Friday, May 6, 2011

Only as Equals by Palestinian Poet Remi Kanazi

Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi performs his poem "Only as Equals" at Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas on 4/4/11.

Remi Kanazi - a poet, writer, and activist based in New York City. Poetic Injustice is the long-awaited release by this Palestinian-American poet and it is a diverse mix of unabashed resistance poems. Laced with searing indictments of occupation, ethnic cleansing, and war, Remi tackles some of the most important issues facing the world today.

Remi is also the editor of Poets For Palestine (Al Jisser Group, 2008). His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Al Jazeera English, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and BBC Radio. His poetry has taken him across North America, the UK, and the Middle East, and he recently appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board member for the Palestine Writing Workshop.

Only as Equals:
Every time I think of 9/11?I see burning flesh dripping off the bones of Iraqi children in Fallujah Now Gaza I tend to memorialize the forgotten The collateral damage eclipsing our unpunished crimes
Maybe its because Im a numbers guy Because if I had a dollar for every time an Iraqi died since 2003 ?Id be a millionaire
And dont get me wrong Sometimes I dont know who I hate more The governments in the West Or the politicians in the East Who sell their souls quicker than the oil they export Straw men who use Palestine as a tool to line their pockets And dont give a nickel to their people Quisling governments Who stitch mouths shut for a check from Washington and AIPAC How can you be their prototypical anti-Semite If you are signing peace accords to oppress your own people?
And then Orientalists and idiots talk about how We cant have democracy in the Middle East Because of what happened in Gaza A Hamas boogyman wrapped in democratic elections Rahm Emanuel wants to educate me and my people about democracy gone wrong Why doesnt he try implementing one Israel first? Instead of bowing down to terrorists like his father and the IDF Lauding a third rate, racist, European society thats imploding quicker Than its moral standing in the world Enlightened like 1950s Afrikaners and slave traders Just because the house is beautiful Doesnt mean the bones you built it on have fully decomposed
The Israeli left is about as alive as Ariel Sharon Im sick and tired of asking for permission to resist From antiquated leftists and progressives Who care more about keeping it Kosher than moving things forward I put down my pen and waving fist to resist with college kids and Palestinians Boycott and divest! Because who cares about preserving a living when governments are killing civilians Complicity by silence and reserve units bombing Gaza Your academics and scholars, theater groups and practitioners, are part of the problem
And if logic doesnt fit into your long term plan of rejecting My right to return, Im sorry Maybe one day youll return to reality Where my people have babies quicker Than Zionists can concoct Jordanian options
I dont want your sympathy or introspective confessions Wont sit on my hands till they loose oxygen Like the people of Balata and Rafah?Vote for Barack Obama And pretend that his 22 day silence was golden While emaciated children starved to death Surrounded by their parents corpses
This cant be America the Beautiful A criminal with a few positive attributes Doesnt alleviate genocide Bombing Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq Into oblivion doesnt make you historic It makes you as blind and bloodthirsty As the white men that came before you Apathetic hipsters now excited about a presidentWho broke history, but not poverty, occupation, or corporate interests
Id rather proudly walk through the graveyard of peace accords And failed dialogue sessions Than see my people just as occupied or third class citizens We are the gavel that will slam down like a verdict We are not waiting for Israel or America or the Supreme Court to approve it Well boycott Lev Leviev, Caterpillar and your apartheid companies Were taking back the right of return and the keys to a country Because we never asked you to go back to Europe or sit in open air prisons Im not asking for your advice, Im explaining the decision You can stay here, with us, but only as equals?Its not that youre Israeli, its that youre wrong Thats why I fight for my people!
Produced by Jeff Zavala.
A ZGraphix Production.

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