Found Poem #1: the pale skinned virgin priest

found poetry is my new thing. its when you overhear something or see something written somewhere that converges interestingly with something you are doing or have just done. convergence poetry, found poetry…here it is:

the story: i left a harm reduction class and was walking down the street and a store was blaring a speech and the person said – will you learn of discipline from the pale skinned virgin priest?’. this poem came next:

i went to the pale skinned virgin priest
but he could tell me nothing of love, lust or devotion
he'd never felt the overwhelming pull of those oceans
nor succumbed to that aching crux of want turned need
never tasted the knife so sweet you suck till you bleed
the hunger that reminds you we are half dream half beast

i went to the wide eyed work whored saint
but she couldn't recall her days spent in the dark
how razor sharp big love is the mouth of a shark
how the sweet honeyed finger makes sure it amazed you
how love that close to madness allows for no phase two
and finally you choose not what a thing is, but what it ain't

to which my friend janine suggested a new last line:

in the end you choose not the song but the echo, now faint

which i truly like.

its stunningly gorgeous outside and i am going to read work isht out there!

Questions from convo with my sister

Some of these are my questions, some are Autumn’s:

What is your core melancholy?
Are collectives more crucial during the birthing process of movements and/or communities?
How much of love is dependence, how much is exhaustion, how much is a trap, how much is it the only point or the central struggle of life?
Do you ever really fight with another person, or just with the idea that they could hurt you, or change your mind?
Why aren’t there clear post college communities where you can select your reality as specifically as you do in college but not have to be in college? Or simultaneous ones for those who don’t want to go to college – everyone should be able to choose to explore communities other than their starting one…
Or – can you reject the institution of academia, AND reject the institution of organized religion and still be deeply analytical and deeply spiritual without trying to create new institutions…?
and – how much of human nature is fundamentally imperialist? are chapter-based organizations imperialist at heart?
Will I ever be able to budget or pay taxes on time with the way I hate money?
Aren’t we more privileged than roughly anyone else we know because our parents are so remarkably unconditionally in love with each other and with us and in every struggle we’ve faced in life we’ve been able to come back to their example?
Is it better to study specific fields or, for the sake of expansive art, to remain an artist engaging in a variety of fields and subjects…but is art important anymore?
How dope is our grandfather’s faith (note: my grandfather had a heart attack this week and needed triple by-pass surgery for it. he awoke in the morning, having had it – and he should have woken up dead as they say – but god  told him to take an aspirin so he did and that thinned his blood enough to get him to the hospital where he was saved for another day of loving jesus. the entire time he was unflappable – any outcome will be a good one) and how cool is jesus, even if the interpretation of his story is so misapplied? god is always manifest among the people – he whispered to my papa on thursday am, i am grateful.

And then here are some things I said at the grassroots media conference today (a very cool conference which is still happening tomorrow at 65 5th avenue in manhattan):
– i used to clown bush for saying he didn’t read the newspaper but what folks filter to him, but recently i’ve realized that most folks i know do the same thing, including myself, use filters to get information most suited to them and what they want to hear.  now we can be responsible filters – that’s what voter guides are, that’s what grm has to do.
– grassroots media needs to beware well-meaning activists who become famous: check the credentials, check that folks/we are still doing the work, not just talking about, unless they are official…
– progressive pundits! which is my new favorite thing the league will be teaching. the art of being able to represent your work and movement and issues and view point and hold your own in an interview in any medium! it has to look and sound good, we have to be media savvy now, we know how!
– let’s build more funding for grassroots media into our non-profit plan so we can get journalists paid. what are the legal implications of this?

i was on the panel with lumumba from malcolm x grassroots movement, who had a wonderful and organic response when asked what kept us motivated – the people in the community, the mothers who’ve lost their sons to police shootings, the people. i later attended his and djibril’s training on their know your rights campaign and their work is amazing and folks should really pick it up in more communities. www.mxgm.org.

and lastly, yesterday i was at a climate crisis meeting and it was dope – top enviro-organizers from all over the country discussion the plan to change the perception of the movement, get back to enviro-justice…it was dope. more to come.

