A Poem to 1000 Trees

Each time

At the site of the harm

They stand at a 90degree angle and name,

Name her earthly terrains for the taking,

Name her waters an unsanctioned graveyard,

Name her proclivity for dance and music as without method,

Name her communion with ancestors a morphological defect of the mind,

Name her silhouette a zoological site, and then call it: American culture,

Name her as gendered, or without gender after the political event,

Name her incapable of introspection and communication with the nonhuman,

Name her children a labor force,

Hiring them to de-legitimize nature,

and weed out those who do not obey,

This European import,

Its anxieties seeking to enclose upon a park where people shape place,

Its pattern for sensationalizing catastrophe but not curing it at the root,

More obfuscation in the form of construction,

More representation without class analysis,

Citing itself as revolutionary in its scriptures of media and the like,

To abide by the ledger of first world citizenry is to believe freedom as consequential to the accumulation of means,

Here, where preventative measures extract from the earth for the impending consequences of a half-century’s atrocities,

An entire world, as if kept in waiting,

More metaphors handed down from every faculty of capitalism,

Branded in the merchandise of identity,

Never uttering a claim to divest from polluting our air,

Or snuffing out our breath,  

To be alive after the colonial encounter is to be intimate bed fellows with the catastrophic tomorrow,


Is the frontline of this war,

A war of consciousness,

No, no, I do not want to be human!

Or be humane!

Do not use that kind of slur onto me!

With your smile shrouded behind the scope of a rifle,

Don’t you understand?

The violence of a name evolves from an alphabet,

It can be spun into the dislocations of a phrase,

And be weaponized in the cadence of a song,

An anthem choreographed onto the tongue,

Shaping our subconscious horizons without our consent,

What a meager livelihood we are given and must break from,

We who have already broken into an otherwise performance where we live as elders, too young,

Breaking away with each generation,

Searching for each other,

Reaching hands into darkness,

A familial echolocation,

To be born again as ungovernable amongst the living,

After the amniotic occurrence where we were born enslaved,

We who are living documents of a history displaced from published memory,

We who hold tight onto the erotics of another pentameter where poetry is not a luxury,

What disillusionment can be made of us in this brutal journey,

if we let ourselves be alone.

Revolution and Pleasure are synonymous,

Revolution or Pleasure is a circulation of means without borders,

A circulation in alignment with ceremony,

A commitment to deceleration that softens the muscles around the heart,

An attunement to relaxing the eyes to the pace of a blade of grass,

Every freedom is an ideological battleground,

Where we are apt to win,

Because we are never alone,

And, it is now, that we are in the spring of our only sacred life to be had.




Resonances Beyond Any Singular Catastrophe
A hymn

9 - The catastrophe is not an event but an arc.

1 - Poetry

1 - Steps

9 - In as anatomy containing the fibers of warlike memory,

1 - Casted

1 - By

9 - Fire through word from ear to page to nonhuman

1 - Testimony,

1 - Earthbound.

9 - To bear witness is not enough. The murderous deconstruct.

1 - Change

1 - Everything!

9 - Your word! Your love language! Your economics of inhabitation…

1 - Know

1 - Ceremony.

9 - A swing step, a Yanvalou, an awakening takes over.

1 - Come,

1 - Child.

9 - Rename Emergency, call upon righteous divinity for safety here.

1 - No

1 - State

9 - Shall survive! No one will reside singular at the

1 - End

1 - Of

9 - The world as we know it! CAUTION, knowing otherwise

1 - Excretes

1 - Alarm

9 - Of a local timbre, of a peopled wail, onto

1 - The

1 - Ears

9 - Of the wardens, triggered from your scent alone; rootkits.

1 - Sonic

1 - Color

9 - Lines dispose of voice and gesture to the spirit realm.

1 - Carceral

1 - Mortality.

9 - BabaluAye syncretized as a Minuet-step. Bass drone portals

1 - Secrete

1 - Liquid

9 - Afterbirth fed to the beyond in honor of shared

1 - Existences.

1 - Grace

9 - Notes mimic the harks of birds. We set ylang-ylang

1 - On

1 - The

9 - Doorstep of this new earth. Bathing Yemaya in scent

1 - At

1 - Sundown.

