Monday, October 6, 2014

Mi Nostalgia....

or is it my shyness that made being in NJ/NYC made me feel off.

I had like lots of "jadyada so what's up with ya?" moments.

Being there made me think, of what are the elements of being a poet.

Check this:
Immediately, arriving to Manhattan for a lunch date, I was told "to get out of the clouds Poet, there are real things happening". And I know this.

 Pero without the nostalgia without  the "I'm in love with being in love" element, la vida se hace muy azuel y trisite.

Music cura,

Arte cura,

mas que nada

el selencio cura.

 I was asked recently what my artistic statement was.

They were asking--like, what is my artistic eye, what is my gusto?

A is for ambiguity GA style. (Gloria Anzaldua)

I like being all over the place, as a poet it's my job like Luis Alberto Urrea said in, "Count on Me tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships" edited by Adriana V. Lopez.

As a poet our job is to look through the rubble to look for the gems (207).
My rubble is (un) or fortunately:

words, ideas, politics, and even a zine every once in a while.

Heck, I'll even read your business card.

I eat books! 

My craft is my mind, tongue, and observation.
It's different for everyone.
Mi abueita sewed, she did things that for me, were magical.

Our talents are varied.

Most of the time, I'm looking a reason to love.
Thank God for our beautiful planet.
Honestly

When I lived there, in Jersey,
I was haunted by the feeling of
 Knowing what my family was doing a hour behind in time.


Es Nostalgia.

Good thing: It's not hard to make friends in NJ/NYC.

There is an ocean storm vibe over there, and I knew that before Sandy.
It's powerful.

As Midwestern land-lock local, there's a slow love here, that I appreciate.

So yep, NJ/NYC past me like a storm.

Richie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember watching that movie in the fall.....in Middleton, WI, '89 k no?

Okay that was my Mexican Heritage Month educational slip and now for the tip.

Watch the movie, but read the biographies of famous Latinos.
Because Latinos/Mexicans have lots of heart, but there is so many true-true stories and there are similarities behind the hollywood mask, to our lives.

The real stories make for better stories than hollywood. Richie's story in real life was totally more deep and complicated than what was portrayed in the movie.

Of course, I was down for his bro.

Who wasn't? and Rosie was hot too!

Real Mexican Familia stories are hard to tell.
 Don't wanna be a snitch. (jejejejejejejejej)

Butttta,

Abuelita could tell me some great stories of the raise and fall of people.

With this back story perhaps the following poem is understandable. In Jersey I got to know this other Latina mujer that inspired me.
 



Fiestas, Bodas and a stolen kiss  

Coming from the highway jungle of Jersey to the faraway island
Of warm breezes of Santo Domingo.

Away from the packed streets, swarms of gente and smells of poverty to the
Flashy sun, tropical trees and clean beaches, the streets are the same but the hope
 is still there.

Hmmm, who am I kidding I’m just here for the parties, vestidos cortos, tacones altos y todos los guapos.
Flowing from one relative to another friend’s house and fiesta, not caring who I am today but careful and respectful in every way. 

Stealing kisses from cute guys, common courtesy turned opportunity.

Airplanes, 
taxis, y tennis, 
climbing new streets, 
looking for the night beat to escape this heat.

Click clat down the dusty road to mi abuelos rancho, nothing but an old house with 1 cow, a blind pig and a black duck.

Mi abuelo tells me about every one’s chisme from the island this year, he asks if I plan to stay.

I say that I can only stay long enough for 1 moon, then I have to go home to school. 

He asks if I like school, 
I tell him the same thing I tell him every year, not as much as I like it here with you-Abuelito. 

Then he laughs his toothless smile and calls me una travesa! 

I love him and all mi familia, mi casa isla, my island home of holy Sundays.
 

