100 TPC New Bedford

Here in New Bedford, the kind folks at Gallery X have donated space in their Frederick Douglass gallery for a 100 Thousand Poets for Change reading. The event will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, 9/24 from 2-5 PM.

So far, our lineup of readers (in alphabetical order) includes:

Bob Barboza
Jim Bobrick
Maggie Cleveland
Jaime Duquette
Bill Gauthier
Patricia Gomes
Everett Hoagland
Colleen Keenan
Nancy Morgan-Boucher
Mwalim *7)
Jake St. John
Tracy Tarvers
Rhonda Ward

This list is growing by the hour. Right now, I’m looking to hear from folks interested in reading (send an email to whalingcityreview@gmail.com for details), along with volunteers to help spread the word (creating and distributing posters or flyers, sharing this event listing through facebook ); also, helping with setup/takedown of chairs, and bringing snacks or drinks to the reading. Any help would be appreciated!

If you have connections with local schools, colleges, or youth groups, we could especially use your help. This is a great opportunity for young people to use their voices to talk about the kinds of change they want to see.

If you’re not from the area, it’s a great time to visit New Bedford as the Working Waterfront Festival featuring musicians, authors, demonstrations, and the world’s best fresh local seafood is taking place right down the street.

Hope to see you there!
__________________

New Bedford area poets and friends – please post your poems in the “comments” section of this post so that they can be archived. Thanks!

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100 TPC New Bedford — 7 Comments

  1. I am a poet from New Bedford, MA, a place where poetry usually happens in dedicated arenas like galleries, bookstores, and academic circles where poets read to the converted. I ask for change that would take poetry to the people, mobilizing poets in community beyond their own egos into public arenas like festivals, cable television (as I have done), and diverse sectors of public life where an exchange can take place between the poets and “the People”.
    I believe this would change the tone and effect of poetry in a region where many are isolated from the power of the Word. The following poem reflects my concern for the withdrawn intellectuals who stand apart from the political engagement which could liberate them and transform community.

    Spring Poem—Renewal at the Immigration Rally, April 10, 2006
    by Claudia Grace, 4/11/06

    Hermanas,

    we welcome you
    into this month of the Fish moon,
    Egg moon: when Sky is full of itself
    Sprouting grass running the ground

    Well of course, could we do any different…
    We live in the city of fish
    Number one fishing port in Americanation
    Your tribe scaling, gutting in its grey Atlantic
    The way we don’t want to need to do.

    We welcome you hermanos
    not quite like the woman who hands out sweatshirts ID-ing
    as “Americans too” your eddy of baseball-
    capped workers, hundreds representing still more low-profile,
    triangulating the space between our institutions,
    City Hall and the Free Public Library,
    implicated in an America
    you cannot read,
    faces open as sunflowers
    chanting litanies of “si se puede”—“it can be done” possible at last all
    you could ever do

    unlike the missionary who thinks you should have stayed in Mexico,
    unlike the Mayor’s call
    for ID cards and above-the-table deals
    with your consulate and our government
    watching,
    most unlike the suit with a gun in one pocket
    and a flask in the other
    grinding your generations to their knees
    unlike the tall men, the CEO’s who can never meet
    your eyes,
    unlike the thinkers expressionless under their shades

    A native drum remembers you
    Compadres
    Your eager faces, the tiny flags wafting the April breeze
    Waved by brown arms of children who
    no doubt
    will be taller than you thanks to price rite
    and the free health
    center
    It beats wel/come
    Be a-
    ware
    in this cost-effective
    corp-o-nation built on a free
    labor pool

    Y cuando diga Libertad
    Me dicen Muere!*
    Echoes of homeland (twice, louder the 2nd time)

    We,
    The children of immigrants, slaves, Native
    human beings welcome you….stand with you
    Waxing toward fullness, Egg moon expands through dying light,
    Benevolent in its moment of Unity,
    our humpbacked flute player, your Aztec song.

