Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Roll Call Dispatch & Radio Days

The February 16th funeral services for maestro raúlrsalinas in South Osten near the campus of St. Edwards University where Raúl taught as an adjunct professor in media studies were met with chill winds, a cold, drizzling rain and finally a rainbow, a fitting signal that the poet had been lifted into the great hogan in the sky and declared a human being. The list of despondent and solemn mourners who offered music, sage, poems and prayer was long. Among those who paid their respects were: UFW's Dolores Huerta; poet and famed Royal Chicano Airforce founding father José Montoya; San Francisco-based writer Alejandro "Gato" Murguía; Dr. Louis Mendoza, who co-edited Telling Tongues: A Latin@ Anthology on Language Experience published jointly by Red Salmon Press and Calaca Press; artist/activist Jane Madrigal; Pocha and Victor Payan who are now coordinating the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Cinefestival in San Antonio; director/actor Rodney Rodriguez; documentary filmmaker Andrea Melendez; playwright and poet Sharon Bridgforth; NOKOA Newspaper publisher Akwasi Evans; painter Anna Salinas; cinematographer Lee Daniel, documentary filmmaker Susanne Mason... the list goes on and on. Laura Varela is working on a documentary about "Tapón" as we speak and made her way north from San Anto to attend as did Victoria Garcia, another S.A. artist/administrator. The creative tide left in our mentor's wake was and is a tanglible gale force of energy that goes on. This week's national broadcast of Latino USA offers my own humble tribute to Raul. The radio essay is called "Death of a Poet."

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