OLD POEM// drake is an anarchist, a love poem

~Be like the juice from the orange~
HE finally made it to California. Drake stares at the glass in his hand. He realizes
how wrinkled his brow is and smooths out his face. He goes back inside and finishes recording vocals for “4 PM in Calabasas.”Plus stares at the empty plastic bottle. There’s a whole hole in it, he’s trying to get it to smoke.

He stares at the notepad in his hand at the untitled poem.

The sun comes up again.

~wanna get you down on
a page put an explosion
in a bottle show my
friends merrily merrily
wanna be seen with
disappear u
this shit is not a love poem
this a fuck a artist meet em
where they cum song
i do not know what the
fuck you thought this was poem
this a eating pussy
better just because song~

Drake smiles at her,
“I just wanna interview you”
she’s in the bed too,
she smiles back and says
“Interviews are like confessions”

The music is really loud, Meek Mill is trying to sleep,
shots ring out.

There’s a gun in Drake’s face.

Plus writes a poem in his notepad:

Drake finishes recording “4PM in Calabasas” and comes back
outside. He smiles writing in his notepad:

friends
water
sky
new friends
sunshine
fun
big ol breakfast!
pictures
pretty towels
sports
sunglass
go!

Plus’s poem goes like this:
i hope drake
i hope drake is on vacation
right now, and loving it
i hope drake is happy
i hope drake doesn’t really
have people trying to kill him
and if he does i hope they stop
i hope everyone forgives
each other
I hope someone new
comes into drake’s life
inspiring all kinds of
beautiful poetry and
heartfelt song
I hope drake knows when to be quiet
and listen

Plus is quiet on the beach. His friends are all around him,
he looks over there’s Sasha. He’s smiling. She and Walker
lead him to the water. He’s being quiet.

Drake’s Pop Style, through an anarchist lens is easy: Drake is really only able
to live this life because of his money, but he wants absolute freedom. He wants
to turn his birthday to a lifestyle, he wants to be able to make art as much
as possible, and he wants his family to be okay. He can’t chill though, ever.
He can’t trust no fucking body. It’s hard being a nigga. I’m talking about me,
I’m anarchist. – +

Drake and Sol Patches meet. Drake realizes how much he inspires them.
Drake realizes how revolutionary his music is. Drake has a secret plan and it’s
a revolution. Drake is being all he can be, Drake forgives himself. Drake is acting
again, soon! Drake is proud of VIEWS despite the reviews.

Drake uses protection. Drake is still alive when we stop death! Drake is listening to
Prince right now or some Stevie and his mama. Drake’s mama understands what he’s
going through right now. She’s not really 70 & alone right now. She & the 6 live
forever. Drake doesn’t have to go through what Kanye went through.

In this reality, no one shoots Drake to death for being himself. Drake sings.
Drake likes Radiohead. Drake never falls off. Long live the 6 God long live
you! Drake likes LEMONADE. Beyonce and Drake never fall off or age or die.

Drake writes a note to his OVO employees:
“We’re the ones taking care
we’re the ones bringing people in
watching the spaces
protecting the culture
nourishing each other
and all our beams

‘Beauty has been stolen from the people’ – Kanye West”

Plus says something to her about his art like “My life is a crime scene.”

Drake writes the lyrics to “Trophies”:
‘If I was doing this for you then I’d have nothing left to prove,
nah, this for me though.
I’m just trying to stay alive and take care of my people.
And they don’t have no award for that.’

Drake breaks down and weeps. The news is heavy on his heart. Later,
he writes a love poem:
~I respect you so hard
I wish I wasn’t afraid of you
I love you so much
I wish I didn’t hate you
lover
hands
what does it mean if I
find weed in my bag
while I’m trying
to cut back but
it’s actually a dried
plant that was alive
with the weekend’s
start a startingly hot day
when all the insects came to play 2 lovers 2 lovers~

INTERVIEW// Manu

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Photo provided by Manu

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Grow-Op Chicago member & artist Manu! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

 

THE Q&A

What advice do you have for students starting out?

I would definitely say the first thing is Collaboration. With the free time & ability to move around that a student might have, link up with people or organizations who have already been doing work. Not necessarily to commit to sticking with them forever but just to kind of get into the industry, start developing friendships, you know?

How did you get started out?

My nutritional anthropology professor asked me to be a part of a research team, mostly made up of grad students. The study was measuring the impact that Dekalb County Community Gardens had on the level of food security or insecurity in Dekalb County. So I was like “Yeah, that sounds really really awesome.” Dekalb, IL has a pretty big Latinx population. I was asked as part of the research team to use the training I was getting in anthropological methods to interview people – it was mostly people of color .

What are some local resources you think students should know about?

AUA (Advocates for Urban Agriculture). I’m friends with a few of them there and enjoy
what they do. Their main focus is to get resources out to people who are interested in
urban agriculture.  They have a new resource guide you can get for free online through their website, you can also buy a hardcopy. I recently finished translating
it into Spanish. There’s a lot of accessible resources that even a student could learn from.

So definitely AUA, specifically their resource guide. Through AUA they also have this really really cool mapping website. CUAMP, the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project. You basically go on this website and type in your address and it’ll show you the different community gardens, urban farms, and places where people grow near you.

