Monday, October 15, 2018

Marching Bands #honkforjustice with all creatures great and small! #honklife #honknyc #resist


#honklife #honknyc #resist and a photo by Sara Valentine
UNITED STATES OF AMERICANS - NYC Light Brigade display at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn.

Photo by Erik McGregor

It was a weird week.
Night after night, I lay in bed wondering how I was going to do everything I’d committed to Saturday.
But I still had to get to Saturday. 
All week long, bands prowled the streets,
Vagabonds with drums from Brazil, Tubas from New Orleans.
Jennifer Miller blessed the bands welcoming everyone.
Don’t Stop Me Now, the LTrain Brass Band jammed, as Jennifer and the other denizens of the brass music revolution shook it up at
HONK NYC's kick off party at MARKET HOTEL in Bushwick.
Beats and brass filled the old hotel.
New Creations Brass Band (New Orleans)
Unidos do Swing (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Hungry March Band,
Benjamin on cymbols.
Sara invited everyone.
Abby greeted us.
Wendy, Anne and I chatted about the world.
Jenny danced.
And no one got hurt.
Tuesday was easy, a straight shot down Myrtle from work to music and dancing.

Each night I imagined a different way to do everything i wanted to do on Saturday.
Nothing was giving.
Union meetings and solidarity on Thursday.
Coming out stories all week long.
Friday,  the 12-year-old and I watched Colette, forever dreaming.
Coming out as who she was, through her art, her life her writing. 
“You will do foolish things,” she advised. “... do them with enthusiasm.” 
Its never easy becoming an active subject in history.

That was Stanley’s point, leading us through the Subject Object dialectic on Saturday.
The day was here.
I woke early, ready to take on anything the city could hurl my way.
Drink some coffee with mon amore.
Read Adorno and ride to 37th street.
And let the crazy begin.
What’s the point of the essay?
Subject Object
Me and you.
Us and something out there.
You and me.
Subject object.
With history and material conditions mediating what goes on between us.
Our world is shaped in our ever becoming, our observing.
Between the yin of you and yang of me, ever reversing,
Pregnant with their opposites.
Shadow play between puppets and reflections,
What is real, never quite revealing itself
ever differentiating.
Its his great defense of historical materialism.
Stanley was on fire.
Not quite as noisy, but still on fire.
Off I rode back to Brooklyn to meet everyone at 3 PM for our activist informed reading group.
Adrienne Marie brown reminding us that we emerge through an ongoing engagement between
What we hope to be and what we are.
Hopefully there is a love in this emerging strategy, a little flavor, some color, some spice.
How do we listen to others as if they were our teachers, she asks.
How do we practice new futures together?
Her parents showed her:
“And it was quick - a noticing each other, a flirting without words, talking, laughing, and, four months later, eloping.  I showed up a year and half later.  Love overcame racist socialization, creating more possibilities between two people who had been taught the other was dangerous….”
None of us were really sure what this emergent strategy was, but we all felt inspired.

The easy part of the day was done.
Off I careened toward the wild the innocent and the road to Ashbury Park.
The charger was gone.
Stopped to get a new one.
You asshole, she screamed.
Ahh New Yorkers.
So much love. 
But i had to get there. 
And I was already late.
Cindy was turning sixty.
She’s the best union organizer I know.
Like a lot of queer people she knows a little bit about connecting class and sex, solidity and work.
A rainbow flag out front and a mariachi band out back in her beach house, the party was a blast.
Carol and I talked about parents and aging and craziness setting in.

And I was on my way toward Princeton, where mom and I had a date and dinner planned.
Its no straight road from Ashbury Park to Princeton, the zigging and zagging feels continuous.
The GPS crashes, maps going haywire.
Sending me here, there, anywhere but where I needed to be going.
But finally I get there.
Mom’s eating cheese and crackers drinking wine.
I join her sharing food from the party, chatting and gossiping.
I’m gonna be here another ten years, she smiled.
Hope so Mom.

