Friday, January 31, 2014

Year of the Horse 4712

Han Gan T'ang Dynasty, 780

Tanka for the Year of the Horse  4712

Iron-shod, the horse,        
hoof-sparks flying, mane and tail
blowing, charges, free
in its quest of new pastures, 
faith its guide, valor its grace.

------------------------------------------------- © Rafael Jesús González 2014

Tanka para el año del caballo 4712

Herrado el caballo
pesuñas chispeando, melena y cola
sopladas, corre, libre
en su busca de nuevos pastos
la fe su guía, el valor su gracia.

            ------------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

Li Gonglin (1049–1106) Song Dynasty


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 - January 27, 2014)

- -

---The Singer and His Banjo

------------------------for Pete Seeger

How can I keep from singing?
he asked hefting his banjo,
machine he claimed
surrounded hate
and forced it to surrender.
We sang with him
that we would overcome
asked where
had all the flowers gone,
and as we marched imagined
all sorts of things
to do if we had a hammer.

Gone the way of flowers now,
the old comrade leaves us
to our singing, our marching
with our little hammers
to bring down citadels of injustice,
our teaspoons to weight and make
the see-saw of power teeter
our way, overcome the demons
-----and armies of cold angels,
----------and keep despair at bay.

--------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

---El cantor y su banjo

-----------=--------a Pete Seeger

¿Cómo dejar de cantar?
preguntó levantando su banjo
máquina que dijo
cercaba al odio
y lo forzaba a rendirse.
Cantábamos con él
que venceríamos
-----(algún día)
preguntábamos a donde
se habían ido las flores
y al marchar imaginábamos
todo tipo de cosas  
que hacer si tuviéramos martillo.

Ya ido como las flores
nos deja el viejo compañero
a nuestro cantar, nuestro marchar
con nuestros martillitos
para derribar las ciudadelas de injusticia,
nuestras cucharitas para pesar y hacer
balancear el sube-y-baja del poder
en nuestro favor, vencer a los demonios
----y ejércitos de ángeles fríos
-----------y alejar el desespero.

----------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

3rd Annual Valentine's Day Reading

Pandemonium Press invites you to

3rd Annual Valentine's Day Reading

Featured writers

Rafael Jesús González

Sharon Coleman

Robert Pesich

Anthony Pino

Gerardo Omar Marín on flute

Friday, February 14, 2014

8:00 - 10:00 PM

Folk and Fine Art Gallery

1861-A Solano Ave.
(cross-street The Almeda, west side of Oaks Theater)
Berkeley, California

Come early and enjoy art opening The 1920s 

Book Table

Latest books from featured writers and Pandemonium Press

We accept PayPal and Bitcoin

Tuesday, January 21, 2014



A Acuario,
---el airoso,
------fijo en su servicio,
lo vigila Urano desde lejos;
Saturno le pesa como plomo
y su luz como granate ardiente
destella en el cántaro de amatista
que carga Acuario,
----sus tobillos, sus pantorrillas
----bañados en el aire fijo
----de sus ideales luminosos.

----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014


---the graceful,
------at ease in his service,
is watched by Uranus from afar;
Saturn weighs on him like lead
& its light like a burning garnet
bounces sparks on the amethyst jar
that Aquarius carries,
----his ankles, his calves
----bathed in the fixed air
----of his luminous ideals.

-------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

riverbabble 24, Winter 2014


Buenos Aires, Argentina by Christopher Novak

riverbabble 24

Featured Poet

                                             Sharon Coleman:    Cold Angels


Rafael Jesús González:
         Lamento sin llanto / Lament Without Tears
         Me han dicho / I Was Told

Laura McCullough:
          The Other Temple
          The Dark Lake by the Sea

Christopher Mulrooney:
          the strawberry festival
          a cowboy poem

Sheryl L. Nelms:
          Black Vermillion Crossing
          Texas Hill Country

Felice Aull:   City Hurricane

Amy Neill Bebergal:   Unclaimed Treasure

Fern G. Z. Carr:    Transatlantic Passage

Michael Collins:    Shards for Sophia

William Doreski:   Our Local Geyser

Joanne Faries:   The Worst

Karen Greenbaum-Maya:   Our Lady of the Red Potatoes

KJ Hannah Greenberg:    Pamela's Poem: Cabbage and Milk Thistle

Joan McNerney:   Opening Layered Blindness

Suchoon Mo:    A Yellow Bird

Edward Mycue:   Gardening

James B. Nicola:   Puddle in the Parkway

Robert Pesich:   Cup Reading

Anita Pulier:   A Moment in Time

Sandra Storey:   Up Country

John Swain:   A Golden Bird

Phibby Venable:   Skyline

Anne Whitehouse:   After the Apocalypse

Prose Poems

Chuck Taylor:
          By Way of Explanation
          To the Commissioner of Bubble Gum