SONG OF THE NIGHT: THROWBACK, BY USHER

saturday night blog complete

Climate Crisis and Stalker Lists

today i'm off to engage in one of my new 
sub-careers - environmentalism. since the
grist article (http://www.grist.org/comments/soapbox/2005/03/15/brown/)
came out i have had countless offers to be a part
of discussions on environmental justice and
climate crisis and i am honored and learning a lot.
this meeting is a coalition focused on how short a
time we have before we're in a state of total
crisis - for me i hear that as, what's
our estimated timeline for the switch from the
type of struggle we're facing now which is a
struggle of people and power, before we're faced
with the next common unifying struggle
for survival against the effects of our own
excessive and stupid existence as it
relates to natural resources. :) cheerful
friday thoughts.

but some good news - bush's approval ratings are
the lowest of any post WWII president!
the american public is polling against his
social security plans, are indignant about
his tall tales of WMDs in iraq and generally
feel untrusting of him. ah. the american people.
always a little late on the uptake. but then
again, national politics are for suckers,
local is where its at (www.indyvoter.org).

in other news, my friend marc in the bay
is a stalker and he sent me this:
nndb.com is a huge stalking engine connecting
all the "famous" people in the western world
(for now) by cross referencing all of their
crimes, sleeping partners, affiliations,
relatives, interests, etc- a person's otherwise
inexplicable behavior is often understood by examining
the crowd that person has been hanging out with.
brought to you by the folks at rotten.com
(originally the backend for deadpool.rotten.com)

some interesting lists:

new democrat movement list:
http://www.nndb.com/group/269/000093987/

dubya nicknames:
http://www.nndb.com/group/750/000091477/

dubya ranch hands:
http://www.nndb.com/group/750/000091477/

involuntarily struck by pies:
http://www.nndb.com/event/911/000093632/

movie keyword: unneceessary remake
http://www.nndb.com/lists/519/000088255/

nixon's enemies list:
http://www.nndb.com/lists/841/000048697/

sgt pepper lonely heart:
http://www.nndb.com/group/814/000054652/

coolest headshots:
http://www.nndb.com/lists/631/000064439/

people with funny names:
http://www.nndb.com/lists/380/000064188/

risk factor: heroin
http://www.nndb.com/lists/354/000083105/

risk factor: homophobia
http://www.nndb.com/lists/110/000084855/

failure to pay child support:
http://www.nndb.com/crime/339/000043210/

attended "Promises" rehab facility:
http://www.nndb.com/detox/462/000042336/

caught fire:
http://www.nndb.com/event/214/000062028/

me? an oasis? you’re too kind

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Though much of
Iceland is covered with snow, glaciers, and lava plateaus, the town of
Hveragerdi is graced with greenhouses where geothermal energy is
harnessed to grow bananas. You remind me of this oasis, Virgo. Though
you’re surrounded by what might be described as a barren wasteland, you
yourself are a warm, nurturing source of fertility. No matter how
inhospitable it might get outside of your circle in the next two weeks,
you should just keep growing.

i’m on the radio right now!


Blackademics

April 5, 2005

WPFW 89.3FM Tuesdays 11p-12am

http://wpfw.org

This week The Blackademics welcome Adrienne Maree Brown for a
discussion of hip-hop organizing and electoral politics.  Adrienne
Maree Brown is a writer and singer living in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is
coeditor of the League of Pissed Off Voters' How to Get Stupid White
Men Out of Office: The Anti-Politics, Un-Boring Guide to Power and
program director for the League of Young Voters.  All that plus DJ
2-Tone Jones in the mix.  Listen to The Blackademics every Tuesday
night as part of WPFW 89.3FM (Washington, DC) and Decipher: The Music,
The Movement, The Message each weeknight 11p-12am.  Hip-hop and more
like you've never heard before.

Show: http://voxunion.com/realaudio/coupradio/Blackademics040505.mp3

Email: blackademics893@hotmail.com

Grassroots Media Conference

oooh who got the blessings? me! i got to see tony kushner live on sunday at BAM talking about angels in america, and then they did a marathon showing of angels. tony is adorable and brilliant and humble and one of the best specimens of human we have.  AND holly hunter was there, sitting in my row, emanating her holly hunterness, all tiny. i contained my adoration by sipping a snuck-in bottle of cote du rhone or something that sounds like that. everyone rent angels for some truth.

I’m speaking at this conference on Saturday:

ATTENTION NYC MEDIA MAKERS, ORGANIZERS, ACTIVISTS AND ARTISTS!

April 9-10th, at the New School University
2nd Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference
www.nycgrassrootsmedia.org
Register on-line!

The Democracy Now! workshop: Sunday, April 10th, 10am-11:30am
Members of the DN! Production and Outreach teams will present a
workshop about the nuts and bolts of how Democracy Now! is produced and
what role it plays in the larger movement for independent media.

