If interested in having me for a reading, class visit, or conference/festival, please contact me at lorcaloca AT aol DOT com

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Instant Mural: Gronk and Patssi Valdez in the ASCO performance piece: Photograph by Harry Gamboa Jr.: 1974

Asco’s method was a kind of bombastic excess and elegant elusiveness that would have made Tristan Tzara proud, not to mention Cantinflas and Liberace. The Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight wrote that the group “brought Zurich Dada of the late-1910s to 1970s Los Angeles.” But it was a distinctly Chicano brand of Dada, by way of David Bowie and Frank Zappa, drag and Pachuco culture, telenovelas and oddball UHF television stations, and New Wave and silent movies.

Cooper Dillon Books: Reading period ends 8/31

Cooper Dillon Books is a small poetry press founded on promoting and maintaining
the values that make poems timeless. Through the publication and distribution of
full-length collections and chapbooks, our intention is to nurture the poet and
reader who finds joy in aesthetic, beauty, honesty and intimacy.

Between April and August, we welcome submission of chapbook and full-length
poetry manuscripts.

Full guidelines here.

just a reminder

I will be teaching an online generative poetry workshop for the Piper Writers Studio this fall.

It's a month-long course.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

one of my first loves


for my son

The way a tired Chippewa woman
Who’s lost a child gathers up black feathers,
Black quills & leaves
That she wraps & swaddles in a little bale, a shag
Cocoon she carries with her & speaks to always
As if it were the child,
Until she knows the soul has grown fat & clever,
That the child can find its own way at last;
Well, I go everywhere
Picking the dust out of the dust, scraping the breezes
Up off the floor, & gather them into a doll
Of you, to touch at the nape of the neck, to slip
Under my shirt like a rag—the way
Another man’s wallet rides above his heart. As you
Cry out, as if calling to a father you conjure
In the paling light, the voice rises, instead, in me.
Nothing stops it, the crying. Not the clove of moon,
Not the woman raking my back with her words. Our letters
Close. Sometimes, you ask
About the world; sometimes, I answer back. Nights
Return you to me for a while, as sleep returns sleep
To a landscape ravaged
& familiar. The dark watermark of your absence, a hush.

David St. John

Monday, August 22, 2011

hottie of the week: papa smurf

braggart bits

i got my passport in the mail on friday. whew! so now i can reveal the details about my upcoming trip. the good people over at the international writing program at the university of iowa invited me to take part in a ten-day trip through guatemala and bolivia. i think four or five american writers were invited. in each country we'll give a reading and a workshop and we'll meet local writers and students. we leave early next month.
thanks to the editors of jubilat for taking a poem.
i'm a bit worried about altitude sickness in la paz, bolivia. i like a lot of oxygen. ha.
this is old news to my facebook buddies, but i know a lot of younger chicano/latino poets read my blog so i think it's important for me to repeat this bit of publishing news: poetry took three poems from my forthcoming book. many thanks to the editors.
i've been googling what to pack for the trip. fun and scary.
i'm thrilled i will be exploring/experiencing different landscapes and cultures, but what excites me most is the chance to meet writers from different countries. i can't wait to sit down and talk poetry and the writing life. i've been thinking about starting a translation project. maybe i'll meet a writer who'll let me translate his/her work into english!
just found out my book will be published in the first week of april. national poetry month, here i come!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


why do i live in arizona? i hate the heat. i really do.
i hung out with some asu mfa students monday night. what a bunch of good kids. the future is so bright...
it's syllabus time!

Photo of a Girl on a Beach

Once when I was harmless
and didn’t know any better,

a mirror to the front of me
and an ocean behind,

I lay wedged in the middle of daylight,
paper-doll thin, dreaming,

then I vanished. I gave the day a fingerprint,
then forgot.

I sat naked on a towel
on a hot June Monday.

The sun etched the inside of my eyelids,
while a boy dozed at my side.

The smell of all oceans was around us—
steamy salt, shell, and sweat,

but I reached for the distant one.
A tide rose while I slept,

and soon I was alone. Try being
a figure in memory. It’s hollow there.

For truth’s sake, I’ll say she was on a beach
and her eyes were closed.

She was bare in the sand, long,
and the hour took her bit by bit.

Carmen Giménez Smith

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Piper Writers Studio

I will be teaching an online generative poetry workshop for the Piper Writers Studio this fall.

It's a month-long course.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


confession: i don't have a passport. so when i received an invite to take part in an international trip, i panicked. i posted a plea for advice on my facebook wall, i sweated some blood, i googled, i kicked myself for not getting a passort years earlier...

i got lucky! the city hall of my hometown is a passport portal. i filled out the application, took a crappy picture and sent off my paperwork. expedited!
i've never been out of the country. mexico doesn't count! it's not a "foreign" country to me. ha.
four poems: sheryl luna
i hope this trip works out. i've accepted the offer. the only thing that would keep me from going would be if my passport was held up. but the nice woman at the passport office said my paperwork was fine.
keeping my fingers crossed.
Pakistan is a country that reveres poetry, gently weaving it into daily life, and the last decade has provided no shortage of material. The rise and fall of a military ruler, the demands of a foreign superpower, the devastation of Taliban bombs — these themes and more have crept into Pakistani poems.
"My womb is starry, my number is nine."


Monday, August 08, 2011

the blindfold

Many thanks to Michelle Aldredge for reprinting one of my poems over at Gwarlingo.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


the book has a cover! the good people over at yale press did an amazing job. i'm overwhelmed. and so thankful.
dogweed: We accept submissions of poetry, literary fiction, flash fiction, non-fiction. And we strongly encourage writers of the Southwest to submit to us.
i will be revealing the cover. soon-ish. i want to wait til my website is up and running later this fall.
i have two poems in the inaugural issue of huizache. have you seen the other writers in the issue? i'm humbled and honored to be in their company.
2 poems: Tomás Q. Morín.