Sarah Winn:   Skyless


Melissa Grunow:   Love Where There Is No Love


Cynthia Benson:   Embracing Beauty

Chris Dungey:   Prep Work

Tony Press:   A Nica in Blighty

John Richmond:   The Rogue Dream

Garrett Rowlan:   Closing Credits

James Shaffer:   Burden of Proof

Hao C. Tran:   Ghosts

Alice Whittenburg:   The Trap of Beauty

Flash Fiction

Ted Chiles:
           No Need to Huff-an-Puff

Chella Courington:
           Silver Talisman
           The Woman Named for a Saint

Cecele Kraus:   A Passionate Bequest

Tony Press:   American Beauties


Bara Swain:   Sadie (monologue)


Christopher Novak:   Buenos Aires, Argentina

Then all melted away dewily in the grey air: all was silent. Ah! She glanced at him as she bent forward quickly, a pathetic little glance of piteous protest, of shy reproach under which he coloured like a girl. He was leaning back against the rock behind. Leopold Bloom (for it is he) stands silent, with bowed head before those young guileless eyes.

                                                                    JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses, p.300. 13, 741-745.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

full moon: Mirror Moon


© Marie Louise Living 2014 


---------Luna espejo

Mi amigo me dice
que más que todo
la luna está hecha de vidrio
por lo cual cuando llena
tanto refleja la luz del sol.
Lo que yo creo es que
la luna es el escorial
de todo espejo roto en la Tierra
---------por accidente tal vez
--------------o por rabia
cuando preguntándoles
— espejo, espejo en la pared . . . —
no nos agradan sus respuestas.

---------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

--------------Mirror Moon

My friend tells me
that more than anything
the moon is made of glass
for which when full
she reflects so much light of the sun.
What I believe is that
the moon is the dump-heap
of all the mirrors broken on the Earth
-------by accident perhaps
-----------or through rage
when asking them,
“mirror, mirror on the wall . . .”
their answers do not please us.


------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2014


Martin Luther King Jr. (1/15/29 - 4/4/68)

Martin Luther King Jr.
by Yousul Karsh

----------After the Lecture

---------------------------for Martin Luther King Jr.
A woman said I was not polite
to the opposition,
that I was harsh
and did not encourage

Perhaps if I were Christ,
I could say, “Forgive them
----for they know not what they do.”
Or the queen, and apologize
for stubbing my executioner’s toes.

But only if I knew
the executioners
----were mine only.

What courtesy have I the right to give
to them who break the bones,
----the souls of my brothers,
------------------my sisters;
deny bread, books
----to the hungry,
----the children;
--------medicine, healing
--------to the sick;
roofs to the homeless;

who spoil the oceans,
----lay waste the forests
--------and the deserts,
violate the land?

Affability on the lips
of outrage
is a sin and blasphemy
----I’ll not be guilty of.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

--------Después del Discurso

------------------------a Martin Luther King Jr.

Una mujer me dijo que no fui cortés
con la oposición,
que fui duro
y que no animé

Tal vez si fuera Cristo,
pudiera decir — Perdónalos
----que no saben lo que hacen. —
O la reina, y disculparme
por haber pisarle el pie a mi verdugo.

Pero solamente si supiera
que los verdugos
fueran solamente míos.

¿Qué cortesía tengo el derecho a darles
a los que quiebran los huesos
----y las almas de mis hermanos,
--------------------mis hermanas;
les niegan el pan, los libros
----a los hambrientos,
----a los niños;
--------la medicina, el sanar
--------a los enfermos;
techos a los desamparados;

que estropean los mares,
----que destruyen los bosques
--------y los desiertos,
violan la tierra?

Afabilidad en los labios
de la furia justa
es pecado y blasfemia
----de la cual no seré culpable.

