Re: In Spirit

[Follow Ups] [Post Followup] [Our Discussion Forum]

Posted by from ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 at 7:37PM :

In Reply to: In Spirit posted by Esperanza from ( on Friday, February 28, 2003 at 11:56PM :

Here is something for all of you hypocrites burning electricity on your computers. When you get back from driving to the store to buy your organic food, read this.

Who is worse off, the Palestinians or the Iraqis. "Free Palestine" but not IRAQ! It seems to me that it is a draw. Why does no one on this board talk about this? Does it confound your college prof logic? Have fun at your jobs on Monday in America, fueling the war machine. You **cking hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!! Go drink your microbeer at the nearest saloon and 88cking talk about your ponytails or something you anti semites!!!!!

: In Spirit

: This is not a struggle between the US and Iraq.

: This is a struggle of the powerful whites

: Against the voiceless browns.

: This is a struggle of the overweight and well-fed

: Against the chronically malnourished and starving.

: This is a struggle of the rich and famous

: Against the outcast and dispossessed.

: This is a struggle in the spirit of Christopher Columbus,

: Who killed, enslaved and colonized natives

: For the Spanish empire,

: only this time, George Bush is sailing an Israeli ship

: towards well-chartered territory.

: This is a struggle for civil rights

: In the spirit of our enslaved brothers and sisters

: Under a white supremacist yoke.

: This is not a struggle between East and West,

: Islam and Christianity, or civilizations.

: This is a struggle of corporate life

: For the air and earth of another people.

: It has everything to do with the IMF and World Bank

: Tightening their white, well-dressed hands around the necks

: Of more and more colored peoples ancestral lands;

: Take off the suit and the skin is clear: Economic slavery,

: In the spirit of our grandfather’s beating their “property” on the cotton plantations.

: This is not about oil or votes or simple anecdotes

: But of white supreme-ism, western colonizing, IMF enslavement,

: Rich fuckers killing the poor by dysentery, water-born diseases, and starvation.

: Think about that next time you order your Big Mac.


: The struggle doesn’t end there.


: The US soldiers in Iraq: What language will they be speaking

: to the people they are killing, rebuilding, monopolizing?

: While the ears they are yappin’ at won’t understand a thing.


: You see, it’s a lingual thing as well.

: English is the tongue everybody has to know

: Or they're left out on the street, far away from all the show.

: English: The language of domination, spoken by the latest colonizers

: Trotting all the world around.

: But I don’t want to get on board

: ‘Cuz your train will soon be swept up

: By the pages of the hist’ry books

: And those on board will be lookin’

: As the naked, timid, hungry ones they are.

: They will soon have to see that they are not so far

: Away.

: From those their killing.

: Link the issues or you will fade away.

: Fade away and you become accomplices.


: February 20, 2003

: Brian Wood




: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


: A Moment of Silence for 9/11


: By Emmanuel Ortiz, 9/11/02

: Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to
: join me in a moment of silence in honor of those who
: died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last
: September 11th.

: I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of
: silence for all of those who have been harassed,
: imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in
: retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in both
: Afghanistan and the U.S.

: And if I could just add one more thing...

: A full day of silence for the tens of thousands of
: Palestinians who have died at the hands of
: U.S.-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.

: Six months of silence for the million-and-a-half Iraqi
: people, mostly
: children, who have died of malnourishment or
: starvation as a result of
: an 11-year U.S. embargo against the country.

: Before I begin this poem, two months of silence
: for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,
: where homeland security made them aliens in their own
: country.

: Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and
: Nagasaki, where death rained down and peeled back
: every layer of concrete, steel, earth, and skin and
: the survivors went on as if alive.

: A year of silence for the millions of dead in Viet Nam
: - a people, not a war - for those who know a thing or
: two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives'
: bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

: A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos,
: victims of a secret war ... ssssshhhhh ... Say nothing
: ... we don't want them to learn that they are dead.

: Two months of silence for the decades of dead in
: Colombia, whose names, like the corpses they once
: represented, have piled up and slipped off our
: tongues.

