Summer Chronicles #5: A Field Guide for Getting Lost in San Diego

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By Jim Miller

Back in 2011, over at the OB Rag, I did a column where I had some fun applying the idea of psychogeography to our fair city and played with the notion of the dérive observing that, “The purpose of dérive is to detourn the calculated space of the city, to turn it around and reclaim its lost meanings. The Situationists wanted to see how certain neighborhoods, streets, buildings, or other spaces ‘resonated’ with states of mind or desires. They wanted, as Sadie Plant reminds us, to ‘seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed.’”

I then offered “A few general principles to remember…”   [Read more…]

Logan Library to Host Women of Color in Comics Panel

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An interview with panel moderator and comic book writer/publisher Regine Sawyer

By Brent E. Beltrán

Comic-Con is here and, as usual, Barrio Logan has been left out of the official fun stuff. But we don’t fret around here. We do things for ourselves, like Chicano-Con and MARVEL vs DC.

But there is also something else taking place in San Diego’s favorite barrio. On Sunday, July 12 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm there will be a panel discussion at the Logan Heights Library called Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium.

The panel is free to all and will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner Regine Sawyer. There will also be some free giveaways to audience members from the panelists as well as free superhero comics for kids and parents donated by an anonymous friend of mine.   [Read more…]

Poetry at a Budget Meeting

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By Ernie McCray

I had the honor of spending a day with a room full of progressive School Board Members from around San Diego County.

I wasn’t so sure, at first, as the subject was: Budgets. Whenever I got my budget sheets at my schools, it might as well have been expressed in hieroglyphics – I just can’t relate to language like “Total Available Funds minus Total Outgo.” Gives me vertigo.

I was there, though, to kick things off. And in doing that I shared three poems and one went like this:

Our schools now,
at this stage
of a rapidly aging New Century,
are about to introduce
our kids
to the realm of Ethnic Studies…   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #2: That Music You Are Hearing

Translucent

By Jim Miller

Gary Snyder is a courage teacher. His fine new book of poems, This Present Moment, is a meditation on wonder and impermanence. In it, for instance, we learn to value our laptops “Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly laid out and then highlighted/and vanish in the flash at ‘delete,’/so it teaches of impermanence and pain.”

And it’s true, the miracle of creation that comes out of “a formless face/which is our Original Face,” but as soon as the words are formed the self who made them is no longer there.

Still there is beauty, and moments of grace are there to be found and cherished in “the morning and night coming together,” the “glacier scrapes across the bedrock,” and “the deep dense woods.” You just need to follow “the shining way of the wild” and “hang in, work it out, watch for the moment.”   [Read more…]

Ten Questions for Ken10

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Local Poet Returns to the Mic at Poetic Libations II

Thursday night marks the return of Ken10 as a featured poet on the San Diego literary arts scene. Ken10, also known as Kenton Hundley, took a short break from performing his poetry regularly at local venues.

In the 2000’s Ken10 was a constant fixture at the various poetic happenings that took place during that period. He was a member of Goatsong Conspiracy and the award winning group, Los Able Minded Poets, and performed his socially conscious, hip hop and jazz influenced verse throughout San Diego.   [Read more…]

National Poetry Month Has Come to an End

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SDFP once again celebrated poets and poetry in April

By Brent E. Beltrán

After Anna Daniels wonderful job curating 2014’s National Poetry Month here at San Diego Free Press I decided to volunteer my services for 2015. Anna posted a poem here every single day in April last year.

I had no plans to be as ambitious as her but with my background as a former literary publisher I knew I could handle the task of curating selections during the month. But there was no way was I going to seek out thirty separate pieces!

Hopefully our readers enjoyed the selections during the month. Here is a breakdown of the poems and poetry related essays that were shared during National Poetry Month.   [Read more…]

Poet Jesús “Papoleto” Meléndez Reads His Work

By Brent E. Beltrán

I have the honor of knowing and being a friend of Jesús “Papoleto” Meléndez. In 2004 I met him in a hospital in Tijuana where his comrade in poetry, Pedro Pietri, was receiving experimental treatments for cancer. Though I have only seen him once since he returned back to his apartment in El Barrio in New York we have maintained our friendship through social media.

Papoleto grew up in Spanish Harlem (known as El Barrio), is an original founder of the Nuyorican Poetry Movement, published his first poem in 1969 (“Message To Urban Sightseers”) and his play, Junkies Stole the Clock, was the first Latino play produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival The Public Theater’s Nuyorican Playwright’s Unit.   [Read more…]

How to Make a Poem

For Steve Kowit

By Karen Kenyon

Tear open your heart — like a giant purse
it will pour out memories
and yearnings,
keys to doors you will never open.

And you must read the others
who have also dipped into this world
even if in another language
of the soul.   [Read more…]

“100 Things” on My Mind

By Ernie McCray

I just finished a very pleasant read, “100 Things Arizona Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die,” a book written by two of the best sports writers around, Steve Rivera and Anthony Gimino.

They write a lot about Arizona Basketball History and having played a role in that history, and having been around it all my life, the book couldn’t help but resonate with me in special ways.

In a chapter about University of Arizona traditions I found the words to a fight song that’s flowed through my veins and bones ever since I first heard it as a 14 year old, back in 1952:

Bear Down, Arizona
Bear Down, Red and Blue
Bear Down, Arizona
Hit ’em hard, let ’em know who’s who
Bear Down, Arizona
Bear Down, Red and Blue
Go, go Wildcats, go
Arizona Bear Down

  [Read more…]