Archive for the Reflection Category

A conversation

Posted in Histories, Poems, Reflection on June 22, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

let’s talk about immigration
–let’s end your deportation

let’s publicize
— let’s organize

let’s request invitation
— let’s demand rights

let’s apologize
— let’s not

let’s let’s let’s . . .
— let’s do.

for those who have ears to hear & eyes to see,

Posted in Coming-Out, Histories, Poems, Reflection on June 15, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Is one not American if, scientifically,
every cell of your body was formed here?

Is one not American, if one’s entire
system of reality,
entire system of identity belongs here?

Is one not American if, one has chosen,
repeatedly, liberty o’er death?

Is one not American if, one’s existence is
the filament maintaining the moral economy
afloat?

Is one not American, if one understands the
sorrow of jazz, the funk of blues, and the
soul-joy of spirituals?

Am i not America, if i have pledged allegiance
to a flag, twice-more, than she has pledged
allegiance to me?

Am i not America, if i know that that title is absurd,
meaning nothing, dancing existentially w/ naught?

Am i not America, if i suffer her pathologies, too?

Am i not America, if i am pitted as the source of
her suffering.

Am i not America, if i have the balm for her
soothing?

Am i not America, if i have been here before,
& will be here again, forevermore?

¿What part of illegal don’t you understand?

Posted in Deportation, Faith, Histories, Poems, Reflection on June 13, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Deportation of Families: Legal
Killing Christ: Legal
Caesar: Legal
Murder of the Innocents: Legal
Pharaoh: Legal
American Slavery: Legal
Vietnam: Legal
Hiroshima: Legal
Nagasaki: Legal
Agent Orange: Legal
Torture Memos: Legal
Water-boarding: Legal
Guantanamo: Legal
Holocaust: Legal
Hitler: Legal
Gary Cooper: Legal
Incarceration of entire Communities: Legal
Bodies into Capital: Legal
Capital over Bodies: Legal
Bodies for War: Legal
War over Bodies: Legal
Kafka: Legal?
Native American Genocide: Legal
Chernobyl: Legal
Blood Diamonds: Legal
Colonialism: Legal
Babylon: Legal
Saul before Paul: Legal
Mammonism : Legal
Repression: Legal
Iron Cage: Legal
Last Man: Legal
Operation Condor: Legal
Operation Wetback: Legal
Banana Republics: Legal
Killing Allende: Legal
Killing Neruda: Legal
Killing Lorca: Legal
Killing Christ: Legal

Illegal: Legal

Martin King: Illegal
Harriet Tubman: Illegal
John Brown: Illegal
Xicano Literature: Illegal
Toussaint Louverture: Illegal
Aristotle: Illegal
Christ: Illegal
Queer: Illegal
Black: Illegal

Legal is Illegal
Illegal is Illegal

What part of illegal don’t you understand?

Justin: Feeding your family: Illegal | Letting your corporations starve families abroad: Legal

Me: Some Drugs: Legal l Some Drugs: Illegal

Justin: Killing Mossadegh: Legal | Peacefully protesting elected officials: Illegal

Isaac: Modern concentration camps: Legal l undocumented youth *Irving Xochitla* receiving crucial medical attention in his home state : Illegal …. a 287g officer/ ice officer in county says to me ” Illegal is illegal, i am protecting my country from scumbags like you” .

to all my insitutionalized DREAMers, Viva!

Posted in Civil Disobedience, Coming-Out, Deportation, Faith, Histories, Reflection on June 13, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

did my parents “bring me to the US” — or were there neo-liberal economic policies that constructed a crucible that allowed no other; was this so much choice or the construction of a multimillion million dollar multiplex that created a culture of Displacement and facilitated our moving from one Disenfranchised state to another?

did i cross the border? – that sounds like achievement – or do walls & veils surround us everywhere (waiting to be broken), or does the border follow you, in everything you do, proscribing and adjudicating over my sense of reality?

what about education? do i have more to gain from schools that will not receive mine? or from my folk-culture that has carved out a Humanity out of Catastrophe.

what about Deportation and Criminalization? –> can these be stricken from the american psychology of punitive justice . . . or should i pretend to wash my skin and dream that assimilation, americanization can guarantee me some rights?

what about the Black experience of resistance, is there danger to connecting to a society that out of wood and stone sung their hearts to Christ (via J. W. Johnson).

is this mine own predicament? or a harbinger of a Nation in decline? and won’t this situation produce a song? — isn’t art always birthed in the margins?

are these musing worthwhile or simply privileged thoughts of a dilettante unwilling to waste in a “dusty desert of dollars”?

should i apologize for what i want, or Demand nothing less?

if i am the Problem, can’t my resolve point towards true Democracy?

to all my institutionalized DREAMers, Viva!