: Before I begin this poem, an hour of silence for El
: Salvador ...
: An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
: Two days of silence for the Guetmaltecos ... None of
: whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living
: years.

: 45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal,
: Chiapas.

: 25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans
: who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than
: any building could poke into the sky.
: There will be no DNA testing or dental records to
: identify their remains.

: And for those who were strung and swung from the
: heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the
: east, the west ... 100 years of silence ...

: For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples
: from this half of right here,whose land and lives were
: stolen, in postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge,
: Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail

: of Tears.

: Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the
: refrigerator of our unconsciousness ...
: So you want a moment of silence?

: And we are all left speechless
: Our tongues snatched from our mouths
: Our eyes stapled shut
: A moment of silence

: And the poets have all been laid to rest
: The drums disintegrating into dust

: Before I begin this poem,
: You want a moment of silence
: You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
: And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.

: Not like it always has been.

: Because this is not a 9/11 poem
: This is a 9/10 poem,
: It is a 99 poem,
: A 9/8 poem,
: A 9/7 poem
: This is a 1492 poem.

: This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be
: written.
: And if this is a 9/11 poem,
: Then this is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971
: This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South
: Africa, 1977
: This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at
: Attica Prison, New
: York, 1971.
: This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

: This is a poem for every date
: that falls to the ground in ashes.

: This is a poem for every date
: that falls to the ground in ashes.

: This is a poem for the 110 stories
: that were never told.
: The 110 stories that history
: chose not to write in textbooks.
: The 110 stories that
: CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored.

: This is a poem for interrupting this program.
: And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
: We could give you lifetimes of empty:
: The unmarked graves
: The lost languages
: The uprooted trees and histories
: The dead stares on the faces of nameless children.
: Before I start this poem
: we could be silent forever
: Or just long enough to hunger,
: For the dust to bury us.
: And you would still ask us
: For more of our silence.

: If you want a moment of silence
: Then stop the oil pumps
: Turn off the engines and the televisions
: Sink the cruise ships
: Crash the stock markets
: Unplug the marquee lights,
: Delete the instant messages,
: Derail the trains, the light rail transit.
: If you want a moment of silence,
: Put a brick through the window of Taco Bell,
: And pay the workers for wages lost.
: Tear down the liquor stores,
: The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses,
: The Penthouses, and the Playboys.
: If you want a moment of silence,
: Then take it on Super Bowl Sunday,
: The Fourth of July
: During Dayton's 13 hour sale

: Or the next time your white guilt fills the room
: where MY beautiful people have gathered.
: You want a moment of silence
: Then take it now,
: Before this poem begins.

: Here, in the echo of my voice,
: In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
: In the space between bodies in embrace,
: Here is your silence
: Take it.

: But take it all.
: Don't cut in line.
: Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime.
: But we, Tonight
: We will keep right on singing
: For our dead.

: by Emmanuel Ortiz 9.11.02
: "Where There'z Fear, Freedom Diez.
: Where There'z Peace, Freedom Flyz."


: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

: self evident
: by ani di franco

: yes,
: us people are just poems
: we're 90% metaphor
: with a leanness of meaning
: approaching hyper-distillation
: and once upon a time
: we were moonshine
: rushing down the throat of a giraffe
: yes, rushing down the long hallway
: despite what the p.a. announcement says>
: yes, rushing down the long stairs
: with the whiskey of eternity
: fermented and distilled
: to eighteen minutes
: burning down our throats
: down the hall
: down the stairs
: in a building so tall
: that it will always be there
: yes, it's part of a pair
: there on the bow of noah's ark
: the most prestigious couple
: just kickin back parked
: against a perfectly blue sky
: on a morning beatific
: in its indian summer breeze
: on the day that america
: fell to its knees
: after strutting around for a century
: without saying thank you
: or please

: and the shock was subsonic
: and the smoke was deafening
: between the setup and the punch line
: cuz we were all on time for work that day
: we all boarded that plane for to fly
: and then while the fires were raging
: we all climbed up on the windowsill
: and then we all held hands
: and jumped into the sky

