Hanalena Fennel – LTNC Series

Tall Tales

When I was a child

America was full giants

Of a huge man with an axe

That left footprints as lakes in his wake

Ate through logging towns

Felled entire forests with a single swipe 

Worked better alone

But always had his Babe 

The cowboy was never filmed with cows in the same shot 

That was left for offscreen vaqueros 

American Cowboys got stars and big guns 

Never missed

Never left the shoot out to find those clapboard houses offer no protection for the family cowering inside

The child in the gingham dress is still corpse no matter which gang shot her

The Hammerman we loved for his size

He’s “too dumb to quit” even as it killed him 

Nobody worried about the teaching his big black hands a skill

We just cheered on from bandstands in the desert as America sacrificial gladiator fought the machines were meant to save him 

As a child the only thing I learned of giants is 

           they kill everything they love 

          die alone 

Sleep giants. 

Rest on the earth as mountains.

You were never really here

 And our gingham dressed daughters have someplace to go.


Upbringing: A found poem of quotes from Donald and Ivanka Trump

Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice 

If being complicit means…1 

Locker room banter 2 

You have to treat ‘em like shit 3 

And when you’re a star 4 

Grab them by the pussy 5  

Perhaps I would be dating her 6 

Quality for me is key 7 

My father values talent 8  

Low I.Q. crazy 9 

A special place in hell for… 10 

You are a pussy 11 

Hard to be a ten 12 

Gosh, I sound like my father 13  

That’s part of the fun 14  

1 Trump, Ivanka. Television Interview with Gayle King. ​CBS This Morning​. CBS. April 5, 2017  

2 Trump, Donald. ​Campaign Statement​. Donald Trump Presidential Campaign. October 06, 2016  

3 Trump, Donald. ​Told to friend Philip Johnson according to ​New York Magazine​. 1992 

4 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005 

5 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005 

6 Trump, Donald. Television Interview. ​The View​. ABC. ​March 6, 2006 

7 Trump, Ivanka. Online Interview with Andrew Bevan. TeenVogue. March 28, 2012 

8 Trump, Ivanka. Listed as Headliner. 2016 Republican Convention. July 21, 2016 

9 Trump, Donald. Tweet. Twitter. June 29,2017 

10 Trump, Ivanka. Interview with unnamed reporter from Associated Press. ​Ivanka Trump says child tax credit ‘not a pet project’ by Catherine Lucey​. Associated Press November 15, 2017 

11 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005  

12 Trump, Donald. Radio Interview with Howard Stern. ​The Howard Stern Show. ​WXRK. September 2005 

13 Trump, Ivanka. ​The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.​ Touchstone. April 20, 2010 

14 Trump, Ivanka. Interview with Rachel Gillett. ​Ivanka Trump describes her life as the daughter of a potential US president, running the Trump empire, and building her own brand​. Yahoo Finance. March 17, 2016 


About the Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. She has writtten a book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide Press in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office.

Follow This Artist:

instagram.com/hanalena.fennel.poetry

Existential Ponders – Mia Savant

Questions for Death

Drawn from the movie Meet Joe Black that is not usually classified as a Halloween movie, but really, what evokes more existential thought than death embodying life?


What were you searching for, oh death

That you did not already know?

We seek for our meaning beyond the grave

While all this time you’ve been seeking yours in life?

You searched for the excitement

The whisper of a thrill

Things we often miss in our own time

We are told to be serious

To not turn to frivolous materials

That what matters is not this world

We stress for we cannot be spiritual enough to get out of our bodies before our appointed time of taking our last breath

To inhabit

What we believe to be

The true essence of being

And yet

Our material body

Has purpose

To you?

You hold the power to delay inevitable

Or end a being before their time

Yet a simple spoon of peanut butter

Feeds a part of your soul

(Or whatever your being possesses)

When you found love

You knew

The same way we do

That for some unknown reason

It means everything

And just like us you wanted to keep it forever

The thought of being without

Hurts your core so deeply that you would be willing to give up everything you have

Go back on every word you’ve ever given

And put to the test anyone who would try and take it from you

But you are just as confined as we are

Shackled by the conundrum

Of wanting true love to hold forever

But true love isn’t about holding

It isn’t about forever

To love

Is to live fiercely

Then release

Whether they stay in our hands or not

Belongs to something else

All this time

We thought it belonged to you

You were Death longing to experience life

And a life about to die

Had sympathy for you

So maybe

We are all lost together

And every moment in life and death

Means nothing and everything

Rolled together as one

What did you find, oh death?

You have now seen both sides

Is there truly

Nothing to fear?

Or is your calm an acceptance

Of eternal unknown?