    *Otto René Castillo, Guatemalan poet and revolutionary, murdered by the junta in 1968
    “When I say freedom , they tell me ‘die’.”

  2. I read at 100 TPC in New Bedford, MA. I quoted Woody Guthrie “Patriotism is neighborly.” Change starts on your street, in your town and then moves outward. But you need to be aware.

    routine

    so many around me
    walk with eyes closed
    stubbing their toes
    on the edges of life
    getting bruised in the process
    and tripping over
    their surroundings

    never taking the time
    to see the cracks
    in the sidewalk
    or the flower
    poking up from the ground
    littered with plastic bottles
    around the stop sign
    spray painted with graffiti
    at the corner of the intersection

    eyes closed they stumble around
    with hands outstretched
    so they don’t fall
    down the stairs of the city

    or catching a tree branch
    to their nose
    in the fields of eternity

    sending the singing birds
    squawking into the sunburnt
    sky of clouds
    that they will never see

  3. Here is Colleen Keen’s self-explanatory poem on change:

    “It’s Supposed To Change Tomorrow”

    Stop the mundane
    They call
    Life?
    We have found our way home.
    Breathe in
    It is safe.
    The dirt roads leading to nowhere
    I found myself there
    They will too.
    The cable is out
    I wish there was a place you could rent books
    Is it still unheard of to read?
    Enrich their minds
    Find solace on a page
    Entertainment through knowledge
    Not for the mindless
    Tomorrow we become enlightened
    No task for the wretched sloth
    Motivate fulfillment
    Renewed opportunity for the driven
    No more soulless routine
    Conformity destroyed
    A drastic change
    Individuals illuminated through liberation
    We are all saved!
    From greed
    Pessimism
    Idiocrasy
    Dictatorship
    Narcissism
    We are saved from ourselves
    Tomorrow will be different
    War
    No longer the answer
    Transformation
    No fear of the unknown
    All is well
    Oil prices down,
    Nasdaq up
    Who cares?
    Lower taxes
    Just a little bit?
    Tomorrow gas is free.

  4. Jake St. John: Quoted Woody Guthrie: “Patriotism is neighborly.” it starts on your street, in your town and then moves outward. But you need to be aware.

    routine

    so many around me
    walk with eyes closed
    stubbing their toes
    on the edges of life
    getting bruised in the process
    and tripping over
    their surroundings

    never taking the time
    to see the cracks
    in the sidewalk
    or the flower
    poking up from the ground
    littered with plastic bottles
    around the stop sign
    spray painted with graffiti
    at the corner of the intersection

    eyes closed they stumble around
    with hands outstretched
    so they don’t fall
    down the stairs of the city

    or catching a tree branch
    to their nose
    in the fields of eternity

    sending the singing birds
    squawking into the sunburnt
    sky of clouds
    that they will never see

    -Jake St. John
    100 TPC New Bedford, MA
    9/24/11

    Here is Colleen Keen’s self-explanatory poem on change:

    “It’s Supposed To Change Tomorrow”

    Stop the mundane
    They call
    Life?
    We have found our way home.
    Breathe in
    It is safe.
    The dirt roads leading to nowhere
    I found myself there
    They will too.
    The cable is out
    I wish there was a place you could rent books
    Is it still unheard of to read?
    Enrich their minds
    Find solace on a page
    Entertainment through knowledge
    Not for the mindless
    Tomorrow we become enlightened
    No task for the wretched sloth
    Motivate fulfillment
    Renewed opportunity for the driven
    No more soulless routine
    Conformity destroyed
    A drastic change
    Individuals illuminated through liberation
    We are all saved!
    From greed
    Pessimism
    Idiocrasy
    Dictatorship
    Narcissism
    We are saved from ourselves
    Tomorrow will be different
    War
    No longer the answer
    Transformation
    No fear of the unknown
    All is well
    Oil prices down,
    Nasdaq up
    Who cares?
    Lower taxes
    Just a little bit?
    Tomorrow gas is free