And back to Brooklyn I make my way, back past Port Amboy, out of New Jersey, through Staten Island, over to the Verrazano, through the dark night.  
Takes 75 minutes.
Singing along with show tunes, the trip nothing.
Too easy.
Back in time for something for more, something for me.
Looking at the invitation.
Going to make it by eleven.
RSVP to for Bushwick address
What is the address?
Dave, Sara, Elissa, google – does anyone know the address?
No reply.
Everyone’s dancing.
Cab takes me to Flushing.
No club there.
No reply.
People are dancing somewhere else.
I’m lost in Brooklyn.
Is the city tearing me apart?
My tribe is dancing and I’m standing at the corner.
Two bands left, great vibe, Sara writes.
You are close.
NOLA band is starting.

Careening through the Brooklyn night,
My cabbie consoles me.
The evening is young.

I’m making it.

You made it, Sara greets me at Melrose,
Music everywhere.
Elissa is just leaving.
Others are coming.
Soul and brass sounds emanate from the back, a technicolor barrage of light, yellows, oranges, greens cascading.
Dancing through the HONK+Rubulad BRASS-TASTIC BLOWOUT!
This is your night to shine, the invitation reminds me on the door.
New Creations Brass Band declares its time to paaaartay.
My whole tribe is here.
October smiles and cheers, dancing bodies, old hipsters and punks, occupiers and musicians sharing the fall feeling like only NYC can give us.
Hi Ben.
I know you from Occupy.
Rev Billy has finished.
The choir mulls about, chatting.
Dragonfly tells me about Scotland.
Killian is on his way back to Dublin.
Is about to play.

Welcome boys, girls and everyone else
Greets the Great Fredini.

Are you ready for the hardest working post apocalyptic marching band in Brooklyn?
Are you ready for Funkrust Brass Band?

Josh and Ella are there.
The trombones are there.
Robin is there.
Yana is there.
Trombones are there.
Lights and sweating bodies are there.
A woman plays her sax in my ear.
Josh leads.
Ella sings into a bullhorn.
We are all there.
Friends I only see at honk, friends I used to always see…
Even as our tribes of cycling anarchist renegades get jobs.
We always have honk.
It reminds us to be, to feel, to be.
To laugh at real estate, at money at being broke, at everything.

When we dance together, we become subjects,
Even at the city tries to turn us into objects.
Even as it commodifies our dissent.
Reification is everywhere.
But the brass bands convey the negative.
They remind us.
Bounding up and down into the air, we are more powerful and purposeful.
Our ridiculousness is our weapon, especially on long October nights.

By two am, I am back home, close to sleeping.
Dreaming, made it. 
Six hours later, the Sunday Times is a reminder of the colossal mess out there.
But its Sunday.
We are welcoming the animals at Judson,
All creatures great and small are here. 
But mostly dogs barking,
Kids playing.
Next year, I’ll bring Spider notes the little one.

Lulu and I talk about John Donne.
None of us are islands.
We are all connected,
Subjects and objects, interconnected.

There are more beautiful things than Beyoncé,
notes lulu, showing me a poem by Morgan Parker.

It always good to remember, we are more than our station in this town, even as it categorizes and monetizes our dreams and downtown, our latte and our lives.

Parker describes Another Autumn in New York:
When I drink anything out of a martini glass I feel untouched by professional and sexual rejection. I am a dreamer with empty hands and I like the chill. I will not be attending the party tonight, because I am microwaving multiple Lean Cuisines and watching Wife Swap…

Good on you Morgan.
We all have to microwave more Lean Cuisines.
Wandering to Union Square I know she is right, the sounds of kids laughing, grownups singing and howling rumbles through my mind.

Best part of my way, watching the little one find her own subjectivity.
Sunday was slowing down.
We took some pictures.
Installed some art.
It feels good to think I made it through Saturday.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICANS - NYC Light Brigade display at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn.
 photo by Erik McGregor

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