Daily Archives: November 18, 2011

OWS Poetry Anthology Update

The OWS Poetry Anthology PDF file has been updated today! It first went online a couple days ago, the original file didn’t include everything that was in the binder at the People’s Library but it was a sizeable chunk of poems and a great start! Anyway, I’ll be updating it as frequently as I can find time, once or twice a week. Normally I update it every Tuesday or Wednesday. If you’d like to help with that process simply email me and we can figure out a way of including you. Today I also added a new section to the PDF, at the beginning of the document – POETIC INTRODUCTIONS! Basically this section allows for you to write an introduction for the anthology, and it’s open to everyone as anyone is able to become part of this anthology. The idea comes from Danny who sent an introduction for the anthology this past week.

All poems are welcome to be added to the anthology. If you would be so kind as to send poems in the following format (size 12, TIMES font):

TITLE (bold)
by, Author (normal)
for JOE JOHN (italics)

BODY OF POEM (your unique vision!)

Here’s an example from a submission from this past week:

By, John Siddique 2011
From ‘Full Blood’ (Salt Publishing)
United Kingdom

Imagine thirst without knowing water.
And you ask me what freedom means.
Imagine love without love.

Some things are unthinkable,
until one day the unthinkable is here.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.

Some things we assume just are as they are,
no action is taken to make or sustain them.
Imagine love without love.

It is fear that eats the heart: fear and
endless talk, and not risking a step.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.

Fold away your beautiful thoughts.
Talk away curiosity, chatter away truth.
Imagine love without love.

Imagine believing in the whispers,
the screams and the gossip. Dancing to a tune
with no song to sing inside you.
Imagine love without love.

The OWS Poetry Anthology is open to all languages! Every week more and more languages are added to the anthology as more and more poets from around the world are joining in to make this text more nuanced. I’m very sorry, I’m limited to English so please pass this on in other languages if you possess such magickal abilities. No poem will be translated as that creates a heirachy of language. However, if the poet who sends in a poems wishes to include the poem in more than one language, all the versions will be added. Here’s an example:

Figli della disobbedienza
Alessandra Bava © 2011

Come Thoreau
credo che le cose
non cambino, ma che
noi possiamo e dobbiamo

cambiare Con superbo furore,
lottiamo liminalmente,

L’Armata Voce
ci anima,
ci unisce,
ci riunisce.

Presidiamo arsenali
di poesia e non
temiamo di esporci
alla gogna: parole, nuda

carne fremente,
ossa, grondanti versi,
denti affondati in
viscere di senso

e di dissenso.
Mani e i fianchi
immersi nel sangue
della verità

pronti a generare
molteplici fogli– pronti
a generare molteplici figli

Sons of Disobedience
by Alessandra Bava © 2011

Like Thoreau
I believe that things
don’t change, but that
we can and must

change. With superb fury,
we fight liminally,

The Armed Voice
inspires us,
unites us,
re-unites us.

We garrison arsenals
of poetry and we fear
not to be taken to the
stocks: words, naked

craving flesh,
bones, dripping
lines, teeth sunk in
bowels of sense

and dissent.
Hands and hips
drowned in truth’s

ready to give birth
to several leaves — ready
to give birth to several

All poems for the anthology can be sent to stephenjboyer (@) gmail (dot) com

And for those of you too lazy to go to the OWS Poetry Anthology publication page, well… here’s the file:


If you aren’t in the NYC area and you’re planning on printing the PDF to place a copy of it in your area, the first sketch page is the cover of the anthology. The wonderful artist Molly Crabapple did the sketch. I write in sharpie marker “OCCUPY WALL ST POETRY ANTHOLOGY” around the figures head and usually include a thought bubble that says, “I Love Poetry” somewhere in the margins… I’d recommend doing something similar and that you laminate it for safe keeping. And then you can three-hole punch the entire document and put rings in it for easy-reading!

Let’s spread these anthologies everywhere!

Oh! And tonight, as with every Friday night, is the Poetry Assembly at Liberty Plaza! Starts around 9:30 pm. Come and share your poems!



