Books & Poetry

Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  The Gods Find Me

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Gods Find Me

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.31.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

If I had a rupee
for every manifestation of the Divine
that has crossed my path
I’d be wearing
the gold embroidered silk
of a wealthy landowner
rather than the cotton thread
of a Brahmin/poet
an untouchable station of life
in a society
squeezing a “few drops of honey” from a thirsty globe
enslaved by suffering …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Two Poems: Sex & Death in the Desert; The Hourglass

Two Poems: Sex & Death in the Desert; The Hourglass

by At Large 10.29.2014 Books & Poetry

By George Howell

Sex & Death in the Desert

The big female snout beetle plays dead
When I prod her with a stick,
Apoininae-like
As the field guide says,
Her smaller mate laying dead
In the debris collected in the plastic water bottle,
His legs and snout curled
In the rigid repose of death.

Life is fragile here
In the high desert …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Happiness

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Happiness

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.24.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Happiness
doesn’t lie

Inside designer purses
drive luxury vehicles
tell time
by taking stock of inventory sold
doesn’t advertise itself
to invent needs
more addictive than meth …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Learning About Beauty from the Ground and Over the Mountaintops

Learning About Beauty from the Ground and Over the Mountaintops

by Ernie McCray 10.23.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ernie McCray

With all the talk about
race, of late,
I recall lessons learned
a long time ago
that enabled me to alter
my emotional state
when it comes to matters of race.
Growing up
I would occasionally, with tears in my eyes,
ask my mother who was loving and wise,
why some white people were so mean.
What had I done to them,
I wanted so much to have explained, …

Read the full article → 10 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Ishtar Gate

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Ishtar Gate

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.17.2014 Books & Poetry
By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 

Sell the car
before it’s repossessed
mortgage the house
before you’re forced into foreclosure

Board the next flight to Berlin
purchase an S-Bahn ticket
back to Babylon’s blue gate
Its oasis of Palms
will make you weep
until the desert sand is washed from your eyes …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Reflections of Love

Reflections of Love

by Ernie McCray 10.16.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ernie McCray

I was asked to write something that rhymes for Steve, a friend of mine, who was celebrating entering his 70’s and these words came to me:

In a spirit of love,
with feather weight ease,
I say to my dear friend, Steve,
who has just turned 70,
that he
has reached an age
where you can truly
do or say pretty
much anything
you damn well please.
Cuz the world doesn’t
give a hoot
about an old-assed coot.

Read the full article → 2 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Cities Have Scars

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Cities Have Scars

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.10.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Cities have scars
war wounds
that maim walls of viscera
neighborhoods live with
long after
the instruments of infliction
are dust

Cities have scars
decapitated domes
cauterized arteries
bearing witness to gain’s loss …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Buddha’s Head

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Buddha’s Head

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.03.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Buddha’s head
lying broken
spilling roadway

For 4 days I passed
the noble prince
stuck in the spokes of dharma’s spinning wheel …

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

by Jim Miller 09.29.2014 Books & Poetry

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

SDCWP is run by a 100% non-profit collective and is the only small literary press in San Diego that focuses primarily on the publication of local writers with an emphasis on our region that moves beyond the postcard version of our reality. In an era where commercial forces and hegemonic instrumentality are drowning out what remains of literary culture, we have persisted against the odds. We invite all interested parties to be a part of our beautifully useless endeavor.

To celebrate our tenth anniversary, we are putting together a second edition of our first anthology, Sunshine/Noir II. All local writers are encouraged to submit work for consideration.

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Librotraficantes: Smuggling Banned Books back into Public Schools and Communities

Librotraficantes: Smuggling Banned Books back into Public Schools and Communities

by Anna Daniels 09.24.2014 Activism

“Arizona banned our history. We decided to make more.”

By Anna Daniels

If you can ban one book, why not ban a whole bunch of them? Back in 2012 the Tucson Arizona public school system embraced the more is better approach when it eliminated the Mexican American Studies Program from the K-12 curriculum.

