December 15, 2012


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The Work They Do They Do At Night

They will come in great happiness
To our distributions of millet.
They will come to the millet and be glad. 
Some are blackened, some stumble, some sing.
They lap at our wine jars, the ewers still warm 
From their hands. I know a hand 
Whose stain crushed the wine
And bathing won’t remove it—
The lancet, the lancet’s begetter
Perv that turns in the bed of the lord he serves
A sweet balm broken, applied to skin
The doctor, the doctor’s assistant
New louts burning holes in the stays. 

I see pluts return from the bad world every day,
Shut fields to plebes and feed them. 
They shouldn’t bother—we pass here for others
Who turn in their sleep on the heather

After taking night’s theater, 
The theater’s owners. Who owns you, 
Purveyors of chaos? Who owns the chorus 
That brings you your tunes? We don’t
Know their names in any of the harbors. 
What keeps them making our boats?

December 12, 2012


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Riot Love Poem

For Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

A riot    an order    a call in the night to say I love
you and you and you and most especially
the street and open space and our bodies
unbound by restraint and moneyed constriction
and in dreams last night you spoke of fire
of labor and building and soft nests     no armor-clad
SUVs on urban boulevards not oil money not Stoleshnikov Lane    

This morning I exhale across continents breath joined
with yours and ours and wanting more than boundaries
street lamps awakened    petals unfurling    hands opening
burn treasury burn prison burn credit burn churches
burn drones burn austerity burn banks burn office buildings
sing certainty and mass gatherings    totalities
I opened to I into we   

Now we are in Moscow now Perm now Mordovia
Now we are in Paris now Wall Street now Guantanamo
Now Atchison now Waco now Oakland
Now the avenue the bakery the café
Text springing from fingers
Language from mouths

December 10, 2012

Day 10: Becca Klaver, LAW OF THE RIOT

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Law of the Riot

The question of the existence of God has become a political question

Since 1845 in New York three or more people can’t wear masks unless they’re coming from a masquerade

In Russia they made the mask law this spring

This is first of all an open civil conflict with an authoritarian regime

In Russia democracy is a newborn baby

It was idiotic choreography in my opinion

But it was not blasphemy

In a sense what was criminal was the intent

This is first of all an open civil conflict

But it was not blasphemy

Some of the words were offensive to the patriarch personally

But it was not blasphemy

They were hitting an invisible enemy with their fists

Democracy is a newborn baby

But it was not blasphemy

All quotes transcribed, and sometimes repeated and reordered, from “Pussy Riot and Protest: The Future of Dissent in Putin’s Russia and Beyond,” a conversation with Pussy Riot’s Russian attorneys, NYU Law School, September 21, 2012.

December 9, 2012

Day 9: Erin Virgil, Poem for Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich

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Erin Virgil

for Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich

Far away women:
lines lead up to your lives
from the North and East,
places we find unfamiliar.
But your faces speak clearly behind the glass
where you sit poised, like queens. Koponeba.
Far too fine for a circus and a cage.
Cectpbi, they can't hold you much longer