Industrial Harvest


A Poem by sarah kavage
January 24, 2010, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

As part of the InCUBATE symposium back in December, guest Jeff Hnilicka  (who organizes Sunday Soup spinoff FEAST in Brooklyn) read this poem by Mary Speaker and it’s been in my head ever since.  Thanks to both of them for sharing this.   

The Third Feast
by Mary Speaker

We were the first ones here. We made sacrifices,
and we made ourselves comfortable. Our boredom
was not a topic of conversation. We redeemed each other
and so did not need to be saved and so we were saved.

We cashed in our friendships for two-person love.
We were told there would be others. We went
to find them, found no one. In the interim, we learned
to forage.We found supplies, which ran thin, so we formed

factions. For protection, for love, for comfort
against the other factions. Our scales went from one to ten.
We were of average height with extraordinary variations.
Our families were rich and fecund absences.

In the summertime, cloudscapes never failed
to entertain us. Daily our uncertainties rose up,
and we withdrew. We went behind the barn alone.
Climbed trees, drank. Built our forts and invited others

inside and made them leave when it suited us.
We invented systems of belonging that felt
valuable enough that we would want them.
We discarded each one as it revealed its flaws.

We wanted a new system. We wanted
a victory we would never be ashamed of.
We spoke in basements and kitchens.
We received gifts and we gave them away.

Suddenly, our hands were filled.
We laughed with our mouths open.



Dedicated To…/Dedicado a… by sarah kavage
December 12, 2009, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Selections from the Piazza archive | Tags: , , ,

The first stanza of Dedicated To, a poem by Elizam Escobar:

I dedicate this poem to dedication
and to those who dedicate their works to others.
Dedicated to the day and the night
to the hours that pass and those who laugh at us.

Dedicado a…
Dedico esta poema a la dedicacion
y a los que dedican sus obras a otros.
Dedicado al dia y a la noche
a las horas que pasan y a las que rien do nosotros. 

This was the first page I turned to in the Piazza archives.  It’s dated 1980.

Born in Puerto Rico, Escobar was arrested in 1980 and tried and jailed on charges of seditious conspiracy.  He and 10 others were accused of being members of the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation and plotting bombings.  He served time in an Oklahoma prison, continuing to write and make artwork during that time.  Axe St. Arena, Piazza and co.’s gallery / gathering space in Logan Square, exhibited his work and apparently maintained a close relationship with Escobar during this time.  Piazza’s archives are filled with Escobar’s exhibition postcards, writings and letters. 

Escobar was given clemency in 1999 by President Clinton.  He is one of Puerto Rico’s most well-known artists and teaches painting at the School of Fine Arts in San Juan.  Shortly after Piazza’s death in April 2006, Escobar dedicated his solo show at Polvo to Piazza.