Poets Occupy Wall Street and Next Philadelphia

On Facebook, poet extraordinaire and teacher CAConrad stated he was heading to Occupy Wall Street. CAConrad is the author of The Book Of Frank and forthcoming A Beautiful Marsupial (both from Wave Books). He also hosts the poetry video blog Jupiter88. From Wall Street while in transit to teach a poetry workshop in Baltimore, he offers a glimpse of the occupation there. The poet Travis Holloway and others also created the FB page Poetry@OccupyWallStreet.


I went to NYC for the Creative Time Summit, which is thousands of socially and politically engaged artists sharing their work. The summit started on the sixth day of the Wall Street occupation.  Everyone went down, all of us, more than once.  There was a small part of me that hoped the police -- at least a few of them -- would be as angry at the people of Wall Street as the rest of us, considering the fact that cops are working class.  If any of them share our working class outrage they're hiding it well. t's important to point out that not only is Creative Time Summit happening, along with the exhibition of 100 different works of art challenging the madness of consumer-driven politics, but the documentary BLACK POWER MIXTAPE is also showing.  This new documentary is a study in police brutality.  It was awful to see that film, go to Wall Street, see the police, and hear the stories of people being maced, beaten and dragged off to jail for little more than chanting anti-Wall Street chants.  The police assault these peaceful protestors on a daily and nightly basis.  My friend poet Debrah Morkun spoke with protestors who told her the bullhorns are used in the park at night to terrorize. The anxiety is high, and if there is a way to increase the number of people who are willing to go to Wall Street and stand with the protest it might change the way it's working out.  There are meetings in Philadelphia for occupying the money centers there.  This is spreading, which is the goal, which is nothing but good.  We need a coalition of different groups to be involved in these protests.  There's no time to lose frankly, and to put pressure at a time when politicians least want it is always a good idea.  The stink of worry over political careers is in the air, so now is the time to let them know that everything must change. Here is a statement from Nato, head of Creative Time Summit. And he's just put a call out to ALL NYC artists to join the occupation of Wall Street.  This is a quote from the Facebook post: The working group from the last Living as Form talk met down at Occupy Wall Street and have decided to make a larger call for artists from NYC (or beyond if possible) to meet at Liberty Plaza at noon on Monday to decide on future actions on the site. Lets bring the energy and creativity into a histroric site of confrontation. If you can make it, come down. If you can't, let us know how you can be of help to the important actions happening at the seat of power.

And later on during the day CAConrad wrote on Facebook:

On my way to Baltimore, waiting for the train. There's something disturbing me in a good way about the 3 visits I made to Wall Street over the weekend. The world as it could be, or a collective version of it is always trying to bend the air around itself to be heard. The risks of the day are holding themselves out to us. And yet we all know too well that the power structure is far ahead of us, the ambush of the ages. I don't feel defeat, but I'm not entirely optimistic either.

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