Vote for Bernie; Tomorrow, June 7th

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Get out and vote!
Tomorrow, June 7 is an extremely important day for our country and for the world around us. California, New Jersey, and New Mexico all have their primaries (as well SD, ND, and MT). Voters have a chance to change the course of our country’s history.

Please friends, go out and vote! Even if you’re like me and have a complete distrust of our “democracy”, this is about the best chance we got to save the world, beyond getting in the streets and protesting every single damn tragedy our capitalist regime has created in it’s 200+ years on this planet.

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate set to hold the crooks on Wall Street accountable. He’s the only one talking to the leaders of our continent’s native nations. He’s the only one who cares about black lives and has demonstrated this by actually getting in the streets and getting arrested for protesting for civil rights, not to mention hiring BLM activists to work to expand the message of his campaign. He’s the only candidate who marched with MLK, or marched at all, ever, on that note. He’s the only candidate who is anti-fracking and will fight for our environment. He’s the only one standing up for immigrants and refugees from foreign, war-torn countries. He’ll fight for women’s lives. He’ll fight for trans lives. I believe unless he’s completely brain-tapped on his first day in office, he’ll fight for activists, since he is one.

On every level the man has been on the right side of history and demonstrated integrity in staying true to his core values. To my friends, he is the better candidate and I believe we can all agree that the world will be a better place with him as president. To my parents and fellow members of an older generation, who have already been let down before by party politics, don’t vote for yourselves…..vote for the next generation and their future. This is the world we have inherited. Let’s work together to make it a better one.

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate carrying a message of Love so strong and connecting so many diverse folks together that it will trump Hate. The polls show this. The rallies show this. His message shows this.

We all need this to happen. I don’t believe the political revolution ends with Bernie Sanders. I believe it starts with us.

Vote for Bernie; Tomorrow, June 7th

Make Poetry an Art Form

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Make Poetry an Art Form (2015)

(dedicated to the poet’s poet Bob Kaufman and the North Shore beat scene he crafted at the tip of his tongue)

Make poetry an art form
let it curve with the landscape
and bear fruit of significant change
the writer can no longer sit
solitary
behind closed doors
stuck behind the pen
let the poet stand free
let her step onto the street
and shout your refrain
at top volume
so that the people come to hear it

Make poetry an art form
let your audience be the commuters
the laymen
the blind laborers of the day
all looking for an escape
let it be the youth
the apathetic
the reality TV watchers
waiting to be awakened
let it be the hungry
the broke
the battered and beaten
all those downtrodden
who need a sense of empowerment

Make poetry an art form
break through that abstract archetype
of the writer as a silent type
let your words be heard
loud and clear
across physical barriers
and spiritual divides
get creative and raise the spirit
by stepping back
and pointing to others
the way
show them they too can speak
and I mean SPEAK!
with individuality

Make poetry an art form
live the words you read
have your movements be accents
your posture be the beat
have the body be the stanza
your form making it breathe
and be sure you do more with your voice
than just read
carry the poetry into your aura
and have it become a lifestyle
that you lead

Make poetry an art form
create a performance
in the every day
so that your friends
are lead to dream
but make sure
they take the next step
and connect
their subconscious world
to this inspired reality

Make poetry an art form
have it be the voice of change
and revolutionize this society
which has lead us
so far adrift
from the instrument of humanity
it’s past time now
that we stand upright
speak clearly to our surroundings
and carry ourselves back
to the essence
of our beingness in now

It is time
to make poetry an art form
Let the words
be the way
revolutions
(of the world)
are

fought

and

won.

Make Poetry an Art Form

I Watched the Sun Set on America

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The sun has just set on America
I watched it
from the furthest point west
that I could bike to
in San Francisco.

Today, another black man’s killer
has been set free
with no criminal charges
commended for his actions
by the fraternal order of police.
There’s an energy in the air
that’s full of empathy
for all the oppressed people
like Eric Garner or Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin or Tamir Rice or Oscar Grant or Rodney King
(or the long list of young people of color
who have died at the hands of police
during the 27 years I have been alive
that just goes on and on and on)
and lose their lives
for no reason
in this supposedly democratic society.

Tonight, the streets of Oakland
will be filled with protestors
who set fires, smash the banks, and take the highways.
This is a generation
that has grown up
during a silent revolution
that can’t remain quiet any longer.

The people cry,
“No justice, no peace.”
And they ask,
“Why are we still having to fight against this?
“Don’t people understand black lives matter?”
Their parents ask, “Yeah, what about the 60s?”
But Haight Street is quiet tonight
Its history of civil disobedience
and cultural creativity
has been replaced by retail stores
and overpriced rent fees.
Instead the protests
will be on the streets
of the disenfranchised
the desolate
the starving
the noble underbelly
that just can’t take it any longer.

They ask,
“Isn’t it time we ended this institutionalized racism?
“These hate crimes?
“These steps backwards in history?
“Isn’t it time we ended this brutality?”

The police feign fear
They are trained to be scared of the people
that they “serve and protect”
the people of color
the people that are “different”
scared of college students and working men and women
of fathers, husbands, wives, and mothers
of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.
They are conditioned to believe that every person secretly carries a gun
when in fact the only people
who control the weapons
are the police themselves.

