dain saint art and activism for an abundant society

hear my single

city don’t sing

this shit needs to go

minority rule
still the tool of oppressors
this shit needs to go
the court and the senators
all of these predators
this shit needs to go
robes hiding legalized prostitution
wipe up the cum with the constitution
fascist imperial institution
this shit needs to go

cant get this labor
for free, and you mad
this shit needs to go
done stuffed the whole 'conomy
into yo bag
this shit needs to go
force women to bear they fruit no choice
survivings a crime they locked in the joint
unlimited labor for you to exploit
this shit needs to go

still begging for power
that youll never use
this shit needs to go
fundraise for decades
and do nothing new
this shit needs to go
pander to who aint white straight and male
begging for votes like we paying your bail
if you aint gon do nothin stay out my mail
this shit needs to go

do something do something
do something now
this shit needs to go
stop acting so pussy
and do something now
this shit needs to go
get up kill the filly and take to the streets ban guns pack the courts and arrest djt
dont tell me to vote nigga you in the seat
and this shit needs to go

cynicism is a cul-de-sac

June 14, 2022

you found a nice spot
at the end of a street
and chose to stay
to build your home
to raise your family
to look down your nose through
half-closed windows
at the rest of your neighbors
as if the premium you paid
makes your position superior
never noticing that
your road goes
nowhere


they cannot imagine if they do not see it in a book
even when they see it its they book that tell them how to look

"i'm just being realistic" is just another way of saying "i can't imagine what i can't see."

its one of the reasons that utopian fiction is so sparse. writing conflict it easy. writing "paradise" is hard.

because we know strife, we know pettiness, we know backstabbing and hypocrisy and the failings of mankind. it's so easy to look around and see people acting in self-interest, taking the easy way out, taking short-term gain over long-term success, and say "see? i told you so."

it makes it seem like, in order for things to be better, we have to be better.

daniel quinn wrote that (and i'm paraphrasing) every system of government and commerce would work if people would just be better than theyve always been.

the free market economy works (so long as people dont create monopolies, enslave children, or poison the environment)

communism works (so long as people dont try to gather power for themselves at the expense of others).

and we see all that and cannot possibly imagine a path from here to a supposed utopia free of all the sins of man to which we have become accustomed.

except...

that's just a story.

it turns out giving every homeless person in america a home is cheaper than leaving them homeless. that's reality. thats what the data says. we say its "not realistic" to hide our discomfort with giving people things they "didnt earn," and look for examples of people gaming the system to say "see — told you so."

we thought the government would never truly consider a universal basic income. then covid hit and suddenly receiving stimuli and PUA is no longer unrealistic.

we worked in offices that would never go remote in a million years (until they had no choice).

there are other ways of living, all around us. tribal, cooperative, socialist, collectivist, hermetic, interconnected, intradependent, car-free, experimental, batshit crazy ways of living that we havent even begun to understand.

but the house at the end of the cul-de-sac that says "that will never work" is too comfortable. never mind the termites.

cynicism says "it will go how it has always gone (and it has always gone badly.)" cynicism is a mask for apathy, and apathy is a mask for depression. cynicism is learned hopelessness spoken aloud.

cynicism is futurelessness.

there are deeper truths out there. but first we have to move out of the cul-de-sac.

i'm tired of futurelessness

June 6, 2022

you feel it, don't you?

the creeping dread that this is all there is — that we reached a peak and are simply falling down the gravel-lined hill into oblivion.

that bad is exponential and good is linear.

it feels like: i recycle 6 cans while exxon dumps a thousand tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

it feels like: i cant save for a house while a hedge fund buys up the block.

it feels like: i vote and vote and vote while politicians do what they damn well please.

it feels like: fourteen people shot in front of a rita's.

it feels like helplessness. it feels like powerlessness. it feels like futurelessness.

and i'm tired of it.


it's meant to be overwhelming, isn't it? we are hit with a constant deluge of information that falls into two categories — upsetting or distracting. we're meant to be so worried about making rent that we can't effectively organize. we're meant to be more concerned with how our activism looks than what our activism does — and lord knows, i fight with that myself. to be an artist, who wants to make a living on that art, whose art is opposed to the systems of power and commerce needed to make that living, is to sit uncomfortably close to the problems. and i don't feel like i have a solution. not yet.

all i know is that the story of futurelessness isn't getting us there.

i've been managing my own depression my entire life. when i have an episode, one of the mechanisms that keeps me in it is learned helplessness:

Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action.

and what is futurelessness if not learned helplessness on a mass level? when we begin to believe that none of our actions will stop the shocks?

as i've learned, the only way out is changing our story.

we need to create a new story, something to believe in, something to have faith in. a story that puts us back in the driver's seat of our own destinies.

i know from experience that in the pit of a depressive episode, any story that says "i have the power to end this" feels worse than impossible — it feels delusional. it feels like a fairy tale, like we're lying to ourselves. believing in something with no evidence we can see makes you a crazy person.

but i would rather be crazy and work to build a better future, than be "sane" and accept things the way they are.

so i'm building a new story of the future, in hopes that it can be a guide for the crazy. i can't wait to share it with you.

let's get crazy.

made it

what will you do
when you finally have
everything
you were told
you should want?

outsourcing

sometimes i think
we yell so loud
about self-care
cause we forgot how
to take care of
each other

platonic

my joy ripped the air from my lungs
in shuddering gasps and leaping laughs
whipping through me like wind in the trees
and only then
i could breathe

my sadness rained down on me
soaking me through to the bone
washing away everything i thought i was
and only then
i was dry

my anger burned me to ash
immolated my sensibility
torching my sense to cinder
and only then
i was reborn

my love held me firm
shook the ground under my feet
tore open every fault line
and only then
could i grow

white flag

part of the book of words

have you ever fought a tide
or a wave
or swam upstream
or have you let the waters
carry you to shore

have you walked aimlessly
through the city
to end up exactly
where you needed to be

have you been touched without agenda
kissed without expectation
let your skin melt past
the thought of mere pleasure
and felt the universe explode
within your bones

have you walked away
from that which hurts
with no road ahead
and no need of one

have you let yourself
simply be

have you?
have i?

the coming storm

red, and blue
yellow, and green
tell me again
how the waters rose

the screen tells a story
a mottled spectrum
bright yellows and greens
as the stormfront rolls in
bright yellows and greens
as the stocks rise

bright reds and blues
fighting in texas
the mottled gray of
an ultrasonic battleground
transparent tears falling
like so much bad weather

did you know, then?
the bright yellows and greens
of the bp logo
flowering with thoughts and prayers
they refuse to answer themselves

did you know, then?
the reds and blues
of cable news tribalism
legitimizing thoughts and prayers
as a method of governance

of course we knew
in the same way
a tapeworm
knows the good times
can't last forever

red, and blue
yellow, and green
tell me again
how the waters rose

rhythm

and in the silence
i heard my heart beating
and it was loud
and i was alive

these droplets are not mine

part of the book of words

i stared at the storm
through this window
for so long

that i truly believed
glass was wet