All my colleague's slogans were positive
We marched for
CONVERSATION not conflict
|Mursalata: Live, Learn, Teach, Repeat.||
None of them were particularly...
none were particularly political...
All my colleague's slogans were positive
Reason #4 Real ideas require dialogue...
Reason #2 Visibility moves us from conflict to conversation...
We marched for
CONVERSATION not conflict
See it (check).
Think it (check).
Wear it (check).
Do it (uhh, umm)...
See, what had happened was...
I heard - "when you know better, you do better."
However, I didn't realize there was
so much space between
knowing AND DOING.
I didn't know
"doing" was like ALWAYS capitalized
I didn't know
I had to
Enough to absorb enough space
For me to
Know it AND Do it.
This One Ain't Mine: It's JoeAnne's from Facebook, Yesterday at 12:18AM
So. . . We answer horror with missiles. . . Hitting an empty airbase.
The ersatz president twirls his nuclear pistols and preens in front of lights and flashing cameras.
A grotesque performance of empty men and meaningless shadows.
The children are still dead.
Yelp! I missed posting on day 6 because time moved faster than I could.
However, I missed posting a day 7 poem due to unexpected melancholy caused by a variety of issues like coming up with a brand new poem to just give away for free!
This is a story
only for fathers and God.
Mothers rarely save their wealth
as after death gifts.
If some mothers hold it all till the end
they've learned this practice from men.
In the story of mothers and God,
we give all to our daughters
shingle by shingle
faith they become
fortified in character,
mighty and strong,
with reserves to rebuild
after meeting prodigal sons--
A Yevtushenko dashed off, just to mark an occasion poem:
Nemesis for Hire
Greetings My Friend!
Feeling forlorn in a life that’s untorn?
Are your emotions flatlining?
Your food tasteless while dining?
Do you have a Dad and/or Mum?
But the relationship’s not bum?
When you talk to others, do you walk away understood?
Are you a boy or a girl or not sure in this world?
Still, you’ve never had an issue?
Never or rarely in need of tissue?
Are you wondering why you stay in one spot?
Questioning where greener grass grows while yours seems to rot?
Nemesis, my friend.
Everyone needs one.
You know, something to beat,
rage against and defeat!
Oh of your luck, to happen upon me!
A complete free agent, born to circumstance.
A nemesis connoisseur;
I‘ve experienced a slew.
And would love to be nemesis for you!
My resume - more than show and tell
it displays variety as well.
the grandeur of my flighty foes:
Religion and gender and poverty and slights
from elementary school to all sort of professional fights!
Rejections from lovers, acquaintances, colleagues children, and friends,
But my point was not to write a list with no end...
I’ve had intimate sessions with aggressions
Designed by Micro and Mac
Ask those masquerading to "know" me
But really the culprits providing the whacks!
I've lost many battles, but tend to win wars.
It’s the journey my friend,
the end always bores!
But everyone loves you, damn-it: let’s cut to the chase.
I'm a nemesis for hire.
I’ve all you need to sire
a challenging move
And get some flavorful food!
As for your lack of of ambiguity
I'll target your mum -
And develop for you
A graphic-like model, epic Shakespearian feud
You know, the kind,
Only death soothes
Title: Remembering the Future
Sitting on the deck built for an outgrown life, the sun moves over head from the east to rest its sinking westward - directly opposite you.
Its roundness spreading; its color smudging into a setting that pulls water from your eyes.
Through blurred vision - welcome the surprise sadness that comes from remembering the future.
Read the Letter Mursalata Muhammad wrote Her Daughters After Reading "Read the Letter Aaron Sorkin Wrote His Daughter After Donald Trump Was Elected President."
In a letter hoping to move her two daughters, nearly 60 nieces, and you - the mostly unknown writer born into a world of confusion reacts to the Oscar-winning screenwriter's reaction to Donald Trump being elected the 45th president of the United States in a moving letter written to his 15-year-old daughter Roxy and her mother, Julia Sorkin.
