Achiote Seeds, Fall 2007
with poems by Truong Tran, Francisco X. Alarcón, Victoria-Lola M. Leon Guerrero, and Theresa Sotto
cover art by Carol Aust

from The Book of Lies

this is a chronicle written where english is broken sorted salvaged and
saved for consumption in time it will be adopted as a delicacy please
understand that the metaphor when used here is used out of necessity a
grain of rice before all else is really just that a grain of rice that this goes
against the nature of things striving for clarity looking for an audience
wanting to be heard

-Truong Tran

Truong Tran is the author of within the margin (Apogee Press, 2004), The Book of Perceptions (Kearny Street Workshop, 1999), placing the accents (Apogee Press, 1999), and dust and conscience, (Apogee Press, 2002), which won the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Prize. He also wrote a children's book, Going Home, Coming Home (Children's Book Press, 2003). The selection that appears in this issue is forthcoming in Truong's full-length book titled four letter words.

Francisco X. Alarcón is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press, 2002), Sonetos a la locura y otras penas/Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes (Creative Arts Book Company, 2001), Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books, 1992), and De amor oscuro/Of Dark Love (Moving Parts Press, 1991 and 2001). Children's Book Press has published four of his books of bilingual poetry for children: Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems (1997), From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems (1998), Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems (1999), and Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems (2001). He currently teaches at the University of California, Davis.

Victoria-Lola M. Leon Guerrero (Familian Cha'ka) is very proud to be from the village of Toto and island of Guåhan (Guam). Fueled by love from her family and the stories that were passed on to her, Victoria is writing her first novel and pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Mills College in Oakland. She also works as a media coordinator at the California Reinvestment Coalition in San Francisco, teaches basic composition to a group of freshwomen at Mills, and is actively involved in Guåhan's decolonization movement.

Theresa Sotto lives and works in Santa Monica, CA. Her poems have been published in POOL, No Tell Motel, Spinning Jenny, Coconut, Shampoo, Typo, Word For/Word, ZYZZYVA, and others. A chapbook of her poems is forthcoming in the Coconut Chapbook Series. When not writing, she works as an art educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Carol Aust works in acrylic on canvas and wood panels from her studio in Oakland, California. Her figurative paintings are emotionally-charged narrative fragments infused with mysterious tension and secrecy. She often places her figures in precarious environments where anything could happen. Sometimes celebratory, sometimes lonely and disturbing, her paintings express a wide range of human desire and yearning. Aust's work consistently features strong and vibrant colors along with figures that are both engaging and vulnerable. Through her own private study she has been influenced by artists such as Emil Nolde, Marc Chagall, Kathe Kollwitz, and the German expressionists. Her work is represented in private collections throughout the United States. Visit her online at