Poems-PoemStories-Rants-Raves de la Revolution and Justice

International Women’s Day, 2017

During the Iraqi Occupation, I saw something happen that got me very stirred up with inspiration.

On this occasion, there was a protest, led by the Iraq Vets Against the War, and other anti-war organizations; a group of Afghan women, were in New York City to stand in solidarity for all females, soldiers & civilians who are living in the war in Afghanistan.

These women have all been impacted the war there; in fact, going back to the Russian presence there, this nation has been fighting wars for a lot of years.  But, think about it: every woman is someone else’s mother, cousin, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother.

Mothers and children are extremely vulnerable, when it comes to being a collateral damage victim.  These are the “innocents.”

Whenever you see groups mourning the death of a friend or family member, women generally play prominent roles in the mourning & grieving process within the community.

However, many women & young girls-in many parts on the planet-become harmed & traumatized by clitoral mutilation, suffering the medical and the trauma through this bizarre, ancient custom.

For example, in Indian culture, some women are burned on funeral pyres, because they had an affair, or broke the laws & customs around legal & religious codes.

A large percentage of American women get paid at a far less rate than males who’re doing the same jobs.  How is this equable & fair for all concerned?  Doing the same work should give you the same pay as a male doing a comparative kind of work!

Abortion is again receiving the onslaughts of the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right; the same “same old” threats are made against Planned Parenthood, apparently, the Devil in liberal clothes.

When women & families are targeted for deportation in the immigration process, this also effects women, due to their own familial responsibilities-who will care for children who must be left with a caregiver while mom goes out and works.  What if mom is deported?  And what about children who’ve been born in this country, so that now they’re citizens, while their parents & family may not be?

What’s needed?  A bearing witness by men, for thousands of years under Patriarchy’s boot, for the pain we’ve caused women.  All genders are members of our human race.  Men and women should commit to one other man or woman for support, compassion, justice, empathy and understanding.

Should a difference between females & males preclude that others in her group are discriminating against, and kept back from promotion, as she grows into the position.  Not right!

©Christopher Bear-Beam March 8, 2017

A Poem for International Women’s Day, 2017

All men need a class in Anatomy 101, where they can look at the female, her

Human form, and observe their similarities and differences.

Because women nurse babies they, of course, have breasts-we men, or some men at least, love boobs; they’re also equipped with a birth canal & orifice whereby a baby may say hi to the world!

Their pelvic areas are differently shaped than males.  This area is especially important for childbirth.  The pelvic area has the flexibility, even within the bone structure, to meet current conditions.

The point of this gentle rant is that if you look at these anatomical facts, they all-if describing women or men-are made of similar stuff, have compatible assets, inherent within each, to use in team-work.  We got the same sort of junk, so why get so uppity-if you’re a man-about it, and keep throwing gas on the fire.

As we think about this-this is your challenge-don’t allow your head take off in illogical fallacies-close out now.

©Christopher Bear-Beam March 8, 2017

ORGANIZATION MAN-FIRE TO PAN

Jan
15

After reading a magazine that Thom Moon Poet gave to me about a report on the Revolution, and following that up by watching a new documentary, whose title I think is “Prisoned Belief,” an expose of the Church of Scientology. Sometimes fiction is stranger than truth, but still a fool I can’t concede, I wrote this piece.

ORGANIZATION MAN-FIRE TO PAN

After the great war at the mid-century mark, before we ambled into the new Millennium,

The great American Imperialist hegemony reached out & settled its magnum corpus, lock-and-chain, its capitalistic claws, snatching up all the food, the material & technical resources, workers, technologies, don’t refer to it as “old,” the snitches in its fiery, yet smoldering maw; thus, Organization Man wailed in his new-birthday-suit- zeal—BORN & PROCESSED across the media & ad campaigns—the world—for Organization Man resembled a covertly death-defying man (I use this noun because of Patriarchy’s poisonous presence & hay ridin’ Sexism, wild as a wooly Java Lena, sometimes can emanate down-right boaring-ness to depths of unconscious soul, holding out its begging bowl linked to an online source, selling Futures, Pasts, Nows=the good life, the capitalistic pie in the sky, constantly grasping, seeing only numbers, not people’s hearts & bodies, minds, not workers, not immigrants, but transformed to techno-slave beings.

The old ways can’t save what is already dead, its currents move, devastating & killing everything in its path.

The Organization Man is trained and taught to expect to find obsolescence=an abrupt bankrupt system; planned (pre-meditated) obsolescence, to be exact. Obsolescent of any economic value.

So, you let the bosses stretch you on the rack in the town’s square, torturous brainwashing, indoctrination, & propaganda—if it showed itself as the “proper” ganda & the “proper” goose, you might have a unionized union here, they may get multiplication’s complexity & stock options from the Corporation, but not for person (s), bio-neural humans, noble & golden.

You begin to believe you have accomplished death—you’ve got no future, except as a stat in a book on Popular Culture Economics.

Even Pope Francis, global churchman, wants in; a living, not dead, saint, and a flesh-and-blood “savior-homo sapiens” said, “Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes to combat global warming” (Adbusters for World Revolution, p. 14, October, 2015).

“It’s not just the story, after all, but how the story is told” (Ibid., p. 36).

“’The wealthy,’” said Gandhi, “’are traitors to the community.’” “In distancing themselves from the source of the wealth, the rich contracted a spiritual infirmity” (Ibid., p. 19).

“Why don’t we come right out and say it. Economics is a spiritual matter” (Ibid., Kalle Lasn, p. 82).

Birth switch! Someone twitched baby Econ-Spirit to elder Capitalism Matters—as people of this outpost—bet their internal systems define themselves as landfills & messes; ineffectual.

The Elders have indigenous wisdom; we have the technologies of modern Science, some good, some evil—so what the hell are we doing? Indigenous wisdom is aligned with the Earth & Sky—listen to them, but then act. There’s no time, you say. “I can’t listen to them. I’m afraid of old people.”

Organizational Man retired & got a fool’s gold watch. He now waits in the “zone,” all he has is a virtual pasture, the era has jetted past our complaints, lying in a desert of old auto parts stores in Yemen.

Econ-Spirit-Heart-Woman has emerged as the sex-change operation took—born the new goddess of the “New-Age Consciousness,” not plain old new age consciousness.

She composes herself as a collection of interdependent, indeterminate systems & energy fields—putting people’s needs first—putting Eaarth first, putting future generations as priority, in co-alliances of groups & nations & think tanks who name themselves Eaarth & Space allies.

Reclaiming (You have to add the how’s, when’s, where’s, who’s, & why’s) the Eaarth, the seas, the Arctics, the land masses inhabited by all the rest of our finned friends, two-footeds, four-footeds, wing-shifters, the little ones that hide out in rocks & dirt& what you can’t see with a naked, shaking, cold eye has replaced the evil eye.

Can you see a future time, the pilot time-clock tics, has already pitched its frantic tocs, the epochs recollect history of former dis-empowerments—we don’t really believe we are the dynamic forces of a universal throne-de-throne: Patriarchy, privilege, possessions, materialism, imperialism, wealth outside the circle, etc.?

As we dream, think, write, draw, paint, share our stories, do more art, have children, do politics, discuss & critique, then speak our power to our battered death rattles…wait, can you hear that? I hear her cooing, playing with rattles & toys, happy, fresh-faced girls & boys, giggling,

Is that your soul laughing or crying?

All I hear is “tic, toc, tic, toc, toe.”

©Christopher Bear-Beam January 14, 2016
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SNAKE PIT

A touring group stood around a chest-high bannister on the highest floor, leaning suspiciously and surreptiously, with feet and body set to, if needed, to step away from the bannister began to break and go down–brings back my old memories of experiences earlier in life, of being on the top floor of buildings in Chicago (often called Chi-Town) or New York City (better know as The Big Apple)–might as well get as many facts as we can, seems like facts have much to do with science/

The tour group looks down to the bottom looking with sunlight at the bottom of the well, or the horrible stories Media thinks we need know all about, the ones where children are stuck in precarious positions with even death an eventuality

The doscent tells the group that the most feeble-minded–each diseased with the affliction–crawled around the lowest floor–and these were simply myths, urban legends, the substance of story tellers, and crackpots.”

“The higher you moved up the floors, the weller you were getting, you were leaving your sickness behind you\going up the laddered floors, as you ascended, it was like grabbing an orange with one hand, peeling away the rine, the seeds and pulp–then the order is reversed, cause the best stuff is, I swear on a stack of Bibles, is lower down.”

Like this metaphor, illogical and stupid as it is, the invention by a scientist, to be unnamed,  brought up by a shit-storm, military-issue [crazymaking to say the least] drove the patients un-sane or more feeble-witted

The Snake Pit came to mind just the other day as he stood on the patio\trying to look straight, but this may be more probable than pragmatic, if you get my drift: he felt strong, like Haystacks Calhoun, pre-televised entertainment times–mainly one wrestler against another, but you always had showmanship and bribes

The small ants seemed millions of miles away, waiting for their day, and this reporter thought to himself, “I wonder if there are bigger beings?–living, breathing, acting, acting out, underacting, interacting, contemplatively communicating with the small creatures so far below–us–playing with all of the life on our own plane

And then another hierarchy plenum of higher existence–dribbling down sputum of condescention; we are derived from these above all, and those a level higher than us/we are originated from some robotic force

This all is in no-self and emptiness, not a bad state because the higher aboves keeping changing repeatedly–Earth’s space is filled and there really enough for all of us.  To have space you have to have non-space, to have a filling you have a void

The Greater Self is the reflection of a car on fire, enflamed in rouge-ness, the color of this Self is waterless, the color of waterless so opaque it has no sublety, no form, or emptyness so it can only be the result of two people: egg and sperm

Infintesmally small at the bottom of the pit, finding only a way of borrowing deepest to the soul’s electrolytes

© Christopher Bear-Beam November 25, 2012

BAD BEHAVIOR

This is one of those why poems–perplexing, quagmiry, conundrumy–all of these grungy terms often sitting in the back of our heads swinging in a cognitive comic strip inside the freak shows of our brain matter; what leads to this commiseration is seeing that we can think and behave in oppositional crazy-making manners than we would on our normie days

Jung, the psychoanalyst, called this field of play the collective consciousness of human beings, and he suggested the term archetype for universal symbols that have been thrown like mystical footballs on the field generationally–breaking it down for us–ordinary people who still have whys dueling and wrestling for win-lose in our brains, unless we’re unaware of them or choose to not hear them, choosing an easier path of self–medicated denial, our friend Carl confluded that humans have a light side and a shadow side both imbedded in all humans genes and blue genes picking up those little stickers and holes breaking out all over, the run through life

So, check this out/I’ve been seeing freak shadow recently, hiding behind rotted and wilting empty building, playing his wicked hide-and-seek-thing with me, wanting me to join in, but I force my eyes away

Our shadows are pieces of our denied selves\disowned selves\we don’t them around at family barbecues or boardrooms, thinking it would be like you know, in a publc setting and suddenly our pants fall down and I’d be aghast wouldn’t you?  And this is one of those days I am not wearing underwear/that’s how terrified we can be when some spirit whispers in our ear, “Hey, man, dig this!  Come on, it’s the two thousands, get on board dude.”

Shadow-person has transmorgified from the beginnings, he’s been with us all the time, and because we don’t like to see him, either popping in or out, one way or another, we disown him as one of our siblings, “You no longer can use my name, you’re not my brother or sister anymore, now get the hell out of here before I give you some of what I got.  And don’t come back here anymore, you got it?!!!”

© Christopher Bear-Beam February 27,2013

BUDDHA AND JESUS IN THE BAR

There was a time when you found city bars, taverns and lounges  always giving out the ambience of drinking, playing pool, laughing, collapsing and philosophizing, with erudite spoutings, and now  it’s closing time, time for me to  make my way home

Alcohol oils our tongues, until we can’t feel our bodies and we begin to sink below the bar until our ember flickers out

There was a time you could bring your whole family to the tavern for libation, some hoping to appease the angry demons of the grape harvests, you apologize to them for shaking your fist, looking up, cursing them, because you were out of your mind, and ethyl ruined your memory genes, now let me tell you one of the greatest stories that will be told, so sit back now in your most comfortable chair….

