May 10, 2014

A Few Good [Words] | Excerpts

Words - nomadic in their periphery, parasitic in their delay. 

How far do they have to go before losing sovereign ground (originality) and become absently common?

Black on white, written whispers that shadow walls.

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(and again) below please find a few of my far fetched (weekend-edition) thoughts expressed through others' (two separate instances of) shouting words: 
Context be damned, right?! Devil [Sarcasm ensues...Angel
Well, at least these words can hold their own weight.

1.  A Few Good Men. [my edit]
J: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man! I would rather you just said "thank you", and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
**
2. Raise shit - A poem by Bud Osborn [my edit]

the single weapon we wield

was the word

in our own community
our existence as a distinct community
seems to be drawing to a close
our position may be compared
to a solitary tree in an open space
where all the forest trees around have been prostrated
by a furious tornado”

we have become a community of prophets
rebuking the system
and speaking hope and possibility into situations
of apparent impossibility
and this is what we speak and live
with our words our weapons

our words
like bolts of lightning in a dark night
lighting our way
our words
like tears like rain like cries like hail from our hearts
feeling with each other in our suffering for each other
our words
angry as thunder exploding in the ears of those
who would ignore or dismiss or inflict upon us
what they in their ignorance think is best for us
our words defiant as streetkids in a cop’s face
our words
brilliant and beautiful as the rainbow I saw
spanning our streets
our words
of resistance and comfort and commitment
like mountains
our words
prophetic on behalf of the hard-pressed poor

our words
buttons tshirts fliers inserts newsletters pamphlets
posters spraypaint slogans stickers placards speeches
interviews essays poetry songs letters chalks paints
graffiti

for as one prophet said
“when all is dark the murderer leaves his bed
to kill the poor and oppressed”

our words
to block the murderers’ paths

our words and our presence create
a strange and profound unity
outraged at each other
disappointing each other
misinterpreting each other
reacting against each other
resenting each other
unhealed wounds dividing us
when to be about unity
is to be caught in a crossfire
of conflicting ambitions understandings and perspectives

still our words and presence create
a strange and profound and strong unity
as in memory of
the long hard nerve-wracking battles we’ve fought

besieged and beleaguered
strung-out and dissipated
running on constant low grade burn-out fever
meetings and meetings and meetings
a dozen fronts to fight at the same time
deal with one and a dozen more appear
another dehumanizing media story
a hundred needs crying out all at once
a hundred individuals with emergencies crying for a response
sirens and sirens and sirens
construction noise
automobile mayhem
a disabled population
a poor and ill population
criminalized
up against globalization
pressure cooker emotional atmosphere
excruciating questions and dilemmas
so much happens so fast

how much compromise?
how to organize?
where to fight?

more bodies on the sidewalks and in the alloys and parks
space and places for poor people shrinking
and the ambiguities of advocacy
the rumours
the well-founded paranoias
the political manipulations
exploitations confusions deliberate obfuscations
and seductions of the gentrification system
the backroom deals somewhere else
in office towers and government offices
meetings and more meetings
and yet
beneath the ostensible reason
for attending another goddamned meeting
is that which truly holds us together
holds and has held every real community together
taking on the consequences of a system producing
more wounded
more damaged
more excluded
more refugees
more unemployed and never-to-be-employed

words and courage and love and hope and unity
if only we had
the means for self-determination
instead

sounds familiar literal

and that’s just it
the necessity for heeding
the prophetic blast and rallying cry

raise shit

to raise shit is to actively resist
and we resist with our presence
with our words
with our love
with our courage

we resist
person by person
square foot by square foot
room by room
building by building
block by block

we resist
because we are a community

we are all that stands between our vast community of thousands
and those who would
replace it with greed
the singular leadership we have here
where it is said we lack
a single dynamic individual leader
but we have
the most powerful leader there is
the most effective leader we can have
in this grave situation
our community
our community itself
has emerged as our leader

and it is to our credit that this is so
for it is from our
prophetic courageous conflictual and loving unity
that our community
raises shit
and resists.

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