Some of the poetry has been featured, most has not. There is a permanent link on the Portland Indymedia website.
I have organized poetry readings, actions, and have been infamous in my own right for being a poet. I am not widely touted as a premier poet of the IMC nor do I expect that recognition either for the Mcing our daily poetry reading or for the personal poetry I submit. It is the poets themselves who I think deserve the loud recognition of the hope they provide us: Nelson Mandela, Rigoberto Menchu, Langston Hughes, Dovid Engleshaat, Edna St Vincent Millay, Che, Subcommandante Marcos and countless others.
These voices hopefully will give you strength like a speech from Ward Churchill, an essay from Greg Palast, a video w/ Chomsky can do for me. It is my hope that again we can feel roots of our revolutionary work and believe we are entitled to roses as well as bread. Someone stole our time and replaced it with forced labor, genocide, ecological warfare, and did it laughing w/spit in our faces. But we can stare that corporation down and demand our rights to universal sovereignty. The right to ourselves, our time, our footprints. No one, not a government, not job, not a lover, not a father has the right to decide your actions, your future, your tongue, your pen. No fatherland gave you the ability to commit genocide in it’s name. No corporation gave you the right to buy sweatshop labor in it’s name, no law book can take away the right of love, nor can family give you the right to not act!
We must celebrate in our streets! We must dance with missing and the dead, we must burn in effigy the cruel dictators who kill and imprison large majorities of our mail underprivileged minorities, we must congregate in groups larger than 5 people, and we must say loudly that we will dispose of all presidents! These freedoms are not given to us, we take them because we are human, and they are ours! No government can decide my tongue. Around the world we are crying in misery as our governments kill more and more of the poorer populaces.
The names of the countries attacked by the weapons manufactures would read like the dostier of the war on Iraq. Country after country would submit it’s name crying for it’s heroines. Crying at the raped and disabled woman who screaming, dripping blood in the middle of the street clutching her dead child in her rag torn arms implores us to stop the brutality. Implores us for humanity, implores us to share and share alike. America, we are the soldier plugging the bodies of these woman with guns and dicks. We are the rapists who support our troops. We are the are the infanticide, we bomb babies milk manufacturers and give raises to the those who manufacturer weapons. Our only commodity are weapons and biological warfare in the disguise of gmo’s and big pharma. Meanwhile we slaughter cruelly tearing apart the bodies of live animals for food and for testing our food. We live in destruction, proud that we have taken away our women’s monthly blood and deny the 13 month calendar.
I am your culprit. I am America. I realize this. Everyday I resist but it is not the resistance that occupies Iraq till we outnumber troops, Halliburton and all of the war machine to stop the madness. It is poetry resistance.
Years ago ( do you remember?) we used to whisper the poetry of resistance to our children as they went to bed with tears on the their faces from hunger. This let them sleep, the belief that though they worked they should not and that they deserved fields of wildflowers.
Every Zine, every pamphlet started with poetry and ended with poetry.
Though, America, we have been marauded, tortured, imprisoned, hunted down, shot like dogs when we try to escape, denied the vote, raped, plundered, cheated, stolen from, lied to, and degraded by our government I expect you to buy your tea like you always did.
This time, America, you must individually write your liber.
So come brew yourself, and let’s have a parlor conversation. How will you write your poem?
Excerpt from Filthy Negroes
By Jacques Roumain
deep into the heart of infernal jungles
will throb the terrible telegraphic beating
of the tom-toms tirelessly beating beating
that the negroes
won't take anymore
won't take anymore
being your niggers
your filthy negroes
for we will have risen
from the thieves' dens from the gold mines in the Congo
and South Africa
too late it will be too late
on the cotton plantations of Louisiana
in the sugar cane fields of the Antilles
to halt the harvest of vengeance
of the negroes
the filthy negoes
it will be too late I tell you
for even the tom-toms will have learned the language
of the Internationale
for we will have chosen our day
day of the filthy negroes
And here we are arisen
All the wretched of the earth
all the upholders of justice
marching to attack your barracks
like a forest of funeral torches
to be done
with this world
Jacques Roumain is certainly one of the most important figures in Haitian literature. Noirist, communist, political activist, diplomat, political exile, co-founder of La Revue Indigene: Les Arts et la Vie, in 1927 and founder of the Bureau d'Ethnologie in 1941, yet a man who died young at only 37. His career points to an energetic activist and artist, a focal point of Haitian intellectual life and resistance in the occupation and post-occupation period. While Roumain is probably most famous for his novel, The Masters of the Due, which was translated in 1947, until now little else of Roumain's work is available to the English reader.
Read more excerpts of poetry by him at this link: