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July 9th, 2012 / 6:13 pm
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A Li$t of Our Fucking Demand$

The Feeling is Mutual: A Li$t of Our Fucking Demand$ is an anthology edited by Sara Wintz, designed by Michael Cross and Stephen Novotny. All proceeds from the purchase of the anthology go towards supporting Small Press Traffic, the esteemed Bay Area nonprofit organization.

The anthology features writing from Jamie Townsend, Andrew Kenower, Zack Tuck, Lauren Levin, Dan Thomas Glass, Anne Lesley Selcer, David Buuck, Alana Seigel, Alli Warren, Paul Ebenkamp, Cassie Smith, Kevin Killian and many others.

Each participant was asked:

“+hey: what do you want?+

-a partner?
-a baby?
-an end to capitalism?
-a job that <3s you?
-a family that <3s you?
-free healthcare?
-student loan forgiveness?
-to be able to get married?
-a government that pays for art?
-an audience/readership?
-a bike?
-a chicken coop?

let’s try to write it out, take a picture of it, draw a picture of it, journal about it… and then let’s make a book out of our unique and special demands.”

Here are some of their replies:

 

My Brown Paper Bag by Janey Smith

1. to write one phrase on a small strip of paper each

2. to put each small strip of paper inside a brown paper bag

3. to write “I want” on brown paper bag

4. to put brown paper bag on steps of city hall

 

a baby crab to climb up my leg a pond that reflects a falling star a distant door pulled shut a toy pail a barren branch where a raven is perched bright bronze leaves clouds that occasionally make me relax glowing air burnt up from last night snow in May people, words, people a thief who vanishes over rooftops three clouds a boat like lightning birds singing in the dark a small bed to sleep with you your behind covered in cherry blossoms to lean in a doorway and whistle a drowned mouse blossoms on the water floating leaving swift empty chairs a traveling man’s needlework the sun to go out a laughing face that it is not spring dead birds next to tomatoes only the sound of soft grass to see your small feet to take a leisurely pee in lush sprouting grass a feather a head of cabbage a watermelon rind to slip on as I dance a snail that passes me by to sit on a bench with you all those pigeons twigs that tinge the summer sky lightning flash dog on a chain spring rain empty shopping malls a roaring furnace a diver who brings up the body the silence of a cold night each grass leaf distinct before the storm fluttering moths against the window a small ceremony ferns uncurling between the river rocks a long night to feel the beach beneath my shoes rain . . . washing away capital a first love by moonlight to hear working people laugh in a single color a secret night rendezvous the shadow of a candle . . . the shadow of its smoke a steady fall of rain the scent of lilacs not a breath of air scattered stars to pick bugs off the moon far fireworks sounding

 

otherwise

 

not a thing

 

Amy Berkowitz

 

Lauren Levin

I want a world where justice doesn’t serve the interests of the wealthy, the powerful.

I want a world where justice could never be interpreted to mean putting people in cages.

I want a method of inquiry that would work to bring justice out of the air, out of actions, out of people’s voices, articulations, and cries (‘the right to the city is a cry and a demand’).

I want this justice to be constantly shifting and adjusting to what’s happening.  Not a rigid abstract principle.  Not above, but among, around.

I want a world that doesn’t conceive of democracy as self-willed individuals (and their wallets) battling it out in the marketplace.  But one that asks, what do you need in order to speak?  I want a world that feels the need of others as obligation, and strives to meet that obligation.

I want a world where everyone has what they need to survive and breathe and relax and eat good food and enjoy luxurious music and decadent art.

I want a world of mutual support for child-rearing, where people of all genders are responsible for raising children, where communities are responsible for raising children.  And where that responsibility grows from desire in those who undertake it.

I want a world that abhors cruelty.  I want a world that would be dismayed and horrified by the principle that economic growth comes before human, animal, and planetary life.

I want that mechanism of inquiry that creates social justice to also be a mechanism that helps people bind their wants together into a force for change.  That demystifies and collectivizes, while also listening.

I want my control of my own body and means of reproduction to be self-evident.  Beyond self-evident.  (I want that for every other person, too.)

I want to not have to fear militarized police forces.  I want species diversity to be protected.  I want enough to be enough.  I want breathing room.  I want an end to a system that rewards a predatory approach to other humans (predatory lending, student debt, exploiting workers for profit margins).  I want to not be embarrassed by what I want.  I want the jubilee.  I want oceans of time.

I want an end to all the methods, all the tricks of the trade, that hide or otherwise obscure exploitation.  No hiding things, no calling them other than what they are.  No saying ‘those people aren’t really people and they deserved what they got’:  no homophobia, nationalism, racism, or sexism; no banning journalists from prisons, no solitary confinement, no sentencing disparities, no lawyers who fall asleep during death row trials; no drone strikes, no national security, no computer wars or star wars; no discourse about the bad mother or the lazy worker or the job creators or the deserving poor.

I want the escrache for all our bankers, warlords, and profiteers.  I want to escrache the people who profit off tax boondoggles for sports stadiums and sit in luxury boxes without a whit of shame.

I want my pleasure, leisure, and enjoyment not to come at the cost of exploiting and degrading others.  (But I also want my pleasure, leisure, and enjoyment.)

I want to see Prince perform at a small venue.

I want universal health care.

I want the feminist city.

 

What I Want by Kevin Killian, with words by Jack Spicer

I wanted to dig a pitfall

Only you could fall into.

I wanted to tell you

That there is innocence too

I want to stay at your edge

Flower of love

Poor Narcissus

I want the river lost from its bed

I want the wind lost from its valleys

I want the night to be there without eyes

And my heart without the golden flower

Dad

I want your voice.

But I want to hear the words from your mouth—that’s what one unsurprised part of me demands—like when they didn’t have any way to write them down and they had to be chanted around a fire in a cave or a banquet hall.

What I am, I want, asks everything of everyone, is by degrees a ghost.

I want to begin with a rope.

Human contact.  All I have missed growing

These thirty three years.

Where is the football team?  I want to listen to the radio.

I want that the dead to have genitals like the living.  I want to see great poets.

I want his more important loves, his rightful demon.

The moon rises

All over the world.  The door said

I want to give you metaphors

For your poetry.

 

Sara Wintz lives in Oakland, California. Her writing has appeared in Jacket6×6The Poetry Project NewsletterTry!Physical PoetsModel Homes and on Ceptuetics. She previously worked as an editor of INVISIBLY TIGHT INSTITUTIONAL OUTER FLANKS DUB (verb) GLORIOUS NATIONAL HI-VIOLENCE RESPONSE DREAM: New Writing from the US + UK (2008) and a contributing editor for UDP’s Emergency Index (2011). Her first book, WALKING ACROSS A FIELD WE ARE FOCUSED ON AT THIS TIME NOW, is forthcoming also from Ugly Duckling Presse.

 

Michael Cross is the author of In Felt Treeling (Chax, 2008) and Haecceities (Cuneiform Press, 2010) and editor of Compline and On: Contemporary Practice (w/ Thom Donovan). Other projects include Involuntary Vision: after Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (Avenue B, 2003), Building is a process / Light is an element: Essays and Excursions for Myung Mi Kim (Queue Books, 2008), and a forthcoming edition of the George Oppen Memorial Lectures at San Francisco State. He lives in Oakland where he studies 21st century poetry.

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