Collaborations, lectures, and nightmare politics

Republicans can on Main Street, for all I care, at this point. They're nothing but a shitstain on the entire world. Look at this video of a father being detained by ICE. Then there's the douchecanoe Steve King, expounding on his theories of racial purity. Seriously, fuck that guy and any Republican who is not furiously denouncing him. But wait, maybe they're all too busy fretting over how their corporate pals can benefit from President Bannon's imminent demolition of the Executive Branch

In the face of this macro hell and some other personal dumpster fires. how in the world do I approach my writing? With a combination of trepidation, gusto, terror, and ambivalence. I mean, I want to write words that address the utter void gaping in front of us, but all I can manage to address is material at the personal level. There's a person I love. Another few persons I love. A ghost who won't go away. Lost children. Parallels among my loved ones, strange knots and coincidences that feel as if the world is trying to talk to me (VOID, it says). And sometimes I hang onto people like a drowning woman clings to a chunk of styrofoam on roiling garbage seas. 

in light of all this, I go to work. where I help working people access education, information, community resources, and literature/art. I sit with kids and make buttons and Perler bead crafts. I teach kids how to code their initials in some beads and wear that as a bracelet. I order diverse books for my library. Squinting at the computer screen, I wonder when I'll finally go blind because of my eye problems. I worry. I practice denial. I take a baked chicken to my friend who hates whole chicken. I sit with others in their pain and I fucking squirm through it & pretend that I'm stable. I try to solve problems. I am annoying. 

While bobbing around in the Beautiful Hurt Ocean, I think of poems and politics, and I wonder about my role as poet laureate of my city. On Sunday, April 9, I'm giving a talk at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Turlock on the topic of poetry and resistance in the age of Trump. I'm working on an idea to put poetry inside of bags of bread sold by Alchemy Bread Co. I will write Poems on the Spot at the Modesto Library on April 7, and I want to start a small poetry and art zine. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, wave at me from your dinghy.