Sunday, June 5, 2011

in progress


what it means to be black and 
what it means to be black and what 
it means to be black
it means black 
it means what it means 


to be what it means 
to be black

it is something other people see on you
it is something you choose to culturally live through

what it means
to be black
it is what it means
it is black

what it means to be black is

it is not anything

i am not black
i am not white
and i don't want to talk about it.


when we say i am and then put just one thing in there as the predicate noun or nominative or 


that is limiting
that is always limiting 
that will always limit you
unless it is your name.

your name just the way you like it.  

your name breathed out of a lover's lips

when your lover when your mother when your torturer when You (because I know sometimes you love yourself) know just the way you like it

your name is mostly given but it can chosen, found 
i can be rejected and changed and played with 
or it can be taken and you can say thank you

or you can be nameless and elude representation 

All Together

elude definition, 
dance with the impossibility of being reproduced, 

you are not your name 

I am not Aaron.

I am this

these breasts these feet these thighs you see
you know the names but you do not know them, you do not know me
and everyone i've ever let know them has hurt me has hit me but i'll never let you hit me 
no ill just ask you to please don't hit me 
and then you'll say sorry
and we'll be ok again 
and everything will be ok again 
and I won't have to talk about it.  

I am not Aaron. I am not eRin.  I am this I am this you can see me.


i like to give and i like to receive and i don't know which i like more and it does not matter.

jesus says to give so snakelike that your right hand doesn't even know what your left hand is doing

so when i went to a rally and looked like a lion and held a sign that said "tax the rich or we'll eat them" and i felt good

and i felt important and like i was doing something i should be doing

i think i was doing it wrong.  

when you give me a dollar and feel good about it later, you are doing it wrong.

i never went back.  i ignore their emails.


names are rich and dense and the closest to what we can do to talk about this essence of 

these ass scents of 


whose selves these selves to be self in selves to have self on my selves on my shelves i'm not quite sure

my friends and i laughed we joked we smiled we had fun hop scotching and playing capture the mother fucking flag on the story of Kunta Kinte, his name was not Toby

and we thought it was funny.

but he was a body no he was in a body no he was with a body that was no longer body but commodified property and he was bought and sold and so many were bought and sold and so many are still bought and sold and so many will never be told and so many with never grow old with the knowledge that their story 

NO their stories 

that their stories their histories will be honored because they will not be honored

13 year old assholes will laugh at them.  and 35 year old assholes will call them savages. 

We were doing nothing right
we had nothing right
we had nothing to give you 
i have nothing to give you
it was not for your own good and I am sorry.
And GOD I can not speak for you 

there is no justice there is no dignity in anyone speaking for you

but if I can, if you'll let me, I am just so sorry


Oh.  Maybe the (I ams) quickly float away.  
and maybe it is just the most effective way to say 
that I am completely right now mostly just sorry.  
That is all I am right now.  in this moment.  

what if one day we have to buy and sell moments?  moments in our lives?

minutes in our lives at the end of our lives.

it seems next it seems not long after cell phones in our brains.


So my name, my name is my bumper sticker, and because it suits me maybe we can even call it catchy
because it makes easy what we are talking about we need it
because we need easy
we need to be able to talk about it

when you asked what god's bumper sticker would say I imagined it would be the bible.  
the mother fuckers' Good Book and the Nag Hammadi too 
because that's the best he could do 
that's the best we could do

and the olyco 
the budget fighters
the protest signers 
their bumper stickers are many 
but I held up one and I felt good but I felt bad too 
because there was 

so much more to say.

and Just Do It is a bumper sticker 
and what it really says is to spend 
so much money 
that got so much value 
from god knows where, 
which is to say no one knows where, 
which is to say that god is no one, 
god is no one to the delicate fingers that put together your fresh new sneakers
that you should buy to make you a little fitter
a little hipper

Pundits speak in bumper stickers 
and there are so many bumper stickers 
that all we seem to have time for
are bumper stickers 
because you can't refute a bumper sticker 
in the time it takes to read one

You can't actually say anything between two commercial brake lights


I am something with blurry edges with no edges
and pain is something with blurry edges with no edges
and oppression is something with blurry edges with no edges

god why do we hate each other so much?
why do we hurt each other so much?
why do we feel good in knowing who we are
who taught me that easy is good
what it means to be black
what it means to be a woman
what does it mean to know this 
to feel this
to be this
i am this.

please stop.  please don't hit me, please don't hit him, please don't hit them

you don't have to hit them.

No one
really wants you 
to hit them.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

My project desires YOU Saturday any time between noon to 3:30

I will be giving healing haircuts downtown on Saturday at the parking-lot next to the reef, so if you would like to come down and read some poetry to the person in the chair, and maybe shed a hair or thousands yourself, that would be wonderful. I like cutting hair, but mostly I am into creating a space for a little friendly head touching, pampering, and heart-to-heart. I will be downtown at around 12:00. I hope to see you!
<B Claire Ragland

Friday, May 27, 2011

Final project overview

I have paired with someone different than the initial group intended. This is Clarissa.  She will be doing the pictures of the capital building in Olympia and one poem I shared with her seemed to fit the idea of how government is "viewed". The architecture being the obvious view whereas it's inner workings or people involved is another.

