Poets Against War continues the tradition of socially engaged poetry by creating venues for poetry as a voice against war, tyranny and oppression.

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Arnoldo de la  A

oakland, CA

1. recently published XicKorea -- poem rants words together (see www.xickorea.com)2. Works full-time as a human rights organizer, musician, and poet at the national network for immigrant and refugee rights: www.nnirr.org, based on oakland.


The Telephone Call

rrrrrringgg!
Hello, New York?
This is Jenin.
Hello, New York?
This is Baghdad.
Hello, New York?
This is Acteal.
Hello, New York?
This is Beirut.
Hello, New York?
This is Hiroshima.
Hello, New York?
This is Nagasaki.
Hello, New York?
This is Stalingrad.
Hello, New York?
This is Tenochtitlan.
Hello, New York?
We're calling long distance,
you'll learn to rise from your own horror

We're your sisters
We've been bombed,
Razed by empires,
Nazis,
colonial occupation.
Conquistadores.

You'll be re-born
Only if your people are free
Only if you accept
the glass beads
that you used to steal us from our original paths

Hello, New York?
This is Toppenish, Matamoros, Tijuana, Oakland
You can receive all our calls
(even call us collect!)
We look to you not as ground zero
But as the land which cannot be bought or sold
Trinkets and capital
will change hands
but they will not change your destiny.

Hello, New York!

New York City alone has more telephones than all of Africa. -- Fidel Castro, Sept. 8, 2001, at the closing plenary of the NGO Forum of the World Conference against Racism, Durban, South Africa.
[fragment from poems while driving out of the upheaval of NYC, Sept. 11, 2001, across country. c/s]


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