Questions for the Ghosts of Resisters

Shalom Yoran/Gil Scott Heron/Neda Agha-Soltan


How shall we live now?

How inhabit this place called Resistance?

Beyond the surfing, scanning, skimming, posting,

beyond our Wile E. Coyote hotfooting from outrage to outrage

how shall we live?

Shall we go in mufti or in khaki?

Hollow out a zemylanka like you did, Shalom Yoran,

beneath the forest/ beneath the Nazi boots?

Lie low/ bide time/until we go/

to take the arsenal at Kurzeniec?

You said, Gil, the Revolution Will Not be Televised.

What is Resistance now?

Will this phone-twerk marathon, perpetual petition ever make a dent?

What will be Revolution? Will it require/ actually leaving/ the house?

Must we look up/ from small screens?

Can we clicky-clicky/ thumb click/ our way back to freedom?

No, say the ghosts of Yoran and Heron and Agha-Soltan.

Shall we go then in black berets, bellycrawling?

an army of shadows/ stealthy/ thru ravines/

until we reach the tower/ cut the wires/ under cover of the night?

Must we sleep with the enemy? Steal the secrets/ slit his throat/ before first light?

We know not. But this much we know

say the ghosts of Yoran and Heron and Agha-Soltan:

It may require standing in the streets, waving banners —

if not marching, if not lying down, if not going limp, if not blocking, if not burning.

It may require standing in the streets — if not falling/ shot down

like Neda Agha-Soltan in Tehran.

It may require more than you want to give.

Must we go then week-by-week like the mothers of the Desaparecidos to the Plaza de Mayo,

the photos of the murdered, our children, plastered to our breasts?

We do not know, but this we know:

RESIST is not a Pokémon chase/ not a meme, a gif, a quip or clip/

not an app or apple anything,

not Netflix and chill, hot yoga, thin skin.

The revolution will not be a brand launch

say the ghosts of Yoran and Heron and Agha-Soltan

with events in May or June when the weather is fair.

This, more, we know:

there will be no magic savior.

Look not to Kamala, Corey, and Keith, to do the heavy lift.

Wish not, pray not, on your Liz and Bernie fetish dolls.

The resistance is you, only you, sans legerdemain,

not the avatar, but real you,

outside your comfort zone, outside the norm.

It is you; with your game on, venturing on

Out/ beyond the bubble.

Bring your outside voice.

Bring one daisy to place in the mouth of the soldier’s rifle.

Bring a bold chest to thrust/ against the tank/ in Tiananmen.

Wear that floaty, lovely dress and matching flats

to stare down the cops in Baton Rouge.

Bring coins for the pay phone/ for the one call.

Bring band-aids. Bring song.

Bring more than you are/ Or ever thought to be.


RRC – January 2017