Monday, March 15, 2021

“Black milk of morning” Still here



One year later, we’re still here.

A year ago, the lights went out at Judson, in the movies, Cobble Hill Cinema.

We rode bikes for Peter’s birthday, meeting in the park.

And our world changed.

I have not seen him since.

There are so many I have not seen.

We’re still here.

Haven’t left.

Breonna is still dead.

Those who took her life are still here.

She was sleeping, just like Freddy Hampton.

Say her name. Tell her story.

The teenagers are still here, still at home after a year online.

In the afternoons they skate together or make it to record shops.

Out to Owl’s Head, up the bowl, backwards, forwards, through the sky,

the cyclists and skaters, colliding, sharing, meeting, cheering each other along in the park.

And then on their way, they fly.

Some friends remain; many are gone.

Friends meet at Barbes, Colonial Verde in Ft Greene.

The Ditchdigger is gone.

The kids are going.

We used to know each other.

18 years ago.

Now we’re left wondering what happened?

Plans changed.

Escapes cancelled.

Now its confused.

Sleep is confused.

Waking, wondering what we’re doing.

We knew each other.

Then kids came.

And we grew.

And time passed.

Dreams came true, but so did regrets.

Sleep is hard.

We wake early.

Eat, gossip, listen to by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot.

We interrupt.

Resentments brew.


They say, let sleeping dogs lie.

When you wake them, they rage.

Triggers and anger and fear and hurt and all of it.

The cold grasps at us.

Two students positive this week.

COVID still here.

The body remembers.

Dylan’s body remembers Woody.

Mia believed Dylan.

The world is starting to listen.

Grandmom didn’t believe Dad when he told her Grandad beat him after the war.

Didn’t side with him.

Didn’t protect him.


That was another war.


That was another war.

Yet, the memories are still here.

The injuries pass down to us, to the kids, to the families.


All weekend, I read about Katherine Anne Porter and her mythical friendship with Eudora Welty, rejecting Carson, and finding a place, revising, mythologizing, re telling what it all meant.


In Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Porter recalls the influenza of 1918:

“The road to death is a long march beset with all evils, and the heart fails little by little at each new terror, the bones rebel at each step, the mind sets up its own bitter resistance and to what end? The barriers sink one by one, and no covering of the eyes shuts out the landscape of disaster, nor the sight of crimes committed there.”


We all set up those “bitter resistance[es]”….


I go see mom on Sunday, listening to the Judson online service, remembering I used to see everyone. The bulletin reminds:


“We also commit to change. Everything you touch you change. Everything you change changes you. The only lasting truth is change.”


Mom is still here, with her stories about trips she took, those she missed and regretted.

Don’t make a mistake, she says. Don’t have regrets.

She shows me her orchids.

Spring is here.


During service, we read, Spring by Octavia Butler


“Last night it was still so cold I woke and went out to stand in the yard, and there was no moon. So I just stood there, inside the jaw of nothing. An owl cried in the distance, I thought of Jesus, how he crouched in the dark for two nights, then floated back above the horizon. There are so many stories, more beautiful than answers. I follow the snake down to the pond, thick and musky he is as circular as hope.”


Micah is still here.

Judson is still here.

Much is still here, not as all that was.


On the way home,  my history of literature broadcast retraces a poem:

Death Fugue.

   “Black milk of morning we drink you evenings
we drink you at noon and mornings we drink you at night
we drink and we drink….

Welcome spring.


“Bodies are piling up in the morgues and instead
an elegy of boats
an inventory of industry, countdown
to when paradise can begin again.”


wonders Desiree C Bailey.


Hopefully, less bodies will be piling up.



Ken Schles
 is at 
. · @blackrock invests in climate destruction.
In 2020, #blackrock CEO Larry Fink publicly committed to stop funding #climatedisaster but much is left out. We need to reach negative emissions, not zero net emissions to meet our climate goals. The planet will continue to warm even if we stop emitting #greenhouse gas emissions. #lowcarbon is different from #nocarbon . 2030 is coming fast. So is 2040 and 2050. Blackrock needs to set hard guidelines for rolling back emissions and commit to no new investments in #fossilfuel infrastructure. #offsets won’t get us there. Offsets still allow for rainforest destruction and the destruction of irreplaceable ecosystem habitats. Blackrock: hold corporate boards accountable, #defund and #stopline3 , get out of coal completely. No tar sands #blackrocksbigproblem is yours too. #stopthemoneypipeline
March 3, 2021 action at Blackrock corporate offices in Midtown Manhattan spewing crude and despoiling the planet. @xr_nyc @350org @350brooklyn @350actionny @350actionny @ny4change @fwwnewyork @foodandwaterwatch @risenresistnyc @nycdsaecosoc @standmighty @rainforestactionnetwork #divest"

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