Portland and Vancouver, Washington

ORGANIZER: Christopher Luna

CONTACT: christopherjluna@gmail.com

For Immediate Release
100 Thousand Poets for Change in Vancouver, Portland, and around the
world Saturday, September 24
Contact: christopherjluna@gmail.com

Niche/Angst poet laureate and Ghost Town Poetry founder Christopher
Luna invites Vancouver and Portland writers and artists to participate
in the largest poetry reading in history on Saturday, September 24.
100 Thousand Poets for Change, a global event uniting writers who
believe in the power of language to create social and political
positive change, is a grassroots effort in which anyone can
participate. The intention is to find ways to bring your message to
the larger community through outdoor events and readings in
non-traditional places. This is why I did not plan an open mic at a
bookstore or coffee shop. Each of you can create your own event or get
together with a few friends. Starting at 1pm I will be reading and
writing poems outside Niche Wine and Art Bar, interacting with
passerby and providing help and advice to poets who would like to
participate. However, in the spirit of the event, please feel free to
initiate and execute your own activities. Then send all poems and
photographs to me at christopherjluna@gmail.com or post them as a
reply on our 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog:

http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/?cat=46

Please read the press release below for more information about this
historic event.

Contact: Michael Rothenberg
100 Thousand Poets for Change
P.O. Box 870
Guerneville, Ca 95446
Phone: 305-753-4569

http://www.100TPC.org

walterblue@bigbridge.org

100 Thousand Poets for Change Organizes Largest Poetry Event in History

Number of Participants Worldwide Growing Daily

650 events in 450 cities and 95 countries will take place on September
24 to promote environmental, social, and political change. Poets,
writers, artists will create, perform and demonstrate in their
communities, and decide their own specific area of focus for change
within the framework of peace and sustainability, which founder
Michael
Rothenberg stated, “…is a major concern worldwide and the guiding
principle for this global event.”

Bob Holman and Margery Snyder, in a recent article on About.com said,
“the beauty of the concept of 100 Thousand Poets for Change is that it
is completely decentralized and completely inclusive.” All those
involved are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and
redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the
narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.

Poetry demonstrations are being organized in political hotspots such
as Madison, Wisconsin and Cairo, Egypt. Poetry and peace gatherings
are planned in strife-torn Kabul and Jalalabad.

In Mexico there are over 30 events, with 18 poetic actions in Mexico
City, where poets as well as environmental and political activists are
hoping to encourage reflection and creative responses against systemic
violence through the written and the spoken word with day long street
events, readings and workshops. More than a third
of these events are organized by collectives actively working towards
a non-violent approach to solve the country’s most pressing problems.

To date there are over 260 events in the United States. There are 20
events statewide in North Carolina where teacher/poets have mobilized
to protest cuts in education funding. And along the Platte River near
Omaha, Nebraska, poets will be demonstrating against TransCanada’s
planned Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. More examples of events can be
found at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change www.100TPC.org. Each event
organizer has an Event Location blog page on the website for posting,
poetry, artwork, photos, and video to document this global mega-event
across national borders.

Immediately following September 24th all documentation on the
100TPC.org website will be preserved by Stanford University in
California, which has recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change as an
historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will
archive the complete contents of the website, 100TPC.org, as part
of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

Founder Michael Rothenberg is a widely known poet, editor of the
online literary magazine Bigbridge.org and an environmental activist
based in Northern California.

For information contact: http://www.100TPC.org
Contact: walterblue@bigbridge.org
Phone: 305-753-4569


Christopher Luna
Poet, Editor, Teacher

http://christopherluna-poetry.blogspot.com

http://www.printedmattervanc.wordpress.com

Co-editor (with Toni Partington)
of “Ghost Town Poetry: Poems from Cover to Cover Books 2004-2011″
Available at Cover to Cover Books, Powell’s, and Amazon.com

http://covertocoverbooks.net

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Comments

Portland and Vancouver, Washington — 16 Comments

  1. Duane and I will be moving to Milepost 5 in July. There is a performance venue there. If it’s not booked, it might be a good location. This is an artist’s community between 81st and 82nd near Glisan in Portland.