The wind was hot/scorching/no rain for days/in the land of Palestine; now Jesus with his buds walking down the powder-dry road, and he spied a bar. He walked straight, the way a lost person caught in miles of of thirst slightally bent forward, and  Jesus used his senses and sensations

So he ran into bar, excitable and just in from the road\he saw several of his home-boys; once he got inside heard the groups who thought he was a fraud, they hung out under a shade tree, but never in a billion years would he have thought that these townspeople these who had grown up–knowing him–so beguiling were these new ones they coldn’t be put in some in the roman garden wicker basket

All of were given sanctury taken in so when we found out where they came from, and the rich farm bosses made money from their feet on the necks of the immigrants so Jesus yelled to the bar tender, “chilled wine for my friends!” and himself, the kind of wine they keep floating on cold water from the artesian well

He found a comfortable mat, he threw his body down so hard, went he hit it (the mat that is) that he broke some glasses-whatever he did he did with all the moxie he could bring up–they shook on the table with that tinkling sound you feel right before an a 8 pt earthquake cracks open the sidewalk just a few meters from where you stand/this is the time you poke your head into the bar looking around to see through the shroud\”He’s not here” cries a voice camophlaged on the far longitude

A little man was sitting underneath the bar’s front awning, hoping not to feel the giant’s garbage breath,:in he came exiting the huge beanstalk, having his shortness of breath/he liked this time to recoupe and to plan his next move

I’m now sitting here speculating whether or not this was a dream or not, it doesn’t matter because this life we live, in this life now in the present now just might be all a dream; but the ordinary lives like wiping shit off his his new leather couch–this might also be the dream; I am protected by silence and the murky place of no-light; he looks up with his drink and, so much like Sara with serenity and the placid flexes on her face

Jesus was startled and sad, but rising to get up (it’s not like saint chris to be off like this), he wanted to see what all the commotion was about, quickly he found the cause/ the man–this was the real deal because Jesus, due to his supernatural

Too much working in the outside, among those whom were brothers and sisters, although he wore the a traditional covering his entire body-joined with light material on the top skylight

Copyright Christopher Bear-Beam February 19, 2012

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR SITTING ON FRONT PORCH STEPS

He’s there, day after day, sitting on the steps, always wearing his shades, and fifties suits, and wheat-color straw hat, sitting by his only silent friend–a sculpture–no motion, no words, no expression of emotion, always waiting for his friend who has taken on the same motionless stance-on-the-steps as his cement-like mentor/the sculpture holds no roses and may never

There is a wounded pride of placid nobility, his signature face, of which he’ll never, ever speak\like Mr. Dempsey\his face the archaeological dig of old acne

He……..sometimes……cocks…………his……………..head, right…………to…………left……………left………….to………………………………………right, scanning the street, taking in the tall Dutch Elm trees that are sprayed each night while the neighborhood sleeps through the night in toxic chemicals, and DDT has been known to kill you?

What’s this contrast?  Is it better to be gassed by enemies who refrain from telling you what the showers really do?  Or to suffer an unknown governmental poisoning each night when the DDT sprayer makes its rounds the silence of officials is crushing my lungs and my sinuses, just make nice, once the beetle infestation is gone this problem will fly away like pussy willow’s feathered seeds? Hey, I thought we lived in the land of the free and the brave, like we’re on the same side, if this is happening, if other cover-ups go down, there’s no trust in my heart

The survivor is the sentinel of this slow annihilation, but would ever go to the officials and blow the whistle, since he’s also suffered the gas of Buchenwald, and now the gas in his new homeland–Wilmette, Illinois

I thought I saw one night, from their stations aloft in the moody, dark elms, the bats dive bombed while he was there on the steps, one bat dropped a message wrapped in a big green leaf–is the bat  challenging the survivor in a nocturnal fit of sarcasm and idiosy?

I soon realized I really didn’t need to see his camophlaged eyes, that had been my goal for a long time\yes, his ubiquitous presence ran like a hidden mist down Forest Ave.  for he was the paragon of this suburban sanctuary; really?  The duty-bound sentinel protected so well I felt safe most of the time

Many years afterwards, when I was forced into the Army/I came to the conclusion that this watcher form the Nazi death camps was my paragon, modelling truth, living silently and free on the front steps, his truth arrived into my head, its beauty, its pristine brain off the hot sparking grease from the fry pan and not even flying out of the skillet to get one of us

He loomed as a mammoth figure of strength and hardy resilience for me/on that day I crossed the WPA red-brick street–Forest Ave.–I had finally gotten the courage/from him/to ask him a question that seemed to me to like the center of the cosmos

With a blend of fear and boldness, I asked him if I could see his tatoo of numbers on one of his arms, the numbers tatooed by his keepers, to verify his identity, that was useless since he would be dead–demised soon with all the others shaking with trauma standing in a long line–well, numbers have semantic meanings and reactions–but only to those who think that words and numbers are powerful in themselves/

to those in semantic ignorance (unrelated to anyone’s intelligence, only unaware–just not knowing consciously), not seeing that it’s the blind and mute people who may be better off…….pause…………breathe

I have no universal answers, and only compassion for the survivor, but possibly if we learn the semantic principles we may be able to use them in a traumatic crisis–there are no guarantees, and their are no prophetic predictions, but only the meeting face-to-face with the darker emotions–remember they will float out again, an incense offering affectionate with cloud cover

Who gives words or numbers emotionality, personality, a separate, distinctive, hyper-tensive and hyper-vigillance–it’s the human being au natural who may take power to themselves, as the survivor sitting on the front, concrete steps, she shapes from words and numbers into a conflagration, testing them, listening to them, saying them in their rawness and truth without skipping a beat in a new land

© Christopher Bear-Beam December 14,  2010

MATTHEW

Matthew was a man from Galilee,   just a litte way from Laramie

O Matthew, you gave too many, every person, having is more for you may see

Mattew was gay, Matthew a young white male living in the shadow’s redneck-

land with life cut before. the sources. the rose, and shouted at all the time–some  seeing how the Matthew died pm October 6. 1998\they crucified lynched on this same spot\they, they they suggested Matthew was an silicon scarecrow.  One acre of of this death-defeying ash as/meandYou/the enemy Matthew, we stand up–in solidarity–for all of GBLT had been hit with the bias of rightness/you may feel its power has no ability–by they’re there in the form of dust mites

Before his tragic murder he got very much activated in the GBLT scene and it’s rhetorical and political protests aimed at ignorance.  Why not heighten the ‘ignorance bar’ to the shine of brilliant social justice star, make it the norm and par.

© Christopher Bear-Beam February 13, 2013

IRISH

(This is a longer poem-story so you might as well find a good sitting place and hang on for the ride–how do you write a couple of sentences about a man like Irish anyway?)

Irish, you’re a complex man, yet a simplified man.  Dude, you’re very intelligent. No, not simple in the sense of feeble minded, back in the day they  called those who suffered with intellectual disabilities, feeble mindedyou’re definitely not that; you’re smart, you got street smarts, ancient wisdom, you got the lore of your people down and, and you love and give yourself for your  higher power–no doubt.

Sitting on the deck outside Starbucks one day, where our community hangs, Irish tells me about one of his best homies in the streets, they met out here in the land of dumpsters, bridges, dilapidated old homes–well, he tells me his homie last night got stabbed after two dudes jumped him–no lie, they also be from the streets, the flat-cardboard jungle on asphault

Seems to be epidemically and episodically the animalistic trap door that many homeless folks find sliding down that greased playground slide.  Their power is untamed, survival is the name of their game; in a place where home is where you sleep, like people living in houses or apartments who have home, too, like monks in southwest desert monasteries calling their hearts home

Irish’s home is between twin dumpsters out behind Taco Cabana; he feels safe there with a wall at his back, and his front window the space of sight, watching, alert when he isn’t sleeping or drunk, with an iron pipe close at hand, and a knife stashed  close enough to grab in a heartbeat

As Irish talks to me, honored to be his friend, he could be my son, tears flow from his encrusted eye, as unbound mountain creeks flow downhill, they keep coming, raging over, around, front and back shiny rocks sticking out of the water, like gate spikes in parking garages, let out on the loose without the words, pressurized water boiling without fire, they have no idea about Stop, Look, and Listen, they follow the current

Some of Irish’s homeless friends in the tribe go to Brackenridge Hospital, the one that serves the poor, the disadvantaged disabled, and the uninsured to see their homey who got fatally stabbed\the nurses come to the hospital bed, and tells them visiting hours are over, and that they have to leave, of course Irish, the celtic warrior, retorts that the only way he would leave was by them throwiing him out on his ass, and giving him a new butt crack.  After that, they let him be/Irish lives by a wilderness code with a wild, abandon for those he loves and calls family

While he waits, he looks over at his friend in the bed, then notices a deep, chartreuse stain of blood, the life of all beings, on the outside of his gown–he lifts it to see more, and realizes that the real wound is to the left of this one; they hadn’t even treated the real problem at its source, and he knows he’s laying there with a punctured lung, a very and dangerous wound

His crew is outside, and he knows they’ll show respect to honor this homey’s death by fire the shade of his hemoglobin, is his freak flag flying high\Irish ends this story or gets distracted, perhaps by the pain and unfair loss flying on his flag

He starts talking about his daughter Elizabeth; he and Mandy were together six years, he shows me her photograph, and the picture can’t contain her beauty/he remembers, with a large smile, the first time Elizabeth called him Daddy, and the first time he called Mandy Mommy.  They looked at each other and beamed out a smile that was as big as Texas, lighting up the Aurora Borealis

Talking about what happened to his homey who died of the stab wounds, he translated his grief over losing his daughte and wife in a car accident; there were times he couldn’t speak and seemed physically unable to reveal anything of his true self at all.  He sputtered, cried, his head moved quickly from side to side, and I felt this pain, as the creek of his tears joined my own tributary, another set of lenses sitting listening in compassion,

in both the death of his homey and Elizabeth there appeared to be identifiable causes and effects.  This may have been his way of processing his loss, I just don’t know; so far, he tells me, five of his homies have died on the cement in similar cirumstances.

Irish has shared many of his experiences with me–the more he has shared the more I feel like I’ve known him all my life; all of his life happenings, from drug running, to carrying his product in the saddle bags of his Harley, to fighting and killing other gangstas like himself, to living the high life with no worries at all about cash, to winning boxing titles like his old man, to being a marine, to being an incarcerated felon, to loving and watching Elizabeth have so much fun with his pit bull/all of this would have given the average man a heart attack–which he has already had by the way

Irish knows he is a dyed-in-the-wool alcoholic.  He has many acute and chronic health problems for a man his age, and the docs have told him he has a year to live.  This is no bull shit for a friend to hear; he knows about his time, and he’s going to live his life anyway he wants; he makes his own rules, he does his own thing, uses his own voice and fights like a crazed warrior; he’s happy to report to me that his pastor told him that he is out here saving many lives on these unforgiving streets

As we sit talking, and he sips his Big Gulp cup filled with lemonade and vodka, I mention that alcoholic is just one way of labeling him, but that his identity consists of many more things–loving father, care for others in their suffering, committed warrior for his God, devoted friend, transparent-authentic-genuine man, what you see in Irish is what you get, no shit, defender of the weak and on-and-on I could go.  So I tell him to remember to grow his self-compassion, and keep going, doing the best he can

He tells me he thinks his calling is to absorb and take in the suffering of those who’ve even hurt him, and dominated others in a hate-filled world, and to forgive them because they have no idea what they’re doing; he says his lion-heart is big enough to take it in, because he’s embraced so much suffering himself, that he is able to injest the incoming exterior pain and keep doing it over and over again

Maybe that’s true, but the human body is finite, organic like the earth, and has the tendency to disintegrate and break down as his body is doing presently; is what he is telling me about his calling some genuine message from God, is it his own delusion and psychosis,is it the deterioration of brain injury through alcohol abuse and boxing, is it the story he’s written in order to survive?  It really doesn’t matter because whatever is real to any of us does spin out into our own world and we see it this way through our eyes, and we call it reality and that is the way things are for each of us

© Christopher Bear-Beam March 12, 2013

RETRO

In the Thirties they called it The Great Depression. And what was so great about it I may ask? In the Seventies we had the Recession, long lines at gas stations, fear of OPEC ruling the world.

