The Mystery of the Disappearing Reporter: a “Deconstructed Myth”

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Did no one see me?  You never know.

Look at other stuff, like snow.

When its falling through the air

you can see  the flakes right  there.

But when flakes land upon the ground

they disappear: an icy mound.

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Who can believe in what they see?

How can I prove that I am me?

In all those years that passed on by

Wasn’t  I  lit up  by  the sky?

If I wasn’t, tell me why.

Oh, that is why the light is there:

“This is a snowflake, that  is Claire” –

 

No copies  of  either: anywhere

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IT’S YOUR ACLU! BUT LEAVE THE THINKING TO US/O’BRIEN2014

 

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Antropoesia: from the outside in

Invitation

Tu Libro Familia,

Tu Libro Familia,
This Saturday, 18 October (11 AM at Cafe Mayapan), we will kick off our AntroPoesia Community Workshops!!!  All Ages ~ All Genders ~ FREE
AntroPoesia ~ Working from the Outside, In…
 
These community-based, community oriented workshops will provide us with the opportunity to reflect on ourselves, our community, our shared history.  By walking through our Bario community, studying murals, visiting Museo Urbano, our Mexica Sunstone, etc. we will write our own stories, perform our own teatro, tell our own stories.
View the AntroPoesia video by Professor Tim Z. Hernandez, the Museo Urbano video by Professor Yolanda Leyva and more —>>  www.TuLibro915.com
See you this Saturday!!!
         In Lak’ech Ala K’in
   Georgina Cecilia Perez
 
EmpowerLove. Educate.
         Quetzalcoatl

 

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AZTEC SUNSTONE CALENDER

100 THOUSAND POETS AND ARTISTS

El  Paso   Tear  down that wall !  Juarez

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100 TPC 2014 ~ Program JPEG

MASTERS OF WAR

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Come you masters of war –
You that build the big guns,
You that build the death planes,
You that build all the bombs.
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

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You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy

But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

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Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

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And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

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I don’t want to pray for Palestine. I don’t want to send good energy to Palestine. I don’t want to meditate thoughts of peace for Palestine. I don’t want to send charity to Palestine.

I want to fight for Palestine.

Just as International Brigades of workers converged on Spain from all over the world to try to defeat fascism prior to World War Two, I want to fight NOW, before it is too late. It may already be too late.

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“We could have stopped the bastards. We could have stopped them”

Member, Abraham Lincoln Brigade (U.S.A.)

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THIS IS GOD:

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Tiny Haitian child, dancing / Photo info unknown.

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Free Palestine

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NOTE: The use of excerpts from Masters of War by Bob Dylan is intentional.

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Free the Animals

M O T H E R C O U R A G E

AND    HER   CHILDREN

BY   BERTOLT    BRECHT,   1939

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ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

SERGEANT:  What they could use around here is a good war. What else can you espect with peace running wild all over the place? You know what the trouble with peace is? No organization. And when do you get organization? In a war. Peace is one big waste of equipment. Anything goes, no one gives a damn. See the way they eat? Disgusting! How many horses have they got in this town? How many young men?

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Nobody knows! They haven’t bothered to count ’em!

That’s peace for you! I’ve been in places where they haven’t had a war for seventy years, and you know what? The people haven’t even been given names. They don’t know who they are! It takes a war to do that. In a war, everyone’s registered, everyone’s names on a list. Their shoes are stacked,  their corn’s in the bag, you count it all up – cattle, men , et cetera – and you take it away. That’s the story: no organization, no war.

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Of course a war’s like any good deal: hard to get going. But when it does get going, it’s a pisser, and they’re all scared of peace, like a dice player who can’t stop – because when peace comes, they have to pay up.

Of course until it gets going, they’re just as scared of war, it’s such a novelty!

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A harmonica s heard. A canteen wagon rolls onstage, drawn by two young fellows (her sons). Mother Courage is sitting on it with her daughter Kattrin.

Mother Courage sings:

Cannon is rough on empty bellies:

First with my meat they should be crammed.

Then let them go and find where hell is’

and give my greetings to the dammed!

Winter is gone! Dead men sleep on!

Let all of you who still survive

get out of bed and look alive!

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(Song is an excerpt)

“Welcome home, Maya”: from a distance, Black poets greet Maya Angelou

 I. PRELUDE 

No hour is eternity, but each has its right to weep.
Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God    

 

ANGELOUHere was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish net.

Pulled it from around the waist of the world

and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes!

She called in her soul to come and see.

Zora Neale Hurston

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Maya Angelou, about eight years old, 1936 / Stamps, Arkansas / Photographer unknown

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She might now her silken pinions try to rise from earth,

and sweep th’ expanse on high:

From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora rise,

while a pure stream of light o’erflows the skies.

Phillis Wheatley  Kidnapped at age 7 in West Africa, American slave, 1753–1784

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I was born in the Congo.

I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that glows only once in every hundred years falls
into the center,  giving divine perfect light.

  Nikki Giovanni,  from Ego Trip 

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  O N E:  S T. L O U I S

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ST. LOUIS STREET SCENE, 1933 AMERICAN ARTIST JOE JACKSON, 1901-1963

Maya Angelou arrived in the world by way of St. Louis, Missouri on an early spring day in 1928: April 4, to be exact.  Spring in St. Louis lasts about five minutes; thus, were we able get a glimpse of her at  the age of one month, we would see a tall, red-faced, crabby baby, dripping in the sub-tropical heat. That’s what all St. Louis babies look like until the beginning  of November.