The LA Times reported that “The Tucson school board voted to end the program after Arizona’s education chief had ruled the district in violation of a controversial state law banning classes designed for a particular ethnic group or that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.” The Tuscon school district stood to lose $14 million in state education funds, which no doubt squelched a more robust debate on the topic of intellectual freedom and education.

The grassroots Librotraficante (book trafficker) movement arose as a full-throated denunciation of Arizona Law HB 2281, which banned Mexican American Studies in the state. It didn’t matter to the lawmakers that Mexican American students account for more than 40% of the enrollment in Arizona schools, or that this curriculum was popular, or that it was successful in promoting literacy and critical thought–you know, educating students. It did matter to the people affected by the decision.

Read the full article → 5 comments
Thumbnail image for America’s First Banned Book and the Battle for the Soul of the Country

America’s First Banned Book and the Battle for the Soul of the Country

by Jim Miller 09.22.2014 Books & Poetry

By Jim Miller

It’s Banned Books Week and what better way to kick it off than with a salute to America’s first banned book: Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan published in 1637? New English Canaan is a three-volume affair containing Morton’s sympathetic observations about Native Americans along with a celebration of the beauty of the natural world and a fierce satire of the Puritans.

While some scholars point to other books such as John Eliot’s The Christian Commonwealth (written in the late 1640s) or William Pynchon’s The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption (1650) as the first books to be banned by the Puritans for theological or historical reasons, Morton’s New English Canaan precedes both of these texts and the conflict surrounding it is far more important and illustrative with regard to the political and cultural history of the United States.

Indeed, Morton’s book was banned because it told his side in one of the pivotal battles for the cultural soul of the New World. Morton, a perpetual thorn in the side of the great Puritan patriarch William Bradford, represented the untamable “other” of colonial America. When Morton set up his rival colony of Merry Mount in close proximity to Bradford’s Plymouth Plantation and invited the Indians and escaped indentured servants to join him, all hell broke loose.

Read the full article → 4 comments
Thumbnail image for “Not Far From Normal”: Book Release and Party, Friday September 19th

“Not Far From Normal”: Book Release and Party, Friday September 19th

by Jim Miller 09.17.2014 Books & Poetry

A compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of San Diego

By Jim Miller

This year’s San Diego City Works Press release is Tamara Johnson’s Not Far From Normal, a book that takes a unique look at our city. Just steps away from sponsored fun runs, endurance challenges, and ultra-marathons, in Johnson’s book San Diego’s hidden residents play games of survival side-by-side with official city events. However one feels about the rise of dark tourism, it has never been necessary to travel far to experience either the dangerous or the exotic.

Part poetry, part photo essay by Rachael Wenban, part field guide, Not Far From Normal relates the secret history of San Diego’s parks and missions as told by their current inhabitants. From the crash of PSA Flight#182 to the “I don’t like Mondays” school shooting and other dark episodes that don’t make it into San Diego’s official story, this book is a compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of Southern California.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Dresden

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 09.12.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

If you believe in the god of war
go to Dresden
where charred faces
still look anxiously up at clouds

If you can wash your hands in fountains
where women and children
sought refuge from the firestorm of incendiary bombs
only to boil in water …

Read the full article → 1 comment
Thumbnail image for Bay Area Poets and Musicians to Share Talents on Behalf of Refugee Children

Bay Area Poets and Musicians to Share Talents on Behalf of Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.04.2014 Books & Poetry

Logan Heights Restaurateur to Host Flor y Canto and Future Community Events

By Brent E. Beltrán

Flor y canto. Flower and song. Poetry. Music. Love.

This Saturday afternoon Mark Lane of Poppas’s Fresh Fish in Logan Heights is going to help share some musical and literary love. The parking lot of his small restaurant will be the site of the 3rd annual Flor y Canto where poets and musicians will share their words on behalf of the border refugee children.

Mark Lane was thrust into the immigrant rights spotlight after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, California and taking in a refugee family from Guatemala. I interviewed him recently about the hate and threats he faced from those wanting to send refugee families back to their country of origin to face possible death.

