so, even though i just finished chatting with jerica about the ways that blogging is sometimes so closely tied to self-aggrandizement, i felt called (after a particularly challenging catholic worker roundtable) to pull up the poem i wrote of which i am most proud.
i wrote this in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, at a time when i was much more active in the peace movement. in the intervening years, that energy, necessarily, moved towards more diverse activities, including taking care of my momma as her life was ending.
i'm proud of the things i did and thought when i was 23, and i'm not entirely comfortable with things and energies i've given up on now. but i know i'm more peaceful in my inner life than i ever was in my 20's and more capable of relationships with people unlike me, which feels important, too.
so, anyways, i wanted to remind myself (as i am SO self-aggrandizing that i blog to myself) about how i used to view the world and my place in it...
Last Night I Joined the Revolution
Last night i joined the revolution.
I was sitting, smoking, wasting my time.
I was thinking about groceries, books I wanted to read but had not found time to, & the million other deaths we die daily in this quest to maintain the status quo. I was not thinking about the world. I was not thinking about the revolution. Somewhere along the line, I bought into some sort of hippie American dream that offered me organic cigarettes & cruelty-free everything, but still made me complacent and dull. See, I figured the Revolution would move on, that I would find some new distraction, that i would grow old & bitter because the thing I love left. But the Revolution waits - the Revolution needs soldiers armed with words & i have always been a good fighter. But, more importantly, the Revolution waits because it loves me. It's nothing personal - the Revolution loves everyone. So I sat there, thinking crippling, petty thoughts when the Revolution sat down next to me and stole my lighter.
The Revolution lit up and, breathing deeply, told the story of my life. The Revolution said, "You know, it's not about the poetry or the punks or the politicians or the ones who walk away, or the ones who come back. You know, this is bigger than you, bigger than matching children, matching houses, matching frustrations." "I know," I said. "Then, what's it about?" I started crying cuz I used to know - I used to live it. But I couldn't remember anymore. "It's about love," the Revolution said. Don't worry - the Revolution's not going soft. The Revolution still aches to kill indifference. The Revolution still throws rocks at glass ceilings. The Revolution still marches through the streets. The Revolution still hates abuse, cruelty, misused power & the smell of napalm at any hour of the day. The Revolution hates that the children are not loved & that all of us, most of the time, are not even respected. But the Revolution hates these things mainly - no, only- because they are not love.
The Revolution will not be televised. The Revolution will spend that time in a bar drinking with a man who just spent his last dime & his last wish on a bottle of Jack. The Revolution will leave, along with a huge tip, a note to that man. The note says, "I know your story - I see how it ends. Don't give up - we need you. And you are never, ever alone."
The Revolution will not interrupt the latest musical subjugations & slavery on sellout FM to spin pretty little lies over jagged teeth. The Revolution will topple radio towers. The Revolution will use its voice & the tallest mountain it can find & scream truths until its throat is dry and it cannot stand anymore.
The Revolution does not read the New York Times or the Washington Post, although sometimes the Revolution will flip through the Weekly World News because the Revolution secretly wants to take BatBoy home. The Revolution recognizes that headlines are really the same lines we already know except bigger, with pictures.
The Revolution understands that we know truth when we find it, but the world makes us doubt what we believe. The Revolution wants us to believe again. The Revolution wants us to believe that change tips the scales of existence to favor those who want to LIVE. The Revolution wants us to believe that what you say makes a difference, especially when you only say it to yourself. The Revolution wants us to know that true leaders are not the ones with the biggest bank accounts, penises, or thirst for glory, but the ones with the biggest souls, because only they will have the tools to save the souls of others. The Revolution wants us to believe that the fires of justice burn in everyone, no matter how hard you try to hide them in the gritty, every-day-city streets.
The Revolution wants to be fuel for your fire. The Revolution wants to buy you coffee & talk about the world. The Revolution makes people smile who have not done so in years. The Revolution always hands out spare change & cigarettes because Malcolm X said you never know when a drunk man may need food.
The Revolution is waiting for you. Because the Revolution got sick of turning around & seeing the identical goosestepping marchers of progress turn its cities & its soldiers into the next big thing when all they wanted was to be the same old thing they were before. The Revolution waits on you because the Revolution knows how scary it is to realize that there is nothing you cannot do. But the Revolution knows that the fear passes & is replaced by an urgency to salvage anything you can for the struggle that's coming. You will find yourself gathering words like stones & sticks, to hurl at Goliath, with his striped suits and white lies.
The Revolution knows what you don't. The Revolution knows that we are David & if you could see this eternal battle spread out, you would see that we always win. There could be no other way. The Revolution will wait for you & when the Revolution comes, you will never be alone again.