**************************************************************************
Flipside

I never knew mis abuelos
but I bet he was a crazy anger type of guy
Dude got shoot over some bread
I'm sure the fight was unequal
I get emotional and I'm sure Mi abuelo knew how that was

My other abuelo, was a true Don,
 This one got twins, who made U.S. look like a candy store.
Like they say "we didn't have condoms then"






Monday, September 1, 2014

Not such a happy Labor Day...

I know I'm supposed to be patriotic--truth is I do love the shit out of our country.
Who doesn't love the story of cold winter nights that drove away the Red coats! Them brits..

PERO
I'm thinking about a couple of kids down der in Ferguson, MisserAH (MO).

I'm pissed off that kids-African American boys and girls had to live in a gas filled area for a couple days in the past week. It saddens me that their summer is forever marked.

The PG commentary version:
IT MAKES me sad and unhappy for this Labor Day weekend that as a country we allow our children's neighborhood to get tear gassed.

(The REAL Version)
I'm fucking pissed of seeing black and brown baby lives devalued so much!
They are kids
I fucking repeat: they are kids!

Being from WI I've seen and heard and know of plenty of white DUDES get a small slap on the hand that others get years for. This kid walks across the street and gets shot THEN his whole block, his neighborhood gets gassed on instead of loved on.

I know bad things happen, but that's what happens cuando bailas con el Diablo. Or so we tell ourselves that:
if you get hurt you must have deserved it.

REALITY Check!

Imagine your neighbor and she has a six year old daughter.

Now, put her in the only area she knows to be home, and now her street, her front yard is foggy with chemical stuff making it hard to breath.

That neighbor, that girl, are real and if they were you and your kid--would you stay?

I don't know how long tear gas stays in the air but I DON"T WANT TO HAVE TO KNOW EITHER!

Now, remember they are American, and children, I put down the citizen part-out because often we forget that black, brown, yellow, red and poor white children are entitled to the same American rights as the while collar guy on Madison Ave.

As a parent, I honestly don't think I would have enough money for X of days living in a Hotel with my two kids...


I am trying to put myself their reality-here in Madison a town that lets 'kids' drink and throw a small village of trees in products into the streets after a game.
I try to imagine the police tear gassing my street for 4 to 5 days straight.

I would have to move.
I have lived near pollution before after Hurricane Sandy water consumption some days was not permitted for weeks after the rains.

I don't know of many people who live in apartments would have monies to be staying at hotels until the air clears up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I think I explained fully why I would never put up with any type of tear gassing on my street.
What a betrayal of being American in America. They only feed the dragon...


In college, I remember seeing how there was a such thing as Environmental Racism or something close to that. Lead poisoning, toxic dumps sites, and other ailments are serious and real dangerous of living in a people of color neighborhood.

The likely hood of getting some diseases go up from as the area is more urban.

I am at a disbelief of what Micheal Brown's neighborhood has gone through, its tragedy that the police made even worse.

The things we don't know about OUR Country is ABOUT as scary as getting gassed for 4-5 days.

I promise you that the people living in Madison, Penn, (NYC) and Michigan Ave (CHI) along with Mifflin (MAD) Street--Have no problems during their summers.

Guess why?

CUS those M(Beeb-Beep)ers don't stay home in the summers! They are on some island or whereever the heck they go.
 Typically, apartment kids  get to stay around for the summer.

So Excuse and Forgive me if I was supposed to be happy for the end of the summer.
For a whole neighborhood, this summer was one of the worst ones of their entire lives.
Dare I say 100's nope 1000's! of kids because not only did it suck for these kids who lived there, but all of their kids because this becomes generational.


So my point is:

I know how much I love my kids and I would never want them to get tear gassed.

For once I hope Big Brother is listening...


