Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nueva Cancion and The Eternal City- Poetry by Matt

Nueva cancion

I don’t sing I spit
But if I did
I would like to think
I would sing neuva cancions
Like that peoples singer
The martyr Victor Hara
Aqui mi quedo
“Yo no quiero la patria dividida
ni por siete cuchillos desangrada”
I don’t want to see the country divided
Or stabbed to death by seven knives
I would sing
Aqui mi quedo
And if that didn’t work
If something was lost in translation
If I forgot my Spanish
If I just couldn’t sing la neuva cancion
I think I would like to
Change directions
Shift my tone
Twist my tongue
Maybe try my hand
At some Irish fight songs
And sing out
“This land was always ours
Twas the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
And not to any of the others
Let them go boys
Let them go boys
Let them all go to where the rivers all dry”
Cause I
Like Victor Jara or Shane Mcgowan
Aqui mi quedo
Here I stand
Speak of me as I am
Cause like that
Great people’s singer
Old man river
Paul Robson
I just keep rolling along
Cause while I don’t sing I spit
I too “was born by the river
In a little old tent
And just like that river
I have been running ever since”
But I am “bringing it on home”
And reaching back into the annals of history
Into the thirties to prophecies
Wandering folk singers
Because like Woody Guthrie
I am on a path bound for glory
“and in this life you’ll ramble
and in this life you’ll roam
I’ve never seen an outlaw
take a family from his home”
Because Bank of America’s
First born didn’t take their first steps
In that kitchen
Washington Mutual didn’t
Bring home from college
Their first really serious girlfriend
And neither did American general
Or Chase Manhattan
That home is yours
Because we are the public
Private interests are the enemy
And “we gotta fight the power
We gotta fight the powers that be”
And rage against the machine
And let them know
“Fuck you I wont do what you told me
No Fuck you I wont do what you told me”
And create new pathways to new days
Being blazed in new ways
And in more ways than one
So when the revolution comes
I will step away from the mic
And bear whatever burden
Carry whatever banner
And be wherever and whatever it needs me to be
But till that day
I am gonna say what I say
Preach what I preach
Teach what I teach
And if you say I am wasting my time
I say watch what you say because
I don’t debate with liars
And I don’t suffer any fools
And like an angry Iraqi journalist
I be throwing my shoes
“So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face”
Cause this is the nueva cancion
Breathing music and poetry into that new day

The eternal city

So they televise the rise
Right before your very eyes
Of a new black bourgeoisie
And even if you’re not black
You think hey that could be me
Hey he did it we did it
Times are changing in the eternal city
Little by little increment by increment
You don’t want to get carried away
But you imagine this must be how the sun first rose
Before the onset of that cruel and tragic history
We are going back to the beginning
Getting it right this time forging new histories
It’s a new beginning
Even the sun sheds light differently
These days in the eternal city
And you don’t want to get carried away
But you think today
Is your day built by your involvement
You made this happened
You not only lived it
You gave it birth you gave it breath
Change began with you
But I think you are getting a little carried away
On these winds of change
And these wings of hope
Change the name change the time
Ride the wave of history
Its bound to trickle down right
I hear the church bells ringing about change and progress
And they draw from a supposed rich history
Of overcoming boundaries and tests
But while watching the glow on faces
And listening to others speak
I have set my mind to reference checks
Fingering through all the primary texts
And I have come to see
That progress and new prospects in the eternal city
Means nothing but the opportunity
To line pockets with white supremacists
And leave everyone else in the dust
In the streets, in a prison cell
Because even without the color line
There is still only so much room behind
The velvet rope, on the first floor
In first classes
Through the corridors of power
In that class
And the walls are closing in
The waiting list to be VP
That VIP room is actually shrinking not expanding
And no amount of contracts
Paper stacks
Or police forces that enforce them both
Will ever convince me
That private property has divine right
To anything or to anyone and certainly not to me
And with all this talk of hope
I remain unconvinced
And I want to believe
I want to believe
I want belief
But I know
Hope is something offered
When facts are absent
Proof is scarce
And something else is really happening
And something is happening to be sure
But I have read enough history to know
That capes of good hope
Lead only often to looting of hope diamonds
Leaving those desperate for hope
Hoping for a better tomorrow
Betting bottom dollars
On days that never come
For suns that will never shine
Praying for the next boom
The next bubble
Hoping it wont burst
Leave you singing
“Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?”
And I can hear the march just as well
As anyone
I can hear that sound
That is the sound of one thing being said
And everyone hearing something else
And I can see the news where the money is being accrued
And I can see the streets and know where it is not
And I can see the news and hear of the dead
And know where the borrowed money is being spent
And in the long run we are all dead
But in the here and now
Only the dishonest lie to themselves
And not a damn thing changes in the eternal city
Lets burn this mother down

