Poetry: “Don’t go hungry for my dark skin” by Octavio Quintanilla

Don’t go hungry for my dark skin.

Don’t go hungry for a homeland.

You ask why you must love a country
That doesn’t love you back.

Isn’t this the way of all love?
The nature of hunger?

You’ve forgotten the names of the birds
That fly above you.

You’ve forgotten the name of the tree
That gives you the fruit of its shade.

Your fingerprints swim like fish
in the currents of the rivers you crossed.

You want to swim after them,
Jump in the water and drift like a twig
Until you reach shore.

What shore?

The wind has erased the North Star
From the dark page of the sky.

If you could only glue together
All the torn pieces of the map
That guides you.

Follow the toll of your empty stomach,

Drink my bone marrow.

Take my hand as if taking a slice of bread.

Octavio Quintanilla’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Bitter Oleander, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. His critical reviews have appeared in Texas Books in Review and in Southwestern American Literature. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. “Don’t go hungry for my dark skin” was originally published in Issue 4 of Strike Magazine.


The Fix: August 29, 2013

It is literally almost Friday in this late edition of the Fix. This week we have two artists who shift their unique vision on the lens of a camera, graphic designers who are naive at best, and a documentary about the capitalist vultures around Coney Island. Something to mull over during Labor Day weekend.

Image via fastcodesign.com
Image via fastcodesign.com

Elyveth: Guess what people? Graphic designers, Kenji Nakayama and Christopher Hope have finally figured out the solution to homelessness, and it isn’t food, water, shelter or even healthcare. No, it’s snazzy typographic signs – obviously that was sarcasm. While I believe that art plays a huge role in bringing awareness to social injustices, this is just plain ignorant and exploitative. Instead, how about they do some actual research and bring awareness to the class system that causes homelessness in the first place?

Screen shot 2013-08-29 at 11.24.44 PMMike: Pete Eckert captures ghostly images and physical resonances that seem to spring from his mind’s eye alone. Pete Eckert is blind. Twenty-seven years ago he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that would strip him of his eyesight. At the same time he discovered his mother’s old camera and developed a love of photography. Now “profoundly” blind, Pete’s work continues, taking on an ethereal qualities that might only exist in the shadows behind one’s own mind.

Screen shot 2013-08-29 at 11.29.55 PMRaul: Edward Burtynsky is a photographer specializing in capturing large-scale images of industrialism and the, sometimes frightening, effect it has on the land. Despite the sense of urgency it might inspire in some who view his work, there is still a sort of beauty to be found in the wonderment of humankind’s technological domination over nature, and Burtynsky captures this perfectly. Nevertheless, while this awe might arise out of the sort of initial disbelief one might have when looking at his work, the reality is that these are not images of some fictional civilization, but our own grand-scale efforts at engineering our own demise through mass consumption and overproduction.

Screen shot 2013-08-29 at 11.38.06 PMBeatriz: The process of gentrification is interesting. The owner of the Zipper ride in this documentary is of the poor and working class that is usually displaced by developers looking to profit from the luxurious fantasies the upper-middle class buys into. The carnival feel is most aesthetically appealing; it humanizes the displacement with funky combos of colorful scenery and grim dialogue. Also while searching on their site, I found this video explaining how developers can buy their way out of having to provide affordable housing in the purchased land and alternatively build expensive condominiums for the upper middle class. It’s also very interesting.

Poetry by Thomas Murphy

Will you try to destroy women’s rights for another century
or let this faction now in control roll
until terror’s whipped from the world?
___________the helicopters rove above the house.
Simulations of HIV proved to come from _________________
not what______________was shredded before _______________.

Are the camera’s still on?

This George stares down the world
after buying from Wal-Mart’s bearded lady
all the duct tape and plastic

and awaits the toxic clouds to permeate the town’s cerebellum
in his drag-queen wig.

Thomas Murphy‘s duration of time in Corpus Christi is only second to his time spent in Palo Alto, California. Married with three daughters he teaches at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and continues to write and create art. This poem was published in Issue 2 of Strike Magazine.

