This was my first assignment and attempt to write documentary poetry.


Somewhere in Brooklyn a chair just fell over,

was kicked over.

By whom and for whom?

She stood on a chair in Spain…

just stood there.

Watched them come.

Who found you dripping from the impact

Your fall a dusk ring on clean paper,

Who found you swinging from the swift kick

Your flight a rust stain on the creator?

“so dead that it’s kind of hard to believe this story, hard to remember how this could have gone any other way.”

It’s getting harder to live in a world where we vote because of black, white, pussy, or pussyloving…

instead of red.

It’s getting harder to live in a world where no one can hear or is heard…

without taking lives.

It’s getting harder not to see the red…

splattered on my arms and legs.

“But it wasn’t a dream or a nightmare; it was all very real.”

It’s getting hard to be alone with a chair.

Friday Jan. 11, 2013

The suicide of Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old cyber activist, social justice activist, co-founder of Reddit. He developed RSS when he was 14 years old. His death occurred just weeks before he was to go on trial for using computers at MIT—that’s the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—to download millions of copyrighted academic articles from JSTOR, a subscription database of scholarly papers. JSTOR declined to press charges, but prosecutors moved the case forward. Aaron Swartz faced up to 35 years in prison and a million dollars in fines for allegedly violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He wanted to give access to students and researchers in other countries the resources they need that we have and often take for granted in an effort to further global research and education. 4 days before his suicide JSTOR had e-mailed Swartz’ mentor they were going to make all the documents he downloaded free to all people. He never got to hear about it.

Nov. 9, 2012

In the town of Barakaldo, a suburb of Bilbao in Spain’s Basque Country, officials from the local judiciary were on their way to serve her eviction papers. Amaia Engana stood on a chair and threw herself out of her fifth-floor apartment window, dying instantly on impact on the sidewalk below. She was the second person in two weeks in Spain to commit suicide as a result of an impending foreclosure action.

The quotes used in the poem are from a speech Aaron gave on SOPA last year. And if anyone is interested- here is a link to my documentary poetry writing process blog which we have to start as part of the class.

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