Collective Unrest

 

Isaiah

May 6, 2019

Like the future, few things can be said
for the poem.
But like the future, a few things can be said:

Either revolution will sweep the streets—
bare hurricane winds across tarmac flattening
banks into barricades against tanks clacking
down on them—and boil them away like a sun-
scratched oasis,
or it will fail in one of these clauses.
If it fails, we existed. Please tell our children.

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Material Madness

May 6, 2019

As the modern world, this ‘high point’ of our civilisation, slides inextricably towards its own self - constructed demise, it does so, characteristically missing the point. That being, that it is we ourselves, the ordinary people, who have taken each other to this point, not just the politicians, bureaucrats, bankers and the usual scapegoats, for they too are people. We are all ordinary people. All responsible. For buying goods on credit. For buying the inexpensive plane tickets to fly cheaply and conveniently to a Mediterranean island holiday. For wanting cheap, mass-produced clothes, that to be affordable must be manufactured by dangerous factories employing children in the far east and the subcontinent. 

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We Interrupt This Love Story for a Plot against the Tyrant

May 6, 2019

Timothy rode alone on the train to work. When he’d first moved to the city, the notion of trains excited him. He’d imagined it would be something sleek and modern, a fast and ultra-quiet hybrid of the Japanese Shinkansen and the monorail at Disneyland. He’d imagined sitting comfortably in a well-upholstered seat, sunlight streaming through the window as chill electronic music played softly through speakers. But this was a case of Timothy’s imagination running away with him. His actual commute was much different. At its worst, it was a mosaic of slow, lurching progress, screeching brakes, crying babies, unpleasant odors, strangely loud and aggressive riders and, occasionally, vomit. And at best it was merely boring. Sometimes on the train, Timothy would listlessly scroll through a news feed on his phone. At other times he’d stare out the window at the bleak cityscape of gray apartment blocks and think about his life and all the choices he’d made that brought him to this place. Most of the time, he thought about buying a car.

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1946

May 6, 2019

Snowflakes blew sideways down Main Street in Richmond, Virginia. It was Valentine's Day. Newlyweds, James and Betty Smith cuddled inside the trolley car. Betty took the cuff of her coat and brushed it across the window. Snow powdered brick buildings, running boards of parked Fords and Packards heaped with flurries, the sun paused low over the horizon. The Capitol was dusted in shades of gray.

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In the wake, so intimate, There is

May 1, 2019

The following pieces, "In the wake," "so intimate," and "There is," by J.I. Kleinberg are visual poems from an ongoing series of collages built from phrases created unintentionally through the accident of magazine page design.

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No, Every Rose, Jesuses

May 1, 2019

I'm inspired by hope, faith, and grace. I enjoy riding my folding bike through the streets of Long Beach and stopping to photgraph the allure in the mundane, which serves to help me create. Whether it's the beauty in a decaying flower or the American flag waving in the background that often seems as an afterthought, there's hope in whatever type of faith one has. 

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Attending College for The First 2 Years of Trump’s America

May 1, 2019

I remember what it was like to be in college when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016. To be one of, if not the only black person in the classroom. It takes a toll on you when you’re sitting in class and professors, as well as other students, dare to stare at you and wait for a response whenever they say something about poverty or gang violence in low-income neighborhoods. Sometimes it got to the point where I wanted to walk back to my dorm room and wrap myself in an abundance of blankets. Like other students of color who left a city to go to school in a rural area, I was forced to be the voice of the community I represented. Going to college in Vermont wasn’t easy.

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Dew

April 24, 2019

Legs like lengths of root, latching into soil holding me down. Like the weight of a thousand rain filled shoes discarded on front porches after morning walks in wet grass.

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The Wall

April 24, 2019

It sprung up overnight. Unexpected, it stood there as we all opened our curtains, bleary-eyed, in the morning. A divider line. A wall in solid bricks and mortar, tangerine and crimson. The road was carved in two by it. Unthreatening but impassable, like a teenager’s practical joke gone too far. We shuffled up to inspect it in our dressing gowns and fluffy slippers. We hollered over the top of it at our neighbours cut adrift. Susan Donoghue and Hester Lovegood were stranded on the other side. Pat Carter and Janice Smith were here with me on mine. And none of us knew anything about the unforeseen construction. Nancy Belweather wrote a strongly worded email to the council. Nothing was received in reply.

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When Broken Is Broken

April 17, 2019

At this point, the ground is a close companion. After countless fainting spells, it’s like hugging a friend you haven’t seen recently. My arms don’t work like they used to. These fingers can’t open jars, legs wobble under the same useless weight, or maybe it’s more without the ability to exercise.

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