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The New Barbarians

12.23.06 @ 02:08:15 pacific

In permanent progress/as of December 2006

A declaration of poetic disobedience from the New Border

This text was originally written in 2003 as a response to the Invasion of Iraq and the war on terror. My original goal was to map out a new territory in terms of “we” and “them”. It was also homage to the voices of Pablo Neruda, the Beat Poets, Martin Luther King, Kathie Acker and Brown Buffalo. This particular version was re-written in the winter of 2006 and is considerably different from the original.

(GP facing the ceiling of the gallery, theater or auditorium while chanting in tongues.)

1.-To the Masterminds of Paranoid Nationalism
I say, we say:
“We,” the Other people
We, the migrants, exiles, nomads & wetbacks
in permanent process of voluntary deportation
We, the transient orphans of dying nation-states
la otra America; l’autre Europe y anexas
We, the citizens of the outer limits and crevasses
of “Western civilization”
We, who have no government;
no flag or national anthem
We, the New Barbarians
We, fingerprinted, imprisoned, under surveillance
We, interracial lovers,
children of interracial lovers, ad infinitum
We, in constant flux,
from Patagonia to Alaska,
from Juarez to Ramalla,
We millions abound,
defying your fraudulent polls & statistics
We continue to talk back
(Shamanic tongues)

2.-To those up there who make dangerous decisions for mankind
I say, we say:
We, the homeless, faceless vatos aquellos
in the great American metropolis
little Mexico, little Cambodia, little purgatory
We, the West Bank & Gaza strip of Gringolandia
We, the unemployed, who work so pinche hard
so you don’t have to work that much
We, whose taxes send your CEOs & armies
on vacation to the South
We, evicted from your gardens & beaches
We, within your system, without your mercy
We, w/out health or car insurance,
w/out bank accounts & credit cards,
We, the 7th generation; the 4th world
patiently waiting for Ixtaccihuatl to wake up
We, scared shitless at ground level,
but only at ground level
(Shamanic tongues)
I speak, therefore we continue to be together.

3.-To the Lords of Censorship & Intolerance
I say, we say:
We, mud people, snake people, tar people
We, bohemians walking on millennial thin ice
Our bodies pierced, tattooed, martyred, scarred
Our skin covered with hieroglyphs & flaming questions
We, Living Museum of Modern Oddities & Sacred Monsters
We, vatos cromados y chucas neo-barrocas
We, indomitable drag queens, transcendental putas
waiting for love and better conditions in the shade
We, “subject matter” of fringe documentaries
We, the Hollywood refusniks,
the greaser bandits & holy outlaws
of advanced Capitalism
We, without guns, without Bibles
We, who never pray to the police or to the army
We, who never kissed the hand of a bishop or a curator
We, who barter and exchange favors & talismans
We, who still believe in community, another community,
a much stranger and wider community
We, community of illness, madness & dissent
community of horny angels & demons
We, frail and defiant; permanently outraged but always tender
We shape your desire while you contract our services
to postpone the real discussion
We, the artists & intellectuals who still don’t wish to comply
We, bastard children of two humongous nuns:
“heterodoxia” e “iconoclastia”
We, who talk back in rarefied symbols & metaphors
against the corruption of formalized religion & art
We, the urban monks who pray in tongues & rap in Esperanto
We, who put on masks, penachos & wigs to shout
We, standing still in our underwear
right in the center of the stage
with the words carved on our chests:
“Performance artist: will bleed for food”
“Obsessive artist: will die for one idea”
We, critical brain mass
fuga inminente de cerebros y hormonas
spoken word profética, sintética
We continue to talk back…talk back…tack back…
(Shamanic tongues)

4.-To those who are as afraid of us as we are of them
I say, we say:
We, who have no name whatsoever in the news
We, edited out, pixilated, censored, postponed
We, beyond the video frame, behind the caution tape
We, tabloid subject matter par excellence
We, involuntary actors of “The Best of Cops”
eternally stalking mythical blonds in the parking lot,
We, mistaken identities in your computer memory
We, generic brown & black males who fit all
taxonomic descriptions
We, black & brown nude bodies in the morgue
Taxidermied bodies in the Museum of Mankind
We, prime targets of ethnic profiling & capital punishment
We, one strike & we’re out
We, prisoners of consciousness without a trial
We, of the turban, burka, sombrero, bandana, leather pants
We surround your neon architecture
While you call the FBI, the NSA and “Homeland Security”
Yes, we are equally scared of one another
(Shamanic tongues)

5.-To the share-holders of mono-culture
I say, we say:
We, matriots not patriots
We, Americans with foreign accents
We, bilingual, polylingual, cunnilingual,
We, los otros del mas allá
del otro lado de la línea y el puente
We, lingua poluta, disoluta,
rapeando border mistery; a broader history
We, mistranslated señorita, eternally mispronounced
We, lost and found in the translation
lost & found between the layers of my words
We, Americans in the largest sense of the term
(from the many other Americas)
We, from Patagonia to Alaska
From Sao Paolo to New York
We, in cahoots with the original Americans
who speak hundreds of beautiful languages
incomprehensible to you
We (tongues)
We, in cahoots with dozens of millions of displaced
Latinos, Arabs, blacks & Asians
who live so far away from their land
(Shamanic tongues)
We speak therefore you cease to be
even if only for a moment
I am, US, you sir, no ser
Nosotros seremos
Nosotros, we stand not united
We, matriots not patriots
We feel utter contempt for your myopia
& when we talk back, you become tongue-tied
(Shamanic tongues)

6.-To the masters and apologists of war
I say, we say:
We, rebels, not mercenaries like you
We, labeled “extremists” for merely disagreeing with you
We, caught in the crossfire,
between Christian fear & Muslim rage,
We, a thinking majority against unilateral stupidity
against preemptive strikes & premature ejaculation
We reject your arms sales & oil deals
We distrust your orange alert & your white privilege
We oppose the Patriot Act patrioticamente
the largest surveillance system ever,
the biggest prison complex to date
We, who are never polled by Fox News
who never get to debate those TV pundits
We, whose opinions are never on the front page
of your morning paper
We did not vote for you,
do not support your wars,
do not believe in your Infinite Justice
We demand your total TOTAL withdrawal
from our minds and bodies ipso-facto
(Shamanic tongues much longer)
And when we speak in tongues, you evaporate.

(Finally facing the audience)
We, baaaad poetry,
We, (Tongues)
We, (Tongues)
We, (Tongues)
We, the shamans exorcising Enron
los brujos against Microsoft
poetas solitarios contra Wal-Mart
dervishes under the arches of McDonalds
We, the ghosts of the past
in cahoots with the future warriors
We, in cahoots with all innocent civilians killed
on both sides of the useless War on Terror
We, nosotros, going crazy to remain sane
literally dying for new ideas
performing against all odds
dancing on the edge of a crater
We, Western World imploding disfunctionalia
We, history’s final chapter…stop!
We dedicate these burning words
to our homeboys and homegirls;
the rejects of all dysfunctional communities
embarked on a great political campaign
against the enemies of difference
(Shamanic tongues)
I speak, we speak, therefore we continue to be together
even if only in the realm of the poetic
if only for the duration of this most unusual mass

Thank you for being with me tonight.
Now, should we all scream at the count of 3
as an expression of savage tenderness?


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