Monday, August 18, 2014

Heart Land in the middle of Winter at the beginning of Fall

I have a dream
I have a dream
I dream in 3D
So forget that I have a dream
When I squeeze so hard my insides
Houses come out red white blue and green
Down these streets

Between the heart and a land
Between these cold streets
Between the heart and a land

Have you given a hand to those who live on these cold streets in the heart land
Right here on these cold streets of Madison
              Have you given a hand?
                    Have you helped?
                          Do you know that someone is rushing
Before their night fall
Do you know that someone is really close to killing themselves just because
Of what they could and shouldn't of done, but they did Anyways

Do you know that someone needs you?
Right now in the heartland?
On these cold streets in the heartland
Can you give a hand? to someone on these streets in the heartland?
Their clothes don’t fit anymore because they don’t cover up all the cold outside
coming inside
Between their clothes
Between their skin and the coat that their wearing

It just doesn't fit anymore because they're starving
Not because heat but because of food and hunger of many years-days that seem like years and they haven’t eaten
And they are full of people
around them who eat everyday
Who have clothes who have homes who are not threatened
who are not persecuted by demons
demons that tell them to drink to do drugs to clean
not clean
clean up
clean down

So I ask you have you helped the people on the streets between the heartland?
in the heartland in Madison?
have you lent a helping hand?
To these people on the streets who are cold

Who don’t have much more than a coat
That doesn't fit
But fits
But let’s in that air
That cold-cold air
That type of air that you don’t dare stand in for more than 3 minutes
Before you are already talking about how cold it is inside
But These ppl have no inside
Because even when they go inside

There’s somebody there waiting for them
Inside
It’s called a beer
It’s called drugs
It’s called a fix
It’s called just having a good time
It’s called just relaxing
It’s called a lot of different things
But it’s waiting for them
Every time they go inside
and it ends up throwing them outside

Until they get in
into a place with iron bars
That don’t let them get inside or outside
Their in between worlds

Stuck like a ghost
In the heartland
In a land between a heart and helping hand
In a land between a heart and helping hand
   
 Are you the helping hand?

             Am I the helping hand?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Guerrera Soy~~~~~



Guerrera Soy
Soy la Guerrera y Soy la Madre de todas Madres
I am the Warrior and I am the Mother of all Mothers
Soy Coatlicue  I am Coatlicue 


Pero me pregunta cuánto puedo durar
Porque sleepless in Seattle has nothing on my sleepless bed
Problems are not challenges
They are my daily life
of dreaming-murdering and hope shelving
I can’t hush the solutions the wanna be resolutions
talking themselves to death in my head
Choking back an economic reality with a grin
The mathematical aerobics are starting to wear thin…
The insufficient, social net that is supposed to hold us UP
comes with BIG FREAKIN SQUARE holes
and Honestly how long can you balance on a string
Corriendo with a mind running to the next breath
I walk along side Coatlicue 
I am Coatlicue

But today,
I’m so exhausted of knowing and not knowing
Of feeling and exploding
Of breathing and inhaling
Of fighting and losing
Of doing and forgetting.
Please let me be someone else,
I can’t be your salvation or social worker
I can’t carry all the weight of your mistakes.
My breasts hang flat from feeding the world.
Ay Mama, Ay Madre mija,
Oh Momma, just remember quien eres
You are Coatlicue

Today I am the mother of all mothers,
I come from many generations of women, grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters
Who’ve toiled every tale
who never sleep
who love
who worry themselves to death..
Tell me what have the American brown, black, yellow, white and every poor women ever done to you?
To deserve this consistent betrayal.
Yes I’m angry tell me something new
better yet
promise me some of that hope you keep peddling around…
You are
that judge
that bank
that job
that man who doesn’t trust me, so when you kill me should I be impressed?
No, Not really…
Ay Mama, Ay Madre mija,
Oh Momma, just remember quien eres
You are Coatlicue

I am Coatlicue and in my womb both creation and graves exist
I am part of God, who has allowed me to kill my own babies so I can have money for today and tomorrow...
See him, or she, or we have talked and we have come to an agreement that for now on I do
what I have too.
By any means necessary, I will live but the day I come from under your rule Pray.
Soy Madre y soy Guerrera, I’m Mother and Warrior
For I wear a skirt of skulls of my sons who have died in your wars
My hands and feet are claws scratching for survival 
I shield my-self with your snakes of betrayal so that you see your own fear.
I wear the hearts of many sisters around my neck whom I've given a listening ear too,
 only to eat their words of suffering
My belly is pregnant with a war
Unlike you have ever seen
I was here in the beginning and I will surely be here in the end…

Sunday, August 3, 2014

En los cerros

So I wrote this in my writing group and its pretty visual so I thought I should share... http://www.araceliesparza.com/2011/12/so-i-wrote-this-in-my-writing-group-and.html

Friday, July 18, 2014

Calling all Guardians! We need your help....

