Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Citizen's United" - by Hakim Bellamy

HakimHappy Birthday Occupy. You’ve changed me. Now, let’s change our country.

Citizen’s United – by hakim bellamy

If we kidnapped
THEIR children They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too,

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Why we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012
For Rasheed and for Occupy
Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, New Mexico (2012-2014)

September 26, 2012 at 09:55 AM in Arts, Citizens United, Occupy Wall Street, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/14: OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Event

Erin northern from dukecityfix
From Erin Northern, Co-Coordinator and Host of OUTSpoken.

Reminder that the next OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Slam and Open-Mic is happening this Saturday, April 14th, 6 pm at Winning Coffee Co., 111 Harvard SE.  Sign-ups will begin at 5:30 pm.

You don't want to miss our talented feature: local poet and activist, Amanda Rich!  Amanda was born and raised in Idaho. She started writing poetry at 11, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe and William Butler Yeates. Her life and therefore her poetry took a turn towards the radical somewhere in the late 90's when she reached for Marge Piercy, June Jordan and Ani Difranco. Moving to Albuquerque, coming out and reading poems into a microphone for the first time all happened around the time in 2001. These days she can be found farming in the South Valley, getting arrested at the county clerk and reading Rumi and her new favorite, Naomi Shihab Nye.

The slam, open to self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and queer-questioning poets, will be under the usual slam rules --- 3 minutes per poem with a ten second grace period; no props, music, or costumes allowed.  Audience judges rate the poems on a scale of 1-10.  The top 3 poets will earn a spot to compete in the championship slam at PrideFest in June.

The open-mic is open to ALL voices and each poet will have 5 minutes.
Topics for poetry are OPEN for both the open-mic and the slam.

OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Slam and Open-Mic is sponsored by ABQSlams, Albuquerque Pride, Winning Coffee Co., and the Local Poet's Guild.

OUTSpoken’s Queer Poetry Slam and Open-Mic’s mission is to create a dynamic and safe space for queer performance artists to develop and share their creative voices publicly through collaboration with each other, establishing bonds with national queer communities and their straight allies, and promoting outreach and education to Albuquerque’s artistic and local community.

April 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM in Events, GLBT Rights, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Poem by Richard Vargas: When You Beat Me

Richard vargasRichard Vargas is a talented local poet and activist residing in Albuquerque, NM. See Richard's other work on his website link here

when you beat me

does your arm tire 
as you swing your
baton into the thud
of my flesh and bone
and you hear me
moan in pain
when you crack
my ribs and jab
my soft belly
do you feel like a
job well done when
you pin me on the
ground and harness
my wrists like a
rodeo cowboy
hogties cattle

no matter that
we are both looked
down upon by those
on their balconies
of glass and steel
who laugh and joke
as they spread caviar
on fancy crackers
that will never pass
our lips

while you choke me
knock me down
look at how they
raise their flutes
of exquisite champagne
sparkling in the sun

blinding you with
cold brilliance
and empty nods
of approval

November 20, 2011 at 08:48 AM in Occupy Wall Street, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

10/1: Community Poetry Fundraiser for Occupy Wall Street at ABQ Center for Peace and Justice

From organizers Richard Vargas, Merimee Moffitt, Zachary Kluckman and Yasmeen Najmi: 

Join us for an evening of solidarity with our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, who are taking a stand for all of us. A community poetry open mic fundraiser for Occupy Wall Street will be held at the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice, 202 Harvard SE, on Saturday, October 1, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Donate whatever you can to read; one-poem, three-minute maximum, please. Also asking for donations at the door, but no one will be turned away. The movement needs supplies, food, etc. No featured poets -- just people coming together to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in NYC and across the country.

October 1, 2011 at 07:28 AM in Economy, Populism, Events, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/28: Poet Margaret Randall to Read From 'To Change the World: My Years in Cuba' at UNM

276503_212848435436585_7475022_n From Event Posting on Facebook:
The Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII), Zimmerman Library, Women's Resource Center, Peace Studies and the Queer Straight Alliance of the University of New Mexico proudly present an evening with Margaret Randall, an internationally revered poet, author, activist and a local Albuquerque resident. The event will take place on Wednesday, September 28, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Willard Reading Room at UNM's Zimmerman Library.

Randall will read from TO CHANGE THE WORLD: MY YEARS IN CUBA (Rutgers University Press, 2009), which is part memoir, and part political analysis of eleven years in Cuba (1969-1980).

Commenting on the book, the author had this to say: "The revolution was ten years old when my family and I arrived. It was going into its third decade when we left. In the interim, my four children went through daycare, grade school, high school, and two of them graduated from university. I worked as a writer, editor and cultural journalist. I produced several books, most of them on women in the revolution. I learned photography, participated in the unions and mass organizations, and joined the Cuban people in writing new law." TO CHANGE THE WORLD is an in-depth look at one of the most important and controversial social experiments in the second half of the 20th century, from one who experienced it from the inside.

Margaret Randall will be reading fragments from the book, entertaining questions and signing copies of TO CHANGE THE WORLD. This event is FREE and open to the public. Please spread the word.

September 28, 2011 at 09:26 AM in Books, Events, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 07, 2011

3/13: Poets Against War Open Mic and Reading with Margaret Randall

Margaret-4839d From Albuquerque Poets Against War:
Albuquerque Poets Against War presents an open mic at the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice located at 202 Harvard SE in Albuquerque. Featured Reader Margaret Randall will be reading from her new book, Something’s Wrong with the Cornfields (see one of the new poems below).

"Better than a memoir, Margaret Randall's collection of unpublished poems celebrates the lives she has observed, of workers and oppressed peoples, as well as poets and intellectuals. The passion expressed in Meg Randall's long career as a poet, editor, and activist comes tumbling out of this huge collection, brimming over the edges of every poem." -–Diane Wakoski

This fundraiser for the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2011 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Sign-up for open mic begins at 2:45 PM. $5.00 suggested donation. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

For more information, contact Demetria Martinez at or Elaine Schwartz at For more on Poets Against War, check out 

Places Between
Places between the desert you breathe
and centuries of broken promises,
undulating wall of hollow steel poles
solid with poured concrete
in the narrow space
between one pole and the next
where we glimpse rusting bedsprings
like fallen dominoes among the sage
and beyond the bedsprings
coils of barbed wire:
all those failures
replaced by the strength
of a nation built by immigrants
keeping immigrants out,
desire gutted in the thirst and heartbreak
of the places between.

March 7, 2011 at 02:14 PM in Events, Peace, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (0)