  5. One Response to 100 TPC New Bedford – More Details Released!
    Ricky A. Pursley says:
    September 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm (Edit)
    change

    I must confess that I came to this poem
    the long way around,
    as I sought to express
    the multitude of things
    for which new thinking –
    change –
    must be found;

    the task was daunting,
    with socio-economic and
    political ills taunting
    from every corner of life,
    each filled with their own traps
    and trappings,
    too many for me
    to do much useful mapping;

    I stopped by the yard sale
    that the three sisters,
    Atrocity, Duplicity, and Mendacity
    were having,
    looked around,
    bought nothing,
    and thought,
    this is fertile ground
    for some change;

    I wandered down Main Street
    where all the Isms have their shops,
    decorated with grand rhetorical flourishes,
    although most of them have
    turned out to be flops:

    in one dark cavern
    sat Sexism, old and grey,
    but with lively eyes and hands
    that never seemed to stop moving –
    he was disarming, charming –
    but underneath it all, I could sense
    a smarminess that I found
    quite alarming;

    another fetid stall
    seemed to have it all:
    Ageism, Fascism, and Genderism
    were all lined up against a wall;
    seeing them so posed
    made them seem rather small,
    and ripe for change;

    further down the way
    a large crowd seemed to
    swing and sway
    in front of the joint exhibition
    of Capitalism and Socialism
    (Communism was out of the way),
    although try as they did, neither one
    seemed to win the day,
    poised and posed
    for the hand of change;

    there were dozens more Isms
    in all the other tiny spaces,
    more hogwash than dogma
    splattered across their faces,
    and so I moved on, noting that
    change is needed in all of their
    rigid, stiff-jointed places;

    and I came to Hunger and Homelessness,
    huddled together due to a
    change in the weather,
    and the sight of those two,
    who knew not what to do
    made me
    weep
    and vow
    to keep
    promises for change yet again;

    I saw Civility and Dignity,
    lying naked, near death, in the street:
    they were both too wounded to stand,
    they were both too bloated to eat;
    they seemed lost in a foreign world,
    out-of-place curiosities at whom
    jeers and derisions were hurled,
    and I was so sad that I had
    to look away;

    and then I came upon the saddest sight of all,
    four thousand stories high, with
    nothing else as large, or as tall:
    it was Loneliness looming like a dreadful pall;
    and I thought, this is what most
    needs change:
    cure Loneliness, and we may cure all.

    September 22, 2011. Written specially for reading at 100 Thousand Poets for Change, September 24, 2011, Gallery X, 169 William Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

    Copyright © 2011, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

  6. Michael says:
    April 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm
    Great! Post this on the home page of this blog too if you can. Best, Michael
    Reply
    Patricia Gomes says:
    April 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    Thanks — I certainly will!
    Reply
    Kathryn says:
    April 23, 2011 at 3:03 am
    I love this poem, Maggie! Good choice for Earth Day, too.
    Reply
    Maggie Cleveland says:
    April 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm
    Razing the Mills

    The wrecking ball
    like a clumsy metronome
    keeps time
    in staggered beats
    as it taps
    the façade
    of the monolith
    with a heavy
    kiss.

    Asbestos laden
    frames crack,
    panes of glass and
    floorboards steeped in
    a hundred years of machine oil
    and sweat
    split,

    tumble down the bones
    of the behemoth,
    slam the ground
    and send a rumble
    to the rocks
    across the river.

    What’s left is blasted to bits -
    bulldozed, swept
    into tall piles,
    shoveled into trucks
    and hauled away,

    or blown by handfuls
    into the wind
    with a wish

    that they won’t
    fill the hole
    with poison this time,
    that what’s built

    in its flattened place
    won’t be an empty box
    of concrete and glass
    with a sun bleached
    “for lease”
    sign in the window -

    this year, the air
    is tinged in color,

    even the tips
    of the seagulls’ wings
    are red.

    -Maggie Cleveland
    (first published in Amerarcana: A Bird & Beckett Review, 2010)
    Reply

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