I’ve started a campaign for printing the OWS Poetry Anthology, the goal is to raise $40,000. You can check out the fundraiser on indiegogo here.
The OWS Poetry Anthology was born the second week of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Assembly. I was so overwhelmed by the diversity and greatness of the poems presented during the first week of the Assembly, that I knew the assembly must be archived. So at the second Poetry Assembly I asked the poets gathered if I could archive it, then I gave out my email, expecting only a few poems to show up in my inbox. The response was overwhelming, and in the weeks that followed, I received a steady stream of poems from people all over the world. It seemed everyone that had been struck by the Occupy Movement had something to say, and an open Poetry Anthology, that was open to all voices and all types of “poetry” seemed like the appropriate way of archiving the inclusive spirit of Occupy Wall Street.
Many names have contributed to the anthology, some of which you may know: the visual artist Molly Crabapple did the cover art and some of the more prominent poets that contributed are Adrienne Rich, Eileen Myles, Ngoma Hill, the Allen Ginsberg Society on behalf of Allen, Wanda Coleman, CA Conrad, Dodie Bellamy, Kevin Killian, Charles Bernstein, Eliot Katz, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lee Ann Brown, Anne Waldman, Puma Pearl, Danny Schechter, Stuart Leonard, Filip Marinovich, Ariana Reines, Frank Sherlock, and many many more…
The money donated to this project will allow for the OWS Poetry Anthology to be printed and given away to a lot of people. The more money the project receives, the more copies we will be able to print. The anthology has been open to anyone to send in poems of any size and definition since early October 2011. It’s over a thousand Microsoft Word pages. It’s probably the lengthiest, most inclusive text the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet produced and its a direct reflection of the SOUL of the movement. On April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan will be hosting the OWS Poetry Anthology community for an afternoon of open readings, where anyone can come and join and read a poem. To mark the occasion, we will be presenting the library with the first book print copy of the anthology for them to have on record. Also the money will go towards shipping and storage fees.
The Anthology is over a thousand pages, it’s a very big book. Originally I was going to ask for $50,000.00 as it’s going to be expensive to print this book and ship it. But in the interest of just getting copies into the world, I figured it was safer to shoot for $30,000.00. However, if the goal is met, and more money comes in, that will mean more copies can be printed. The more copies printed, the more people will be able to own it and the more special collections we will be able to get it into. By the time this project is completed, the NY Public Library and Poet’s House in NYC will already have copies in their collections. I’d like to get this important record into as many public collections as possible.
For the past few months I’ve been trying to persuade publishers to print the book in its entirety but it seems the values of this book do not mesh with the values of a publishing company, as we would like for this book to be given out to people freely and we would prefer not exclude any poets nor poems from its pages. So it seems the only way to keep the book, in all its magick, is to print it ourselves and to bring it to the people ourselves, and to read from its pages ourselves. This book is a radical departure from the traditional structure of the “anthology”, most anthologies are very selective, while this collection seeks to welcome all forms of poetry and engages in experiments like placing a famous poets poet next to a never before heard poet. What happens when you don’t exclude an idea and you let everyone encounter the idea? What happens when you print thousands of copies of a book of poetry and GIVE IT AWAY FREE?!
The poems that have comprised this anthology are poems from the soul, poems demanding a new world, poems begging that the recession end, poems from hysterical and starving peers, even poems from the 1% ready to argue against Occupy Wall Street, there are poems from the world over that is standing up virtually naked at the feet of a corporate beast, a war of David versus Goliath scope, and the people that have assembled and added to the OWS Anthology are ready to speak out against the atrocities destroying our Earth, fight back and create a future that can beget a future.
I read from and spoke about the Anthology on WBAI a little while back, you can listen to that program here. The Anthology has received a lot of press, from independent press to the Nation to the Wall Street Journal. So if you’re interested and unfamiliar with this project, search around the internet and you will find a lot of information about what we’ve been doing! Thank you!
