The Spin, a poem

plugged_in

 

The bile fills my gorge

As round and round we go

The pictures flash and burn

As round and round we go

 

Loathing and disgust

At the ten second clip

Empathy to last

’Til only the next blip

 

Push it down our throats

As round and round we go

No need to really know

As round and round we go

 

Integrity is flushed

Sensationalism’s in

To flounder during sweeps

Is the absolute worst sin

 

They’re selling us the news

As round and round we go

Can we ever learn

As round and round we go?

 

Poem copyright 2007, Illustration copyright 2013 – Kat Micari
Both found in The Little Book of Insurrection or The Poetry of My Discontent

I’m feeling this poem so much this week that I had to share it. There are discussions I want to have with people, things I want to say that would wake them up to this, but people are caught up in a riptide of emotion, many rightfully so. So I stay silent, and listen, and experience their pain with them and offer support where I can, which is all I can do at this point. And then use that energy to create as best I can so it gets processed into something constructive at least.

Part of me would love to update this poem as well. I glibly included the stanza on “sweeps week”, but the spin goes beyond just trying to hustle and make money. It really is a tool for control.

Crumbs – a poem

I think I’ll just post this every November on Election Day until it no longer is relevant.

Crumbs

We squabble over crumbs on the floor
While the big pile of money… oops… food
Sits on the table just out of our reach.
We eat self-help slogans,
Never acknowledging that this game
Of life is rigged against us.
Sound bites offer little sustenance.
We dance as the puppet masters
Pull the strings.
We follow the magician’s
Sleight of hand
And allow ourselves to be astounded
By the misdirection.
We obsess with details,
Refusing to ever see the big picture.
And we are amazed that we remain
Forever hungry.

From The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent
Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

America – a poem

Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

  Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

I am America
Sick and writhing
Obsessed with health
Rotting from within

I am America
Sliced and diced
Corpulent and uncaring
Numb to the core of my being

I am America
Selling the dream
Stretched to the limit
Listen to the proclamation

I am America
Static blocks all sound
Who knows what to do?
The wrong people are killed

I am America
I am the masses
A loud voice
Heard by no one

I am America
From sea to polluted sea
One nation, incorporated,
With lies and injustice
For all.

Copyright 2013, Kat Micari
From The Little Book of Insurrection, or the Poetry of My Discontent

Seems appropriate to post this with what’s been happening lately.

Crumbs – a poem

Appropriate poem for election day.

Kat Micari

Crumbs

We squabble over crumbs on the floor
While the big pile of money… oops… food
Sits on the table just out of our reach.
We eat self-help slogans,
Never acknowledging that this game
Of life is rigged against us.
Sound bites offer little sustenance.
We dance as the puppet masters
Pull the strings.
We follow the magician’s
Sleight of hand
And allow ourselves to be astounded
By the misdirection.
We obsess with details,
Refusing to ever see the big picture.
And we are amazed that we remain
Forever hungry.

From The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent
Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

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Voting Tomorrow?

Little Book of Insurrection coverHi, American readers! Are you planning on voting tomorrow? If so, consider downloading and reading my poetry collection, The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent, tonight! It might help you think a little more deeply.

You can download the ebook for free at Smashwords in a variety of formats, or if you really want to pay for it or buy a print copy, head over to Amazon.

Also, remember that your vote counts more directly in many ways for the local elections, so you may want to investigate the issues concerning those officials before you make your selection tomorrow.

Book Fair Wrap Up and a Sale!

The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair is complete, and for my first event, I am pleased. I managed to break even on most of the expenses, barring just food and gas to the event, but as it was also a chance to socialize with friends, and those items are a tax write-off, I’m considering it a success. I’ve actually had quite a few experiences with art shows and conventions, and there is always a potential for a huge loss (especially if you have to add in hotel cost to the mix).

The event itself was lovely. It is always a good opportunity to see what other writers and artists are doing, how they set up their displays, chat about your experiences, etc. The Buffalo community is an extremely indie crowd, very supportive of local work, and very willing to try something new. As it was free to the public, there was always a heavy flow of traffic. Downsides to the event – the first day, I was put in an upstairs room with stair access only, so that may have decreased some of the traffic, and the historic building that the event took place in was freezing cold the entire time. I also have a very hard time sitting with nothing to do, but the tables were so crammed close together, I felt like I couldn’t really occupy myself when the crowds ebbed.