The Fix: Aug. 22, 2013

Our summer is almost up, but don’t fret. Another set of cool things on the internet is here! This week on the Fix we examine the various facets and subject matter of graffiti, futuristic-inspired statues from the past, a documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a tribute song to the rape victims of Juarez, and another essay about Buffy and our feelings.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 7.45.24 PMElyveth: Graffiti has been stereotyped as an act of rebellion, often associated with youth in gangs tagging their territory. In reality, graffiti artists all have different motives and use the medium to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in their lives: their hopes, fears, weaknesses and dreams. There is rawness to graffiti art that showcases the artist’s soul onto a wall, but there is a fine line between self-expression and vandalism. This article goes into great detail about how graffiti has played a huge role in giving lower class citizens a voice, and how to discourage negative views on graffiti by promoting a better understanding of where if comes from, as well as allocating spaces for this form of self-expression to exist without legal penalties. I think it’s awesome that graffiti is finally getting recognized and appreciated as a true art form with positive outcomes.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 7.56.49 PMRaul: In the Non-Aligned Movement era of Yugoslavia, President Tito commissioned monuments to be erected throughout the countryside in remembrance of WWII and those lost in concentration camps. Photographer Jan Kempenaers recently toured the countryside capturing images of these abstract and futurist-influenced monuments, now abandoned to the elements – imaginative structures now wanting in meaning and symbolism. I was reminded of Turl’s piece from Issue #4 and how these structures now stand “lost in the ongoing dialectic of creation and entropy.” They also happen to look really fucking cool.

“If you apply Israeli law you imply certain things you may not want. One of them, for instance, is that you intend to annex the region. Secondly, you are automatically obligate yourself to grant citizenship to the entire population.”– Dov Shefi, Brigadier General (Ret.)Legal Advisor,West Bank Military Command 1967-1968

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 8.04.20 PMMike: In “The Law In These Parts” Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz looks at the architecture and implementation of the oppressive legal system at use in the occupied territories of Palestine since 1967. Through interviews with members of the Military Legal Corp of the IDF, Alexandrowicz deconstructs the origins of the “legal” military rule imposed by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank and turns a critical eye on the modern implications of Israeli “legal” positioning in opposition to international law.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 8.25.05 PMBeatriz: I was feeling nostalgic today so thought I would share this video. This song pays tribute to the rapes and murders of the women of Juarez that were, for many years, ignored by authorities. Bad publicity put Juarez on the map in regards to the narco drug-wars but to this day, most of these cases remain open and straight out ignored; over 400 of them. Government inaction to prevent violence against females and bring perpetrators to justice is still existent today.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 8.44.13 PMErika: I spent a good amount of my time as a child missing the boat on a lot of things. One of these was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which, at ten years off the air has held up pretty well. While the fashion has aged a bit, the fact of the matter is that the humor and subject matter are as relevant today as it can get on a show about a woman who kills vampires. Buffy as a genre was odd, and as a queer identified person, I can relate. So when this long form essay about Buffy and the lessons that the queer author learned about her identity and fluidity was published, it struck a nerve. The point is is that I only discovered Buffy this year, and already I have too many feelings for it. Which is okay, because so do a lot of people.

Poetry: When I Suffer by Rebecca Lyons

When I was seven months old,
I was left by my adoptive mother–
who really had to pee
but was so self-conscious
about human proximity

when she needed to relieve herself
that she once held it thirty-seven-and-a-half hours
on a hike in the Smoky Mountains
because she was also afraid of bears
and didn’t want to walk into any dens–

in the watchful eye of a friendly old lady walking her cocked-head
because my mom also had an insane sense
of hope in human nature
that there was enough good in everyone that,
if just given the opportunity, would meet its true stature-

who, unbeknownst to her new friend, and probably herself,
had dementia and soon forgot her newly acquired human responsibility,
only to be replaced by a man whose long-gone
wife had desperately wanted a child of her own, so he took
this opportunity to begin snatching me, hold on,

he quickly released the hold on my arm
when he saw my brother’s hold on my other arm,
not to mention the look of pure awe
that befell our now forever-scared-baby-faces
renew his briefly-lost-ability to think of consequences’ law.

For it was then that we both realized everyone in the world–
after generations of subconscious succumbsion
to the belief that the tougher
survived and “tougher” entailed hurting others–
would only suffer to see us suffer.

Rebecca Lyons is a Corpus Christi native and is currently teaching middle and high school English. She also works as the volunteer coordinator for the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation and for a professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. When she’s not doing homework for grad school or grading papers, she likes to promote her own business, a vegan and gluten free bakery called Better Baking Becca. In her free time, she watches her dogs play, attends too many meetings, and attempts to write while wishing she wasn’t thinking about all of the things that need fixing in the world.

When I Suffer was originally published in Issue One of Strike Magazine.

The Fix: August 15, 2013

As we all get ready to kick into the weekend, Strike editors bring you another round of finds from the Internet. This week includes a documentary about institutionalized racism in the South Texas education system, a spoken-word poet who’s words are both comforting yet unsettlingly-honest, a film about the human condition under our economic system, an article about the watering down of the artistic movement during the Mexican Revolution and a jarring set of images. And, we’re off!

