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Archive for the ‘What’s at Stake’ Category

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (January 15, 1928 – April 4, 1968)

Saturday, January 17th, 2015


“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Francis Miller / Life

Happy Birthday to You

Stevie © Liam Yeates



‘Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did’ — HamdenRice


Photographer Gordon Parks’ Never-Before-Seen Pictures of 1950s USA Apartheid
(Huffington Post)

Shoes Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was only a teenager when he left his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas. The youngest of 15, Parks chose to make a living for himself after his mother passed away, and wound up becoming the first African American photographer for Life Magazine.

© Huffington


Selma Clickable

The political and historical issues in Selma (World Socialist Website)

Never Forget that Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Hated by White America (The Daily Kos)


‘The King We Need’
Charles R. Johnson
(Lion’s Roar: Buddhist Wisdom for Our Time)

Dr. King's Fridge

Dr. King’s Refrigerator & Other Bedtime Stories


lbj & martin-luther-king-jr

President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Photo: Yoichi Okamoto/Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum)

Tavis Smiley’s ‘DEATH OF A KING’




The biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Michael Ochs | Time | Getty Images

Born in Atlanta, Martin Luther King, Jr. moved to Montgomery, AL, with his new wife Coretta in 1955 after King accepted a position as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. King met Coretta while he was studying for his Ph.D. at Boston University and they were married in June 1953. Yolanda, their first child, above, was born in November 1955.

© Gene Herrick/AP

Coretta Scott King welcomes her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as he leaves a courtroom in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 22, 1956

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Photo circa 1964 – Herman Hiller, New York World-Telegram & Sun – Released into the public domain by the original copyright owner

President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the White House, March 1966

(Photo: Yoichi Okamoto/Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum)



Audiobook available

Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

This post features a KPFA Pacifica audio and transcript of the full, lesser known sermon delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA, April 30, 1967
The text and audio of “Beyond Vietnam,” the widely circulated sermon of April 4, 1967 (delivered at Riverside Church, NYC), may be viewed here at a link to Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr.Papers Project


MARK BALDRIDGE (1948 – 2014)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015


markbaldridge Baldridge Family photo

Mark Baldridge

The man behind the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival: Mark Baldridge, 1948-2014

By Sharon Coleman

For decades, Berkeley has been enriched by a vibrant literary community with poetry at its heart, as we see in downtown Berkeley’s Addison Street Poetry Walk. At the heart of the poetry community since 1972 has been Poetry Flash, a hub for reviews, articles, event listings, and presenter of many singular literary events. And at the heart of Poetry Flash since 1995 has been Mark Baldridge, in so many capacities from board member to web master, but most notably as Director of the annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival.

When Robert Hass was named first U. S. Poet Laureate from the West in 1995, he joined in meetings at International Rivers Network with poets and ecologists to discuss “Nature and the American Imagination,” the theme of his laureateship, and to think of ways to engage the public using poetry. Having left a corporate career and started his own small advertising agency, hungry to do something real, Mark attended these meetings. From the discussions came the idea for the first Watershed Festival that took place in April 1996 at the Bandshell of Golden Gate Park.

Over a thousand people attended to hear poets Joy Harjo, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, and others. With Joyce Jenkins, editor and publisher of Poetry Flash, Mark wrote a major grant to the Creative Work Fund for “Down to Earth: Fifty-foot Rubbing Panels.” These were wooden panels carved in bas-relief by New Zealand artist Shane Eagleton that people could place paper over and make a rubbing. On them were designs, embedded driftwood, and a poem by Robert Hass. The grant came through, and the panels were unveiled at the Festival along with a sculpture, also by Eagleton, of a life-size humpback whale and baby whale carved from a single storm-salvaged redwood log. Joining the big poets on the stage were many children also sharing their poetry. It was huge and magical. And became an annual event

arrow wee

 Go to the Berkeleyside original
to read this obituary in full

© 2015 by Sharon Coleman/Berkeleyside



At Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, CA (2008), poet Joyce Jenkinsin the musical company of her partner Mark Baldridge, a feeling flautist — reads from Joy Road and other recent work. |  Photo: Al Young

“Boom! Just Like That!”
Al Young’s memorial poem
for Mark Baldridge


A 2015 Overhaul for AlYoung.Org

Sunday, January 4th, 2015



Al @ Carole Harris Studio Detroit 2014

Photo; Melba Boyd

Gradually, here in 2015, you’ll watch an updated version of AlYoung.Org unfold at this very link.

It’s about time, don’t you think? 


DMQ REVIEW | Autumn 2014 | Sally Ashton, Editor

Friday, January 2nd, 2015



DMQ Fall 2014

Featured Poet

Marge Piercy


From the Ether    Sally Ashton, Editor-In-Chief

From the Archives    Tracy Brimhall, May 2007 Issue

Visuals by
Audrey Heller

Subscribe to our mailing list

Guidelines          Staff          Archives          Cover

 Sally Ashton Los Gatos

Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County Emerita, Sally Ashton,
at the release of the
anthology, Song of Los Gatos: Poems of the Gem City, edited by Parthenia Hicks.

The DMQ Review is pleased to announce the release of the Fall 2014 issue featuring the poetry of Arlene Ang, John Davis, Amorak Huey, Kasia Juno, Lillian Kwok, Simone Muench/Dear Rader, Matt W. Miller, Tanya Muzumdar, Wendy Neale, Katherine Riegel, T.J. Sandella, and Rebecca van Laer, with artwork by Audrey Heller.

