Search

Michael Ray De Los Angeles

WRITER | EDITOR | ARTISAN

The March for Science — Los Angeles | #MarchForScience

On Saturday April 22, members of the science community gathered at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles, to celebrate Earth Day and all elements of science. The Earth Day March for Science was part of a world-wide event in defense of “the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.” The Los Angeles March was held at Pershing Square Downtown and was one of over 600 marches. During the rally, scientists, skeptics, librarians, and musical guests shared their love for the sciences. Attendees watched speaker presentations, live-demonstrations, and even sang along to songs about science.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

#MarchForScience | #MarchForScienceLA

 

8czknolki

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

I’m a social media whiz with interests in ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I enjoy reading and writing about plant-based living, and document it all through recommended readings lists, audio broadcasts and short films.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal. Curious about current projects? Want to schedule an interview? Contact me at MRDLA1111@gmail.com.

From California with Love,
Michael Ray

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

Day of the Matriarch: Bisbee to East Los Angeles| Post #Obituary Mediation | RIP: Soledad Guerra Quezada

At the time of her passing in February of 1999, I was 14 going on 15 and a student at John Marshall High school. I was walking to my locker to pull out my books, That winter I was reading Les Miserables and re-reading Catcher in the Rye, when from down the hall my brother was skip-running towards me. “Michael. Michael!” he shouted down the quiet hall, “Grandma died!”

I doubt that he understood the words coming out of his mouth, he had just heard them himself. My friend Erica, we had both attended middle-school together, asked me if I was alright. I was speachless. I stood there, blank-faced. My great-grandmother Soledad Guerra Quezada, was dead.

Her death would shift the dynamic of our tribe, the life I knew, and the family unit that we had. In the years to follow I would pick up a comprehension of a second and third language. However our language barrier in my adolescent years prevented me from asking questions that I would have like to have ask, mainly, how and why  did our family migrate to Los Angeles? I knew that she was orphaned at an early age, but I have only had bits and pieces of the story explained to me via her children– my tíos and tías.

In the winter of 2011, nearly 12 years after her passing I traveled to visit the place that she once called home, a small mining town in Southeast Arizona called Bisbee. On December 26th, I made the 500 mile voyage from (what I consider to be) my hometown of Los Angeles, to Bisbee, Arizona, a city that was once home to the Workman’s Loyalty League, the Bisbee Daily Review, and miners like my Great-Great-Grandfather Encarnacion Guerra.

In all honesty I know very little of my great-great grandparents. I have a city, a name, and a profession for my great great grandfather, but not so much as a name for my great-great-grandmother. Perhaps that was the biggest draw to Bisbee. I wanted to if I could develop some sense of their identity with a sense of place: If they lived in a mining town, then I wanted to see that town.

Miner’s Campsite

While in Bisbee I walked the roadways while thinking about Soledad. The city itself felt antiquated. My walk from the Lavender Mine to the mining campsite was approximately a fifteen-minute, walking past from Bisbee’s main plaza, Mimosa Market and up Zapotecas. The main street became a dirt road at the outskirts of the city. Today, a series of tiered flats remain where the campsite was.

There are no lights leading up the road, just a well-worn trail. The mining company which helped to make Bisbee one of the largest cities in Arizona is now a old memory, and a deep scar on the geological landscape. All in all this seems like a nice town; small, kind of hip, but decades away from its hay-day.

Back in town I check out St Elmo, a bar that has been operating since 1902, I imagine Encarnacion Guerra sitting somewhere in the bar, just another face in the sea of miners.

“Maybe he drank here.”
“Did he even drink?”
“I don’t know.”

Seeing the Lavender Mine was a wake-up call. My great-great grandfather is just one of many people that worked themselves to death in the mine, and for what? Copper, Azurite, Turquoise, and a permanently scarred landscape. The St Elmo’s bar was probably where many of the miners drank if they were allowed in– my understanding of America’s xenophobia tendencies has me question the possibility.

I order a beer and get a feel for the place, like much of the town, the building looks as though it hasn’t been updated since 1902, and I like it. Around the rest of town I find street art and points of interest; a sign here, a historical building there, the school, stairs–lots of stairs– and statues.

