100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE
LOS ANGELES POETS UNITE!
A Global Event created by Founder Michael Rothenberg (see below) is growing at a rapid rate daily. The poets of 265 Cities and 59 Countries across the globe are enthusiastically gathering, planning and writing to speak about “Change”.
An event such as this is history in the making; Stanford University is now committed to archiving it’s progress through the main website: https://100tpc.org
Poetry is the catalyst. It inspires creative solution. Poetry can only speak truth. It is based in love and compassion for every living thing that has inherited the Breath of Life. ~Yvonne de la Vega
LOS ANGELES POETRY FOR CHANGE ORGANIZERS CONTACT: email@example.com
What is an L.A. Poet?
To define the outstanding persona and quest of the L.A. poet would entail a recalling of the history of the city itself.
Los Angeles is rich with stories of an untold history, stories that tell of the humanistic aspect of plight in regard to oppression, racism and the slow progress of change. These social conditions are the very soil and social fertilization that cultivates the prophetic expression that only the poet can deliver.
If you study the rise of the Los Angeles Boosters, and the violence it took to create this mecca in a dry desert wasteland, there’s no wonder that film noir originated here. Go even further back to during the war between the United States and Mexico in 1846. Los Angeles was occupied by an American garrison, but the citizens drove the fifty-man brigade out of town.
Because of the city’s history, Johnston McCully recreated the early days of Los Angeles finding it to be the perfect place from where his fictional hero “Zorro” arose, a hero and legend that fought in defense of whom? THE PEOPLE!
All in all, poets fight the Good Fight, and the Los Angeles poet is one that uniquely bonds to his fellow poet. There is love, honor and camaraderie between them. So now, with this history in mind, add the demographic of Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world, and not only do you get a voice that calls for Change, but also one that is also delivered with stage presence, charisma, and a delivery that is convincing and entertaining.
Los Angeles poets know, or know of one another and have for decades. Most have helped others with the organization of an event, sometimes supporting without having to be on the bill. This support and cameraderie is rooted in the love and for the sake of the Spoken Word. This is just one of the beautiful things about the Los Angeles poet.
Charles Bukowski stands out in our minds amongst the best poets of modern poetry. He wasn’t really one of the Beat Poets, although his readers like to romantically place him amongst them. Hank was different, he spoke with a rolling realism and a subtle humor beneath every bottom line and the difference between Bukowski and the Beats is, Charles Bukowski was an L.A. poet full on, full out, through and through. It is his realism and sincerity, however cynical, that has attracted many to his poetry and short stories. Of course… he was an L.A. Poet. LA POETS UNITE!
On September 24, a global grassroots event titled, 100 Thousand Poets For Change will take place in more than 245 cities and 55 countries worldwide. It’s going to be a definitive day for all of humankind and history in the making. Many topics of change and the need for change will be presented from the voices of the people, represented by the voice of humankind: the poets.
In Los Angeles, each organizer will host a one and a half hour poetry reading. The readings will be hosted back to back from noon to midnight. – There will be four booked bands featured before each quarter of the event. The L.A. poet organizers of The Los Angeles Poets For Change are:
Michael Rothenberg – Founder of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. A poet, songwriter, editor and publisher of Big Bridge. With Michael’s vision, poets of the world are coming together for the first time in history! In Los Angeles, some of the finest poets of the city will speak to our brothers and sisters, our children, our neighbors and especially to our Nation’s Leaders.
Okay here is my poem from 100,000 Poets for Change (originally published in the Free Venice Beachhead, May 2010).
Is There No Justice?
“Sure it makes perfect sense.
Import the breadfruit from Tahiti
To feed slaves in Jamaica.
Cheaper than bananas
If slaves must eat at all.
Makes sense to import
Slaves from Africa
Train them to drive
The red natives from this land.
A century later we send the black men
And the red men
To kill the yellow men in Asia.
We play chess
And the world is full of our little dolls.
Our motto is:
According to what we need
According to what we choose.
“And it makes sense
To those of us who run the machine
To keep the best for us
And mete out the rest in tiny segments
To the ones who bear the weight.
Money is earned
By those who love money.
Those who rule
Deserve their pay for ruling.
And can our pleasure be denied us?
We are exhausted from our struggle
To lead the ignorant flocks.
Excuse us our frolics in Vegas.
Yes we’ve heard our employees
Live through evictions
And debts and unpaid medical bills.
But they are not deserving.
Had they been meant to earn money
They would be earning it.
It makes sense to us.
The poor are poor
Because it is their destiny.
“There are winners
And there are losers.
If you are one of the losers
Don’t cry to us.
What helps us to keep winning
Is that we promulgate the notion
That you can become as we are
The truth is
You never can.
We won’t let you
And your losing keeps us rich.
“Justice? Why do you ask?
What is that word?
Is there no justice?
Of course there is.
Like any commodity
It is always paid for.
Did not burn at the stake.
The moneyed ones
Never hung from a rope or a cross.
It makes perfect sense. At least to us.”
So they said. So they said.
And one being, with an active mind,
Stomped upon and almost crushed to the ground,
Felt the wind of another world
Entering her almost broken frame,
Bringing the revival.
And from what miracle she could not know
She began to grow.
She raised her head,
Threw up her arms
Like two branches.
Her arms grew wide
And her hands formed fists
That clenched the air,
Pulling her clear from the wreckage
Dealt her by the talking pride machines.
Up and she threw
That wreckage. The machines
Crumpled, pushed back,
Cracked, whimpered, as she dealt them
The terminal blow:
“It makes perfect sense! Our lives, our creed
Make perfect sense! What are you doing?
Help us, don’t hurt us. We’ll change!
We’ll give you what you want. Only
Let us go. Don’t crush us. How
Can you do this to us?”
She pushed them hard.
They did not die
But they did not shine.
Left alone, feeble, unable to move,
Unable to touch the millions
At last freed from their interminable excuses,
Only able to watch
As the world got on
So much better without them.
The last they heard
Was what was shouted
As she left them to rust:
“It makes sense to me!
Is there no justice?”