- Poem: [Let Us Gather in a Flourishing Way] By Juan Felipe Herrera
Let us gather in a flourishing waywith sunluz grains abriendo los cantosque cargamos cada díaen el young pasto nuestro cuerpopara regalar y dar feliz perlas pearlsof corn flowing árboles de vida en las cuatro esquinaslet us gather in a flourishing waycontentos llenos de fuerza to vidagiving nacimientos to fragrant ríosdulces frescos verdes turquoise strongcarne de nuestros hijos rainbowslet us gather in a flourishing wayen la luz y en la carne of our heart to toiltranquilos in fields of blossomsjuntos to stretch los brazostranquilos with the rain en la mañanatemprana estrella on our foreheadcielo de calor and wisdom to meet uswhere we toil siemprein the garden of our struggle and joylet us offer our hearts a saludar our águila risingfreedoma celebrar woven brazos branches ramaspiedras nopales plumas piercing burstingfigs and aguacatesripe mariposa fields and mares clarosof our faceto breathe todos en el camino blessingseeds to give to grow maiztlánen las manos de nuestro amor
- Poem: I Sing the Body Electric 6. by Walt Whitman
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,He too is all qualities, he is action and power,The flush of the known universe is in him,Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost become him well, pride is for him,The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing to the test of himself,Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail he strikes soundings at last only here,(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,Each has his or her place in the procession.(All is a procession,The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight, and he or she has no right to a sight?Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float, and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,For you only, and not for him and her?
- Music Video: As We Enter by Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
- Poem: Enter the Void By Juan Felipe Herrera
I enter the void,it has the shape of a viola:Israel, Jenin, West Bank, Nablus—a rubble boyshifts his scapula as if it was his continent, undergroundGazaground, I want to say—his only bone,the rubble boy is a girl, I think,her hair tossed, knotted and torn underthe green shank of fibers, tubes and shells.She digs for her rubble father, I say rubblebecause it is indistinguishable from ice, fire, dust,clay, flesh, tears, concrete, bread, lungs, pubis, god,say rubble, say water—the rubble girl digs for her rubble mother,occupation—disinheritance—once again,I had written this somewhere, in a workshop, I think,yes, it was an afternoon of dark poets with leaves, coffeeand music in the liquor light room.A rock, perhaps it’s a rock, juts out, two rocksembrace each other, the shapes come to me easily,an old poetic reflex—memoria, a nation underground,that is it, the nation under-ground,that is why the rocks cover it.I forget to mention the blasts, so many things flying,light, existence, the house in tins, a mother in rags.It is too cold to expose her tiny legs,the fish-shaped back—you must take these notes for me.Before you go. See thisundulateextendbeyondthe pools of blood.I ride the night, past the Yukon, pastSouth Laredo, past Odessa, past the Ukraine,old Jaffa, Haifa and Istanbul, across clouds,hesitant and porous, listen—they are porous so we can glideinto them, this underbelly, this underground:wound-mothers and sobbing fathers, theyleave, in their ribboned flesh, shores lispagainst nothingness, open—toward you,they dissolve again into my shoes—Hear the dust gong:gendarme passports,cloned maize men in C-130’s, with tearsbubbling on their hands, pebblesen route—we are all en routeto the rubblelands.I want to chant a bliss mantra—Prajnaparamitacan you hear me?I want to call for the dragon-slayer omchild.I am on my knees again.On the West Bank countthe waves of skull debris—a Hebrew letterfor “love” refuses me,an Arabic letter for “boundary”acknowledges me.Sit on an embankment,a dust fleece, there is a tidal wave ahead of me.It will never reach me. I live underground, under the Dead Sea,under the benevolent rocks and forearms andmortar shells and slender naked red greentorsos, black,so much black.En route:this could be a train, listen:it derails into a cloud.