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Bathroom Talk

Compliance with Santa Fe's gender-neutral bathroom rules is slow going

Local NewsThursday, April 28, 2016 by Maria Egolf-Romero

Symbols help us find our way around. They are shorthand for “Hey! This thing you need is right here!” Like a public restroom. We all know the white stick figure emblem painted on cobalt blue plastic that marks the spot.

For eons, this white figure donned two outfits: pants or an A-line dress to designate the restroom as men’s or women’s. Cultural evolution of gender identity led to a third bathroom option, a gender-neutral one, and a new outfit for the white restroom figure. 

North Carolina recently mandated that its citizens use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. The new law electrified the issue, and celebrities from Bruce Springsteen to Joe Jonas have cancelled appearances in the Tar Heel State as protests erupted and the country divides over bathroom-monitoring antics.

Santa Fe took a stance on who can go where last June, when the City Council passed an ordinance stating that all public single-occupancy restrooms must be gender-neutral. But this week, SFR found several single-occupancy restrooms still with gender-specific signs.

And we’re not the only ones. On Wednesday, a group calling itself All Families Matter New Mexico started a public awareness campaign to urge more compliance with the Santa Fe law. The group is urging residents to add the names of local businesses breaking the gender-neutral rule to its Facebook page.

Jenn Jevertson, coalition coordinator, tells SFR the ordinance is beneficial to more than just the transgender community. “One of the reasons that it’s needed, is that often times transgender folks don’t feel safe and comfortable using the restroom,” Jevertson says, “but it has a broader positive impact for everyone in Santa Fe. It helps the daughter who needs to help her elderly father in the restroom. It helps the mother with a disabled son.”

Even though the city ordinance sets up fines for violating the rule, Jevertson says her group isn’t asking for that kind of punishment now. “It’s about providing information and helping businesses make the changes, one, because it’s required, but two, because it’s the right thing to do,” she says.

Community members can print flyers from the campaign’s Facebook page, which provides information about the ordinance and how to be in compliance with it. Jevertson says the campaign has already helped some businesses get with the times.

“Betterday Coffee Shop is a great example,” she says. “Recently, they still had the bathrooms labeled as male and female, and I know a few of our community members dropped off flyers and talked to them about it, and last time I was in there, I noticed the bathrooms were marked as gender neutral.”

A spot check of businesses around the city shows compliance is slow.

La Montañita Co-op has two public single-occupancy restrooms. On SFR’s first visit to the Co-op on Tuesday afternoon, one restroom had the familiar women's emblem posted on its door. The other restroom was signless, a detail Will Prokopiak, who has managed La Montañita Co-op for 10 years, was unaware of when SFR spoke with him.  

During a visit to the Co-op later in the week, new signs had appeared—typed, printed and posted on the bathroom doors. “We have non-gender specific bathrooms because sometime gender specific toilets put others in uncomfortable situations,” the letter on the restroom door reads.  

The Allsup’s at the intersection of Cerrillos Road and Paseo de Peralta has two single-occupancy bathrooms, both of which have gender-specific signs. An employee at the location did not want her name published but told SFR that she hasn’t heard of any plans to change the signs on their restrooms. She also said Allsup's hasn't received any complaints about the restrooms' gender-specific status.

Target has been in hot water as of late over its open-minded bathroom policy, which allows customers to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. Katie Montano, a manager at the Santa Fe location who has worked for Target for seven months, says restroom rules are up to the discretion of Target employees and “common sense. If we think it would make others uncomfortable, then we don’t allow it,” she says. Montano says that larger Target locations have family restrooms, which are gender-neutral.

Santa Fe Community College has four single-occupancy, gender-neutral restrooms. Emily Stern, head of the Center for Diversity and Integrated Learning at the college, says the gender-neutral signs have been posted on campus since 2011. Stern tells SFR the welcoming bathroom movement was spearheaded by two teachers in response to student concerns.


“It’s really terrifying,”  Stern says, “to be a minority of any kind.”

The Fork

A Tourist in Your Own Town

The ForkThursday, April 28, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

Santa Fe’s Next Food Star

The Santa Fe Culinary Academy is starting its spring term of dinner service this Thursday. The six students in SFCA’s professional program have developed a menu of small plates that range from $8 to $14, and they will take turns cooking and serving in the student restaurant, The Guesthouse (112 W San Francisco St., on the third floor of the Plaza Mercado building).

Students are still putting the finishing touches on the menu, but earlier this week, the school released a tentative version online, including plates such as pan-roasted halibut with white bean ragout, duck breast with rhubarb gastrique and creamy polenta, grilled lamb chop with preserved lemon, parsley and pea shoots; beef strip loin with potato puree and wild mushroom bagna cauda; and ravioli of dandelion greens.

