Durham SONG member, Grace Nichols was sent here across time and space to cause a lot of good trouble. They are a queer, genderqueer, disabled, adoptee, scorpio, soccer fanatic, prismatic performance artist. A member since 2014, Grace owes their politicization, radicalization and general upbringing to SONG. They are currently studying screenwriting at Antioch University LA in an effort to take cultural organizing to the big scre

On the last day of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, I want to offer this poem. With all that’s spinning, it’s been hard to think linearly but it feels important to remember that our liberation and resistance has always been interconnected across culture and time. The same imperial ideologies that keep a chokehold on the philippines rear their ugly heads in an all-out genocide in palestine. The “democratic” experiment of the u.s. is dying and we must do all we can to usher in its death and birth something new. Grace Lee Boggs says, “the only way to survive is to take care of one another” and James Baldwin says, “if I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” It’s with these two bold revolutionaries in mind that we must unapologetically name white supremacy and colonization as the most devastating threats to humanity in the world. As an adoptee taken from the Philippines, I gladly omit the ‘american’ part in ‘asian-american’ and celebrate the resistance of my people to u.s. imperialism.

This poem includes nods to:

-the essay Poetics of Anticolonialism by Robin D.G. Kelley and the mention of the 1925 Paris Surrealist Group, a recommended reading from kai lumumba barrow

-Octavia E. Butler

-the Jewish honorific zikhrono livrakha, or may their memory be a blessing

-Kifu Faruq, a visionary Aquarius, who once told a story about someone threatening them with a gun to which they replied, “you think a bullet can stop me?”

-my indigenous ancestors in the Philippines, land protectors, who were unstopped by bullets from u.s. Imperialists. In the late 1800s, the u.s. military invented the colt .45, to specifically kill Filipinos because the .35 proved insufficient. *colonizers and imperialists are intentionally evil and violent and we must not be afraid to name this truth

-my ancestor Datu Lapu Lapu who killed colonizer Ferdinand Magellan

-my crocodile and shark ancestors. Colonizers would feed us to these creatures, not knowing they would carry us to the afterlife and into the future

-Malcolm X who shared a birthday with Yuri Kochiyama, a friendship of revolutionaries epitomizing Black and Asian solidarity

-Grief rituals

-Palestinian Liberation, forever and always

Invitation to Timeline Jump

To desire dust

To look away 

Soaked in fear

Refusing to change

Emerging soul reckoning 

Thousands of new stars lighting our way

Constellations, lifetimes

Soaring through space

“There is nothing new under the sun

But there are new suns”

And what are suns but big stars

Each of us a whole world

There is enough space for all of us in the universe 

“May their memory be a blessing”

May I interest you in a timeline jump?

Seven generations ahead

Seven generations back

I place my “energy at the disposal of the revolution”

You think bullets, bombs, crocodiles, or sharks can stop us?

“Did you think you could kill my people and we wouldn’t come for you?”

I have returned from the crocodile’s belly before

And I will do it again

This time the crocodile

My teeth yellow and brown

Sharpened in metal and Blackness

Sparkling with style

Age of Aquarius

Age of accountability 

“by any means necessary”

Grant yourself the gift of grief

Go deep

From the river to the sea

Seek any tributary of humanity

Allow water to work its magic on stone

“We are unstoppable

Another world is possible”

– Grace Nichols

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