What I Been Up To (Since Last Fall)

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A lot of stuff, it would seem. First there’s what I’m supposed to be doing, which is trying to find a publisher for Luz at Midnight, a novel I’m FINALLY done revising (for now).

But then there’s what I’m actually doing, which is everything else. At some point I was going to write separate entries for these, but then time went by and I achieved a certain level of accumulation. So instead I’m writing one project-dumping post. What’ve I been up to?

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I Never Posted This

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…interview I did a few years back with UC Irvine’s Humanists@Work project. Cuz, I don’t know. My face etc. I do think it’s actually really useful, though, for nepantlerxs—folks who walk between institutional worlds of art and activism and academia—to share stories of how they made the decisions they made, because there’s seldom a roadmap for that kind of thing. So I’m posting it now.

A few things about this interview, tho: Continue reading

Killing My Darlings

Edited Sentences

Here’s another written something I’ve been sitting on. I didn’t post it at the time it was current, and not long after I turned my attention to some other projects for awhile that took me away from the novel. Thought about posting it anyway, but every time the thought crossed my mind, the post no longer seemed relevant, since it didn’t reflect what I was actually working on. I figured I’d wait to post until I returned to the novel again.

But I don’t know when that’s going to be, realistically. So— Continue reading

Snake Dream

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Oh, but the other writing thing I have been doing, lazily, when I feel like it, not in any sort of deliberate or goal-oriented way—as I’ve been not-writing all of the other things I should be writing—is journaling my pregnancy. It started out as something of a dream journal, as during my first trimester I had incredibly vivid and often quite hilarious dreams, night after night. Now I am seven months and seem to be at that point in the pregnancy where you dream of birthing other creatures (with my daughter it was kittens and cats): Continue reading

Reading, Writing, Resistance

On my way to the dentist I found myself thinking about reading: wait:

no, last night too, I commented to Greg that lately been thinking how I’d read more if I did not have this compulsion to finish every book I started. It feels wrong not to, somehow. And yet not every book I start will read itself—isn’t that what you’re always looking for as a reader, aren’t those the books you’d describe as your favorites? But what would my life be like, I’ve found myself wondering, if I was the kind of person who started a book and, finding it dull or not to my liking, felt free to simply set it aside and start another? What would change if in reading and by extension in life, my time and energy were organized not around a central compulsion (I must, I have to, I should) but instead around desire and pleasure? Continue reading

Hidden Houses

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Here’s a project I worked on earlier this year for URBAN-15’s Hidden Histories series, an outgrowth of community work I’ve been involved in for the past few years around urban land struggles and the right to the city. With Greg’s assistance, I filmed several video interviews with folks who grew up in San Antonio neighborhoods or communities later removed from the urban landscape by various policy mechanisms. I then drafted a script for the live production and was lucky enough to line up a couple of great guest commentators for the show, which was ultimately filmed live before a studio audience and streamed online via URBAN-15’s space-age livestreaming technology. Continue reading


Single Goldfish

About a year ago, I lost a pregnancy at 10 weeks and 4 days. It was what they call a “missed miscarriage”–or mmc, in the weird parlance of acronyms used on the online pregnancy message boards I frequently consulted at the time for any little question or symptom. That miscarriage was my first; however, at 38, it has not been my last. It took me by surprise, though, largely because my first pregnancy ten years ago had been entirely uneventful and also unexpected–a single perfect pearl of a surprise pregnancy. But I also assumed that miscarriage was something sudden and undeniable, a gush of blood when you stood up. I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t expect it. I certainly didn’t know that a baby could stop developing in you silently, so silently your body didn’t even seem to register the change. That your first knowledge of miscarriage could be that you’d actually miscarried weeks before when you thought you were still pregnant.

The laws of thermodynamics maintain that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, and the energy of that unnamed, interrputed child turned first into a tree and then into this hybrid visual/poetry piece, which I’m honored to have live on as part of Tammy Melody Gomez’s beautiful guest-edited issue of About Place Journal. Check out the rest of the issue as well, whose theme is “Rewilding: Recovery, Remembrances, and Reconnection with the Ancestral Wild.” As I told Tammy, it’s stunning. I’m grateful.

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In Which I Continue to Write about Cats, But Only Because Bukowski Did It First

Gracias to La Voz for soliciting a poem for their National Poetry Month issue: click here, then check out pages 5-12 to read some fine San Anto poets (my poem’s on pg. 10). Is it okay to say that the pawprint decorations are kinda funny to me? Granted, recurrent miscarriage clipart is much harder to find than cat clipart. A nice pic of dirty ol’ drunken angel Bukowski cuddling his cats like a softie would have been good. Ah, here we go:

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VIDEO: “Visibilizando Victimas: Poetic Action and Analysis Amid Cascading Crises”

Been meaning to post this for awhile and just now getting around to it. Last month, a group of fellow South Texas hybrid writer/educator/activists and I collaborated on a poetry panel for this year’s Tejas Foco of the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, held at Texas Lutheran University in Seguín, Tejas.

The impetus for the panel – and for doing it as an “alternative session,” presenting poetry instead of scholarly papers – was in fact to raise questions about where (or whether) poetic forms of analysis and action might comfortably reside alongside traditional forms of scholarship and organizing.

In our panel proposal, for instance, we wrote:

When his son was killed by cartel violence, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia renounced poetry—and yet, as Rubén Martínez writes, poetics remains integral to the Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad now led by Sicilia, who believes that poets have the moral responsibility to tell the stories of crises. As alternative session featuring the creative writing of four hybrid writer/educator/activists, this panel similarly invokes the vital work performed by a tradition of Chicanx poetics in imagining and realizing strategies of resistance on multiple scales—to the hypervisible violence of border wall-building, gentrification, and climate change as well as to the intimate erasures of Chicana mothering practice and domestic violence. Following Sicilia, our session considers the distinctive work that poetic forms of analysis can offer our communities in times of multiple crises—the work of “visibilizando víctimas,” documenting histories that would be otherwise lost in plain sight, as well as contemporary realities that would otherwise go unconsidered.

Click on images below to view each panelist’s presentation, filmed and edited by Greg Harman and originally posted to Deceleration:


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Also, not until after I presented did I realize that I was unconsciously and kinesthetically quoting in my performance of “No Poems Allowed” from Carmen Tafolla’s performance of her poem “Both Sides of the Border,” from This River Here. Like “Both Sides,” “No Poems Allowed” staggers text on either side of the page to indicate relationships of both division and connection, irreducibility and intimate intertwining (in this case between ways of knowing–poetry and numbers, writing and organizing, theory and action). I want to acknowledge and reference Tafolla’s influence here, with great love and respect.


Poetry Aplenty

Had some poems accepted in a couple interesting journals,

here at the inaugural issue of Metafore Magazine, a “new metamodern transcendental literary magazine from Maharishi University”

(which looks to be a college in Iowa started by the yogi who started the Transcendental Meditation craze in the 1970s–wow)

and then here at Outsider Poetry, “a literary review for those who create with mental illness, are self-trained, or create art and poetry that challenges cultural and academic norms.” Respect!