chanter_greenie: a house and road blanketed in snow (Wisconsin winter: buried in snay)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
I'm posting this, publicly and for free, in the wake of the utter explosive excrement storm that was this past week in the States. It's intended as part defiance, part necessity, part reminder of human decency.

For a summary: In Brampton, Leigh puts her thoughts about the neighbor to the south, and the people who cross the border, in writing. Sandy has a hand in too, but it's a relatively small one. TW for all kinds of references to institutional and societal prejudices on the basis of race, class, gender and sex, and economic status. Also for some very bittersweet imagery.

"Give me your tired."

"Give me your exhausted, your glassy-eyed, your dust-ground-in footsore, your shift workers, your ladder-scrabblers with splinters under their nails, your children with brass knuckles and brass ring-chasers' bruises in layers. Give me your ragged, your wrung-out, your hoarse from shouting across factory floors, your can't-win-I'm-a-woman people."

"Give me your poor, your poorly, your scratched six ways from Sunday, your sick folks choking on the treatable diseases of the body and mind, your just plain yearning to breathe, your discarded uninsured, your bleeding, your broken."

"Give me your can't-get-ahead, I'm black/brown/gold/red, your bright, your ignored, your pinned with a hundred filthy and unearned names, your deserving of an education."

"Give me your huddled, your blanket-clutching, your frantic keepers of heirloom quilts, knitted socks, pictures of infants now twenty years old and a hundred more remaining trailing threads of family legacies. Give me your yearning, your desperate, your scrambling, your best-way-out, your only-way-out, your no-other-way-out citizens. Give me your queer, your needy, your limping, your honest, your dañadas, your disowned sons, your gold-hearted, your pitch black and perfect."

"Give me your strange, your ugly, your shy, your esoteric, your loud, your longing. Give me your voices, your truth seekers, your social warriors, your moderates, your sensible, your sensitive. Give me your dreamers, your tuned-in, your own with their savings and their hope for the future, any future crumpled together in one hand, your old, your runaways, your aching hearts, your carriers of dilapidated suitcases, your sad-eyed magnets to true north."

"Give them to me alive."

"Give them to me. I want them."

I lift my torch. I raise it high--I'm going to let it shine--I light my torch.

"What's more, I'll take better care of them than you will, big sister."

"And you ought to be ashamed of yourself, for that."

Leigh shows this particular bit of, by her own description, slightly melodramatic poetry to only one person in Brampton.

It makes Sandy marvel, through his tears, at both his own astonishing good fortune and the mental kindred that is his wife.

He underlines the penultimate line in pencil. Leigh doesn't smile, but she nods what looks like uncommonly dark agreement before she closes the notebook on their work.

Notes are here:

*Leigh is quoting and riffing on the inscription from the Statue of Liberty.

*Dañada, translated from Spanish, is 'damaged girl'. In other words, damaged goods.


Date: 2016-11-17 04:26 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is awesome, and those things needed saying. Thank you so much for sharing.

Date: 2016-11-17 04:59 am (UTC)
thnidu: plus sign (plus)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Dammit, yes!

(I had to look up Brampton. It sounds (and was/is) British, but you mean the one in southern Ontario.)

Date: 2016-11-17 05:34 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline

Date: 2016-11-17 06:42 am (UTC)
callibr8: Mount Adams from Trout Lake Abbey (TroutLake)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
I realize this may be a naive question, but is Parliament Hill a UK analogue to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.?

Whatever the case, this is a wonderful, powerful piece of writing. There are folks I would like to share it with, whom I will be seeing over the next couple of weekends. Would it be all right if I read it aloud to them, as well as sharing copies or links to the online source?

Date: 2016-11-19 07:05 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
*blush* ... If I'd read a bit further before posting, I'd've seen that you were Canadian. My bad!! [Zathras] Much apologizing! {/Zathras]

Happy to have permission to perform; planning to include it in my concert set at OryCon 38 on Saturday night. When I give the attribution, do you want me to just use your DW handle, or would you prefer that I use your legal name? If the latter, you can PM me so you don't have to post it here.


Date: 2016-11-20 10:10 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I heard the poem read and it was indeed AMAAAAZE, chanter_greenie. calibr8, now I've connected the dots *facepalm* and realize that I was talking to you at several points this evening without putting two and two together even though you (IIRC) specifically told me you would be at Orycon (I was the very fidgety awkward person in cat ears). Thank you calibr8 for reading and chanter_greenie for sharing. Wow. This needed saying, so much. The entire room was in a hush afterwards, and then the applause.

Date: 2016-11-17 03:07 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
This is awesome. I hope it becomes non-fiction soon.

Date: 2016-11-17 03:27 pm (UTC)
librarygeek: cute cartoon fox with nose in book (Default)
From: [personal profile] librarygeek
Thank you. Just, THANK YOU is all I can say, right now.

Date: 2016-11-18 04:13 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Ooh happiness! (Amusingly I have a friend in Brampton; I keep asking her if she'll marry me.)

Date: 2016-11-18 05:15 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
That's awesome, & hilarious, & really, really cool. :)

Date: 2017-09-12 11:20 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: My head on foam mat under pine trees (Beating heart of love GIF)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Just stumbled on to this now.

I love the power in this character's voice, and the power you have to give it to her. Will be reading as much as I can while maintaining my politics filter.


Date: 2018-01-12 05:27 pm (UTC)
callibr8: (CanDo)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
FYI, I came back to this today because I wanted to find and share it with a friend in Oregon, who wasn't at that concert in November 2016. Also, I read it out at OVFF, a few months ago, in Ohio. It's still a wonderfully powerful prose piece, and I'm still doing what I can to get the words out there, because people need to hear them. It's all part of my "Be The Change" effort...

Every voice makes a difference. Thank you for using yours so eloquently!

Edited (clarification) Date: 2018-01-12 05:29 pm (UTC)



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