Mia Savant

Existential Ponders – David Estringel “The Booky Man”

“And the Beat Goes On” (originally published at littledeathlit)

Dropping from the air

upon ears like paper blotters on willing tongues,

raging at the bloodlessness of cardboard cutouts against a shrinking sky,

through psychedelic lenses

let me seeeee, let me beeeee the pulse of silent rage

that rails against the vulgar machine

with words

that organize, legitimize, minimize, super-size, tranquilize, proselytize, tantalize, infantilize,

sexualize, stigmatize the suckled teats of long-conditioned truths.

Poking the bear, disturbing the seas of featureless beige,

stirring the comatose anima with battle-cries of sight and sound

that pierce dusty eardrums like sterling icepicks,

repressed wants teeeeem, solemn faces beeeeeam,

liberated in the warmth of a sun that breaks just beyond the horizon on coffee-house stages,

rousing thoughts

to gestate, ruminate, conjugate, propriate, sublimate, fornicate, obliterate, determinate,

propagate, exfoliate dangerous visions, birthed from the unfetteredness of a purple haze.  

Fueling the scribblings of furious hands upon white sheets with whisky and cigarettes,

Making, naked, ugly underbellies of the angst-ridden and inflamed

with the glorious promises of their ecstatic treasure-trails,

let’s revel in the coolness of poetry’s heeeeeat, indulged in pollen-dusted skin so sweeeeet

within the honeyed tangles of poets’ asymmetries

to detoxify, dulcify, intensify, demystify, purify, glorify, magnify, beautify, electrify, sanctify

our bodily streams of light that sugar lips and candy the fingertips.

Tearing away at the fabric, unraveling, woven from Gloopstick youth and plasticine smiles,

repulsing at the hoards in their mindless quests for extra-flavor and double-coupon days,

looking for a steeeeeal, wanting to feeeeel,

as hollow dollars crumble to coins when plopped upon unsated palms and countertops.

Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think!

We are on the brink

of the Fall of the American Empire.

Dig.


“Damn, God’s Got a Fucked-Up Sense of Humor” (originally published at Headline Poetry)

I was born a criminal

and mentally ill

on a sunny April morning in 1969.

The sky was blue,

God was in his Heaven,

and I was fashionably late.

My parents were hopeful—

father swollen with pride,

mother already counting grandchildren.

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Who else could make a sexual predator

look cute in purple Garanimals?

An abomination rock a school Christmas play

in a pair of make-shift, white feather wings

and glittery Converse high-tops?

Good ol’ St. Mary’s,

where brown (OK, sorta brown) boys like me

go to learn the three Rs,

fade away

into a sea of beige, and

find shame in their bodies

in the process.

Where fear is the heart of love

and there’s a special place in Hell for me

‘cause God hates sissies—

So sayeth Sister Clair Veronica!

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Interesting how the tides have changed.

Popstars and Hollywood

with their puppy dog eyes and bleached teeth

telling us how “It gets better”,

promising unicorns

and pots of gold

at the end of colorless rainbows.

Too bad Matthew Shepherd

couldn’t stick around

just a couple of more years

to hear those sweet words–

no leprechaun’s treasure

at the end of a pistol grip

or the bottom of fence posts

on cold October nights.

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Turn on the radio.

Turn on the TV.

We are everywhere

for all to see

and have a chuckle.

Walking, talking stereotypes of

who The Unbroken still think we should be.

Am I “Just Jack”

or the Stanford Blatch—

the quippy, queeny best friend,

a comic relief.

Stand back and clap!

Watch the pink monkey dance!

(Are they expecting me to pull a string of banana-colored

anal beads out of my ass?)

So nice to be finally wrapped up

in America’s embrace.

Too bad all I want to do

is tear at the fabric of all that is good and holy

like some twisted moth

with an appetite for family values

and holy sacraments

that straight folks don’t seem to have a problem

shitting all over–

So sayeth GW Jr!

Feeling a little like my birth day today.

Damn, God has a fucked-up sense of humor.

“Nothing Lasts” (originally published at Terror House Magazine)

Stars fall

against the murk 

of the night sky,

a rain of fireflies, 

dying in mid-flight, 

hurtling,

heralding, 

upon gentle heads blow,

cruel truths.

Nothing lasts. Nothing lasts.

Listen to the harmony,

that inaudible peal

(Ong)

that sets heavenly bodies to spin, 

amidst everchanging kaleidoscopes

of the Void’s sacred geometries,

pulling,

tugging at Fate,

with the waxing

and waning 

of single points of light.

Nothing lasts.  Nothing lasts.

We, 

the kings and queens 

of planets and moons,

tread upon paths

of celestial dust

wishing, searching

to join hands in communion

with the witnesses 

to our ignorant freefall into The Bottomless.

Nothing lasts.  Nothing lasts.

The Meal is a Lie by HanaLena Fennel – Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES

A Word About the Event:

I was extremely excited I was able to make it out to the Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES on Wednesday night and what a beautiful experience it was!

I was inspired watching HanaLena Fennel and Ra Avis read their work for such a wonderful cause. Their poems were moving, and I would be lying if I said there weren’t points that my eyes welled with tears.

