Saturday, September 29, 2007

El gentil árabe, el generoso árabe

Porque en estos días nadie te menciona.

El árabe que extiende la mano.
El árabe que no deja a uno pasar
por su tiendita sin una palabra de bienvenida.
El refugiado que nos invita a una Coca-cola.
Los vasos limpios sobre la mesa, en una choza destartalada.
Los que no toman Coca-cola, hoy la tomarán.
Bebemos del ánfora plateada de la hospitalidad.
Bebemos mientras tú inclinas la cabeza.

Por favor, perdona a los que pronuncian tu nombre sin respeto.

Tú, que no matarías a un ratón ni un pájaro.
Quien se siente triste a veces sólo al partir un huevo.
Quien hace un monumento de una piedra
encima de otra. Quien guardó los pedazos
y los llevó a un nuevo rincón.
Para quien las palabras explosión y escombro
son constantes. Quien nunca deseaba
esas palabras. Sino poder decir,
hoy es un día y lo vivo con calma
entre mis queridos. Eso era todo.
Quien ha sido lastimado
pero en cambio no lastimó a nadie.
Padres y abuelas,
tíos, primito perdido que sólo querías ver
una noria, subir a lo alto de los cielos
una vez en la vida. Y todos esos días desgarrados
en los que no hubo boletos
para girar en ellos.

By Naomi Shihab Nye, from You and Yours, BOA Editions Ltd., 2005.
Translated by Jeremy Orhan Simer and Norma Angélica Ortega
revised December 9, 2007

"Greenbridge" in Real Change

A friend tells me she saw my poem "Greenbridge" in this week's issue of Real Change. Unfortunately, they don't post their poetry section on their website, but if you're in the Seattle area, you can pick up a copy this week, and anyway, the poem is posted on this blog.

Speaking of "Greenbridge," stay tuned for a photo project I am slowly, slowly working on to accompany it: a sort of stop-action animation of a building's construction, in the White Center housing project by the same name.

Vis-a-Vis Society: the Movie

Monday, September 10, 2007

hidden truths.

Looking online, I misspelled a poet’s name, searching for Ted Kooser.
My computer asked me, Were you trying to search for Tend Boozer?

Fun ways to help Heather do her research.

A message from my friend Heather Day, acting director of Community Alliance for Global Justice:


<<< please forward/tell your friends! >>>

Thursday Sept 27: Screening of "Thirst" documentary at Agua Verde Cafe: 7-9pm, $10 donation (pay at the door)

Agua Verde food & drinks available! At 7 I will do a short presentation of my
research for Other Worlds, about the many inspiring examples of vital, public water systems around the world, as well as resistance to privatization, that I have been learning about. We will show the excellent documentary, Thirst, from 7:30 - 8:30.

Sunday Sept 30: Guided Moon-light Paddle of Seattle's waterways from Agua Verde: 7-9pm, $40 minimum donation

Reservation required for historical kayak tour: contact Travis English at 545.8570, extension 23 (see more info about tours:

As many of you already know, I am currently researching successfully run public water utilities around the world for Other Worlds, a project documenting successful alternatives to neoliberalism (please see more info below). The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that privatization of water is not necessary or desirable. These events are fundraisers to help pay for travel to Asia this Fall to document the public water utility in Penang, Malaysia. The funds will also be used to support the writing of a chapter for a book about multiple examples of vital parallel economies, tentatively titled Tomorrow, Hacienda Victoria: Globalization, Gender, and Just Economies.

Both events take place at Agua Verde Cafe & Paddle Club, 1303 NE Boat Street, in the U-district. Questions? call me! 206.724.2243 or email Let me know if you would like to donate to Other Worlds, but can't come to these benefits.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad

After an intense year of filming and editing, my friend Jill Freidberg (Corrugted Films) has completed her documentary on Association of Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), which was born out of the schoolteachers' strike last year in Oaxaca state, Mexico, and blossomed into a powerful movement against the corrupt governor. "A Little Bit of So Much Truth" highlights the importance of grassroots media outlets to sustain and inform popular movements, such as when a group of women took over the state television, planning to challenge its steady stream of misinformation with a simple on-the-air statement, and ended up running the station for weeks.

The film has premiered in Oaxaca and Mexico City, and is coming soon to a grassroots screening near you, including October 4-5 in Seattle ...