The protestors, they ask for accountability
for the same law to be held for every citizen
They want these hired brutes
to recognize
their abuses of power
will be taken no longer
The people have had enough
It’s time for change
Take the guns out of the pigs’ hands
teach them how to use their words instead
These “keepers of the peace”
need to learn to de-escalate a situation
and not be so trigger happy
If any one of them steps over the line
Fire them,
lock them up,
at the very least
they’ve committed manslaughter
and they should stand a fair trial
like anyone else would in this land

Our civilization relies on the courts
upkeeping the laws we all live by
Until these demands of fairness are met,
there will continue to be unrest on the streets.
End the drug war!
End police brutality!
End the war on the people you’re supposed to serve!

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I Watched the Sun Set on America

From A Poet Who Writes About Sunsets To The Poet Who Sings Songs Of Anarchy

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I just wanted to say,
I appreciate your meter,
your diction,
your quest for love,
your dream of life,
your freedom.

The sun has set on this world
hundreds, even thousands of times,
while I have been here alive,
and I have seen it.
I have seen it in the desert,
and over the mountain valley,
on the endless prairie,
and under the sea.
I have seen it on the city street,
in the humble town,
and over the suburb sprawling.
I have seen it everywhere in this country,
and in countries abroad,
but it has been far too long
since this country
has stopped and looked to the east
to watch the sun again rise.

The much faster of the two spectacles
and perhaps from some vantage points
the less brilliant or overall interesting.
That calm before the storm that never quite comes
as the yellow light builds on the horizon
until there is a hint of sapphire and crimson
just before the dawn breaks
and that glorious fireball goes high into the sky
like nothing ever happened
and before you know it,
there it is,
it is day.

Yes, it happens so quick it is hard to capture
beyond that deep feeling
a feeling maybe of reluctance,
but usually of hope
of another day,
a new day rising,
a fresh start,
a clean slate
that beautiful cool air
and the brightness of daytime.

These are things that usually are slept through
by most
and maybe ignored by all others
But, you young lady
manage to capture it all
all of this grand moment’s essence
in your simple songs of militance
between the shouts of a demand for change
and the rallying of a non-violent unification
of the people across the land
against their oppressors
both political and circumstantial
I can begin to see
the morning light

We all know the sun has set on this empire,
this corporatocracy,
this hundred years war in the Middle East,
this Wall Street,
this Ferguson,
this military industrial complex privatized prison system,
the fracking,
the deforestation,
the developers,
the privacy encroachers,
this biased media,
this drug war,
this sexist, homophobic, racist patriarchy,

But up until now,
I think most of us have just been wandering in the dark.

Your voice, though,
so clear now
it’s youth and feminine vitality,
it’s individual diversity
bursting over the megaphone
encouraging and hopeful,
compassionate and ethereal,
the words distinct
in their embrace
of those who thought they were powerless.

I see it now
and I am enchanted.

You are the voice of the new day.
You are the sunrise we have all been waiting for.

Let us all be so lucky to hear your poetry.
Let us learn to speak it ourselves
and carry it in our hearts.
Let us not sleep through this moment of glory,
nor forget where the sun set last night.
Let this revolution, you speak of
be quick like the sun’s early morning northernly climb
and its day be especially long
and full of tomorrow’s bounties.
Let us all together now,
find this new paradise
more balanced
and with equality
far away from the evils
of yesterday.

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photos are of protests taking place in Los Angeles in response to the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the grand jury’s decision not to bring his killer Darren Wilson to trial.

From A Poet Who Writes About Sunsets To The Poet Who Sings Songs Of Anarchy

Awareness and Accountability are only just the start

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My newsfeed this morning is full of war, death, and homeland attrocities. Friends, the power for revolution is within us all. Awareness and accountability are only the first step to change. We must move forward in our own private revolutions if we would ever like to see this world a better place.

Step outside, take a moment to feel the warmth of this beautiful morning sun, breathe in the fresh warm air of a new day rising, and learn to live lucidly.

 

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via Humans of New York
Life is a miracle. It’s not a mystery to me. It’s simple. Humans can shape their environment, but they can’t create anything. All we can do is put together what is here. But I challenge any man to try to make some life. Actually, forget life. I challenge any man to try to conjure up some dirt.”

Awareness and Accountability are only just the start

The Purpose of A Poet

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Thunder showers pass over the city
Washing away all of this heat wave
Along with the aggression
The confusion
The violence
The starvation
We are going to live through this summer
And this rainwater is going to nurture us like no other.

A poet’s job is to breech people’s short attention spans with a timelessness that exposes them to another layer of reality. This new layer could involve mythology. Or it could be all astrology. Mescaline or some other pseudoscience. Acid and dream theory. Meditation or just plain simple unrelenting intimacy.

The point though is that we are in fact a very closed sort of people. Poetry is the life force to open us up. The same could be said about all forms of art, though with poetry this process just happens to be the most literal.

The best poetry is that which connects the greatest amount of people to this other side. To do so, it needs to be simple. It needs to be in the same language as that which is popular at the time. It needs to do all of this and somehow still manage to stand the test of time. So that it stays current for many more generations to come.

This is what makes good poetry hard. It’s also what makes it so easy.

None of this clouded meaning, inside joke, tongue in cheek, meta drivel.

We need something that is real. Something honest. That’s got feeling.
The word on the street.
Leave no reader behind.

The Purpose of A Poet