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I am still a newcomer to the group, so I do not have much sense of what you do and do not like.

One issue I have been thinking about for some time now, which has gotten into my poetry, is what do we replace the current system with.  I recently sent an Occupy activist four of these, so they are pasted below.  All of these were included in my book of political poetry, Seeking to make the world anew: Poems for the new dialectic. (Hamilton Books, 2008).

A lot of my work is available on the web. There was a section of my work that Chuck Levenstein organized to be featured on PoemsNiederngasse that dealt with work related themes.

Comments are always welcome on my poetry.

best
sam



 
After, on the way to thereafter 
 
Afterthe Heartbreak House of fighting,
andafter the fire next time,
afterthe parties, the toasting and cheering
whennone will bewail
thatcapitalism has been erased,
wewill build our global city
likea flower from the ashes
withits roots suckled and fed and watered
bythe local and daily and real.
Onepetal will be the friendships of work time,
anotherour neighbors, as we talk and we share.
Thosewho sew diapers, those who pin them and change them,
willshare with the planners, will help shape the towers,
thebasement foundations
andthe neighborly labor of digging,
ofdigging and building our city anew.
 
Andso, in the morning, I may scrape out a waste dump,
figuringout how with my pals on the job. 
Inmy 2 p.m. gig, I may write a paper on AIDS, 
orhug and console
astranger or friend.
Myevening, perhaps, put our heads in the oven
aswe clean a community stove,
orI may weave a poem, or rest overlong,
orwhatever seems needed and fun
aswe build our embraceable 
newglobal city
fromthe petals and rootings of dreams.
 


 
An earlier version was published in Murdersmost foul: Poems against war by a World Trade Centersurvivor. Central Jersey Coalition againstEndless War. 2005.
reprinted Oregon Socialist, Winter-Spring 2008,http://www.thesocialistparty.org







August outage 
Computers
lightbulbs
elevators
subways
theblowers of cooling air
standsuddenly useless,
silent,gone.
Voicescan now be heard.
Stairwellsutter
descendingfeet.
Sweatingbodies herd streets
swaptales and rumors of buses
exhausted.
Thosewith ideas or water bottles
share.
 
In myfive hours wandering without electrons
on themidtown streets of Manhattan,
in theghetto core of Plainfield, NJ,
andthroughout the long bus-sit between,
I hearno hostility,
shareconfusion, water, and thoughts
withmany strangers,
makemany friends
of themoment,
 
of thismoment when solidarity flowers,
thismoment nested between years
ofshoving, pressure,
talons,
fangs.
Seeking to Makethe World Anew




Deregulation
Squirmingbodies 
likekittens in a bag
bumpjostle squeeze
waiting. . . waiting . .  . waiting
hopingto get on the plane.
 
Weak-voicedairline rep
mutterscorporate reassurances.
Someyell, some scoff,
noone believes.
Mood. . . ?  turning ugly.
 
Overbooking.Some won't get on.
 
Shoutingat each other, jostling,
squeezingforward,
hourafter hour after hour.
Afew tell jokes,
talkour humanity,
butno one says good
aboutthe airline.  
 
Threehours pass.
Wehave blossomed
friendships
jokes
smiles
ina miasma of 85-degree air
thatmoves no more than 
thecrowd
orthe airplane
whichmay be
approachingthe gates--
ormay not (who knows?)
Nojostling, 
novying pushing shoving, 
justcaring for kids
coping
helping.
Seeking toMake the World Anew






SecondNegation: Notes on the Day after the Revolution
 
As crowds party loudly onglass-glittered sidewalks
and dodge around potholes whilepromenading the Bowery,
and offices and sweatshops echocrescendos
as workers debate how 
they should now run them,
and what wonders to build
with their minds and theirhands.,
I wander alone, alone amongrevelers,
with notebook in hand while Imutter and scribble,
jotting elation and jotting myfear.
 
The TVs in the windows replayit,
replay the Weeks of the Wonders--
how, after the years of thecynics,
when words of revolution ledonly to mutters of "not in my lifetime,"
we began having strikes againin New York and in Jersey;
and how, a couple of weeks ago,a boss in a tall box near the river 
said "girl" 
to one of the secretaries --
and everybody -- mailroomclerks, secretaries, truck drivers, even analysts --
walked out, 
but then walked back in again 
and sent the bosses home.
            Then, of course, the mayor called the cops,
            the governor called the National Guard,
            and the President the Army --
but everybody had been there,
everyone had been called"girl" or "boy" or "kike" or "Polack"or maybe "rookie" or "grunt" --
so our rulers called the cops,
            and they called the Marines,
                        and they called and they called and theycalled and they called,
but workers and neighborsargued with cops, joked with the Guard, 
sang solidarity with thesoldiers,
            and the now-rebel workers and soldiers beat up the few 
who would notsee reason,
and they allwent home --
                                    or joined the crowd.
So the American peoples said"Enough!  It's all over!"
and workers stopped working
            and crowds seduced armies
                        and only 18 died in all the Americas
and a few score more died,across the green globe.
 
By the flickering light of theTubes in the windows, 
I wander through litteredstreets
once built by the defunctcivilization
that brought us Agent Orange,pet stones, and AIDS for the millions,
and I rejoice as I dread
            and I dread as I rejoice.
 
And as I wander, I wonder:
            "What the hell do we do next?"
 
