Monday, July 22, 2013

Tonight! Centering All Bodies Yoga

I've been spending the last few Monday nights at my friend Desi's free community yoga class. Please share the flyer below. For some reason a Google search for "Oakland Peace Center"shows a place on Market Street-- don't be fooled! It's actually near Lake Merritt

Centering All Bodies Yoga
A Free Community Class
Monday Nights - 7:00pm-8:30pm
Oakland Peace Center 
111 Fairmount Avenue
Oakland 94611 

It has been one week since the verdict came down in Florida. During last week's class, we heard helicopters trolling the Trayvon Martin gatherings in Oscar Grant Plaza. It may be no different this week. While there is so much to be angry about, so much to fight for, it is as important as ever to address the needs of our bodies. 
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare. - Audre Lorde

Monday, July 15, 2013

Letter to the Local Police by June Jordan

Who gets to belong in a neighborhood? Who can get hunted down and pushed out? Who decides who has the right to live?

Read this poem a collection of June Jordan's poetry called Naming Our Destiny. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Saratoga Springs, as of the 2010 Census, is 90% white. I couldn't find what the demographic was in the 1970s when this poem was published, but I can guess it wasn't much different then.

Letter to the Local Police
by June Jordan
Dear Sirs: 
I have been enjoying the law and order of our
community throughout the past three months since
my wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneous
photographs of the six grandchildren belonging to
our previous neighbors (with whom we were very
close) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearly
prospering under your custody 
Indeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite my
vigilant casting about, I have been unable to discover
a single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,
much less complaint 
You may easily appreciate, then, how it is that
I write to your office, at this date, with utmost
regret for the lamentable circumstances that force
my hand 
Speaking directly to the issue of the moment:
I have encountered a regular profusion of certain
unidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,
and according to no perceptible control, approximately
one quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southern
To be specific, there are practically thousands of
the aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riot
of wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and only
the Good Lord Himself can say what diverse soliciting
of promiscuous cross-fertilization 
As I say, these roses, no matter what the apparent
background, training, tropistic tendencies, age,
or color, do not demonstrate the least inclination
toward categorization, specified allegiance, resolute
preference, consideration of the needs of others, nor
any other minimal traits of decency 
May I point out that I did not assiduously seek out
this colony, as it were, and that these certain
unidentified roses remain open to viewing even by
children, with or without suitable supervision 
(My wife asks me to append a note as regards the season but
nevertheless seriously licentious
phenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one may
apprehend at the corner of Nelson and Main 
However, I have recommended that she undertake direct
correspondence with you, as regards this: yet
another civic disturbance in our midst) 
I am confident that you will devise and pursue
appropriate legal response to the roses in question
If I may aid your efforts in this respect, please
do not hesitate to call me into consultation 
Respectfully yours,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Justice Today

It is a heavy day. I am thinking about the little boy who lives across the street. To some people, he was born a statistic, he is already a threat. I wonder whether he has seen the news. He is probably less than ten years old. As young as he is, I am sure he has some understanding of what the verdict means.

I wonder whether his parents have already decided never to let him wear a hooded sweatshirt or walk alone to the corner store because he might be hunted down and killed.

Again, we have affirmation that the system in place in this country places little value on black and brown bodies, whether it's through imprisonmentsterilization, or outright killing.

I am thirsty for some kind of justice. And I know that it is hardly enough.
Trayvon Martin is dead—and so many young men like him are dead or in prison—because in America it was his responsibility to take it. It was his responsibility to let a stranger with a gun follow him at night in his own neighborhood and suspect him of wrongdoing. It was his responsibility to apologize for being a black kid who scared people. It was not George Zimmerman’s responsibility to let a boy get home to his family. 
- Cord Jefferson, "The Zimmerman Jury Told Young Black Men What We Already Know"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Topsy Turvy Queer Circus

The 8PM show was sold out, with people lined up at Brava Theater around the block. Fifteen (?) acts of queer circus amazingness with a high concentration of steaminess as well.
Don't worry most of the folks in this picture can be caught performing around the Bay Area. 
Body Waaves at Ships in the Night (Photo credit: Elisa Shea)
Rumor has it there's going to be another Topsy Turvy Queer Circus in next year's National Queer Arts Festival. Oh, yes.