Category Archives: kids

Bland Warm Beer

Bland Warmbier

Sandra Bland & Otto Warmbier are
Obverse sides of the law-&-order coin
One’s intercontinental travel went far
The other got the role of oppressed toy

Both existences are tragic stories:
Good people done in by crooked systems
Their tales of injustice tired & hoary:
They might well be Old Testament lessons

But our media will defend but one
Defending the undefendable way
Our brutal racist system deals with some
Lamenting Otto Warmbier’s sad display

So as you surf the internet notice
How racism is a given: know this!

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Black Comic Book Festival (2014)

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I went to the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center yesterday. That was pretty fun and interesting. I think I’d like to get the experimental self-published book by the author Keith Miller (Sigmund’s Friend) suggested. He recommended Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond but I want to read Koontown Killing Kaper, which the author described as a parodic look into hip-hop-risy ala Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada. If this is the new stripe of self-publication I think I want to note and celebrate it.

The comic that most interested me in theory was (H)afrocentric. I Saw Juliana “Jewels” Smith in the “Black Women in Comics” Panel at the Black Comic Festival at the Schomburg Center.  I had a really good time going there and I see in what Ms. Smith has done as something akin to what I want to do, which is create a student led, written and illustrated
 of a composition course. I read her book and I found it inspired and simultaneously hard to follow. I think that the problem is that her scripts were not complete. Perhaps Jewels could write a better script so that more of the inside insight (& jokes) were clearer. Of course the last thing I want to do is hit her with a critique, before I’ve established a good relationships.

(h)Afrocentric (in issue 3) raises all of the issues I have been thinking about vis-a-vis gentrification, race and education in the East Bay. It is a fine wish fulfilment book, not unlike the Mickey Rooney Judy Garland confections of old. (The protagonist Ally [allie?], an inveterate do-gooder wants to put on a show to save her neighbor from a rapacious clean-streets policy that will steal property for perceived blight.) It reminds me of a less developed IncogNegro. It is a progressive wish fulfilment centered on my old East Bay home (Before student housing in Albany I lived on 45th St between MLK and West St in Oakland).

I really like her cast of characters (well drawn by the artist Ronnie Nelson who brings them to (2D) life). The characters are like a smart group of friends I had while I was working on my Ph.D in the East Bay, with a quip a minute and a collective ADHD because of our lack of a leader like Ally.

The panels are full of witty asides like the Rosetta Stone Language system that the homeowner facing foreclosure is selling to keep the wolf from the door in an AmWay-like capitalist self help scheme that includes “Geraldo Rivera” and a cruel joke about his thin-masculinity. Ronald Reagan College was a perfect slice at Prop-13 California. I wish these were better developed in the script with more explanation about how they fit in with the meta-narrative that hints at “Winter in America.”

I look forward to more and more of this interesting title.

 

Christmas In My World

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40. The perfect Christmas/
Is the blemished one we make/
With good intentions/
#haiku

12/25/13

42. Paint Christmas on dawn/
Make this day a special treat/
In memory’s spread/
#haiku

12/25/13

43. Christmas morning’s treat:/
Not the gifts given to you/
But the gifts you give/
#haiku

44b. The joy of others/
Makes the time & effort spent/
A small price to pay/
#haiku

45. Tangible presents/
Reap memories eternal/
Intangible wealth/
#haiku

46b. The true ritual:/
Of Santa’s solstice presents/
Is relationships/
#haiku

47. When nights are longest/
We all gather, feast and play/
Remembering joy/
#haiku

48. Treasures we treasure/
Are the families we love/
Who accept our gifts/
#haiku

49. Christmas ritual:/
Rejuvenating fam’lies’/
Love for each other/
#haiku

50. I hope you found love/
In the wrappings of excess/
We share at this time/
#haiku

51. Christmas was perfect/
‘Cause primitive rituals/
Outweigh my beliefs/
#haiku

52. While no one’s perfect/
We can create perfection/
By being human/
#haiku

53. Watching each other/
Enjoying our company/
You can see the love/
#haiku

54. My Christmas fun/
Because I accepted love/
As it was given/
#haiku

55. I hope your Christmas/
Deepened your ability/
To love & be loved/
#haiku

Selfies, Comicon, Cosplay & Desire

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Selfie Haiku Cosplay thoughts
Thursday before class I thought:

1. What is the pleasure/
That we derive from looking?/
What are its effects?/
#haiku

2. Does what we look at/
Suffer any damages/
From desirous gaze?/
#haiku

3. Is anything gained/
From being beauty’s object?/
(Or just the lookers?)/
#haiku

4. What if the beauty/
Comes from clever artifice/
Not biology?/
#haiku

During class on Friday a couple of students argued that selfies, even sexy selfies are not created with pornification in mind. They are made so that the takers can celebrate a day that they felt good about how they looked (of course the porn aesthetic might still be in their double consciousness).

At Comicon on Sunday I went to the comix chix panel assembled by Kate Kotler and I learned about cosplay and people’s motives for dressing up. These haiku combine these related thoughts.