In collaboration with Peter Davis, editor of Poet’s Bookshelf: Contemporary Poets On Books That Shaped Their Art, Volumes I & II, the DMQ Review is also pleased to present the Bookshelf essay of Marge Piercy as our “Featured Poet.”



Monday, December 8th, 2014



Hands Up Don't Shoot


Raina Leon
Raina León

a poem by Raina León

Somos en escrito: the latino online journal

 Margo Pepper, writer, for jacket cover.
Margot Pepper

a poem by Margot Pepper




Mike Brown autopsy released, showing he was shot 6 times


AY Sketch from Buskirk Pix


A prose-poem by Al Young

After the unionists, they arrested and took out the photojournalists. Attitude adjustment. I knew this was criminal. I didn’t shoot news footage. I kept my eyes and ears wide open.

Soon they came after the whistle-blowers. Yes, I was signifying, delivering the news slant, but I wasn’t blowing no whistles, no covers. I spread the word like leaves. I took note.

Then they came after the librarians, seeders; keepers and shelvers of harvested truth. Tree-conscious, I kept plenty of books and records, but ran no library. I nail-filed it all.

Next they rounded up physicists and chemists, biologists, paleoclimatologists, anthropologists, geneticists, meteorologists, cosmologists and shrinks. Horrified, I shrank. I freaked.

Then they taized down the artists, all the arts, where close-ups fill in details and show stuff like it is, when image and imagination hook up and take over. I cleared my throat. I groaned.

Finally it was my turn in the barrel. As dumb as they looked, they sneaked up on poetry. They caught up with me. I had no case. Others? They knew, like I know, there’s no such animal.

They never stopped coming after the rhinos for their tusks. They never stopped trashing elephants for their ivory. In fury they went hard at the the Earth herself, pumping, torturing and murdering her for dead fossil fuel and sleepless profit.

— © Al Young 2014


Jack and Adelle Foley

Written to the Facebook group, “Italian-Americans for a Just and Equal World.” A member of the group wrote this: “So, when do we discuss the big elephant in the room that Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who murdered Eric Garner, is Italian-American, and that many racist cops are Italian-American? And when do we write and post an apology to the black community?”

I’m half Italian and half Irish. Policemen on both sides of that. But you don’t have to be Italian or Irish to be racist: racism cuts across ethnic divisions. Being “Italian” didn’t mean you had to identify with Mussolini—or with what some Italians did to Mussolini. How “Italian” is Daniel Pantaleo—apart from the implications of his name? If he is racist, does his racism arise from his identification with “Italians” or from his identification with “whites”? I have argued that “white” is not an ethnic group: it has no traditions, no culture. But if it is not an ethnic group, what is it? I think the answer is that white is an indication of dominance. It is always involved at some level with what Kipling called “the white man’s burden.” “White” in this sense is an indication of power, or of the struggle for power, or of power’s lack. Insofar as one identifies with power, one is identifying “white”; insofar as one does not identify with power, one is not identifying “white.” Social climbing—wanting to be white—is not limited to Italians. This is an entry from the O.E.D. The writer is a ship’s captain; it is dated 1726: “There may be about 20,000 Whites (or I should say Portuguese, for they are none of the whitest,) and about treble that Number of Slaves.” Note that for this person, the Portuguese are not particularly “white”—“none of the whitest”—and that the rhetorical opposite of “Whites” is not “Blacks” but “Slaves.” “White” = power; the notion of “the white man” is an invention of power.    

I then posted my poem, “NYC”


Murder a black man and you can get away with it.
Murder a black man and you can get away with it.
There are no ambiguities here, no excuses.
Murder a black man and you can get away with it.

If you’re a policeman you can murder a man.
If you’re a policeman you can murder a man.
And you can go free you can go free.

If you’re a policeman you can murder a man.

The policeman says his job is to protect.
The policeman says his job is to protect.
To protect is the opposite of murdering someone.
The policeman says his job is to protect.

Murder a man and you can get away with it.
Murder a man and you can get away with it.
If you’re a policeman you can murder a man.
And you can go free you can go free

Even if the man tells you you are killing him, he can’t breathe

You can go free you can go free

– Jack Foley

©2014 Jack Foley


Majid Naficy

Majid Naficy


In Memory of Eric Garner

“I can’t breathe!
I can’t breathe!”
What a painful statement!
For the first time
I heard it from my own tongue.
I jumped from my sleep in panic
And ran toward my dad’s bedroom
He put my head
On his chest,
Caressed my face
And said: “Majid!
Be calm!
Be calm.”

Today I hear that statement
From the tongue of a black man on YouTube
Who is being choked
Held by a white policeman.
No one puts the black man’s head
On his chest,
Caresses his face
And says: “Eric!
Be calm
Be calm.”

Hundred years of slavery,
Hundred years of brutality
Press on the black man’s throat
And do not let White America
Hear his voice:
“I can’t breathe!
I can’t breathe!”

Majid Naficy

© 2014 Majid Naficy



Hank Johnson D-GeorgiaButton-Play-32x32Relive with Representive Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) the meaning and impact of the death by chokehold of Staten Island’s Eric Garner.