Monday, February 27, 2017

Today, this poem

Today I was reading through The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems, by Kim Stafford, again.

This poem, today, yes. The children.

Champion the Enemy's Need
by Kim Stafford

Ask about your enemy’s wounds and scars.
Seek his hidden cause of trouble.
Feed your enemy’s children.
Learn their word for home.
Repair their well.
Learn their sorrow's history.
Trace their lineage of the good.
Ask them for a song.
Make tea. Break bread.

photo from Guifford County Partnership for Children

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Burnt Tongue 19

I will be reading at this event on Saturday, February 25th. I am so excited and grateful to be invited to read at Burnt Tongue 19. Crush Bar here in Portland at 4:00. Some early for any hope of getting a seat.

I know what I'm reading but I don't know what I'm wearing.

And I finished editing the two pieces for the anthology today. And submitted them.

Writing is definitely going well right now. Which is good.

The WH continues the destruction of our country, and it was blatantly admitted that is the plan, well they said the structure - same thing. Continuing to keep up with what's happening and doing what I can and pushing my comfort zone in that area.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Issue of Privilege

... (spawned from a Facebook exchange and the news and.... )

FRIEND:   "One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago."  [quote from Andrew Sullivan

ME:            I love that quote, too... And believe in it; we should take breaks from what is happening, and care for ourselves, our families, our communities, and do what we love and what restores us. And I also agree with something else in his article - "Here is what we are supposed to do: rebut every single lie. Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups if Spicer tries to duck the plain truth. Do not allow them to move on to another question. Interviews with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists."

ME:               And I also believe a person who assumes they can take just a break at any time has privilege; I'm not calling that wrong, I am saying that we should acknowledge that as a truth. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that some people are unable to take a break because their lives are directly threatened. If we acknowledge that some people have the privilege to be able to step back and take a break, and some others don't, POC for example, then perhaps we can use that knowledge to change the dynamics. If those of us who have the privilege to say I'm going to disconnect from the news and Facebook and anything political for a week would also be willing to help a neighbor or a friend or a local organization who is unable to step back, we can start to change that. Start a dialogue. For example: if a family has immigrant relatives (right now Syrian, Muslim, Hispanic are being targeted, I know you know) then they most likely cannot take a break from what is happening with ICE - that affects every minute of their lives right now. There is another upturn in violence and aggression against POC, many or most of them cannot just take a break from the news, from politics. There have been some recent events related to people with disabilities; those people and their communities are on watch; these times things are moving fast. For those of us in the LGBQTIA community are waiting for the promised destruction of rights we have recently been granted, and aggressions against that community have increased, as well. 

My point is: I believe we should acknowledge there is privilege in being able to just say, "I'm taking a break from anything political." And I believe we should look to our communities and see where there is/might be need of support for those who don't have that privilege, ask what we can do to help give them a breather or a break. I believe there is danger in ignoring that some people do not have the ability to take a break and I believe in the break.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fatigue and Recovery

I noticed last night that everything I was writing, or starting to write or comment, about things I was seeing on Facebook related to the WH was sarcastic. Not funny, not humor, but pure sarcasm.
I know! Sarcasm can be good, but it isn’t always. What I was noticing was that defeated sarcastic. The what the fuck is the point, what the hell are they doing now, will do next feeling of uselessness and/or ineffectiveness.
So I stopped posting anything. Well, I stopped posting any of the news, and of the crying in my coffee stuff. I did find a few positive articles and stories and shared those. Those are good, too.
But my defeatism still existed.
It was still there when I got up today. So today I vowed to myself to keep (mostly) off of FB and the news for a little while. A few hours or probably until after the show tonight. Because I am feeling a rage exhaustion. We have been promised there is something coming about the Queer community. I want to be able to face that with my full rage, without exhaustion and without defeat. This all affects all of us and the people in our neighborhoods, country, the world, I know. I know. And all of that is personal. And this one will be extra special personal to me (see that note of not-funny sarcasm, still there; damn).
I want to take this one on full face frontal. Like I did when I made my call to Homeland Security today urging them to NOT confirm Bannon, who is not representative of the people and the values of the United States of America (that was probably the most nerve wracking call to a machine I’ve ever made).
But coming for the Queers is coming for me. I am already there for the other people who have been targeted and the outrage and the horrors being caused by the man who claimed the title. And this one is me and my direct community and if it is as bad as some have said, that it is as bad as the possibility of a person being thrown in jail/prison just for beeing queer – I want my full rage and power restored.
So I’m mostly avoiding the news for several hours.
This is where I am……
a stressed, exhausted owl I found online (from
This is where I want to be before I jump back into the circle of action….
Tim Roth as Dr Cal Lightman, in Lie to Me

And I just signed up for the #CorporealWriting offering "Writing About Class in America: A May Day Workshop " in April. Participants raved about the last session of this workshop and I'm glad it's being offered again. One star for me today. See? I am coming out from the funk. A few more hours and I'll be ready to jump back in. 

Thank you for keeping vigil while I regain my breath.