Small Class Writing Prompt

My writing contraint became writing using the influence children have upon my ways of teaching and learning as well as write.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Rapture

There's nothing quite like living on a dying planet ravaged by war,  encircled by space based weapons platforms, to instill in the human heart a certain feeling of millenialism. We asked the citizens of Olympia how they felt about the coming Apocalypse at an undisclosed residential location last night.  Here's what they said:

Question #1:  If the Rapture were going to take place tonight, what would you do?
Question #2:  What if the Rapture has already happened, and this is the *THEN* what would you do?

Answer #1:  I'm not quite sure.
Answer #2:  I would look around to see who was left.  I'd be curious if the landscape changed at all -- buildings and natural landscape.

A#1:  Nothing different.  Watch some awesome bands.  Get tired. Go to sleep.
A#2:  Have sex in the streets.  Do a lot of drugs in public.

A#1:  Meet as many people as I can.  Have a party.  Have the time of my life.
A#2:  Then I guess I'd be fucked October 21st.  [ed note: supposed new date of the Rapture]

A#1:  I'd try to find my family.  My brother lives here, the rest live in Missouri.  I'd try to find my closest friends.
A#2:  I would just keep living how I'm living.

A#1:  I don't believe in the Rapture.  I would stand outside a bathroom drinking steel reserve  [what respondant is doing right now].
A#2:  (same)

A#1:  Same thing we do every night Pinky:  try to take over the world!
A#2:  I'd be doing this.

A#1:  Try to make a very strong connection with someone of the opposite sex.  And try to make the most of the time I have left, assuming I would be Raptured.
A#2:  Grab my dearest and run!

A#1:  Sit in the corner of Ladd's Inn (in Portland) and make art during karaoke, while Anna sings Barry White.
A#2:  I'd go to Olympia and go to the last show at [undisclosed location].

A#1:  Get loaded I guess.  I made burritos in honor of the Rapture.
A#2:  Go steal people's pets.  [respondant proceeds to relate the story of a man who started a business as a joke, offering to take care of people's pets after the Rapture, since they would be going to heaven, but he, being a heathen,  would remain on Earth, along with their souless pets.  It was supposed to be a joke, but people actually started paying him in advance for his services, and now he doesn't have to work any more].

A#1:  I wouldn't believe in it, even if it just happened.

A#1:  Lay on, in, or next to an old growth tree.
A#2:  Live as though my imagination controls my reality.

  I'd be happy because the conservative christians all got Raptured, and we're left to live out the glory days on Earth.
  Probably I would... party on!  We're still here!  It's a beautiful life.  -- do you have any drugs?

A#1:  Get baptized.  Convert to all religions.  Pray to every god there is.
A#2:  Party just as hard as I am now, and be so happy that all the conservative christian dicks are gone.

A#1:  Exactly what I'm doing now.  Searching for herbs.  Walking down the street.  Sex is always cool...  but I don't believe in the Rapture.  It reminds me of being a dinosaur, extinction... it doesn't mean Spirit doesn't still exist.
A#2:  it's no surprise.  do you know how many times I've thought that?

A#2:  Continue to do what I'm doing.  I'd have a lot of gratitude that the Creator, I mean, Decider, allowed me to continue this existence.  I guess I did something right. 

A#1: Everyone has to leave now or I'm going to go to jail.

Well there you have it folks.  The citizens of Olympia are an onery bunch, but they are clearly not without an appreciation for the Divine.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Dream, After Notley

(Or some sort of lounge) (it’s very dark)
(‘cause they have) (these two women in) (white dresses)
(I tell her that I) (have just) (and she says)
(it happened to me too) (and I ask her) (when)

(and she says within) (a day) (and she says I know)
(the woman) (we move over) (to these couches) (we
start touching) (I notice that) (she’s a fish) (she’s a fish woman)
(she’s been transformed) (her body’s flat and) (her eyes)

(are almost drooping) (I know she’s from the ocean)
(I tell her) (that you look like you’re) (a sea creature)
(offend her) (by calling her a fish) (home) (and there’s
a string) (with a little sign) (and I can’t

read it) (I know it means) (you can’t come in)
(there’s a key-in code) (but I don’t) (want
to try) (because I think) (something bad) (would
happen if I) (enter)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

And the Budget Work Goes On

Hey all - trying to get the word out about this event, put on by Fellowship of Reconciliation, that is continuing to work on the budget and war spending. Check it out!
Turn the Budget Around!
Sunday May 22 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm
Heritage Park, 5th Ave & Water Street, Downtown Olympia
The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation and our campaign to Bring our Billion$ Home invite you to enjoy peace, justice, music and fun.
Military spending keeps going up – at the expense of cutbacks in social and environmental needs, aid for state and local governments, etc.  Congress won’t take leadership to change federal budget priorities.  Only a grassroots movement can do that.  The “Bring Our Billion$ Home” campaign wants to stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, cut military spending overall, and use the savings to fund the many things that we really need.
Bring big cardboard boxes to build a symbolic wall with images and messages about our wars and military budget on one side and peaceful alternatives (better ways to spend the money) on the other.  Use the art supplies we’ll have available to decorate our boxes.  We’ll build this wall – and then Turn the Budget Around!  Fun for all ages!  Enjoy music by the Artesian Rumble Arkestra and other performers.  Participate in the “penny poll.”  We’ll provide ten pennies representing the federal budget and invite you to allocate in several jars to show how you would spend our tax dollars.  Enjoy other “Bring Our Billion$ Home” activities – fun for the whole family!
Information about this event: Pat Holm, (360) 357-4151
Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation (360) 491-9093
Western Washington FOR (206) 789-5565