by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, Content Intern
There is some great work out there that integrates disability into venues in which most of us have been taught to not expect it, especially in the areas of dance and performance art. Most people think of these art forms as…
Really worth your time.
On this day in 1430, Joan of Arc was taken prisoner. She was sold to the English for 10,000 francs. Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick kept her guarded day and night. He believed her to be an evil witch- ‘the disciple and limb of the fiend’.
image: Paul Delaroche, Joan of Arc in Prison, 1824
This is dedicated to taking the long way home, and to getting lost on purpose. This is dedicated to the lover I found in the secret camp a mile past the Taft point observation deck when I skipped work in the Summer of 2012. You never know what you won’t find if you’re still looking for something specific.
Drink another cup of coffee. It’s only midnight. All the best decisions are made in moonlight. Dedicate your next day to anything at all that helps you smile. Like sudden thunderstorms that cut through hundred degree Nevada hot spells, The kind you don’t even run from because it’s just what you needed. I never post about the weather on Facebook. My hands are busy rubbing it in to my best suits. The clouds are my father.
This is for the little things that remind you the world is a beautiful place, This is for forgetting all the things that make you angry.
This is not for every Palestinian who looks at the deed to their house every morning and wonders if they will ever get to go home again. This is not for the Dove soap commercial in which a black woman washes herself white. This is not for Guantamo Bay prison, which is still open despite president Obama’s promise to me that it would be closed. This is not for white men on the internet who post about how the U.S. is not a Patriarchy.
Don’t let me stop you from being angry. I still believe in a better tomorrow. Fight the good fight.There IS a way to be good again. We can still make a difference. But!
This is for the things that get us out of bed in the morning. I understand what you’re against. I’m probably with you. But tonight, poets, (and we’re all poets… each and every one of us that ever got out of bed, and you all did, to get here, has met the dictionary definition of poet; You’ve imagined something greater than complacency, thank you, so much, for being here, right here, now, right now… I love you. Tonight, poets, let’s put away our swords. Tell me what you’re for.
I’m for new friends, old friends, and lovers, mornings we stayed too long under the covers, For fathers that made it to every parent teacher conference, and also for mothers that made it to every one twice, once for fathers that weren’t there. For the helping hand that’s there when you want it. For the helping hand that’s there when you don’t want it. For the owner of that hand, who new you needed it even though your hands were pushing them away.
I’m for solving problems without any sort of liquid. I can’t be the only one who thought the answer was in a scotch bottle. Stop numbing life away. Step in to this. It hurts sometimes, but that’s part of the process.
I’m for coffee stains on term papers. I’m for writing love letters to strangers, infinite possibilities, free hugs, and sex before marriage. I’m for Virtue, and for Charity, and for Mercy, but not towards rapists. I’m for kissing couples, nudists, the crazy, the deformed, and the ugly, always, ALWAYS in public places. I’m for locally brewed beer, sexually liberated women, and the beauty of pregnancy, but never all three together. I’m for inspiration, and motivation, and teachers that give their students both. I’m for Guy Montag, Edmund Dantes, Jean Val Jean, and John the Savage. I’m for ME. I’m for YOU! I’m for brilliant Reno lights when there’s not a star in the sky. I’m for awkward introductions, and horrible break ups, and being better for both. I’m for runaways and rejects, sinners and symphonies, and the rare situations that bring them all together. I’m for feeding the homeless, and eating the rich, and I’m for LIVING LIFE.
Please! Put your hatred away for awhile. Indulge in a smile. I know the world can be an ugly place… But tonight will be anything or everything you make it. Make it bright.
My heart is fireworks. Phosphorous and dreams, wrapped up in hopes I promised not to have anymore, coiling fuses wrapped tightly around Your little finger…
Let us not be matchsticks. We’re snapping red woods like kindling twigs and striking our hearts together like flint stones. But I don’t want to love you like a wildfire. Wildfires always go out. I’d rather love you like the stones themselves. Quiet. Ageless. Inflammable.
My stomach is ropes. You’re spooling it out like a kite runner. You’ve given me more than enough to hang myself… Or just get hung up on You.
I was a bad boy scout. I never earned my knot tying merit badge. But even I can see that every love I’ve ever lied before was a pretty Christmas bow trying to hold the heavy ship of my expectations to the dock… But Your kisses are a cleat hitch, and I’ll teach ya’ ta’ tie one…
My knees are cornerstones. I am cast on to them. I am building an empire from a thousand years of bleeding Your name in to the mortar. I will set the Keystone with a compass. Every gruesome speck of blood and bone in my body orients on You, when I turn West, my foundations twist like a corkscrew. This means You are true north. Lead the way.
My head is Paul Revere with a twenty foot megaphone, Even the British knew You were coming, he rode so hard his horse grew an engine, and that engine pumped so hard it exploded over us both like hand made confetti… we are in bits (of Us) were inside one another all along. Someone told me once that every atom of our bodies was once part of a star… so maybe We didn’t find each other so much as We just… came home. My hands… are not cellar doors. If I’m clapping, it is not the winds of change slamming them against the terrified house frame…
My hands, are just hands, and they’re saying; “some day the man at the end of my arms is gonna run out of words. But these fingers, soft as sand paper, will always be helping… I just hope You learn another way to love him before his luck gives out.”