good versus bad could be the subject line in so many stories we tell one another, the backdrop for the narrative tales that thread in and out of the jacks in the boxes, the sevens the elevens, the wall green white hens laying eggs on your bank account until they topple and fall below zero to get charged lacking overdraft protections, the bank tricked out the selections, egg in your eye so all you see in the yolk of your mirror is some bloke whose tramped out and you clean and stamped out with some substandard nonglass maybe bleach infused product, summer tanned to understand and bleached on the beach, privileged to be lazy with your reach for the cell phone to make ends meet in another zip code, a city street, an elevation way up high in a place of certain control and power, soon to be undertowed away having worn the boot too long and through, having anchored yourself in one place. bombs away they say as they raze you — only you can raise a new you — a locus among locusts where from all the lofty semi-ideas truck over inferieures in hemis with emmys and gaze, bent over forward or backward or side to side just to hide your true feelings toward someone not quite befitting the mantle, the boss, the one who commands, the one who destroys outside thinking, the one who insulates the factory and checks off on imbalances. on the balance sheet of life its quite clear that the eggwhites of eyes register the very zero so many are fearing and steering as far clear of as may be consciously possible, and who knows where the unconscious is going sometime, personally or collectively dreaming away on a counter. what makes life interesting, makes truth stranger in many ways and harder to pinpoint than an invention of some no good for nothing unemployed poet mentored by purportedly self-actualized dharma bums and beats, optimized daily with new vegan recipes of brown sugarcane juice and cost-cutting and paper-saving methodology, supplemented by earth focused animal-friendly strawberry goo, and rather fascinating for a bonus, right? and that’s what they think of you and me, too.
Activism. I was thinking back on the the Occupy Oakland movement and 2011. Brought on by one of Lacey Reah’s threads about MLK and demonstrations. I don’t always feel like revisiting the year, the time, because I was in trouble and of no use to anyone and definitely not a political movement of any kind, yet I remember the buildup one day toward an imminent call-4-action. There had been posters stapled to telephone poles and canvassing all throughout Oakland leading up to it. I was in my apartment watching Democracy Now which was covering the event, and you could already hear the helicopters hovering over downtown. They weren’t gonna leave after rush hour was over and the sun went down and the people began heading out on foot, by bicycle, by skateboard, bus, or train to Broadway and designated areas like the 14th and 19th street crosses downtown, subway stops near the lake. The organized protests were to be non-violent, but the city prepared for the worst kinda riot. I’m sure corporate lobbies were strong, what with all the infrastructure and banks and businesses situated there. The media would of course cover it all. The police were mobilized in force, with full gear and helmets and shields all up to make boundary walls that might enclose the protest in a demarcated area. This was many months before the most successful demonstration, which started in the afternoon and marched all the way to the Port of Oakland and blocked the trucks and stopped the million-dollar-a-day commerce from taking place for a couple of days. And after the Oscar Brown injustice, which set off a stream of protests and was (far from the first) precursor to all of the demonstrations we have seen lately in this country against police shootings. It had become a pretty regular thing for the city of Oakland to prepare for these events. Obviously the city is rich in history of demonstrations, being the home of the Black Panthers and neighbor to Berkeley and San Francisco. But the police force by this time was so corrupt and out of sorts it had been federalized, yes, the federal government took the Oakland Police under its jurisdiction by force of court proceedings! So there may have been extra weight behind them in the form of federal funds, but weaker local leadership.
None in the new millenium would get as much media coverage as the Occupy Movement which was of such national interest and concern five years ago. The internet allowed for speedy pop-up shop demonstrations and facile communication. Democracy Now provided almost a central organizing principle to the whole thing, or dressed it into larger, truth and justice-seeking themes. So anyway, what was I doing? Nothing worthwhile mostly struggling and depressed. I remember feeling excited nonetheless because the city was buzzing with tension. What was gonna happen tonight, downtown? All I knew was that I was gonna go, and I said I was gonna go and I never went. The story of my life that year, making plans and not following through. Addiction would have a chokehold on me until February 19th, 2013. Still, I felt like I was there; I talked to friends who went and I walked downtown the next day in the aftermath and saw all the vandalism that took place, mostly by renegade kids from the suburbs wearing masks. Broken storefront windows. Spraypainted everything. The only thing that looked more of a disaster was me and my life. It had been a night to forget for the Oakland PD. National coverage caught the cops implementing their weaponry, you probably saw it on tv. Looked like the 4th of July, and sounded like war, the noise makers, the usual flares and tear gas and rubber bullets and tasers. It made for a new meaning for when-the-lights-came-up-on-broadway. That night a soldier who had returned from the war in Iraq was put into a coma when he was hit in the head by a flare shot. He would live to tell.