The plates are intended to be shared, says SFCA office manager Jennifer Leighton, who estimates two people would likely be happy sharing three plates. Beer and wine will also be available.

Dinner will be served on Thursdays and Friday only, from 5:30 until 7 pm, April 28 - May 27. Call 983-7445 for reservations.

I’ve been to dinners like this at other schools, and it’s a good time. The students really try to knock your socks off, and it’s fun to give them some encouragement and feedback.

Santa Fe in the Awards Spotlight

The 2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards will be announced on May 2. No Santa Feans are in the running for the best chef award this year, but Ron Cooper, the producer of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, was nominated in the category for outstanding wine, beer or spirits professional. Cooper divides his time between Oaxaca and Ranchos de Taos. He was mentioned in this story about mezcal published earlier this month in The New Yorker.

And as SFR’s Ben Kendall wrote last month, the legendary Rancho de Chimayo is on the shortlist in the “American Classics” category. Café Pasqual’s, The Shed and Albuquerque’s Mary and Tito’s have all been honored with this award. Good luck, folks!

A Tourist in Your Own Town

Author Lynn Cline has developed a walking historical food tour of Santa Fe that corresponds to her award-winning Maverick Cookbook, and she’s launching the first one May 5. The tour, offered through the Santa Fe School of Cooking, starts with a hearty snack at the school and then wanders downtown through museums, hotels, restaurants and other points of interest.

I got to tag along for a recent dry run of the tour, and it was a hoot to hear some Santa Fe history I didn’t know. Cline is a charming and knowledgeable guide. One highlight was a stop at La Fonda Hotel, where we got a great lesson in how La Fonda fit into the history of the Harvey Houses. I learned a ton of new things about La Fonda. What fun!

The Maverick Cookbook includes recipes and lore tied to a dozen famous New Mexico characters, including Doña Tules, Billy the Kid, Fred Harvey, Gustave Baumann and Georgia O'Keeffe.

The tour ($75 per person) is scheduled for six different dates this summer. It takes about two hours and involves an easy walk of less than two miles. Note: This isn’t necessarily an eating tour, so plan to have lunch before or after. For more information, call 983-4511 or go to the Santa Fe School of Cooking website.

Grand Canyon ... of Culinary Despair

Thanks for all of the great suggestions for where to eat en route to the Grand Canyon! You people get around. I got recommendations for pizza at Fat Olives and Pizzicletta, Latin fusion at Criollo, and burgers at Diablo Burger, along with many other ideas for eats and drinks. We ended up at Tinderbox Kitchen, because it was a short walk from the Monte Vista Hotel (where we stayed) and because it had pork belly on the menu. It turned out that the pork, while crispy on the outside and delightfully moist inside, was overshadowed by a starter of fried cauliflower tossed in curry powder and served with bright pickled onions and sriracha mayo. My dude generally refuses to eat cauliflower, and this time I didn’t even try to persuade him to try. I wanted it all for myself.

Still, later we wondered if the meal had been worth the $100 we paid (including tip). Look, I love spending money on food—I once paid $600 for dinner for two at Joel Robuchon in Vegas, and I’d sell my plasma to do it again. Maybe it takes more to wow me these days. Maybe I should have taken you guys up on your pizza recommendations.

I wish I had something good to report about dining in Grand Canyon National Park, but as usual the in-park fare was meh. We had an overpriced and underwhelming steak dinner in the restaurant at historic El Tovar Hotel (another $100) and several mediocre lunches elsewhere. If you’re heading to a national park this summer, my best advice is this: Bring your own booze and snacks, then spend as little as possible for the least ambitious food you can find. And keep your expectations low.

I also learned it is possible to make something vaguely drinkable in one of those cheap Keurig coffee makers: fill the water reservoir about one-third and then process a pod; repeat three times, each with a fresh pod. It doesn’t taste like what I call real coffee (can’t see a shiny spoon past the tarry surface), but it’s enough to get you out the door.

Got news, tips or suggestions for The Fork? We want to hear from you. No tidbit is too small and no bombshell too big. Email

Morning Word: Ozone Pollution Earns Five Counties Failing Grades

Morning WordThursday, April 28, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Counties Earn Failing Marks for Ozone
A new report by the American Lung Association shows that San Juan, Eddy, Bernalillo, Doña Ana and Valencia counties scored failing grades for ground-level ozone pollution. Clean air advocates blame the problem on the oil and gas industry and want regulators to do a better job limiting the industry’s pollution to protect residents from serious health impacts. Santa Fe County earned a B grade.

Proposed Wilderness Areas Spark Controversy
New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn doesn’t want to lose royalties from timber and other minerals rights on 1,280 acres of state trust land that could get gobbled up by the feds if the Energy Policy Modernization Act, supported by US Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, is passed. The amended bill would create two wilderness areas in Northern New Mexico. 