* do i need legalization or do you need to stop justifying Holocaust?

** mayhap you are jealous because Tragic-Comedy, the Absurd, the Gospel, & the Passion mean more to me, wound & heal me deeper than they ever will you.

Burn Letter

Posted in Coming-Out, Poems, Reflection on June 13, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Do you remember the painting i gave you?
Burn it, please
spit
step
throw
hide
curse
scorn
rebuke
neglect
& reject it
Please

i beg you,
for me
(as a favor?)
Please

i want to know you know
i want you to be honest
& true

there never was a way
– you should have said no -
& i should have asked

it is assumptions that kill
so please
burn
cut
cover
sell
forget
and laugh
at the painting i made you

as a second gift?
as a way to gift back?

i know i’ve already demanded a lot from you . . .
so please fancy me this
last. one. thing

but before you do look at the flower–
it is not really a flower
:)
look at the dried tomatoes
their red is not full of life
consider the fall squash that
rests besides them
they are all dead.
they call these still-lifes
but the italians have it better:
::natura morta::
those models had to die
– and, once preserved -
my painting will, too.

sry,
i did not mean it
if you step back
you’ll realize
that the painting
for you
from me
has sparked poetry
–it is creating–
violence, is a minor result
but it is creating art
which is a form of life
of living.so you see,
i did not
mean it,
when i said:
“please burn the painting
i gave you”i really meant to say
that you and i continue to
create
even at a distance
even now
you inspire me
you

for honesty’s sake lets settle the record:
he’s beautiful i know
im ugly i know
he’s tall
and holds your hand when y’all
walk
and has a killer smile
and can dance
well
and seems confident
for these reasons
he must have charmed you
the way he cared for the poor
wore his politics on his sleeve
he must have carried you away
because he can
because – like you – he is white
and powerful
and beautiful
and has all.

and i am just beginning to
decolonize
and self-define myself

and you could not wait

you are strong
and ready
and smart
and trust your instincts

i am short
and round
and poorly endowed

i sometimes read
and sometimes write
and people at times read what i write
i paint
and am appreciated for it
i am illegal
and suffer for it

but putting borders aside
the worst thing
was losing – tho never having -
you

FOCUS ON THE BEAT.

Posted in Civil Disobedience, Coming-Out, Histories, Reflection on May 25, 2012 by Marco Saavedra
tho the ‘cuffs wrap your wrists,
FOCUS ON THE BEAT
as you revisit your history:
FOCUS ON THE BEAT
and tho you must descend
into the hottest depths
in order to break the ICE within & without:
FOCUS ON THE BEAT
before forestalling on the stars
(tho yours were ‘clipsed long ago )
which were birthed w/ me:
FOCUS ON THE BEAT
tho insecurity may castigate:
i am far beyond That,
FOCUS ON THE BEAT
BEAT.
BEAT.
BEAT.
Hear it – huh.
Here it: Now.
Good.

Images below shot by Pocho-one Fotography:

There you lie
and you will cry and you will scream against the winds of injustice
until every ounce of fear shatters onto a pavement where you once lost your chains!
there you will rise — Isaac Barrera

in olden days angels spared folks from the cities of destruction. we have no angels now, but every so oft a hand (or kiss) may reach out: and save you. — Adapted from George Eliot’s Silas Marner

Ubel Perez: Another Deportation For Immigrant Suffering From Depression?

Posted in Coming-Out, Deportation, Histories, Reflection on May 7, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Ubel Perez faces deportation on May 13 due to a DUI he committed while suffering from depression. Ubel fears gang violence in Guatemala and wishes to remain in the United States, a country he has called home for the past nine years.

Sign His Petition

Since arriving in the United States, Ubel has lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ubel is currently enrolled in a GED program and wishes to become an electrician. Ubel has become part of his community in Cincinnati, is active in St. Charles Church, and in the community soccer league coaching a women’s soccer youth team. Ubel has worked to support himself and his family since 2003, most recently in the meat-packing industry.