Monday, December 8, 2008

Even if the Truong Son Mountains Burn-Revolutionary Poetry

Here is the first piece of working class revolutionary poetry contributed by my good comrade Matt for a section of the blog dedicated entirely to his artwork.
Enjoy art with revolutionary proletarian character!

Even if the truong son mountains burn

Some people say there is no such thing as a stupid question

That’s a lie

People come up to me and ask me stupid shit

All the time

Heres an example

Say you know you’re political

Do you think Iraq is our generations Vietnam

You stupid arrogant presumptuous prick

Vietnam was never ours to begin with

You know people always running their mouths

About something called the Vietnam era

Also something known as the sixties

Which evokes memories

Of marching in the street

Free sex, protests FREE SEX

Electric acid kool aid tests

Flower children hippies

And who could forget

The grateful dead

Jamming on Haight Ashbury

I wonder how the Vietnamese

Look back on the sixties

A decade which brought them carpet

Bombing of their countryside

And various acts of genocide

Such as landmines that the us government

Still will not offer the locations of

But no words could do justice to the inhumanity unleashed

Nor would they even bring a modicum of justice to the Vietnamese

So instead sit back and get comfy

Because I am gonna tell you all a little could be story

To all potential and for all would be revolutionaries

And while I can teach you certain facts

And certain principles

I cannot teach you courage

And I cannot teach you balls

Tonight’s lesson


Around Ho Chi Minh

Whose balls were so big

They could not fit

In North Vietnam alone

That’s why they had to unify the country

In nineteen nineteen a Vietnamese waiter

Sometimes cook sometimes gardener

Stormed the treaty of Versailles

And demanded independence for Vietnam

His name was Ngyuen tat thanh

But the world would come to know him

As Ho Chi Minh

Who before he ever picked up the works of Marx or Lenin

Knew first hand of imperial humiliation

And subjugation

You see two thirds of world is ocean

And most of that remaining third

Are broken up into chunks of land called third world countries

They used to just be called colonies

That is until just about the nineteen fifties

The Vanguards at smashing the past five centuries of history

Without a doubt have been the Cubans and Vietnamese

In nineteen forty five

With the first abdication Bao Dai

The French slash Japanese slash French again

Later still American puppet

(Where do they find these guys)

Ho Chi Minh

Would declare Vietnam independent

But that was just the beginning

But the story begins a little earlier

You see before he read the works of Marx and Lenin

He saw the humiliation and subjugation of his people

All done in the name of humanism

And he knew it was bullshit

Because these conclusions are quite natural

When they argue you that you are less than human

You see French imperialists argued they were Annam

Not to be confused with a man and certainly not a Frenchmen

But the French would come to know this man

As ho chi Minh

Who closed the first Indochina war

In nineteen fifty four

With what maybe come to be seen

As the most significant military victory

Of the past five centuries

Dien Bien Phu

Then the Americans came in

Sending in the poorest of the poor

To fight the war

Against Vietnamese independence

In that first wave they sent the harlem black

The bordertown spic

Midwestern quote end quote trailer trash

In the name of freedom and democracy

If it weren’t so tragic

The Vietnamese might have seen it as funny

You see for centuries

The French tried the same thing

Instead they called it

Fraternity equality and liberty

The Japanese called it spheres of co prosperity

And while playing with words and dirty tricks

Might work with

In name and flag alone nationalists

Fighting for flag independence

Ho chi minh was a

Anti imperialist

I realize an imperialist is an imperialist

Vietnam must know independence even if the truong son mountains burn

I said it I meant it

Just give me the facts and statistics

For every one we kill of you

You can kill ten of us

And even at those odds

We will still win

Marxist Leninist

And the moral of the story is this

We all have the opportunity

To shape and change

The course of history

In 1919 a Vietnamese waiter

Sometimes cook sometimes gardener

Stormed the treaty of Versailles

His name was Ngyuen Tat Thanh

But the world would come to know him

As Ho Chi Minh