High-Stakes Legal Arguments
The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering whether farm and ranch workers should be covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Right now, they are not.

In the Bag
The New Mexican reports that only a little more than $92,000 has been collected by the City of Santa Fe since retailers were banned from using plastic bags eight months ago and required to collect a 10-cent fee for each paper bag used.
The goal of the program implemented last year was to reduce the use of plastic bags that inevitably end up littering the landscape and to encourage the use of reusable bags. The revenues are targeted for a public education campaign in conjunction with the new curbside recycling program and to purchase another 10,000 reusable bags. 
Talkin’ Politics
Gary Johnson, Diane Denish and state Sens. Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Sue Wilson Beffort got a chance to talk about this year’s presidential campaign with national radio host Amy Goodman on Wednesday. Matt Reichbach has the recap here. Andy Lyman reports on what Johnson told Goodman about his choice to switch parties and run as a Libertarian.

Bernie Retools; Cruz Picks Fiorina
Meanwhile, after losing five eastern state primaries on Tuesday, Ted Cruz picked Carly Fiorina as his running mate if he can manage to block Donald Trump’s nomination at the Republican convention in Cleveland later this summer. Democrat Bernie Sanders, who only won Rhode Island’s primary on Tuesday, has decided to cut hundreds of campaign staffers’ jobs.
Fewer PARCC Test Opt-Outs 
“The number of parents who have chosen to opt their students out of standardized testing at Las Cruces Public Schools has fallen by approximately 90 percent compared with last year,” according to school officials.

Inside UNM Basketball
So it turns out the UNM men’s basketball coach Craig Neal didn’t really want his son Cullen to transfer after receiving criticisms from Lobo fans. But the younger Neal is headed to Ole Miss in the fall.

Happy Birthday
Here’s a little useless trivia: The New Mexico Lottery turned 20 years old Wednesday. Do you know the highest lottery payout in the state’s history? KRQE has the answer here.

Gathering of Nations
We saved the best for last. The 33rd Gathering of Nations starts today in Albuquerque when 2,000 dancers make their grand entrance into Wise Pie Arena. The chamber of commerce thinks the big event will boost the city’s economy by about $20 million.

Cannabis out of Court

Open records advocates withdraw lawsuit in the wake of the state agreeing to lift secrecy surrounding cannabis producers

Local NewsWednesday, April 27, 2016 by Cybele Mayes-Osterman

Now that the New Mexico Department of Health has changed its rules that formerly kept the names of licensed medical marijuana producers secret, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and journalist Peter St. Cyr have dropped a pending lawsuit. 

The lawsuit filed last summer in state district court in Albuquerque argued that the health department violated the NM Inspection of Public Records Act. The plaintiffs sought to force the state to release names, phone numbers and addresses of those currently in possession of, or applying for, medical marijuana production licenses.

“We appreciate the department’s willingness to rethink and revamp its original confidentiality rules, which we’ve long believed were contrary to IPRA and incompatible with the Compassionate Use Act,” Charles “Kip” Purcell, an Albuquerque attorney representing the plaintiffs, said in a press release. 

The Foundation for Open Government, a nonprofit devoted to making government policies more accessible to the public, and St. Cyr began their attempt to make information about the marijuana growers public when the licenses were first issued in 2009, shortly after the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Law was passed, allowing people with certain medical conditions to buy from state-licensed producers.

St. Cyr has reported frequently on New Mexico’s medical marijuana program. He said he is interested in the public's right to information.

“There is no reason for health regulators to shield the names of medical cannabis growers and sellers,” St. Cyr said in an interview shortly after the suit was filed. Patients, he added, “want to know if the folks who want to make a living selling pot actually have horticultural experience or if they're just out to make money.”

Although the names of patients with licenses to use medical cannabis remain restricted from public view, St. Cyr said he remains hopeful that his lawsuit will encourage other agencies to release more information. 

“Now, I hope other agencies will see the writing on the wall and stop using their own administrative code to exempt themselves from our state’s open record laws,” he said. 


Morning Word: Medicaid Payment Cuts Planned

Morning WordWednesday, April 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Medicaid Payment Cuts
In an effort to save $33.5 million, Dan Boyd reports, the Human Services Department plans to cut Medicaid payments to medical providers in New Mexico, including an 8 percent cut for inpatient services at University of New Mexico Hospital.

Money Set Aside for Lawsuits
Steven Hsieh reports, “A pricey water project serving Santa Fe city and county is about to get more expensive.”
The intergovernmental board overseeing the Buckman Direct Diversion treatment plant has set aside $1 million in funds for a lawsuit it might file over structural flaws in the system, which diverts and treats water from the Rio Grande and provides the majority of the county’s supply.
Intel Job Cuts
Some 215 jobs appear to be on the line at Intel’s Rio Rancho plant, after all.