At a baptism, Ubel is far right.

In March 201 l, Ubel was stopped driving while intoxicated while suffering bouts of depression. Ubel spent 20 days in jail before being released on bond. Regretting the actions of the night, Ubel completed the six hour alcohol program. Other than the March 2011 traffic incident, Ubel has never had any other problems with the police.

Sign His Petition

Ubel is a DREAM Act eligible youth. According to the memo issued by John Morton, Ubel is not a priority for deportation and should be granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

from Undocuhealth.org.

The B. J. M. Memorial Scholarship Fund ’11

Posted in Coming-Out, Histories, My Art, Reflection on May 7, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Dear Marco,

I’m pleased to notify you that you were selected by the Office of Financial Aid to receive a named endowed scholarship as part of your 2010-11 need-based grant package.

The income providesa scholarship award, with preference given to a junior or senior who shows an interest in education and/or community service.

An important request . . . please write a letter of thanks to the donor of your scholarship:

Wadsworth Ave.
New York, NY 10033
March 1, 2011

Dear Ms. B. & Ms. G.

I am writing to you with much appreciation as the recipient of the B. J. M. Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Currently I am a senior at the college and have recently satisfactorily completed my requirements for the Sociology senior exercise. Additionally, I have committed to community organizing  following (hopeful) graduation.

I have continued my course work in Art as well (presently enrolled in Figure Drawing and Contemporary Painting) and am continuing my studies in Sociology this semester with German Social Thought and Community Studies. Concurrently, I am finishing my third year as peer-minister for Canterbury-Kenyon.

Middle Path in the Fall, Oil

At the moment I’m finalizing the planning details for a service trip during spring break to Immokalee, FL to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. We’re hoping that a group of close to fifteen Kenyon students can take advantage of this opportunity.

My work with other human rights causes has also continued and I’m expecting to partake in three conferences this Spring around the DREAM Act and Environmental Rights. Due in part to my activism, and with much gladness, I’ve been nominated for the Anderson Cup (to the student who most has contributed to Kenyon) and the Humanitarian Award.

Middle Path at Night, Oil

I am sorry for such a disparate list of items and events, but wish that some of it could encapsulate what four years at Kenyon have allowed me to do.

With many thanks I write to you and your family for this scholarship,

Warmest regards,

Marco Saavedra

Visiting Vincent

Posted in Histories, My Art, Reflection on May 7, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

Self Portraits, Oil

i saw van gogh!  — teared a little, i saw the people who were watching his work, where did they all come from?, what was their connection to our martyr . . . such a life that keeps on producing long after it’s gone! (& what furnace must have been the intensity of his last three, most productive years!)

Shoes, Mine Shoes (pastel)

it was easter sunday, and there were toddlers in seersuckers, girl-dolls in bonnets, paraplegics, fathers&daughters, & friends of friends all waiting, all packed into a gallery of delight, wonder, & muses! — i can keep on writing about it — i walked through, first hurriedly, then academically (studying each work) & lastly, reverently . . .

Sunflowers, after van Gogh & Monet, Oil.

And they told me to resort to poetry,

To bring me to you

So maybe out of these lines

We could start anew

So, what’s up w/ you?

Sunflowers, revisited, reworked, Acrylic & Mixed Media (mine).

And maybe if I pray to Christ -

He may bring me to you,

But for now the muses

Will have to do.

CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL

Posted in Faith, Histories, My Art, Poems, Reflection on May 5, 2012 by Marco Saavedra

who has heard our message?
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
marred more than any-man
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
no form
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
no comeliness
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
no desired beauty
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
despised & rejected
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
man of sorrows
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
well-acquainted w/ grief
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
we esteemed him not
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
bearing our griefs
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
carried our woes
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
stricken, smitten by God, & afflicted
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
wounded for our transgressions
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
injured for our iniquities
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
chastisement of our peace o’er him
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
my damnation on him
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
became sin incarnate
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
making us whole
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
he was oppressed & afflicted
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
like a lamb to the slaughter
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
and yet spoke no evil
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
made grave w/ the wicked
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
and w/ the rich his death

Hurricane Evacuee & daughters, Oil

CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
it pleased God to bruise him
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
soul made offering for sin
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL

& the travail of his soul
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
justifies many
CHRIST WAS CRIMINAL
bearing intercession for transgressors

Necessary Bombings & People, Oil

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