What is the BrainHeart Beat?

Trish Szymanski is a multi-genre artist whose word includes
Performance, as actor/director, singer, singer/songwriter, musician, performance artist
Installed work, as conceptual innovator
Music, as songwriter, singer, percussionist
Writing, as published and constant writer of nonfiction and fiction, poetry, script, essay.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Of Poetry and Doing

This poem was written for my feature performance at the kickoff event of JC Opens Up the Mic Tour 2011, held at the Warehouse Cafe, Sunday, 31 Jul 11.  The theme of the event was the title of the film screened at this event, called "Committing Poetry in Times of War."  (You can watch this film in its entirety on Hulu.com.)

* * *

Of Poetry and Doing

We’re still doing this
to Power

And there is little
More important
More infective
More inspiring
Than the word
Well turned

Because war
is a hell
That cannot be imagined
And catches fire to
Everything it touches
And makes it legend

I am a child of war
That touched me through
My mother and my father
Both of whom resisted
Telling me much about
The pink elephant that lived with us.

What gives?

* * *


* * *

Write a poem about homeless people
Make it be
To turn into banality

Take it on the road
keep it fresh
in your mind
stand up
walk out
(don’t forget your keys)

Step lively to that place
Where you know these people are
Or, if you don’t remember,
Just go to Journal Square
But make sure it’s before 11pm
Cz that’s when they get locked out
And they have to find a place to hang
for the night
And that’s 365.

What was it that your poem said?
Well, here it is in front of you.
And what, dear one, is it that now
You are going to do?

* * *

There’s poetry to be written
About poverty and fear
And racial inequality
Yes, sisters, it’s still here
(Though if we keep together
Like we’re doing
We’ll go far
To get clear.)

There’s poetry to be written
About the world we want for us
The one that must be new.
What is it, fellow poets,
That we are going to do?

* * *

Write a poem about dis-ease
And why it takes so very long
To put our children’s education
First, before so many wrongs

It’s more important than a bomb
Than drone attacks and weak will
That brings young men, and women now, together
To kill from fear
And for sport
In war-torn lands

We saved them from the plunderers
We’re told they begged us for our help
And plunder now aplenty
And take it for ourselves

* * *

Poetry and peace
More important than
Propping up one hateful, cruel regime
While we attack another
Stealing the cash out of our own pockets
To spend this dirty act
And tell ourselves we’re safer if we give
When we cannot afford to even live

To fund the next war
I’m telling you
Because war is a fucking money maker
And somehow that’s become
The most important thing
To those who TAKE our taxes

* * *

Write a poem about health care
And how it’s not a right
How having no insurance means
You go without good care for years
And when you die
We wonder why
Could medicine not save her?
Of course, it could
It chose instead to lobby for
Drugs and money

Write a poem about
Drugs and money
I dare you.

I dare you to write a poem
About THOSE drugs and money
And make it sweet and
Hard to resist
And name names
And name the
government-pharmaco tryst

And get it out to
10,000 readers
Don’t wait to be published
Cz that will take forever
Decide you will do it

* * *

Write a poem about
The incarceration industry
About millions
MILLIONS of prisoners
And how we need the system to grow
So there are some jobs
Which are reasons to keep it all going.
Oh, right
Drugs and money.

What difference does it make that you are here?
What difference
Do you make?

“Poets are pioneers in language
So, to people who are interested in controlling language,
Poetry can be a threat.” - the man said in the movie.

A threat is only worth its life
If there are teeth behind it
Chew on this:
There are thieves and liars
Running things out there
Who need to be reminded.

And you are not alone, my friend
I am here too
And together we are two
And then there are these other few

And in other places
There are faces
Hearts and minds
That come together
As we have
Connect with them
Establish a tether
Of intention and will
Of word - oh, powerful words!
Of language and of action
Of poetry and doing

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