Monday, November 04, 2019

INGLEWOOD

I went to The Conscious Festival on Saturday. It's basically a festival that's for cleaner, greener, more sustainable living in light of climate change. There was a booth by Underground Theatre Singapore. A performer was wearing a mask, seated in front of a typewriter. They asked if I wanted her to write a poem based on what she thought of me, and she began typing as I watched.

The world may take freedom as a fluffy impractical moss.
But your heart knows better.
That freedom is the fuel of our soul.
And your life is an example for the world to see.
An example that the world needs in this time of strife.
It moved me so much I'm still thinking about it. Sure, perhaps it's just one of several poems or sayings the person might have had and they were lucky to apply it to me, but it still really strikes me as very appropriate.

I went for a session at Crubox, it was the first time I'd tried boxing. I don't know if you know, but you have to keep your hands up at all times when you're boxing, so you can defend your face if you need to. My arms were the most tired they'd probably ever been, but it was fun. I think I'll sign up for a package at Crubox, since my new employment benefits allow me to claim them anyway.

It reminded me of my first ex-boyfriend, he had a punching bag hanging in his room. He said it was a good way to release his anger and at the time, twelve years ago, I didn't understand it and I didn't like this need for an avenue to release anger. Twelve years later, I realize what he meant. At the time I went for the Crubox session, I was going through stuff with my family, so I told myself to just take out my feelings on the bag.

For the past several years, I think when I go through things, I would automatically feel sad and tune into the sadness but recently, I think I've been channeling more and more of it into anger, which is a great fuel for energy.

Last week, I worked for fifteen days straight and I was so tired I ended up spending the last few nights just crying out my exhaustion. Along with Lush, I've also been working at another retail workplace, so when I wasn't at one, I was at the other. I was on my feet for pretty much fifty hours a week.

Sometimes I listen to songs, and I read things, and I know that the strength of a human being extends way past two retail jobs, I know people are struggling in poverty and there are parents juggling three odd jobs and not getting enough rest or sleep. I tell myself this is just how capitalism works, and if someone else can do it, so can I, but honestly, if this is the norm just to survive, it really needs to be changed.

At my new workplace, yesterday, there was a lady who was shopping, and her teenage daughter was waiting for her. The daughter told me she used to also have pink hair, as well as dyed the entire spectrum of colors, before having to shave her head because her hair was pretty much damaged to death. She said she didn't enjoy her head with a shave because she couldn't pull off the look, but her mother came along and said she looked super cute with a shaved head.

This suddenly made me emotional, thinking how some parents are supportive of their children regardless what they do and want to do, and how some parents would flip out if their daughter wanted to shave their head. Sigh.

I only just realized if I move to the US, I would probably be surrounded by people who speak Spanish, so I think those are my next lessons to go for.

You know, and it gets into this whole issue of border security, you know, who's gonna say that the borders are secure? We've got the House and the Senate debating this issue, and it's... it's really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants, "immigrant" has somehow become a bad word. So the debate rages on and we continue....

I got one job, two job, three when I need them
I got five roommates in this one studio, but I never really see them
and we all came America trying to get a lap dance from Lady Freedom
but now Lady Liberty is acting like Hilary Banks with a pre-nup
man, I was brave, sailing on graves
don’t think I didn’t notice those tombstones disguised as waves
I’m no dummy, here is something funny, you can be an immigrant without risking your lives
or crossing these borders with thrifty supplies
all you got to do is see the world with new eyes

immigrants, we get the job done
look how far I come
look how far I come
look how far I come
we get the job done

it’s a hard line when you’re an import
baby boy, it's hard times
when you ain't sent for
racists feed the belly of the beast
with they pitchforks, rich chores
done by the people that get ignored
ya se armó
ya se despertaron
it’s a whole awakening
la alarma ya sonó hace rato
los que quieren buscan
pero nos apodan como vagos
we are the same ones
hustling on every level
ten los datos
walk a mile in our shoes
abróchense los zapatos
I been scoping ya dudes, ya’ll ain't been working like I do
I'll outwork you, it hurts you
you claim I’m stealing jobs though
Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo
but there ain't a paper trail when you living in the shadows
we're America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed
it’s a matter of time before the checks all come
but...

immigrants, we get the job done

the credit is only borrowed
it’s America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed

ay yo aye, immigrants we don’t like that
na they don’t play British empire strikes back
they beating us like 808’s and high hats
at our own game of invasion, but this ain't Iraq
who these fugees what did they do for me
but contribute new dreams
taxes and tools, swagger and food to eat
cool, they flee war zones, but the problem ain't ours
even if our bombs landed on them like the Mayflower
Buckingham Palace or Capitol Hill
blood of my ancestors had that all built
it's the ink you print on your dollar bill, oil you spill
thin red line on the flag you hoist when you kill
but still we just say "look how far I come"
Hindustan, Pakistan, to London
to a galaxy far from their ignorance
'cos

immigrants, we get the job done

por tierra o por agua
identidad falsa
brincamos muros o flotamos en balsas
la peleamos como Sandino en Nicaragua
somos como las plantas que crecen sin agua
sin pasaporte americano
porque la mitad de gringolandia es terreno mexicano
hay que ser bien hijo e puta
nosotros les sembramos el árbol y ellos se comen la fruta
somos los que cruzaron
aquí vinimos a buscar el oro que nos robaron
tenemos mas trucos que la policía secreta
metimos la casa completa en una maleta
con un pico, una pala
y un rastrillo
te construimos un castillo
como es que dice el coro cabrón?

immigrants, we get the job done

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