The unaccompanied children detained by the immigration authorities between October 1, 2013 and May 31 of this year, according to the Pew Research Center, total close to 50,000 minors. Of these, 25% are Mexican, 25% Guatemalan, 29% Honduran and 21% from El Salvador.
 

***I never thought twice about my politics. If you know me, you know I love kids: Period. 

Preface: Been poor all my life, I don't think at this point expressing my position on the BorderTown Refugee Children, is going to ruin my career. 
 
Not speaking out will ruin my heart and blind me to their faces.
The Border Kids of My Life POR VIDA

 
 
Consider what I found after a few clicks.
"Along the way, over 70 percent of migrant children will die or be enslaved. They never reach their destination because they are prey to vultures lying in wait in Guatemala or Mexico to sexually abuse them, force them to join criminal gangs that operate with impunity, or kill them to intimidate others. They are children unwanted by anyone - the children of no one. ... Let us offer our children a future. That is our responsibility, because the children of Honduras are the children of us all."

HOW CAN I help?Link to ways to help

Donating your money

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Some Catholic churches in South Texas have been operating as temporary shelters for migrant children and families, and the regional Catholic Charities office is providing on-the-ground support. You can donate online here.
Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief. Southern Baptist groups have also been providing emergency support to children and families, including coordinating supply drives for children in detention. You can donate online to their general disaster relief fund here. To donate specifically to their efforts in South Texas, write a check with the designation "Border Crisis" and mail it to the address listed here.
Kids In Need of Defense. KIND is a service and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting unaccompanied immigrant children. They're working to get children representation and support in legal proceedings. You can donate here.
RAICES. RAICES is a Texas-based organization providing legal support to immigrants. They have been providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children for a long time, and are handling much of the front-line work now. You can donate here.
International Education Services of Texas. IES is a long-established organization that operates emergency shelters and long-term care facilities for immigrant children, and helps place children with foster families. Learn more about IES here.
 
As soon as I can I will be looking into becoming a foster family for a child. I can't save them all but I can help out by giving money and becoming a foster parent.

This is something my husband and I have thought of for many years. Wisco is a loving community for children. To give 1 child the joy of sledding; the joy of summer JunJun bug catching. It would be my honor.

So I'm putting this out there: God if it's your will I would love to foster one child big or small. 

Here is a poem I wrote for Children book authors.
A mentor writer once told me, "It is a sin to lie to children" How can I ask my daughter to Pledge Allegiance to a flag or to honor her representatives who are not caring for her Latino brothers and sisters?

It's not about a border, or 'attractive stories'. We are human. If these kids were from England or from Canada--would our welcoming be the same? Sorry but I think if it was a Harry Potter invasion and not a Speedy Gonzalez infestation, the Sound bites, the script, the telling of how we rescued these children would be entirely different.  




We are the Guardians of
Warm milk and cookies
Of cubby hole reading
We illuminate fairies and glow in the night tales
We write for those who might not remember us
But will never forget that first feeling
Our audience doesn’t write thank you letters,
They might not even know how to read or write
But they listen….
They feel and they fear with terror at the hands of evil
We are the Guardians of magical places, friendships and the good life
The children who hear our stories need our words more than we need them.
They crave for that escape from the cruel reality that faith has dealt them.
We aren’t the police,
we aren’t the teachers,
or the social workers,
we come into their lives unknowingly.
We slip in their tiny hearts something powerful:   hope.

