Marius, along with several inmates at FMC Carswell, completed a guitar class. As a group, they performed Candy by Paolo Nutini and Broken by Tracy Chapman. For his solo performance, Marius chose Gavotte by the Spanish classical guitarist Francisco Tárrega.
Archive for the 'Marie’s Writings' Category
Tags: classical guitar, Francisco Tarrega, guitar class
Thank you so much for the work you do in supporting prisoners and in educating the public about the reality of incarceration and its effects on the “free” community. Your words have an effect that reached far beyond even the broad radical circles that are part of the ABC network.
Just last week in the New York Times, a columnist who was attempting to answer the talk-show rhetoric that has been going around (that white folks don’t get the reason for the riots in Ferguson) – stated that it was in fact a natural outcome of the economic inequalities and police brutality that many folks encountered, not just in Ferguson but all over the country. As part of this discussion, the columnist also noted the disproportionate numbers of people of color in prison, as well as the growing economic disparity between races.
Clearly we have much work to do as a society on the issue of race, but at least the problem is being discussed publicly and honestly. ABC has contributed to this debate with integrity.
Prison seems to me to be a microcosm of the outside world and many of the social ills are magnified in this tense environment. Basic economic inequalities are exaggerated and systems of privilege are extended here in marked ways. Often what could be an opportunity for mutual aid and the achievement of basic human and labor rights becomes instead a confrontation along racial lines. But I find great inspiration and guidance in the words of bell hooks, Assata Shakur and Mumia abu Jamal and have been very grateful to ABC for making those words available to me and to others on the inside.
Your news letter is also often the only news source that I have to keep up with the stories of those environmental and animal defenders caught up in the legal system. I have been so encouraged by the creativity, integrity, strength, and intelligent confrontation to injustice that these defenders have shown. La Lucha Continua!
Finally, I have been so deeply touched by the solidarity and support that I have received from activists in the ABC network after my coming out publicly as trans. Thank you so much for this! This support has been an essential part of my transition, as I’d been very concerned that this aspect of my identity might overshadow my work as an environmentalist, or even diminish the credibility of the important campaigns that I have tried to contribute to in my life. I am so grateful that, with your support, this is not so.
All struggles are related, and we are all responsible to each other as allies.
Until All Are Free, with love and respect, Marius
The Griffith Flaw
When I lived in the world
Of laboratories, glass, machines and noise,
A white-coated novitiate in
The delicate chemistry of mixing things,
We were warned of the Griffith Flaw in glassware
The crystal lattice structure bruise
From bouncing, banging, bumping
A thousand times on unforgiving surfaces,
Heating and re-heating beakers
In repetition just to prove a point,
Until one unexpected day
The slightest touch of cup to countertop,
The shattered pieces propelled out
At last revealing an atomical dysfuncionality,
Of things rushing towards entropy
As just this morning, likewise
Brushing teeth and peering in the mirror
For the billionth time this life,
I couldn’t see me anymore,
The damage of reflection done
And pieces flown away,
What was left, was changed
In ways I could not say.
Hushed and heavy
Like water near the Ocean’s floor,
Then loud and bitter,
Like fractious storms lashing the sky
Everything cement and nerves
And too many years gone by…
The heart requires a place to rest
From all its maddened wanderings
The raft of the Medusa tossed
And trembling in the sea.
Or just this table here
And you across from me,
A sunlit sail
And I this aching castaway.
I cannot touch you – it is not allowed.
Our eyes hold
Hanging onto words
Until a hand falls upon the back
The narrow hall, the clanking keys
The door, the cell
Tags: blues, folk, folk music, guitar tabs, Monsanto, Monsanto Blues, protest music
So these two songs are an attempt to put music to a friend’s lyrics (and to collaborate on lyrics, as well- Rick’s given me a lot of license to adjust for rhythm and to add lyrics for the bridges). It’s such a different process, a real challenge and I hope to learn a lot from it.
I think Rick originally wrote the Monsanto Blues about a farmer in Michigan that got some uninvited GMO pollen in his organic corn field. Then they (Monsanto) tried to sue him for non-payment for the GMO corn. Which was ironic, as it ruined his crop from being certified organic- which had been his intended crop when he planted.
Sadly, he lost both ways- the pollen belonged to Monsanto and he had to wait 5 years to be re-certified organic. Not too surprising that the court sided with the big corporation. Now Michigan can’t seem to certify any organic cornfields- they’re all contaminated.
I’ve included both notation and tabs (with chords and lyrics, too)- just because this is the first time trying to share songs and not just poetry. Tab can be put on line, just use 6 lines for the guitar strings and numbers for the frets. I always use standard tuning, but have been trying to learn to play in open G and D tunings. There’s a bunch of cool, old Stones tunes, blues standards and some recent Civil Wars songs that use these alternate tunings. Of course, couldn’t get to the guitar while I was on lock- so it was really nice to get to play for a few minutes last night.
*Editor’s Note: Marie has requested that the Monsanto Blues song be taken down as she is re-writing it, in part to honor the original intent behind it by Rick. Stay tuned for the rewritten version shortly.
The Door Swings Both Ways
Tags: poaching, song
Tags: ivory war, poaching
Marie recently completed this painting, inspired by this photo from a 2011 burning of poached ivory.
Th feature article, Ivory Worship, documents the religious carving of ivory that fuels the poaching of thousands of elephants each year. Marie elaborates on the painting, writing that-
“The painting is in response to a National Geographic article on religion an the illegal ivory trade. The article was heart-breaking and surprising, a lot of poachers and vendors using religious icons as a cover for black-market ivory. So many elephants were murdered this year!”