I think that today we ought to call it the Regression—when people start having panic attacks over the daily need to survive, they often act in very strange, irrational and bizarre ways—should we say they begin to regress back to their inner children, because it’s here that we feel secure, even if most of what we’ve  think of the Depression. People in transit across dusty deserts to try to make things better for themselves and one other small detail: to survive! Then, they stood In bread lines or lines at the unemployment office, wounded and beat up by metaphorical dust storms

The experts tells us we have just come through the greatest economic crisisthe world has ever seen, and a HR department with robotic interlopers the onrush of an avalanche of nos, I’ve had too many rejections and we have no work, so I’m just tired, and want to go to my eternal sanctuary, is that really asking too much?

We are still in it—the rich people who rule the world  understand how to manipulate the Financial and Corporate System—but us? Most of us wee folk don’t understand the Leviathan System even if it stands over us leering and slobbering in our faces—it’s called Snot-With-Style, you know what I’m talking ‘bout!

Wake up today,try to dump yourself out of bed,  herds of people go to state-run employment offices stocked with a shit load of computers, and other state-of-the-art tools and we try to concentrate on what we’re doing, but after a while our brains just go into hibernate, we follow our role models and mentors, computers, since they, too, sleep a long winter’s sleep and in the cave deep

Expectations are like balloons that pop when you think you’re going to sail your helium-filled blimp out past the green trees in the park, they pop suddenly, you jump startled your heart you filled out job applications, sending our resumes to prospective bosses, but we don’t feel as if we’re really connecting we wonder if we’re sending them to an HR department with robotic interlopers getting buzzed with a sense of freedom and serenity….if this is paradise, excuse me for a few minutes so I can locate my non-permitted gun: maybe I’ll see you on the other side, maybe I won’t….let me just take a few minutes of undistracted thought, and I’ll get back to you.

© Christopher Bear-Beam September 2012

Human Anglo/Male on the New Frontier

By Christopher Bear Beam, MA

April 19, 1995 OK City, OK

Woke up this morning, just another Saturday,

Clear, cloudless skies over the bay;

Heard a song on the radio this morning

about this being a different kind of day.

Thirteen years ago today, a man named Timothy,

a super patriot disciple, “white skinned,”

took a home-made bomb

crafted from fertilizer and other materials

(yeah, he knew about explosives,

from his military experience)

and blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Strange isn’t it?  Strange how fertilizer,

the stuff that helps humus in the ground to grow,

can snuff out about two hundred lives,

men, women, children–the soil of death.

As the song played, I felt numb,

a vacant feeling of uselessness

playing somewhere distant in my

soul and spirit

like the spirit had hibernated

or gone to sleep

or just checked out.

Rightist

extremists are no one’s friend

you find them in your home town

or next to you at work or school,

their freaky fantasies machinating,

marinating, in minds of emotional

commitment to ignorance, while their

thoughts freight no substance

that you can point to, like a dog in the yard,

to say, “yeah, that’s a dog.”

They must dream of heroism

acts of bravery and glory

justifying all they do

thinking that killing for their cause

is buying some future ticket

TO APPLAUSE.

Super thoughts to find personal significance

in their feelings of being

lower than the top of their socks,

wanting to bask in their revolution

of saving the whitened world from the

dark world of super idiotic savagery

in one world wide act of apocalyptic fury.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA April, 2008

A WOMAN’S UNSPOKEN WORD

Years have passed

Children born

Babies into adults

Separate lives apart

From your separate life

Now, you can think, recollect, look back,

And see where you’ve been

And maybe where you’re going

Your family transforms

Into a different picture

On the spinning mobile

Above the kitchen table

You lived with your family illness

Until a time of synchronicity came

Blowing you away from the dock

Like a wind pushing a small sailboat

To different points on the star compass

Healing is a life long journey

You’ve traveled well

Big pains, and small jagged tears

In the fabric of your life

Sown together with red thread, the

Color of your hair dazzling in the sunshine

You are now a strong goddess

Walking in the urban garden

Using the bloom of words

To say your peace, plant your seeds

Your expectations turn

Into a crossroads where you

Can go left or right,

Where you stand in the middle

Of the road, a bandanna

Dripping of honey sweat of work and joy

Loosely tied around your neck

All of us meet together and

Stand in the dusty middle

The sun blinding hot like

A dried, heat stone in the sweat lodge

We stand in a circle

Of verbal cocoons and metaphors

Holding hands together

Toes crunching in the anthills of dust and dirt

Like children

Who just woke up on a Saturday morning

Running in the alleys

Of east and west

When the TV busted

And the sun called out

Our names, “come out and play”

This is just one more year

A notch on your staff of life.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA, 2008

BARE WIRE BLUES*

Big, brawny Chi-Town

Shoulders of steel

misty crossroads

Of north and south

Swingin’ with blues

A sweet potato pie

Of blood, grit and sweat

Found their way out of

Locked chests, unvaulted pain

And syncopated style

Rollin’ rhythms

Moving at the

Gait of love and

Love lost giving

A place to slide the

Tears of slavery

Up and down frets

Of poverty’s disadvantage

I got the blues

Of a world masked

saturated with

The shouts of war, old spirituals turned to cement hymns

Clouds, bullets tracing

The night, heat-seeking

Missiles

Finding targets in

The hearts and villages

Of children, mothers, fathers,

Sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles

The low down cryin’

Blues of inner depression

outer uncertainty

While the controllers

Of the elite system map their

Plans for their own

Patriarchal expansions

This blues about

The striking of soles

On the streets of

A charred city civilization

Somehow looking for the

Pothole of light

That just may seep down into

The tearing soul

Of everyday choices and daily decisions

Like, do I pay the rent today or

Buy my kids the meds they need?

They migrated

from

Places like the

Delta, Nashville, Memphis

The Big Easy

They come in waves

Hoping to feed gaping mouths

Like mother birds in nest

puffing depleted chests

They come, met the

Hawk, did their riffs

Looked for gigs

Kept their day jobs

With bones thumpin’   jumpin’

Yearning to play all week

Like blood pumpin’ out

to far away veins

listeners came

To the clubs and lounges to sit at

The feet and songs

Of those who knew their desolation

Their everyday hustling

And could sing it out of the

Voice boxes into ear drums into

The city of life

Come eric, sonny muddy, mussellwhite,  mississippi john, come,

Come angels of our wordless spirituals of the void

Amplified, seasoned,  all groaned up

From the days

Of fields and lashes, ribboned scars on

Old men’s backs

Whenever they sang or chanted the

Blues across the snow caps of cotton

the message of hope, ‘don’t give up, change is gonna come

Carry me over to the river, cuz I got many to cross’

Holding on to what you got

When you got it to hold onto

Blues shifts my memories back to a time

My past straddling north

And south in whitened lace of memory

Privilege hugged by the strong arms

of two beautiful women—Katherine and Mary Ann—

Beings like soft seraphim

Who still sit on my shoulder

Seeing the slightness of their living

Makes me want to wail out my blues in

The basement of my  soul

nestled in my recapped

Story of  unconditional love,

Loving kindness, and

Post-traumatic-slave-syndrome

kindness of healed torment

Riding on a circuit of some new

Found civil right that each generation

Layers over with new kinds of frosting

And corn pudding, new kinds of

Frames of life, and new kinds of

Sincere fictions in the white-washed

Vanilla minds of perception

The blues is both eternal and impermanent

Finding a place to stop and rest

In our deepest tissues of layered skin–

we all need to groan–

Our fleeting changes, emptying,

Then fill up with meaning, measures,

Musical metaphor, morphing, moistening

With the mix of here and now

Coming home to my city of true neon

Filling me so I’m full, slingin’ me

Out into revered galaxies of a

Thousand receding steps and inward

To a central eye

Of who I am in a

Wordless universe with a silent dialect

Inspired by John Mayhall

©Christopher Bear Beam 011207

QUIXOTIC WINDMILLS

Obsession.  The buffalo with ballet slippers.

Obsession.  Windmills of the mind.

Obsession.  Snowball rolling down hell’s hill.

Obsession.  Boredom taking a run in melting asphalt.

Obsession.  Subject plus object equals the mirage of reality.

Obsession.  Confusion in the interminable bog of the ideal.

Obsession.  Looking through mental prison bars, won’t let go.

Obsession.  Insane monkeys in my mind’s low bushes.

Obsession.  Distraction of dullness, depression of despair.

Obsession.  Choice of the genuine inner heart over unsane inner voices.

Obsession.  Fatal attraction with an easy form of rationalization.

Obsession.  The ache of true love within the masked phalanx of the senses.

Obsession.  Integrity revealed for what it really is.

Obsession.  Thinking no one will get hurt when everyone does.

Obsession.  Sitting with betrayal in one’s silence.

Obsession.  Mind fucking games fuck me up.

Obsession.  Reminding me of the peace of inward serenity.

Obsession.  Chasing windmills with Don Juan.

Obsession.  Cravings incarnate.

Obsession.  Spending time with her in another time, not now.

Obsession.  Devotion to Godhead revealed for what it is.

Obsession.  Peacefully floating up into the wind of my truth.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA  120908

CAVEL’S PARTNER: RESCUE IN PLASTIC

There is a need for all of us to tell our stories

He had to tell his

Walking out of the cave of his bedroom

he seemed shaky and unsure

But he began to speak

He had walked through the rising waters

towards the bridge that was his destination

As he told the tale I heard the tightened pain

of fear as he described the waters rapidly increasing

All along the route he found people who needed help

stranded on porches, roofs, upstairs rooms

they pleaded with outstretched eyes

hollow with Ponchatrain tears

some not finding any water left in their

eyes of shock to shed

He ached in some pushed down place inside

knowing he had to save his grandmother (begging for trust)

who also lived here and when he got to her house

she was alone, scared and faithful, with all of her possessions

everything she owned in a zip lock bag

life in a sandwich bag telling who she was

when she was born, what she did all the years of

her full life, stolen now by a swollen levy and

a blunt brick in a hand covered with a maitre d’s glove

He had his children and other family members

and as the waters were initiating their poverty of spirit

the city left the poor lurching on housetops under the gun

pouring over those left in this strange landscape

he found a small plastic wading pool

so this became his boat of rescue (he sighed a thanks to god)

He got his family to a safe place, a place of safety

and went back to haul people out who would

say later “I’m a survivor.  He helped me out.”

He now sat on his couch in his living room

almost like a ghost, voice cracking, slightly shaking

a survivor himself left with moist wounds

and inner lacerations that won’t seem to leave

a body bag still heaving under the still waters

© CBB, April, 2008

COLONIZED ENERGY

The world turns on the

Energy of Authority,

But it chatters as a natural system

On the axis of natural laws.

This is the paired-team of reason and virtue.

The world of structured reality,

The perception that all the hills

Are for taking, and all rivers for power

Is the mentality of civilization,

That mines our heads

Sucks our spirit

Drains our brains

To serve dis-spirited need.

This is the perception whose thread

Can be followed back to the dawn

Of humanity on the planet.  Follow it

And learn the eternal wisdom of the

Mothers and fathers.

Tribes formed alliances to

Authority, their own existence

To castrate the other tribe’s

Felicity and masculinity of self hood

Who were the weak in that

Their dignity was pummeled

On the lynching tree that

Hung the poor so the tether pole

Of the strong lurched wide

Against their cousins.

Oppressors rose and dipped

Over mountains and plains of history’s

Linear line, predictably.

They asserted their Authority by

Their own law codes saying they

Were the law codes of heaven.

Democracy now sits on top of the hill

Without a lighthouse, turning on hinges,

Thinking we can light our way with our own innocence,

We hope that “the others” will avoid the rocks of “our”

Shores, but we secretly know that only the smart ones who

Have clear vision like ours will avoid the crash,

Only the ones who ponder the coherence

Of all galactic systems are safe

Shielded by the truth

And our noble cause that’s covered with dust,

Like a trunk near a floor lamp in the attic.

They conquer those who don’t think

For themselves, those whose minds

Are fuzzy with no sense of who they are,

With no place to hitchhike to, and no

Cozy cottage in Florida to call home.

Because the wind

Beats only lightly on the

Sails that face in the wrong direction.

Humanity’s cry  appears

To shout “who will save us?”

This, the redemptive place,

That can never find an answer

Because no new questions are asked,

And the answer isn’t a question

But an imperial imperative.

We alone choose to save ourselves

And no one else can do it.

Caring responsibility means saying

“no” to the domination system.

The Authority of wealth and

Class impose the oppressing

Answers, and in a covert way

Since the global economic system

Isn’t seen as imperialist, but at best capitalist;

Alone, from out there somewhere,

Not inside here, it bursts into life.