  2. Niche/Angst poet laureate and Ghost Town Poetry founder Christopher Luna invites Vancouver and Portland writers and artists to participate in the largest poetry reading in history on Saturday, September 24. 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a global event uniting writers who believe in the power of language to create social and political positive change, is a grassroots effort in which anyone can participate. The intention is to find ways to bring your message to the larger community through outdoor events and readings in non-traditional places. This is why I did not plan an open mic at a bookstore or coffee shop. Each of you can create your own event or get together with a few friends. Starting at 1pm I will be reading and writing poems outside Niche Wine and Art Bar, interacting with passerby and providing help and advice to poets who would like to participate. However, in the spirit of the event, please feel free to initiate and execute your own activities. Then send all poems and photographs to me at christopherjluna@gmail.com or post them as a reply on our 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog: http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/?cat=46

    Please read the press release below for more information about this historic event.

    Contact: Michael Rothenberg
    100 Thousand Poets for Change
    P.O. Box 870
    Guerneville, Ca 95446
    Phone: 305-753-4569
    http://www.100TPC.org
    walterblue@bigbridge.org

    100 Thousand Poets for Change Organizes Largest Poetry Event in History

    Number of Participants Worldwide Growing Daily

    650 events in 450 cities and 95 countries will take place on September 24 to promote environmental, social, and political change. Poets, writers, artists will create, perform and demonstrate in their communities, and decide their own specific area of focus for change within the framework of peace and sustainability, which founder Michael
    Rothenberg stated, “…is a major concern worldwide and the guiding principle for this global event.”

    Bob Holman and Margery Snyder, in a recent article on About.com said, “the beauty of the concept of 100 Thousand Poets for Change is that it is completely decentralized and completely inclusive.” All those involved are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.

    Poetry demonstrations are being organized in political hotspots such as Madison, Wisconsin and Cairo, Egypt. Poetry and peace gatherings are planned in strife-torn Kabul and Jalalabad.

    In Mexico there are over 30 events, with 18 poetic actions in Mexico City, where poets as well as environmental and political activists are hoping to encourage reflection and creative responses against systemic violence through the written and the spoken word with day long street events, readings and workshops. More than a third
    of these events are organized by collectives actively working towards a non-violent approach to solve the country’s most pressing problems.

    To date there are over 260 events in the United States. There are 20 events statewide in North Carolina where teacher/poets have mobilized to protest cuts in education funding. And along the Platte River near Omaha, Nebraska, poets will be demonstrating against TransCanada’s planned Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. More examples of events can be found at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change http://www.100TPC.org. Each event organizer has an Event Location blog page on the website for posting, poetry, artwork, photos, and video to document this global mega-event across national borders.

    Immediately following September 24th all documentation on the 100TPC.org website will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which has recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will archive the complete contents of the website, 100TPC.org, as part
    of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

    Founder Michael Rothenberg is a widely known poet, editor of the online literary magazine Bigbridge.org and an environmental activist based in Northern California.

    For information contact: http://www.100TPC.org
    Contact: walterblue@bigbridge.org
    Phone: 305-753-4569

  3. Thanks to Naomi and Roland for this:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/naomi-fast/a-poem-for-100-thousand-poets-for-change/10150341327511489

    A poem for “100 Thousand Poets For Change”
    It seems to go without saying that people write love poems; the following is a money poem.

    Hail To The Coin

    Give us this day our daily bread,
    that our commerce
    may be slick, and heavy.

    That we may transact in its value–
    though intrinsically we know it has none–
    and give Caesar what Caesar is due.

    That billions of us
    may affirm its platonic fictions
    each day. (God only gets Sunday.)

    But if myth is God, “In you we trust,”
    at the same time we take your name in vain.

    Admit it: on the street,
    Gotta a dime for the bus?
    is a character in the story
    we’d rather see die off.

