zep on water

I remember those who stood for peace and fought for peace—when they go their lives stand still like trees.

Don White 1937 – 2008

http://www.walterlippmann.com/donwhite.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGg5g3NSlTM

Michael Zinzun 1949 – 2006

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Zinzun

Sixto Tarango 1957 – 1987

https://atomikaztex.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/memorial-day-for-the-fighters-whose-strength-is-not-to-fight/

sixto tarango

Dennis Brutus 1924 – 2009

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Brutus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNAfhW_kzn0

Chris Hani 1942 – 1993

http://www.sacp.org.za/main.php?ID=2294

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-assassination-of-chris-hani-almost-brought-south-africa-to-civil-war

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGKhN2BL1-U

Iqbal Masih 1983 – 1995

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iqbal_Masih

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYKFV8UUAo

Bob Kaufman 1925 – 1986

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Kaufman

https://atomikaztex.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/bob-kaufman/

Reine Moffett (died 1997)

https://atomikaztex.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/memorial-day-for-the-fighters-whose-strength-is-not-to-fight/

bridge zep

Where did I put it? Can I get there across the untethered plank? How old are the planks of the rotting walkway, leading up from the dock (with the sunken yacht, bridge black with mold)? How wide is this island? How parenthetical is one last appositive? How is it I feel the shadow cutting silent across the mudflat, cutting across the flat green water? How does the deep opacity of green refract blades of sunglare into my useless old thoughts? How about these nails sticking out? How about the rocks in the mudflats, the moss in the trees? How shall I fall through the next fifteen minutes? How to drop down through the hole rotten in the deck to the pilings underneath, thence to proceed across the rocks, slippery below? How to find out the overgrown trails they had to have used? How about the shiny commercial mixer on the counter of the abandoned kitchen where the roof had fallen in, except on that part, that looked like the kitchen was still in use? How about the bedroom, all motel beige, burnt sienna, olive green, coverlet on the beds made, lamp on the nightstand and everything under thick dust, maritime print on the wall warping? How about algae sliming the opening of the concrete reservoirs? How about the shack at the end of the walkway, looking out on the silent cove (with one dock sunken between rotting pilings, the water deep, deep green, black against the uplifted black rock of the island), shattered glass and shattered white ceramic plates littering the floor? Will it tug at my thinking like gristle, like a ligament, when it comes, the call?

zep shadow

1.

Sonia Sanchez reading auditorium 132 CSULA Industrial Arts Complex Thursday May 14, 7:50 PM, “This is the earth, this is the 21st century, certainly our elders have done a mess, young people need to prepare to take it over, you should be pissed, because it’s the earth, you must step up and say to the 1% who run everything, why do they think they have a right to all of that money, at some point we gotta deal with that—thank you for coming out, to listen to this thing called poetry, I want to thank the people who brought me here, I call on Sandy Smith, Rosa parks, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, June Jordan, Octavia Butler, Toni Cade Bambara, Barbara Deming…”

2.

Sonia Sanchez reads a long list of activist artists and public agitators for social justice, Mike Sonksen sits beside Michael C. Ford, Mike Willard’s on his way home by train (his boy’s school’s open house, open), Doug Kearney down in front holding his hat, Lauri Ramey sips from a water bottle, Enrique Berumen saw me and took five minutes to catch up on ten years, jovial as ever, gave me his card, “it’s been an honor to be on the earth with them,” Sonia Sanchez says, a woman named Karine earlier hugged me earlier (she thought I was someone else), she asked how did it feel to know so many languages, I said I only knew three, and for the first twenty minutes of her reading the dean of students stands at the back of the auditorium looking at his cell phone, then he leaves…

3.

