Saturday, July 23, 2005

rancho view 2

rancho view 2, originally uploaded by carbonator.

also teaching with us at rancho la puerta are Dan Wakefield and April Smith. did I say the facilities and food are fabulous?

writer's week at rancho la puerta

rancho view 1, originally uploaded by carbonator.

Denise & I will be teaching poetry workshops next week July 30-August 6 at Rancho la Puerta Spa which is in the mountains of Baja California in Mexico.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

top of tree

top of tree, originally uploaded by carbonator.

taller than our 30 floor condo!

denise & sequoia

denise & sequoia, originally uploaded by carbonator.

denise at the base of the oldest tree (1,700+ years) on this continent

diane & chuck

diane & chuck, originally uploaded by carbonator.

here's the very nice couple who took us to the mountains to escape the 109 degree temps in the valley.

mountain river

mountain river, originally uploaded by carbonator.

on our last day in the valley our local fresno poet friends took us to the sierra nevada range to see the giant sequoia trees. we first stopped by kings canyon for lunch and a stroll by the river and a meadow.

geno & nick

geno & nick, originally uploaded by carbonator.

we were able to catch eugene gloria's (fellow faculty) excellent reading on our last night in fresno. afterwards we all went out for drinks and feed at a local watering hole. it was nice to see and talk with geno after all these years. he's got tenure now so he's going to kick ass!


lakehenia, originally uploaded by carbonator.

here's one of our fine students Lakehenia who came all the way from ODU's MFA program in virginia to study with us.

Friday, July 15, 2005

fresno audience

fresno audience, originally uploaded by carbonator.

we presented our poetry reading at CSU, Fresno's summer arts week tonight after each teaching two workshops. the students were amazing and eager to learn new techniques. here's a picture of the Fresno audience. in the second row some of our students are looking on: L-R Mary Lee, David (who is excited this pic will be up in the net), Angela, Mike, Bryan. front row next to Denise: Andrea, and Angie. on the third row R (wearing a black shirt) is Lee Herrick, famed for his APA poetry and activism blog. very nice guy to come and hear us read poems.


denise,connie,nick, originally uploaded by carbonator.

the wonderful poet Connie Hales (middle) coordinated the whole Creative Writing section of the CSU summer arts, she's so nice that she even lent us her cute car so we don't wilt in the 110 degree days when we teach the workshops.

nick & mike

nick & mike, originally uploaded by carbonator.

had a great time with Mike Maniquiz talking about the old Manila poetry scene and the current American poetry gossip

Monday, July 11, 2005

Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's speech just before the historic vote on Gay Marriage and Adoption (he qoutes two fabulous poets)

"We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members.

In the poem 'The Family,' our [gay] poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because, 'How does man live in denial in vain/by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?' Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years have, been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied, and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty.

It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet: because it is the triumph of Liberty. Their victory makes all of us (even those who oppose the law) better people, it makes our society better. Honorable members, There is no damage to marriage or to the concept of family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens is this class of Spanish citizens get the potential to organize their lives with the rights and privileges of marriage and family. There is no danger to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law enhances and respects marriage.

Today, conscious that some people and institutions are in a profound disagreement with this change in our civil law, I wish to express that, like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will generate no evil, that its only consequence will be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of decent human beings is a better society.

With the approval of this Bill, our country takes another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that was begun by the democratic change of government. Our children will look at us incredulously if we tell them that many years ago, our mothers had less rights than our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to stay married against their will even though they were unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a beautiful lesson: every right gained, each access to liberty has been the result of the struggle and sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition and praise.

Today we demonstrate with this Bill that societies can better themselves and can cross barriers and create tolerance by putting a stop to the unhappiness and humiliation of some of our citizens. Today, for many of our countrymen, comes the day predicted by Kavafis [the great Greek gay poet] one century ago: 'Later 'twas said of the most perfect society/someone else, made like me/certainly will come out and act freely."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hollywood Beach during hurricane Dennis

last night the first bands and hurricane Dennis passed by and kept me up most of the night with its surprising intensity. today we took a walk along the broad walk and snapped this photo of the big waves. this hurricane is a mean and nasty one and I feel sorry for the people along the florida pan handle who will get the direct hit tomorrow. tomorrow we also fly to Fresno (California) to teach at the CSU summer arts festival for 6 days.