Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"I READ THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY!" _ A Poetry and Art Collaboration

Poets and Visual Artists Respond the News in a Creative Collaboration of New Works

A Unique Media Exhibit
The Benicia Public Library/Marilyn O'Rourke Gallery
June 22-July 29 2011

Twenty-eight poets and visual artists (including myself) were selceted from a national competition by Benicia Poet Laureate, Ronna Leon, to colllaborate in a creative response to the news.

I am paired with Photographer, Rebecca Martinez, and we are responding to a news story on the topic of Politics and Immigration. We are responding to a NY Times story from March 29, 2011, titled "Arriving as Pregnant Tourists, Leaving With American Babies"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Doing the Math on a Disservice

Former San Francisco Giant, Barry Bonds, has been in the public eye for nearly two decades: first as a power slugger, then as a home run record breaker, and most recently as a defendant in a federal investigation for purportedly lying to a Grand Jury about his use or non-use of performance enhancing drugs. In April 2011, he was convicted on obstruction of justice, with more court action to follow.

In the latest case, the federal government spent $55million dollars trying to convict Bonds of purjury by gathering scandalous heresay evidence that failed to convict him of that offense. Thanks to the media spending so much of their valuable time on this - instead of other relevant topics - we will all recall not only Bonds's glorious days as a baseball phenom, but also as a parking lot womanizer who may or may not have had testicular shrinkage. Bonus!

Incidentally, a new mark can be made in the Book of Barry, and this one reveals a more friendly human side to his public persona.

Most people in California have heard about the tragic story of Brian Stowe, an S.F. Giants' fan who fell victim to a physical altercation with an Dodgers' fan at a home-state game in L.A. Stowe, a local father of two, is still in a coma as a result of the severe incident.

It was just announcded that Barry Bonds has offered to pay for Stowe's children to go to college. This is a gesture that will directly affect Stowe's family in the long run, and won't hurt Bonds's public image to boot. In sum, we salute you, Barry.

Now, let's do the math. Let's consider that an undergraduate education at UC (in 2011) could cost about $100,000 for four years. So, the federal government essentially wasted $55million trying to convict Bonds of purjury. Divide that by $100,000, a generous amount that Bonds is likely to pay twice over out of his own coffer. What's the result? Five hundred and fifty.

That is: $55,000,000.00 / $100,000.00 = 550

Thus, instead of the government wasting $55 million on lawyers and court fees that failed to serve its entitlement to truth, justice and the American way, OUR government could have sent 550 people to college for four years. That would have been a major investment in the future of our country, our economy, and the potential success of a 550 American families. Instead, we have nothing to show for it but a calloused finger of shame.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Bay Area People"

“Bay Area People”

Conscious connectivity
Bay Areability
grooving & maneuvering
to the crowd-pleasing sounds
of revving up
evolutionary agility,
where the idea of conquest
is a contest
& we strive
to rise
~ eyes of the hawk
hearts of the dove ~
Getting down & dirty,
but keepin’ it real
We reflect
on bygones
& the upsets
Restless & yet nesting
in our Bayside aviary
no fence too high over which to carry
the throngs of our songs
salty, sweet, & sour
we don’t allow time
to define our hours
Yours & mine
year round
& chiming in to:
& rethink
all we’ve been given
to celebrate & recalibrate
Always willing to:
make the next move
this situational misuse
of moments that are best used
to remove
the barriers,
we Bay Areaers relinquish nothing
but the stale energy
that, occasionally, builds up
like walls in which to cage us
But we are timeless & priceless
& so you will not cage us!