Political Fallout
The layoffs and economic development woes around the state are already becoming an issue during this year’s election cycle. Joe Monahan has analysis.

Griego Judge Picked
New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels has picked District Judge Brett Loveless, a former prosecutor appointed to the bench in Albuquerque by Gov. Susana Martinez, to preside over former state Senator Phil Griego’s criminal case.
A judge from outside Santa Fe was necessary to preside over the Griego case because all nine judges in the 1st Judicial District had been removed from it, either because they stepped aside or, in one case, were bumped off by Griego’s attorney.
Corrections Department Reorganization
A former television reporter’s appointment to a six-figure job as deputy secretary of administration at the New Mexico Corrections Department has some union members shaking their heads. Members say that with staffing shortages inside prison facilities and mandatory overtime, more guard jobs should be filled.

Clinton Names State Director
Democrat political operative Scott Forrester has been tapped to be state director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in New Mexico.

New Testing Regulations
New Mexico racehorses may face more drug testing if state regulators get their way. The penalty for a positive test could include a suspension of up to 120 days. The horse’s trainer would also face fines up to $1,500.

Bless Me, Ultima to Become Opera
Fans of Rudolfo Anaya’s books are stoked after learning the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Opera Southwest have commissioned composer Hector Armienta to turn Bless Me, Ultima into an opera.

SFR’s 2016 Poetry Issue

Spring Poetry Search

FeaturesWednesday, April 27, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

“Everyone is a poet,” says Hakim Bellamy. “What is cool about poetry is that it is like the most accessible artform, I believe. It doesn’t take a lot—a high threshold of cost or education or anything like that to get in. It is not like learning the piano. Most people do it. And most people have done it.”

Bellamy knows what he’s talking about. He’s a celebrated New Mexico poet who teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and served as the inaugural poet laureate for the city of Albuquerque.

“We all get turned off by the word ‘poet,’ typically because most of us don’t understand it, because we feel like we don’t get it. That is something that we do in school: We make you believe there is a right answer and a wrong answer to experiencing poetry, and it is the same thing we do to people with visual art. Somehow you need a degree to appreciate a Van Gogh,” he tells SFR. “And you don’t. You can just stand there. You can walk in a gallery and stand in front of it and say, ‘It makes me feel that way.’ … We believe in American culture that unless I know what it is, what is it, I can’t enjoy it. It can be a visceral experience.”


by Hakim Bellamy

In the center of this chest, is a solar system
hovering above an empty plexus, because
someone left the light on. When the stardust
in these veins burn out, that Blackhole will find
his way home and thank me for naming him
after a wish. Terrified by the sound of his own vacuum,
and everything else I left behind. Cursing me,
beneath his beating breath, for all this space to fill
and the unnecessary dying of the light.

And that’s why as he sat down to judge the more than 100 entries in SFR’s Spring Poetry Search, Bellamy looked for unique works that reveal interesting thoughts and feelings.

He applies the same approach to his own work, which often crosses into the realm of political commentary. While sometimes his process is about one heave that produces a piece in a single sitting, Bellamy says he often works out the right phrases in a poem as he’s performing, and he typically doesn’t settle on a somewhat final version of a performance piece until years after he writes it. And sometimes he waits to write it. He says he wants to bring something new to the conversation rather than being an echo chamber. While his 2013 book Swear opened with a poem that touched on the national politics of the prior years, and he says he’s a proud “card-carrying, flag-waving, flaming political poet,” he’s yet to publish anything about the current presidential race.

“I think I am still trying to figure out,” he says. “I definitely have my opinions about the candidates that are still in. And I’m like, What do I want to do with that? Some of that is a wait-and-see. Some of it is like, I don’t want to write a Ted Cruz poem and he’s not going to be here in a couple months. … I think when I was younger, I wrote a lot of knee-jerk poems, but in my old age, I do sit with things a little longer. Frankly, that first idea is usually not my best idea. I do want to write about that, but maybe I want to chew on it a little bit more.”

In the meantime, from that ripe old age of 37, he says he hopes the poets he selected for this issue feel encouraged to keep writing. He’s also putting in a plug for Santa Fe to restore its poet laureate program, which officials put on pause after eight years in 2014, when Jon Davis wrapped up his term. Bellamy says having a poet at civic events puts poetry before the people and is valuable for the community.

“It’s important. Because poetry helps us be compassionate. Poetry helps us be kinder to one another,” he says. “I think there are actual tangible outcomes of poetry, not just the poem for the author or aesthetic for the listener.”

