I sent my brother my extra copy of Of Poetry and Protest: from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (WW Norton). He’s thrilled to have it and I am thrilled to be in it. This has been a year where so many Black poets have had to to “yet again” respond to the ongoing violence against our persons and community -vigilantes, police the political elite esp of one party. It’s 2016. Today is the 15 anniversary of the attack on and destruction of the World Trade Center, two edifices that tourists from around the globe seek to see. The irony of that is not lost on me or most New Yorkers.
As I said elsewhere my animus is focused mostly on the men who carried out the attack. They had the opportunity to not murder over 3,000 people. They chose not to. It might have been a matter of belief, but so what. People believe in all kinds of things, worship God or Gods or Goddesses and yet do not kill 3000 people. The event led to many other more horrific ones including America’s invasion of Iraq. Death and destruction continues.
It makes me realize how easy it is to war. To start and sustain conflict and put bodies in place to carry out the orders. The use of drones is just one more measure of the mechanization of this human effort. Whether by a soldier’s hand in combat or hand on a computer screen other humans die. Many other humans.
Peace is hard. Peace is about grown people finding ways to not lash out, not destroy, not manifest rage on somebody else body. And right now few people are ready to wage peace. That the Syrian president-a trained opthamologist is willing to drop chlorine bombs on children tells all of us just how bad the people who wage war want to win. I don’t even know if there is a place in hell for such a “leader”. Or maybe there is a new hell. Peace is hard. And no it will not be in my lifetime that peace will take root, but maybe in my grand nephew’s? I so hope.
Because as LaBelle sang “We need Power” but also “We need love.”
There is a reading of about 15 poets at Jefferson Market Public Library, 10th and 6th avenue, 2-4 p.m. FREE.
Come by. Commemorate.