Stolen EducationBeatriz:
 I watched the screening of this documentary at A&M-Corpus Christi some time ago. Language barriers for first-graders served as excuses for school boards to hold Spanish-speakers back from graduating to the second-grade for up to three years. The school boards were made up of white farmers in Driscoll, Texas who wanted to keep their labor. Bigger than the issue of race, which is what the entire documentary rides on, is the watered-down solutions that came from the dissent. Institutionalized racism was not as evident as it should have been, and the film barely addresses the continued inequity in public schools today by concentrating on the issue of race more than the issue of poverty. Nonetheless, the doc was informative, and I wanted to show some support for the dudes. They were very nice.

_MG_8157Erika: Sometimes when I question being a writer, I turn to a regular, self-destructive cycle which always ends in me flailing and considering claiming defeat. Other times, I turn to other writers. But Lauren Zuniga is not so much a writer as she is a poet, activist, performer and just fucking amazing. I’ve only seen her speak in videos online, but when I saw this piece of her’s titled “Retail Therapy,” it only confirmed that she really is something special. Zuniga manages to take the act of flailing and remind us that others are also running around not knowing either and not only is it okay and normal, it’s completely necessary.

On Modern ServitudeRaul: My friend Richard showed this to me and called it a “Situationist documentary.” There are probably a lot of terms that would describe “On Modern Servitude” correctly: foreboding, pretentious, sensational, etc. But overall, to me, it’s the sort of film that knows exactly what it is: a radical film, with radical aspirations and makes no apologies with its chosen artistic direction. Composed entirely of imagery appropriated from commercial productions, the film describes modern humankind’s servile condition under capitalism, with haunting narration and a musical overlay. While the artistic style of the documentary may be off-putting for some, the content and overall message is, for the most part, horrifically spot-on.

Royal Acadamey's Mexican RevolutionElyveth: So apparently the Royal Academy recently had an exhibition featuring some of Mexico’s greatest revolutionary artistic ideas and artist. The exhibition, Mexico: A Revolution in Art 1910-1940, which takes one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of modern art and confines it to the attic, while another exhibition is presented in the larger rooms for it’s bourgeois festival. Not only did they cram it in a tiny space, but they also failed to focus on what caused these creative artistic expressions, which included, you know, the fucking Mexican Revolution, and just exploited “celebrity” artist like Diego Rivera and Edward Burra.

IntocablesMike: I really don’t want to say anything about Los Intocables, a project by artists Erik Ravelo and Daniel Ferreira. It speaks for itself.

Thursday’s Picks: August 8th

Friday is almost upon us, and while we’re all chomping at the bit to relax in the weekend (or not) Strike’s editors share some cool gems they found around the internet including a graphic designer at work, some hypnotizing visuals, a forgotten plus-size pinup, jams from National Wake and a documentary about a compelling case in San Antonio. Le’go!

Pheonix Bike Shot

Elyveth: Every year Pedal Craft in Phoenix, Arizona has a poster contest for a bike event where they print out 25 of each design and the highest-selling one wins. Badass designer, art director, and illustrator Bob Case won with this design. This is 30 hours of work compressed into a five-and-a-half minute video, in which he uses Photoshop to complete his work.




Mike: WIFE is a very strange mixed media, avant garde art outfit based in LA made up of Nina McNeely, Kristen Leahy, and Jasmine Albuquerque. WIFE is both haunting and poetic incorporating elements of dance, music, film and animation in their presentations. See also “Statuettes”.

Hilda on Bike



Beatriz: So, I picked this because I enjoyed the different personalities and facial expressions of Hilda through her calendar years. Ironically, this is why she is presumed to have been less popular than other pinups besides her full figure. It allows the reader to reflect on the iconic looks of the fifties and enjoy a more personable variety of illustrations.


Raul: Reissue label Light in the Attic is releasing a compendium entitled “Walk in Africa 1979-81,” containing every recording of Apartheid-era South African punk band, National Wake. The group was formed at a time of heightened tensions, shortly after the Soweto Uprising occurred where bandmates Punka and Gary Khoza had come from after their families had been forced to move there when the government began consolidating the black population. The band dissolved shortly after, having released only one album. Stereogum offers the first track off the compilation for download, and it kind of kicks ass.


San Antonio four movie poster

Erika: Austin-based director Deborah Esquenazi is currently working on a documentary titled Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, which follows the exoneration process of four Chicana lesbians from San Antonio who were found guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls. One of the alleged-victims has now recanted the allegations, and attorneys and advocates believe the crime never actually happened. The documentary is currently under production and was just selected for funding by the Sundance Institute. The highly anticipated film will chronicle what’s being called one of the biggest cases in LGBT criminal history.