Gashes! Poems and pain from the halls of injustice. By Tezozomoc. ISBN: 978-1497473300 $13.95
“This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. These poems are
powerfully abrupt, contentious, and real, emerging from a barrio genuineness. They
express the universal agony of injustice and disappointment. They reveal a
world that is cruelly unique and well-known in big city barrios: police
brutality, poverty, hopelessness, and yearning for acceptance and equality. LatinoBooks.Net
The most valuable poets are those who “speak truth to power”
because they are able to serve as the “theorists” of grassroots social
movements. Their aim is not to describe the nature of injustice but
to challenge oppressive regimes by celebrating the creativity and
inventiveness of the people in struggles. They are word warriors
whose work can help us remake a ravaged world where the value of
everything is set by market price and in doing so move toward the
many worlds comprised of freely associated beings who are grounded
in autonomous Indigenous spaces. This book of 35 poems by food
sovereignty activist and xicanx philosopher, Tezozomoc, opens with a
poem (“They Beat Us”) that ends with these lines:
you keep beating me for being brown
for wanting democracy for competing
for asking you to accept me!
Tezozomoc is a Los Angeles Chicano Poet and 2009 Oscar Nominated
Activist and has been published in the following journals:
The Silver Stork, silverstorkmagazine.weebly.com/, 2018. Campanella,
Nick. “The 2018 Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary Is Finally Here.” Come
and Go Literary, 15 Dec. 2018. The Blue Nib (https://thebluenib.com/,
2017). The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and
Shifts of Los Angeles Paperback (ISBN: 9781882688524,
Northwestern University Press, 2016), Men’s Heartbreak Anthology (Karineh
Mahdessian, 2014), CrazyQuilt (San Diego, CA), Rhino (Chicago, IL), Mind
Matters Review (Silver Spring, MD), Left Curve (Oakland, CA), Next Phase
(Parker, Co.), Minotaur Press (San Francisco, CA), San Fernando Poetry Journal
(San Fernando CA), Caffeine, which prints 15,000 copies and is given away free,
Orchard (Santa Cruz, CA), Poet's Sanctuary ( out of Washington), Black Buzzard
Press (Virginia),Dance of the Iguana, The Americas Review, La Hoja, Louder Than
Bombs, Orale!, Tight (Guerneville, CA), (Untitled) (Southgate California), and
ChupaRosa Writer's '93. In the above magazines I had a total of 36 poems
published. Tezozomoc is a Huffington Post blogger under http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tezozomoc where
he blogs about activism and food issues. Tezozomoc has a academic chapter
in Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: A Decolonial
Reader Edited by Devon G. Peña, Luz Calvo, Pancho McFarland, and Gabriel R.
Valle ISBN: 978-1-68226-036-4, “Chapter 11
Fragmentary Food Flows: Autonomy in the “Un-signified” Food
Deserts of the Real”. Winner, 2018 ASFS (Association for the Study of
Food and Society) Book Award, Edited Volume.
Tezozomoc has published essays in Urban Future Manifestos produced
by the MAK Center (2010, ISBN 978-3-7757-2731-0).
Tezozomoc’s work also includes academic essays on Nahuatl indigenous
languages please see the following: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/TIL_7.html which
was published as chapter in Teaching Indigenous Languages, 1997.
Tezozomoc is national and international regular guest speaker at
conferences; Agrarian Trust (2016, Santa Fe), Green Festival, Braiding the
Sacred, Seed and Food Sovereignty, and international gathering of Voices
of Maiz (2016).
I have consistently been a featured poet across Los Angeles since
1992. I have read at the Black Gallery in South Central Los Angeles, The
Reader's Edge Bookstore in Montrose, Eagle Rock Library, Sunland-Tujunga Branch
Library, Iguana Cafe in North Hollywood, Midnight Special Bookstore in Santa
Monica, Black and Latino Bookstore in Pasadena, The Living Planet-Long Beach
CA, and also at the East Los Angeles Library.
I believe strongly in supporting other poets in the journey to
find their voice. I have chosen to run and support venues for readings,
magazines like yourself that provide great support for poets, and organize
workshops for poets to get together and workshop their poems.