Saturday, March 28, 2015

DRESS CODES World Premiere - tonight, Saturday, March 28, 2015

I am so excited for my co-director Crystal Dozier and I--along with over 60 collaborators--to be unveiling our new project with the DRESS CODES premiere event in Fort Worth, Texas.  This will take place in a beautiful space at the Amphibian Stage Productions Theater in the near south area of FW.

Join us tonight--the event is free and open to the public.

And if you feel inclined, please tweet us your comments, impressions, and PHOTOS!

Tweet us here:  we have future shows, readings, and, of course, the anthology publication release party!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pussy Riot, activists. all in, 24/7, in American English. P.Arquette, activist. meh.

There are at least two video interpretations of the Pussy Riot song (their first in English), "I Can't Breathe," which could be seen as a tribute to Eric Garner and an outcry for justice for Garner, Martin, and so many others.  I like this version (above) more because it puts the focus where it needs to be.

Apparently, punk rock icon and musician Richard Hell invited Pussy Riot to his home, and offered to lend vocals to this track.  His is the voice reciting the actual final words spoken by Eric Garner.

Click to see the ditch burial version of this song.

And, for those of us in the Dallas/Fort Worth radio broadcast region, how about we try to get the new "indie" and "alternative" station (KXT-FM) to play this song.  No profanity in the lyrics, as far as I can tell, so it's safe for regular rotation.

Here's the station's online request form.  I completed it earlier today, listing "I Can't Breathe" in all three song title fields.

I also added the following lines in the comment section:

"NPR broadcast an interview with a member of Pussy Riot this past weekend, and also took time to play a lengthy excerpt from the song.  I figured there's no reason now why KXT cannot play this song in regular rotation.  Thanks."

And then, there's this.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baby kittens need new home(s)

 I have a grey tabby, a Siamese with blue eyes, and then there's Pony--who's mostly white with a black spot or two and a black head.  They were born in late May/early June 2014.  Litter box-trained.  Friendly and playful.  They like to romp in the backyard in the mornings.  Pony is a fearless tree climber. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vintage in Green Velvet

At this age, one begins to have a concept of self.  An emerging mental and emotional framework that allows you to sort flavors, images, and sounds, and propels you to learn the myriad ways you can respond to these increasingly fascinating stimuli.

I am a born Libra, with Venus as my guiding planet.  Venus rules in the area of Beauty, which suits me here in a sage green velvet jumper and matching anklets.  I have a strong attraction to natural materials, which means soft fabrics and wooden flooring.  Surrounded here as I am by the now-vintage furnishings and papered walls, I seem happily tucked into a corner of early 1960s American culture.  Those 45s (45 rpm vinyl records--hit song on one side and B-side afterthought on the other) were family treasures even before they came to reach cult and E-Bay auction status.  My mom has kept every single one of those singles--to this day they sit in their paper sleeves in a special cabinet here in Fort Worth.  Music was in my ears from the time I left the cradle, and those Mary Janes danced across the floor to keep step with my parents--who were West Texas masters of the jitterbug and two-step and bop. 

So if you want to charm me, amuse my curiosity, or simply get me to stepping, impress me with velvet in jewel tones, an expanse of waxed wood flooring, and rhythmic tunes that propel me to sweep across dance spaces as I've been doing for decades.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Painting for the "Nature Bats Last" exhibit - by Samuel Torres of Waco, Texas

So--instead of this fabulously inspired painting, which was
created by a gentleman painter named Samuel Torres
in response to a wonderful one-minute script ("The Warm Up") co-written 
by Dallas writer Julie Riggs and her 7th grade students at Lakehill Preparatory School,
what you'll see on the gallery wall instead is the following statement:

The painting by Waco artist Samuel Torres, which should have been hanging in this space,
may now be seen online here:

Co-curators Junanne Peck and Tammy Gomez apologize for this
inconvenience and the City of Irving’s policy of art censorship
in the 21st century.

To drum up some solidarity support, I sent an email yesterday afternoon to Mary Ann Kellam, president of the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce regarding the egregious act of censorship on the part of the City of Irving. The City can't handle a work of art (painting by Waco artist --and U.S. veteran - Samuel Torres) that bares breasts, even if they're Mother Nature's nips. And EVEN though co-curator Junanne Peck had covered them with store-bought plastic green leaves ala Adam-and-Eve fig leaves, in an attempt to appease the Irving city staffers.  We still got the request (more like directive) to remove the painting from the gallery. ~ Dang, we don't try to offend. We just want to respectfully honor and present the work of esteemed and talented art folk. What's so wrong w/ that, City of UN-Irving?

If you want to share your opinions and thoughts about this, please use the online form for contacting the Irving Arts Board.  And do let me know if you hear anything back from them about this issue.
Thank you.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My winter bike accident

Official diagnosis at the hospital yesterday morning:  "blunt chest trauma."

Yep, as you might have heard, I had a big bike accident, falling straight into a ditch, at 6:10 am yesterday (Friday, December 13th).   It was cold and dark outside, where I was rendered momentarily incapacitated under a bridge/freeway overpass.  

Today, I feel like I've been in a 12-round boxing match.  And lost.  Down for the count, and pounded to the core of my being.  I’m tender, sore, and very stiff everywhere.   Arms, legs, ankle, neck, ribs, back, and very much in the chest.    It could have been much worse, so I count myself as lucky, though getting the wind knocked out of you is not fun.

And, yes, I was wearing my bike helmet.  And, yes, I did have a light illuminating the eerie pre-dawn paved streets and bike/hike trail I was on.  And, definitely, yes, I was proceeding carefully, deliberately, and slower than usual because I hadn’t traversed this area since before Icemaggedon 2014 had hit Fort Worth.  The Trinity Bike/Hike Trail along the river, just north of Rosedale (where Ole South is located) and the I-30 overpass has seen its share of detours and reroutings over the past year because of the ongoing construction (of a new overpass).  I’ve been aware of this because this area is part of my weekly route to/from my workplace in the Museum District.

