Francisco Memorial Reading

On Thursday Feb. 18th a large group gathered at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis to celebrate the life and work of Francisco X Alarcon

who on Jan. 16th Untitled-1 passed from this place to that on his journey.  So many souls that he has touched and so they came to honor him and to honor  Javier and Francisco’s family.  Love to you brother!

The following featured poets read poetry at Canto Hondo: A Memorial Reading for Francisco X. Alarcon:
JoAnn Anglin
Paul Aponte
Francisco Aragón
Lucha Corpi
Luz Maria Gama
Marta Garcia
Nancy Aidé Gonzalez
Xico Gonzalez
Nicole Henares
Zheyla Henriksen
Suzy Huerta
Dr. Andy Jones
Arturo Mantecon
Gerardo Pacheco Matus
Adela Najarro
Rosie Ochoa
William O’Daly
Graciela B. Ramirez
Betty Sanchez                                                                                                                                                    Allegra Siberstein
Bob Stanley

Special Guests :
Javier Pinzon
Members of the Alarcon Family
Kalpulli Xihuacoatl Danzante Group
Mariachi Cielito Lindo

James Downs

Here are two poems that have similar subjects enough to be connected.


Speak it into being

I didn’t believe but
…….I spoke it into being

and ever infinitesimal
…….I became what I am

and that is what I was meant
…….to be

all this journeying time



long enough
and something will undo your certainty
the spectacular places
life itself

James Downs

Holly Day


we were going to take the boat out, sail
to the edge of the world, tease
the monsters waiting there with our
bare, dangling feet, toes tickling the ocean skin
like tiny pink fish

but you had to go and ruin it
chase shore-hugging mermaids instead
had to search clam-shell bikinis for pearls
find out where baby mermaids come from

we were going to become pirates
treasure hunters, world explorers
wrestle giant squid at the world’s edge
find the fountain of youth

but you had to go and spoil everything
in your search for suburban normalcy
chase dreams of apron-clad mermaids
who’d give up their kingdoms for you.


Brand New

I threw away
everything that came
before he
was in
my life so
I could pretend
that I was brand new
just like the baby
I held in
my arms, just
like the perfect
baby that somehow
came out of me


The New Place, The New Thing

it lies beneath a trapdoor in
the floor. the best way to find it is
to open the door. She
opened the door and entered
the room and was introduced to the thing that was
waiting inside. I watched as you
took her under your wings and erased her.

she woke up that morning
felt destiny stirring in her chest, flutter
in the pit of her stomach in a spot
that should have been empty. The butterflies
would not be still no matter how loud she yelled
no matter
how hard she beat against the growing
knot with her tiny, ineffectual hands. She
who had always required screaming at to
do the simplest things, she picked up the phone
and called me and told me I had to
come over and find away to make

it all go away. You, who sit at her bedside
you brush the hair back from her forehead and tell her things
will be much better now. I
hope you’re not lying.


Holly Day

Short bio: Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota , since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.