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Broken Tracks

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Broken Tracks

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 08.22.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

No trains
arrive Gate 17 Grunewald Station

A red and white gate flung open
exposes splattered stones

Nameless platform
Of dates, places, numbers

Sorrow is a spike
that crumbles buildings …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Video Pick: Charles Bukowski Uncensored (and Animated)

by Staff 08.19.2014 Books & Poetry

“If you can’t write the next line, you’re dead…”

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Why Read? In Defense of Uselessness

Why Read? In Defense of Uselessness

by Jim Miller 08.18.2014 Books & Poetry

By Jim Miller

While I still deeply love my chosen profession of teaching after twenty-five years of work at various colleges with the last seventeen of those at San Diego City College, it’s hard not to notice the constant drumbeat of critics casting doubt on the value of my life’s work in the humanities.

Whether they be corporate education reformers bent on imposing a business model on colleges or techno-boosters with a zeal to toss all that I hold dear into the dustbin of history, there is a long line of naysayers.

As David Masciotra recently noted in “Pulling the Plug on English Departments” in The Daily Beast, “The armies of soft philistinism are on the march and eager to ditch traditional literature instruction in favor of more utilitarian approaches . . . It is easy to observe the sad and sickly decline of American intellectual life, through the cultural and institutional lowering of standards, when prestigious publications promote the defense, if not the celebration, of lower standards.”

Read the full article → 15 comments
Thumbnail image for War Weary

War Weary

by Jay Powell 08.17.2014 Activism

By Jay Powell

Weary.
That’s what they say we are.

The chicken hawk sabre rattlers
Are yellin’ at Obama ‘cause
He won’t put real boots on the ground
But they won’t say exactly that cause they know we are

(war) weary.

Read the full article → 4 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Coming Back to Germany

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Coming Back to Germany

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 08.15.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

I come back to Germany
because of flower boxes on balconies
bread baked fresh mornings
dogs traveling on trains

I come back to Germany
because she still reads newspapers
awakens with church bells
closes up shop on Sundays …

Read the full article → 2 comments
Thumbnail image for Naomi Klein: ‘Our Economic Model Is at War with Life on Earth’

Naomi Klein: ‘Our Economic Model Is at War with Life on Earth’

by Source 08.11.2014 Books & Poetry

New video trailer previews thesis of anticipated new book by Canadian writer and activist

By Jon Queally / Common Dreams

The book’s title is not elusive: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Due for release in September, the anticipated new work by Canadian journalist, activist and public intellectual Naomi Klein has now been previewed in a video trailer that appears to lay out its main themes and central argument.

“In December of 2012, a complex systems scientists walked up to the podium at the American Geophysics Union to present a paper,” the narrator of the video—Klein herself—says as footage begins of urban high rise developments and burnt out croplands.

Read the full article → 2 comments
Thumbnail image for Peace Offering

Peace Offering

by Will Falk 08.10.2014 Activism

By Will Falk

driven north across
the Canadian border
Viet Nam is long lost

I make war on myself
and I’m getting beat

late July and I’ve
been running so long
my clothes are soaked with summer
I am sick of my own smell

Read the full article → 1 comment
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Assembling Lawns

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Assembling Lawns

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 08.08.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Brick by brick workers
Assembled lawns light showers
Rubbing away lines

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Desensitized

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Desensitized

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 08.01.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Eventually
Nobody heard the freeway
Running (Humming) (Drumming) Through backyards

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 20-26

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 20-26

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.27.2014 Books & Poetry

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars and at-large contributors on Comic-Con, a proud day for activism, stinky SDPD, the Mayor’s climate indifference, GOP wanting to impeach, minimum wage, Obama and Cap America, Neighborhood House, for-profit colleges, who runs San Diego, bare facts, native solidarity, El Machete, OB planning and lots more.

Read the full article → 0 comments
Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Die Frage (The Question)

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Die Frage (The Question)

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 07.25.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

When asked
where you are from
say Montreal Mexico Brazil

Don’t tell the truth
unless you have the balls to take the lies your country has slapped across their faces …

Read the full article → 2 comments