---------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

Martin Luther King Jr.
by Tony Spina

Monday, January 6, 2014

Epiphany - 12th Day

- -
Adoration of the Magi, Andrea Mantegna 1495-1505

------------------ Magos

Pensar que yo, Baltasar de Caldea,
------tenedor de las cosas sacras,
------dejé los observatorios,
------cargado de incienso,
------para llegar allí.
Aun hasta al punto de encuentro fue largo;
para Melchor de Nubia cargado de oro,
para Gaspar de Tarso cargado de mirra,
fue aun más largo.
-----Y de allí a Judea
-----y más allá condujo el lucero —
-----------a la morada de animales,
-----------lugar natal del infante mendigo.
Si era dios,
---como todo dios,
---------ha de haber llegado a mal fin.
¿Qué significaban los agüeros?
-----Tal vez sería el viaje mismo,
---------oír de los leones de Nubia,
---------de los ríos de Tarso;
y sobre todo,
-----sí, tal vez sobre todo,
---------- el ofrendar.

---------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

Book of Hours, France, ca. 1410-1415
(The Cleveland Museum of Art)


To think that I, Balthazar of Chaldea,
----keeper of the sacred things,
----left the observatories,
----laden with frankincense,
----to come there.
Even to the point of meeting it was long;
for Melchior of Nubia laden with gold,
for Gaspar of Tarshish laden with myrrh,
it was longer.
---And from there to Judea
---and the star led on —
--------to the abode of animals,
--------birthplace of the infant beggar.
If he was a god,
-----like all gods,
-----he must have come to a bad end.
What meant the auguries?
----Perhaps it was the trip itself,
-------to hear of the lions of Nubia,
-------of the rivers of Tarshish;
and above all,
----yes, perhaps above all,
-----------the gifting.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

(Dear Winter: Poems for the Solstice;
Marie Harris, Ed.; Northwood Press, Thomaston, Maine 1984;
Author’s © copyrights)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy new year 2014


- श्रीगणेश

Invocación a Ganesh

Om Shri Ganeshaaya Namah

Sentado en el centro
(rodeado de calaveras)
donde el lazo de los años se anuda,
goloso señor cabeza de elefante,
levántate y baila la cuenta nueva;
con tu hacha derrumba
los obstáculos
a nuestro vivir,
pisotea los obstáculos
a nuestro amar,
y haz dulce el camino nuevo.
Que tus familiares
el ratón y la rata roen
al almacén de las bendiciones;
que tu serpiente hable.
Con tu colmillo
en el libro de lo que fue
escribe lo que pueda ser
y de tu caracol sopla
el sonido primordial de lo que es.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

(Spillway 17, ontoño 2011,
derechos reservados del autor)

[De los muchos dioses hindú, Ganesh, dios de dharma y del buen agüero, es el más popularmente amado y venerado. Sus características son su cabeza de elefante y su barriga gorda que metafísicamente se dice contiene todo el cosmos. Sus familiares son el ratón y la rata porque roen por los obstáculos y frecuentan los almacenes de abundancia. Generoso donador de beneficios y derribador de obstáculos, él es el patrón de los comienzos, del desarrollo, de la liberación, de las empresas, tanto físicas como espirituales. Como tal, él es el primero de todos los dioses en ser invocado y se le pide su bendición al comienzo de un día, de una carta, de un rito, de cualquier empresa. Amable guía por las alturas y los abismos de la vida, se dice que él es la buena fortuna manifiesta, la sabiduría descubierta y la abundancia desbordante. Hay 1008 nombres para describir sus poderes divinos y su bendición es un verdadero don.]

Invocation to Ganesh
Om Shri Ganeshaaya Namah

Seated in the center
(ringed with skulls)
where the noose of years is tied,
sweet-toothed, elephant-headed lord,
rise and dance the new count;
ax down the obstacles
to our living,
trample the obstacles
to our loving,
and make sweet the new path.
Let your familiars
the mouse & the rat
gnaw through
to the storehouse of blessings;
let your snake speak.
With your tusk,
in your book of what was,
write what may be
and from your conch blow
the primordial sound of what is.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2014

(Spillway 17, Fall 2011;
author's copyrights)

[Of the many Hindu gods, Ganesh, god of dharma and good portent, is the most widely loved and revered. His distinctive traits are his elephant head and his fat belly metaphysically said to contain the entire cosmos. His familiars are the mouse and the rat because they gnaw through obstacles and frequent larders of plenty. Generous Boon-Giver and Remover of Obstacles, he is patron of beginnings, of growth, of liberation, enterprises, both physical and spiritual. As such, he is the first of all the gods to be invoked and his blessing asked at the start of a day, a letter, a ritual, any undertaking. Gentle guide through the ups and downs of life, he is said to be good fortune manifest, wisdom revealed, time embodied, and abundance over-flowing. There are 1008 names to describe his divine powers and his blessing is a gift indeed.]