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Like so many other African-Americans, Maya’s father had migrated to St. Louis from the rural South, seeking to put a distance between himself and the region’s poverty, racism, and increasing white violence. Black people did make better lives for themselves in the urban North, but it took decades of hard, hard struggle for the Great Migration, as it came to be known, to produce decent working class communities, and, later, a Black middle class. They quickly discovered that the North was no promised land. In fact, the 1920s were marked by an unprecedented wave of white mob violence that swept northern cities such as Chicago, Detroit,  Philadelphia, and Topeka.

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St. Louis was both less welcoming and more familiar to southern African-Americans than  its peers further north. The city is actually only about 100 miles from the cotton fields of northern Arkansas, and remains at heart a southern city. In fact, the notorious St. Louis Race Riot (read white mob violence) led the way in 1917, preceding the  violence of the 1920s by a good five years.

The Great Depression was  tightening its chokehold on the nation’s throat by the time Maya was three years old.

 

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ST.LOUIS HARBOR /  JOE JACKSON, AMERICAN ARTIST, 19and sudd01-1963

  TWO: CALIFORNIA IS WHERE YOU GO TO LEAVE

There’s nothing you can do to make the grown-ups stay.

What’s this? It’s the children who have to go away!

_________   Δ   _________   Δ  ___________  Δ ___________   Δ _____________

 The same sun follows the train across the huge land, so the children know that it is always dark now in California.  They hold themselves very still in their seat, not even opening their food boxes, and  getting up only when they are forced to lurch to the restroom together.  They are, respectively, three and four years old, their parents are divorcing, and their father has put them on a train in San Francisco with notes pinned to their buttonholes. 

 ____ A Dream for Maya and Bailey _____

But eventually, they can cross up to the front car holding hands – and look now, by the time they reach Missouri, Maya and Bailey are RIDING that train. They are standing up straight, they are standing on top of the Ozark Mountains, they can see past the top of the sky , they are blowing the wind where they want it to go.

 Finally, when the land becomes flat again, Maya and Bailey hear the Mississippi River, still miles ahead and humming to itself. That’s how they know when to lean to the right, turning  the train south and steering it into the cotton fields of Arkansas.

T H R E E:  S T A M P S, A R K A N S A S

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“When the people sat around on the porch and passed around the pictures of their thoughts for the others to look at and see, it was nice.
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Some folks hollered hard times
because hard times were new.
Hard times is all I ever had,
why should I lie to you?
Some folks hollered hard times.
What is it all about?
Things were bad for me when
those hard times started out.

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By Arna Bontemps 1902–1973

I have sown beside all waters in my day.
I planted deep, within my heart the fear
that wind or fowl would take the grain away.
I planted safe against this stark, lean year.
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I scattered seed enough to plant the land
in rows from Canada to Mexico –
but for my reaping, only what the hand
                    can hold at once.
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Boll-weevil’s coming, and the winter’s cold,
Made cotton-stalks look rusty, seasons old,
And cotton, scarce as any southern snow,
Was vanishing; the branch, so pinched and slow,
Failed in its function as the autumn rake;
Drouth fighting soil had caused the soil to take
All water from the streams; dead birds were found
In wells a hundred feet below the ground—
Such was the season when the flower bloomed.
Old folks were startled, and it soon assumed
Significance. Superstition saw
Something it had never seen before:
Brown eyes that loved without a trace of fear,
Beauty so sudden for that time of year.
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 Countee Cullen 1903–1946
Now I was eight and very small,
   And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
   His tongue, and called me, “Nigger.”
I saw the whole of Baltimore
   From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
   That’s all that I remember
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Stamps, Arkansas High School (white only)  Photo info unknown
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Downtown Stamps, Arkansas                      Photo info unknown
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STILL, I RISE  (excerpts)
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened  soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.

Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014
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REST IN PEACE, MAYA
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END OF PART ONE
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All prose (non-poetry) by Claire O’Brien © 2014

Q.What makes the ACLU laugh? A. Your rights

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The Neoliberal Non-Profit Hymn

        

We stand strong for human rights

                                          Just look us up online.
                                        Wherever freedom’s trampled

                                          We take freedom’s side.

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But we can’t stand for human rights

 in every whacko’s name.

Justice can’t be handed out

to all who make a claim.

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                                  We’re the ones who know what’s best.
                                       we take the longer view:
                                How long would freedom last for us
                                      in the hands of bums like you?
 
                                         By Claire O’Brien 2014
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“What force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?”

from  Solidarity Forever

 

 

 

Todo lo Que Tengo es Tuyo / All That I Have is Yours

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In Chiapas, Mexico

 

Todo lo que tengo es tuyo,

Esta canción para que do se quieran.

.
All that I have is yours.

This song is for love of  one another.

Jorge Lujan, from Con el Sol en Los Ojos/With the Sun in my Eyes

Θ Δ  _______________________________  Δ Θ

Photo from Dorset Chiapas Solidarity/April 2014 Zapatista News Summary via wordpress.com


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A Catholic Worker Family

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A Catholic Worker Family

The objects of their adoration

were later traced to Central Station,

laying on a closet floor

with Tamany Hall’s old humidor.

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There was no sacred image there,

No Dorothy Day

No sign of prayer

No feet to wash except their own

No poor to serve, no map of home.

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Decades later, faintly heard:

distant Latin, sacred word,

serving drunks on bended knee:

prophets of the Bowery.

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But nothing’s left of battle cries

turned by cowards  into lies.

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Claire O’Brien, 2014

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Note: this poem is about one family – not about the Catholic Worker Movement itself, to which I send my love.