Remember the dead - Solidarity for the living by Brandon Baxter.
Every day we spend in these cages is a day of our lives we will never get back. They are limited in the same way that there are only so many fingers on our hands; limbs on our bodies.
All the cherished memories we will never have.
All the moments we won’t have to hold onto.
Each day, a piece of our lives, torn from us, like cutting off our fingers, one knuckle at a time.
The police once killed with impunity. Today they answer to the mob, The People’s Justice.
But the sad reality is that if Michael Brown were arrested and given a life sentence Ferguson would have never burned. He would have been mutilated, one day at a time. No one would have known his name, not even when he died in prison.
As of writing, the oppressed riot in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of the police. The Left will, as always, attempt to recuperate this momentum. Indeed, I have read articles by these liberals defending looting as a legitimate form of protest.
…of protest…Is that all this is? Demanding reform; police accountability? Is this a problem to be solved by taxing the People hundreds of millions of dollars to put a body camera on every cop on the beat?
That’s the narrative we’re up against. And if the mob isn’t challenged to make a deeper analysis of the web of oppression it’s beginning to fight against, that is the reality we will face: more cops and an even more omnipresent surveillance state.
If Freddie Gray hadn’t died but were sitting in a holding tank, would there be any less reason for what’s taking place in Baltimore today?
We must remember the dead. But the living are dying.
Let’s try being a little less reactionary (it makes us predictable, taking away the advantages of spontaneity).
Let us channel this righteous fury into concise decisive strategy in our fight for the living.
Next month is the three year anniversary of the Cleveland4 arrest. We would like to sent a little extra to their commissary for this occasion.
Brandon's birthday is on April 27th! He's also moving soon but we're not sure exactly when. Please hold any books. Letters may be forwarded when he moves! We'll post an update as soon as he started moving (You can check bop.gov before you mail anything to make sure!)
Writhing between cinder block, with nowhere to run but into self.
What is it like, being in prison? No alcohol or drugs (for me -- others enjoy them copiously); excuses quickly exhaust themselves; tv and worthless entertainment cannot answer the hunger of my soul. In the street, i could flee -- or pretend. Now there is no more denial. Nowhere to run. i must change my life.
Pain. This is the medium through which i move, the incessant call to action, the catalyst to transformation. Here, i do not attempt to dull it. My flight is limited to forcing memories -- of the past as well as the future -- from mind, and burying myself in 10,000 intellectual pursuits and sexual fantasies. What do we gain by making it all work, if we lack purpose, and the knowledge of purpose? Take your already outdated toys and your space colonies -- they mean nothing by themselves. You will be just as miserable on Mars as you will be in Maryland. What was it those unwitting accomplices uttered? "Marvelous desolation." You are the marvel, you are the desolation. First we must drink pain, and move through it like a child through water. Learn our lessons in suffering. All of civilization has been a great denial. There is no easy way, no painless panacea. Honor this overflowing pain. The present changes the past. All my memories have been recast. Even the best of them -- especially the best of them! -- illicit pain. But slowly i learn not to flee. A child, at last, soaking his toes in the frigid waters. What was once a dull uncertainty, roaming the borderlands of the subconscious, becomes illuminated by these flames -- from where do these flames spring? They no longer flow from my head, and the once all-consuming fire in my chest has, for now, been reduced to smoldering embers. It is my flesh that is on fire! Or, rather, the flesh i have already shed -- all those foregone yesterdays i cannot help but be held captive by, all the way to the womb... For instance, i have many memories, as a child, of riding through Ohio country. Now i become consciously aware of these being some of my first lessons in the ubiquitous tendency of humanity to squander its potential.
We cannot, it seems, learn from the experiences of others. But allow me to share the pain of death.
The flames enveloping the corpse of the slave are lapping at the feet of the master.
fleeing from the unsayable warm glow of memory and ash i am running sideways through things.
the violence inherent in the flesh beneath his eyes
"Petulance" (September, 2014)
The feeling of pages in my hands. This has become my primary reality. That, and the superior transient joys.
The ants crawling across my body. Eash one a lesson in patience, in compassion. The sun summons a flame that rises through my flesh surfacing in blissful golden-brown.
Our bodies dance 'round and come together intertwining all our contradictions. Words like lust lose their burden. Loosen yourself inside of my, a rapturous surrender. Tower over me, a monument of muscle.
"Condemnation" (October, 2014)
Condemnation pours forth like magma Affirmation it seems cannout be found amidst all the bickering in cinder blocks held by pliers spat upon by fiends imitating men.
The most wretched shadows can imitate men. It is nothing special. But they are, finally, phantasms and incapable of this realness glimpses in dreams and sex and prayer
The spit evaporates into nothingness but here we feel the heat of affirmation in the breath of a lover the exchange with a distant being in a close dream being cradled by the ancestors 'round that ancient flame
And words do not mean much approaching these lightning bolts burning with realness and temporality.
i am suffocating because my breath cannot touch your neck.
Mother i have chosen the path of life Mother i swear to you in this wretched ink that must be waded through like a black swamp That you will not have to bury me.
The gray skies pull the sorrow so gracefully condensed into such a short time to the surface of my face, and in the cold i cough alone Mother i have foresaken you.
Now i will not shed tears which never comforted me But where can i go for warmth only found in Mothers?
In this time of sowing cut off from the womb of Mother-earth i exist on a desolate plain with no fire, no warm embraces
To counter the wretched are of silent weeping i have stumbled upon the fine art of floor-gazing. While there is great depth to this art, the essential elements can be mapped quite readily.
To stare towards the center of the floor, for me, to gazing upon the vast and tranquil waters of Lake Erie. But there is little refuge in all that vastness -- and that seems to be the greatest use: losing everything out there, even your self. Such extremeties are not for chronic practice. We turn our gaze instead to that place where what we see is a wall -- hardly any ceiling or floow. And now the reverse occurs: a sense of suffocation, as if being trapped in one's own skull, no eyes, internal or otherwise. What i have found here is a profound lesson: with only our own minds to know it by, how can we ever really know our mind?
The nature of our so-called "three-dimensional" existence inherently possesses three possibilities: we search for this knowing to the side, where the walls meet; we search for this knowing up, where the wall meets the ceiling; or, we search for this meaning down, where the wall meets the floor.
Where the two walls meet we find a peculiar stasis where, in turns, it may seem we are moving forward to a final point -- Progress embodied -- or at other times we are moving back and away, receeding. We are, of course, doing neither, and therefore we are at a peculiar state of stasis, virtually hallucinating. While there must certainly be lessons in this, i do not care to dwell in this stasis, perhaps the hallmark of the times. Where the wall and the ceiling meet, there is a place of great anxiety. This seems to be a place of the wrathful god, hurtling boulders down upon mortals. Where the two walls and the ceiling meet -- there dwells Yaldabaoth, or rather, the Great Spider, which uses on it's victims (upon being cocooned) a poison which not only liquifies the innerds but also induces a hellish hallucinatory state, which to the victim seems to last an eternity. For truly Blake was right -- eternity can fit within a grain of sand, or in this case, in the moments between being stung and being ingested. Where the wall and the floor meet -- there, at last, seems to be a place of comfort. The impression is that of a toiling laborer, headed down into the place of rest. But, maintaining our gaze, upon slipping into that sleep a world, or more, opens up, unfolding in much the same way as our dream worlds.