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As former GPI poet now living in sunny Australia, I would like to congratulate all of you for making GPI as big as it is today.

Shahid, Laurie, Jessica, and the rest of you, you rule.

I'm including here addresses to my own writings, which I've continued as a new husband and father:

http://ibshambat7.blogspot.com (weblog)

http://www.geocities.com/ilya_shambat2005/poems.htm (poetry)

http://www.myspace.com/ibshambat (my space)

http://www.geocities.com/ilya_shambat2005 (translations)

Hope you continue growing and become the next big thing in poetry and politics!

The GPI has been staying active despite wrapping up the DuPont Circle lyrical ambushes for the winter. We host the weekly open mic at Busboys & Poets from time to time (most recently on October 30), and also did a joint set with singer/songwriter/Ukele-hip-hop artist Jon Brahman at a group house in Mt. Pleasant on November 20.

Opportunities to perform still abound, and we're specifically looking for someone to take over compiling events from our calendar to distribute weekly to 700 subscribers on our listserv. Hollah at us if you're down at dcguerrillapoetry-discuss@lists.riseup.net!

Also, just to keep your inspiration flowing, check out this article in The New York Times:

Art . . . did not arise to spotlight the few, but rather to summon the many to come join the parade — a proposal not surprisingly shared by our . . . teacher . . . . Through singing, dancing, painting, telling fables of neurotic mobsters who visit psychiatrists, and otherwise engaging in what Ms. Dissanayake calls “artifying,” people can be quickly and ebulliently drawn together, and even strangers persuaded to treat one another as kin. Through the harmonic magic of art, the relative weakness of the individual can be traded up for the strength of the hive, cohered into a social unit ready to take on the world.

The Cake Bar still has openings for poets to read at its upcoming event, Sweet Potato Soul, which will feature Thanksgiving themed poetry readings and spoken word performances.  Each poet will be reading one Thanksgiving themed poem and one poem of choice.  If you're interested, contact Carla at contact@thecakebarandlounge.com and include a sample of your poetry.

Go, Musharraf, go!
That's how my flow goes
so learn what happened if you don't already know

Pakistan needs to see democracy
we need sanity
to help preserve humanity

the vanity of America's fading empire
means only that the rubble will pile higher
kick the liars and the cronies out of power.

Shower.
Wash your hands of the master's plan.
Attack Iran?  What makes 'em think we can?

Cheney's high-rollin' for 30 years with no plan,
chickenhawks say we need to invade
but talks ain't even started, and there's peace parades

They want more war, but why listen to them?
They started a quagmire and will do it again.
To stop the next war, brother, pick up your pen.

Beloved friend, son, lover, brother.

Henry Moses

henry.jpg

I had an idea… it's a strech, but what if – that famous what if – in the city where government sleeps, sometimes they get a coffee. What if there were a network of guerrilla poets that were mobilized for impromptu mobile debates with representatives and their aides? The every-man-joe spotter TXTS a number and everyone gets a who and where of the Important Person. Techno-guerrilla poetry assaults on those who make the rules.

And what if you got them to come out to the people and experience the world the way we do? Ok, maybe that's a pipe-dream, but I bet even bush could get down w/ a Guerrilla Party.

I one saw Joe Liberman and his old lady walking on R and 34th in Georgetown w/ Starbucks cups in their hand and while I was, for the first time ever, speechless with mouth agape as I rolled my window, it occurs to me that maybe someone else wouldn't have been and had I been able to tell everyone who I saw and where, perhaps they might have heard a message in a way that resonated with them.

Just a thought.