So get compassionate. Find your heart. Read the winning poems, and watch for next year’s contest.

-Julie Ann Grimm


Grand Prize-Winning Poem

From Knotted Rope
by Robyn Hunt

Mississippi river, corn, clotheslines; then, dry arroyos.
Parents traveled highways named after cowboys, paying tolls.
Cadillacs on the horizon buried nose down in the ground with
tiny fins in the air. We were tykes then in the back
seat playing I spy, picking license plates
from all these United States.

Snake routes of uprooting, mistakes not really errors just
changes on the dance floor as young mother and father outgrow their
hometowns, that high dive of high school, and generations of expectations.
Newly attracted to the scent of loose tobacco.
A corner booth for whiskey neat or the shimmy

of an exotic girl in go-go boots. Divorce inevitable.
Then, seven more siblings strike, strung like fish on a line in a new marriage,
home team for talent shows. Backyard valley heat. What
will we inherit? I muster an occasional hankering for
heady smoke and drink. One sister sings
a capella as another swims all the way underwater, holding her breath.

We inhabit our outgrown rooms. Barbie dolls with small,
stiff shoes. War always somewhere else, across the water,
on the other side of the street.

Robyn Hunt works as a development and communications director for Las Cumbres Community Services. Her collection, The Shape of Caught Water, was released in 2013 by Red Mountain Press.


Calming the Wilderness
by Annemarie Marek

I answer the phone.

My mom, lost in the wilderness of her memories.

She has two homes, she says. But she can’t find him in either.

My dad, dead last winter. Cremated and buried.

A military salute in a small Texas town for a small town boy, now man, now gone.

My mother forgets. “I can’t find him,” she says. “Do you know where he is?”

I peer through the picture window of my high desert home.

A bluebird finds the worm, fresh from the cold rainy day.

Another builds its nest, racing from tree to ground to adobe wall.

On my office wall, framed in monotones, a photo of my dad and me, all smiles.

“Mom, you know where he is,” I say.

Then, suddenly, a bird hits the window. HARD. I look outside.

He lays there on the ground, neck thrust back.

I find a small cloth to wrap and rescue him from a lonely death.

She asks again, “Do you know where he is?”

The bird, his heart beating wildly in my hand, then calm, then still.

Here in the high desert, under the juniper, I lay him to rest and see the new growth.

Wilderness in motion as spring restarts everything.

The rain leaves a strong, fresh, clean scent.

Soon the fledglings will emerge from their nests, taking first flight.

New life can be scary, even from heights of six feet.

“With the angels,” I answer.

“I think he’s out playing with the angels.”

Annemarie Marek was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up exploring the outdoors. She loves the open road and the American West for its wildness and wilderness.


And that’s why I call you ten times at midnight
by Marina Woollven

He carries the stars in his eyes.

There is no brave Hercules in the night now. No Milky Way, or Orion’s belt, the one constellation I could trace in the sky. Just blackness and a cold, swollen moon.

They just fell in one night, when he was standing outside because the country air was warm and he always felt inside was too cold. As he stared up they dropped; one by one, fat sparkling stars that cracked through the atmosphere, crash landing into him, sunk into the corneas of his eyes. He didn’t even blink.

The universe is always expanding. Every day, his eyes look a little bigger, plump and wet and full. The stars weren’t meant for our world, we grounded organic creatures. One day, they will become too much for him, or we will become too much for them, and I think they might burst back into their sky, or they will collapse— how, exactly, are worlds destroyed?

The stars rest inside, still just as bright, floating, swirling, so when you’re with him, the galaxy is looking back. This is the first time stars have been made to gaze at us, the way we gaze at them. They shudder.

I call him up at night. “Let me look at you.”

Marina Woollven is a small poet about to graduate from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Originally from San Antonio, she misses humidity but hopes to find UFOs while she stays in New Mexico.

Along Bear Wallow
by Basia Miller

The children ran ahead, the big ones first,

then short-legged stragglers. Alone you

followed ruts on old switchbacks

under columbine-blue sky,

a dreamy early-summer day.

There’s the laughter floating up now,

leaves opening slowly.

The glade is filled with Jacob’s Ladders,

Indian paintbrush, marsh-marigolds,

trillium, yellow asters.

You caress fragile calyxes and gaze

at petal-shapes like pixie glances.

Your old eyes have dimmed since then—you can see just as well.

