Thursday, February 19, 2009

Audre Lorde & Yoko Ono: Revolution

Today is the shared birthdays of two revolutionary poet/artists, Audre Lorde and Yoko Ono. Revolution often foments in rage and anger and these women certainly have brought that. Also, and perhaps more importantly, there is the love that is the goal of all souls looking to truly revolutionize who we are and how we conduct ourselves. Each of these artists, in their own transformative way, does just that.

Equality is the word and the word is love.


is the total black, being spoken
from the earth's inside.
There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a word, coloured
by who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the crash of sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book - buy and sign and tear apart -
and come whatever wills all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
breeding like adders. Others know sun
seeking like gypsies over my tongue
to explode through my lips
like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
bedevil me.

Love is a word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am Black because I come from the earth's inside
Now take my word for jewel in the open light.
Audre Lorde

Door Piece

Make a tiny door to get in and out
so that you have to bend and squeeze
each time you get in . . . this will
make you aware of your size and about
getting in and out.
Yoko Ono
Spring 1964

In memory of Audre Lorde and happy birthday, Yoko.

You rock the world.



Charles Gramlich said...

I like the first poem quite a bit. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Ono. I haven't really given her stuff more than a once over, however, so maybe there's more there than I know.

Ed Baker said...

Yoko Ono Runs:

just like not much is known of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven but lots about the Dada-ists
that followed/'borrowed' from her

not many "really" get into what Yoko has done/contributed...

just approach "things" minus your habits of likes and dislikes..

John Grochalski said...

what saddens me about Yoko Ono the most is what a strong artist she is, and how she is/has pigeon holed herself as the gatekeeper of the Lennon legacy. I recently finished the philip norman bipgraphy on John Lennon, wherein norman makes a strong argument for Yoko Ono the artist and individual personality separate from John. I read in the afterward that Yoko initially supported the projected but withdrew her support after finding the book "unfair" and "mean" to John. i didn't see the book that way, and actually found it to be the clearest vindication for Yoko within the stratus of the whole Beatle/Lennon saga. an appreciation of her work is long overdue.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON, John..

so, in 1971 or early 72 I go ver to John Cage's house

(107 Bank Street)

knock on the door and John and Yoko come bouncing out. John was in his basement studio where he was cutting up some veggies...

in our conversation he mentioned that he was now eating like Yoko (and john) ate.. macrobiotic there was some talk of her musical composition-ing

which was why I was there to talk about see how he notated things.. on what kind of paper he wrote on, etc

Yoko was learning from John C John L was learning from Yoko and etc

all of this refreshing when measured by what (in the art/porn world) Andy Warhol and his group were doing

well I bore you with trivia...

and, your name "rings a bell"
were you once a butterfly?


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hey, Charles - as soon as I learned, some time in the 70's, to take Yoko on her own terms, things came together for me ...

Ed, wonderful, wonderful art cum poems - just fab ... her influence in the rock world alone on the generation of women singers was incredible - to say nothing, so I will, of the art world ...

Jay, you have it measured precisely - Laurie and I saw an exhibit of her work out in San Fran a couple years back and were knocked out.