I wish I had something pithy or profound to say about the Ferguson ruling, but like many of you I am simply heartbroken, angry, and at the same time not surprised. What I can say–as someone who was born into a lineage of radicals, as someone who joined aggressive direct action political groups at an early age, as someone who was brutalized by the police, and as someone who has managed to maintain that spirit of resistance to affect change for over 20 years without being crushed by despair or being burnt out by rage–is that love is the most sustainable wellspring for action.

——

AGAINST THE POLICE
by Miguel James

My entire Oeuvre is against the police
If I write a Love poem it’s against the police
And if I sing the nakedness of bodies I sing against the police
And if I make this Earth a metaphor I make a metaphor against the police
If I speak wildly in my poems I speak against the police
And if I manage to create a poem it’s against the police
I haven’t written a single word, a verse, a stanza that isn’t against the police
All my prose is against the police
My entire Oeuvre
Including this poem
My whole Oeuvre
Is against the police.

Dear Santa ...

[Cleaning out some old boxes, I just found this note in my mom’s handwriting that I dictated when I was seven.]

Dear Santa Claus,

I want you to come here to Christmas. How are you doing? I’m fine.

I want a Mickey Mouse clock and a Minnie Mouse switch, cowboy clothes, some candy, more plastic people, a dinosaur, a rubber spaceship, a large rubber man, new slippers, a large smurf set or elf set, rubber alligator, spider and snake.

Thank you. That’s all I want!

JANAKA

p.s. I would also like an electric motorcycle to ride outside.

All poets want to be rock stars and all rock stars want to be poets

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Thrilled to be mentioned in Rolling Stone yesterday. I’m even more thrilled to be performing this weekend for Third Man Records at the Newport Folk Festival, with fellow poets Chet Weise, Zachary Schomburg, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Sampson Starkweather, Paige Taggart and Kendra Decolo.

For more on the anthology that we’re all published in (and to order it!), check out the Third Man Records/Books announcement HERE.

Found an old notebook today, a journal entry from when I was 25, and an undertaker:

I’m not good at social interactions with people. I feel awkward saying “thank you” or being generous. But I can say things to the dead that I can’t say to the living. I can be with them … simple, caring …

I can say, “We’re going to make you look good.”

I have so much love inside me.

When I am with them alone I become natural and sincere—I am myself more than anywhere else.

The dead’s gift to me is their willingness to be loved.

Updated 2014 Readings

Here’s a short list of confirmed dates for the first half of 2014, also updated on my Live Appearances page. Boston, Seattle, Iowa City, Chicago, and New York: I don’t want your love unless you know I am repulsive,and love me even as you know it…

2/14. Brookline, MA. BASH series. Brookline Booksmith. w/ Gillian Devereux, and J. Hope Stein.

2/27. Seattle, WAAWP Conference. Ping Pong & Poetry Crush reading. The Butterfly Lounge. Other readers TBA.

3/15. Boston, MA. Mr. Hip Presents. UFORGE Gallery. Other performers TBA.

4/5. Iowa City, IAMission Creek Festival. Black Ocean & Third Man Records event. Other performers TBA.

6/14. Chicago, ILDollhouse Reading Series. w/ Carrie Olivia Adams, and Paige Ackerson-Kiely.

6/24. New York City, NYNew York City Poetry Festival. Governor’s Island, main stage. Other readers TBA.

Happy Halloween: 10 Dead Poets I would F*#K

I wrote a love poem to Clarice Lispector for Poetry Crush’s third annual Halloween feature, “10 Dead Poets (I would fuck).” You can read the whole supernatural orgy HERE.

Also, if you’d like to read my love poem to Jean Genet, you can find that poem in my post from November of last year HERE, as well as in last year’s feature on poetrycrush.com HERE.