“LET US”, a poem by citizen poet, Alan Kaufman … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

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LET US
For the Poets of January 15th and the Women of January 21st

Let us
take ourselves aboard a bus
and travel to the dispossessed
And let us praise their dreamless eyes and hardened smiles
with rogue words of truth
to the killing fields of their hopes
The slum wards and ragged towns and stolen farms
Let us take to them the carnival of our mad and scattered lives
Let us bring them the mountain, let us give them the vision
of an open window, an unlocked door, a bed to sleep in, a plate of food
Let us give them the keys to the house of our love
Let us bare our throats tattooed with roses, our breasts sequenced with diamonds
our loins hot with dragons, our hands and feet pierced with beauty
Let us come to their dusty squares and drinking holes with canticles of magnificent defeat
Let us deliver to their mangers
of pollution and penitentiaries, shopping malls and tenements
the hard beautiful birth of the heart
Let us bring renewal, let us declare the death of despondency and tyrants
For I have seen our campfires beside the roads, like fallen still-burning miraculous stars
I have seen our bus voyaging to innocence
I have seen us tossed this century like a bone
after decades of science and war reason and corporation
art and Auschwitz
I have seen my vocation descend like a pen to a page
that can never be filled with enough truth
I have crossed a continent of despair and I swear to you, Poets,
I live for greater than myself
You, street-Latin Elizabethan hustlers, I tell you time has come to deal
death’s passionate kiss to kings
Time has come to bare our asses in Paradise
Time has come to write the Constitution with poetry and flesh
Time has come to costume up and ride
with words like steel-tipped whips
into the soul of American
and rage there and sing
till the mouth of every hungry child
is fed.

– Alan Kaufman

Thanks to Alan (Alan Kaufman – writer,poet, artist, teacher) for his willingness to share his poem here.

WRITING PROMPT

Alan Kaufman’s poem is published here with his permission and in anticipation of the event featured in the poster above and initiated by Alan along with Michael Rothenberg.  In coordination with their event, the theme for the January 15 issue of The BeZine is “Resist.”

We invite submissions for the January issue.  This is the second writing prompt to help you toward participation – online and/or off – in  this important event designed to push back against vulgarity, bigotry, xenophobia and misogyny. For The BeZine we invite world-wide participation – not against any one person – but against the renewed growth of these trends all over the Western world and the continued entrenchment – business as usual – for the rest of the world.

For the Zine, you don’t have to write a poem. You can do an essay, feature article, creative nonfiction, art or photography, or music video, which we hope will not only frame the issues but have constructive suggestions toward resolution.  No hateful language please. When you have written something on “resist” and if you feel comfortable submitting it to be considered for publication, email it to bardogroup@gmail.com

Save the date for both live and virtual events and prepare to submit your work or works to the Zine by January 10th, end of day. Let your work be both truthful and artistic . . .

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson

The Zine submission guidelines HERE. The Zine mission statement HERE.

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5 thoughts on ““LET US”, a poem by citizen poet, Alan Kaufman … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Jamie, once again you have shared a gem. Thank you.
    I am wrestling with the idea of being against Trump. I think I am, rather, against his, and the RepubliCons agenda. I am increasingly concerned that folks are not making the distinction between people and their ideas and actions..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on that. That’s why I put “not against any person” in the prompt. I don’t think it’s consistant with compassionate values to go after the person rather than the actions or ideologies. Also, I think there’s a bit too identity politics going on, not just amongst the far right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Michael. Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Like

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