Monday, May 04, 2009

"17 REASONS why?"

17 REASONS why?

Because the wind smells like jasmine
through the pools of dog shit
when people can't afford to feed;

Because you live another day though your dreams
are punctuated with the sounds of rusty shopping
cart wheels and destiny smells like frijoles con ajo;

Because freedom's just the change in your pocket
and the poor are rich but nobody feels this,
but a smile is the passport, buenas, the plane;

Because heaven lives on Harrison and school
children skip through the rituals on Valencia
and my mom is not afraid to walk alone under moonlight;

Because you are living in interesting times
in interesting ways as an interesting force and even
the pigeons acknowledge this, and are interested;

Because Destiny doesn't stop here anymore,
she took off with Mañana who then eloped
into Yesterday and Whatever, La Reina, reins;

Because the corner store will stock anything you want
and the produce is cheaper and better and comes from
a local garden where all the bugs have an understanding;

Because ColorChrome is still stored in someone's garage
and on the door of La Misión una Visión is overheard
while the people paint The Constitution into Acts of Art;

Because art isn't a fantasy on 24th Street
and the boleros and beat box intertwine and harmonize
despite themselves and teknopop parrots dance La Guacamaya;

Because busses chug a grime on the windows
which screens out the decay into a magical hope
for a sweet breath, sweet life, sweet remembrance;

Because charros murmur of horses en la madrugada
and a mother's hands grind into la masa
and many tongues huddle inside the mouth of the Mission;

Because food is the universal language
and everyone knows the cost, curanderos
on the corners sell lilies and cure cuando quiera;

Because even though the blanched walk through
the lives that seem strewn here, they come away
with the seeds in their cuffs, they eat their words;

Because La Palabra is the only currency
and the Super Mercado of the empty aisle or alley
is where a treasury is founded on what others leave behind;

Because you leave behind, like a husk of dung
beetle coming anew, all those webs and pupae
puddlings, and everyone's an extinct butterfly, rediscovered;

Because you uncover the unknown self
you knew all along at your neighborhood dive
where every breath is one and the hips, El Mundo;

Because every head's a mundo, every eye, a
telescope, everyone sees what's coming down:
the change is going to come because it's already here.

Lorna Dee Cervantes

Please join Mission17 Gallery & BARGE at a special reading held in conjunction with the exhibit "17 Reasons Why," an ongoing residency exploring the cultural politics of the Mission district, hosted by David Buuck & BARGE. Come for prose, poetry, & conversation-- hope to see you there!

Michelle Tea (*Valencia*)
Alejandro Murguía (*This War Called Love*)
Lorna Dee Cervantes (*Drive*)

Saturday May 9, 4-6 pm
Mission17 Gallery
2111 Mission Street @ 17th, 4th Floor


BARGE - The Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics - was started by David Buuck in 2003. BARGE has organized several (de)tours around the Bay Area, investigating regional sites & spaces that are underrepresented & overlooked in more conventional touristic, commercial, & socio-political notions of place & public space. See for more information.

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