9 - The earthquakes tremble through us, an exhale of relief.

1 - Damballah

1 - Exchanges

9 - Centerstage, fortifying our path ahead. A serpentine undulation from

1 - Crown

1 - To

9 - Anal opening. We speak a cypher the state fears.

1 - Erotic

1 - Resonances

9 - That cause sublimation upon our cells. Remembering subterranean temporality.

1 - Seven

1 - Figured

9 - Proprioceptors. Feeling out our travels as cadre. Cantata sonars

1 - To

1 - Decipher

9 - Obstructions to come. What is the journey? Singularity obfuscates

1 - Ancestry

1 - Inherited

9 - From unnamed: Rebels, Whistleblowers, Inceptors, Fugitives, Mambos.

1 - Make

1 - Is

9 - Plural. We make. We for each-other are bounded, unequivocally.

1 - Break

1 - Pentameter

9 - Break from the expressive logics of desirability and herd

1 - Secular

1 - Pasttimes

9 - Called Value that flood our pores when we are

1 - Inside

1 - Each-other.

9 - Choreographies of marronage shape our mouths and brows appositionally.

1 - Shoulders

1 - Flying,

9 - Wrist unshackled, an Ibo evoking, an un-consented possession teaches

1 - We

1 - Are

9 - Soil. Residence time instructs our gestures are not dances

1 - But

1 - Alchemy.

9 - Spilling out of geometric forms and confines of memorization.

1 - Postnationalist

1 - Technologies

9 - In praxis are learned through loss. You are the

1 - Only

1 - Material

9 - Calling upon one another for opening to that there

1 - Urgent

1 - World.

9 - If you decide. If you decide. If you decide.

1 - Decide.

1 - Decide.                              


New York City Wants to Kill Me And Everyone I Love

And it is the public secret being passed around.

Normally just a comical charade over drinks before the city shutdown.

You might’ve not noticed it in the turnstile of the subway

Or Hovering along the dotted “i” at the end of the month

A valley on the furrowed brow that cannot rest of my sister

The parched mouth of sugary lips on my brother

Ticking clocks on the hip of my grandfather

A window collage of kittens hungry for what might be their last meal of my father,

New York City Wants to Kill Me And Everyone I Love

Winona La Duke (thank you) reminds me with a chuckle under her breath that “we used to ride planes”,

She says she passes around this joke on the reservation,

I used to ride planes all over the world too,

It never felt natural,


I waited to fall from the sky,

a sobering truth for ground species, like me

Jah and I build gardens in the small pathway that never gets enough light near my home

to learn to grow something other than more babies in the city,

My mother wants a child of me

She cries believing she will die

never having been a grandmother,

My grandmother, Alba Caridad Barrios-Martinez,

is the youngest of fourteen children born “cerca de la linea”

Describing its proximity to the Haitian boundary of water,

History knows territories are made to shift,

as Quisqueya or Hispanola.

This NW region, Castanuela,

an agrarian province for rice farmers

with mountains of its shoreline

which plunge a spectacular drop into oceanic blues

along the Caribbean horizon.

A fish shack and scattering of gated properties

make up access to the sea.

The Dajabon River to the left

is infamous for the six day execution

ordered by dictator, Raphael Trujillo, in 1937.

El Corte

The archive scores:

armed soldiers  

knocked at the homes

of border-town residences

requesting members of the households

repeat the term


or parsley in English,


Those who responded with the glottal stop of French Creole

and not the rolling “erre” of the King’s Spanish

were taken to the river

— el massacre.

The river is now synonymous with the color red.

This is not new of island life,

the allegiance to colonial rule

and delusional white supremacist coordinates

embodied always beyond pigmentation,

I emphasize here: white being,

(Thank you Dylan Rodriguez)

as different from the very real phenomenon of white people,

white being is instead the pervasive emotional landscape wedded to the mechanics of the state,

a troubling truth made hard to name,

and sharper an ax to cut with,

inciting premature death in the hands of representation:

Place in the blank, for example:

the black intelligentsia and their respectability that kill with rapidity,

An equation of violence failing the poor,

and non-white,

and whites outside of white being,

How cliche,

the cyclicality of history that ushers in a coup on Washington,

or Munich,

or the pacification of employees in the face of harm,

or the permission of brutality at the Dajabon river in the name of patriotism.

