Bio: Gabriel Navar
Gabriel Navar, a California Latino, has always enjoyed making images not only through drawing and painting, but also with words. He has been writing in a sort of ―stream of consciousness‖, ―automatic writing‖ approach for many, many years. It was not until the late 1980s-early 1990s, however, that he started to write seriously and began organizing his writings into notebooks. Furthermore, while an undergraduate at Alameda College, in California, he considered majoring in writing. Through high school and into college, his initial influences were writers that include literary giants such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ray Bradbury. When he was encouraged (by his painting instructor, mentor and long- time friend, Mel Ramos) and decided to pursue visual arts (specifically painting) as a major in college at California State University, Hayward (now known as CSU, East Bay), he continued to pursue writing alongside his painting. He went on earn his MFA at San Jose State University (in California) because he had developed a passion for image-making…. It was a great time! .
To this day, he continues to create poems that inspire his paintings, and vice versa.
So… what ―triggers‖ a poem for him? It could be a great number of things including a random word or memory that ―pops‖ into his mind (and resonates, for one reason or another), images from a dream, thoughts that stay with him after having listened to the latest headlines on CNN or
public radio, or colors that linger in his mind after having experienced them in the morning or evening sky. Navar has had the great privilege of collaborating with Dr. Paul Basler, Professor of Music, University of Florida, Gainesville, on three sets of song movements (involving Navar’s words, music and choral singing) titled Cantos Alegres, Dias Divinos and Embrace Creation. The poem, song and music collaborations have been published and performed internationally for over 10 years.
For mote of Gabriel Navar's poetry
a walk with Carmen
after having completed chores around the house and shutting off the television….
… tired of hearing those news channel talking heads chatter about
Arizona’s then Oklahoma’s then Connecticut’s anti-immigrant rhetoric,
she decides to go for a walk and enjoy the gorgeous gray overcast afternoon…
soft patches of violet-blue slowly poking through like widening eyes in the heavens
reawakening to shower sun-mist…. it’s always majestic
oh yes, what a beautiful Saturday, she thought, walking through sleepy streets,
lawns trimmed, jasmine bushes poked by hummingbirds, blond children chasing one another
while grown-ups gossip amongst themselves, some frowning, some grinning
after having walked for about thirty minutes or so,
she notices screeching sounds emerging from the increasingly darkening sky
now turned into a deafening orange – blinding and hollering…
out of the corner of her eye, a middle-aged, self-entitled man with an unjustified ego
swings a blunt object at a green being….
his thoughts, his words resonate and hardly fade:
"go back to where you came from, alien!"
(© Gabriel Navar 2012)