I do Grow-Op Chicago, with Matthew Gladly and others. Our goal is to connect people. That’s why I love CUAMP  because it makes that work so much easier.

I also was going to talk about Steve who runs OTIS farms in Back of the Yards.

Down the street from Breathing Room Space?

Yeah! Steve is just wonderful, he has a lot of knowledge. He’s currently staying at Breathing Room, so you could go there and find him.

Do you have any advice for students just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

If you’re not into touching dirt you don’t have to. *laughs* There’s so much that goes on outside of the actual garden that is essential for having any sort of profitable success or just success as far as impact.  There’s a lot you can do without having to actually be placing the seeds down.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

First of all developing an overall sense of self-awareness- how your presence is affecting a space that you’re interacting with and the people you’re interacting with. Not in a judgmental way but in a literal “how is my presence here affecting what’s going on.”

And at that point being aware of what’s already happening wherever you are. And then taking into consideration the other people you might be interacting with have feelings, goals, passions, and hopefully have other people’s best intentions in mind. Which isn’t always true but still when you meet someone, they are sentient. They have a whole history and paradigm they’re experiencing things from.

And then after that we can talk about communication. Different culture doesn’t necessarily have to be in another country. Even in Chicago there’s so many different cultures, there’s ethnic cultures to social cultures. People are different. We all have a similar condition but people are approaching it in so many ways. Being aware of that.

But I think it first has to come from inside. Because if you’re not understanding how you’re impacting where you’re at it’s going to be very difficult to understand why people are acting the way they are.

Earlier you mentioned “anthropological imagination,” do you want to talk about that more?

Yeah! Another friend of mine who I met first through them being my professor in college is Mark Schuller. He’s an anthropologist that’s been writing about this concept. Imagination often takes on a meaning of “child’s play;”  it’s very stigmatized, like “imagination isn’t real” or  like it’s just what little kids do or something. But really how I’m understanding “anthropological imagination” is it’s taking a very holistic multidisciplinary approach to how we can process, address, or ideally solve contemporary world issues.

I’ve been thinking a lot about using that concept and applying it to people not having equitable access to food, you know, where they’re living. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and like not even how to research something like that, even though that is really important, but how to engage as an advocate for urban agriculture within communities. Whether it’s my own community or a community I’m involved in through another growing initiative. It’s like using anthropological imagination to become aware of what’s been happening in this community,  what is happening now, and, like, where do people in this community wanna go?

And really forgetting about these -ologies, you know?

Thank you!

 


 

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a life of meaning vol. 2 is now available

sm5

THE SICK MUSE is a semi-monthly zine featuring lyrics, paintings, poetry, and musings from the underground scene in Chicago. Find them in stock at Quimby’s Bookstore, Permanent Records, Bucket O’Blood Records, Saki Records, Reckless Records, ECO, and a (not) DIY show near you!!

This is +’s essay from The Sick Muse vol. 5, released this week, accompanying a revolutionary sticker collection, part of +’s ongoing a life of meaning multimedia project.

~*~*~*~

U.S. Presidents have said a lot of nice things about art over the years~ perhaps most famous is John F. Kennedy’s speech at Amherst College in 1963, a partial eulogy for the poet Robert Frost, where Kennedy says “I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.” In 2014, current president Barack Obama stated that “the arts are central to who we are as a people.” And a few years ago, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wrote to Vanity Fair:

“In my line of work, we often talk about the art of diplomacy as we try to make people’s lives a little better around the world. But, in fact, art is also a tool of diplomacy. It reaches beyond governments, past the conference rooms and presidential palaces, to help us connect with more people in more places. It is a universal language in our search for common ground, an expression of our shared humanity.”

She’s kind of talking about art as “soft power”: a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence. However, I’ve been fascinated lately with thinking of what art might be like as “hard” power. What if we could, to paraphrase singer Frank Ocean, actually draw on fantasy to make things hyperreal? When I watched Hillary’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, talk about her political career during a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, a major theme was her existence as a Change Maker. She would pick up a phone or go to someone’s office building or sign off on a bill and suddenly thousands of parents would be able to take their child to preschool or a hundred clinics would stay open. It made me think of how I can’t do that; no matter what I put in a song, my words are just words that you’ll soon forget.

The purpose of a life of meaning is to empower a new connection between real life and popular art ~*~*~*

There’s an imaginary land of freedom and peace that music often refers to- think John Lennon’s “Imagine,” or The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.” I believe that place exists as a physical reality right on the other side of the political condition that we live in. The Staples family can’t actually take you through that looking glass the way a politician can but placing these stickers on plants, walls, on bedroom doors and bathroom stalls works to realize the potential of our greatest art and our purest selves.

In past writing, I’ve defined love as “a state of mutual vulnerability.” I meant it both emotionally and as a political definition. That’s how it appears, too, in Beyoncé’s new visual album LEMONADE as the personal reconciliation of Bey x Jay gives way to images of mothers of young black men killed by law enforcement. Beyoncé’s happy ending for these mothers – their “Freedom” – portrays black women growing food together in a boundary-less community. Here, class isn’t a factor: literally everyone has a seat at the table. There are no prisons. I feel like it’s my responsibility to state without ambiguity that there is only one political concept that encompasses LEMONADE’s perfect reality. It’s already championed by millions of people all over the world and it’s called Anarchism.