New York City Wants to Kill Me And Everyone I Love

Toussaint-Louverture and the Haitian people overthrew European encroachment,

This did piss off those elite Dominicans in the see-saw passage of powers from 1804 to 1937.

A tension with only degrees of difference from today,

Where the revolution is always coming at our doorsteps in the form of a knock,

or a tapped phone call,

or a bullet,

or a pipeline,

or an eviction notice,

or an unsatisfactory annual review.

Where liberalisms hold steadfast to progress,

in the wretched remnants made after the devastation of taxonomies,

After the divisions of labor,

After the conceptions of worth brought with the meeting of white being.

(Thank you Denise Ferreira Da Silva)

for naming only the total recall of land and value that has been stolen will suffice,

meditating with Zapatistas

when she feels through this call to action

because in all efforts we must center urgency.

As she says: What is it that the Dead are calling for?

A hard request

How to wake from our American slumber at the end of the world as we know it?

My grandmother is an exposed body of water in the high noon sun

flowing from a mountain top of what could not be said from her lips

into the rivers of another deeply wounded terra

with hope to become more than an island called woman, or mother, or daughter.

In another place we cannot call home,

the acceleration of hurricanes have shift beach geologies from sandy shores to jagged rocks,

The island keeps the score.

Along the boundary of a redlined community on Turtle Island is my landlord’s historic home.

An 82 year old Guyanese-American matriarch who labors,

pandemic or not,

to tend to the life of a much wealthier white woman of white being on the East Side,

who would prefer she lived in the apartment she’s dedicated to her down the hall from her own residence

for easier access to her body.

My landlord, Nazalene,

never accepts this offer

that has remained open in the form of keys sitting on her mantle for 20 years,

she is curt whenever we speak,

in the kind of way one is after being bludgeoned by the heels of authority

for so long

in a city that wants you dead

for being a black homeowner,

she tells this story to me and my partner in brief

as we catch her on the porch in a moment of frustrated exhale.

It is clear in the terms of the story that she has never outright denied the apartment

as to not upset her employer;

as to not become clear with her boundaries

which she believes she is not permitted without consequence.

El massacre.  

New York City Wants to Kill Me And Everyone I Love

Los ritmos,

the rhythms of the rage that have been dulled of her tongue

sit dormant in the punctuation of her preference not to name a yes or no,

an unrequited voodun ceremony,

a sacrificial offering unfinished,

are the coercive middle grounds of her pregnant pauses,

to take the offer would be to return to a generational wound,

a notion of her sense of self captured,

to become an island in the penthouse of a lonely dying rich woman

who can then sit upon her shores,

to become enslaved in the most contemporary sense

to the arms of care work

which lead to premature death for women who look like her.


she swallows the boulder of rage she cannot let roll off her tongue

for it would crush Indiana Jones and the novels of conquest with it

birthing another world she does not know

One she could not control of herself if she let out such a truth.

a subterranean scream that could crack open the earth.

(Thank you Alexis Pauline Gumbs for naming a black feminist spill)

In the village of Flatbush,

~vlat a name of Dutch origin to denote the low lying altitude,

my partner and I live on the third floor of a colonial home that sometimes smells of curry goat

where we have little to no guests anymore

My dearest of friend’s, Chazz,

a brother

a heart song that knows me at my worse and best

is one of the only others who crosses the threshold.

And when we are all together,

there is ceremony for the world we are tired of,

there is pause in the exhale of smoke and alcohol shaped in glee,

there is the weight of the world in sounds of a bass melody and electronic wail upon our dim eyes,

there is the realization that this island we make together breathes life

in an abundant landscape of consumption and death in all directions

for people who think and feel like us.

New York City has jailed my brothers and fathers for surviving to adulthood

It has made my mothers mother others and disown their halo

It has fed us the poison of liturgy called academic study

and manufactured food from the strategic enclosure of depreciated dwellings

all in order to see itself as superior

For the elite to know who they are not

patting themselves on the back as they offer up crumbs

of cultural events

and charity in scholarships

Tearing away at the social fabric of revolution

stirring in the heels of a world they cannot surmise.