Hope against the rapists,
hope against the molester,
hope against the abuser,
hope against the beater,
hope against the alcoholic
hope against the drugs,
hope against the next slap, the next cuss word
hope for the next time they see the sun light hope
for the next time they live through this moment of pain.
We write for children we write for hope.
Guardians that’s us.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

A snap look at a GN piece I've been working on since becoming part of MFACer's!AKA MadFACers!

MFAC quick Journal entry: Day 3:
Feeling likes it's been three weeks already.
Lovin all the love.
Knowing I am surrounded my writing peps is warming down to the bones. Thanks to the always encouraging voice of Swati Avasthi... I started this graphic novel first semester before discovering picture books...
Windy

Listening to all of us melting with with Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park! Yep that was my homework!!!
So if that gives you the first step than,
you will know why I'm so excited for tomorrow's Gene Yang's three day intensive lecture on Graphic Novels.
This is the author that my six year-old loves already: Animal Crackers!



So here is a re work of: Graffiti Wars

Scene: Prologue
Where messages are posted on sides of mail boxes
When girls become spies
Jail Bait biting on last nights throw ups.
Toys fighting to go ONE ring up to see who will be on display next at the gallery.
Taggin
Sneakin
for who can draw the next piece.

Scene: When we could smoke in coffee shops...

ETC: Drawing is fucking hard--
You make look so eazy

TENSE: Its the pen

Scene:
ETC: What is that- a rollie?

TENSE: They're 4 bucks but well worth it, tho..

Scene:
ETC: So where we going 2nite?

TENSE: Huh?

 ETC: you know to: shhht shhht shht
(has her hand in spray can holding position)

Scene:
TENSE: Fucking--I don't know, I'm fucking done with all these Toys... 
Fuck! Don't ask me--

ETC: Fine. (back to drawing)

Scene:
TENSE: Just not right now AIGHT? 

ETC: AIGHT?? now who's trying to sound all eastcoast!

Scene:
TENSE: Fuck still we gotta get new colors, faders, some skinneys and....

ETC: (How am i gonna get out of the house? through the window?) (inner voice)

@copywrite Araceli Esparza 2014
*****************************************************************************
FOLKS that's all I got for now! Swati mi professora de first semester knew this story could be told... I just had to wait for slow to grow. Inch by inch!
He is a young white tagger building up a scene where you gotta run fast to get to the next wall. TENSE
She is a shorty Maria (WHICH ISN'T HER REAL NAME but you get the idea)  from the block but only goes by ETC.
Both start as friends with one common goal to get even with their past, making every wall pay.
She finds out love ain't easy when you balance punk and skin in a small college town.
Them O'Kellys and All Nighters,
No space on the scene for hot young thing

He realizes far way places are better than basements.
He holds on to moments like mama's beatings.
One chance that's all he's got...to get the FUCK out of DODGE...

How will it end?-Shit even I don't know! Which is why I haven't let go!

PS PLEASE nothing but love (for comments) and who cares if this never sells. this is my page...

So no biting!
Interesting in learning more? http://www.hamline.edu/cla/mfac/
My Profs (Professores/as):
Swati
Kelly Easton
Ron Koetge
Marsha Chall
 

PS.S. Hamline does offer scholarships for everyone and for WOC (writers of color)...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Midnight misses....


Coming up for air, 
looking at a bar wired crows nest 
called my life, 
thinking it needs some fresh paint then I see the wall paper and realize that my thorns aren't so bad 

They help me create space 
in places that no one wants to venture
fold over pages 

my adobe house 
with cool cement floors
and chickens
with mi Tia Rosa y Tio Juan
there 
waiting with wide arms to carry me up 
to the windowsill for a picture

Damm I miss her
Her brown skin white hair 
her bird like disposition
How she danced
how she knew
her patience 
her smoky friends
her singing birds
Ve por una coka mija andale vaya aqui tienes tu puedes...
I knew what she meant not that I could or couldn't buy it but that I could ask for it...