Here is a slightly blurry picture of my set up from the first day, including a profile shot of me conversing with my neighbor, the awesome Madeline Claire Franklin.

table set up

Some of the many things I’ve learned:

  1. The artwork drew people over to the table, but didn’t lead to any sales of the prints. A different crowd, maybe, would have been more willing to buy, but I definitely need to decide if I want to invest the money into carrying the stock with me in the future.
  2. In some other poetry imprints’ opinions, I am undercharging on my Little Book, especially as it includes illustrations. I’m not going to be change the price anytime soon, but it is something to consider if I do further releases in the future.
  3. I need to probably start going to poetry readings if I want to get more people reading the Little Book. I hadn’t ever considered this before, and the thought of doing it makes me a little uncomfortable, which is a sign that it would probably be a good thing for me to do for personal growth. I won’t have any time until mid-July to start researching this, but it is percolating in the back of my head.
  4. It may be a smart idea to get together with some other writer friends and create our own small press label, to then be able to have a sign on the front of our table. It lends a little legitimacy to the self-published author, even though it is ridiculous that one still has to play the legitimacy game in this day and age.

Other than that, I had a lot of fun looking at the vast assortments of beards and mustaches on the men, both those vending and in the general crowd, had some great conversations with fellow writers and artists, had a fantastic Vietnamese meal with friends, and got to soak up the ambiance of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum.

And now, I am offering an enormous sale on the leftover prints at my Etsy shop, including an amazing bundled deal, where you can get all three prints and a signed copy of the Little Book for just $25. This will probably be the lowest I ever sell these at, so if you’re interested, take advantage! I will have the sale available until I run out of my current stock or until the Etsy listing expires.

Crumbs – a poem

Crumbs

We squabble over crumbs on the floor
While the big pile of money… oops… food
Sits on the table just out of our reach.
We eat self-help slogans,
Never acknowledging that this game
Of life is rigged against us.
Sound bites offer little sustenance.
We dance as the puppet masters
Pull the strings.
We follow the magician’s
Sleight of hand
And allow ourselves to be astounded
By the misdirection.
We obsess with details,
Refusing to ever see the big picture.
And we are amazed that we remain
Forever hungry.

From The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent
Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

First Small Press event booked!

I will be vending at the 2014 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair on April 5th and 6th! I will be bringing print copies of The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent, along with some prints and a few of the original illustrations. I’ll also have 1/4 sheets with info on Penumbra to pass out.

So, if you are in the Buffalo, NY area, please stop by, even if it’s just to say “hello”.

Is Tolerance on the Internet Possible?

Last week, I posted my illustration Vessels with my poem An Open Letter from The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent up on Tumblr. Within a short span of time, it had been reblogged on an anti-feminist site with a long diatribe showing how it is a prime example on how bad all feminist poetry is. It wasn’t excessively cruel, and the language wasn’t overtly violent or offensive, but I was amazed that someone had expended the energy to create an anti-feminist Tumblr account and deliberately searches the feminist tag for posts to mock. I went back the next day, though, and the reblogging had been removed. I don’t know if they actually did a little research and realized that my collection was only 1/12th of feminist leaning or what. I’d be interested to know their reasoning behind taking it down.

VesselsI, honestly, was more entertained than anything. And I felt rather bad that someone hates an entire group of people so much that they waste their time and energy on such a fruitless task. Truth be told, An Open Letter is my least favorite poem in the collection. It’s too long but didn’t lend itself to cutting it down. However, the message it contains is important, full of my righteous anger at the legislation being passed against women. I also love this illustration I created to accompany it.  And as a woman, the issues pertaining to women concern me.  So I included both illustration and poem in the collection.

A confession: up until my mid-twenties, I was one of those women that wanted nothing to do with the term “feminist”, except in a historical context. Part of my desire to be judged as an individual and not take on the characteristics of any group, I’m sure, more than anything else. But the pendulum of equality has really swung in the opposite direction since the economic downturn in 2009, for everyone, and I accept the label of “feminist” now. It’s difficult to be aware of the facts and NOT take on that label. Although, in broader terms, perhaps I’m more a secular humanist than anything.

Anyway, today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am acutely aware of my privileged position in society. As a well-educated white hetero married woman, I am granted access to opportunities and have a much easier time than I might otherwise. I mean this in all sincerity, that to only be judged based on gender and class and the fact that I’m an artist (and maybe to a certain extent my intelligence – smarts can be a detriment these days) means that my life is a piece of cake comparatively. But that doesn’t mean that I am incapable of fighting the good fight, working towards more social justice for everyone.

It seems to me that people who care passionately about societal issues, of which there seem to be a growing number, are all fighting different battles in the same war. We can’t, as individuals, possibly fight on every front simultaneously, and if we try, nothing will ever be accomplished. So it seems in our best interest to respect each other’s chosen path, to tolerate and try to understand alternate viewpoints, to build each other up rather than tear each other down, regardless of whether you’re fighting for women’s rights, class rights, race rights, education, animal rights, climate change, etc. The end goal, enabling everyone to live a quality life, not free of strife or sadness, but free of oppression and hatred, is the same. But we won’t ever get there if we hold our own path as superior to any and all others, in my opinion.