Travel Photography 2
“Edification”

One set of statues that is a highlight of my journey to this quaint town is a pair of angels emerging from rosemary bushes. My great-great-grandparents are dust, my great-grand parents are gone; it is up to me to decide where to fly next. They may have been in Arizona, but it was not the final destination. In the years to follow my family would travel from Arizona, to Mexico, and then to Los Angeles. I made the trip to this small mining town in Arizona with the hope that I could connect with  some cultural identity, instead I realized how far my family has traveled. My conclusion is that Bisbee was not home either.

I do still have questions about the death of my great-great grandfather Encarnacion;  I am told that he died in the mines. I’m definitely curious about my great-great-grandmother who died shortly after childbirth. I am also fascinated by the journey that brought my family to Bisbee. The big question that I have after this journey is, “where was my  family before the mining town.”

Over the years I’ve spoken with my tíos, tías, and grandmother, creating an ongoing family archive. Signs point to Diné, to Papago, maybe even Pima. I don’t have the answers just yet. What I do have are photos, family, and the lenses of colonialism, African diaspora, and ecological literature. Happy Matriarch Day.


Diaspora De L’angélique

We come from Arizona, from Mexico, from Los Angeles;
Our names forgotten,
Our past rewritten
Our hearts barely beating.

We moved, then settled,
Somewhere between mediocrity and apathy;
erasing our warrior ancestry.

Spilled blood, saturated in captured in oil,
And celebrated with hallow planks of burning redwood desire,
Remind us that here too are the remnants of genocide.
I ask, “Who still has the strength to smile?”

I have crossed rivers, bridges and borders
from La Mirada to the Avenues;
I have slept while gunshots wept
And helicopters screamed ownership of
Padre Sky’s Face.
And yes, I jumped fences, over barbed wired
only to find more twisted metal in my pathway…

Now I walk barefoot,
Having released the lawless shackles of yesterday.
Looking back,
I see the trail of tears, sweat and blood my ancestors left.
Looking forward,
I see the seeds of their efforts
Beginning to push through the dirt.

We came, from Arizona, from Mexico, from Los Angeles,
our names forgotten
our past rewritten
But our hearts still beating.

From California with Love,
Michael Ray

8czknolki

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

I’m a social media whiz with interests in ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I enjoy reading and writing about plant-based living, and document it all through recommended readings lists, audio broadcasts and short films.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal. Curious about current projects? Want to schedule an interview? Contact me at MRDLA1111@gmail.com.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

National Poetry Month | “Sac Re Cur” by Michael Ray De Los Angeles

“Goin’ Out of My Head,” plays on my headphones.
Mon amour, I really dig Lady Ella,” I say as I lean in for a kiss.

We board an iron bird, and wake in a city d’amour, morte, et révolution.
Our hands dance as we travel between la Bastille, les Catacombes, and Sac Re Cur.

I swallow my stained-glass heart as we gaze across a Parisian vista from sacred walls,
“J’taime,” I say as you walk away.

My beautiful picture

“War is Over”

A Friendly reminder: Nobody wins at the game of war. It is a game of ecological destruction, and psychological, disruption. Choose peace, choose Love, choose a better solution. 

From California with Love | #CaliforniaLove

On January 20, 2017, one Donald J. Trump took into office as the President of the United States of America. In the 60+ days that he has been in oval office he has disrupted airports across the United States with his positions on immigration; has threatened (and failed) to revamp the Healthcare system established by his predecessor, and has filled his presidential cabinet with Wall Street’s finest. With less than 1400 days left in office, what else is in store for the citizens of the United States? Watching Trump’s executive process from the golden state of California, some 2000 miles away from Washington D.C, is still a little unsettling– even as his executive orders, and nominations crash and burn.

The first month was, a baltering tango danced to the tune of “Xenophobia in b minor.” Mr. President and his dance partner-in-crime, VP Mike Pence, ended up tangoing with The American Civil Liberties Union, and citizens across the United States as the administration signed an executive order which would called for a halt on all “refugee admissions for 120 days,” as well as a stop to all “refugee and non-refugee entries from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria for 90 days.”  Yes, national security, is important however, the order itself was crude, as it targeted migration from countries that have a dense Muslim population. Fortunately, the order was cited as unconstitutional, however, the it did disrupt the lives of many people during its short lifespan.