“We closed down Harlem Hospital, because the electrical unions and plumbers unions would not hire blacks and Puerto Ricans, I mean this was already the 1960s, and my father was looking down on us from a building overlooking the street, we had our backs to 135th Street,” Sonia Sanchez says, telling the story of integrating NYC unions through civil disobedience, in part, got her troubled gay brother a job as an electrician (“the phone rang and rang, it was about 3 AM, I knew who it was, ‘Yes, Dad,’ I said when I finally picked it up, ‘What do you want?’ In those days I was not very polite to my dad, and when he finally got through saying what he had to say, I told him, ‘Oh, and tell Wilson to show up tomorrow at 8 AM’ and I told him where, and he said, ‘What for?’ “It’s a job, Dad, what do you think we’re doing this for?'”)—earlier she’d become emotional, tearing up, describing her brother’s troubles before he died of AIDS—then she reads from a book “in their voices” about her family: “I go right to the hospital, and wipe him down with a moist cloth, until he tells me to stop, it hurts…”

sonia sanchez

Pretty girl with crimson hair at the taco stand

laughing at the taco stand

as I drive by, approximately 35 MPH,

in the heavy traffic of rush hour and war sickness 2015 USA

past Chano’s Burritos and where the Miyamoto family used to live

by Lincoln Park DMV and past a whole life, apparently,

because the pang punches my gut and says, “My girl has that hair!”

but you (like her, crimson-haired girl) have already gone from my sidelong glance

as I remember to pay attention, workers and vehicles merge from the Forever 21 plant,

walking or driving out at day’s end, the afternoon taking it all

in into its lateness. Way to go, crimson-haired girl in late afternoon.

I like your laugh even if it hurts for a second. Just yesterday

my girl sent a selfie smiling via cell phone, standing at the edge

of the continent, on the other side, on the crashing Atlantic,

sea wind blowing on her smile, sea wind blowing

through her black hair

. birthday kid

TOMORROW! 11am! JOIN US! Students from Monterey High School have worked hard to write plays based on LA’s own Fantastic poets. As one student wrote: “I’ve personally enjoyed interviewing and writing about our poets. Everyone, young and old, has a story and I enjoyed interpreting their past from my own perspective.”

young theaterworks

Monterey Continuation High School 11 AM
466 South Fraser St
Los Angeles,CA90022

(323) 269-0786

The hummingbird flew to the top of the Australian coral tree, silhouette of a tiny man. He or she flew around the moon. I stood in the driveway watching the whole time.

Two hummingbirds or three. Silhouettes still in the tree, and they don’t get along. They’re such fighters. One zooms in to attack, the other careens away, disappears in space.

Little dog barks. From the open door, across the street, my neighbor’s making love or something high on our hill, whatever her loud vocalization is about. Sometimes someone walks by.

Iowa’s fields of stubble, frozen under a hard sky. Wyoming’s green summer drainages, cotton drifting off cottonwoods in little towns in the wind. One Chinese tombstone in the graveyard beside the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

Sometimes we hear from people, get some word of hello, something of a message. I look at them like we do a column of smoke.

Hiking to the top of a mountain or at least as far as the high overlook, taking in the wind and the views. Eating lunch, hiking down again. Tonight forty people will stand in the parking lot by Cheo’s taco truck to watch the Pacquiao Mayweather fight.

I sense your presence in the days ahead of this one; but I don’t know who I mean, I suppose it’s just a feeling, some echo of my own being, the interference like a sea wind (“like a sea wind”) of my own noise.

11021320_10155246021780058_3250468768538059113_o

JoaquinTheMountainRobber Labor camps of the Soviet Union, will we escape them? San Francisco earthquake 1989 or was it Northridge quake fire and water pouring out of jagged streets? With everything shaking how’s the epileptic supposed to get drunk down the boulevard where they say hey puto? What’s a potato latke at a time like this? Chopstick (now) as hair ornament or nose piercing? Was it a cat that dug up the zucchini that Leonor planted yesterday? Where does the reflection of the burning city float in my iced tea? Yes, no, 50,000 mexicanos disappeared or 100,000? American money or american guns? Is it your duty to float in your bubble of consciousness like a goldfish or pop it? Who is that singing? Is this the Colombianization of everything? Five grapefruits from somewhere rolling around the table top like your body? Like your ideas? Like your eyeballs? The sunshine is hurting, the leaves are curling? If you had one question for the children of Gaza before they were blown apart, what would it be? Thank you for your business? MurrietaExhibit1853


