(Even more wild than usual, though we are definitely trending in this direction)
John Clabaugh and Diana Buchanan and I get together almost every morning. We call ourselves “Diana and the Merry Pranksters”. We were together this morning, when John – who is a certifiable wild man and inspires Diana and I to greater wildness – said,
“I went to this workshop at Jubilee! yesterday about racism – and the facilitator told us that ‘we should be angry about this about racism’ and ‘we should be angry about that about racism’. And I went to that place like a good little participant: I got angry. But then they didn’t give us any way to release the anger and I sat there with the anger for the rest of the workshop and I’m still angry today. I want to do something with it.”
“You, Mr. Poet”, John says to me – “You should write a poem that uses the 5 Rhythms we use in the ecstatic dancing world. It would build slow, hit a crescendo – where we can release our anger at racism – and then relax back down.”
I got excited about this and said “Yes, let’s do it at Jubilee!, that will be awesome. I’m doing a gift on December 1, describing my recent waking up process – but we could do this in the next quarter, when I can perform again. Maybe March or April.”
John says “I don’t wanna do it in March or April! I want to do it now! Right now, right here! I have this anger right now! Let’s do it now!”
My first reaction (in my head) was:
“Now, right now? No – I’m barely awake yet. Two hours ago I thought I was desperately depressed! I can’t generate a spontaneous poem right here.”
My second reaction was:
‘This is so fucking exciting! I have to do this!”
And so – there around this picnic bench outside of Trade and Lore coffee shop across from Jubilee!, on Wall St., we went there. I generated a spontaneous poem and John and Diana generated the sound effects. I improvised a true story about my life with racism – starting with my sleepy, lily-white suburb…building all the way up to the complete insanity of the police riot outside of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Tear gas!!! Mace!!! Billy clubs!!! “They’re trying to kill us!!!”
John and Diana release the anger that I am referring to in the poem I am creating – with lots of bizarre noises, wild gestures and generally a lot of volume. Passers-by are swinging further and further around our little table :).
And then we move into the “lyrical” – happy – 4th Rhythm. And before we can ever get to the 5th Rhythm, stillness, we are all laughing hysterically. This was so much fucking fun!!
It has made me happy all day. Every time I remember our little scene, I get happy. Look for John and Diana and I to take the whole Jubilee Community through a new ecstatic poem and new process of ecstatic release of our anger – all of us in the Celebration Room that day – about racism, at both Jubilee celebrations on December 15.