: and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
: and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
: and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
: looked more like war than anything i've seen so far
: so far
: so far
: so fierce and ingenious
: a poetic specter so far gone
: that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
: over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on
: and i'll tell you what, while we're at it
: you can keep the pentagon
: keep the propaganda
: keep each and every tv
: that's been trying to convince me
: to participate
: in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
: perpetuate retribution
: even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
: is still hanging in the air
: and there's ash on our shoes
: and there's ash in our hair
: and there's a fine silt on every mantle
: from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
: and the streets are full of stories
: sudden twists and near misses
: and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
: with tales of narrowly averted disasters
: and the whiskey is flowin
: like never before
: as all over the country
: folks just shake their heads
: and pour

: so here's a toast to all the folks who live in palestine
: afghanistan
: iraq

: el salvador

: here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
: under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

: here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
: who daily provide women with a choice
: who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
: just to listen to a young woman's voice

: here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
: awaiting the executioner's guillotine
: who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads

: to find peace in the form of a dream

: cuz take away our playstations
: and we are a third world nation
: under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
: who stole the oval office and that phony election
: i mean
: it don't take a weatherman
: to look around and see the weather
: jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
: and boy did he ever

: and we hold these truths to be self evident:
: #1 george w. bush is not president
: #2 america is not a true democracy
: #3 the media is not fooling me
: cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
: i've got no room for a lie so verbose
: i'm looking out over my whole human family
: and i'm raising my glass in a toast

: here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
: let us vow to get off of this sauce
: shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
: and find that train ticket we lost
: cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
: and peeked into all the backyards
: and the laundry was waving
: the graffiti was teasing us
: from brick walls and bridges
: we were rolling over ridges
: through valleys
: under stars
: i dream of touring like duke ellington
: in my own railroad car
: i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
: in a grand station aglow with grace
: and then standing out on the platform
: and feeling the air on my face

: give back the night its distant whistle
: give the darkness back its soul
: give the big oil companies the finger finally
: and relearn how to rock-n-roll
: yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
: so it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
: and clear the air
: get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
: of someone else's desert
: put it back in its pants
: and quit the hypocritical chants of
: freedom forever

: cuz when one lone phone rang
: in two thousand and one
: at ten after nine
: on nine one one
: which is the number we all called
: when that lone phone rang right off the wall
: right off our desk and down the long hall
: down the long stairs
: in a building so tall
: that the whole world turned
: just to watch it fall

: and while we're at it
: remember the first time around?
: the bomb?
: the ryder truck?
: the parking garage?
: the princess that didn't even feel the pea?
: remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

: can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their
: design
: following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!

: it was a joke, of course
: it was a joke
: at the time
: and that was just a few years ago
: so let the record show

: that the FBI was all over that case
: that the plot was obvious and in everybody's face
: and scoping that scene
: religiously
: the CIA
: or is it KGB?
: committing countless crimes against humanity
: with this kind of eventuality
: as its excuse
: for abuse after expensive abuse
: and it didn't have a clue
: look, another window to see through
: way up here
: on the 104th floor
: look
: another key
: another door
: 10% literal
: 90% metaphor
: 3000 some poems disguised as people
: on an almost too perfect day
: should be more than pawns
: in some asshole's passion play
: so now it's your job
: and it's my job
: to make it that way
: to make sure they didn't die in vain
: sshhhhhh....
: baby listen
: hear the train?


: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


: No to War Rap

: Who can deny
: The violence of the policies we decry
: Inflicted against innocents who defy
: The deep lies of our time?

: Who can deny the crimes
: Committed for line after line of nickel and dime
: To the rhythm and rhyme of bullets and mines
: Broken by women's' cries?

