Convergence / Politics / Vol. 2 No. 4

Notes to Self and Other Poems

Grace Y Williams, Trump Metal and Bones

Image Credit: Grace Y. Williams, Trump: Metal and Bones, (2017). Bone, metal, rubber, tubing, cd, bullet, leather, paper, enamel. Courtesy of the artist.

notes to self
rant/ rally/ housework (III and) continuing. . .

is for all the traffic jammers and the head bangers,
for fights over parking and jumping to the front of the line
in your face, to hell with everybody else, “where’s mine?”
“I gotta get mine!”
too busy to care where we’re going
or going along with the program

this is for gentrification, real estate manipulation and carbon emissions
for the settlers who brought smallpox, genocide, and environmental destruction
to this great turtle island
for empire, imperialism, and discovering what’s already there, invasion, colonialism,
occupation, land grabbing, enclosure, private property, exploitation, slavery and capitalism, hand in hand, this is for racism and policing stolen ground
and for the historical and ongoing oppression of woman…

this is for patriarchy, men’s wars of conquest
and military intelligence
for Adam and his dangerous delusion, the true original sin,
that he had sense enough to have dominion over all things..

this is for common sense and common courtesy, which ain’t so common
and for manners, from the Latin “of the hand..”

Don’t you hear your mother saying

you need to slow down

you are not here by yourself

you got to yield
share right of way
give and take turns
stay in your lane
you are a guest on this earth
this is about basic home training
and shedding the narcissistic habits of hegemony
and victimization
get out of my face
cover your mouth
and, for goodness sakes, you need to wash your hands
you need to wash your hands
you need to wash your hands
before you stick them in the bowl
the water
the air
the land we’re sharing
besides, don’t you see, you got blood on them

slow down


this is for the earth as a living being that is our home

and for all the domestic workers
the grand women and the others
who have been keeping this house in order_
wiping surfaces, doing laundry,
dusting and deep cleaning
all week at work
and on Saturday mornings_
and who in the just world to come
will be leading any world health

this is for all the domestic workers,
the grand women and the others
who carry water, children and elders, plough,
plant, and reap what they sow, cook up
a big pot, eat small portions, preserve
and pantry for the winter,
hold communities together and move us
out of harm’s way,
tend graves and kindling,
remember the story
and tell it again and again
all the domestic workers,
the grand women, and the others
who would not get on the bus
and who said business as usual
has got to stop and when
“sick and tired of being sick and tired”
step up, speak out,
become healers
and take care, take care, take care…

oh mothers
our survival is your praise song

urban pastoral…
for nana

the signs were all clear _ the steady drip of toxins from the scaffolding,
the ceilings collapsing, the inspectors coming and going, the weight of history, and
capital accumulation, the poor leaving, “running like roaches,” as planned, the rich,
whites, coming in _ though our tree bed garden, bordered in stone, embattled
with abuse by pedestrians and motorists alike, nonetheless sprouted a green
abundance in the spring of the plague, nothing would flower in season, tiger lilies set out
shots then began to yellow and wilt, purple perennials budded dried fists, the blackeyed
Susan never showed its face, nor did the Echinacea, nothing would blossom that
summer nothing except the insistent four o’clock, Aztec flower, rising up, where all else
floundered, taking over the space, overtaking the fence, blooming into the gutter,
a trumpeting of hearts, the four o’clock and the children who take to the streets, again
again and again, an uprising overturning time, a sea of rage, flame, and determination
a lantern of fire burning night open…

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