    ***
    -Roland Couture & Naomi Fast
    9/24/11 for 100 Thousand Poets For Change
    http://www.wordstothewind.com

  4. The following poems for change were sent to me by Garret Potter (garretpotter@yahoo.com)

    Insurrection with gratitude
    by Garret Potter

    I heard someone at the door, so I closed the chapter of my book,
    and went to see who was there..
    Opening, I saw my roommate, fumbling with his keys,
    looking as if he’d seen a ghost.
    Coming in, he got out slowly, that
    he just heard a Rwandan refugee tell his story…
    and how that man told him,
    that out of genocide he learned…

    “if you hate what is evil
    more than you love what is good
    you will not survive.”

    His words ran away from his mouth like fugitive prisoners of war,
    and they came for me.
    Taking the short end of the stick I thought I was holding
    they carved it into (something like) a pairing knife,
    with which they proceeded to peel back,
    layer after layer of
    hate, rage, bitterness,
    discontent, apathy, cynicism, and arrogance.

    And when they were done (whittling,)
    they handed me their masterpiece:

    A vivid still-life depicting rich scenes from my (life) story.
    (I will try to describe them for you)

    10.
    I have witnessed the graceful landing of glistening snowflakes
    on carefree heads and resting land.

    9.
    I have run on busy urban autopilot,
    until a clear day occasion,
    catching a glimpse of Mt. Hood
    that bungee jump cable arrests and retracts to zoom out my point of view.

    8.
    I have felt the warm scintillating magnetism of a woman’s soft skin.

    7.
    I have gazed into the unpredictable flickering orange dance of (a camp)fire.

    6.
    I’ve seen, (through the privilege of compulsory education),
    the wonders of life, birth, season’s change, and death
    through microscopes that cannot get small enough,
    through telescopes that cannot reach far enough–

    From the immeasurably small to the infinitely large,
    I’ve marveled at all of it,
    with involuntary muscles aiding in my experience of…

    5.
    the fantasaic perfume of late summer’s honeysuckle,

    4.
    the intoxicating aroma of peach colored roses.

    3
    the decadent drink of ripened mango(s),

    2.
    the savory succulent taste of roast meat,

    1.
    the smooth soothing security in a sip of milk.

    I have loved each of these.
    (And through these, the Sovereign Artisan has manifest [ingenious] artistry).

    Yet, that refugee’s words echo
    and I know that these are the easy things…
    so good that you can love them and not overpower your (own) hatred.

    Because I hate…
    the persistence of war and genocide (in Uganda and Sudan).
    I am brought to my knees by painful grudges held against me by ex-loves,
    or indifferent consumer exploitation,
    and the misallocation of overabundant resources failing to make it to stomachs of starving children.

    But, I will NOT let hatred shut me down to futility.
    I will NOT let it kill me.

    No, with humming bird green-blue eyes,
    I want to seek and drink nectar from the veins of life,
    I want to shake the sky until it bleeds rain,
    falling around us all like baptism,
    washing the enemy out of friends,
    bringing laughter back to aged children.

    I want to come to a place of love
    for the (good) things in life
    that are so difficult they almost kill me.

    Only the best things have (such) capacity
    for (both) devastation and nourishment.

    to love the feel of my second hand pair of jeans
    even if they were first made by the hands of child slaves,

    to love the adrenal high of initiating a first date,
    even though I remember far too many last ones,

    to love getting married some day
    even though it didn’t work for my parents,

    To love that awkward phone call from my father,
    even if it is five deprecating months too late,

    To love planting seeds in my garden,
    even though I don’t think I will renew
    close to what I have consumed,

    To love living in Portland, Oregon,
    even though it was stolen by force
    from the only people who chose to live with it sustainably,

    To escape the despairing death of futility,
    and close the last chapter of my story,
    knowing that when my roommate stood at that door,
    looking as if he’d seen a ghost,
    it was because
    his old self had been stripped away,
    and in its place,
    gratitude (a)woke someone new.

    The Whispers And Cries of Earth’s Body Language
    by Garret Potter

    When it takes most humans a year
    (from birth) to learn to walk,
    Within hours from exiting the womb
    these creatures (can) run!

    It is said that when a newborn giraffe stands for the first time
    its mother kicks it over.
    It stands again, on newborn legs,
    and then she kicks they down again,
    and again,
    until they learn to move
    in this habitat inhabited with predators
    …who will prey on anything to survive,
    regardless of its size.

