Publisher: Commune Editions
Released: February 25, 2016
A Series of Un/Natural/Disasters explores the many forms of mutual aid and possibility that appear in moments of state failure. It maps long and complicated equations, taking us from Katrina to the prisoners at Riker's Island as they await Hurricane Sandy. It understands and explains disaster as a collective system, the state as precarious, and community as both fundamental and necessary.
so what about birds and burying beetles.
so what about support and what about struggle.
so what about ants and bees and termites.
so what about the field upon which tender feelings develop even amidst otherwise most cruel animals.
so what about migration. breeding. autumn.
so what about the numberless lakes of the russian and siberian steppes and what about aquatic birds, all living in perfect peace—
Cheena Marie Lo, born in Manapla, Philippines, is a genderqueer poet based in Oakland, California. They currently coordinate a youth art program at California College of the Arts and co-edit the literary journal HOLD.
Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle. The people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. This felt transformative to us, strange and beautiful. A provisionally new strain of poetry has begun to emerge from this entanglement with communist and anarchist organizing, theorizing, and struggle.This work inspires us. Because there was no existing venue attuned to these changes, we decided to start one. We hope to publish poetry for reading and writing explicitly against the given world, always aware that it begins inside that world—and to put this work in dialogue with poetries from other countries and from other historical moments, times and places where the politicization of poetry and the participation of poets in uprisings large and small was and remains a convention. Poems are no replacement for concrete forms of political action. But poetry can be a companion to these activities, as the “Riot Dog” of Athens was a companion in streets. A dog, too, might start barking when the cops are about to kick down your door. Perhaps that’s it, for now, what we’re doing, what is to be done, with poetry. Some barking. Some letting you know that the cops are at the door. They’ve been there for a while.