la tierra
    qué tierra la lengua
    un lenguaje terrenal
    un territorio lengual
    tu y yo

    eres de la noche
    eres mi manifiesto nocturno
    viento gira
    relámpago corta
    al sufridor
    polvo en mis pensamientos
    surge el beso
    más antiguo
    en las armas
    de tus brazos
    por el reino
    de tu amor

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

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    arno!do garcía

    Your colonialism did this to me

    Your skin did this to me
    Your 99.9% dropless blood
    Your redlining
    Your redneck
    Your monotone monolingual Christianity
    Your tone-deaf tongue
    Your flat-ass flat world
    did this to me.


    Notes for my Palestine war

    Anwar Balousha
    mourns his five daughters
    killed by an Israeli Apache [sic]
    helicopter that fired mssiles
    at a mosque in Jabaliya
    Anwar's house was destroyed
    by the blasts
    Four of his children escaped
    Samar, six years old
    Dina, seven years old
    Jawaker, eight years ofld
    Abram, 14
    Tahnir, 17
    were all crushed to death
    where they slept
    Five missiles
    one for each daughter
    Five daughters
    one for each missile
    five centuries
    five Malinches
    in the refugee camps
    in the migrant camps
    Israeli drones in the dark night
    looking for their targets
    using infrared television cameras
    found the five sleeping beauties
    five dreaming peace or love
    or family or fast asleep resting
    getting ready for the next day
    But how do you get reay
    for the next day of bombardments
    of atrocities of F-16 jet fighter pilots
    who destroy mosques,
    homes, school, universities,
    markets, killing and maiming

    Even the ruins are Palestinian.


    all the missiles
    all the bayonets
    all the tanks
    all the soldiers
    all the armies
    are hunting you
    All they can do is give us time
    to prepare for our turn at war
    at the fountains of blood
    where Israel is quenching
    Palestine is rubble under the bombardments
    crushed children crushed women
    crushed men
    who will continue resiting
    as dust as ruins as slogans as martyrs
    at our marches
    as the ultimate dream of freedom
    that can only be crushed
    by an ignorant enemy

    Nowhere to run or hide
    what kind of satellite is needed
    to hunt down a people
    the tables are turned
    Israel is driving Palestine
    into the sea
    and Palestine will become
    the largest country in the world
    Palestine Palestinian ocean
    and you will have to be beg, ask permission on the knees of your ancestors and soul
    for at least 500 years
    to cross
    to bathe
    to swim
    in our liquid nation
    to enter into the realm of our catastrophic borders
    the U.S. submarines will snk
    the gunboats, the warships
    the corporate petroleum pirates the nukes
    will be grounded
    Israel buries Palestin
    and the Palestinians
    grow roots an underground
    seed that flowers
    without dynamite strapped
    to her waist
    that furrows under and causes the occupation to cave in to sink
    in the aquifers of our loud tender mouths
    Israel makes Palestinians mourn, twists and maims
    their bodies, blasts apart
    children and measly armed men,
    Israel believes he is winning
    76% of the Israelies support the war
    they lie, hate cannot be
    measured by wars.


    Oscar Gaza

    Broken windows
    over a man shot in the back
    over a man unarmed
    laying face down
    with four cops on top of him
    shot in the back
    a case of a mistaken bullet?
    But what color was this Gazan in East Oakland?
    who breaks windows, burns cars
    who shoots us in the back
    who is guilty
    who is free
    where is Gaza
    where is Oakland
    where is your sea our ocean our country of open arms and caresses?

    Note: these are poems 23 and 24 for April Poetry Month. I was unable to post the 23rd poem on April 23 because I was busy working with communities responding to the rising apartheid and Jim Crow segregation in Arizona, after AZ Governor Janet Brewer signed into law SB1070, which makes racial profiling and discrimination legal. SB1070 give police the power to question anyone they suspect of being undocumented and to investigate private and public agencies, employers if they are serving or hiring undocumented people. Take four actions for justice in Arizona and to denounce SB1070 here.]