It seems as though the history is not without a sense of remembering, as 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. Locally, the commemoration of the order was marked with the opening of “Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066,” at the Japanese American National Museum. The parallels to today’s cultural climate are uncanny, and serve as a historical reminder of what unchecked xenophobic legislation can produce. People will often refer to the Nazi death camps when speaking about the horrors of war, however, the United States has its own horror stories– including Jim Crow laws, more than a century of slavery, and more recently the fight for indigenous sovereignty at Standing Rock.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js


Amidst the headlines, Californians have taken a stance in opposition to the current administration: Santa Monica joined a coalition of cities in a collective effort to pursue legal action against the travel ban, while Los Angeles residents continue to gather in peaceful protest. At the state level Congressman Ted W. Lieu has stated that “President Trump doesn’t understand or doesn’t care that we need to act on climate now” and that he opposes the rollback of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations, including regulations on carbon emissions. With the 6th largest economy in the world, Californians are flexing their social, political, economic and cultural values; standing in support of diversity, ecology, and empowered citizens.

From California with Love,
Michael Ray

8czknolki

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

I’m a social media whiz with interests in ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I enjoy reading and writing about plant-based living, and document it all through recommended readings lists, audio broadcasts and short films.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal. Curious about current projects? Want to schedule an interview? Contact me at MRDLA1111@gmail.com.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

3 Must-Read Books for Black History Month

imagesBorn on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm Little, who later became known as Malcolm X was an iconic figure of the Civic Right movement. The story includes intimate details about his life, his pilgrimage to Mecca and much more. The African-American Muslim minister was a human rights activist, closely by the US government and other organizations for his perspectives on racism within America. On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated by Nation of Islam members Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15X Johnson .


cover-of-parable-of-the-sowerThe dystopian Californian road novel, written by Los Angeles based author, Octavia E. Butler, evokes images similar to those seen in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath with themes of mass migration and ecological turmoil. Throughout the novel questions about preservation of natural resources and scarcity of existing resources are points of conflict as the heroine of the novel, a multiethnic adolescent named Lauren Olimina, caravans from Southern California to Northern California. During her venture she challenges social, gender and racial norms.


the-adoption-papers-jackie-kayJackie Kay’s collection of poetry The Adoption Papers is a collection of narrative poems that weave together the perspectives of three people; a “birth mother,” an “adoptive mother” and an “adopted daughter.” During this opening poem, the child’s history is metaphorically presented as a commodity, she is a being without agency. Over the course of the book the adopted child’s status (a black adopted child that is also half Nigerian) is slowly revealed. The poems, demonstrate the mutual conflict experienced by both the adopted mother and the biological mother, as well as the tribulations of an adopted child.

8czknolki

mrdlaMichael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

5 Endangered Species

Hi and welcome to the Sunday post, today we’re taking a break from literature to talk about endangered animals. As humans we share the planet with many types flora and fauna. The sad truth is that human activities such as deforestation, pollution and man-made disasters have affected many species’ natural habitat, from the oceans to the arctic some species are  on the verge of extinction. Whether you’re a fan of amphibians, fishes, or your fellow mammal, here are 10 endangered species that you should know about.

doc3980California tiger Salamander

First up on the list is the stocky, amphibian, the California Tiger Salamander. This little critter can be found in the California, in and around part of Santa Barbara, and range between 7 and 8 inches in length. In addition small eyes protruding from the top of its head, some of the striking features of this terrestrial critter include its coloration of white and pale yellow spots throughout its body.


doc4867Desert pupfish

Next up is an adorable fish that inhabits parts of California and Arizona, the Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius). Roughly 2 inches in size, the fish has a rounded body with a yellow tale. Its critical habitat includes includes Quitobaquito Springs, Pima County, portions of San Felipe Creek, Carrizo Wash, and Fish Creek Wash, Imperial County, California. The fish has been on the endangered species list since 1986.


doc1680

Short-Tailed albatross

Found in along the pacific northwest, the northern parts of Canada as well as Alaska, the white-bodied bird is stands has average length of 84-91 cm; a wingspan: 213-229 cm (7-7.5 ft); and a lifespan of 12-45 yrs. This species of bird is popular among sailors and is it is considered bad luck to kill them, as popularized in Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Whether or not you’re superstitious, one thing is for sure, we’d like to see more of this majestic bird.