To them, A ghetto all the same.

I am dying in New York City,

a life that is made of match sticks and kerosene,

for brief moments on a stage

or on the page

to intervene these grammars of violence

My friends are dying of heart ache

and swollen eyes

and lungs

longing for real touch.

New York City wants to kill us all.

Which is to say that NYC is the horizon of the world,

an industrial horizon

encroaching on the wildness

of every corner of life

with the spotlight of legibility.

Canceling out the cripples

and queers

and addicts

and dreamers

and communist

and NDN’s

and femmes

and fats

and whistleblowers.

And so if this is the horizon of civilized life,

I do not want one bit of it.

I will take the ones I love and myself

somewhere deep in the cracks of these structures called homes

and set them all ablaze as Harriet Tubman

and Marie Joseph Angelique did.

One by one

passing through the interiors

To blow away the kinespheres of delusion

called organized life

Slitting the throats of success

and their zombified siblings

of mobility

And fences

And keypad entrances

For it is what the dead ask of me.


Nikki Giovanni’s, When I Die

when i die i hope no one who ever hurt me cries
and if they cry i hope their eyes fall out
and a million maggots that had made up their brains
crawl from the empty holes and devour the flesh
that covered the evil that passed itself off as a person
that i probably tried
to love



how to commune practice with accountability?
the question brings in me the never endingness of provocation. spilling words. i was brought today to an image of Lotty Rosenfeld’s work after receiving an email presenting CADA Colectivo Acciones de Arte by an institution through a newsletter. an advertised event mobilizes the anti-Pincochet agenda of CADA through a discursive intervention, occupying silicon valley internet time for Americans to wake up to the circumstances of subjection that include living and dying in the United States of America. choose what side of the revolution you are on, the turning point of any superhero novel. Q-Anon terrorists and the like gathered at the White House last night honoring the release of a crony who was taken to bookings for burning a Black Lives Matter flag on the steps of a black church. He was released without a fine or call to community service etc. Democracynow replays a clip of his first steps out of the precinct where his girlfriend kisses him in tears, as if he was going to be sentenced to death. a stunt for camera, i guess. its funny how he absorbs her kisses like a wall, keeping his steely composure with eyes hidden behind shades as they walk towards the cheering crowd of gator-brandished white boys and girls. an upside-down heroism or rightside up in the eyes of the american project. I’ve deleted 65,000 emails recently which helped me finally read a newsletter in its entirety. well, most of it. a message came from another voice through my headphones calling for boundaries in order to thrive. they were talking about emotional boundaries -- working hours, technology time, consumption, solitude, being in movement -- in order to fortify oneself for what’s ahead. why were somatics never instructed as a modality of justice in all those dance classes? the self-aggrandizement of having a so called self-individuated artistic practice makes me sick to my stomach now more than ever. what exactly is mastery in a state of catastrophe? maybe the Black-Afrovivalist would have a clearer answer here. application? i wish there was more time to read and dream. i’ve been consuming pages of words and videos and radio and song like a pupa in incubation. these still cannot ever fulfill the knowledge of touch, of experience. is this at all close to the feeling the girls felt during the epidemic trying to escape death through making? is ‘making’ the word to use here? maybe conjuring or foreshadowing... surely that death sentence was different from this zoonotic virus but the grief shapes a familiar vastness only to be described as the swell of living during so much simultaneous death. i miss everyone that keeps me from noticing new york city wants to kill me and my people: whether through housing, or food deserts, or job access, or social safety, or health care, or building version of land stewardship that affirm life. these days, the sun sets before i am ready to go inside, energy always moving through me as if it is not mine. working out or becoming screened for hours or smoking away the day don’t quiet the awakefulness that comes all of a sudden like a hunger to find a thread of truth inside of catastrophe. a route towards a real next step. i listen and read and watch and ask and call others to try to get closer to that next, but there is always the same pause of the voice on the other end between words, a familiar wound. the deepest mourning is recognizing you are out of practice, or worse, have forgotten faith. when and where did i put it down? must’ve been somewhere in the grammars of violence where i tried to survive, and part of me did. waiting in fire.

