You’re the Beautiful Resistance

There’s something about your sharing with me
Tears usually are the result

Not sadness as in Ach
But gratitude as in Ah

I’ve known  you nine years plus
So, of course, we inter-are

Muriel Ruykeyser: The universe
Is made of stories not atoms

You were a theatre wiz
Sassy smart aleck

Devotee of Boal
Proud hoosier

Companion to the refugee kids
Evoker of their stories

You used theatre to touch them
And so helped them to touch us

You read Mev’s gospel at LBB
Which sealed the deal for you, for me

Mev: Putting our bodies before the wheels of the great machine
That crushes the bones of the poor, blacks, gays, …

For a couple months we meet week after week
At 6 North Coffee on Laclede

You making your jottings in your notebook
Me sharing scenarios, possibilities

You know the theatre of the absurd
Yeah there we were, Lucky and Pozzo

Trying to prepare for that
Which is beyond preparation

Then you performed the play about your alter ago Rachel Corrie
You fucking were Rachel Corrie

Summer 2006
Right before you left for the West Bank

Then you phoned me at some crazy hour
You were about to get on a plane

“Professor-friend, I’m scared shitless”
You admitted as Israel was leveling Lebanon

“What should I do?”
And then you accompanied your fear and soon got a taste

Of some of what the Fayrouzes of the world
Endure as they hold on to their humanity

Zora Neale Hurston: There’s no agony
Like bearing an untold story inside of you

And you transformed your months
Into not just one, but two plays

I’ve long been impressed, relieved, and inspired
By how honest and raw and real you are

Like when you sent me three pages of comments
About Dear Layla

I felt so honored
By you soul-probing reading of it

(Of course you inhabit the characters
Of Carla, Nirmala and Natasha)

Harold Clurman:  Theatre is
Propaganda for a better life

One day I promise
I’ll come to New York

Come see you in a performance
Then stay out regaling you till dawn

Today I got your postcard from Harlem
Your spirit and spunk radiated off of it

That’s why I’m writing these lines now in my notebook
Remembering a few flash moments

Of the goosebumped and glorious blessings I’ve known
Courtesy of the Indomitable and Tender Miss Magan Wiles

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