    Six feet long and stretching,
    (stretching) up to eighteen feet (tall);
    Giraffes can amass
    up to four thousand pounds.
    Clothed with gold and black patches,
    beyond (merely) eye-catching,
    emitting their body heat through intricate spots.
    They can swat bugs off their heads
    using only their eighteen inch blue tongues,
    reaching past huge thorns at Acacia leaves,
    while grazing the savanna.
    high sight from their majestic heads,
    low arcing their distinctive necks,
    they sleep while standing,
    across the continent of Africa.

    Giraffes come from somewhere.

    BUT, WHERE WILL WE SEND THEM?
    FROM AFRICA TO ANOTHER CONTINENT?
    Like us affluent Americans
    who take fuel-pollutant continental flights over oceans,
    at Superman heights,
    peering through oval windows―
    at mountainous snowy cloud puffs,
    glimmering in the sunlight
    UNHINDERED BY OBSTRUCTION,
    FILTERED ONLY THROUGH OZONE,
    THE GLASS CASE TO OUR SNOW GLOBE.

    OUR GLOBE…
    COMPLETE WITH ITS POLAR ICE CAPS,
    IS MELTING LIKE A POP-SICKLE
    IN OUR FICKLE HAPHAZARD STEWARDSHIP:

    OIL SPILLING BLACK MASS-
    TRANSIT GREEN HOUSE GASES
    SMOG SENDING ACID RAINS
    WE TASTE TEST THE FACT THAT
    WE ARE OUR OWN LAB RATS
    POLLUTING OUR OWN CABBAGE PATCH
    WITH NICOTINE SMOKE STACKS
    AND PALLET JACKED HABITS THAT
    DON’T RUB OFF WITH ALCOHOL
    OR LAST CALLS TO PHARMACIES,
    TO HARM THE SEEDS
    WE MODIFY GENETICALLY.
    AESTHETICS PLEASE,
    WHEN EVERYTHING IS PACKED IN PLASTIC,
    AND SEALED BY EXECUTIVES WHO STEAL
    FROM THEIR HARD-WORKING SLAVE LABORERS
    SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO FEEL
    AN OUNCE OF PAIN,
    (WHILE) THE MOUNTAINS DRIP,
    THE RIVERS DRAIN,
    THE SOIL DRIES,
    THE FORESTS CRY,
    AND SPECIES DIE,
    WHILE UNDERNEATH ELECTRIC LIGHTS
    WE HUMANS WASTE AWAY INSIDE
    THE COFFIN-HOMES WE BUILD TO KEEP US SAFE,
    LOCK AND KEY FROM OUR MISTAKES.

    ARE WE INSANE? …PERHAPS.

    BECAUSE, GIRAFFES COME FROM SOMEWHERE,
    (AND) IF YOU TAKE AWAY GIRAFFES,
    the Acacia ants leave,
    AND THE ELEPHANTS DESTROY THE ACACIA TREES.

    IF YOU TAKE AWAY GIRAFFES,
    THE TICKS LOSE THEIR HOST;
    SO THE TICK-BIRDS STRUGGLE TO FIND A FOOD SOURCE.

    WE ARE KILLING OUR PLANET.
    BUT WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DO THAT?
    IT’S SO NICE HERE.

    LISTEN…TO EARTH’S BODY LANGUAGE.
    WE ARE CONSUMING AND BARELY RENEWING
    ENDING THE SUSTAINING AGE OF “WILDLIFE.”
    WILD! (BEAUTIFUL) LIFE!

    IT MATTERS WHAT HAPPENS!
    SO GET MADDER THAN YOU HAVE BEEN
    IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO SLOW THE DECAY.
    To breathe blamelessly–
    being creative with things.
    And renew what’s been consumed.
    Because what’s been done before–
    destruction–needs not endure.

    Let’s save endurance for all that needs saving.
    It’s not ours for the wasting.

    At least that’s…
    what giraffes are saying.

