Monday, August 31, 2020

The Sea Calling … Rumblings from East to the West


“I can hear the sea calling out

from beyond the jetty, smell the pines
near the flooded-out bridge where today
someone tried to winch an old Volkswagen
up from the swirling waters.
Far down the coast the same west wind”


Year of the Ox


Joseph Millar

Rumblings from the West.

60 thousand Americans died in the Vietnam War in thirty years.

180 thousand of COVIID 19 in six months.

We’re not close to done.

And people are fighting about what it means.

The amnesia express wants us to forget.

Wants us to pretend.

Vote Trump.


But this came from somewhere.

A crumbling public health.

Cities full of bodies.


The tyranny of intimacy,

That’s what its all about, I say to Caroline.

All of us together.

Crowded into this space.

Democracies of bodies.

Cities swirling, laboratories of our imagination,

one step up, two steps back.

We lose our city composting.

We get rid of cars on Jay Street,

One step up, two steps back.

#nogowanusrezone we remember sandy. We don't need more condos on a Superfund site. There are enough toxins in the mental and physical environment.

We want a racial impact study, not another set of condos on a Superfund site.


Another COVID test,

Another swab in my brain.

Another negative.


Thousands gather in DC to condemn the assault on black bodies.

On communities of color,

A generation coping with mass incarceration.

Jacob Blake, shot in the back.

 Breonna Taylor, seven bullets in his back.

George Floyd, a knee on his neck.

Get your knee off our necks.


In Portland, clashes in the streets.


Calls for law and order.

Forget the reasons people were in the street.


Fearful for the future.

Who is in charge?


The best thing about being at Brighton Beach is that being here is not being in the USA, says Caroline.

Ideas flying.




Birds playing.

Cold beer.

Immigrants gathering.

They have stories to tell.


Storms coming.

Rain here, just off the water.


Walking to Chinatown.

And back.

Extinction isn’t cool, says the sign.


Need food?


Out to Union Square

On the North End

Jay implores us.

Vote them out.

White supremacy, another disease Trump made worse.

Donna is scared about what’s coming.
Not another 2016 we moan, not another.

On the south end,

New York stands with Hong Kong.

Still defending freedom of speech.

Social workers are being charged with rioting,

Assaulting police officers.

Civil liberties eroding.


In Tompkins, we chat.

And listen to Jazz in Brooklyn.


All weekend we debate.

The usual chat about voting and harm reduction.

Some say it doesn’t matter.

Others see the need.


Tony Valenzuela writes:

If you're a minority in this country as I am many times over - queer, Mexican, HIV positive, son of immigrants - this election isn't just personal, it poses an existential threat. For my entire 52 years on this planet, Republicans have aggressively acted as my enemies. They have lied about and legislated against me and people like me for decades, and continue to. They (especially Evangelical Christians) have said: I'm a danger to children; I'm dirty; I'm criminal; I'm a drain on the welfare state; I'm damaged, soulless, and without value. I'll hold up my own accomplishments, contributions to my community, and sense of decency over theirs any day of the week.

Republicans elected the greatest con man in history to the U.S. presidency who has done nothing but lie to excuse his revolting racism, and staggering incompetence and criminality that has cost us over 175,000 lives in this pandemic, the worst response to COVID in the developed world, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. This week's RNC propaganda won't change the fact that this depraved man is an agent of chaos, a disaster at his job, and a grave danger to this country and the world.

If you're watching the unrest in Wisconsin where police yet again shot (and nearly killed) a Black man in the back seven times, and then a right wing white teenager shot and killed two demonstrators ... if this makes you want to give Trump four more years, because you value buildings destroyed in understandable rage more than you value the lives of Black people and justice for Black people, then you're a lost soul.

I'm voting for Biden-Harris not because I'm a Democratic Party true believer (I've never been), but because our democracy depends on defeating Trumpism, as does my life. I'm voting Democrat up and down the ballot because we urgently need to fire Trump and his collaborators for the good of the nation and for our young people's future.”


Policies have consequences from Vietnam to COVID.

Some forget.

Others recall.


ATimothy Lunceford-Stevens remembers:

“Friend, Nathan Kolodner, died 31 years ago last night, at 38 years of age, of AIDS and I let it pass, thinking of friend Stephen Addona, who died this week. Both left earth at early age. Stephen and were working on helping Long Term Survivors not feel alone. I did tonight, thinking of the two of them and the loss.”


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