I mean, after the subtlepleasures -- 
            like making the bosses work 4 or 5months doing some of the real fun jobs,
            like repairing the tops of blastfurnaces
            or changing the linens in the ICUs;
            and letting the ex-cops sleep on thepark benches
            and on the floor of the bus station,
            so we can cheerily poke them awake, 
            crying, "Time to move onnow," with a big grin and a big stick.
 
I mean, 
            what the hell do we do next?
 
Spectres hoverover my shoulder:
            the thousands of Communards gunneddown by Reaction,
            Rosa and Karl murdered by the goonsquads of social democracy,
the telephone exchange in Barcelona — 
            where Uncle Joe "reached outand gouged someone,"
            and throttled the soul of arevolution —
dance with dreamsof ice picks in my fear-torn, grinning head.
 
I mean, 
            what the hell do we do next?
 
Sure, themarket's got to go, but what do we replace it with?
 
How will we getthe food grown
            and have all the candy, bread, androses we need
            for the photo-journalists
            and our children?
 
How will we liveour meanings, and not just numbers?
 
How do we unleashthe sleeping poetry?  the smothered powerto create that waits like crabgrass
            in the brains and hands of everyone,
even in theslit-eyed grimaces of the naysayers
who wear red tape
instead ofsuspenders?
 
Like crabgrass,these five billion poets will shoot forth trillions of pages 
            filled with  tripe and doggerel
            which someone – maybe even me --will have to read,
            pages filled with crackpot ideasredolent of disaster,
but salvationscattered throughout -- if we can find it.
 
So here I wander,
thinking of theseGalileos and Miltons we need to create our new world, 
and the humongousarguments that will fill our ears
as they shoutforth their insights against each other,
and I ponder theepic mistakes our revolutionary democracy
is undoubtedlymaking
even as I rove,wander and scribble
through therubble, the wonders, and the shoving salvation
as crabgrasspushes aside the arid asphalt of Madison Avenue
to seek its sun
and in so doing pushesthe fears from my heart
(but not from mynext-day mind)
and I walkgrinning into the nearest party
to join thecelebration
and raise glassafter glass in toasts of global unison
with friends in Santos and Granada, Bangkok and Kampala,
Melbourne,Tacoma, Portland,and Detroit.
 
 
Earlier version published in News and Letters, December, 1997: p. 9. Reprinted PoemsNiederngasse: The Journal of Winning Poetry



 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: herb fox <[log in to unmask]>
To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sat, Jan 21, 2012 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: Is there anybody out there?


I lke your piece , Sam.  Anything 
else you are willing to share w/ us?
herb

On 1/20/2012 2:11 PM, Sam Friedman 
wrote:
> I am confused. I am not there. I 
> am here.
>
> There seems to be an issue of 
> observer status here (or is it there?)
>
> Or as I have previously written:
>
> Here, here!
> When all the world becomes
> a mall
> there will be no there there,
> only a here there
> and a there here.
> Not everything will be identical,
> though.
> The Grand Canyon Mall will have many
> bargain basements,
> and the Antarctica Mall
> higher heating bills.
> All the Muzak will play
> the same global melodies
> here, here and here.
> To get through the day
> we will travel from here to here 
> to here
> and back again
> heroically.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marianne Patinelli-Dubay 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 2:07 pm
> Subject: Re: Is there anybody out 
> there?
>
> Thanks, Phil for my favorite reply 
> yet...
>
> ---
> Marianne Patinelli-Dubay
> SUNY College of Environmental 
> Science and Forestry
> Northern Forest Institute
> 6312 State Route 28N
> Newcomb, NY 12852
> 518-582-2000
> http://www.esf.edu/nfi/people/patinelli-dubay.asp
> www.esf.edu/nfi/patinelli-dubay/ 
> <http://www.esf.edu/nfi/patinelli-dubay/> 
>
>
> ------------------------------------
> *From:* Science for the People 
> Discussion List 
> [[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>] 
> on behalf of Phil Gasper 
> [[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
> *Sent:* Friday, January 20, 2012 
> 2:02 PM
> *To:* 
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> *Subject:* Re: Is there anybody 
> out there?
>
> Anyone not receiving this message 
> please let us know.
>
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM, 
> Rich Rosen <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>     I am here.  -- Rich Rosen
>     *From:*Science for the People
>     Discussion List
>     [mailto:[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
>     *On Behalf Of *Michael H Goldhaber
>     *Sent:* Friday, January 20,
>     2012 1:46 PM
>     *To:*
>     [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *Subject:* Re: Is there
>     anybody out there?
>     What about elsewhere in universe?
>
>     Best,
>     Michael
>     Sent from my iPhone
>
>     On Jan 20, 2012, at 9:02 AM,
>     Kamran Nayeri
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>     wrote:
>
>          Aqui estoy tambien!
>         On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at
>         8:52 AM, Pedro Miramontes
>         <[log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>         wrote:
>         Aquí estoy.
>
>         Pedro Miramontes
>
>
>
>         > On Fri, Jan 20, 2012
>         2:52 AM CST Mandi
>         Smallhorne wrote:
>         >
>         >>Please, if ANYONE is
>         receiving this message,
>         just reply - the list
>         >>management has done
>         something so strange, and
>         it appears all subscribers
>         >>have been deleted - I
>         want to know if this is
>         true or not!!!!
>         >>
>         >>Mandi
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>
>
>         --
>         ********************************
>         *  No sea maje: use Linux  *
>         ********************************
>
>