People are told to pay their taxes
When actually it's just one of the facts
That there's nothing in the Constitution to support that
Television pumping visions constantly to the brain
That you need either the knife or the pill when you feel pain
The truth is that the body was created to substain
And the pills that you take are the reason you feel so drained
An inaccurate world history is what we've been taught
Greed, power and money have forged the wars that were fought
The wealth that was held by an elite few
And the endless power that they sought
Have sculpted this version of reality we call the world
Washed through the tears of old broke men and little girls
And while we just sit back and watch this madness unfurl
Their version of history will be scribed forever
Polished like a brand new pearl
But rather take than heed to the lesson in need
People drown the pain in liquor and weed
With a "fuck the world" attitude that is taught to our seeds
These young cats are killing each other every week
Because they claimed Crip or Blood
Laid out in somewhere in the hood
With that blank stare and a crimson flood
We really need to unify right now
Get under one accord and turn this mess around
Before we submerge in this mess and drown

This is a fictional letter from Sgt. John Sawyer, currently serving in Iraq to his loving wife Denise back home

Dear Denise,

Hello my love, this is your husband John.
Sending you all my love and regards from the Middle East.
I'm taking time to write this letter in the middle of this war going on.
Thinking of you helps me at night when I try to sleep
Today we were travelling by convey to this town called Tikrit
To perform a sweep searching for rebel soldiers.
We were caught off-guard. Rebels attacked our convey and bombed it.
A fierce battle ensued that left many dead and wounded on both sides.
I lost a lot of friends today.
Brothers-in-arms, all for who I'd gladly give my life.
I swear I would bring them back if I had my way.
I've seen alot of awful things since being here my sweet.
Carbombings and civilian killings are just about a daily thing.
I'm tired of seeing dead bodies in the street.
I think about how I would lay my head in your lap and listen to you sing.
Serenaded melodies replaced with the erie sounds of mortar rounds.
I just can't help but wonder what it is we're really fighting for.
Is it really to bring democracy to these war-hardened desert grounds?
If they said we could leave today I'd be the first one at the airport.
On the first plane so that I could be in your arms again.
So enough of what's going on over here.
How are you and my baby girl?
Is she getting big? Did she take her first steps?
I don't know if you know but you two are my world.
I think of you two when I need a quick pep.
Hopefully this will be over soon because I'm sooo tired of the sand and heat.
I can't wait to get some real food again.
I'm damn sure tired of these MRE's and this canned meat
And I sure could use my best friend.

With all the love I have,

John

Looking at the world

I ask myself

Why is this stuff happening?

Wars, bombings, suicides

How come every problem people have

They solve with violence

If we look back in time

What do we see?

I'll tell you what we see

We see violence creating more violence

Yes, past presidents may have signed treaties with other countries

But violence still waged on

All that I must say is this

Why can't we learn from the past?

Is it the fact that ignorance is now part of everybody's culture?

I am only one person

Trying to make the world better for my younger siblings

And for everybody else in the world

For I believe that nobody should suffer from anything

But our president thinks differently

Making peolpe suffer because of something

Sometimes it is nothing

But he doesn't matter

Because he isn't the one that is suffering

No this is not a poem written by a hippie

Yes, I might like peace

But that is because I am a pacifist

Just like my uncle, God Bless His Soul

But this is a poem written by a young mixed African-American male

Who would like to see a revolution

A revolution where people of different racial backgrounds can get together

Hand in hand and fight for equality among themselves

All of this racial crime bullsh*t is just a waste of time

Especially out here in Southern California

Where the Blacks and the Mexicans are killing each other for stupid reasons

Reasons like property and who they date

Come on, segregation is fuck*n 1959

But please let us try to make this world better

One place at a time

Sick and tired of people saying that the world can change

but yet nobody is doing anything to change it

STAND UP AND FIGHT

FOR FREEDOM, EQUALITY, AND UNITY

Thank you for holding this public hearing on Bill 17-177.  We appreciate the opportunity to participate and have our views heard by the DC Council.  My name is Laurelle Blair.  My comments reflect not only my personal beliefs but also represent the memberships of Empower DC, the Washington Peace Center and the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI).  GPI is a network of artists who share common values including, freedom of speech and art as a vehicle for the expression of all citizens.  Empower DC strives to provide advocacy skills to low and moderate income residents to assist them in preserving affordable housing, childcare and public buildings for public use.  The Washington Peace Center is a 44 year-old progressive, anti-racist, anti-authoritarian nonprofit organization committed to peace and social justice through education and nonviolent action.

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The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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