Rachel Levitsky on gender, poetry and community. Taken from Delirious Hem:
I think we here in NYC should have less readings and more meetings, reading groups, meals together, public and radical self-education. I think we spend too much time only with poets. I think we should be organizing for better working conditions for ourselves, and others (we should participate in the union or organize our workplace). We must aggressively challenge being swallowed into academia, and question ourselves when we professionalize and promote ourselves as poets. I want us to begin to collectively name some registers we might consider requisite for resistance and opposition to full-on consumer, capitalist culture. I think we should write letters on paper and keep our worst thoughts in our private journals, not on blogs. I think we should heckle at readings as a form of loud love. I’d like us to reinvest and rethink the scope, shape and import of the local as a political arena–as a place where it is possible somehow to do meaningful work. (Here some poetry examples come to mind, Debunker Mentality, Poetry is News organized by Anne Waldman, Ammiel Alcalay, and Tonya Foster, work with youth done at Bowery Poetry Club and Bushwick School for Social Justice–much more.) As for me, I’d like to get to these things, and I might if I were running around less with poets. I’d like to ask Bloomberg why his very rich city can’t return the Brooklyn Central Library to it’s pre-cut hours, so the kids hanging out waiting for it to open (at 1p.m on a Sunday) could enter. I’d like to be part of campaigns of demand and outrage over the easy sale of our neighborhoods.
And I would like us to have the time and the conditions to continue and expand our interrogations on Language, Feminism, the reinvention of the Left, what shape the next revolution, or how we can possibly live in the world without one.
In other words, to be present.
A big here, here to being “here”.