Yesterday, however, proper signage and warning apparatus (e.g., bright orange plastic fencing, caution barrels, and the like) were not in place to prevent what happened to me.  And even with all the personal cyclist precautions that I had in place, I wasn’t able to keep myself from injury and accident.  I was pissed, frustrated, and upset about this--as I lay in the cold muddy hole in which I inadvertently pitched myself.  You see the hole was just big and deep enough for my front bike tire to get wedged, when--with headlamp on the high setting and at a slow speed--I began to notice that the pavement abruptly ended and led to a dirt section at a drop-off that seemed shallow enough to maneuver through.  Wrong.  I fell pell-mell with the front end of my bike, toppling directly onto the handlebars, chest first.  I immediately felt the cessation of breath, as my lungs likely imploded with the impact, and a panic overtook me.  Shallow breathing and immediate pain in my shoulders, ribs, and back alarmed me, as I stiffly reached for the phone deep in my right pocket.  Thankfully, I had a full charge on the device and the cognitive capacity to report my status and geographic location to the 911 dispatch operator, who directed me to stay on the line to help navigate the emergency responders through the park in order to find me in the semi-darkness.

After a quick check of my vitals, and a huddle with the firemen and EMTs at my side, it was decided that I should be carried to the hospital for x-rays--in case I’d actually broken something or suffered a lung perforation or the like.  Me and my bike had a speedy ride to JPS (John Peter Smith) hospital, where a very nice doctor eventually conveyed the good news that my chest/lung x-ray showed nothing that warranted treatment beyond 800 mg. Ibuprofen and an anti-inflammatory medication.  And the nurse reminded me of what I already knew; the inflammation, pain, and discomfort are generally worse on the second (and even third) day after the initial body trauma.

I’m really feeling that to be true today.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Friends, fans, colegas ==> Family

A response to my friend Devin's status update on FB today

It was 'round about 1996 or so that it hit me that I should not expect my friends to be my fans.  Some of them (in Austin, where I lived @ the time) seemed to be coming out to every gig or featured performance I had.  At first, in the beginning.  Then, when it got to the point that I was performing 100s of times a year (oh, the late 90s!), it became ridiculous to think that my friends would want to catch even every 10th show that I played. Friction arose, because there was a prolonged awkward, and apparently necessary, period of cognitive dissonance that set up the following patterns of thought:  1. Friends support one another, and show up when you need encouragement.  2. If I don't show up, it looks like I don't care.  3. Wow, I'm working my ass off to make it as a [fill in blank, e.g., writer, basketball player, pie-eating contest pro] and my own dang friends aren't around when the going is tough and I need an extra napkin.  4.  This ego-bitch has more gigs in a month than a hard drive on steroids.

~ My friend, Teresa, was the test case.  In the beginning, she was there for every open mic feature, protest poetry moment, and slam team try-out.  She seemed to like my work and, in fact, once gave me a now-cherished book of poems by Salvadoreno poet Roque Dalton, likening my fiery feminist verses to his political poetry.  I was touched, and definitely felt the fan love from Teresa.  But, after a few months, I started to notice a distinct pallor in her complexion, and she didn't seem to greet me backstage with the same fervor as in earlier days.  It then hit me that I was the one taking life out of her face, stealing her precious time, and bogarting her attention.  Not good.  Not good for a friendship and certainly not a boost to my confidence.  It sets up an unequal power balance when one person gets all the support and attention, and the other stands on the sidelines, dutifully in attendance.  Same with boyfriends.  They were let off the hook--in our new relationship "boundary orientation" talks--with my brief but sincere 2-minute (shorter than your standard slam poem) spiel about how I knew they had better things to do than stand stagefront acting like they hadn't heard me do "Manslaughter" or "Magistrate of Celebration" a gazillion times. Sure, my guys were my most devoted devotees, but I wasn't about to require them to haunt my gigs as raving groupies.

 ~ Fans are a different breed from friends, and I need both very much.  Sometimes they are one and the same, and I'll add "colega" or colleague to that.  I too can be a friend, fan, or colega to someone, and I see the categories as fluid, wherein I might detach or stray away from a colega as friend--for whatever neutral, non-contentious reason--but always think of myself as their fan and true believer. I might not be in the audience with the loudest applause for them, but you better believe that when and if they ask for a reference letter or resource connection that I'll give it my best shot.  We're all family that way, but even blood relatives don't often get a Christmas gift from me.

~ And, yes, I have found that the wider the net that you cast, the more folks you can call out to when in need.  The ones who are able (and there are myriad definitions of that word that come to mind, and some are simply not able because they're struggling within themselves with something that keeps them closed to you, and that's cool, no blame needed) WILL step forward and up.  We simply get to be surprised at who that might be. ~ Case in point: when I sent out a blanket call for participants for  \ BY ANY STRETCH /, and you responded or "self-selected for an opportunity," as I like to say.  I was so thrilled that you wanted to join up because, when folks come on board for a project w/ me, that's one of the best--if not only--ways to connect with me better.  You took an important first step, and I'll never forget that.  BTW--I am looking over at the books you brought the one time you came over.  They're still on the piano where I set them after you presented them to me, and, hopefully if my schedule ever slows down, I can do more than give them a cursory glance.  But rest assured that I have really really wanted to dive into them to learn you better, and they will never ever end up in the Literature section at Half Price Books like the signed copy of a Saul Williams poetry collection that I once gave my brother.  Write on, brother.  Thank you, Devin.