An abundance of love was pouring out from them, calling for the justice of immigrants and refugees. These poets were bold and wore their hearts on their sleeves as they used their art for something bigger than themselves. Through their talents they encouraged others to use their voice as well, reminding us that if we all give just a small bit of ourselves, great change can happen. In a time that is hard to watch what is going on in the world, and the traumas and atrocities happening all around us, it was refreshing to witness people sharing their compassion.

Their event has ended, but their fundraising has not! You are still able to participate by going to:

https://www.classy.org/team/250297

Other ways to help:

– Write a letter to your representatives, senate, and local political officials.
– Contact your governor, who can aid in establishing sanctuary cities and preventing state level guard from being used as a resource by ICE
– Encourage your city officials to prevent local enforcement from cooperating with ICE
– Donate to an organization of your choice that you trust is doing their utmost to help refugees and immigrants who are adversely affected by this targeting
– Use your voice however you speak the loudest—through art, music, writing, conversation—to keep awareness spreading in your community
– Share posts on social media. Keep sharing. Don’t let this conversation drop.  

Please enjoy the following poem by the co-host of the fundraiser, HanaLena Fennel:


The Meal Is a Lie

The meal is a lie. Fingernail crescents, angel hairs, sustenance.

Sustenance will never be these things we discard.

Discard the coil of a hello tongue or last kiss.

Kiss the breath through sugared hands of child, of silence, of gimme.

Gimme surrender, body prostrate before windmill.

This is not grain or flour. The lance is spent, piked in the wildflowers.

We have tilted and the earth refused to budge.


About the Art & Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. This poem is from her book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide Press in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. 

Protest Against the Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants

Recently, I have found myself crying almost every time I’m on social media. Not a normal go to for me, but the pervasive amount of destruction going on with the immigrant refugees is only continuing to grow. The detention centers that have morphed into concentration camps is so appalling to me that I can barely handle it. My heart keeps breaking that such horrible treatment of other human beings are happening right here. Not in other countries far far away, but right around the corner from me. I ache at every separation of family and every child dying from neglect. I don’t even know how to begin to stop it from happening.

I’ve grown up hearing the stories of the WWII, the holocaust, being taught about the atrocities that occurred during that time. I cannot stand and watch it start to happen again without some sort of fight. However, I have been struggling to find anything I can do to help these poor people.

So, I did what I always do when I find myself feeling helpless. I sat down and started writing. This time it was a song that came out. My song of protest. It may not be much, but it’s all I have right now.

Take Action

I don’t know what your politics are, and I don’t need to know. Democrat, Republican, or other, I ask that if you have anything you can do, please fight this. We must stop this barbaric treatment of our fellow man.

These immigrants are human beings that we share this earth with who are looking for safety. People looking for survival. They are just as deserving of love and kindness as much as anybody. With all of the freedoms we have in this country, I feel like we should be sharing our freedoms, not killing those who are asking help to attain the same.

So far, I have been able to find some action to be taken by signing petitions or donating to the ACLU:

or

Donating to Raices so that attorneys have the means to take on the immigration cases in court: https://www.raicestexas.org

Please help me in taking the time to choose even the smallest bit of action, whether it be signing the petitions or sharing the information. Just something to help this from becoming worse than it already is.

If you know of other ways to help support immigration, please share it in the comments.

Lyrics

When will you hear the voices

What will happen before you do

A slaughtering of constitution

What are we bearing witness to?

Shouldn’t a mother’s tears count as a thousand voices

A child’s life a million more

What will it take

What will it take to open the door?

How many voices do you need?

How many will be satisfactory?

Consider this one more

In your directory

For the plea

Of humanity

Close your eyes

You only see in black and white

Try another one of your senses

Maybe you’ll understand the plight

How many voices do you need?

How many will be satisfactory?

Consider this one more

In your directory

For the plea

Of humanity

Aren’t you haunted by the crying

Don’t you ache with the dying?

How many voices do you need

For there to be humanity

When will you hear the voices?

The Art of Depression: Kirsty Niven

Artist:

Kirsty Niven

Follow Her Work:

https://wutheringmites.wordpress.com/

Pieta

I have become utterly numb.
My skin has hardened to cement,
a statuesque shell of dissociation.
Blood streaks my skin, bruises blossom,
but no pain can get in.
This cocoon has petrified itself around me,
solidifying under every slight,
every glancing blow, every slice.
I watch the cigar burn down
until the embers graze my calloused fingers,
just to see if I can still burn.
The singed scent fills my nostrils
and yet coldly I only look on.
A laceration, a punch, a kiss from the whip –
and still nothing is all I feel.
Each nerve is dead, stillborn in my veins.
Love ricochets against me, unrecognised –
too foreign a concept to a fossilised soul.
Only the nectar drips of wine seep through
the stone of my scar tissue;
a red tear leaking through my mask.