Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vision on February 2010

A young man I know, who has taught me much in the last couple of years as he sought, himself, to learn, wrote this recently and gave me permission to post it here. As Arundahti Roy suggests, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

~~Vision on February 2010~~

by Gregory Esteven

Memory is the mortar which binds us to time,
Like red bricks in columns stretching up to the sky.
Memory is heavier than air, water or any other element.
And yet, it is as elusive as a vapor.
We wade through it, as old hunters
Wade through water and mist out in canoes past Manchac,
Traversing the mystery of the Louisiana wetlands,
Spanish moss tickling the tops of their heads.

I hear an old Johnny Cash song playing in the distance
While I sit in the window of my apartment.
“Get rhythm when you get the blues,” he sings.
What advice!
Well, maybe we should take it.
It’s not over yet.
We can make the revolution now.
Memory and the past weigh down on us
Like heavy, stinking swamp mud.
But in every human being,
Increasingly—more and more!—
I perceive a beam of light, as if coming from the future.
“You can’t light a candle and hide it under the bushel,” they say.
I’m prepared to believe them.

Even in this place, where wealthy planters once kept black slaves
Separated from poor white workers
(while keeping the power and riches for themselves),
Even in this place, where migrant laborers from America Latina
Are worked like slaves by gigantic corporations,
Even in this place, where you can still get killed
for fucking someone of the same “sex”,
Even in this place, I see hope for revolution.

Where the mouth of the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico--
this is none other than the vulva of the United States of America.
Ships come in, pollution goes out like menstrual blood
As people sing and dance in the streets of the city.
They shit and fuck and get drunk and get high and make money
and waste away from lack of funds.
In the eyes of the folk in the Ninth Ward
and the Bywater and the Marigny,
In the tacky streets of Baton Rouge steaming amid refineries
and humidity on the Banks of the Great River,
In our heads as we think of our sisters and brothers in Haiti…
I see a light which is coming forth and cannot be held back.
The Moment is eternal, the past a vast stage —
meaning lost, actors dead.
This white light blots it all out and, suddenly,
All the old distinctions — color, sex, object of desire — do not matter.
We are the revolution/God is nowHere.

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