: Bombs explode the ground so the sound
: Of the soul that implodes is heard, learned, and told
: For before the cannons reload we must break a new mold
: And capture in rapture the conscience of the cold--

: Heart.
: Bullets dart while bombs dubbed smart rub against
: Toddlers in tubs-now tombs
: Depleted Uranium looms, the daisy-cutter cracks
: Babies' craniums en masse as another mother stutters, taken aback
: She wails and-boom
: Injustice sets sail and over our voices prevails
: Until we make decisions un-reversed by revisions in detail
: To derail the hail of hellish weapons dropped on flailing brethren

: Dropped over Baghdad, ironclad:
: Explosives corrosive to our morality
: Conducive to brutality of-who?
: The ruling-class crew that
: Wipe's Bush's ass squeaky clean like glass while
: Callous and crass towards humanity:
: American, Iraqi, our universality

: Let's grab back from the backstab of humanity's scabs and enemies
: Our own dreams and destinies
: Against reams of lies
: Against screams of 'fire!'
: Against hate designed
: Against fate maligned

: And make good of the common brotherhood that is ours
: Before it's devoured by cowards creeping in corners and crevices
: Of power
: Whose graceless faces grate and turn sour when
: We roar:
: No to war!

: M. Junaid Alam is a student at Northeastern University and a member of the NU Students Against War and Racism Coalition. He can be reached at:


: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

: The Children Of Iraq Have Names

: CounterPunch

: November 2, 2002

: The children of Iraq have names.
: They are not the nameless ones.

: The children of Iraq have faces.
: They are not the faceless ones.

: The children of Iraq do not wear Saddam's face.
: They each have their own face.

: The children of Iraq have names.
: They are not all called Saddam Hussein.

: The children of Iraq have hearts.
: They are not the heartless ones.

: The children of Iraq have dreams.
: They are not the dreamless ones.

: The children of Iraq have hearts that pound.
: They are not meant to be statistics of war.

: The children of Iraq have smiles.
: They are not the sullen ones.

: The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes.
: They are quick and lively with their laughter.

: The children of Iraq have hopes.
: They are not the hopeless ones.

: The children of Iraq have fears.
: They are not the fearless ones.

: The children of Iraq have names.
: Their names are not collateral damage.

: What do you call the children of Iraq?
: Call them Omar, Mohamed, Fahad.

: Call them Marwa and Tiba.
: Call them by their names.

: But never call them statistics of war.
: Never call them collateral damage.

: David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His latest book is Choose Hope, Your Role in Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age. He can be contacted at


: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

: Drink Delirium

: There will be anger
: Followed by the deluge.
: We know we will be among the drowned.
: But we will take the devil with us down
: To the deepest of deeps:
: Our end will be his...
: But slowly... What will be said
: Of us when they look back on it all?
: What will be said
: Of us after the deluge,
: After the coming drowning, after the coming anger,
: What will be said of us poets and writers?
: Were we men in truth,
: Half-men
: Or mere shadows?
: Fear,
: Fear of the sword,
: Made of us something unspeakable --
: Except in the vulgar tongue.
: [...]
: What will be said?
: Will it be said we chose silence
: For fear of death?
: The letter has an edge like a sword,
: Can turn against its speaker.
: [...]
: What will be said?
: Will it be said that we chose to speak in symbols,
: Whispers, silent gestures,
: In all the arts of coded speech?
: We said it all -- in vino veritas,
: But people
: Had other concerns:
: Their daily bread,
: A kilo of meat.
: [...]
: Maqrizi,
: You who always come after the deluge:
: A plague is a plague --
: It always comes on the tail of a famine.
: It snatched your daughter, and many other daughters
: As the wolf was standing guard.
: [...]
: I hereby solemnly swear, Maqrizi,
: Not to leave this world
: Without scandal.
: I ask no one for justice:
: True justice is not to be begged.
: Our judges are high priests,
: Our high priests are distant
: And all are traitors.
: Let someone else write poetry,
: I am writing the Chronicles of Maqrizi.
: [...]
: I drink, day
: And night I drink.
: Sinking... I sink into my depths.
: There I see him,
: In my heart a holy pearl,
: Unbreakable,
: Even if a giant mountain falls upon it.
: When I sober up, I float to the surface, lose my pearl.
: Was it lost? No. It was me who was lost--
: When I sobered up I floated to the surface.
: For sure the pearl is down there in the depths...
: No.
: It is between two thighs, trampled under feet
: Shod in military or civilian boots,
: Under the wheels of petro-dollar cars.
: [...].
: Usually I drink from two glasses...
: My comrade in the madhouse died.
: He used to share my drink
: And share my grief.
: We had no time for joy:
: He used to share my past anger,
: And present anger -- and that to come.
: Usually I drink from two glasses,
: The second to toast him.
: But tonight I drink from one glass:
: It seems my friend, upon his death,
: Had given up drinking;
: Or maybe it was me who gave up.
: Then let me drink to giving up drinking
: Until the last of all the Noahs' arks has left
: With all those who will be saved from the coming deluge.
: .................
: I sink and sink
: And see in my glass
: Monkey fornicating with rat
: Or rat fornicating with wolf
: Or wolf with owl.
: ................
: Maqrizi's daughter is lost
: In the plague
: And the plague always comes on the tail of a famine,
: When prices are measured against a kilo of meat,
: Even the price of writers, novelists, poets,
: Artists and scientists,
: When the stuff of the dreams of the poor is meat;
: And fuul beans,
: Fruit for the masters.
: [...]
: I recall a poet's saying:
: I shall sleep not to see
: My country being bought and sold.
: [...]
: Then drink from two glasses,
: Or, if you wish, drink from one.
: If my death cannot be driven away,
: Then let me engage with it
: With what I have at hand.

: - Naguib Surur

: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
: Translated by Mona Anis and Nur Elmessiri
: Extracted from the Faris Akhir Zaman (Knight of Our Time) collection of poetry; published in Naguib Surur's Complete Works, vol. 4, General Egyptian Book Organization: Cairo, 1997

: * Naguib Surur's son, Shohdy Naguib (Al-Ahram Weekly's webmaster), was arrested in the early hours of Thursday November 22 from his home in Sayeda Zeinab, Egypt.. Security forces raided his house at dawn, confiscated his computer and took him to Al-Sayeda Zeinab police station. According to Naguib, he's accused of posting the above poem, online, by his late father Naguib Surur, the renowned poet, playwright, actor and controversial figure. More on this story here.




: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

: fire


: gather around

: you love seekers

: it is time to set the fire in your breast

: the thieves of

: your souls and saffron

: have rampaged your towns

: for eight hundred years

: stealing from you

: days and celestial nights

: taken the earth

: and the ancient roots

: to be sold

: at the marketplace

: of degradation and shame

: you have inhaled

: their breath of darkness

: your heart is poisoned

: your eyes can't

: travel beyond your toes

: your hands are empty

: and your feet have no direction

: gather around

: you love seekers

: it is time to set the fire in your breast

: bring your caged heart

: your tarnished soul

: and cleanse them with

: the fire of love

: take your borrwed rational

: your iron intellect

: to the dream killers

: and stamp them

: rejected

: let all established paradigms die

: in the flame of love

: and come back to me

: with sun in your eyes

: mountains in your spines

: then

: i will help you

: to cross the river

: to where

: all shades of colors

: are in harmony

: and as brilliant as

: hope


: - Abbas Khajeaian




: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


: I'll Never Return


: I'm the woman who has awoken

: I've arisen and become a tempest through the ashes of my burnt children

: I've arisen from the rivulets of my brother's blood

: My nation's wrath has empowered me

: My ruined and burnt villages fill me with hatred against the enemy,

: I'm the woman who has awoken,

: I've found my path and will never return.

: I've opened closed doors of ignorance

: I've said farewell to all golden bracelets

: Oh compatriot, I'm not what I was

: I'm the woman who has awoken

: I've found my path and will never return.

: I've seen barefoot, wandering and homeless children

: I've seen henna-handed brides with mourning clothes

: I've seen giant walls of the prisons swallow freedom in their ravenous stomach

: I've been reborn amidst epics of resistance and courage

: I've learned the song of freedom in the last breaths, in the waves of blood and in victory

: Oh compatriot, Oh brother, no longer regard me as weak and incapable

: With all my strength I'm with you on the path of my land's liberation.

: My voice has mingled with thousands of arisen women

: My fists are clenched with the fists of thousands compatriots

: Along with you I've stepped up to the path of my nation,

: To break all these sufferings all these fetters of slavery,

: Oh compatriot, Oh brother, I'm not what I was

: I'm the woman who has awoken

: I've found my path and will never return.