The NYC Grassroots Media Conference is
the place to be if you’re a community organization seeking to reach a
larger audience with your message, a media maker looking to gain skills
and network or someone interested in learning more about NYC media
reform activism. It’s time to come together again to critique, build
and celebrate our local independent media.

Registration is now open. Visit www.nycgrassrootsmedia.org or Bluestockings Bookstore at 172 Allen Street in Manhattan to reserve your place and read more about the weekend of events.

The conference theme, forging stronger connections between independent
media and communities organizing around issues of justice and equality,
seeks to address pressing issues of representation and diversity within
the NYC community.

The conference will hold more than 50 hands on workshops and panels
including youth led workshops, do-it-yourself media workshops and media
policy workshops: hip hop and activism, grassroots press campaigns for
social justice, how to build your own web site, video production for
youth and more. A complete list of workshops and scheduling is posted
on our web site at www.nycgrassrootsmedia.org.

Registration:
$20 Adults
$30 Day of conference registration
$8 Youth (21 and under)
Scholarships are available.
Group rates and discounts for youth are available.

Please contact info@nycgrassrootsmedia.org or call
Paper Tiger at (212) 420-9045.

See you at the conference!

War By Candlelight, Big Hearts, and AIDS Walk

Y’all – back in college I had the honor of editing a magazine called Roots and Culture with a brilliant young Peruvian writer named Daniel Alarcon. I thought he was as brilliant as could be. And his book of short stories is now out on Harper Collins and its beautiful and you need to get you some!!

go to amazon.com and search daniel alarcon. the book is called War By Candelight: Stories

in other news life is looking up. its spring and i went to sit in the park and my friend taught me to do a sun meditation and i heard desmond tutu and toni morrison speak the other day on the unlimited heart, compassion and reconciliation. i was thinking that there are things that are unforgiveable, but to see two people who have lived so long and seen so much, especially bishop tutu – to know what he’s seen and who he’s forgiven…he came and said thank you to the u.s. for their efforts in the anti-apartheid movement! to this shameful nation. but his grace is so unparalleled and visible. i was inspired to look at my relatively tiny dramas and let my heart become bigger. i feel humble and benevolent, its delightful.

and finally y’all need to sponsor me for the aids walk!!

go to: http://www.aidswalk.net/newyork/  and search adrienne brown or league of pissed off voters to donate.

love
adrienne

Health Care Alternative

Watch this:

http://www.grahamazon.com/sp/whatissinglepayer.php

Read this:

The Problem:
Almost 44 million people in the U.S. are
totally uninsured, and another 40 million are uninsured during some
part of every year. Another 80 million are only partially covered.
Worst of all, most people who don’t have healthcare insurance have full
time jobs.

The Solution:
Secure a system of comprehensive national healthcare for everybody in the United States. If we join together, we can get the national healthcare system we need now. We can provide coverage for healthcare, prescription drugs, mental health, dental, optical and long-term care. We can afford it NOW. We can’t afford not to have it. All of this has been written into House Resolution 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, now before Congress.

Visit:

www.cnhpnow.org

Lyrics of Current Favorite Nina song

My baby never treats me sweet and gentle the way he should;
I got it bad and that ain’t good!

My poor heart is sentimental not made of wood
I got it bad and that ain’t good!
But when the weekend’s over and monday rolls aroun’
I end up like I start out just cryin’ my heart out
He don’t love me like I love him nobody could
I got it bad and that ain’t good!

Like a lonely weeping willow lost in the wood
I got it bad and that ain’t good!
And the things I tell my pillow no woman should
I got it bad and that ain’t good!
Tho folks with good intentions tell me to save my tears
I’m glad I’m mad about him I can’t live without him
Lord above me make him love me the way he should
I got it bad and that ain’t good!

a poem from karynn

work has been remarkably emotionally trying lately, and my friend karynn just sent me this poem by miguel de unamuno – it’s his last poem, written after he was thrown out of
the university where he taught…:

Shake off this sadness, and recover your
spirit;
Sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
That brushes your heel as it
turns going by,
The man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.
Now
you are only giving food to that final pain
Which is slowly winding you in the
nets of death,
But to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
Is the work;
start there, turn to the work.
Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into
your own field,
Don’t turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
And do
not let the past weigh down your motion.
Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s
dead in yourself,
For life does not move in the same way as a group of
clouds;
From your work you will be able one day to gather
yourself.