Una Milla de Cruces subre el Pavimento (1979-80, 16mm) / A Mile of Crosses on the Pavement, Lotty Rosenfeld

[descripción de la imagen: una foto captura una vista aérea desde un avión sobre un paisaje. El paisaje es una carretera larga que se extiende desde arriba hasta abajo; formando la línea central de la imagen. Los árboles se alinean a la derecha e izquierda de la foto: son tonos de verde, exuberantes con un crecimiento de primavera o verano. Un almacén se encuentra en el lado izquierdo de la imagen, junto a la carretera. toda la imagen no se ajusta a su marco. el negro rodea la izquierda y la derecha como porciones no utilizadas de la película de celuloide.]

[image description: a photo captures an aerial view from an airplane upon a landscape. The landscape is a long, highway road stretching from the top the bottom; making up the central line of the image. Trees line the right and left of the photo -- they are hues of green, lush with growth of spring or summer kind. A warehouse stands on the left side of the image, alongside the road. the whole of the image does not fit its frame. black surrounds the left and right as unused portions of the film celluloid.]

“El futuro que deseamos para el arte es la vida misma, la creación de una sociedad diferente como una gran obra de arte,” Colectivo Acciones de Arte (CADA)
“The future we desire for art is life itself, the creation of a different society as a great work of art,” Colectivo Acciones de Arte (CADA)

Con el golpe de Estado de 1973 que termina con el gobierno democrático socialista de Salvador Allende, Chile entra en un largo periodo de violencia y represión que fue contestado por una proliferación de propuestas estéticas disidentes. En 1979 Lotty Rosenfeld realiza por primera vez, en la Avenida Manquehue de Santiago de Chile, la intervención Una milla de cruces sobre el pavimento. En el film que registra el evento se sigue la acción repetida en la que la artista mide, se arrodilla y pega una cinta (o una venda) del mismo ancho que las líneas que dividen el pavimento. Con movimientos medidos y repetidos, convierte los signos que ordenan el tránsito urbano en un espacio dislocado por otros sentidos que introducen la imagen de la crucifixión y las nociones de suma, dolor y muerte. Es ella, una mujer, sola, en la calle, quien repite la acción. Repone y activa las ideas de rito, de sacrificio, de exposición del cuerpo aislado en una acción urbana, en las calles amenazadas por el peligro. Busca instalar así un desconcierto que altere la normalidad reglamentada por el poder represivo.

                                                                      – MALBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Artists in Chile responded to the military coup of 1973, which deposed the democratically elected socialist administration of Salvador Allende and ushered in a long period of violence and repression, with an aesthetics of dissent. Lotty Rosenfeld first presented her intervention Una milla de cruces sobre el pavimento on Avenida Manquehue in Santiago in 1979. The film that documents the intervention shows the artist measuring a piece of tape (or is it a bandage?) as wide as the pavement's dividing lines, then kneeling to adhere it to the street perpendicular to the lines that indicate the direction of traffic—an action that she repeats time and again. Through these measured and repeated movements, the intervention misaligned the signs that organize urban traffic, creating a space jarred by other meanings (the idea of addition and the image of the cross, with its associations of pain and death). The artist—a woman alone in the street—is the one who repeats the action. She reinstated and activated the ideas of rite, of sacrifice, and of exposure of the isolated body in an urban action in streets riddled with danger, thus attempting to induce a sense of confusion and upset the normalcy imposed by repressive power.


Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project Updated August 2014

Rope Exercise: From Greenhouse to Hothouse

What Is It?

Why Do it?

An exercise that visually demonstrates and represents the scale of fossil fuel consumption and growth.

Materials needed:
  • To demonstrate visually and viscerally the scale of fossil fuel consumption and growth.
  • To connect it to the concept of “lag effect.”
  • To give a clear sense of the scale of the ongoing ecological crisis.

