"Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war."
In times of turmoil the poets have always stepped up with their stinging verse. They remind us of what we already knew but forgot how to put into words, how to put action to our inchoate ideas.
On April 24th, a group of poets and writers will gather at Brooklyn's Pioneer Works for an evening called The Universe in Verse to read and raise money for the Academy of American Poets and the National Resources Defense Council - two cultural institutions of great importance currently under attack by our government.
Readings by: Amanda Palmer, Rosanne Cash, Janna Levin, Elizabeth Alexander, Diane Ackerman, Tavi Gevinson, Sarah Jones, Tracy K. Smith, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, and Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York.
Revenge by Elisa Chavez
Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.
I could’ve swung either way? But now I’m definitely spending the next 4 years converting your daughters to lesbianism; I’m gonna eat all your guns. Swallow them lock stock and barrel and spit bullet casings onto the dinner table;
I’ll give birth to an army of mixed-race babies. With fathers from every continent and genders to outnumber the stars, my legion of multiracial babies will be intersectional as fuck and your swastikas will not be enough to save you,
because real talk, you didn’t stop the future from coming. You just delayed our coronation.
We have the same deviant haircuts we had yesterday; we are still getting gay-married like nobody’s business because it’s still nobody’s business;
there’s a Muslim kid in Kansas who has already written the schematic for the robot that will steal your job in manufacturing, and that robot? Will also be gay, so get used to it:
we didn’t manifest the mountain by speaking its name,
the buildings here are not on your side just because you make them spray-painted accomplices. These walls do not have genders and they all think you suck. Even the earth found common cause with us the way you trample us both,
oh yeah: there will be signs, and rainbow-colored drum circles, and folks arguing ideology until even I want to punch them but I won’t, because they’re my family, in that blood-of-the-covenant sense. If you’ve never loved someone like that you cannot outwaltz us, we have all the good dancers anyway.
I’ll confess I don’t know if I’m alive right now;
I haven’t heard my heart beat in days, I keep holding my breath for the moment the plane goes down and I have to save enough oxygen to get my friends through.
But I finally found the argument against suicide and it’s us. We’re the effigies that haunt America’s nights harder the longer they spend burning us, we are scaring the shit out of people by spreading, by refusing to die: what are we but a fire? We know everything we do is so the kids after us will be able to follow something towards safety; what can I call us but lighthouse,
of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m a shroud. And of course it’s not fair but rest assured, anxious America, you brought your fists to a glitter fight. This is a taco truck rally and all you have is cole slaw. You cannot deport our minds; we won’t hold funerals for our potential. We have always been what makes America great.