I posted about my afternoon at the 6th month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street yesterday, over at the Peoples Library wordpress site. I had work to do yesterday evening, so I wasn’t around last night for the brutal assault by NYPD on peaceful demonstrators late at night. They always enact their horrific terrors late at night, because that’s the only time they feel empowered enough to throw a girl to the ground, and then when she starts to shake uncontrollably due to a seizure, stand around doing nothing. At one point in the video, a demonstrator yells something along the lines of, “NYPD you’re the most useless people in society…” I agree….
Please help spread this video around, and all the others like it, the countless others, there’s waaaaaay too many videos like this popping up… NYPD, if you’re reading this, please stop enacting violence and go do something useful, and no Homeland Security, there’s no reason for you to be surveying me… Please for once, put our tax dollars to a useful end. I’m HUNGRY!!!!!!
On a more serious note, it’s truly important everyone knows that everyone knows what is happening to the people standing up for social justice and economic equality.
Now I’ll leave you with something positive, I found solace in Malcolm X’s last speech. Somehow, his speech kneaded my anger into something else, something that will hopefully turn beautiful… any minute now………….
This piece stems from a conversation I had with my cousin about his time in the Middle East. I wrote this as a way of coping with the information he gave me. And I wrote it to read at Dixon Place, March 12th, when I read with Rami Shamir. The morning of March 12th, news headlines broke the story about the lone soldier that had gone and assassinated 16 innocent Afghanistan civilians. The civilians were living within a mile of a U.S. Military Base, believing the U.S. Military was there to keep them safe. Nine of the victims were children. The soldier shot many point blank in the head and then set their bodies on fire. For them, I write this and continually mourn. And I write this for my cousin, rest your young and weary bones and look to the light, I love you.
I would like for the world to join and help me carry a burden.
A grave and dark secret I would like not to be a secret
It’s a burden we all share for we are all here and we should all be aware that there are great atrocities happening.
And I don’t have the answers but I would like for you to understand that I have a cousin that I grew up with, when we were children he would come and stay with my family and we loved him like he was a part of our nuclear family. And he grew up poor and he grew up fast and his father believed in the military and his father pushed him to join and because my cousin didn’t believe he had a future, he listened as his dad indoctrinated him into believing in Regan’s speech that the only way for there to be peace is for everyone else to surrender to American might and my cousin is part of the muscle we flex every single day.
My cousin and I spoke about his time in the Middle East and he explained that a gentleman never tells how many people they have murdered during war.
But he did tell me that he does look into the faces of those he has murdered.
He explained, “Don’t worry, I laid waste to plenty of godless heathens…”
He told me he picks up their heads and looks at their heads as trophies.
And he fought off a starving dog that was trying to eat the brains of one of the freshly murdered Hajis my cousin says must all be killed.
He said, “It’s jungle rules brother, only the fittest will survive and I can pierce the flesh of the Gods…”
I grieve to think someone so close to me could ever think such racism; such horror is cause for celebration.
And I tried to tell him that he’s traumatized.
No young person should ever have to think such thoughts nor be put in such a situation.
And it’s not his fault.
If we lived in a world in which people didn’t have to worry about trivial things like food and housing that really aren’t so trivial but really we have enough food and housing to make sure everyone could be comfortable.
Maybe if we didn’t make the health care industry a for profit industry, maybe if people didn’t make money on someone dying of cancer, maybe then my cousin wouldn’t have felt like the only way to exist was to become a monster.
And I want to scream.
I want to scream because this knowledge is permanent.
The deaths he called into being have scarred him and the families of the dead and now they’re all I can think of, I can’t see beyond my cousins smoking barrel.
I can’t see a way out of this as I know he’s going to continue to perpetuate this extreme assault on love and everything I have given myself wholly to.
I want to scream because maybe then people will see that I’m waving an intergalactic flag for help and whether it is us or aliens or god that saves us from this extremely stark reality we have been so overcome by, I do not care, I just want, no demand, that my cousin and all of his brothers and sisters in stripes become so enamored, so overwhelmed by the goodness of love that they are able to overcome this trauma that has replaced their minds with an endless void with no window to escape out. And in that darkness in which they see themselves as gods, as masters of war, there is no truth, there is no walking away from this clean and youthful with a sprightly air.