The only way to fight this outside, this

Subtle seduction “out group”

Is to become one with ourselves,

True to our own truth,

A harmonic with mother earth,

Brother sun, and sister Self.

© Christopher Bear Beam, November, 2007

MANCHILD, ETC., ETC., ETC……

Strange dreams, the shadow

Of the young boy shot in

The forehead, in the middle

Like a Cyclops.

He had no awareness of

Where his anger wondered in from,

Only the adrenalin rush of

The jackboot kick of

The body of a felled victim

Of his crowded mentality;

Someone different from him,

I saw him lying there

In mixture of babyhood

Adolescence, man-childliness,

A bristling, sharp stubble

Starting to prick through his

Peach-fuzzed skin, fresh face.

He asked me to sleep with him,

And I said, “OK,”

Without any thought, only

The quick impulse of need,

And so it seemed at the time,

Of protective love,

Symbol of my reconciliation

To my man child masculinity,

An innocence buried beneath

The kid’s prickly facial hair.

My answer was so quick,

I was fast on the trigger,

That later I thought on

The “why” of it.

Then I awoke from this

Dream of violence, youthful,

Unimpeded terror of unknown identity

And xenophobia; too

Many judgments from my

Own head, that I

Realized I needed to

Conclude my thinking

And just be the one who

Said “yes” to this.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA 2006

I’M

She sits there in the fluffy chair,

Quiet, a queen, sniffling with Houston allergies・\

She seems like a nun of modernity,

But she is probably a suburban house mom.

I’m aware of a thin saffron invisible wall,

She, leaning slightly away from me.

Why?  Maybe I’m a brick in the wall,

The inner wall,

So why a wall between men and women,

Women and women, men and men, etc.?

My guess its centuries of pain and patriarchy,

And contemporary droughts of committed intimacy.

I’m aware of this unseen, covert tension.

Perhaps it・s my own ambiguity: what・s going on in me?

Are my motives pure?  Do I really just want to keep

Controlling?  Am I pure?  I think yes, but don・t know

For sure.

My partner in covenant is all to me, I am Ruth.

I hate the second guessing I pitch at myself.

I’m aware of the need for slicing down stone walls・\

Gender, culture, faiths, ethnicities, age, class,

Generations, etc., etc., etc.

My heart goes back to a replayed message, though:

I・m a soul, she・s a soul;  she・s a spirit, I・m a spirit;

I・m an energy that runs a body, and so is she.

Bottom line is that all of us are soul mates,

We all just don・t know it yet.

We have soul mates, anamcaras, sibling soul mates,

Brother soul mates, sister soul mates, parent soul

Mates, temple mates, mosque mates, church mates,

Political soul mates, spiritual soul mates, ・fun times・

Soul mates・\you get the point.

I・m only separate because I・ve been taught that my

Ego is some kind of separate entity, instead of a hook up

With inter-being; so we・re still blind, walking like

Blind folks across the street, white cane swung

Back and forth, like a person with a Geiger

Counter looking for change in the school yard.

We seek to avoid the monstrous curb up ahead, or

At least step over it; until we hear the light and its

Clockwork ticking, best not to cross, until we see

The light or the light sees us

And we see with the gauze removed from our

Recent eye surgeries.

Christopher Bear Beam, 2006

WHITE

This one’s for you

Brothers and sisters of white hue,

The end of racism starts here,

Time to end it, cut off our fear.

Confess to the truth that we all got it

at mama’s breast

Racism—all of us got it—deep in our chests;

Don’t matter what our intentions, good or bad or none,

Fact is, if we don’t think we have it

The root of our problem rolls on for

This is the source of all our shit,

And we need to own it, this is it.

It’s found in our thoughts, deep inside our hearts,

Passed down from generations before us, from the start,

Why not admit it, come clean right now,

Break the cycle of shame,

Stop playin’ this game.

Make the choice to come out of our sleep,

That powers this illness, our crooked disease,

Ease the pain, lift the load, come to the light,

Be race aware, interrupt it, I say

At first sight.

The name of the game is transformation,

The vision of brave heart’s new nation—

To see it, name it, claim it,

Let it go, let it go, let it go,

Chop off the snake’s head whenever it hisses.

©  Christopher Bear Beam, 2007

THE OTHERS

That day, she feared

Wearing her wraparound turban.

The energy of quick

Judgment momentarily

Stopped her in her thoughts…..and tracks.

King Profile, evocative, patriotic,

Zealous, fanatic,

Hiding behind her porous,

Paper-Mache

Walls while the

Bands played on, anthems winding up.

The driver pulled over, wild-eyed,

On the four-lane with the median

As my car sat still.  Asleep.

He talked in language

I could hear and knew.

The enemy Satan

Breathing incendiaries on the

Back of his neck.

“I was never a religious man,” he says,

As if this might make me feel better,

And him as well.

He spoke of a wavered path, a confused

Set of realities, of east and west.

In short, stressed.  Scared.

He dropped me off.  I

Thanked him, feeling noble, that I

Could console, that I knew, that I had

Conversed with him,

A traveler on a winding path also,

Compassion a bridge.

On the border towns—

King Profile reigns there as well,

His fierce dragon-breath, as tongue of

Combustion stops cars,

Yanking people out, searching for papers.

“What no papers?”  the Anglo patron

Snarls, slurs sardonically.

“Yes, sir, I don’t carry my birth certificate

With me, because I live two blocks

From here and work six.”

Now, the American citizen, out of his

Ride, sits on a curb by the right back

Tire, waiting.  They check out his story.

He waits in the boring sun, knowing he’s

Late for work.

“Yeah, it’s true, we’ve got him on file,”

So the patron tells him to get in his

Car and drive on.

I’m sixteen years old, my buddies

And me are out partying on a

Saturday night.  You know

How it is.

The hole is never filled.

The brew sneaks up in white,

Middle class custom, then to

Become a crashing noise,

Like the bells at a railroad crossing.

Six of us are in the car with John the Greek.

We pull into the empty bank parking lot,

Doors flying open, curses and spit

Flying onto the packed snow.  They

Fly open like beer can tops on the beaches

At the parties.

Our mayhem of adolescent anger, unknowing,

And cringing identities fumed and fueled

By ethyl alcohol, igniting our own

Internalized “whiteness” (another name for fear),

And oppression—SCREAMING!

YELLING!, we drag John from the car.

Down he goes on the ground, the crunch

Of snow has a sound of crackling numbness,

The dark place behind the bank,

Away from the eyes of cop cars.

Down he goes, engineer boots

Move like Edward Sizzorhands

Freshly inebriated with WD40.

“Fuckin’ Greek; shithead; faggot;”……

John moves in the snow

Blood silently bled on the white purity

Of dirty suburban snow.

We pull him back into

The car, and forget.

Pushed down.  Stuffed.  Gone.

Gone over.  Guilt-out-of-sight.

Deceased.  To the other side.

I awake next morning, groggy, hung-over

With a strange taste in my mouth and

In my head.  The taste of shame

Is like a mouthful of broken teeth and gravel.

We sit in fat boy’s room.

He laughs at his own jokes.

I look approvingly, gullible.

He tells the same, dirty jokes of

“better than,” “less than,” “more than.”

As if he knows all.

This is our secret coven.

No one can see us here, so we think.

Out came the Neo—books,

The vile rhetoric of George Lincoln Rockwell,

The new American Hitler.  Big on the cover,

Oh so small inside.  He’s George Lincoln the Great.

Jews are vermin.  Jews are virus.

(I wonder why my mother consistently asks

About my friend’s names: “Sounds Jewish to me,”

She says.

N—–s are pawns of the Jews.

Both sub-human, soulless, without spirit.

GOD IS A WHITE MAN.

Ain’t we all made in “his” image?

Now, I see it, and it’s no stretch

To graffiti temple walls with swastikas.

The curling lip of the aerosol leaks

“We hate Jews” written by True Believers

As a message to the forgetful world

On subway walls where there is no light.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA

GRETNA, LOUISIANA

Katrina’s Revenge

The end of 2005.

The crowd creaks inching along the road,

Over the Mississippi,

Over the bridge.

Sodden.  Left for dead in a drowned city,

Declared martial law.

Sorrowing.  Whose unwritten code is ‘he who

Has the most resources wins and is declared

Most human.’

There are no Universal Human

Rights.  Too far from the U.N. and assembly

Of nations.

They move to the edge of the bridge

That passes into the smaller city, a slow

Funeral snake.  This time you can’t hear

Louis Armstrong notes.

Maybe a white man or a white woman

Moves to the head of the group that

Is fleeing.  Maybe they think this person

With white skin will be listened to.

The sheriff with bullhorn. This time no fire hose.

For the group on the free side of the bridge

It feels like the fire is no more, like the

Coals have become more gray, like the

Sky overhead.

“You can’t cross here,” he says with his

Straw Stetson.  “Oh, yeah, you can’t come to

Our Town.  We’ve heard.  We’ve heard the stories of what’s

Going on the other side.  We don’t want any trouble so

Turn back, or wait for buses; you’re redemption draws near.”

No crime here.

No love here.

No compassion here.

No hate in Our Town.

So they wait on the carpet of multigenerations

Of misogyny, mis-history, mis-herstory, miss-the-boat civilization.

This is the bridge of cries.

The bridge of tears

In the land of the free.

Next day, the headlines read, “Gretna City Council votes

No.”

So it is as if this

Is justification, excuse for injustice, after all,

We’re doing the right thing for us.

This is survivalism.

The city will no longer be the same.

Those on the bridge aren’t the same as yesterday.  Some are still the same as they were.

There’s a war going on,

Always, so it seems, unapprehended

By the white sheriff in full battle gear.

This war has unknown soldiers, unknown heroes,

Unknown drummers, dancers, gangstas, wives, husbands.

They are the survivors whom I honor.  They are the

Survivors of natural and human disaster, resilient is

Her middle name.  A name with no blame.

She is the mother of four kids

Who fled to shelter, and waited outside

Death’s door to see if her niece was alive or dead.

Frantic. Pacing.  Calling.  Finding family.

One time she goes to the DRC to use a phone

Since hers had cratered under a load of care,

To be told by the European man that she had to wait,

That it wasn’t “time yet, so go back and take a seat

And wait.”

She sits in the anger of her generations,

In the anger of her elders, in the anger of her self,

On a hard bench until this white couple

Comes in to use a phone.

“Sure,”  says the man.  “Follow me, there are

Phones in the other room,” he leads, getting

Up with all his civility.

They follow him to the room of privilege.

And she sits, deciding what to do, mad, mad

From the stress, mad at now what she sees,

The meditation of her mother on her mind.

Awake.

I can sit now in my ease

Thinking about why I’m made.

Easy to look out.

Hard to look in.

Self-projections onto a system, my own group,

And think this isn’t my making, because I

Didn’t cause any of this.

Can’t run from it, can’t hide.

My nickel is in this dime.

There’s a secret place.

A place where it’s easy

To think I’ve got it right.

I am at this place.

I am Gretna.

I am System.

Until I decide how I will change self,

Manage my own reactions, flaws, shortcomings,

Of a nerve-broken body I call us.

Dismantle and Re-build.

Grateful, my own levy cracks open inside.

© 2006    Christopher Bear-Beam

HYPERNOVA

My gift from Ike

was that my mind exploded

like a hyper nova star

The consequences of this eruption

was the possibility of a dark hole

or light empowered by the greatest

energy of a hyper nova star

My gift from Ike

was coming back to my single mind

sifting through countless, tiny fragments

of galaxies

returning to my youth

to the original face of all life

as seen in the raging waves of the ocean

and the smallest, yellow flower

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA, 11/23/08

LOOK AT HIS SHOES AND HAIR

He walks into the coffee shop–I stand back waiting for

my first hit of caffeine mind still in wake up

waffling mode, to which I stand wondering who he is

I mean the one who is just now ordering his coffee

His hair is mussed, standing up, porcupine

quills who have erections, where a comb should have headed

he doesn’t look poor, I think to my own true self, that is nervously, trying to

be patient, waiting for the Red Eye.  He might be a fighting, ambivalent

student/he might work three jobs and live in the same house with

a family of five I really have no idea!

Shit, he might be a CEO of a new start up corporation

Just in on the social media scene]]]]]scheme of things///

no, look at his shoes and hair, once a millionaire, now he

is less-casa, homeless; I can tell by his ½ dread-locked beards

And by his ½ manure woven beard God, what’s that smell, I sing Lynard’s words to myself?