Basia Miller is a Santa Fean who began to explore creative writing at age 75. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Sin Fronteras, Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and other journals.

finding one in another
by Melanie Faithful

my grandfather’s tattoo
a bare chested hula dancer
covered his entire forearm

for my enjoyment
he would flex and relax, flex and relax
to make her dance

he hoboed and hopped trains
joined the cavalry
tamed horses in montana

went home to the mountains
mined coal
until he found jesus

he preached the fire and brimstone
baptized his saved in the river
and always wore long sleeves

my son’s tattoos
a cobbled collection of symbols
and his own initials

he took off at 18
free and alone
feeling his way

living everywhere and nowhere
speaking spanish
so he could sell more cell phones

went back to school
found a path
rejected a jesus

he’s lived the fire and brimstone
drowned his past in the river
and never wears long sleeves

Melanie Faithful says the mountains of Santa Fe connect her to family roots in Tennessee. She’g got lots of kids and cats, a job that keeps her on the road and a partner that keeps her grounded.


Grand Prize-Winning Haiku

in the arroyo

wind blows the husband’s ashes

underneath the snow

by Mary McGinnis


Morning on the porch

Horses flee the burning barn—

Can’t stop the divorce

by Cynthia Lukas


Dreams have no mistakes

Playground with no swings or trees

Mourning light ascends

by Michael Harkavy


at death our flesh turns

into words those who love us

whisper to themselves

by Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus


Creek music at dusk

Heron alights upon rock

patiently waiting.

by Dianne Weaver


If Zozobra fights

Godzilla, lizard loses

The gloom conquers all

by Old Man Gloom

Ever Wonder Why ?
I find myself staring out
Ever Wonder When ?

Melissa Brown

I whistled to you.
But you didn’t turn your head.Towhee!
Don’t be rude!

Victoria Hudimac,

Flashes of water
splash over mossy boulders
the way has no name.

 John Feins

experience comes
from practice, not planning it
 let "try" be your guide

Michael Ray

the milk and honey
flow more slowly when blessings
fail to be counted

Diane Vuletich

Santa Fe depot
‘neath a solid black-flint sky
sparks from the 8:12

Michael Gravel

free melancholy
for those who feel without end
all rivers undammed

Diane Castiglioni

Macho Motor Man
Shifts into gear on a dime
Don’t it just feel good?

Diane Chase

Cycling next to me
 at the gym, the old man shrugs,
“We’re just buying time.”

Cynthia West

If Zozobra fights
Godzilla, lizard loses
The gloom conquers all

Old Man Gloom

A split chrysalis.
Dead, bloated moth
you were too eager

Franco Romero

toothbrushes mingle
in the clam shell on the sink
we are a couple

Mark Fleisher

White grocery bag
Discarded trash on roadsides
Dust devil lift, ride

Naomi Christine Gurulé/Gonzales

it’s time to wake up
 --the cold wet snow is drifting
filling my loose boots

Lyman Ditson

Spring is in the air
Trees budding tulips peeking
Is that a snowflake?

RW Jones




MetroGlyphsWednesday, April 27, 2016 by SFR
Russ Thornton is a Santa Fe local who has replaced his first passion, cooking, with a new love interest, the weekly SFR comic he's created called MetroGlyphs. Reach him at

Hail to the King

Oh yeah, movies have actual stories sometimes

YayTuesday, April 26, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Tom Hanks is almost always at his best when he plays the everyman thrust into extraordinary circumstances. He’s America’s sweetheart, and while the man has proven his chops in dozens of memorable films over the years, he always excels in roles that utilize a simple and understated charm that almost allows us to feel like he’s a buddy of ours. In A Hologram for the King, Hanks plays Alan Clay, an aging businessman with a recent messy divorce under his belt, a strained relationship with his daughter and a poor decision that led to the accidental destruction of Schwinn Bicycles still fresh in his mind. Clay travels to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pitch holographic technology to the king himself and must navigate a baffling labyrinth of culture clash, gender issues and severe panic attacks that practically hobble him. In the process of trying to do his job, Clay seeks a fresh start and a sort of redemption with the help of the goofy yet memorable driver-for-hire Yousef (newcomer Alexander Black), a comely Danish diplomat (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and a beautiful female doctor (Sarita Choudhury of The Hunger Games) also in the midst of a divorce.

Based on the 2013 Dave Eggers novel of the same name, Hologram seems on the surface to be simple to the point of lacking depth, and for those who might misinterpret subtlety or prefer their films to lay out stories plainly, that could definitely be a problem. Glaring issues such as the archaic role of women in modern Middle Eastern society or the systematic hollowing of the American economy at the hands of outsourcing are briefly explored, but anytime anything begins to approach too heavy or serious, we pop to a new scene wherein Hanks’ character comically falls off a chair or the differences in culture create silly little misunderstandings. This doesn’t mean that Clay’s struggles to be heard by the Saudis don’t come with tense moments of confusion, rather that the film knows what it is and doesn’t strive for too deep.