Greetings Daughters, Nieces and You:
Well, America recognized one of two possible political choices this month. I couldn’t have protected any of you from either choice. While it’s a terrible feeling for a mother, as a human being I’ve come to understand the futility of trying to protect people from politics. Observation, action, and more observation are better for life in a land ironically called the "United" States. Fortunately, those of you who know me - know I can't sugarcoat it. My life experiences gave me "dealing with" not coating skills.
My presidential voting experience is similar to Sorkin's because this election wasn't "the first time my candidate didn’t win" - in fact, I've never had a candidate make it far enough to even possibly win. After the election, I felt a bit guilty about writing in names on my ballot for state representative because I thought it may have invalidated the entire ballot. However, I ended the guilt with the reassurance that my write-ins weren’t the tipping point in this election.
What I continue to find of growing interest is that this is the first time so many folks have the opportunity to experience the country's thoroughly incompetent and dangerous ideas, as a serious psychiatric disorder that has only been building to another psychotic break. This is not our country’s first or last "collective" mental breakdown. It just has the most consciously aware participants to date. The foundations for our current psychosis began in the 1640s when the colonial customs of indentured service became laws establishing servitude for life and differentiated treatments for "whites" and "blacks" confined by law to service for life.
So who really won the election? It wasn’t just Donald Trump, his racially and economically diverse collective of supporters, Mr. Duke (formerly of the KKK), the Klan, white nationalists or any number of sexists, racists buffoons. There are more winners than you’d think. Ask yourself: What is winning? Come on, you’re my daughters - this isn’t the hardest question I’ve ever asked you. Right! One way to understand what something is - is by understanding what it isn’t.
Unfortunately, political winning isn't about issues; political winning is about how to frame and reframe issues, so more people see them at the moment their voices can make a choice. In this sense, you're winners because current politics have reframed issues about gender so clearly that I don’t have to waste energy trying to convince you that sexist, racist buffoons exist. That’s just one of many winning realities the 2016 U.S. elections gave us.
Now, we can move on forward to more productive realizations like the fact that "the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll" (Sorkin) still be constrained by two historically idiotic notions:
It was their ability to collect and embody their fears in an individual that produced our current political predicament. Additionally, if there are Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans shaking in their shoes today, believe, those folk were shaking before the election. A large number of Americans understand that America has been hard-pressed to produce a culture capable of making them okay with packaging away their fears. Afraid or not, those willing to participate in the voting process weren't aware of how much the collective fear of Trump supporters outnumbered their fears. Anti-trump voters are just beginning to understand that their tendency to segregate their fears guaranteed failure.
Before moving on to ideas for how we might address our country's psychotic state, Sorkin asks, "What wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?"
My answer: Nothin'. I'd give absolutely nothing because my experience with "collective crazy" leads me to know that which created the psychotic break is capable of reframing and repairing it.
I suggest you re-read Sorkin's letter (Click Here). He includes a list of suggested actions you might consider. My only addition is to remind you that "It's okay to be afraid. Be afraid. Then do things anyway. Sometimes, you have to do things afraid" (Mutasha Muhammad, 1930 - 2011).
Mother, Aunt, Human being.
11 November 2016
her hand & pen
she'll be great but
god knows when
Mursalata Muhammad is my name
with my pen & access to various technologies I wrote the same
I wrote it in both haste and speed
& left it here for fools to read
Wilson, Douglas (2006). Lincoln's Sword, page 23.
A round, green cardboard sign hangs from a string proclaiming, “We built a proud new feeling,” the slogan of a local supermarket. It is a souvenir from one of my brother’s last jobs. In addition to being a bagger, he’s worked at a fast-food restaurant, a gas station, a garage and a textile factory. Now, in the icy clutches of the Northeastern winter, he is unemployed. He will soon be a father. He is 19 years old.
In mid-December I was at Stanford, among the palm trees and weighty chores of academe. And all I wanted to do was get out. I joined the rest of the undergrads in a chorus of excitement, singing the praises of Christmas break. No classes, no midterms, no finals . . . and no freshmen! (I’m a resident assistant.) Awesome! I was looking forward to escaping. I never gave a thought to what I was escaping to.