: —Meena (1957-1987)


: Meena was the founder of the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan. Her entire life was dedicated to the service of her people, and most especially her the women of her nation. Her active social work and effective advocacy against the views of the fundamentalists and the puppet regime provoked the wrath of the Russians and the fundamentalist forces alike and she was assassinated by agents of KHAD (Afghanistan branch of KGB) and their fundamentalist accomplices in Quetta, Pakistan, on February 4,1987.




: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


: Below is a piece by Palestinian-American writer Suheir Hammad, author of "Born Palestinian, Born Black." Suheir was born and raised in NYC.


: 1. there have been no words.

: i have not written one word.

: no poetry in the ashes south of canal street.

: no prose in the refrigerated trucks driving debris

: and dna.

: not one word.


: today is a week, and seven is of heavens, gods,

: science.

: evident out my kitchen window is an abstract

: reality.

: sky where once was steel.

: smoke where once was flesh.


: fire in the city air and i feared for my sister's

: life in a way never

: before. and then, and now, i fear for the rest of

: us.


: first, please god, let it be a mistake, the pilot's

: heart failed, the

: plane's engine died.

: then please god, let it be a nightmare, wake me now.

: please god, after the second plane, please, don't

: let it be anyone

: who looks like my brothers.


: i do not know how bad a life has to break in order

: to kill.

: i have never been so hungry that i willed hunger

: i have never been so angry as to want to control a

: gun over a pen.

: not really.

: even as a woman, as a palestinian, as a broken human

: being.

: never this broken.


: more than ever, i believe there is no difference.

: the most privileged nation, most americans do not

: know the difference

: between indians, afghanis, syrians, muslims, sikhs,

: hindus.

: more than ever, there is no difference.


: 2. thank you korea for kimchi and bibim bob, and

: corn tea and the

: genteel smiles of the wait staff at wonjo the smiles

: never revealing

: the heat of the food or how tired they must be

: working long midtown

: shifts. thank you korea, for the belly craving that

: brought me into

: the city late the night before and diverted my daily

: train ride into

: the world trade center.


: there are plenty of thank yous in ny right now.

: thank you for my

: lazy procrastinating late ass. thank you to the

: germs that had me

: call in sick. thank you, my attitude, you had me

: fired the week

: before. thank you for the train that never came,

: the rude nyer who

: stole my cab going downtown. thank you for the

: sense my mama gave me

: to run. thank you for my legs, my eyes, my life.


: 3. the dead are called lost and their families hold

: up shaky

: printouts in front of us through screens smoked up.


: we are looking for iris, mother of three. please

: call with any

: information. we are searching for priti, last seen

: on the 103rd

: floor. she was talking to her husband on the phone

: and the line

: went. please help us find george, also known as

: adel. his family is

: waiting for him with his favorite meal. i am

: looking for my son, who

: was delivering coffee. i am looking for my sister

: girl, she started

: her job on monday.


: i am looking for peace. i am looking for mercy. i

: am looking for

: evidence of compassion. any evidence of life. i am

: looking for

: life.


: 4. ricardo on the radio said in his accent thick as

: yuca, "i will

: feel so much better when the first bombs drop over

: there. and my

: friends feel the same way."


: on my block, a woman was crying in a car parked and

: stranded in hurt.

: i offered comfort, extended a hand she did not see

: before she said,

: "we"re gonna burn them so bad, i swear, so bad." my

: hand went to my

: head and my head went to the numbers within it of

: the dead iraqi

: children, the dead in nicaragua. the dead in rwanda

: who had to vie

: with fake sport wrestling for america's attention.


: yet when people sent emails saying, this was bound

: to happen, lets

: not forget u.s. transgressions, for half a second i

: felt resentful.

: hold up with that, cause i live here, these are my

: friends and fam,

: and it could have been me in those buildings, and

: we"re not bad

: people, do not support america's bullying. can i

: just have a half

: second to feel bad?


: if i can find through this exhaust people who were

: left behind to

: mourn and to resist mass murder, i might be alright.