This dude needs a bath, a friend of his comes in and taps him

on the shoulder, they laugh, give pounds//////smiles filled with teeth

like Mardi Gras porch lights/I think to my own true self

now, who is he?  Where does he come from?

Where does he live?  How does he live?

How many are with him and what is his clan?????

©Christopher Bear Beam, MA 012609

THESE VOICES CAN NEVER BE SILENCED

Tonight I sat at the memorial for people murdered for

choosing to be who they were–transgendered.

Twenty-seven names were read, and the gong was sounded

for each one.

The most courageous act is choosing to identify

with one’s own person not with what the rest

of the culture says we should be. This is fearless courage,

a supreme virtue.  Although I’m straight,

I remember a time when I was a young boy,

sitting in a diner, on a trip from Chicago

to Louisville.  The old, ignorant, drunken

man kept calling me names, with the twisted charge

from human to animal.  At my young age when

I couldn’t edit much out, and my cerebral cortex

was in its unformed growing state, I felt

the sting of rebuke, the harshness of ignorance

and hate, the spite of drunken abuse, and it seemed

to go on forever.  And why didn’t my parents

do anything at first to interrupt this adultism, dropped in a glass

like a date-rape pill merging with the rotted stupification of ethyl

alcohol.  They kept letting it go on and on.  Why, I ask you now?

Were you afraid to speak up? because I was a child, and he

was drunk?  This is too often the food and drink of hate filled

bias, found behind the menus of everyday silence, the fear

of speaking for one life, or for anyone one that we love,

that has been the specialty on the menu, but, I for one, will

never buy this meal again, or give my money to this place

This is the inebriated brew of stabbings, hate crimes, executions, shootings,

and the stars are dropped and buried and the crimes go unsolved.  Why?

Now a new age has arisen with a new dawn of protest and uprising

with voices raised to protect us all.  If we save one life, we’ve saved humanity.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA

JUST-ICE

What’s just-ice look like at the street level?

It’s not creating an open air concentration camp in Gaza,

the world’s mega-prison where brown skinned prisoners wear

no names on their jump suits of civilian clothes.

It’s not the homicidal and genocidal murder

of playing children, when Israel claims this to be a military conflict

with Hamas, not a cultured of people (over half of Gaza’s residents are children),

sick, deprived of medicine and food and water, blockaded from being children

who have lost the will to love–this is just a definition of emotional and spiritual rape.

Leaders of our nationgive a carte blanche, across-the-board tip of a

NY Yankee’s hat to Israel–is there any nation who can do no wrong?

No, Nada, because they’re made up of human beings like you and me.

Many tribes make a nation.  All the empires seem to think

they’re unbound by international laws or conventions, and Israel,

along with the U.S., is one of the worst, because state-sponsored terrorism is

the most heinous kind of terrorism.  Just-ice on the street would mean

a torrent of outrage from the peace voices’ peoples of America and Israel,

so long and loud there would be no end to the echoes in hallowed

halls echoing “Stop the genocide!”  Just-ice on the street would mean

that Israel would be bombarded with a fuselage of determined if raped voices

for the children―maimed, terrified, traumatized, when the missiles were launched as they

were just leaving school―easy targets.  For the Palestinian worker

who is harassed at Israeli checkpoints coming and going from work,

for the Gaza families who don’t have basic utilities―necessities―food, water,

because human aide is not allowed into give the potable products of survival.

Congress people and senators would hear ringing out of their solitary cells anguished cries,

with too many letters for postal carriers to carry,

and not enough aides to keep up with all the emails of protest, wrenching indignation.

The bombs and rockets launched by Israel come from the U.S.,

but there is no blushing shame or remorse, on our face or theirs, who gamble in

back rooms, human lives in the balance, compromised by collusion.

What about the United Nations?  Why aren’t they stepping in to

monitor and stop the human rights abuse, as they would another country?

They try to get aide into Gaza and it’s blocked and stymied,

thwarted in self-justification and rationalization.

Just-ice on the streets starts with wise, compassionate, defending, advocating

leadership, and people who want to engage in empathy, dialog and cooperation,

throwing down the gun, they have families and loved ones, too,

not eyes wide shut to our nefarious actions ―searching

for real, on-the-ground peace and resolution–It trickles down, picks up momentum

until it rolls over the falls in a torrential, rushing, white river necklace,

watching and watering the land, all living things, and the parched throats of the oppressed,

so they can sing in lubricated liberation!

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA 01052009

MARTIAL LAW IN CHICAGO

Open resistance at the ’68 Democratic Convention.

so this is what it’s like living under Martial Law

with streets cleansed of cars and people

gone, curfew set like being on an eerie

movie set/Universal Studios and soldiers patrolled by olive

drab jeeps and trucks soldiers with raised rifles

stop to ask for my I.D.and I have none–

just in from California–later I realize this makes

no sense and one of the soldiers told

me to get off the streets, go home, stay home, get

in your pajamas I had no flowers to stick in the barrels of

their M-16s and probably wouldn’t have done so

since I wasn’t that breed of hippy just the kind

that did a one-eighty back to my friend’s pad where I

listened to him scrape his teeth together in fretted sleep

Christopher Bear Beam, MA 2009

Peace Out, Do It Now

the day’s early sun warms my face, red with

dawn light thawing cold night last, I pray for thawing of war

I hope for melting of genocidal slaughter

I meditate for bloated bodies in the street―no more–

I look to horizon’s flat expanse of red-tinged spikes

for greening of earth without the seductive silences

of land mines that amputate once ambulating children’s legs

and body parts and poisonous chemicals

that inhabit cancer cells in ravaged tissue//

my hibiscus, warming flesh gives credence to my yearnings

with the rest of the Planet for no more human bestiality–

the rape of women, girls, boys, men, gulleys, cities, deserts, roads, mosques,

churches, temples, cultural economies, and corporeal temples/

gone now, distant memory of an alternate consensus\

now peace is partial because we aren’t willing to

pay any significant price, said Berrigan, and he ought to know,

and Gandhi who taught to first learn violence and after that non-violence, for tenacity for the long

haul, not passivity for here-and-now:;/Cold war or Hot war is deadly,

because we still want our comfort and life as it is, not wanting to part

with too much of what we know is, but what’s there we know little of

except antidotes to hate, war, genocide, competition, outlawed by the heart of humanity–

we must walk out of the lightless draft of nations’ ignorance and superstition

that the way to peace is through conflict, into a thawing, mourning morning sunrise–

warm on the face in the still chilling air

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA 0122909

Nomads on the Storm

Into the world we’re born into the world we’re torn,

some with bruised shoulders by the newborn Phoenix birth canal

Suffering isn’t optional, and not just a part of the refugee’s life–

it’s the blended weave of the inner cave.

We deny it.

We try to mute the pain.

We repress its images.

But, it’s us.

Don’t kid yourself all of us are refugees

from something, mostly from ourselves,

away from the home of our self, away from the umbilical chord of our cosmology

I am a refugee not from Desert Storm

but from another storm, not in a desert but in a sea

with no sand squeezed out of my sandals,

only numb perplexed apparitions of pissed off seas, swarmy eels.

Having never followed these wind-molded

half-buried footprints before I didn’t know the refugee

living on my insides.  Today we met.  I knew the refugee

I could point to on the blackboard, the crime scene outline, stereotyped,

on the grimy city street, sprawled out like a cut-out

paper doll, folded out with its chain of cloned figurines

Now the cut-out paper dolls grow into flesh and blood–

I look into their faces and it’s my face—my eyes

quickly avert their eyes, afraid I’ll fall apart

like a sand dune sculpture busted by the wind and loam,

until nothing remains.

Scared nothing will be left—I daze out–wanting to keep it distant,

even the bytes flashing before me I want to leave behind.  Can I?

She mentions the phrase “starting over” and I cringe inwardly

detesting, too soon old, too late smart I realize it’s not beginning again

it’s picking up where I am or think I am,right now, simply saying “yes”

to each nuanced message bouncing around the cave of my heart,

so silent, yet cascading in its big noise, carried by a dove

from one outpost to another.

Depression and loss hang their dead weight shingle

around my stress-tightened neck muscles, and I demand this to be

written on my stone of death: The refugee within met the refugee without.

He died, opened up to the nomad on the storm.  He lived as a baby gull

scrambling for bread crumbs thrown by the bird feeders on the dented seawall.

Happy. He rides the storm.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA, 9/15/08

ALUMINUM CROSS

The late afternoon sun,

scorching, allows wind mirages to pass–no charge at the gate.

I feel their teasing tendrils. Mi hermano works on the wall.

He’s been at it for months it seems. Windows, carpentry, doors, painting, etc.

His dark eyes, glittering like sun drenched Mardi Gras beads, laughing under

his bandanna-covered head.  In between the staple’s sharp tack,

and machine-gun hammers,

he sings unknown melodies, filling the seaside village

with raucous tunes which most of us don’t know.

Later, as the day heats down and smells of charcoal meet beef or chicken,

joke with my hunger.  I see mi hermano and mi amigo

packing up, getting ready to call it a dias done.

Like wind’s mirage, a lightening of temperature with cool

contrasting with human covered land,

the lower degrees like my own heated skin.

They are now coming towards me

mi hermano in front, mi amigo in back,

carrying a well-worn, paint-bombed, aluminum ladder.

As they pass in front of where I stand,

mi hermano casually says to me, “Just like Jesus, eh?”

They drift by like they’re walking on air

above the roasted cement under feet.

Later, I think of mi hermano’s saying, more seriously,

as they carried the ladder.  It’s about a Latina

worker.  They carry the cross no matter what

they have heaved up on their shoulders.

The “other” is always kept at arm’s length,

she is illegal, not a senorita, but an alien,

she’s on the sidelines, and so is mi hermano,

mostly on the margins of a hierarchal ladder,

out of sight, out of mind, except I see her.

I’m sure that Jesus of the barrio feels the same emotion,

doesn’t matter if it’s a Roman cross or an aluminum ladder,

it’s all the same, they still hang you on it.

It’s a big ass weight, this being wanted, but kept invisible, to white eyes,

that is.  All it takes is two hands, any hands, because they have skin

with ‘skin in the game,’ and it’s bone-covering and the bones underneath

mostly look the same.

©  Christopher Bear Beam, MA  June, 2008

ALL THE WHITE POETS

trying not to be cynical or unfeeling

just can’t say that they always

speak for me, and you shouldn’t

think so either

just because we look like each other

don’t reason our skin tone is more or

less equivalent/they speak volumes

of missing lines and verses

they intone and riff of mostly

the beautiful/sunsets/flowers/paradisesso/ you can tell the holy man

childhoods without pain entitled some new truth if he wants to

to none of the good stuff of America serve humanity, go out into,

except its land and imagination it and seek how many live

just below the radar line

alright, so they write from their own

white privileged perspective/don’t it,  ain’t all bout summer parties

we all? I mean don’t we all write at the winery, or wearing your panties

from wherever we come from pretty, white finery

it’s bout living where she wore that

poetry is the magician’s

tool/ a flick of funny old hat,  the angel who appeared with

the thumb and second finger, in a click, 0ne dark night, with a shopping bag

poets see the world from a uni-cart of Little Debbies and snacks

perspective empathy, shooting apathy

between the eyes the next day we rose on the street

with a new genre of poet-try

white poets/merely open like a white flower,  we looked down and our skin was the

lotus that grows out of a garbage heap color of an old army blanket you would see

where people are looking for daily meals find in an army surplus store

people are looking just to survive

the poor of the world, and in your own

neighborhood too, you can see them

through the aperture of art, which

makes the poor regal, and the rich

howl at the graffiti of the subway walls

ok, assholes and elbows, let’s do some

work, since work is what it will take

to learn down deep, that we been asleep

we got nightsweats and come on our

shirt, sometimes it makes me want to

go beserk

here’s one other thing I want you

to think over, put it under your

pillow and sleep on it, let your

dreams fertilize you

do like Hank Bukowski did,

spend about a decade moving

from place to place, low rent

dives with hardly any space

getting any job he could/

live in the land and live with

the people/look for a steeple

Christopher Bear-Beam, April,2009

HOW TO REFUSE YOUR OWN TRANSFORMATION

I am privileged.  I am privileged to refuse my my own englightenment or luminous messases if I want, and just because my restlessness demands a break

What right does she possess, feeling her right to cut in line, when the line behind us complains and mumbles down the urban mountain; or what right does she have–anyway–to eat before I eat.  Hey, we ain’t no animals down here!

