“I have not been able to touch the destruction within me. But unless I learn to use the difference between poetry and rhetoric my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire and one day I will take my teenaged plug and connect it to the nearest socket raping an 85 year old white woman who is somebody’s mother and as I best her senseless and set a torch to her bed a greek chorus will be signing in 3/4 time “Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beats they are.”
-Power, Audre Lorde, American poet, 1934-92.
The end has come. Whatcom County in Washington State entered Phase 2 today. In town the neon “OPEN” signs are on. Emotional yo-yo beat down. Took two aspirin and laid flat atop the bed. I’ve been laying down too much these months, yet I needed it again. Everything around me demands it is essential that I get up. A chirping bird outside my window gave a speech, my phone rang twice with instructions. At 4:00 p.m. I listen to the news on my old clock radio, but the man sounded much like the bird in the bush–they won’t shut up. Take a breath, give someone else a chance to speak, I think.
I’m feeling a bit skewed. Disjointed. Unconnected, but not in a way you’d expect after three months of quarantine. You see, outside my window there is order. Inside my TV is a disorder. Walking my neighborhood are masked smiles and friendly nods. Online our nation is shouting and demanding justice. I watch from my desk and in my mind, I am with them. I’m at the fence of the White House demanding Trump resign. In the fog of Netflix and binge-watching–are these riots real? Is this a dark comedy out of control? Can it be touched? I could run with the crowds, get an eyeful of pepper spray, just two hours south of me. Seattle is sweeping up glass. It is nearby if I want it. Feeling thankful for the peacemakers if they are indeed real. Please be real. Please succeed.
Twenty years from now if someone asked you what it was like to live during The Great Pandemic of 2020, what will you tell them? The lockdown is over and I don’t have the words right now. Please call again later, thank you.
Video credit: The brief history of racism within the Minnesota police explained by reporter Rachel Maddow, MSNBC. #GeorgeFloyd
This morning my bedroom is dark. An early morning thunderstorm blocks the sky. It formed over Seattle, traveled 90 miles to reach Bellingham at 9:12. It swipes across our landscape as it continues its path towards the Canadian Rockies. The thunder shakes the earth. The earth needs to be shaken.
A poet friend posted “Say Their Names”, by Seattle poet Mercedes Aristotle Lindholm. It is shared below. I am not very good at talking or writing about atrocious events. My God—I’ve written about the death of my daughter in my book “Fallen”, I’ve written about homelessness, domestic abuse, even freakin’ break up poetry, but this…over and over again, this goddamn two decades of documented abuse…with no reaction by civic leaders–I have no words. Words literately escape me. It’s too much.
I can’t write about trump. I am outraged, gobsmacked, dumbfounded. My ears are assaulted EVERY DAY during this neo-nazi president’s rule AND amazed that the “Teflon Don” isn’t slapped in the head and dragged off to jail. It is not unlike the way police officers, fresh from the kill of unarmed black citizens, escape true justice. How? Why?
I do not like trump’s america. I want a Land Of The Free America, I beg for an All Created Equal America!
I am weak. I can not write. I look to others like Mr. Lindholm.
Please, read his poem out loud:
SAY THEIR NAMES SAY THEIR NAMES SAY THEIR NAMES
I grew up as a black man in the United States.
We used to throw snowballs at cop cars to get them to chase us because we, and the officers were bored. No one was trying to be violent.
Today I would like to do what ever I wanted.
However I fear that I can not.
Some think I am paranoid or overreacting.
Thank G.O.D. my children look white,
however they now both identify as black.
This fear is NOT NEW either.
I am blessed to know my G.O.D.
and to know when to shut up and keep my head down.
I have been arrested and incarcerated many times for no reason with no charges.
Been in cuffs in the back of cop cars starting at the age of 11, more times than I can literally count.
I have had a knee of a cop on my neck 3 times before I was 18.
I have had multiple guns pointed at me dozens of times. I have been taken from my property and stripped and given a RED jumpsuit for standing my ground!
And I am one of the fucking “GOOD GUYS”!!This is why now, I know how deal with cops.
Love and Light!…
peace is still a ways off I guess.