‘Table for Two: Lunch Time with César Chávez and Herbert Marcuse,’ by Armando Arias

Professor Armando Arias remembers back to a conversation between critical theorist Herbert Marcuse and labor organizer César Chávez, as part of a larger project on the coming together of Chávez and science.

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“Means and Ends: an Anarchist Critique of Seizing State Power,” essay by Zoe Baker

“In ‘Mean and Ends: an Anarchist Critique of Seizing State Power,’ Zoe Baker gives a vital and timely overview of the anarchist analyses of social transformation that refuse the state as the horizon of revolutionary struggle. In recent years, movements from Chile to Palestine, from Iran to the United States have circumvented traditional leadership to express rage and occupy and create spaces of freedom while refusing ‘practical’ limitations on their vision and demands. Baker’s overview of foundational anarchist thinkers like Bakunin and Malatesta indicates the potential and significance of these kind of movements to create revolutionary change in a system that, like all systems of social control, perpetuates its own necessity. For anarchists, truly revolutionary change requires transformation of the consciousness of people in society who must learn to live, think, and sustain themselves differently than the current social order requires. The ends do not justify the means, rather the means are what make the ends possible. Thus, attempts to seize or appeal to state power merely perpetuate the hierarchical and authoritarian conditions and consciousness that the state as a social structure creates and maintains. Like other revolutionary social theorists from Frantz Fanon to Paulo Freire to Jimmy and Grace Lee Boggs, anarchists ask how the process of revolution itself can prepare us for the new world we hope to create; a world we cannot predetermine but only experience in its becoming.” – Boukra Collective

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“À propos de la poésie collaborative” par Brian Sheffield (et trois poèmes collaboratifs)

Poète et éditeur, Brian Sheffield, se demande pourquoi nous devrions parfois abandonner l’individualisme et l’égoïsme de l’auteur solitaire. La poésie, dans ses meilleurs moments, est collaborative. Ici, il explore certaines des raisons de l’écriture collaborative, et inclut trois exemples du collectif Boukra.

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“On Collaborative Poetry” by Brian Sheffield (plus three collaborative poems)

Poet and editor, Brian Sheffield, considers why we should sometimes abandon the individualism and egoism of the solitary author. Poetry, when at its best, is collaborative. Here he explores some of why of collaborative poetry writing, and includes three examples from the Boukra Collective.

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New poem, “February 17” by French poet and artist Claire Durand-Gasselin

Dans “17 février” qui fait partie d’une œuvre plus longue intitulée Morceaux d’Heures, la poétesse et artiste française Claire Durand-Gasselin présente un hommage lent et discret à la côte centrale de Californie. Ici, les lecteurs retrouveront l’influence de la poétesse américaine Mary Oliver, associée à une touche moderne, et certains reconnaîtront des paysages et sentiments qui émergent des forêts de pins de Monterey.

· · ·

Dans un coin de ce petit morceau de forêt encerclé de route
trois morceaux d’arbres forment un recoin–a nook,
mon mot favori.
Je suis assise sur le côté gauche
sous quelques branches qui m’encadrent comme un dossier de fauteuil
face au chemin d’où je viens
ligne molle et claire qui plonge vers
l’herbe lumineuse et verte
constellée des silhouettes sombres d’arbres fins
le tout tâcheté de soleil.

Si je relève le menton
je peux suivre du regard l’envolée verticale des pins et atterir
sur le balancement doux de leurs sommets.

Le ciel est bleu comme souvent.
L’instant simple comme jamais.
Le soleil brille à ma gauche
comme d’habitude.

À ma droite, des arbres courts se tordent et s’emmêlent
comme une forêt mystérieuse de conte de fée
où seuls des êtres initiés et minuscules
pourraient se faufiler.

Dans mes oreilles Lana chante
Californi-a / homeland of the gods
once I found my way / but now I’m here lost

mais je ne suis pas perdue.

Le temps que j’écrive le dérisoire
de ces quelques mots
le soleil est descendu derrière les arbres
ou plutôt
la terre s’est déplacée
vers le haut.

· · ·

Claire Durand-Gasselin est une poète visuelle. Sa pratique artistique initie une errance créative entre arts visuels et arts littéraires, pour créer des œuvres hybrides et éclectiques. Elle utilise le livre et ses caractéristiques comme médium artistique, matériau physique et cadre conceptuel. Après avoir passé la dernière décennie entre New York City et Monterey (Californie), elle réside actuellement à Montreuil, en France. Parallèlement à son art et sa poésie, elle conçoit des livres pour des presses et auteurs indépendants. Elle est également professeure occasionnelle de français, et travaille pour Boukra Press en tant que graphiste et traductrice.

In “February 17,” part of a longer work titled Pieces of Hours, French poet and artist Claire Durand-Gasselin presents a slow and and quiet homage to California’s Central Coast. Here readers will find the influence of Mary Oliver with a modern twist, and some will recognize the landscapes and feelings which emerge from our own Monterey pine forests.

· · ·

In a corner of this little piece of forest surrounded by the road
three tree pieces form a nook
my favourite word.
I’m sitting on the left side
under a few branches that frame me like the back of an armchair
I’m facing the path where I come from
mellow and clear line which dips towards
green grass studded with the dark silhouettes of slender trees
all is dappled with sunlight.

If I raise my chin
I can watch the vertical flight of pines and land
on the gentle swaying of their peaks.

The sky is blue as often.
The moment is simple as ever.
The sun shines to my left
as usual.

To my right, short trees twist and tangle
like a mysterious fairy tale forest
where only some initiated and tiny beings
could sneak in.

In my ears Lana sings
Californi-a / homeland of the gods
once I found my way / but now I’m here lost

but I’m not lost.

The time for me to write
these derisorious words
the sun has gone down behind the trees
or rather
the earth has moved upwards.

· · ·

Claire Durand-Gasselin is a visual poet. Her artistic practice initiates a creative wandering between visual and literary arts, to create hybrid and eclectic bodies of work. She uses books and their features as an artistic medium, a physical material, and a conceptual frame. She spent the last decade between NYC and Monterey, CA, and is currently spending time in Montreuil, France. On the side of her art and poetry, she designs books for indie presses and authors. She’s also an occasional French teacher, and is involved with Boukra Press as a designer and translator.

“relearning how to breathe,” a poem by Chris Siders

Chris Siders’s new work explores two contemporary concerns: white supremacist violence and the horrors of covid. But rather than imagining that these function separately, Siders uses the poem as a net to connect them to the way capitalism, militarism, and the U.S. nation-state itself can violently structure our experiences and very lives.

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“Observing Shapes of Judgement in the Sky,” a new poem by Brian Sheffield

Sheffield experiments with blatantly disrespecting institutional norms and how we interact with them. This new work challenges hierarchies both in heaven and on earth.Continue reading ““Observing Shapes of Judgement in the Sky,” a new poem by Brian Sheffield”

“Ends and Means: An Anarchist Critique of Seizing State Power” is available for pre-order

Baker Cover Idea v2Release date: January 2022
$5, including shipping

Zoe Baker’s succinct analysis outlines how methods of revolution which rely on seizing state power reproduce the systems and ways of living that we are hoping to destroy.

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