Things are changing all around me, a shifting burning mound of borders that keep changing–change is just as necessary as drawing breath–do you suppose that’s what is causing my jumpiness, in inner caves, ventricles of power like chakras, some open, some re-closed

This is what those who live among us know, the wise know,

Censorship is imposed again–I thought that censoring had passed, and could only be found in the small clumps of books on cellar and coal–gone? history?  Yes and No.

‎1/‎26/‎2013

Clash of Consciousness  

The oppressor holds a hammer over the victim’s head.  Wealth and class breed a myopic vision of reality.  This perception is usually limited to what will keep the authority in place.  Outside messages that counter this mind of power, a systemic power, seem like flights of delusion next to this kind of denial. 

 Capitalism is a dirty word

To the ears of those in the profit margin. 

Socialist.  Fascist.  Hypocrite under a mask.

 

Paradoxically, for them the chemo of capitalism,

Silent and bold,

Fires the domination system, the empire,

Runs the world, therefore,

It’s all good!

And justification for their own definition

Of progress and civilization in the world’s

Changing system.  This is the colonized mind.

 

The energy of upper class

“competency”  in quotes runs far back

Into the antiquity of

Homo sapiens and their structural reality.

 

It’s the energy of survival

That is the cumulative DNA of

Human culture; the battle cry is that when

Push comes to shove authority may be heaped

On in giant, weighted chains

Drowning the targets in the depth

Of its soil of life (really death)

 

Life can never emerge from

Coercion, joy can never bubble up

From the deep, acrid water of manipulation

Yet this is the way of the cosmos,

And the rhetoric of wealth.

 

All humans have been assimilated

By this beast with the many horns and heads

That rises up at key points in time.

One generation absorbs the previous

And humans are the consuming fuel for

Its life of death.

 

Here, in a terse template, is the

World, authority has been vested

In the “primary” color of white

(what, you didn’t know it was primary?)

 

It’s always been about whom

Holds the land and property

That is used to create more

Wealth from the dis-empowered.

 

The land has its own maternal

Spirit, but this systemic dinosaur doesn’t

See this core of essence,

Only the empirical side of rocks, metal, and people,

And takes its daily dose to feed itself from profit.

 

Their perceptual reality of authority

And domination becomes the

“is” of everything it touches.

It judges all people, places and things by

The notion of their signs of ownership

On the lawns of houses and apartments.

 

“We have placed our names on this piece of earth,

We claim ownership.

We demand that all the dependents sign

On the dotted line, and give us our share.”

 

Wise ones see this, know this, and feel this,

And can’t fail to resist this.  Because they

Feel the link of the land

That has been appropriated

From their indigenous hands and hearts.

 

The conflict between landed authority,

Lordless dominion, and landed empowered ones

Grows into explosive junctions, explicatives shouted.

And along this fragile yet impervious wall,

Looking for a weak, cracked piece of mortar

To tear down the wall.

 

As they gather momentum the wall’s owners feel

Frightened of the power of essence

And voiced power, powerful protests.

The look the other way,

They exert more authority.  They

Run from responsibility for the earth

And all beings into the mists

Of their own “place.”

 

Like blind people in a mildewed house

They run into door jams and children’s toys

Littering the floor, sometimes hurting a

Toe, but hardly ever crippling themselves.

 

The people of mother sky and father earth

Know the game well.

They know that what is not theirs can never

Be taken, so they wait, wait some more

For the right angles of movement

 

Then act in honesty and deliberate means,

For the means is the meaning

Of the conscience of

Loving responsibility.

 

The domination system’s land mark

Posts disintegrate in the dust like coal,

Once again born as fertile topsoil.

 ©  Christopher Bear Beam, November 2007

I 35/IT’S QUITE THE RIDE

Could be any city in the U.S.

Could be Austin, it may be

Austin right now/the

Border is i-35

The Eastside is its own nation state

The Westside with its own

Sovereign country

Imagine, on the Westside, just please

Bear with me on this one,

Westside is running cartels

Armed with guns and ammo

Gang of members, the hit men for

The Cartels, the 6:00 news

Has headlines tonight

“Eight Murdered, One Decapitated

Head Found Hanging Over an Over

Pass Near Riverside”

So this is the scenario because

The Cartels are going over the

Border to transfer the goods

To Eastsiders who run them

Up the roads of East Texas

Making a hand-off to an 18

Wheeler at a darkened rest stop

Come to the present with me/

This is happening now border

Between El Paso and Juarez

Now known as the ‘deadliest

City in Mexico’ fear is the blood

In their veins and it’s 10 degrees

Celsius, the temperature of ice

Cubes jingled in afternoon drinks

In egomaniacal mansions by

Cartel and Syndicate bosses

As they telepathically target

The rich white men East of I-35

Oh, they like this ride

The ordinary residents bear the

Heat and weight of the day

And when they collect their pay

They stand on the corner of a

Westside Boulevard, trying to

Score/if they can’t bling that

Thing and beat the “man”

They got nothing more to say

© Christopher Bear Beam, M.A.  Sept.2009

4/9/08

I first met Linda L about 6 months after Katrina while working for GCC.  I sat in her crowded living room with another CM, and she told us about how she had experienced racism while going to the Galveston DRC.  A white worker/volunteer had given preference to a white couple who wanted to make a phone call while they wouldn’t let her make one. Of course this infuriated her, and she vented her feelings to us—feelings of deep anger.  Her sharing of feelings was completely unsolicited, unless it had been brought on by some of my comments on racism especially associated with the Katrina experience.

As I recall this now, I can see clearly that I have had feelings about my self as an unaware male, seeing myself as a crusader or rescuer of those non-whites who have been oppressed by racism.

This, too, is a part of racism—perhaps silent racism.  If I see society around me a racist, and see myself as non-racist, I am perpetuating the deeper, unconscious layers of my own racialized conditioning.  This is called selective perception.  I won’t look where I think I’m OK.  But, for me, the journey out of unaware racism has been fueled by my willingness to uncover all of my dark shadows in this chronic disease.  My basic premise is that I’m unaware. What I’m unaware of I can’t see until I awaken to it myself.

Linda W was a part of our CM crisis counseling program.  She was keenly aware of the system of oppression and injustice around her.  Because I don’t view life from her experiences as an African American female, I can in no way really see what she sees.  For me as a white male, I would often question her thinking, assuming that she was just blaming the system instead of taking on her own responsibility.  But I would also wonder if I was colluding with the white supremacist, power structure.

As whites we do this all the time.  We try to blot out any feelings of guilt or complicity by remaining in a hardened state of mind (denial) which is indirect or unconscious racism.

For people like me, I can easily point a finger at the racists I see, at various places in the supremacist system, and call out its faults.  This keeps my fingers pointing out, not back at my part in the system.

As a white social service professional, I fell into the repetitive, clinical stance of trying to diagnose Linda’s psychological problems, denying the scars and PTSD symptoms she had experienced and told me about.  The heart of anti-racism work, as I see it, is the commitment to see myself, know myself, know my own identity, and to be aware of the racialized thought patterns and actions that lead to feelings about the “other”–this is deep, “heart work” not just a clinical, academic explanation of the “why” of racism.  Because it involves my own self-concept as part of the problem.  No problem can be resolved until I clearly see what role I play in the collusion of keeping us (whites) and others (non-whites) down.

One experience that I now look back on is loaded with lessons.  It’s about the lessons of being unaware, and being pressured to just go along with the flow of the social service system that Linda and I found ourselves enmeshed in.  Shortly before the end of our grant ran out at GCC, we had some money left in our budget for families to get school clothes.  We set a deadline, and I had been trying to reach Linda in order to work out the details.  When I finally reached her we were down to one week left before school would begin.

She was pissed off when I told her that we needed to meet so I could give her a gift card.  She had reserved this time to be with her children in a very quality way.  She vented her anger at me because I was pushing to get with her to buy the clothes.  My supervisor and I made a phone call to Linda, and Linda explained the same thing to her that she had told me.  Looking back, I see that I drifted away into the shadows, and didn’t advocate for Linda that way I wanted.  My supervisor kept pushing for her to meet me so I could give her the gift card for her kid’s school clothes.   She finally agreed after a lot of resistance.

When I got to the store, I had to tell Linda that I had to be there went she went  through the check-out line.  She was very upset and I tried to calm her down, but she was escalating.  I waited near the front of the store, but as time went on, I got impatient and went looking for her.  When I found her she seemed like she had bottomed out; I tried all the tricks I had learned as a crisis counselor, but nothing seemed to work.  I left again.

She finally got to the check-out line, and I joined her there.  She told me how disappointed she was with me; she told me she thought I was her friend, and that she knew me.  She told me that now she couldn’t trust me.  As we stood in front of another woman, she mentioned that just as I wouldn’t be able to understand a woman, being a man, that I couldn’t really now what it was like to have walked in her shoes.  And she was right.

I think at that moment, I saw my collusion with the institutional racism of the social service field that I worked within.  A part of that system is that the organization has certain services it provides to various parts of the community. But there is a privileged way of looking at those who have need of the services. It’s as if we say, “We’ve got this for you, but we will only give it to you if you jump through the hoops we’ve got.”  This is giving from privilege. It misses the understanding of the systemic aspects of classism and racism.  It focuses on the perceptions of folks who are disadvantaged and views them often through stereotyped lens or as isolated events, not as human beings, as a whole in an environment conditioned by the forces of systemic dynamics.  Without seeing those we help as a part of the whole, along with the system’s causal and conditioning factors, we see them as the “bad people” in our society; thus, they are kept in the prison of our “goodness” to them as the social service messiahs.

I realized that Linda was very right about what she had said about me.  I saw how my fear kept me from speaking up and giving another side to Linda’s situation.  Linda’s number one complaint was how she had tried so hard to get out of the trap in which she found herself, and how she felt trapped in so many instances.

My white privilege kept me in a protected bubble; I would often find myself thinking that even if one struggled to survive as someone who was downed by others, there were ways that I kept my own self in some kind of positive mind set about life.  I thought this was my own spirituality and practice.  Now I’ve come to see that it’s not easy to separate my spirituality from my privilege.  What are my real motives?  I can feel a certain ease that I will be able to make it out of the tough spots in my life—why?  Because I carry around my enrichments and entitlements as a part of my inner accessories.  Usually, even if my backs up against the wall, like losing a job, my education and training that came as an unearned part of privilege and possession will make it possible to know the right people, or have the right contacts to get another job. I don’t have the backdrop of the context of having grown up without access to education, jobs, living in “nice neighborhoods” of my own choosing.

Linda had lost everything.  For some time she thought that her niece had not made it out of Katrina’s wrath.  And then when she finally made it to Galveston she was treated as one of them and hindered from using a phone to see if she could reach her niece while a white couple was granted access to the phones only because of the color of their skin.  Privilege can be egregious, because it’s hate and bias masked as ‘doing everything right.’  When Pamela and I came to Galveston in August of 2005, two weeks later Rita hit and we had the comfort and security of going back to Austin to stay with Hadiya.  We returned to an apartment that was unscathed by the hurricane.

This kind of privilege is perhaps harder to explain and to quantify, because it’s vague, ambiguous but ubiquitous.  But as I look at it with open eyes to judge my own thoughts and actions, it clearly has impacted me.  It has caused me to ask myself hard questions, and continuously work at being aware of what I do with this ball and chain of white privilege.