: thank you to the woman who saw me brinking my cool

: and blinking back

: tears. she opened her arms before she asked "do you

: want a hug?" a

: big white woman, and her embrace was the kind only

: people with the

: warmth of flesh can offer. i wasn't about to say no

: to any comfort.

: "my brother's in the navy," i said. "and we"re

: arabs". "wow, you

: got double trouble." word.


: 5. one more person ask me if i knew the hijackers.

: one more motherfucker ask me what navy my brother is

: in.

: one more person assume no arabs or muslims were

: killed.

: one more person assume they know me, or that i

: represent a people.

: or that a people represent an evil. or that evil is

: as simple as a

: flag and words on a page.


: we did not vilify all white men when mcveigh bombed

: oklahoma.

: america did not give out his family's addresses or

: where he went to

: church. or blame the bible or pat robertson.


: and when the networks air footage of palestinians

: dancing in the

: street, there is no apology that hungry children are

: bribed with

: sweets that turn their teeth brown. that

: correspondents edit images.

: that archives are there to facilitate lazy and

: inaccurate

: journalism.


: and when we talk about holy books and hooded men and

: death, why do we

: never mention the kkk?


: if there are any people on earth who understand how

: new york is

: feeling right now, they are in the west bank and the

: gaza strip.


: 6. today it is ten days. last night bush waged war

: on a man once

: openly funded by the

: cia. i do not know who is responsible. read too

: many books, know

: too many people to believe what i am told. i don't

: give a fuck about

: bin laden. his vision of the world does not include

: me or those i

: love. and petittions have been going around for

: years trying to get

: the u.s. sponsored taliban out of power. shit is

: complicated, and i

: don't know what to think.


: but i know for sure who will pay.


: in the world, it will be women, mostly colored and

: poor. women will

: have to bury children, and support themselves

: through grief. "either

: you are with us, or with the terrorists" - meaning

: keep your people

: under control and your resistance censored. meaning

: we got the loot

: and the nukes.


: in america, it will be those amongst us who refuse

: blanket attacks on

: the shivering. those of us who work toward social

: justice, in

: support of civil liberties, in opposition to hateful

: foreign

: policies.


: i have never felt less american and more new yorker,

: particularly

: brooklyn, than these past days. the stars and

: stripes on all these

: cars and apartment windows represent the dead as

: citizens first, not

: family members, not lovers.


: i feel like my skin is real thin, and that my eyes

: are only going to

: get darker. the future holds little light.


: my baby brother is a man now, and on alert, and

: praying five times a

: day that the orders he will take in a few days time

: are righteous and

: will not weigh his soul down from the afterlife he

: deserves.


: both my brothers - my heart stops when i try to pray

: - not a beat to

: disturb my fear. one a rock god, the other a

: sergeant, and both

: palestinian, practicing muslim, gentle men. both

: born in brooklyn

: and their faces are of the archetypal arab man, all

: eyelashes and

: nose and beautiful color and stubborn hair.


: what will their lives be like now?


: over there is over here.


: 7. all day, across the river, the smell of burning

: rubber and limbs

: floats through. the sirens have stopped now. the

: advertisers are

: back on the air. the rescue workers are

: traumatized. the skyline is

: brought back to human size. no longer taunting the

: gods with its

: height.


: i have not cried at all while writing this. i cried

: when i saw those

: buildings collapse on themselves like a broken

: heart. i have never

: owned pain that needs to spread like that. and i

: cry daily that my

: brothers return to our mother safe and whole.


: there is no poetry in this. there are causes and

: effects. there are

: symbols and ideologies. mad conspiracy here, and

: information we will

: never know. there is death here, and there are

: promises of more.


: there is life here. anyone reading this is

: breathing, maybe hurting,

: but breathing for sure. and if there is any light

: to come, it will

: shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and

: justice after the

: rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has

: risen.


: affirm life.

: affirm life.

: we got to carry each other now.

: you are either with life, or against it.

: affirm life.

: suheir hammad




-- signature .

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-Mail: ( default )
Optional Link ( default )
Optional Image Link ( default )

This board is powered by the Mr. Fong Device from