two sides in want of a third

When rain falls with conviction
  I ask the woman,
  “would you like to buy the sky?”

“No need as dying is near impossible.”
  makes sense as death is a triangle
  two sides in want of the third –

When there is no rain or when
  when conviction fails, the
  woman is silent, sky is up

For sale & death has no neighbor knocking
  on its door asking, “is there a
  song we can borrow for the night?”

Within each one of us there is some piece of humanness that knows we are not being served by the machine which orchestrates crisis after crisis and is grinding all our futures into dust…In what way do I contribute to the subjugation of any part of those who I define as my people? Insight must illuminate the particulars of our lives: who labors to make the bread we waste, or the energy it takes to make nuclear poisons which will not biodegrade for one thousand years; or who goes blind assembling the microtransistors in our inexpensive calculators?

– Audre Lorde, “Learning from the 60s”.

a nongreen wage

there is nothing tragic in the
  the logic of being moss
  perhaps the mouth goes dry
  maybe your vocabulary

slips, but
  the green is no longer just a color
  your mouth is no longer dry and you spout words as if
  your dictionary is on fire –

what is tragic is the logic of
  the nongreen wage, the math of
  the unfed mouth – what goes
  dry is the unsaid word,

the less than word, the feet that
  knew no ground no wall but wail
  this unfed mouth is word now
  that soots your green with rage –

These historic changes – that peaked in the 19th century with the creation of the full-time housewife – redefined women’s position in society and in relation to men. The sexual division of labor that emerged from it not only fixed women to reproductive work, but increased their dependence on men, enabling the state and employers to use the male wage as a means to command women’s labor. In this way, the separation of commodity production from the reproduction of labor-power also made possible the development of a specifically capitalist use of the wage and of the markets as means for the accumulation of unpaid labor.

– Silvia Federici, “Caliban and the Witch”

Reblog: Degrees of freedom

Here is one I posted five years ago. Munira was reminded by Facebook; she reminded me,  and I met myself once again with a “glad to meet you” and decided to repost. She asked me to dedicate it to Qandeel Baloch, so I do. One of my recent posts is Silence and Freedom which is relevant to both this post and Baloch in two ways: i) the external form and ii) Audre Lorde’s words: when Lorde speaks of oppression, the resonance is deep enough to touch all its fangs: race, gender, class, age, and every which way in which humans otherize the other.

Degrees of Freedom

lament of the clay anklet

should the sharded anklet go
home where no names are spoken
or out in the open where sulfurous
kannagi, livid, goes a routin’?

can the caste out voice speak at
all in a room full of tenors
rasping out airs – heirs of plumped
entitlement and closed spaces?

would the sunken claw out and
bark, bereft of sun, unmoored
and short of tooth, of bite?
kannagi, livid, ekes out smoke.

Kannagi is the avenging widow from the Tamil epic Silappatikaram (‘The tale of an anklet’).