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

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    arnoldo garcía

    Migrant Incantations

    échame tierra
    sobre la cabeza y la cara
    brota mi pecho con polvo
    enloda mi lengua
    échame tierra
    porque me voy muy lejos de aquí
    throw some dirt
    over my head, let it run over my face
    rub some dust on my breasts and chest
    muddy my tongue
    throw some dirt over me
    because I am going far far away from here


    To discuss
    words with words
    is the height
    of consciousness
    of consciousness
    the infinite molting
    of consciousness
    a head full of serpents
    a chaos of
    molecular currents pushing herself slithering making time and space
    exploding at
    the touch of air
    blood the altitude of tenderness
    tenderness the attitude of my blood

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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    Arnoldo García


    can a few men with guns
    day workers
    who's in the army
    who obeys orders to shoot the people
    who commands the soldier to shoot the people
    day workers
    tear gas
    scatters monks and pigeons
    skyful of blood in the airwaves
    can the thugs rule us
    can the generals crush all the cameras
    can the chief of police, the sheriff, the governor, the state senator, the racist
    a few good haters
    the multitudes
    of students
    day laborers
    domestic workers
    women with children
    can a few men with guns rule the world
    make the multitudes cower
    destroy the earth
    destroy our spirit our lands our communities
    can they?
    will we
    the unarmed the peaceful the drunk on poetry & horizons
    the ones who all we want to do is learn, laugh with the elders
    can they really sentence us to life in prison in poverty
    is a bayonette really more powerful than a pen a pencil solidarity love
    can the army make us kneel ask for forgiveness ask for better jails more laws to obey
    why do they believe in the possible when we are the impossible

    buddha plays soccer

    be present
    not on what you don't have
    not on what you had
    not on what you lost
    not on past grievances failures or successes
    not on what you want
    not on your desires
    be present
    on who surrounds you who accompanies you who holds you
    on who makes your heart beat loud suns
    on the riches of your life that can't be put in a bank account that can't be invested in an IRA
    on who fills your lungs with the big bang
    who vibrates & plucks the strings of your pigmented guitar
    be present
    to listen
    to breath
    to give
    to rest
    to be


    I don't want to bother you
    I am no one
    I am not important
    I hardly exist
    I exist in your shadow
    I live to be lived and loved by you
    without you I am no one
    without you I have no shadow
    I am a shadow-in-waiting
    I will self-destruct without you
    I will crumble into a pile of dust
    at the mercy of the wind


    casi te abracé
    casi te bese
    casi te tuve por una vida entera
    casi fuimos uno
    casi humanos
    casi locos
    casi dulzura con cara pecada
    y tu corazón de curandera
    casi te quise
    casi exploto
    casi me pierdo en tu sonrisa y cuerpo
    casi fue todo
    casi fue nada
    casi te he querido
    casi me deseas
    casi duermes commigo
    casi no me quito de tu lado
    casi apareces en horizontes con filos azules
    casi me emborracho con tu cuerpo
    casi te apreto en la isla barbuda
    casi me pasa todo contigo
    casi me enamoro de tí
    casi nazco nuevo en tus brazos
    casi me olvidas
    casi me trastorna y me hace sombra del polvo
    casi tengo una vida, una ofrenda
    casi entro a la eternidad
    casi el amor infinito

    buddha laughs

    end all worries
    let them wait
    forget them
    live now
    fight now
    free now
    free forever
    no running
    no stopping
    no jump starting
    no runnning away
    no violence
    no peace
    no hate
    no love
    except breathing and horizons

    war plans

    war plans
    for killing
    war plans
    for profits and contracts
    weapons R&D
    world leader
    Nobel Peace Prize
    re-election now!
    home by x-mas
    family & country
    blood for oil
    no homeland
    no nation
    war there
    peaceful war here
    21-gun salutes
    armies of headstones
    sargent pepper's lonely purple hearts band of bros
    safe suburbs
    cocktail parties
    cockroach revolution


    my tongue
    my lungs fill with wind
    my consciousness implodes into space
    I vibrate beat against the waves lungs flap
    wind above water below and stream over the solar skin