Underneath it all, this is a comedy; however, a solid script from German writer/director Tom Tykwer (1998’s brilliant Run Lola Run) showcases an important-yet-sometimes-forgotten concept in modern film: the character-driven story. Major differences between American and Saudi cultures are handled with sensitivity and brevity so as to establish they certainly exist, and yet they aren’t pivotal elements to the story itself.

Hologram is a story about transformation, a fable whose moral comes down to how it’s never too late to be better, to try harder, to change, to fall in love or to seek forgiveness from oneself. We root for Clay not only because he is the underdog, but also because his fish-out-of-water attempts to do his job and to do right by his family and himself are relatable and endearing. Hanks deftly walks the line between capable businessman and confused foreigner, his charm a mix of old-school hospitality and hand-shakery, but also sincerity; he is struggling in his life but is still the good guy. Choudhury’s gruff exterior operates in sublime counter-balance to Hanks’ almost-too-nice-guy tendencies, and more vulnerable moments wherein she is allowed to let out her feminine side prove an alarming reminder of how difficult it must be to be taken seriously as a woman in that part of the world.

Hologram recalls the importance of story in cinema, an important accomplishment in our current filmic era of real-life people playing support roles to superheroes and CGI. It is a story of people, people we feel we might even know, and one of the more beautiful story experiences, medium irrelevant, in recent memory.

A Hologram for the King

Directed by Tom Tykwer With Hanks, Black, Knudsen and Choudhury Violet Crown R 98 min.

Talking Cats

Only in France

YayWednesday, April 27, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Hand-drawn animated features are a rarity is this day and age. Having one shipped over from Europe that has any kind of resonance is even rarer (the last one that this critic can recall personally was The Triplets of Belleville). More’s the pity, because if the aforementioned film and April and the Extraordinary World are any indication, they’re making some pretty awesome animated features over there.

The year is 1941, and the world is still trapped in the age of steam and Victorian-era imperialism, following the mysterious disappearances of well-known scientists since the late 19th century. Every surface is caked with soot. The more affluent wear gas masks to protect them against the poor air quality, and so do their dogs. Society (at least in France) is positively Orwellian. The scientists who haven’t mysteriously vanished are pressed into service at the behest of the government, headed by the descendants of Napoleon. Constant conflict plagues the Earth, and internecine war over trees and coal consumes the land. April lives in this dystopian nightmare with her talking cat (who’s been mutated due to experiments; her mysteriously missing parents are also scientists). She seeks something called “the ultimate serum” to save the life of her cat, who’s dying because he’s old, for a cat. The serum is discovered, and with the man on her trail, April goes on the lam from both government forces and other strange, more sinister antagonists.

The plot takes on decidedly mature subject matters at times, and we’re better for it. Death and destruction aren’t shied away from, but they are not used recklessly. Every moment of action and excitement has a purpose and a cause. At the same time, the bizarre art direction (undoubtedly taken from the graphic novel the film was adapted from) has that whimsical French influence in such aspects as a mechanical spider-walking mansion, or the character of the bumbling police inspector with an intensely inexplicable hatred for April and her parents. All in all, it serves to soften the hard edges of such a depressing subject matter.

For a cartoon, this film hits on all points. It may be difficult to follow some of the plot points due to illogical (for the world the story takes place in, that is) jumps between scenes. But hey, there are animals wearing power armor and shooting laser guns. In that case, logic isn’t as important as good story. April and the Extraordinary World has that in spades. 

April and the Extraordinary World
PG, subtitled,
105 min.

Savage Love

The One-Night Stand

Savage LoveWednesday, April 27, 2016 by Dan Savage

I am a trans man and I have no love life. But I did just hook up with a friend two nights ago. It was the first time I’ve had sex in more than a year. My problem is that it was a “one-time thing.” I was hoping to be FWB at least. I’m furious with myself for giving that away for what amounted to a hookup, and thoroughly sorry for myself for it being a “one-time thing,” because it nearly always is. I feel thoroughly unlovable and dejected right now. I was raised a Boston Irish Catholic, and I have PTSD from my parents being difficult. In a backward way, I hope the issue for others is tied to the fallout from my upbringing—because that’s something everyone has problems with, and those things, while not entirely fixable, are manageable and not so visible. I worry it’s not that, though. I worry my being trans is the first problem a potential partner sees. I am a man with a twat—a forlorn, underused twat at that.

-Not Often Picked, Everyone Not Interested Sexually

Buck Angel is a public speaker, a filmmaker, an activist, and a trans man, NOPENIS, who famously and fearlessly bills himself as “the man with a pussy.” I passed your letter on to him because who better to answer a question from a man with a twat than the man with a pussy?

“Anyone who hasn’t had sex in more than a year is going to find it scary to get back out there and start again,” said Buck. “And starting again with a body that you might not be 100 percent comfortable with yet? That’s even scarier. The first thing that NOPENIS needs to hear—and really believe—is that he is lovable. And he is, even if he doesn’t know it yet.”

