Monday, January 29, 2007

emerging detroit calendar

Some of you may have noticed that there is a link to a calendar on my blog and if you went to it I imagine you will have likely been disappointed, because it sucks. Not because it is sorta plain, but because it has very few items of interest on the individual days since no one uses it. I've decided though that I will keep the calendar going and post listings on it myself, along with redoubling my efforts to promote it through myspace, blogs and the box of stickers I printed up (they kinda look like a dollar). Please feel free to spread the word and create a login account and password yourself, it's about as easy as I could possible make it, so do that and it will allow you to promote whatever local events you like there. It could be a useful tool for metro detroiters, new folks or visitors interested in finding out about local meetings, demos/protests, fundraisers, shows and other events.

Initially, as I finally got this idea off the ground, myspace was starting to get popular and it seemed like every group had their own calendar too, so they were not very interested in taking the time to use this broad based calendar, though they were fine with me promoting there group or event for them. I seem to recall "Fuck That" were my sentiments towards that idea. My feeling then was I was not using this to promote anything other than Detroit arts/activism and had been promoting peoples events for them (often without them even knowing) for half of my life and thought this would be an easier way to help others help themselves and promote our communities various and many activities as a whole. I did not feel the need to keep on working for others just for kicks. Now, I think I will post for others too. If I can successfully do that they will come, maybe. Do you think we need to have something that helps us see what events are out there, particularly ones that are in line with the vision I put out there for an emerging detroit in the "about page", or truthfully does myspace or other calendars like Critical Moments' do the job already?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

new poems II


something like fish or stones
put in his Tunesian hat
makes friends
puts in an invisible place
spills blood
put it in my hands
this is the end, so shout

DJ Battle Shovel

select, or spin
my best friends, with
silent back pains
and piano wire
new music
in the places I (as in we)
no scene
while i go blind
and only see me
have something
in their eyes
and many important tools
in their hands
he wants to right his
no matter what we (as in I)
need to grow
wake up early
defend our dreams and

that's the thing
we are alive
and mean something
even if barely

so, wolf calls
have heart and burn
with it
if ever a wonderful wizard there was
we're off to see
what this
whole thing
is about

72 degrees Jan. 2007 NYC

opposites of

love and hate
person and behavior
zippers on your boots
feathers in hats
masterfully free from
all american
way of the north
our whole head overheard
talk of sickness and
oh my
be cute
drop in at the cafe with
gloves and hats for effect
make the evening
live and cool
years of carving out
thought bubbles
america is dripping
right in there
fresh to sour faces
immortal hearts
til 25
downtown chicken octopi
feruary awards
any holiday
something exists
without fail

opposites of

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I have 10 holes in the walls of my living space. I look at them often, but I am not sure why. Just to point out, that's not in my house, just my living space. I also have cracks, various levels of plaster, discolorizations, and all sorts of odd surfaces. Maybe there are even more too, and I forgot having covered them up with art or furniture? Why gaze upon these holes though?

I guess the real there anything wrong with having these holes? Why do we fix these if they're only cosmetic? Cause we can? What's up with the finished appearance; a goal indicating completion, a social expectation or a privelege? For me, "finished" with clay from a nearby vacant lot would be ideal.

Children of Men

Walking out of the film Children of Men (universal pictures) my world is upsidedown, but of course I already knew that. Among the 4 of us who went, afterwards we perhaps said a sentence each to one another regarding something we all just experienced that I beleive all felt deserves a good deal of attention. I was so blown away I could barely communicate.

I was told by a Folci loving anarchist punk from Phili, who happens to be one of my best friends, to make sure to go see this film, so now that I can again talk and have been, I am offereing the same advice.

Wow. It's a sci-fi film that takes place 21 years from now in Britain, which by the way, according to the BBC propaganda and other media you see often in the back ground of this film, is the only country that "soldiers on" in the world, which has supposedly collapsed. All women are infertile.

The film came out Jan 5th and we went to see it on MLK day, seemed fitting. I got the feeling that it would not be around for too long, since there were only maybe 4 other people in this huge theatre besides us, but looking at the reviews and such, it seems like everyone is praising it and that it should make some dough for this major media company. Fuck all that though. The reviews are probably mostly crap, including the philosopher film critic they have on the homepage talking about "Christian parables and rootlessness of the boat", whatever. My advice is don't see any trailers, if you want read about it do it after, and go see it immediately, maybe twice. What I want to focus on here is personal and regarding the question: have I ever say anything like it?

Yes, of course there have been other worlds and future times created with magnificence and awesome artistic virtues to it, but never with the ferocity of such dystopian vision for our near future, 2027. Perhaps, two words are in order "what if?", and not just what if women or men became infertile from PVC or some messed up disaster of what used to be our environment, but what if there were any major calamity? I think we would likely see somethings similar to this. I really appreciated what it pulled from recent events and other very subtle cultural nods from the now, because they are of no little consequence for our world to come in my book, or blog. I would even dare say the film is fortuitously unnerving.

