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. 

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8:29pm by HanaLena Fennel – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

8:29 pm

This is a howling moment

caught

held silent

echo in a ribcage scaffolding

degrigated to a flaccid gasping

Self god, could I

have the breakwaters 

the tide and flesh

the empty space 

of self worship

Self god, could I

have the barking

of a low slung belly

gravid and sweet nectar

ripe fruit splitting

Could I have the letting go?

The flood and fire? 

The Self, G-d?

The more than self?


About the Art & Artist:

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

Come See This Artist Live:

HanaLena is co-hosting the Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES tonight! Follow this link for details:

https://pondersavant.com/2019/09/03/resistance-reading-fundraiser-for-raices-by-hanalena-fennel-nadia-alamah/

Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES by HanaLena Fennel & Nadia Alamah

Come out for a fundraiser event happening this Wednesday in Orange, CA. These artists have put together something quite special and if you have the opportunity, will be well worth your time.

All details below!


For questions, interviews and more contact: HanaLena Fennel hanalenafennelpoetry@gmail.com   To participate virtually in this fundraiser, donate at: https://www.classy.org/team/250297 Facebook event link containing author bios: https:// http://www.facebook.com/events/490334835101516/?ti=icl Author webpages: https://www.rarasaur.com/ Art and photos by exhibiting artist Nadia Alamah: https://www.nadiaalamah.com/  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THIS WEDNESDAY: Resistance Reading Fundaiser for RAICES and Open Mic

When: THIS WEDNESDAY, September 4th from 8-10pm
Where: UGLY MUG Café in Orange (261 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866) Parking is available on some streets and parking lots close to the venue Open Mic Signup begins at 7:45pm  

by Nadia Alamah

ORANGE, CA—If you’ve been following what’s happening at the border and with immigrants and refugees across the country, or have questions and want to learn more, join us this Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Ugly Mug Café from 8-10 pm for the Resistance Readings fundraiser, which will highlight performances by two featured poets, provide additional resources for information, and display a mini-bazaar of art and collected works, including those from Moon Tide Press.

Proceeds from the features, and sales of art and poetry will go towards the support of RAICES, a legal-based organization dedicated to supporting and assisting immigrants and refugees at the border. There will also be a creative open mic for all to participate in, with a cover charge of $3 which goes directly to local café The Ugly Mug, as the fundraiser is presented by the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry weekly series.

Of the two featured poets, Mexican-Indian American poet Ra Avis, will share a new poem and some from her works Dinosaur-Hearted and Sack Nasty, speaking to both her experiences as a first generation American and her time in incarceration.

“The immigrant and refugee experience, asylum seekers—when you try to get from one country to another, there is a journey and a story there. Because of language [barriers], those stories don’t always get translated. And because of systemic racism, and sexism, and all these other issues in the publishing and media world, they don’t get highlighted,” Avis said. “So people like myself who grew up in close proximity to those who came from another country, we have heard these struggles, and we know these

struggles. But all of their stories are filled with pain and grief and trauma, leaving behind everything you know, starting over on a much smaller scale.”

The other feature and event organizer, HanaLena Fennel, a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet, will be performing poetry from her book Letters to the Leader, poems published by Moon Tide in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. “I think that the best thing I can do is amplify the voice [of a refugee] if it’s there—but I can speak to my own family’s history, and to the history

of the atrocities that human beings can commit on each other, and what that looks like, and what those steps are, and how we end up in those places, and how to stop those things,” Fennel said.

Fennel’s main reasons for choosing RAICES as the main beneficiary from this fundraiser include its structural capacity and willingness to assist as many cases as possible in all demographics and age ranges. Its structure is largely impacted by location independence, as the organization can contact law offices to volunteer across the country.

“Two Idiots Peddling Poetry believes the work RAICES is doing is among the most important things any organization is doing right now. Protecting the rights of immigrants is vital to preserving who we should be as a people,” co-founder/host Ben Trigg said, when reached for comment.

Moon Tide Press founder Eric Morago also had something to say: “Moon Tide is happy and grateful to support HanaLena in her fundraising for such a noble cause,” Morago said. “It’s a privilege to get to support my authors in the work they do beyond the page.”

Fennel’s other reason for supporting RAICES through this fundraiser – that they take on as many cases as possible—also stems from her empathy derived from being a mother herself. “We have two year-olds who are expected to represent themselves as their own attorneys in immigration court without an interpreter. That’s obscene,” Fennel said. “I have children. I have toddlers. They couldn’t represent themselves answering my front door, let alone in front of a judge trying to explain why their life is in danger if they were to leave this country.”

This fundraiser is intended to raise community awareness and inspire us to take action. “I don’t like it when people speak hyperbolically, but there are currently people dying in ICE custody right now— because they’re not receiving the health care services they need,” Fennel said. “They don’t have basic hygiene, they don’t have basic care. And one of the very small things we can deal with that is to help RAICES pay somebody’s bail so they can go and pick up their kid out of these containment centers/

internment camps.”

Avis connects to what refugees and immigrants are going through given her experiences with incarceration: “I can only imagine myself that the camps are so much worse because there isn’t any kind of illusion of fairness or justice protecting you,” Avis said. “You put people in cages, you take away basic humanities, you tell them over and over again that they are not worth basic dignities, and then you expect them to be okay when you let them go, and that’s just not likely. Nor does it solve any problems. It doesn’t at all address the actual problem you locked them up for. Especially not in the case of immigration.”

There will be resources available at the fundraiser to provide more information about the border crisis and provide suggestions for ways to take action in our everyday lives. “[We want] to remind everybody in our community that we’re not alone in the face of learning all of this terrible information and that there are things we can do—in our lives, in our art, in our day-to-day communication with each other—there are ways to make sure that we are not looking away from this horror, but also not paralyzed

by it,” Fennel said.

“I want to be available to people as another resource. If they have questions, if acceptance of this is a question of ignorance, I want to make myself available for a conversation,” Avis adds. “As much as you may understand at a conscious level—how locking people up is detrimental to them and to our society—it’s much different when you’re sitting with someone who was locked up. Someone who isn’t necessarily how you imagine, doesn’t necessarily speak how you imagine, or even someone who does.”

While she is supportive of the many other events happening to support and connect community in the face of these tragedies, Fennel also encourages you to come out to this or another fundraiser to make an impact: “There’s more of an added drive. Not only do I feel like I could do something tomorrow, I know I did something today.”

To participate virtually in this fundraiser, donate at: https://www.classy.org/team/250297
Want to be involved but can’t make it to the fundraiser? Here are some things you can do to make a difference:
– 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.