Poetry: Jacqueline Valencia
It was 1989 when our music television station went green to join a cause that had become
the topic du jour: the environment, Greenpeace, and rock n roll.
Earth day videos of toxic waste dumps, co2 emissions, and hair spray that held crowns up
had to be put down. "Look at what we're doing, Jane," they said as images of sad polar bears, dying seal pups (appropriated), streamed by as we anxiously scribbled protest signs, planted trees at school, and felt for the first time that we could make something happen beyond cynicism and Ferris Bueller.
U2, World Party, Peter Gabriel, Sting,The Boss, Sinead "O'Fucking Yes" O'Connor, Chrissie Hynde, in concert. Watch it live and donate now to the Earth! "We gotta do something now, John," we said, and somehow the corps made us believe we were not pretending to care because it was a real cool party and we were just dancing politics.
That was it. A day every year we try to recreate the moment, and all this time we had been clogging up our oceans with their plastic, still
our air with their acid fumes, still,
spilling their, our, whatever, oil, still
in lakes and directly on endangered birds as if we didn't learn anything and somehow a lot of us forgot how to use our legs.
complacent and complicit we are
and the new kids, scream blame and hope,
all at once, so empowered
through inherited black smoke
Now we're finally listening?
"There is no invitation to this show, people,"
we should all be there.
Jacqueline Valencia is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and critic. She is the author of Lilith (Desert Pets Press, 2018) and There Is No Escape Out Of Time (Insomniac Press, 2016). Current projects include: Writer's residency at Poetry InPrint (poetry and printmaking), Fuck This Place (novel-in-progress) and planning the second Poetry Talks: Racism and Sexism in the craft (pending 2020). Jacqueline is a full-time maid, and the mother to two wonderful teenagers.
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