© Christopher Bear-Beam 2007

NEW WORLD SHIFT

(HARP INTRO)

When rules and regulations

keep the poor of the nation

on the down low

all cut up

while others are kept up

We need a new world shift

A new world change

 

(CHORUS)–DRUM

Then it’s gonna be al right

clean outta sight,

gay, staight, bi and trans,

black, brown, color of sands,

red and white

clean outta sight

it feels so right

 

It’s time for our nation

to undo discrimination

getting’ hooked up, bridge the rift,

with the new world shift

(CHORUS)–DRUM

(HARP)

These stereo boxes

where we once hung out

this is what I’m talkin’ ’bout

they on their way out

 

(CHORUS)–DRUM

We can all internalize our oneness

it’s time to rearrange

working for the new world change

overcoming the old brain drift

getting’ down with the new world shift

(CHORUS)

(HARP–ENDING)

  ©Christopher Bear Beam, MA, 11/16/08

Blues on Maxwell Street

(CHORUS)

Raised up on the north

side of Chicago,

just had to get me some soul

went down to Maxwell St.

got my cup filled whole

(CHORUS)

The brothers and sisters of my other family

fronted their stuff out on the street

my people, I wanted to meet

get my soul complete, you see my

other people were Scotch-Irish, the English

stood on their necks for years on end,

they were slaves too, just like  you, Boo

(CHORUS)

The Blues went with them

as they came north

to settle in Chi-town

city of Big Shoulders and my birth

(CHORUS)

Found day jobs in the city

played Blues at night in the clubs

angels sang for them drinking beer

watching the Sox and Cubs

(CHORUS)

Blues burned in my blood and genes

Blues teaches wisdom mean

bad ass Blues pulled my tears

joy and laughter over beers

(CHORUS)

My white boy’s solidarity

oppression, pain and identity

grew me to a man

Wishing for a Blues band

(CHORUS)

Played my harp all over the nation

no money for what I did

only restoration and isolation

(CHORUS)

One day walking through the hood

to catch the L looking at the burned out buildings

I saw a little flower in a parking lot

that busted thru asphalt block

then I knew Blues was kind,

and you can never lock up my mind

and you can never lock up my mind

(CHORUS)

fade out

© Christopher Bear Beam Summer 2013

COLONIZED ENERGY

The world turns on the

Energy of Authority,

But it chatters as a natural system

On the axis of natural laws.

This is the paired-team of “reason and virtue.”

The world of structured reality,

The perception that all the hills

Are for taking, and all rivers for power

Is the mentality of civilization,

That mines our heads

Sucks our spirit

Drains our brains

To serve dis-spirited need.

This is the perception whose thread

Can be followed back to the dawn

Of humanity on the planet.  Follow it

And learn the eternal wisdom of the

Mothers and fathers.

Tribes formed alliances to

Authority, their own existence

To castrate the other tribe’s

Felicity and masculinity of selfhood

Who were the weak in that

Their dignity was pummeled

On the lynching tree that

Hung the poor so the tether pole

Of the strong lurched wide

Against their cousins.

Oppressors rose and dipped

Over mountains and plains of history’s

Linear line, predictably.

They asserted their Authority by

Their own law codes saying they

Were the law codes of heaven.

Democracy now sits on top of the hill

Without a lighthouse, turning on hinges,

Thinking we can light our way with our own innocence,

We hope that “the others” will avoid the rocks of “our”

Shores, but we secretly know that only the smart ones who

Have clear vision like our’s will avoid the crash,

Only the ones who ponder the coherence

Of all galactic systems are safe

Shielded by the truth

And our noble cause that’s covered with dust,

Like a trunk near a floor lamp in the attic.

They conquer those who don’t think

For their selves, those whose minds

Are fuzzy with no sense of who they are,

With no place to hitchhike to, and no

Cozy cottage in Florida to call home.

Because the wind

Beats only lightly as the

Sails that face in the wrong direction.

Humanity’s cry appears

To shout “who will save us?”

This, the redemptive place,

That can never find an answer

Because no new questions are asked,

And the answer isn’t a question

But an imperial imperative

We alone choose to save ourselves

And no one else can do it.

Caring responsibility means saying

“no” to the domination system.

The Authority of wealth and

Class impose the oppressing

Answers, and in a covert way

Since the global economic system

Isn’t seen as imperialist, but as capitalist;

Alone, from out there somewhere,

Not inside here, it bursts into life.

The only way to fight this outside, this

Subtle seduction “out group”

Is to become one with ourselves,

True to our own truth,

A harmonic with mother earth,

Brother sun, and sister Self.

© Christopher Bear Beam, November, 2007

HIT

He Wore a Turban That Day

That day, she feared, just after 911
Wearing her wraparound turban.

The energy of quick judgment momentarily

Stopped her in her thoughts…..and tracks.

King Profile, evocative, patriotic, zealous, fanatic,

Hiding behind her porous, ultra-thin Paper-Mache walls while the

Bands played on, anthems winding up. the driver pulled over, wild-eyed,

On the four-lane with the median as my car sat still.  Asleep.

He talked in language I could hear and knew. The enemy Satan

Breathing incendiaries on the back of his neck. “I was never a religious man,” he says,

As if this might make me feel better,and him as well.

He spoke of a wavered path, a confused set of realities, of east and west.

In short, stressed.  Scared. e dropped me off.  I thanked him, feeling noble, that I

Could console, that I knew, that I had conversed with him, a traveler on a winding path also,

Compassion a bridge.

On the border towns—King Profile reigns there as well, his fierce dragon-breath, as tongue of

Combustion stops cars, yanking people out, searching for papers. “What no papers?”  the anglo patron

Snarls, slurs sardonically. “Yes, sir, I don’t carry my birth certificate With me, because I live two blocks

From here and work six.” Now, the American citizen, out of his ride, sits on a curb by the right back

Tire, waiting.  They check out his story. He waits in the boring sun, knowing he’s late for work.

“Yeah, it’s true; we’ve got him on file,” so the patron tells him to get in his car and drive on.

I’m sixteen years old, my buddies and me are out partying on a Saturday night.  You know how it is.

The hole is never filled. The brew sneaks up in white, Middle class custom, then to become a crashing noise,

Like the bells at a railroad crossing.

Six of us are in the car with John the Greek. We pull into the empty bank parking lot, doors flying open, curses and spit flying onto the packed snow.  They fly open like beer can tops on the beaches at the parties. Our mayhem of adolescent anger, unknowing, cringing identities fumed and fueled by ethyl alcohol, igniting our own “internalized whiteness” (another name for fear),

And oppression—SCREAMING! YELLING!, we drag John from the car. Down he goes on the ground, the crunch of snow has a sound of crackling numbness, the dark place behind the bank, away from the eyes of cop cars.

Down he goes, engineer boots move like Edward Sizzorhands freshly inebriated with WD40.

“Fuckin’ Greek; shithead; faggot;”……John moves in the snow blood silently bled on the white purity of dirty suburban snow. We pull him back into the car, and forget. Pushed down.  Stuffed.  Gone. Gone over.  Guilt-out-of-sight.
Deceased.  To the other side.

I awake next morning, groggy, hung-over with a strange taste in my mouth and in my head.  The taste of shame is like a mouthful of broken teeth and gravel. We sit in a fat boy’s room. He laughs at his own jokes. I look approvingly, gullible.

He tells the same, dirty jokes of “better than,” “less than,” “more than.” As if he knows all. This is our secret coven. No one can see us here, so we think. Out came the Neo—Nazi books, The vile rhetoric of George Lincoln Rockwell, The new American Hitler.  Big on the cover, maybe big in Missippi, Oh so small inside.  He’s George Lincoln the Great.

Jews are vermin.  Jews are virus. (I wonder why my mother consistently asks about my friend’s names: “Sounds Jewish to me?”

She says. N—–s are pawns of the Jews. Both sub-human, soulless, without spirit. GOD IS A WHITE MAN–didn’t you know that,” says the illiterate old man lounging by the pop machines. Ain’t. we all made in “his” image?

Now, I see it, and it’s no stretch to graffiti temple walls with swastikas. The curling lip of the aerosol leaks
“We hate Jews” written by True Believers as a message to the forgetful world On subway walls where there is no light.

The end of 2005. The crowd creaks inching along the road, over the Mississippi, over the bridge. Sodden.  Left for dead in a drowned city, declared martial law. Sorrowing.  Whose unwritten code is ‘he who has the most resources wins and is declared Most human.  There are no Universal Human Rights.  Too far from the U.N. and assembly of nations.

They move to the edge of the bridge that passes into the smaller city, a slow funeral snake.  This time you can’t hear Louis Armstrong notes. Maybe a white man or a white woman Moves to the head of the group that is fleeing.  Maybe they think this person with white skin will be listened to. The sheriff with bullhorn. This time no fire hose.

For the group on the free side of the bridge it feels like the fire is no more, like the coals have become more gray, like the sky overhead. “You can’t cross here,” he says with his straw Stetson.  “Oh, yeah, you can’t come to our Town.  We’ve heard.  We’ve heard the stories of what’s going on on the other side.  We don’t want any trouble so
Turn back, or wait for buses; you’re redemption draws near.”

No crime here. No love here. No compassion here. No hate in Our Town. So they wait on the carpet of multigenerations of misogyny, mis-history, miss-the-boat civilization. This is the bridge of cries. The bridge of tears in the land of the free.

Next day, the headlines read, “Gretna City Council votes No.” So it is as if this is justification, excuse for injustice, after all, ‘we’re doing the right thing for us.’

This is survivalism.

The city will no longer be the same. Those on the bridge aren’t the same as yesterday.  Some are still the same as they were. There’s a war going on, always, so it seems, unapprehended by the white sheriff in full battle gear.
This war has unknown soldiers, unknown heroes, Unknown drummers, dancers, gangstas, wives, husbands. They are the survivors whom I honor.

They are the survivors of natural and human disaster, resilient is her middle name.  A name with no blame. She is the mother of four kids who fled to shelter, and waited outside death’s door to see if her niece was alive or dead.
Frantic. Pacing.  Calling.  Finding family one time she goes to the DRC to use a phone since her’s had cratered under a load of care, to be told by the European-American man that she had to wait, That it wasn’t “time yet, so go back and take a seat and wait.”

She sits in the anger of her generations, in the anger of her elders, in the anger of her self, on a hard bench until this white couple comes in to use a phone. “Sure,”  says the man.  “Follow me, there are phones in the other room,” he leads, getting up with all his civility. They follow him to the room of privilege. And she sits, deciding what to do, mad, mad from the stress, mad at now what she sees, the meditation of her mother on her mind. Awake.

I can sit now in my ease thinking about why I’m made. Easy to look out. Hard to look in.

Self-projections onto a system, my own group,

And think this isn’t my making, because I

Didn’t cause any of this.

Can’t run from it, can’t hide.

My nickel is in this dime.

There’s a secret place.

A place where it’s easy

To think I’ve got it right.

I am at this place.

I am Gretna.

I am System.

Until I decide  how I will change self,

Manage my own reactions, flaws, shortcomings,

Of a nerve-broken body I call us.

Dismantle and Re-build.

Grateful, my own levy cracks open inside.

© Christopher Beam  July 13, 2006

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR SITTING ON FRONT PORCH STEPS

 

He’s there, day after day, sitting on the steps, always wearing his shades, and fifties suits, and wheat-color straw hat, sitting by his only silent friend–a sculpture–no motion, no words, no expression of emotion, always waiting for his friend who has taken on the same motionless stance-on-the-steps as his cement-like mentor/the sculpture holds no roses and may never

There is a wounded pride of placid nobility, his signature face, of which he’ll never, ever speak\like Mr. Dempsey\his face the archaeological dig of old acne

He……..sometimes……cocks…………his……………..head, right…………to…………left……………left………….to………………………………………right, scanning the street, taking in the tall Dutch Elm trees that are sprayed each night while the neighborhood sleeps through the night in toxic chemicals, and DDT has been known to kill you? 

What’s this contrast?  Is it better to be gassed by enemies who refrain from telling you what the showers really do?  Or to suffer an unknown governmental poisoning each night when the DDT sprayer makes its rounds the silence of officials is crushing my lungs and my sinuses, just make nice, once the beetle infestation is gone this problem will fly away like pussy willow’s feathered seeds? Hey, I thought we lived in the land of the free and the brave, like we’re on the same side, if this is happening, if other cover-ups go down, there’s no trust in my heart

The survivor is the sentinel of this slow annihilation, but would ever go to the officials and blow the whistle, since he’s also suffered the gas of Buchenwald, and now the gas in his new homeland–Wilmette, Illinois

I thought I saw one night, from their stations aloft in the moody, dark elms, the bats dive bombed while he was there on the steps, one bat dropped a message wrapped in a big green leaf–is the bat  challenging the survivor in a nocturnal fit of sarcasm and idiocy?

