It’s been a year since I wrote these essays while at SR, and the fight has only continued to expand since then. I just contributed $50 to Makwa Initiative – Line 3 Frontline Resistance from last month’s book proceeds. Based in Minnesota, the protectors there are preparing for a cold winter camped out to Stop Line 3, a pipeline set to be built through Anishinaabe sovereign territory at the Mississippi River headwaters. Contributions will help them weatherize camp and afford other supplies to safely protect their sacred waters and wild rice harvests for future generations.
Thank you to everyone who has grabbed a copy of WATER IS THE NEW PRECEDENT in person or online! For weeks, I have been reliving my memories of North Dakota from last year, and it is my honor to share the hope and prayers I found there in these essays, so that the movement continues to spread to every corner of Turtle Island and beyond.
It is my distinct honor to be featured today on the front page of The Santa Fe New Mexican, one of the longest running newspapers in the southwest.
Straddled beside news of Hurricane Irma’s impending landfall, I’d like to think I’ve been typing up a little hurricane of my own over the last 2 years while I’ve lived in New Mexico. One that instead of wreaking havoc and destruction, has brought light to the four corners encouraging people to think more with their hearts, connecting to their surroundings.
There have been many predecessors before me, cultivating the street poet hustle, and I honor them all hoping that this little feature serves to inspire those that follow. Thank you so much to Robert Nott for the interview and to Gabriela Campos for this shot of me amid thought, soaking up the air with a furrowed brow, and my tongue hanging out in an ever so slightly clownish way.
Most days I am still absolutely amazed that this is my life. This is my body. I really appreciate everyone who has supported me along the way in getting here. Every word of encouragement has been a much needed push to keep me on my path, continuously moving forward.
In preparation for the upcoming Poets For Peace tour embarking next week through New Mexico and Colorado, a second edition of Water Is The New Precedent has been printed. This edition includes updated information about where the energy has spread since the eviction of the camps at Standing Rock. Tens of thousands have returned home from North Dakota and invested the lessons they learned from the First Nations of the world into their local communities around the country. The fight against the Black Snake is ongoing.
The essays contained within this collection hold some of these lessons. They are my attempt to share the sacred truths and collective peace that I found in the ancestral prayeries of the Dakota people. All proceeds after production costs will be donated to indigenous organizations continuing the fight around the country.
I’ll be reading essays from my experiences in North Dakota alongside local indigenous leaders as well as other musicians and artists from the Philadelphia area. It will be Inauguration Day and we will be holding a positive space for our community instead of buying into this new dictator being crowned king.
As part of this benefit, I have released this collection of essays as a book titled, WATER IS THE NEW PRECEDENT.
Copies will be available at the event. You can also grab a copy from my online store. All proceeds from the book will be donated to various councils at Standing Rock and other indigenous led movements towards sovereignty around the American continent.
Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback and supported my readings of these essays throughout December on my way back up the east coast. I really appreciate all of the positive boosts and blessings. Hope to see some of you on the 20th! For everyone else who was asking, now you can get a copy of these essays all for yourself.
I’ve been writing poetry for 3-12 hours a day for the last week and a half. Sometimes working on a novel. Sometimes just working. Not always for myself. Sometimes behind a typewriter in the plaza and getting paid. Other times at home and in the backyard at my writer’s desk and drinking tea.
When I’m in the middle of writing the novel, I fill with envy for my future self who can say he is almost done and has less to write than he has written. Sometimes my head spins with how much I have left to write. Other times my head spins with all of the other novels I have left to start writing.
When I’m in the street, my mind taps into something outside of myself and I see the words typed in front of me come out cleaner and clearer each day, giving me this sense of pride for the poems people walk away with.
When I’m at home, I’m filled with this desire to share with someone what I’m writing. To just have it done and published already.
Sometimes I wonder how Kerouac did it. I wonder how Miller did it. I wonder how Thompson did it. No one ever taught me how to do any of this. I feel like I’m past the point of making it up for myself, and almost at the point of finding the things that actually work.
Today I bought 4 poems worth of groceries. It’s enough for the week. I’ve been thinking about upping the rate I suggest. People really value spontaneous poetry. I see the romance it inspires. I see the hope it gives. I feel first hand the connections to the earth it creates. I’ve written birthday poems to people’s grandmothers. I’ve written love poems to people’s wives. I’ve written surrealist poems to old beatniks who tell me about the time they saw Gary Snyder walking a purple poodle. One guy asked me to write a poem to his enemy and I wrote an apology. None of this can be translated to dollar signs.
Someone has been leaving pennies underneath the rosebush where I write in downtown Taos. The first time I thought it was odd enough. The penny was old and dirty. It looked like it had been sitting there for a while. But I’m there 3 to 4 days a week, so I would’ve noticed it before. Oddly, this was the first or second penny I’ve found in months.
The second and third time, the pennies were even older and dirtier, as if they had sprouted from the ground and were young seedlings. And there were more of them.
They weren’t there when I first sat down.
I found the pennies after writing a poem that really struck a chord. A poem about heart consciousness. A poem about spreading abundance.
Perhaps the rosebush has been tipping me.
I believe in magnetism. I believe in abundance. I feel absolute gratitude. I wish there was more time in the day. I wish I had more energy. I wish my focus was stronger. I wish I had the words to describe everything I dream.
Some days I realize this is the life I lead. I realize it is leading to something greater. I realize if this is all I have at the end of it, I’m okay with that.
My words continue to give smiles. These smiles continue to give me what I need to continue.
My dream is to finish writing these stories I’ve lived, so that I can again be an open slate and experience new ones. Until then, I write endlessly.
DENVER, copies of my books Travel By Haiku and Fire. Sun. Salutation. are now available from Kilgore Books and Mutiny Information Cafe. Stop by and support these local communities! You won’t be disappointed.
Not in Denver? Try the links below to find a location near you where you can grab one of my books and help out a local bookstore. You can also read excerpts, see live performances, and read reviews at the following links
A few days ago, I stopped by the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. The campus was pretty quiet and at first look, everything was a little too typical of a college campus.
But then tiny blips of magic began to pop out to me: a stencil of Allen Ginsburg spray painted on the library drop off box, a sculpture of Kali hiding on the windowsill of the administration building, a geodesic dome greenhouse, a tattered poem about oneness with environment hanging from a willow tree. The students left offerings to the spirits and fairies of the Colorado wilderness. Their administration seemingly encourages this.
Under a giant sycamore, I found this little fairy altar. A small box with a poem about Hologram Reality on its roof, sheltering a little metallic angel and a giant quartz crystal. It felt more than appropriate to leave a copy of A-Politco Absurdia behind in this tiny fairy home for someone else to find.
A-Politico Absurdia is a manifesto written by Jozef Maguire and myself about the coming dream punk rêvelution of consciousness. It was released earlier this year, and took the last 5 years to assemble into its current dream-inspiring form.