30 minutes – 45 minutes
  • A long rope (50-100 feet)
  • Volunteers to hold the rope


1. Gather the group. Start by explaining 2. the basics of climate and ecology.

Suggested script:

A greenhouse is a great way to grow things in a cold environment. We build them to trap heat so that life can grow, even if it is too cold to grow things outside. Space is cold. The earth is surrounded by gases (greenhouse gases) that make the planet perfect for life. But we are pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than is good for us – going from a cozy greenhouse to a hothouse. This is happening right now and fast.

2. For us to feel the impact of our emissions takes about 40-50 years. Close your eyes and imagine what the world was like in 1970s. Read these guide questions:
  • How were people living?
  • What was happening in the world?
  • How did most of the world live?

3. Take out the big rope and read this script:

This rope represents a timeline.

Since we first discovered oil, in the late 1800’s, we’ve basically been doubling our consumption of fossil fuels every 20 years. There has been some fluctuation between each 20 year period, but an accurate average is that we’ve doubled our fossil fuel consumption need every 20 years. 

4. Pick a person to hold one end of the rope. Explain:

Let’s visually represent what this means. This end of the rope represents the year 1890.

Pick another person to hold the rope about 6-12 inches from the end. Explain:

And where he/she is holding the rope represents 1910. The length of the rope between 1890-1910 represents the amount of fossil fuel consumption between those years.

5. Next, using the remaining rope, fold it over from 1910 to 1890 twice to show double the previous length in rope (about 12-24 inches) and have someone hold the rope there. Explain:

And this new point is the year 1930. And as you see, the consumption between 1910-1930 is double the length of consumption between 1890- 1910.

6. Then fold double from 1930 to 1910 all over again, and have another person hold the new point. Explain:

And this is 1950. Keep doing this doubling of the rope, until you reach today, or the length gets too cumbersome or reaches far out of the room.

7. Point to the year 1970 and explain that this was the year you had the group visualize at the beginning of the activity.

8. Read script:

To reiterate from before, it takes about 40-50 years for us to feel the impact of our current emissions. This is called the lag effect. Today, we are experiencing the impacts of our consumption 40-50 years ago (from the 70s). And all of the fossil fuels we’ve consumed from the 1970s through today is yet to have an impact on our climate. That is coming. This gives you a real sense of the scale and pace of the ecological crisis. We are already feeling extreme impacts of our past overconsumption of fossil fuels – from rising sea levels to extreme weather patterns created by the climate crisis. As we continue to exploit the Tar Sands, or continue to pursue mountain top removal, we are only setting up our children and grandchildren to live in a scary future.


  • A double every 20 years comes from only 7% growth per year. But because growth is exponential, it gets bigger faster than we can imagine.
  • 1970 is the key point to highlight lag effect – we are feeling the impacts of that time, now.


[image description: a fluffy beige wool coat with matching hood appears in center frame on an anonymous person who’s back faces the camera perspective. they are positioned, standing, with only their torso visible while looking out upon an densely overcast sky, as if rain is coming. the clouds accumulate in a similar patchy texture of the beige wool coat. collectively, it is almost as if the subject begins to blend in with the air and clouds surrounding them in the image.]

I am in the process of editing a film of the same title while reconsidering everything... the metrics of value that name a meditation or project as complete, the interconnectedness of globalized extraction mediated through artistic output of the individual, being in rigorous communion with the terrain of abolition that is demanding more of us as people. it is has become sensational to think the work of making as divorced from demands to innovate and instead as an act come into the sacred work of ceremony as practice, to speak through and reach back and form connections sought to be broken by the dominant narrative. i am thinking of and through alexis pauline gumbs and syvlia wynter and tiffany lethabo king at the moment as i hold space for what is still possible in the participation towards a bolder now through the tools of expression. to stay boundless to discipline and bounded to one another as practice. the following is a set of words that come from the wound of this rumination that haunts, and will appear in the film as spoken by a dear friend, family, and collaborator: Chazz Giovanni Bruce  



not to words, 



you are breathing right now.


it is not
to hold
or to name

this possibility.


every fiber
before you





who did
did not survive
for this divine homecoming
that awaits you?



of your time?
of your body?

we are
each other.

each other,

shall we
walk lightly
with all of the earth


unspeakable thing