“The Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology makes revolution still possible in these cataclysmic terrible times.” ~Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1st Poet Laureate of California
Los Angeles Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick is Poetry from Revolutionary Poets Brigade Los Angeles Anthology just released from Vagabond. In celebration, the book launch on April 10 has an RSVP list of the most engaging poet activists that this culturally diverse city has to offer by way of transient or homegrown.
Letter from Nurmburg
by michael c ford
Hitler may have been just an unemployed sociopath
mondo-weirdo hophead wallpaper-hanger. So, where
were all these scored patterns of Hollywood ironies
by people doing interior decorations on the extended
plotline of this wartime abyss?
The time it’s going to take to figure it out is illimitable.
Seeing isn’t always believing! It has a lot to do with the
fact that you began to notice certain movie producers
are often disguised as descendants from the
commandants of Auschwitz; especially, the ones who
aren’t even Jewish seem to be constantly committed
to war’s long myth.
You’ve always been naïve but, at the same time,
aware that the bigger the box-office the bigger the
concerns for sinister pogroms in the name of
paranoid conservative compliance. It’s all so
perfectly inspired by the empathetic fragrance of
money. Everything sacred that has gone before us
is, now, fallen as we follow, falling on our own bodies,
filling all our foreign real estate like war dog dental
surgeons in an absurd sort of root canal battle zone.
You’ve been known to be an occasional commercial
actress wearing several indolent masks of kinds
related to the conveniently sick refusal by our
war-god president FDR to bomb 3rd Reich railroads.
This would have been just one more way to have
removed forever from our collective memory the
death camp conspiracy; that’s why any recollection
of the incineration of your ancestors, as well, forces
you into continually seeing them wearing
barbed wire blindfolds.
Selling soap in between daytime dramas is such a
symbolic exigency, yet, so in a way, it was before any
war. This means: it’s difficult to say when we will be
able to look with the same intensity into each other’s
A Stirring Underfoot
by Mark Lipman
A rumbling can be heard on the horizon
A great stirring underfoot
as dried, dying leaves crack and crumble
from the weight bearing down on them
The march into battle echoes in far off villages
and mighty metropolis
as clear as the fallen pin.
A wisp of wind in the Sahara
is all that is needed
to create a sand storm
in the dust bowl of the mid-west
Unrest in the streets and town squares
amassed in the raised voices
at the checkout counter
And a fist can be seen in the air
multiplied by the millions
of disheveled and downtrodden.
No, we are not to blame for the bankers’ plunder.
We, we are merely the results of deregulation
of corruption in high places
and our voices will be heard
Vibrating in your meeting halls
crumbling your capitols
to dust and ash
from whence they came.
Greedy children and their teachers
are not the guilty parties.
The excess spoils will not be found
in the pockets of the toiling masses.
Grandma’s social security check
did not crash the economy
any more than did immigrants
send your jobs to China.
We are not the problem
but like a thunderbolt
from Zeus’ fingertips
slicing through the darkness
of their expedient lies
We will be the solution.
One Leg Left
~by Yvonne de la Vega
(for my beloved comrades of Occupy Los Angeles)
they had amputated the leg
no, not paralyzed
there is no
realizing that running
in tall fields of grass
was a dream
and not blue sky
blue shower curtain
this hospital bed
that one foot was missing
as well as it’s knee
that the loss of feeling
a missing limb
in the deep sleep of
under the influence
opium for the masses
and there was no
to taller grass
the deceitful language
with which we
upon the most heavy
we remain calm
we remain strong
we remind ourselves
it is done but yet
the truth is
we still have one leg left America.
In the winter of 2010, the first Revolutionary Poets Brigade Anthology, a multi-lingual edition, with the participation of 76 poets from 25 countries, was launched. Since then, brigade chapters have sprung up around the world: in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Burlington, Vermont; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; and now, newly arrived, here in Los Angeles, California.
“ This anthology, a selection of works from 70 local poets, and the great photo-art of local Venice artist, Mike Chamness, represents a powerful and broad spectrum of voices throughout the entire Los Angeles region. Though by no means intended to be an exhaustive collection of all the great poets there are to discover here, let this anthology speak as an introduction to the soul of our communities, here in this great city, the belly of the beast, Los Angeles, California.” ~Mark Lipman, Editor, Revolutionary Poets Brigade Los Angeles Anthology Vagabond Books
In July of 2009, while attending the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, a conversation began around a table at Caffé Trieste in North Beach, between 3 poet/activists. San Fransisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, International Poet Antonieta Villamil and Mark Lipman, editor of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade Los Angeles and owner of Vagabond, a publishing press. Jack told the two about a new group of poets that was being formed, the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, for poets who desired to put their words to service for the ongoing struggles our societies face. It would be a forum where working together, poets would strive to make a difference in the direction of the world, a goal both highly ambitious and noble in pursuit – Antonieta and Mark were hooked.
Says editor Mark Lipman,
“ It was decided there that we would help get this started by publishing an anthology for the RPB through our press, Caza de Poesía. Jack collected the work and made the selections, while I began the editing process. This Los Angeles anthology is in fact long overdue. Already an anthology by our brigade chapter in Rome, and our second international anthology, Heartfire, edited by Jack Hirschman and Agneta Falk, through Kallatumba Press, have been released.”
“That a Revolutionary Poets Brigade exists in Los Angeles is a bit of a miracle and thanks to Mark Lipman in ElAye this Anthology reflects some of the terrific poetry, outside the established institutions, that exists in that area, from more renowned poets like Luis. J. Rodriguez to terrific new voices like Henry Howard and venerables like Michael C Ford. There’s potential for the biggest Brigade in the States in Los Angeles. Where did Romero come from? And that Devcich, wow!” ~Jack Hirschman 4th Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Revolutionary Poets Brigade Los Angeles Anthology Vagabond Books is newly available! Get your copy at www.vagabondbooks.net today!
VAGABOND, founded on December 21, 2012, on the first day of the galactic spring, in the wake of world-wide social upheaval and a global movement, aims to be a voice without borders, a venue and vehicle for those who would otherwise be silenced and a broken cog in a system that has forgotten its place in nature.VAGABOND seeks to stand up for the little guy by using the power of the printed word to share thoughts, ideas and perspectives, to help bridge the gap in our own humanity and mutual understanding of just what is possible in this marvelous experiment called life.
Through our books of poetry, prose, essays and stories, VAGABOND challenges our critical thinking and dares us all to imagine a brighter future.
VAGABOND: Laying the groundwork for the ideas of tomorrow.