Bonobo, CongoBonobo

From reptiles, to fish, and feathered friends, many species are listed on the endangered species list, including mammals. The Bonobo (pan paniscus) is one such mammal. With a DNA make-up of 98.7%, bonobos are as close to humans as chimpanzee– if not closer. Today, these furry great ape cousins can only be found in forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), however poaching remains a eminent threat to this animal’s extinction.


fin-whale-article-pageFin Whale

With a distinct dorsal fin, the Fin Whale’s largest threat is commercial fishing, despite being at the top of the food chain. For over a century these whale have been hunted for oil, meat, and baleen. Somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 of these whale remain and they can be found in the Gulf of California, the Coral Triangle, as well as the Arctic.

8czknolki

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

 

3 Way to Do LA | Saturday Edition

Los Angeles is a pretty magical city, and as a native Angelino I’ve often been asked, “well what is there to do?” My reply is often, “well, what interests you?” After all Los Angeles is a international cultural hub, and as such, there is something for everyone. From festivals to weekly gatherings, farmer’s markets, dance parties, museums galore, and of course the natural landscape of the city itself. So if you’re new to  Los Angeles, and you find your self  wondering what to do? Here are three ways to do LA. Enjoy the city of angels. 8czknolki

Venice Beach20170225_4

Whether you take Venice Blvd, walk down from Santa Monica, hop on a Lyft or make your way up from the Ballona bicycle path, Venice is a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. With hostels, eclectic Air B’n’B’s you can enjoy the pubs, restaurants, shops, canals and live shows for the day or through the weekend. On Sundays you can catch the Venice Beach Drum Circle which happens between mid-afternoon and sunset. Additional things to do include Muscle Beach, bicycle rentals, hit the skate park, art walk and check out the neighboring beaches of Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey. | 


20170225_2Farmer’s Market

Attending your local Farmer’s Market is one of the most delicious ways to see LA, not to mention it offers a great window into California’s agricultural network. If you’re into eating organic, want to eat local, or simply want to get away from the Sad American Diet (S.A.D.) then a farmer’s market is a great place to start. With multiple locations throughout Los Angeles, you can get your fruits, veggies,  breads, soaps, and more. However if you want to see where it all started, then I recommend visiting the original Farmer’s Market on Fairfax Ave. | 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036


20170225_3The Getty Center

Whether you have a few hours or an afternoon, the Getty Center is an international destination well worth a visit. With multiple permanent galleries featuring artwork spanning the ages the Getty is one of Los Angeles’ greatest treasures, also hosting special events, exhibitions and tours throughout the year. I recommend checking the calendar of events for the listing as there is always something happening. Additionally, the outdoor garden, offers one of city’s most iconic vistas. | 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpg

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is Now a LIVE Musical!

— Los Angeles, CA | 2017
Fun Home-- Alison BechdelWhat started off as a graphic memoir is now a LIVE musical; Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is now playing at the Ahmanson Theater located at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

The stage production, based on the life of LGBTQ icon Alison Bechdel, is an inmate look into the life of the author and her Pennsylvanian family. Bechdel herself is a renown cartoonist, best known for the long running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. Her comics, and memoir have been well received by audiences and critics, having been awarded the a Stonewall Book Award as well as five Tonys for the play.

In Fun Home Bechdel (played by Kate Shindle) describes her relationship with her parents, her father Bruce (played by Robert Petkoff ) and mother Joan (played by Karen Eilbacher). From early early life( Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’), to high school and college (Abby Corrigan as ‘Medium Alison’) the story is set in the backdrop of rural America. One of the defining elements of this play is how Bechdel’s family, challenge and adapt certain gender codes  in the post-World War II era.

The Alision Bechdel’s Fun Home is will be on stage at the Ahmanson Theatre from February 21 through April 1, 2017; followed by JAMES LAPINE & STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S INTO THE WOODS beginning in April.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpg

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: