Elevators

A Short Work by Brian Barbeito

The elevator workers were a naturally hard working, alcoholic, racist, and misogynistic bunch. But what could one do?–He tried to keep a low profile. Dealing with generations of ill-kept thought, banal amusements, and misconceptions–even hatred–was not his thing. He only needed the pay-check–what was the harm in that?- isn’t that what everyone did? One could not fight the world and one’s own battles at the same time. Jacob climbed the scaffolding and began to take the hardware off the walls on what they called a ‘mod job’ because the elevator was being converted to one that would be lifted by hydraulics. When working on the higher floors, Jacob really thought that the workers should be wearing harnesses, but there were no safety measures in place. On a break, looking out at the city, there was only row upon row of buildings. A mishmash of things–the utter uncreative mind had shown itself–rectangular buildings in rows–some not with any sense at all–off to the side– like afterthoughts–a monkey could have managed the design of the city, its infrastructure, and the rest–better than the engineers and architects–so called–that had put the mess together. It was not for him to judge though–so he curtailed his thoughts–and tried to drink his pink grapefruit juice. He adjusted his pen–in his shirt–which was really not a shirt, but the top of blue standard issue industrial coveralls. He looked out again. Then at his watch- a glance. Tick Toc. Tic Toc. He was resigned as much as possible to whatever the fates had in store. Looking again… All those buildings had elevators at one time or another would surely need some repair if not complete modification and beyond this metropolis there was an entire world. Things were looking up.

Their Smiles Are Starting to Change

A Poem by April Salzano

My son is the biggest baby in the room.
He doesn’t know there is an age limit
on jumping and squealing in the mall playland
with the spongey floor, that straight-arming
a kid who will not leave him alone
is not the appropriate solution. It may
make perfect sense, but it will just
piss his 20-year-old mother off enough
to threaten me with her raccoon eyes.
It is not cute or gentle. Her son is planted
into the carpet.

In the women’s restroom,
I feel an iris burning
its way into my back, my life
opening for scrutiny. He is too big to be in here,
as if I am carrying an 8-year-old fetus
into the stall. He hides from the automatic
hand dryer and I get it, the smile of sympathy
that really isn’t. It is more of a unfinished question—
is there something…? Is he…? He counts
the floor tiles, frames the logo on the soap dispenser
with his hands, one eye closed, then covers his ears.
Then, yes…The women are still staring and asking,
but the hand dryer is so loud, I have to look away.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day:

Around the world, the sights, sounds, and energy of women, men and children in their communities can be heard demanding JUSTICE! Among the thousands events planned worldwide, risers will be dancing on campuses, at the gates of the High Court in Bangladesh, in Trafalgar Square in London, at game parks in Swaziland, at oil plants in the Bay Area, against the militarization of the mines in the Philippines, within Ministries of Women, in active violent conflict zones, with the rising girls in Siloe, Haiti, at the Palace of Justice in Rome, across the five Burroughs of NYC, at the steps of City Hall in San Francisco, at the International Criminal Court, in prisons, and more!

ONEBILLIONRISING.ORG, Your Window on the RISINGS

“Dancing insists we take up space, and though it has no set direction, we go there together. Dance is dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive, and contagious and it breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere, at anytime, with anyone and everyone, and it’s free. Dance joins us and pushes us to go further and that is why it’s at the center of ONE BILLION RISING”

–Eve Ensler.

As we prepare for ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, for the escalation and the deepening of the campaign, we want to take a quick look back and ask What did dancing do?

We have seen the power of communities coming together through dance and action.

Dance broke the silence in Somalia and new laws were passed in Guatemala. It’s unified groups, it’s made people feel free, it’s broken down barriers.

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity;
it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything
wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from
fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood,
before the impact of Agent Orange, before Dow
Chemical burns the flesh from children running,
before we learn how to swallow loss. You love
this town, its broken pieces laid out before this
Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted,
gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you
painting, writing, listening to your favorite
playlist; firefly or lush or a Monsanto madnes.
I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one
by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

Love

Kidnapped in Vietnam: ‘The Human, Earth Project’

Kidnapped in Vietnam: ‘The Human, Earth Project’

On 16th July 2011, my sixteen-year-old friend M was kidnapped from Vietnam. She is believed to have been sold as a wife or prostitute in China, a victim of human trafficking.

My name is Ben Randall, and I’ve come back to Asia to investigate M’s disappearance. Together with Italian photographer Moreno Paulon, I’m using my skills as an award-winning film-maker to produce a feature-length documentary on the search for M, to raise awareness of human trafficking.

It’s called ‘The Human, Earth Project’.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kidnapped-in-vietnam-the-human-earth-project