Let's see...Tarkovsky's Stalker, no way. Hardware? Used to love it for it's bleak dialogue and romantic vision of radiated zones you are advised to stay out of, but that shit does not even come close. The Children of Men reminded me of nothing I've seen, except when I've witnessed cops abusing people in real life and Abu Graib torture scenes in the media. I'm so gald I am not in the military, that would really expand my horizons. Children of Men was the holocaust meets the apocalypse meets a miracle, all shot in 16 days using a handheld camera! That's just frichin nuts.

At first I was wondering how the hell they got this made and was a little surpised because of the content of this film to see it was made by one of the biggies, but I guess that's just how it works these days and the director turned out to be one of the new big guns on the scene also, so what do I know? I wasn't able to recall the other films of his I'd seen, but got clued in after a little research.

I'm wondering aloud here, but do we live in times when any single peice of art/media stands a chance of widening cracks in the system? The cracks we see through and inform how we interact with the world today? It's a loaded question, but I throw it out there cause I hope that this film could sorta make people wonder and do more than go to the lame fan club thing the film site has set up called, well I won't mention the name, in case it gives something away in the film. Anyways, it seems like it will be a good conversation piece for a minute.

Going back to "what if"; my fingers are usually crossed because the future does not look so good from where I'm standing. Judgiong by the way the US reacted and fell for the war cry, if... if there is an even bigger attack on the US or a new epidemic, say more deadly than AIDS and kills so many so fast that it is too hard to ignore this time, I swear the click will be audible around the world. That is, the click of the ratcheting up of the power the state already weilds to make lives seem worthless and wholly expendable for the sake of maintaining the power and privelege of the few.

Lastly, the violence in the film from both the state and the resistance was intense, but I don't think glorified and that is what I like the most. The "hero" had heart, a decent head, humor, and wasn't down with killing. It obvioulsy would have ruined the message of the movie, at least what I took from it, and I think that matters. They had the good sense not risk that for the sake of money making formulas, like the films we previewed before Children of Men, along with adds for the army and buying some crap we don't need, all of which were infuriating because I already paid my 9 bucks and I'm so over having this shoved down my throat. So, this message I speak of, which maybe I am the only one who gets this from it, was so not so much as preachy for even a moment, and maybe did not even exist beyond what each of us takes from it, for me came from the actions of the hero. I think Children of Men said 'step up and do what it takes to really live and die for all our sake, because it's worth it'. Having seen the film on MLK Day I would like to conclude with this thought. Is what I took from the film all that much different from what Dr. King said in his last speech regarding the Memphis workers he was there to support the day before he was assasinated, when he himself paraphrased someone so many beleive to be wise and one to follow, none other than the jesus, in asking "the question is not what will happen to me if I act, but what will happen to these workers if I do not"?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"Lucky Bamboo" (for the new year)

I bought a nice new notebook during the holi-daze, but I haven't been writing, much. Some poems that are too symbolic, perhaps shapeless even, while I long for the best words to describe a sunset mountain silhoutte in places I long to get back to, like Guatemala, Jamaica or the Western United States.

Right now I am writing to post, the blog calls. On occasion it comes up in conversation too, so I think it's still serving it's purpose.

This New Year's Eve I replaced the traditonal sounds of gunshots with live music at the Old Miami,(I'm not a shooter just a listener). I dreamed there would be no interruptions in my evening, just a good time, but the whole thing was a test of will or patience maybe, and in reality I never could fully get into the evenings performers. A combination of amplifed sound issues and distractions led to a series of ups and downs for me, like a year and like so many bullets fired into the air. I felt like my energy for celebrating had been disarmed.

I'm not complaing though, one year I almost got hit. I was on the porch at the Trumbullplex and a ricochet went of the brick right by my ear, which happens to be connected to my head and I'm pretty sure is better off without any more holes in it. I wonder if I'll ever forget that sound.

This December 31st was not a spectacular drunken last hurrah for me, but almost a suggestion to keep my priorities straight and count on more New Year's celebrations to come. Maybe the theme of this year then is simply 'keep it cool, there's time'.

Today, New Years Day we found ourselves at the Belle Isle Conservatory listening to birds, pointing out tiny orchids and breathing in something better than our local air. I intentionally came to see the bamboo, in my book there's nothing else like it. I kept my cool, but I noticed since it's usually the first thing I see when I enter that it seemed to be absent from all the other visibly thick flora and fauna present. I've come to rely on these visits like a shot of what I like, but no bamboo, that's like the worst sign for the coming year I could come up with. Fuck.

Before we left, the one I most wanted to spend the last and first day of the year with pointed it out. There it was. It had been cut back, a lot, but it was not gone. Small new shoots were popping up, resilient as ever, refusing to be destroyed. Still running or clumping together and send up its powerful stalks (called culms when they're cut). Maybe 07 will be a lucky year afterall, and we'll grow something here as unique as bamboo is in the grass family as Detroit is to other cities.

It's kinda like today. Everyone was trying to start off on a good foot and make the best of the first day of the year, but no matter it was cloudy and not so easy to call it a beautiful, or even pleasant day. Just at the end of it though it became a beautiful solid black night with more stars visible than I can recall in a long time. Stepping back into my warm room (yes I said warm)in the upsidedownhouse, that felt pretty hopefull to me, and that is the way to start a new year, so be patient with your struggle, have at it and have a fucking awesome 2007!