The Box 69: OLIVE GREEN

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#11
Color: Olive Green
Sept. 12, 2001
Song: "Imagine" John Lennon

9/12/01: I wrote this poem on September 12, 2001, about September 11, 2001, which means we made it through the night.

1/13/11: I'm reprising this in the name of peace (OLIVE) and dedicating it to Ms. Christina Taylor Green (GREEN), born September 11, 2001...died January 8, 2011, and all the victims and loved ones of the shootings in Tucson, Arizona.


Standing At The Edge Of The Grand Canyon: Love In Ten Parts



I.
Love is revolutionary.
War is not.
Killing is not.
The revolution started long before 911.
The revolution is not dressed in red, white, and blue.
The revolution is not robed in a flag made in Taiwan.
The revolution is naked and wide open.

II.
Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon,
I see the depths of beauty as far as the eye can see.
I reach out to touch the other side...
I grab millimeters of air.
In my everyday life
I feel so grand
So big
So strong
I am an American
Big Strong Significant
I am a Woman
I feel big still stronger still
I am Black
I feel big still stronger still
I am a Lesbian
I feel big still stronger still.
I am standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon
And I lose sight of the big strong
And still
I see beauty beyond me
But it is so big.

III.
Love is Revolutionary.
Everyone before me have had theirs:
Struggles,
Movements,
Revolutions.
Is this mine?
This battle...
This war
Against terrorism?
Just like the war against
Drugs,
Illiteracy,
Aids...
Win-able wars?
Not hardly.
How do you fight a war
You can’t win?

Acts of terrorism have been happening since the beginning of time.
Truth is...hard to hear it...
Truth is...hard to see it...
Truth is...can you feel this?
Truth is...ain’t gonna be able to touch this...
Truth is terrorism
Is never terrorism
Except to the victim.
To the people who execute,
Literally,
The act of terrorism,
The act seems justified.
Do we have a justifiable motive now?

I’m so conflicted.
The entire thing is horrible.
Revolution.
Where is love?
The revolution should be to bring peace into the house.
Revolution should be to bring love into the house.

IV.
So, I’m standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon...
Feeling my significance slip from me.
Sliding down the side of the monstrous pit.
A hole.
I am standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon
Seeking significance
And all I find
Is myself shrinking.
Getting smaller.
Feeling weaker.
Race does not matter today.
My gender
or
Who I choose as my lover
Is of no importance.
And as for being an American...
I am scared.

V.
Love is revolutionary.
We got to fix it here.
Ain’t no use in going somewhere else
Findin’ and fightin’.
These cats lived here.
In our backyards.
Next door
They were our neighbors.
Smoking out the enemy?
Well, how do you do that without killin’ me with second hand smoke, dude?
Your answer
Ain’t the answer.

Love is the where the soul of the revolution rest.
Holding my enemy’s hand as I weep
Is revolutionary.
Stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon with me.
Hold my hand and look out
See the rainbow beneath our tears.
That is revolutionary.

VI.
Today, I am standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon
and I am scared.
I am afraid because someone else found me insignificant
BECAUSE I am an American.
I’ve never felt that before.
Never stood that close to the edge.
Barely hanging on
But I will.
I will hang on.
Even if my knuckles bleed
And my bones break
I will hang on.

VII.
Love is Revolutionary.
It takes so much more work to love than to hate.
It is so much more of an investment to love.
Hate is easy.
Something like 911 happen and we cry out, “Eye for an eye!”
How many eyes do we have to lose?
All you can be with no eyes is blind.
“Tooth for a tooth.”
I like my smile too much.

And somewhere God had got to be saying,
“Don’t blame this shit on me!
My thing is revolutionary!”
I’m hard press to believe that love for
Anything
Anyone
Any God
Is on the same path of
Killing
Murdering,
Suicide even.
Living is revolutionary.

VIII.
Standing still on the edge of the Grand Canyon
Holding my enemy’s hand
Ready to jump
Or fall
Or stand still.
Not running away.
Not letting go.
Not being afraid to simply trust.
People trust and fall
In love
All the time
Everyday.
Falling hurts.
Falling is descending
And yet
When falling in love,
It is a rising of the spirit
Of the soul.
That love can make what would seem painful:
Falling...
A cause for rising:
Falling in love...
Is revolutionary.

IX.
So at the edge of the Grand Canyon,
the fear is real.
It is present but it does not change the beauty.
The chaos does not leave me breathless
lifeless.
There is too much to see in the beauty.

X.
Love is revolutionary.
A cause for holding my head up.
I am a soldier.
I am a revolutionary creature.
I am a soldier of the revolutionary sort.
Feel the wrath I come with.
I love fiercely.
My love cuts quick like a machete.
It cuts through the armor of hate.
Piercing the heart.
That’s revolutionary.
The revolution is now.
The order has been given:
Love.


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