After learning this it’s hard to feel okay or maintain any sense of joy about all the time we spent together.
I don’t know if I can perform any action that is not concerned whole heartedly with mourning.
He was this little kid that’d sleep in my bed and beg me to take him to the beach and teach him how to surf, or take him fishing, and he always complained when we didn’t catch anything, and I’d put him in headlocks the way his half-brothers had done to me, before they moved away to live with their mom in Utah and I helped him understand why his family was broken because we were boys, children, and that’s what we believed children do and we wrestled and caught snakes and lizards and we locked them in cages because I didn’t yet understand its more beautiful to watch a lizard bask in the sun on a rock or to see a snake scurry away free and I didn’t then know freedom like I now know so I couldn’t teach him.
But I was there when he found booze and later weed and blow and he learned to fight but he wouldn’t fight me he’d just tell me the stupidest stories and I just told him, “I love you buddy”
I was always his “hero”, the person he looked up to, his older cousin, the person that he loved, that he trusted, that inspired him.
And he is a murderer. His act is a crime against humanity
And I feel like I caused these murderers, because I didn’t teach him.
And now, this murderous reality, this memory of fighting a dog for brains, for a trophy to show the grandkids as we reminisce about killing.
Someone pull out a megaphone and tell the world, “We are here to kill you! We are here to kill you! We are here to kill you!”
And my cousin is not alone.
He’s not the only one.
We’ve pissed on the dead, we’ve burned the Holy Koran, we’ve made a cartoon of Allah, praise be his name, we’ve told a whole country of people that we want to free them and then we sent our psychologically wounded children to their doors with guns.
Children that have only known how to hate, children we neglected, children we told must learn how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
We gave them guns and pointed our fingers at a group of impoverished people and we labeled them terrorists and our children couldn’t understand their religions and customs so they shot them.
And pulled off their heads, and fought dogs for the brains because they wanted every bloodied membrane, and they held them high and delighted and said, “Look! Are you proud of me yet?”
…and the world will be a better place because of it! New TIDAL is out! Tidal 2.0, if you will… It’s full of important knowledge and should be read and contemplated by YOU! Yes, little lonely you sitting ever so diligently in front of a computer screen, feeling like nothing you do matters. You can change that. Be inspired. < MEOW >
will you bee my friend?
On March 12th, at Dixon Place, 7:30pm (free), Rami Shamir and I will be celebrating the long-awaited release of Rami Shamir’s TRAIN TO POKIPSE, the novel which legendary publisher Barney Rosset calls “a Catcher in the Rye for the new century,” the author will be reading selections from the book.
The historical details behind TRAIN TO POKIPSE’s publication have by now become legendary. Lawsuits, arrests, Corporate censorship, adamant support from leading figures in the American counterculture, all against the backdrop of the unfolding turmoil of its young author’s life, have made this a publication worth celebrating. Immediately after its recent release from the new imprint, Underground Editions, POKIPSE found itself to be the last book that legendary publisher Barney Rosset (the book’s editor and the author’s beloved mentor) would ever work on, excepting his own. (Rosset is the author of a soon-to-be released autobiography, tentatively titled “The Subject Is Left Handed.”)
I will be reading selections from my novel PARASITE and will probably talk about some personal, weird, fucked-up but important going-ons.. Oh, and Rami and I recently talked about his book and the life/death of Barney Rosset. If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favor and click play.
THE ONLY MOVEMENT THAT I CARE ABOUT IS JUST DANCING! THE ONLY CHANGE THAT I’M INVOLVED WITH IS MY OUTFIT! HEY!
Remember when the moon was blue?
The real issue is: I need a wealthy lover that I can travel with;
the wealthier and wilder the better.
So tell me your name: she knows she is a woman looking back