5. Beautiful selfies/
Young women take themselves/
Aren’t “pornography”/
#haiku

6. Some derive pleasure/
Of a prurient nature/
(That’s accidental)/
#haiku

7. Selfies are taken/
To remember that moment/
Keep a night’s beauty/
#haiku

8. Lookers may see porn/
In women’s youthful beauty’s/
Like having Black skin/
#haiku

9. Racists and sexists/
Minimize humanity/
To control the world/
#haiku

10. Obscuring beauty/
To avoid pleasuring pervs/
Lets sexism win/
#haiku

11. Racism won’t end/
When Blacks act just like white folk/
Just like the burqa/
#haiku

12. Police sexism/
Privilege’s deviance/
Is the problem here/
#haiku

13. Selfies like Cosplay/
Are innocent engagement/
In this modern world/
#haiku

14. Lets raise up the floor/
Not lower this world’s ceiling/
On Internet geeks*/
#haiku *girls, life

15. Selfies and Cosplay/
Have parallel importance/
The self and other/
#haiku

16. Personal actions/
Amplified by Internet/
Still people’s choices/
#haiku

17. We should not limit/
Ourselves for those imprisoned/
By pre-fab desire/
#haiku

Sledding in Woodside Queens 2013

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35. Sledding in Woodside/
With the people of the world/
Human gravity/
#haiku
http://bit.ly/V7d1pW

2/10/13

50. The snowy hillside/
In Woodside’s Doughboy playground/
Is peppered with fun/
#haiku

51. Here Colombians/
Bengalis, Tibetans as/
Americans slide/
#haiku

52. Snowy experience/
ReCaptured digitally/
Are sent to tropics/
#haiku

53. iPad made movies/
Of happy Americans/
Are sent far away/
#haiku

54. Woman with hijab/
Gucci covered iPad films/
Her smiling children/
#haiku

55. Korean father/
Roars down the tree covered hill/
Ecstatically loud/
#haiku

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56. Mexican fam’ly/
Unloads children & their sleds/
Then tackle papí/
#haiku

57. Americans all/
We enjoy democracy/
Of our acceptance/
#haiku

36. Sledding with children/
Overshot my playfulness/
Collided with age/
#haiku

37. Clenching rope handles/
Spinning beyond all control/
Damaged ring finger/
#haiku

38. Regretting my ride/
Because I injured myself/
Shows a lack of faith/
#haiku

39. Staying young inside/
More important than safety/
For immortal* souls/
#haiku *eternal

40. Aging bodies recede/
To within our comfort zone/
Abandoning youth/
#haiku

41. Aches and troubles/
Of old immaturity/
Are truly priceless/
#haiku

42. Youthfulness’s worth/
Though dangerous to old men/
Keeps their spirits fresh/
#haiku

43. Adventure’s value/
Is an internal journey/
Exploring within*/
#haiku *our souls

44. The pains in my body/
Temporarily remind/
My mind I’m alive/
#haiku

45. This throbbing finger/
Beats the rhythm of my heart/
Where I can feel it/
#haiku

46. I regret nothing/
Because I’m educated/
By experience/
#haiku

47. While I don’t like pain/
It reminds me I’m alive/
Here to live for now/
#haiku

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48. Wedding tourniquet/
The ring keeps my red blood in/
The heart of my life/
#haiku

49. Ring’s Symbol becomes/
An active agent in life/
I cherish it so/
#haiku

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Suspended in Now

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11. Visit principal/
Over our suspended son/
Angry at school, boy/
#haiku

12. Defiance conforms/
To the personalities/
Confined by the rules/
#haiku

13. Supporting your child/
Sometimes means backing his school/
‘Gainst his righteousness/
#haiku

14. Resent procedure/
Of institutional might/
Still we require rules/
#haiku

15. Lines between “Ego”/
& organization’s needs/
Blurred by insecure/
#haiku

16. Rules offer guidelines/
But can be crude instruments/
When Ego’s involved/
#haiku

17. Papers need grading/
Though some students aren’t learning/
No matter the score/
#haiku

18. My Ego’s involved/
My prejudices stirred up/
Obedience rules/
#haiku

19. Accepting the rules/
From both sides of equation/
Will repress* Ego/
#haiku *stifle

20. Life is a blessing/
That is too hot to contain/
In neat containers/
#haiku

21a. Suspended in Now/
We struggle with G_d’s agar/
That keeps us alive/
#haiku

21b. Suspended in Now/
We submit to G_d’s agar/
That keeps us alive/
#haiku

Shooting Haikus

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Shooting Haikus

1. These shootings are tests/
Rorschach ink-blot projections/
Of our inner thoughts/
#haiku

2. Interpret these deaths/
Through ideological/
Political lens/
#haiku

3. Counter-factual/
Solutions to passed problems/
Is all we offer/
#haiku

4. Obsessing on death/
Like air-brushed celebrity/
We fetishized it/
#haiku

6. Killers want some fame/
“Meaning” that evaded them/
In our modern “life”/
#haiku

7. Spectacular death/
Revenge against all living/
Fights meaninglessness/
#haiku

8. Oversized living/
Broadcast to sell production*/
Overshadows “life”/
#haiku *the famous

9. The G_dless marriage:/
Fame & consumerism/
Belittle our lives/
#haiku

10. These belittled lives/
fight for relevant meaning/
(But some wackos snap)/
#haiku

12. Spectacle shootings/
Attract eyes to TV screens/
Without any “content”/
#haiku

13. Prurient int’rest/
In destruction & murder/
Gets lower angels/
#haiku

14. Our basest thinking/
Revenge, power, victory/
Acted out by guns/
#haiku

15. We can’t look away/
From the horror we create/
By watching TV/
#haiku

16. Satellite trucks come/
Beaming local horror up/
For media wealth/
#haiku

17. Like flies to a corpse/
Media shows tragedy/
Death’s their business plan/
#haiku

18. Expertly made up/
Talking heads perform our grief/
Knowing what’s needed/
#haiku

19. “The Ace in the Hole”/
Profiting off of sadness/
Advances careers/
#haiku

20. We watch ’cause we care/
& their tragedy highlights/
Our lives’ plain goodness/
#haiku

21. Chiaroscuro/
Out of the darkness some light/
On our common lives/
#haiku