So what of all this? Why would I have anything to say about an event in which I did not participate? In a year in which I was completely broke down and out of commission? I don’t know. All I know is the Occupy and the Oscar Grant demonstrations had a great effect on me. The demonstrations against the Prison Industrial Complex did, too, but that one was safe indoors in a school gym. The ones in the streets meant more to me and it’s because I was in the streets back then, marginalized and easily dismissed, often desperate for a handout, some food, a couch, or even a word of kindness. Sometimes I think you almost have to be marginalized and feel that way, to really care about those who are marginalized. I say that, but at the same time I pause to recognize it’s not a fair statement, because there are plenty of lawyers and journalists and politicians and people who never have been marginalized, who have stood behind the marginalized. We call them heroes. And having been marginalized I know how it feels and I have a real adverse reaction in my gut every time I hear the Occupy Movement dismissed as some disorganized dilute homeless and criminal encampment looking for handouts! It was decentralized (on purpose) and not disorganized at all, and there were all kinds of people and all elements of society represented among its advocates, including the homeless and people with criminal records! It was branded by the government as some kinda terrorist activity so they could use funds from Homeland Security to stop it. And non-violent protesters were treated with shock and force and tear gas canistry, and piggybacked upon by losers from the suburbs putting on masks and coming in by train and breaking corporate storefront windows and spraypainting crap all over! The media at first blamed the violent response on the Occupy protesters or smudged them all together, though to their credit many journalists properly admonished the City of Oakland for terrorizing the movement, injuring civilians and overuse of force once they saw the Occupy people out there scrubbing away and cleaning up the streets the very next morning. No, the movement cannot be dismissed so easily!
There would be too much pressure against it, ultimately, for Occupy to continue having viable non-violent demonstrations across the country. But a statement was made and boldly. At the very least the general public got their heads dunked in cold water. That the wealth of this country is concentrated in the hands of too few, and the rest of us are seeing a declining portion of that wealth over time. Most of us knew this beforehand, and little could be done about it. The Occupy Movement was not any kind of failure, in my opinion, for it proved that something happens when people come together to rally behind a common cause. People come to know that they are not alone in how they feel, that horrible malaise of economic disparity. This venting may not in itself, correct the underlying economic disparity, yet is a critical part of a greater process which continues to unfold in its own time! This critical process is what we know as a social paradigm shift and is happening all around us, over time. It is met with great resistance (as all change is) but leads ultimately to overall changes in individual/institutional perceptions, changes in worldviews and changes in our culture trending toward justice, trending toward greater consciousness, many of which are toward healing and wholeness, and reclaiming marginalized parts of ourselves and society. You can see this all represented already in your world, if you just look around. LGBT rights, for instance. And there will be many more micro movements towards the macro movement. As individuals we need only follow the prescient wisdom of the day and ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. To anyone who feels marginalized or discarded or hopeless at this time:Don’t give in and please Don’t give up! – KatYa
My poetry was chosen for another ezine, you can find it here alongside some other good poets of the community — Words On Fire Ezine . Also, I am training for the California International Marathon this December and donated some money to the crown jewel of Sacramento parks – The American River Parkway (my favorite place 4 cycling). This will be my first marathon. I am up to 10 miles now. You can find the CIM here — CIM! 2016. Book #3 of myurban fantasy series should be out by October 31st, latest.
Having dressed the walls and my wounds with classical music tonight, my thoughts now alight upon the exclusivity principle rooted to our being. The marrow starts to gel in the bones then vaporizes and shrieks out – a veritable night train whistle, forewarning us of the onslaught of the millenial generations. It’s nobody’s fault. Life just steams and marches on, stepping carelessly over the carcasses of the formerly treasured, the loved. Some of the more rock-like formations hold out a little longer. Consider the St. Petersburg Conservatory, one of only thousands of imperial-strength monuments in the world which could sing you impossible tales of a century ago, hemmed in at the waist by a sea of concrete.
|‘Highway#1. Bodega Bay by helicopter’ – KatYa, 2016|
One cannot have a delicate stomach for change. We must all harden our arteries to the passage of life, for it will divert its path from us and our microcosmic runs, either way; tastes will change, schools will shift, culture will replace itself, rejecting, celebrating, denying, judging, appreciating, dismissing, cherishing, banning, engorging, ridiculing, savoring along. I think the best you can do is love it while you last, participate in the push and pulls, and when your very own consigns you to your residue, the dripping-to-seal wax of human history, you take your place and hold there, never giving up, whilst the populace cartwheels over your back and pushes you deeper down by soft and sure palms, to the world beyond the light-wind-water-fire, into a quiet and dark place inhospitable to your past, where you may again flourish with a nitroglycerin glow, vasodilating in the belly of the heart of an era.
