Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Marge Piercy: The Low Road

(from We Are Everywhere)

The Low Road

What can they do to you?
Whatever they want..

They can set you up, bust you,
they can break your fingers,
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember.
they can take away your children,
wall up your lover;
they can do anything you can’t stop them doing.

How can you stop them?
Alone you can fight, you can refuse.
You can take whatever revenge you can
But they roll right over you.
But two people fighting back to back
can cut through a mob
a snake-dancing fire
can break a cordon,
termites can bring down a mansion

Two people can keep each other sane
can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation
a cell, a wedge.
With four you can play games
and start a collective.
With six you can rent a whole house
have pie for dinner with no seconds
and make your own music.

Thirteen makes a circle,
a hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity
and your own newsletter;
ten thousand community
and your own papers;
a hundred thousand,
a network of communities;
a million our own world.

It goes one at a time.
It starts when you care to act.
It starts when you do it again
after they say no.
It starts when you say we
and know who you mean;
and each day you mean
one more.

- Marge Piercy


Brett said...

I like this piece of work. I really enjoy the comparisons the author makes between two opposing lifestyles. At first I was unsure about the title but after consideration I feel that it aids in supporting the postitive lifestyle as being right. Everyone needs to be more aware of how we treat each other. The low road is the absolute lowest human mind set. We must be aware of what we are capable of and realize that we can all make this world a better place starting with how we treat each other as human beings.

Michael said...


Greetings friend--how are you doing this semester?

I just finished visiting the link to your weblog and I was blown away by your responses to a series of readings/videos/presentations ... I was excited to learn about what class you were taking and who was teaching some of favorite texts.

Then it dawned on me--this is the class I taught during the elections!

Are you still studying Marx?

Brett--Poercy's poem moved me because it reminds me that through the bonds of fellowship/collaboration/community/activism we can move toward effective change. Oftentimes sensitive people who are hurt by the system end up lashing out mindlessly and destructively, acting alone with no plan... (I did for a long time)... what happens when we act together with focused intent?

Peace! Let me know if you start your blog up again!

Unknown said...

I'm sending it to my fellow united4iran-ers right now.


Michael said...

Tori :)

Matt Cygny said...

Make me cry