The second order of business: You gotta stop beating yourself up over that one-night stand. Take it from Buck, your fellow trans man, and take it from me, your fellow Irish Catholic queer: You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t give anything away—hell, you were doing something right.

“Hookups can be important for understanding your body sexually,” said Buck. “So NOPENIS shouldn’t be mad at himself. We learn and grow from our experiences, even if they’re bad ones. And here’s what I learned from my first experiences in the gay men’s world of sex: Hookups are the way it’s done. I was not prepared for that because I’d had sex only with women before my transition. That was hard for me, too, at first. But what I learned was that I wasn’t being rejected, even if it was only a one-night thing. I was being accepted in a way I wasn’t used to.”

Finally, NOPENIS, you’ve got to stop seeing your body and your twat as problems. It’s the only body you’ll ever have, and it’s a body some will find attractive and some won’t. Some guys will be attracted to your body (and you, ideally) for its differences—not attracted to your body (ditto) despite its differences.

“NOPENIS absolutely shouldn’t count himself out just because he’s trans,” said Buck. “The world is different now, and many people are attracted to trans men sexually. He just needs to learn to love himself and to have sexual confidence, because people find that attractive. And he should continue to experiment and continue to embrace new experiences!”

For more Buck, go to And you can—and should—follow Buck on Twitter @BuckAngel.

I have a friend who is getting married. She’s cheated on every guy she’s been wi th, including her last three husbands. This will be her fourth marriage. I’m sure she’s fed the new guy a million reasons why her first three marriages didn’t work out. She’s obviously a sex fiend, but she’s not kinky. And here’s the punch line: I found her fiancé’s profile on Fetlife, and he has some hardcore fetishes—even by my standards! I’m sure his kinks are going unexplored within their relationship/engagement and that they will go unexplored once they’re married, as my friend has been horrified during discussions of my attendance at BDSM events. I know your rule is generally to “stay the fuck out of it,” but I have a rule that goes like this: “I would like to know that the person I’m dating is a serial cheater who’s probably after me for my money.” So do I warn the guy?

-Fucked Regarding Imperiling Ensuing Nuptials, Dan

Mind your own business, FRIEND, and do so with a clear conscience—because these two sound perfect for each other. He’s on Fetlife looking for someone to diaper him, and she’s probably cheating on him already. If your friend is still a dishonest, lying, heartbreaking cheat—if she’s still making monogamous commitments she cannot keep—why stop her from marrying a man who is already cheating on her or is likely to cheat on her shortly after the wedding? To gently paraphrase William Shakespeare: “Let thee not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”

Watching these two walk down the aisle will be like watching two drunk drivers speed around a closed racetrack. Maybe they’ll crash, maybe they won’t; maybe they’ll die in a fire, maybe they’ll get out alive. But so long as no one else is gonna get hurt, why risk your own neck trying to pull these fuckers over?

My father is a friendly, kind, all-around good guy. We get along well and always have. But I now have to avoid all political discussions with him. He was always a bit socially conservative, but now he gets a lot of batshit crazy and simply dumb ideas from the scourge of our nation today: Fox News. How can we stop the dumbing down of our society by Fox News, Dan? We have to do something about this malady!


“Anonymous is right—Fox News is a malady, one that I’ve often joked is worse than Ebola,” said the documentary filmmaker Jen Senko. “It destroys families and has torn apart the country. That’s pretty powerful.”

Here’s what Senko did about it: She made The Brainwashing of My Dad, a terrific documentary exploring how Fox News and other right-wing media turned her mild-mannered, nonpolitical father into ranting, raving, right-wing fanatic.

“We need to stigmatize ‘Faux News,’” said Senko. “I make it a point when I walk into a restaurant or some other public place and they have on Faux News of politely asking them to turn it off. I write to news outlets when they try to emulate Fox and complain.”

But how do you get your own dad to turn off Fox News?

“Speaking to loved ones is important but it’s difficult,” said Senko. “You have to approach them in a calm way, starting the conversation on neutral ground. Sometimes just getting them out of the house and away from the TV helps. There is a group called Hear Yourself Think ( that focuses on deprogramming Fox News viewers. You will find plenty of advice there. But if you can sit down with your loved one and tell them you are concerned about their anger and their worry and you feel that Fox News is helping to generate that, it can be a conversation opener. You can also get them to try to watch our movie!”

Go to and watch the trailer to learn more about Senko’s terrific film. And you can—and you should—follow Senko on Twitter @Jen_Senko.

On the Lovecast, a cavalcade of sex-toy questions:
@fakedansavage on Twitter
Bathroom Talk

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