Thesis 11, Still

One reader of an early draft of Dear Layla Welcome to Palestine
Wrote me with characteristic candor:

“Damn you! It fucking hurt to read this book
And thank you! It was the final push I needed to get off my ass”

It’s one thing to put together, compose
127 chapters

To create characters
To quote real people who say—

“There are more things Habermas in occupied Palestine
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”

“Beholding him, Henry responded
‘You, too?’”

“Habibi, we have another day
Let’s not waste it”

“Thay reminds us
There’s always more to let go of’

“Do not give up do not
Give in do not give out”

“Try to be present to people (How hard this is)
Try to keep it simple (How I need to breathe consciously)”

“I was simmering simmering simmering
Emerson brought me to a boil”

“The eyes say it
Before the lips pronounce it”

“One minute alive
Is one minute to serve the revolution”

“I’ve saved every communiqué
I’ve savored every syllable”

“You just can’t imagine it
Unless you see it”

“I had forgotten that sit-in at Greensboro in 1960
Four young men”—

It’s another thing altogether
To live out, make real

To realize my own book
And to get up off my ass

Wisdom in words:
A faint glimmer

Wisdom in action:
A July sun at 2 p.m.

And not a cloud
In the sky

–Karl Marx, Thesis 11: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” Theses on Feuerbach

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