RIP Jayne Cortez (May 10, 1936 – December 28, 2012)

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Poet and performance artist Jayne Cortez has passed.  Author of numerous books of poetry, including Pissstained Stairs and the Monkey Man’s Wares (1969), Jayne was a pioneer in poetry and sound. She recorded with the Firespitters in the eighties and nineties, producing landmark works like If The Drum is a Woman. Take a listen here –

She was the 1964,  founder of  the Watts Repertory Company, of formed Bola Press. She will be sorely missed.

Push Back the Catastrophes

I don’t want a drought to feed on itself
through the tattooed holes in my belly
I don’t want a spectacular desert of
charred stems & rabbit hairs
in my throat of accumulated matter
I don t want to burn and cut through the forest
like a greedy mercenary drilling into
sugar cane of the bones

Push back the advancing sands
the polluted sewage
the dust demons the dying timber
the upper atmosphere of nitrogen
push back the catastrophes

Enough of the missiles
the submarines
the aircraft carriers
the biological weapons
No more sickness sadness poverty
exploitation destabilization
illiteracy and bombing
Let’s move toward peace
toward equality and justice
that’s what I want

To breathe clean air
to drink pure water to plant new crops
to soak up the rain to wash off the stink
to hold this body and soul together in peace
that’s it
Push back the catastrophers

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