CSUC Grad Awaits ICE Decision

Victor Escobar

photo courtesy of Victor Escobar

by Leslie Layton
Dec. 1, 2011 update: Escobar said today that his case will be reviewed at some apparently undetermined time, and a Dec. 7 deadline for leaving the country has been lifted.

On May 19, 2009, Victor Escobar completed paperwork for graduation from Chico State and rented the gown that for many years he had dreamt of donning. Then he headed for his family’s home in Redding. read more

Boat Under the Orange Tree Poetry of Place

Under the orange trees,
he turned to me and said,
scratch that, all things are beautiful

could he feel
the kitchen table under my elbows,
the taut muscles of my father’s face
tendons like fists, then ropes
the wince, the rocking motion,
what an ugly thing
war is

fingering the dullness.
leaves of an olive tree,
a skirt that swallows dust,
a lime in a girl’s mouth,
skin stinging under fingernails
in the dives of birds over the orchard,
do I not love the world enough? read more

Charter School Interrupted

by Leslie Layton

Sydney Cambra, who spent her sophomore year at the fledgling Chico Green School, scrambled this week to enroll at another school a week after classes had begun in the Chico Unified School District.

Cambra, who chose Chico High School, was forced to make the switch after CUSD revoked the Green School’s charter and reported it in violation of state law. Representatives at the school subsequently announced it was closing its doors to fall-term students. read more

California Was Never Kansas Poetry of Place

I can’t tell anymore
where this valley ends and where my body begins

driving the length of california
I am shedding potentialities,
rejecting visions,
brushing off hallucinations from my lips and my waist.
not long until
skin ripping
from the contours of the buttes,
from this canyon like a womb

what they don’t know is that
my body
is malleable, transplantable
and what they don’t know is that
my body
absorbed this landscape,
acorn soup and antibodies,
poison oak immunity —
you would think I am native,
you would think I am what you are read more