On

On yardbird corners of embryonic hopes, drowned in a heroin tear.
On yardbird corners of parkerflights to sound filled pockets in space.
On neuro-corners of striped brains & desperate electro-surgeons.
On alcohol corners of pointless discussion & historical hangovers.
On television corners of cornflakes & rockwells impotent America.
On university corners of tailored intellect & greek letter openers.
On military corners of megathon deaths & universal anesthesia.
On religious corners of theological limericks and
On radio corners of century-long records & static events.
On advertising corners of filter-tipped ice-cream & instant instants
On teen-age corners of comic book seduction and corrupted guitars,
On political corners of wamted candidates & ritual lies.
On motion picture corners of lassie & other symbols.
On intellectual corners of conversational therapy & analyzed fear.
On newspaper corners of sexy headlines & scholarly comics.
On love divided corners of die now pay later mortuaries.
On philosophical corners of semantic desperadoes & idea-mongers.
On middle class corners of private school puberty & anatomical revolts
On ultra-real corners of love on abandoned roller-coasters
On lonely poet corners of low lying leaves & moist prophet eyes.

NOVELS FROM A FRAGMENT IN PROGRESS

RETURN TRIP SEATED ERECT ON THE SINGING TRAIN IN DELIBERATE ATTEMPT NOT TO FALL ASLEEP, USE OF IMAGINATION TO AVOID SWAYING PEOPLE, UNREAL VISIONS OF MURALS ON RED RESTROOM FLOORS, SLEEP URGE GETTING STRONGER, SCREWING UP THE EYES TO A PERFECT BREAST, ROUGH STOP, STRONG WISH FOR EROTICISM DEPARTING NATIONS CARRYING BIG PAPER BAGS, WONDERING ABOUT THE DENTS IN BOXER S FACES, REJECTION OF THE SEXUAL ASPECT OF SWEAT, PICTURE OF THE MOTORMAN AS THE MYSTIC FERRY-MAN, HIS FACE WOULD EVER BE DESCRIBED IN NOVELS, AWARENESS OF MUSIC OUT BY THE WHEELS, SERIOUS ATTEMPT TO WRITE SONGS, SURPRISED AT MY OWN NAIVETÉ, AMUSED BY SOUNDS LIKE ONE I CAN’T WRITE, APPROACHING STATION, EYES OF SLIDING DOOR, WAITING FOR IT TO OPEN, MORE PEOPLE, ANOTHER STOP. IT ALWAYS HAPPENS, BRING THIS OFF WITHOUT ANNOYING. ALWAYS WATCH THEM GET OFF BEFORE THE BIG EVENT, I ALMOST GIVE UP AT TIMES LIKE THESE. HOW TO SAVE IT. REPETITIOUS FRUSTRATION, NOW, MYSTIC HOURS WITHOUT LOSING A GRIP ON MY SANITY & FREQUENTLY, WOMEN REALIZE MY CONCENTRATION TO MASTER THIS TRICK, WILLING TO RIDE PAST THEIR DESTINATION.

bobKaufman

Bob Kaufman—POET, Part 1 with David Henderson

David Henderson pays serious homage to the pioneering beat and American surrealist poet Bob Kaufman, with readings of Kaufman’s poems, music by Charlie Parker and Horace Silver, and testimony from friends and fellow poets including Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Ted Joans, and Bob’s brother George Kaufman.

The John Sinclair Foundation Presents
VINTAGE RADIO VAULTS 76
Bob Kaufman—POET with David Henderson
KPFA-FM, Berkeley CA, 1991 [VV-DHVV-0076]

Poet and biographer David Henderson pays serious homage to the great Bob Kaufman, pioneering beat and surrealist poet from New Orleans, in
Bob Kaufman—POET: The Life & Poetry of an African American Man. Kaufman is remembered and explicated by friends and fellow poets including Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Ted Joans, Bob’s brother George, his widow Eileen, and many others, with their testimony set against music by Charlie Parker and Horace Silver and recitations of Kaufman’s poems by Roscoe Lee Browne, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Tony Seymour, and Bob Kaufman himself. Part One investigates Kaufman’s youth, his early manhood as a merchant seaman and political organizer, and his impact on San Francisco in the 1950s.