Once I got home to New Jersey, reality returned. My dreaded freshmen had been replaced by unemployed relatives; badgering professors had been replaced by hard-working single mothers, and cold classrooms by dilapidated bedrooms and kitchens. The room in which the “proud new feeling” sign hung contained the belongings of myself, my mom and my brother. But for these two weeks it was mine. They slept downstairs on couches.
Most students who travel between the universes of poverty and affluence during breaks experience similar conditions, as well as the guilt, the helplessness and, sometimes, the embarrassment associated with them. Our friends are willing to listen, but most of them are unable to imagine the pain of the impoverished lives that we see every six months. Each time I return home I feel further away from the realities of poverty in America and more ashamed that they are allowed to persist. What frightens me most is not that the American socioeconomic system permits poverty to continue, but that by participating in that system I share some of the blame.
Last year I lived in an on-campus apartment, with a (relatively) modern bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms. Using summer earnings, I added some expensive prints, a potted palm and some other plants, making the place look like the more-than-humble abode of a New York City Yuppie. I gave dinner parties, even a soirée française.
For my roommate, a doctor’s son, this kind of life was nothing extraordinary. But my mom was struggling to provide a life for herself and my brother. In addition to working 24-hour-a-day cases as a practical nurse, she was trying to ensure that my brother would graduate from high school and have a decent life. She knew that she had to compete for his attention with drugs and other potentially dangerous things that can look attractive to a young man when he sees no better future.
Living in my grandmother’s house this Christmas break restored all the forgotten, and the never acknowledged, guilt. I had gone to boarding school on a full scholarship since the ninth grade, so being away from poverty was not new.
But my own growing affluence has increased my distance. My friends say that I should not feel guilty: what could I do substantially for my family at this age, they ask. Even though I know that education is the right thing to do, I can’t help but feel, sometimes, that I have it too good. There is no reason that I deserve security and warmth, while my brother has to cope with potential unemployment and prejudice. I, too, encounter prejudice, but it is softened by my status as a student in an affluent and intellectual community.
More than my sense of guilt, my sense of helplessness increases each time I return home. As my success leads me further away for longer periods of time, poverty becomes harder to conceptualize and feels that much more oppressive when I visit with it. The first night of break, I lay in our bedroom, on a couch that let out into a bed that took up the whole room, except for a space heater. It was a little hard to sleep because the springs from the couch stuck through at inconvenient spots. But it would have been impossible to sleep anyway because of the groans coming from my grandmother’s room next door. Only in her early 60s, she suffers from many chronic diseases and couldn’t help but moan, then pray aloud, then moan, then pray aloud.
Not very festive: This wrenching of my heart was interrupted by the 3 a.m. entry of a relative who had been allowed to stay at the house despite rowdy behavior and threats toward the family in the past. As he came into the house, he slammed the door, and his heavy steps shook the second floor as he stomped into my grandmother’s room to take his place, at the foot of her bed. There he slept, without blankets on a bare mattress. This was the first night. Later in the vacation, a Christmas turkey and a Christmas ham were stolen from my aunt’s refrigerator on Christmas Eve. We think the thief was a relative. My mom and I decided not to exchange gifts that year because it just didn’t seem festive.
A few days after New Year’s I returned to California. The Northeast was soon hit by a blizzard. They were there, and I was here. That was the way it had to be, for now. I haven’t forgotten; the ache of knowing their suffering is always there. It has to be kept deep down, or I can’t find the logic in studying and partying while people, my people, are being killed by poverty. Ironically, success drives me away from those I most want to help by getting an education.
Somewhere in the midst of all that misery, my family has built, within me, “a proud feeling.” As I travel between the two worlds it becomes harder to remember just how proud I should be — not just because of where I have come from and where I am going, but because of where they are. The fact that they survive in the world in which they live is something to be very proud of, indeed. It inspires within me a sense of tenacity and accomplishment that I hope every college graduate will someday possess.
There is more than a "Water" issue