Books & Poetry

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 …

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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…”

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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.”

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Thumbnail image for War Weary

War Weary

by At Large 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.

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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 …

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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 …

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Thumbnail image for The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.23.2014 Arts

SDFP Writer Inundated with Comic-Con Related Emails

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last year I covered Comic-Con for San Diego Free Press. I wrote five articles in a series I called Adventures in Comic-Conlandia: A Nerds-eye View. You can read them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part 5. This was my first attempt at writing about something I had loved since I started attending back in 1986. Though grueling I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will cover the event again this week. I plan on being not so ambitious this year.

Sometimes Comic-Con sneaks up on you. You don’t know it is here until trolley station signs are written in Klingon or you’re standing in line for a happy hour beverage next to a Stormtrooper.

For me that wasn’t the case this year. You see, I’ve been inundated with press releases for the past month and it’s picked up even more within the last week. I’ve been sent hundreds of emails from the various media, toy and comic book companies that want to get the word out about their latest film, action figure or storyline.

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Thumbnail image for Creating a Better World with Children in Mind

Creating a Better World with Children in Mind

by Ernie McCray 07.20.2014 Books & Poetry

(Inspired by the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme)

By Ernie McCray

I just spent a week doing a show at the San Diego International Fringe Festival called “On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme” with some of the most fabulous tap dancers anyone could ever find. This spoken word/dance piece was dedicated to the creation of a reality that
“appears to the mind to be of a gentler
more caring and loving kind…”
It was written in honor of children no matter where they reside on the planet. It entertains the idea of creating a world for them that is
“without arms,
worthy of their beauty
and their charm.”
The poem speaks to a society dancing On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme
“to the beat of a song,
a love song.”

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Evacuations

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Evacuations

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 07.18.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

When flashing lights
pound on soundly sleeping doors
ordering evacuations five minutes
to gather a few items
from a lifetime of belongings …

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Neue Wache, Germany’s Tomb to the Unknown Victims of War

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Neue Wache, Germany’s Tomb to the Unknown Victims of War

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 07.11.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Beneath heaven’s open eye
a mother cradles her dying son

Ashes of sun snow
rain on exposed statue
eroding definition
identity …

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Bebelplatz, Berlin

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Bebelplatz, Berlin

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 06.27.2014 Books & Poetry

Hands frozen together
at midnight in Bebelplatz, Berlin

Ink shadows
spilling
stones worn

Without warning
a window opens
sun is punctuating blind pages
cloud covers

Faces
thumbing through melting sheets of glass
seeing the empty shelves of ourselves

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Geo-Poetic Spaces: Meditating Koi

Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Meditating Koi by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 06.20.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Waterfall of rocks
Slipping into moss rippling
Through sun-clouding koi

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Seven Poems Learned As A Stay-At-Home Father

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Seven Poems Learned As A Stay-At-Home Father

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 06.13.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Eight minutes
for sunlight to kiss earth

An unborn child’s love
reaching her father
before hands touch
the clock face of birth

~

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Thumbnail image for What Should the City of San Diego Do With the Old Library?

What Should the City of San Diego Do With the Old Library?

by John Lawrence 06.10.2014 Books & Poetry

By John Lawrence

San Diego has a flashy new Central Library and it’s all paid for without taxpayer funds thanks to local philanthropists. I wrote in another article about the Grand Opening. But that brings up the question: what are we going to do with the old library, a historical landmark, that sits vacant on E Street downtown across from the Post Office.

There have been some suggestions. Interim Mayor Todd Gloria stated: “As soon as we open up that new facility, I want to make sure we have a plan in place for the old facility, and make sure that we put it back into a useful life for the citizens, the taxpayers, and of course the residents of downtown.”

Well, the new library opened September 28, 2013, eight long months ago, and there are no plans at this time for doing anything with the old building which is increasingly turning into an eyesore. We are coming up on the one year anniversary, June 9, of the closure of the old library and still there are no plans for it.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Amerika

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Amerika

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 06.06.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Amerika
is a good idea
that can’t live up to itself
looks better on the page
than in streets

Amerika
promises what it can’t deliver
takes from many
gives to few
is more muscle
than grey matter…

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Thumbnail image for Remembering Maya Angelou

Remembering Maya Angelou

by Anna Daniels 05.31.2014 Activism

By Anna Daniels

SDFP contributor Ernie McCray wrote a moving tribute to Maya Angelou following the news of her death on May 28th. His poem makes reference to her 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

You said, of a caged bird,
that it “stands on the grave of dreams,”
singing of what’s unknown
but still singing of someday
being free -
and you’ve helped me believe
that we can, …

For many of us, that autobiography was our first introduction to the works of Angelou. It provided a glimpse into the circumstances which would shape her life as an intellectual, civil rights activist and writer.

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Geo-Poetic Spaces: Flags

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 05.30.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Flags

Up here
earth is one body

Then comes the declaration
slashing breath

Sound of shells
splitting
flesh
spilling
blood
scratching imaginary lines
between grains of sand

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Thumbnail image for Many Thanks, Maya

Many Thanks, Maya

by Ernie McCray 05.29.2014 Activism

By Ernie McCray

Many Thanks, Maya

I miss you, Maya,
but you will forever reside
in the breezes of
the breaths of fresh air
you gifted us with
when you were here,
ever so lovely and dear,
so wise beyond any years,
captivating us with your smile
and your wit
and your humor, all the while,
teaching us the ways of “We,”
you, him, her, them, me -
all of humanity. …

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Thumbnail image for San Diego City Works Press Calls for Submissions for Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

San Diego City Works Press Calls for Submissions for Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

by Jim Miller 05.26.2014 Books & Poetry

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is soon approaching its 10-year anniversary. 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 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.

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Thumbnail image for Poem: White Like Us

Poem: White Like Us

by Source 05.25.2014 Books & Poetry

All the salons in the city couldn’t perm that culture out of her hair

By Raymond R. Beltran

When I was young, I thought I was white,
my skin being much lighter
when I stood next to a black boy,
and we all spoke English
unable to grasp culture.
English, Spanglish, Caló, Spanish,
The transition has been devastating.
Pocho! They used to scream.
Standing there, speechless,
I thought I would cut out my tongue.

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