I soon realized I really didn’t need to see his camophlaged eyes, that had been my goal for a long time\yes, his ubiquitous presence ran like a hidden mist down Forest Ave.  for he was the paragon of this suburban sanctuary; really?  The duty-bound sentinel protected so well I felt safe most of the time

Many years afterwards, when I was forced into the Army/I came to the conclusion that this watcher form the Nazi death camps was my paragon, modeling truth, living silently and free on the front steps, his truth arrived into my head, its beauty, its pristine brain off the hot sparking grease from the fry pan and not even flying out of the skillet to get one of us

He loomed as a mammoth figure of strength and hardy resilience for me/on that day I crossed the WPA red-brick street–Forest Ave.–I had finally gotten the courage/from him/to ask him a question that seemed to me to like the center of the cosmos

With a blend of fear and boldness, I asked him if I could see his tattoo of numbers on one of his arms, the numbers tattooed by his keepers, to verify his identity, that was useless since he would be dead–demised soon with all the others shaking with trauma standing in a long line–well, numbers have semantic meanings and reactions–but only to those who think that words and numbers are powerful in themselves/ to those in semantic ignorance (unrelated to anyone’s intelligence, only unaware–just not knowing consciously), not seeing that it’s the blind and mute people who may be better off…….pause…………breathe

I have no universal answers, and only compassion for the survivor, but possibly if we learn the semantic principles we may be able to use them in a traumatic crisis–there are no guarantees, and there are no prophetic predictions, but only the meeting face-to-face with the darker emotions–remember they will float out again, an incense offering affectionate with cloud cover

Who gives words or numbers emotionality, personality, a separate, distinctive, hyper-tensile and hyper-vigilance–it’s the human being au natural who may take power to themselves, as the survivor sitting on the front, concrete steps, she shapes from words and numbers into a conflagration, testing them, listening to them, saying them in their rawness and truth without skipping a beat in a new land

© Christopher Bear-Beam December 14, 2010

LUKAS’ COMMUNITY

What is community?

Community is magnified personality,

Echoes of daily play and work,

Seeing the same faces leaving the house,

Hearing the same car being revved up

Each morning at the same time,

The familiar rumble of a certain

Engine, the mechanized crowing

At six in the morning.

The man Lukas. Community fixed and restored by Lukas.

They say he’s Estonian.

What I know comes to my ear–his accent

spread thick with east Europe,

Like horseradish lathered on black bread,

A round face, short-cropped gray hair.

He lives here, too, and he runs a crew.

A crew of Latino men

Who paint and repair,

Or, better said, repair and paint?

I see him almost daily

Making his rounds, checking the work

In his faded, gang-banger jeans.

In the heat after lunch,

When siestas’ allure begs satisfaction,

He doesn’t walk as straight,

But slides sideways with his limp.

Is it an old war wound?

Did he get it at work in the old country?

Or did it come from some heroic act

Of resistance or escape?

The residue of a drug bust gone bad?

Who knows, and it doesn’t matter, does it?

His words stumble out, thicker now,

Perhaps a lunch followed by beers,

As the sun burns the top of the building

Next door; he stops at

An apartment where the crew works,

To point out how something that

Can be done in a better way, more skillfully.

He picks up a hammer and shows them.

And they listen, maybe speaking together in Spanglish.

He, the boss man, rubbing shoulders, tool belts.

He, the teacher, teaches.

He speaks their language.

He, the mentor tradesman,

Passing along his experience

So the crew can equal him or go beyond him.

This–the mark of a teacher extraordinaire.

Lukas, the universe.

Lukas, the community.

Sometimes on some steamy, sun streaming days,

He fires up the cooker

Barbequing the meat,

And passing out wine,

The new wine of freedom’s friendship.

No sightings of any Communists,

Only community remains.

© Christopher Bear Beam, MA, June, 2008

WE AND OUR SHADOW

I consider myself one who attempts to follow the Buddhist and Taoist philosophy of life.  It just fits for me.  I have been enriched because this part of the universal wisdom teachings helps me to see things in a very practical way.

For example, today I read this from the Tao (31), and began to think about how this applied to the Administration, it’s policies and what’s occurred (occurring in Iraq as we speak).  I’d like to share it with you then respond with some thoughts that jumped out at me as I read it.

Weapons are the tools of violence;
All decent men detest them.

Weapons are the tools of fear,
a decent man will avoid them,
except in the direct necessity
and, if compelled, will us them
only with the utmost restraint.
Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?
His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn’t wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?

He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.

Isn’t this portion of writing a true experience of what we’ve experienced in our actions to invade Iraq?  I will use the word “Administration” as the foolish one here, foolish, ignorant, and lacking wisdom.  It is the template of human power.  In this way I can keep my thoughts free from anger and resentment towards Bush.  It’s bigger than Bush, because it’s systemic and a system is greater than even the sum of all its parts.  The actions of the Admin. in attacking Iraq, and its occupation, isn’t just the work of a few power-driven men and women; rather it’s the operation of a systemic oppression as the U.S. seeks to be the owner of the world.

We are probably the world’s leader in violence.  Is it any wonder that our institutions reflect violence of our gene pool?  Violence is detested by good people.  This can be violence in all forms, for violent thoughts and actions flow from power, the seeking to dominate, and to be right at all costs.  Good people see themselves as they are–both shadows and sunshine.  Our shadow side shrouds the instinct to rule by force and coercion.

Weapons are implements of fear.  We have armed ourselves for fear of the other nations and systems around us.  Ironically, in the binary view of the Admin., we fear the loss of our white civilization, by the many Muslim peoples of the world.  We live in fear because we see the way others view us (not our people so much, but our exploitative, imperialistic system), and know our hold on the world is weakening; we are now the minority in the world (basically white and christianized), and our empire shows signs of shrinking and impotence.

Have we used our weapons with restraint?  Was it restraint to create a global war on terror–such a vague, illusive idea, and really only a generalization of violence.  Whose was it anyway?  Who are the victims?  Iraq was predicated on the paranoid reality of our own victimhood–the way we se ourselves so often in the world today.  Who are the terrorists?  This is at the heart of why people have been interrogated in special and secretive holding centers in the hidden nooks of the world.  This is why we profile people we think just might be terrorists because of the their religion, their dress, the way they talk, and where they come from.  This is why so many have been subjected to egregious acts with the removal of their legal and human rights.  We need scapegoats and victims.

Indeed, peace is the highest value, and we who are open know that.  If peace restrains our actions, innocent civilians–families and children–wouldn’t have been killed.  If peace were our highest value we would try to dialogue with even those who say they are enemies, if they were open to it.

The peace has been shattered again by the hammers and nails of politicians, big money interests and the obsequious following of the mass of the U.S. population (this is changing however I think), a population sensing a farce of patriotism.  The infrastructure of Iraq is abysmally destroyed and gutted; the puppet power sits looking on as sectarian insurgents and anti-insurgents fight for their own lands.  After all, this is their homeland, isn’t it, and not ours?

There is a discontent in our land; the energy of positive renewal, however, for positive change and reform of the Admin’s cronyism is increasing in these months prior to the election.  Record numbers of voter turnout are being reported.  There is tangible evidence of deep dissatisfaction of our being in Iraq, the economy, and huge inroads to nullify our civil rights, as well as the human rights of those we see as enemies.

We see our enemies, whether it be governments, other religions, innocent civilians, and dissidents who disagree with the Admin’s policies, as demons; seeing others as scapegoats or “straw men,” without true dignity, assuages our cognitive dissonance.  The facts of the failures of the invasion play havoc with cherished beliefs, so those who hold to them resist, deny, justify, and keep relabeling all the “bad people.”  This says a lot.  We don’t respect ourselves very much either.

The Admin denies the costs of the war–the moral, spiritual, psychological, human, economic and social costs that are now spiraling out of control.  Some economists are now estimating that the fiasco in Iraq will cost taxpayers three trillion dollars that also encompasses the aftercare needs of vets returning from Iraq.  Does the Admin really think we’ll by their rejoicing in a made-up victory?  Interesting as well, that since we’ve been in Iraq terrorism all over the globe has been on the increase.

Easy to say that America doesn’t delight  in slaughter, because after all we’re better than that, right?  But we haven’t even yet admitted to ourselves, at least many of those who hold elitist power and political office, our direct policy of chattel slavery for African Americans, being treated like animals, the Jim Crow lynchings, the murders on so many persons of color by brutality of law enforcement!  We have not yet owned our part in Native American genocide, the African American holocaust, the C.I.A. induced political assassinations, and the killing of perhaps one million people in Iraq–and to my knowledge this doesn’t include all of our fallen soldiers who sadly have given their lives for corporate power, and imperial privilege.

When our words don’t match our actions we create incongruent communication.  The actions always talk louder than our platitudes and regal words.  This is the incongruence of a race-based and power-driven society that has very little credence in the eyes now in many American’s minds or the rest of targeted people and systems in the world.   No delight here, only sorrow and ignorance. Incongruence produces confusion and distrust.

After 911, the Admin’s rhetoric was slanted more towards revenge and retaliation, not compassion, nor respect for the people of Iraq and other middle eastern nations.  The President decided to go the route to get people’s minds ready to accept going to war.  This could only be accomplished by inventing a “war on terror” and to pick Sadaam Hussin as the “bad boy on the block” who had to be taken out.  Regrettably and tragically, the target has been the people of Iraq themselves.

This isn’t the policy of justice or compassion; it’s a policy of imperial aggression and thirst for oil and real estate.  This isn’t the demeanor for attending a funeral with a sense of loss and grief and comfort for those who lost loved ones.  Trying to manufacture and manipulate the minds of Iraqis and Americans is indeed a slap in our faces, it’s a kick in the groin, and it’s like spitting in someone’s face.  The Admin’s refusal to dialogue with anti-war groups who wanted to go to DC to communicate their pain and protest is the natural consequence of arrogance and disavowal of America’s black shadow side.

If I absolutely had to make a choice between wearing black mourning clothes or to hang out in the dark shadows of our disowned selves, I think I would choose going to the funeral.  Perhaps after the funeral, I would better understand the shortness of life, and that my mortality can quickly come to an end.  But it shouldn’t come to an end at the end of a gun. Not where peace reigns.

©  Christopher Bear Beam, March 1, 2008

Christopher Bear Beam, MA
Sunbear Community Alliance, DBA
11701B Bayou Bend

Austin, TX 78759
409-392-6063

Sent to Mikal Hutto—03/01/08


 

Prison Dwellers and Lone Sharks

My thoughts drift toward the makings of an entirely new thought for me.
What would a world look like that was unable to co-exist with violence, theft, war, confrontation, genocide, sexual abuse & trauma, and every ism with the purpose and at the expense of a person’s ethos, psychological engineering—well, perhaps if we dream and work together as partners-in-consciousness-architecture along with silent nuances
Prisons originally made their mark in the economic sector, and specifically and tragically for debtors and families who could never, even in good faith, find the means to repay their creditors, and if they couldn’t they were hauled off to the aka the Poor House (alias for prison) Prisons change to “lock up” for anyone who broke the law (considered criminals—some not guilty of the charges, some just an accidental fuck up, some made felons by the state who has a very long elephantine memory—the past will forever follow the “felony path” prisoner, and there are few ways to expunge it from one’s record.

Do walls, fear & intimidation by other inmates, inside-the-walls conduits called gangs, with homeys also on the outside, and prison staff create life and wellness? CONTROL has become like bread, the staff of life, for CONTROL is the only-used model—solitary confinement is reality, not just a name; all these comprise the Modern Racism threading through the Military-Industrial-Technological-Capitalist-Slave-System that feeds off the cheap-inmate labor and merchandising—the State-sponsored exploitative paradigm slithers like the un-sane snake it is—after all, how can this happen except for the fact of one part of the System covering for another part\perish the thought that we could initiate a model or a program that has no precedent whatsoever

Law& Order mentalities stuff the System, along with rules, regulations & infractions are all the new plastic handcuffs that bring it altogether, and make them like shoestring bolts with lightning-fast take-downs; control keeps the inner & outer stressors including anxiety, paranoia, psychoses, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective symptoms and fails to understand that SC* inmates become even more severely mentally ill after SC, and that the System is disappearing inmates into the Land of Control and isolation
Another wound in the organism, a velvet covering wraps a brick, there are no marks only pain or death. Isolation. Non-communication. Enforced silenced aloneness, a perfectly growing & fertilizing tank for a more severe Mental Illness. Image after spending a very long time you are release to the Free World. You have a Mental Illness, and little skills or resources to live on your own
*SC=Solitary Confinement

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Poems-PoemStories-Rants-Raves de la Revolution and Justice

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    • Hey Eye Drop: thanks so much for comment, so we’ll hopefully hear from you again. The concept behind NewBeaRising.wordpress.com website is use it a social media tool or like a community bulletin board. We need more contributors, either sending me a blog, or any kind of Art that we can uses: videos, photos, and anyy oany other edia formats

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