Filed under Announcements, Poetry, Stephen

Irony of What Bloomberg’s Done, Threw out Fahrenheit 451

Reference book destroyed by Bloomberg and Bloomberg at NYPL gala.

On Monday, November 7, 2011 Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in attendance at one of New York City’s top cultural and social events: The New York Public Library’s Library Lions gala. The individuals honored as Library Lions are, according to nypl.org, “distinguished individuals who have made significant cultural and educational achievements to increase our understanding of the world around us.” The 2011 honorees included such literary luminaries as Tony Kushner, Isabel Wilkerson, Jonathan Franzen, Stacy Schiff, Ian McEwan, and the songwriter Natalie Merchant.

Destroyed book & Bloomberg with Diana Taylor (Brookfield board of directors) at NYPL gala.

On Monday, November 15, 2011 the books of many of those Library Lions mingled with broken shelves, ripped tents, and smashed computers in the aftermath of the raid on Zuccotti Park. The raid, authorized by Mayor Bloomberg, saw, among other things, the OWS People’s Library thrown in the trash. Perhaps, as Mayor Bloomberg enjoyed the library festivities on the 7th he was already planning the action that would destroy a different library on the 15th, or perhaps he was just enjoying the photo opportunity as he exchanged pleasantries with the authors who he held in high enough esteem as to have their works tossed into garbage trucks.

Collage by People's Library: Bloomberg with books destroyed by his raid.

If it was Mayor Bloomberg’s desire to check out a copy of his book Bloomberg by Bloomberg, from the People’s Library, then it was his right to do so, and if he wanted to read Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom he could have borrowed a copy of that as well. Yet, checking out thousands of books at once was highly inconsiderate, and his treatment of these materials is unacceptable. The librarians specifically ask patrons not to check out reference materials so that they may be used by others, not to damage archival material, and not to destroy a place where one and all can come and find books on a range of subjects from classics to economics to children’s books. Mayor Bloomberg has expressed that he intends to return the People’s Library to the people, but based on what we have seen so far, as we have attempted to retrieve the library, we fear that Mayor Bloomberg is setting himself up for some serious overdue and replacement fees. Mayor Bloomberg’s decision, that led to the destruction of the People’s Library, is an act unbecoming of any citizen in a democracy, and is even less appropriate for an individual holding public office. Some may suggest that the People’s Library, as with other groups in Zuccotti park, was given a warning by the police before they began their raid, but the idea that removing thousands of books (not to mention other materials) can be accomplished quickly, after 1 a.m., with the trains frozen, and with routes in and out filled with police officers making arrests, is plainly absurd.

Library books destroyed by Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD and the DSNY.

Not long ago people across the country were in an uproar over a man’s attempt to burn a holy book, but Mayor Bloomberg tossed dozens of holy books into dumpsters on the 15th. Now that roaring is coming from the lions, Patience and Fortitude, who guard the entry to the very library where Mayor Bloomberg cavorted on the 7th. The 99% have shown tremendous patience and fortitude as individuals such as Mayor Bloomberg have used their money to exert an undemocratic influence over our politics and lives, but we sit idly no longer.

Another book destroyed by Bloomberg's raid and Bloomberg addressing NYPL gala.

Mayor Bloomberg clearly prides himself on his deeds and actions as a philanthropist, and it is likely that he had a lovely evening on November 7 at the event honoring the Library Lions. Yet his actions on November 15 make clear that when it comes to supporting the democratic ideals behind libraries, Bloomberg is just lying.

– The People’s Library Working Group


Filed under Solidarity

Occupy Together

I want to write all about the day in detail – our working group (aka, our library family) spent the day of action spread out all over the city working independently and also working together. We had our online and off-site folks in charge of keeping the blog and twitter updated and running info for those who were on the street. We were marching; setting up the library at Liberty, Union Square, Foley Square and on the Brooklyn Bridge; running mobile libraries from carts; coming up with awesome chants; meeting people and taking donations; telling our story and so much more. At the end of the day we stopped at an Irish bar across from the WTC site and had dinner, beer and a meeting. There’s so much to write, and I’m exhausted and have to work/school tomorrow. So instead, here are some of my photos. <3 and solidarity.

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Full resolution slideshow here.


Filed under #N17, Photographs, Rob