Cast: David Henderson, writer & producer; hosted by Ed Markman; narrated by Al Young; family & friends George Kaufman, Eileen Kaufman, Raymond Foye, Jerry Kamstra, photographer Jerry Stoll, and Simon Alexander; scholars Nathaniel Mackie, Charles Nyland, and Maria Damon; fellow poets Allen Ginsberg, Ted Joans, Amiri Baraka abd Lawrence Ferlinghetti; recitations from Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness by Bob Kaufman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Tony Seymour, Suzanne Cockrel; recorded music by Charlie Parker and Horace Silver

http://www.radiofreeamsterdam.com/bob-kaufman-poet-part-1-with-david-henderson/#podPressPlayerSpace_1

Bob Kaufman—POET, Part 2 with David Henderson

Part Two of David Henderson’s radio homage to the great American surrealist poet Bob Kaufman, with more of Kaufman’s poems, music by Charlie Parker and Horace Silver, and testimony from friends and fellow poets including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Felringhetti, and Bob’s brother and widow.

The John Sinclair Foundation Presents
VINTAGE RADIO VAULTS 77
Bob Kaufman—POET with David Henderson
KPFA-FM, Berkeley CA, 1991 [DHVV-0077]

http://www.radiofreeamsterdam.com/bob-kaufman-poet-part-2-with-david-henderson/

bob-kaufman-1959

Today is defeated by the cell phone.

Today is defeated by the cell phone taking calls from the traffic jam that began before you awoke, jammed in freeways of the night city.

Today is defeated by Griffith Park wilted in insufficient shade of microwave towers, California burning to ashes of corny rock & roll. Somebody else’s tune, somebody’s number, you were overheard saying.

Today is defeated by woman on cell phone running a stop sign, gabbing her way into 999,999.99 brightly colored sprinkles of slavery, genocide and a Ford 150 overloaded with yard waste.

Today is defeated by a cell phone in the form of a traffic jam, jammed up in a dream.

Get off the line. Make the gesture that sweeps numbers off your name.

1925189_782920885100363_6473510301416404452_n

Corpse-Watching

Born in 1962, Sarith Peou is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-1979) in which more than one quarter of the Cambodian population was killed. In 1982, Sarith fled to a refugee camp in Thailand. In 1987, he resettled in southern California, and in 1993, he moved to Minnesota. He is now serving prison time in Minnesota. While incarcerated, he converted to Christianity, and earned a GED and an Associate of Arts degree. He has dedicated his life to education, and moral and spiritual transformation within the prison. He is completing his autobiography, tentatively titled Prison Without Walls.

Ed Bok Lee is the author of Real Karaoke People, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice Award).

To download the PDF:

http://50.28.26.174/~tinfi306/PDF-download/Corpse_watching.pdf

Corpse Watching
by Sarith Peou • 2007 • [out of print]
Forward by Ed Bok Lee
Designed by Lian Lederman

In Corpse Watching, Sarith Peou offers witness to the Cambodian holocaust of the late 1970s, which he survived, in language at once dispassionate and evocative. Upwards of a quarter of all Cambodians died between 1975 and 1979: “The river is swollen / The current is strong / Corpses float by all day long.” As poet Ed Bok Lee writes in his forward to the book, “Beyond telling, in total, a personal story of devastation under Angkar, these poems serve as steadfast interpreters for a multiplicity of voices and intensely human emotions still seeping out of that nation’s deepest wounds.”

from “My Sister Ranchana”:

Mee was the name of the cadre who mistreated Rachany.
I named my new dog Mee.
I abused that dog.
I killed and ate it.
A few months later
Mee died from delivery complications.
I thought my curse had worked.
Now I feel guilty for misplacing my anger on my
poor dog.

===

Corpse Watching has been used as required reading at California College of the Arts.

Review by Laura Moriarty

Review by Barbara Jane Reyes

Review by Philip Metres

Translations into Vietnamese by Linh Dinh 1, 2

see also: http://jacket2.org/commentary/trauma-tenderness-and-archive

from Susan Schultz’s Tinfish Press: http://tinfishpress.com/?projects=corpse-watching

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