    A bottle of safety (so they tell me)
    by Garret Potter

    Note: “wfffht” denotes the spray of a spray bottle when performed live

    I love when I hear “wfffht;”
    (I love the sound it makes),
    the sound created by the friction of a liquid
    dispatched from the narrow nozzle of a spray bottle.
    I love the feel of its trigger
    (and the potential energy) in my first finger.
    I feel power to irrigate
    (wffffffffht) like a light rain
    (wfffht, wfffht) like fireworks burst,
    (whhfffht) like falling from a trapeze into a safety net.

    I listen…
    at 111 West Burnside, Portland, Oregon,
    I am working another twelve hour graveyard shift
    at the Rescue Mission.
    Our doorway is the funnel,
    whereby Portlanders are collected,
    who each are one strike, one pay check,
    one family and friend short
    of keeping the American illusion of independence.

    Like Quinn,
    who tells me,
    “I know you are trying to do good,
    but this is not a safe place to be.”
    I tell him,
    “there are no safe places, Quinn.
    The only place that is safe
    is the company of someone who chooses to embody safety.
    “There are no safe places,” I tell him,
    “but you can offer one to me.”
    With a smile and a hug,
    he returns to circling, and I go into work.

    One of my many overnight duties is cleaning–
    one of the only entities I can control.
    So, I am trigger happy!
    following my own advice to Quinn,
    As I spray, I listen…

    Shane enters in at 2AM
    when the queer bar closes down
    twelve blocks from here in Old Town
    he’s been weathering the winters
    without a home, now
    for the past six years,
    He’s not only shivering from the cold,
    But from the symptoms of HIV,
    Heart-ache, addiction, and fear.
    When my friend Shane walks in
    to wash away the sediment,
    I’ve got got a towel in my hand,
    wiping down the glass,
    the counter tops,
    the sink, the toilet seat,
    the computer, phone, doorknobs…everything,
    with a sanitizing solution
    that makes music when dispensed.
    I raise my ear hairs to attention…wfffht!

    (*optional verse depending on length requirement)

    As Tom walks in the door at 3:15 AM
    Dirty and cold again
    Tired but somewhat cheerful.
    I ask, “What’s going on Tom?”
    “Oh, back out here on the street,” he says.
    After another thirty day go round in temporary housing,
    he couldn’t save up enough to make it into his own rental,
    nor has he mustered the humility to admit to his fully grown kids
    that he lives outside, downtown, as he feels he has to,
    And as Tom and I converse,
    I’ve opened the dispensers,
    replacing the paper towels, refilling the sanitizer, (and cleaning)
    sharing the sweet safe symphony of…wfffht!

    I love how each trigger’s-pull,
    plays the single key of this liquid instrument,
    each spray reverberates like a twin stack of Yamaha speakers,
    singing, pounding, moving me
    killing every germ in its path,
    freeing me from tragedy… for a moment,
    until I hear bare feet barreling toward me…
    Something is wrong!

    At 4AM this morning,
    Cameron is woken from a comatose
    detoxing restless sleep,
    after flooding his mouth for thirty straight years;
    the (past) three days without beer,
    have been a cataclysmic interruption,
    His body is lets him know
    like an angry volcano,
    trapping him on his mat in the mission,
    requiring paramedic intervention,
    waking the seventy five men next to him.

    And as Cameron exits on a stretcher,
    I enter my own world,
    of water falls and paradise lagoons,
    each spray projecting much needed imagery
    reminding me of a desired reality,
    in place of these traumatic graveyard tragedies
    teaching lessons learned the hardest ways–
    that even inside the shelter of a rescue mission,
    no one but I can truly save me from myself
    no one but he can choose to save him from himself.
    And all I want is to help…

    So I spray again, and I pray again,
    I spray again, and I pray again,
    I spray and I pray again…
    for one last time part-time
    hourly (pay) night shift with no health benefits
    except this bottle of safety mist solution,
    Which is all the more why I pray,
    and why I love…the sound…it makes…
    (wffffffffht) like a light rain
    (wfffht, wfffht) like fireworks burst,
    (whhfffht) like falling from my knees into the hands of angels.

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