she was. she was a has been
looking quite seductive
attracting our energy
i remember with sadness
we remember collectively
the number people
those who lived and died by the numbers
and still do
got high kick adrenaline off numbers
got lowdown dirt broke
laid over numbers
by the tracks
A double cross then
on this one night
three times heated over
some petty useless argument
murderers murder over
(needed an excuse that’s all
they cannot kill without reason)
no real reason
fumblin to get wide of my skinny jeans
on the beach
Some kinda player he fashions himself
me some kinda someone
well i was not gonna
open up for no singular double crosser
guess what if you’re guessing
(throw my sandy blonde hair back
over my eyes so not to give away
whats behind them)
the colors were changing my iris
cobalt blue turning royal
i am crossed in this setup
its painful. his means to my end
just so used to violence
always im touched. made to feel like giving up
you must be violent with the world
violent with self
violent with me and
i got the patch can you not see i
got the goddam medal
ya. still. you would get into it with me
the cannot be spoken and not even here
Come here with your weak game to this ball of resistance
this wall. my existence
come here to my softness
and soft may i be
yet bold with flavor like
english breakfast tea
i won’t need a receipt
i will walk away before you chance to raise your eyelids
you never even caught me half mad out the door
half lost by
and raise you twenty
the poverty adds up
to make us poor
You your solemn sorry self
just trying to score
thought i was on the take when i wasn’t
Had you seen yourself going down
you could have would have saved your self
again recounting the drama the day drove into
your lungs when what you call a heart
is unknown to you
You who made the world ache
in the eighties what with
your prosperous nonsense you’re
You gave when giving itself was on the take
reptilian counters your smooth wanna-moves
not even that younger girl you had
down by the small towns the
a quiet night it was
and that’s what gave you away. too late
too late too late for her anyway
(she’s the kinda one im here to remind you of. hello)
If not myself
whom you clearly forgot
behind your made upedness
I would be
my make up
well. just fell
Fallen down in cream mineral bare
essential straight loss
i gave up on you
and your double cross
you see. i crossed too. i had to
had an agenda
planned it out
(what a cost)
Ya I wore the long boots skinny jeans
you saw. you knew
(you wanted it, too)
i feel cursed
i feel cursed just like you
Made up me and you the monsters
in this creature double cross feature
this sordid rendez-vous
Made me a star
i got the feeling awash over me like a little kid. i did.
whose feelings come like waves roll out like petals
to the song of the sun every day
opened up. in this state
were it blissful
were we pensive
were we texas
No, no. no, i never been there. will you take me someone
i’m a star, remember
i’m some star. right. and stars shine
they do. remember
they dont go
they dont go just where you ask them
Dont listen. stars. do they
(always gotta get some action)
You know by what you get…
what you got when you
Royal blue drained to cobalt
i hid this from you
you did not exist for me then
nor did i for you
you kill me
a little more every time
I’m tired. i’m tired thats why i’m talking to you
for you… one nation of you (under you)…
we fall down
and we fall
The urge is to break away from the pack and recover my own heartbeat, whenever I am lost in the crowd, and like Debussy’s ‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun’ my pulse on its own stands wobbly and inquisitive at first, wishing for the comfort of the soft blankets left behind, and gathering my strength with the first light to see myself through to some incidental rhythm which might pick me up and love me a little and carry me, not unlike a waltz, a Kachaturian favorite at the Bolshoi Ballet, anything that begins to throb and push my blood out for more, more, more… ’cause what we have here is not enough, my friend, not enough at all to justify the effort life demands, no, to go on living requires an advancement of faith sometimes, a personal loan of decisive courage written off an account in arrears, I mean therefore a great risk of sorts only could be taken by a fool or someone who cannot fail. And that would be me, dear sir, enfathomed in the stabilizing clay of primordial pockets, ready to be fired and glazed, a modern day rockstar sold out to the streets and kicked by a label, stretched to the capillaries on short supply of sanity, appeal in the curiosity of all that’s gone wrong when dipped in the culture, coming out bold print with a comic sans striation. A modern day American girl with a penchant for obscurity and woven matte finish regalia. Loving you, loving life and ready for anything. Turning to old masters when I don’t have a clue, songs from the cemetery when there’s nothing better to do, yes, punching up the pulse to a lively arpeggio, ascending off a decline and here I sign. – KatYa
Cancel my subscription to the mobile phone.
Cancel my subscription to politics and gas.
Cancel my subscription to lethargy and cable.
Cancel my subscription to drugs and alcohol.
Cancel my subscription to tap water.
Cancel my subscription to other people’s pain.
Cancel my subscription to being led on.
Cancel my subscription to recycling the same old crap.
Cancel my subscription to acquaintance by text.
Cancel my subscription to an inside job.
Cancel my subscription to middle east oil.
Cancel my subscription to grocery store mailings.
Cancel my subscription to cage free hens.
Cancel my subscription to ad-free tv.
Cancel my subscription to barnacled rituals.
Cancel my subscription to imperialism under wraps.
Cancel my subscription to liars and thieves.
Cancel my subscription to half the world religions.
Cancel my subscription to new and old waves.
Cancel my subscription to smoking and vapes.
And modern day slaves.
Give me an endless cup of coffee
Give me someone to love
Give me someone who loves me
Give me a song with no words
Give me a room with one window
Give me a book with no message
Give me a laptop with no hard drive
Give me a friend with no agenda
Give me a chance
And I will give
to be who you said
you could be