She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire

iluminadoBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Printed in Geez Magazine.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe… Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

― Arundhati Roy, War Talk

I think of myself as a generally hopeful person. I’ve always believed in Martin Luther King’s long arc bending towards justice. But being in Detroit, the city where I was born and raised, over the last 5 years has crushed me. In a blink of an eye, a place filled with community leadership and creativity was steam rolled by an illegitimate government and the banks. We’ve gone from a city facing transformation by thousands of gardens to facing gentrification by tens of thousands of water shut offs. Black and poor folks are being pushed out fast. The stories are too painful. The work too big. The struggle for survival too real. The powers and principalities seemingly unstoppable. It’s all too much. Continue reading

She is on her way

arundhati-roy“Our strategy should be not only to confront the empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness- and our ability to tell our stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling- their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Arundhati Roy

Empire Christmas Poem

dragonBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann

empire,
crouched to devour,
breathes, like a dragon, winter darkness upon us:
decrees go out, are believed and obeyed, indictments
are suppressed, privilege covers the blunt ends of supremacy;
widescreen redundancies brutalize, dull, the mind; the most basic human

rights as to water or life are violated as practical policy, a financial necessity.

Continue reading