dain saint art and activism for an abundant society

forty percent off

part of freedom is non-negotiable

you once said we were worth
oh to be worth
that much
to you


part of freedom is non-negotiable

we stand with our hands up
and they hollow out our bellies
with bullets
leaving only a hashtag behind


part of freedom is non-negotiable

the cancer was there
at the beginning
and for the longest time
we've been addicted to smoking

the chemotherapy burns

sets fire to the arteries
burning cancerous and healthy alike
our hair falls out
but we beat the cancer back

at least for a while

the cancer remained
always waiting
for a chance
to s p r e a d

killing those parts of you
you never deemed important enough
to see

we think ourselves cured

we keep smoking

we can't breathe

it solves nothing
but we need to smoke
it solves nothing
it's all we can do to quell the anxiety
it solves nothing
it helps us feel in control
it solves nothing
expensive, nasty, brutish habit
and we spend more on it every year

we catch a flu
and have to decide between fighting
the flu that may kill us soon
the cancer that kills us every day

the tumours return
spreading, malignant
this far, we say, and no farther

so now it falls to us
we administer the chemotherapy
it burns once more we will knock this cancer into remission

but if you're tired
of having your life
interrupted by our aggressive course of treatment...

...quit smoking.

swords and plowshares, hammers and nails

part of freedom is non-negotiable

there's a very good
the badge is shaped like
a shield
and not
a gun

onyx on the workshop floor

part of freedom is non-negotiable

the first mold she had to
was her own

could you imagine
ing your ribs
so your heart could be

the oleander in bloom

part of freedom is non-negotiable

when the news reached galveston
the last to hear
closed her eyes
dreamed of us

and smiled

cotton loophole

part of freedom is non-negotiable

inmate #7215 finished
his work for the day

deft fingers sewing on
tags that say

made with pride
in the usa

why must they be so loud

part of freedom is non-negotiable

could you stop killing us, please
if its not too much trouble
it has been a difficult day

and i havent yet had time to grieve
the life that was lost
at the beginning
of this sentence

you need to stop discovering shit

part of freedom is non-negotiable

the seed was buried in the earth
before the sapling grew

the animals ran wild for years
before we built the zoo

the moon, without our almanac
still shines forever true

and just cause somethings new to you
that doesnt make it new

the algorithm doesnt care about you

part of freedom is non-negotiable

twenty percent off all
black lives matter merchandise now till
august thirty-first and

a stock photo of a
dad helping his son
adjust his n95 mask and

breonna taylor's
killers still
walk the streets as

her landlord wonders
who will pay
her rent

said maya to daedalus

part of freedom is non-negotiable

i am the bird
that broke free

i am strong
enough to fly

i am not strong
enough to carry the cage

without representation

part of freedom is non-negotiable

our first lesson as kids in
American history is
if you're breaking the law,
blame a minority

or did i misunderstand
the point of the
boston tea party

reefer madness

part of freedom is non-negotiable

green was the only
opportunity i knew
when they said that
i threw my life away

well i lost more years to
possession with intent
than you spent
on your fucking mba

you should have listened

part of freedom is non-negotiable

we spoke in polite whispers
in hopes it would spur you to act
to spend a little less
to care a little more
but you could not hear above
the clanging din of
your slot machine
could not see us clearly with
bloodshot eyes

we spoke in clear tones
in hopes it would move you to act
to resist a little less
to feel a little more
but you turned up the volume
the white noise of
your internal narrative
could not feel us
gasping for air

we screamed at the top of our lungs
in hopes it would force you to act
to speak a little less
to hear a little more
but you drowned us
in your panicked pleas
for civility
could not see the depth
of our courtesy

our thunder roars angry in the distance
desperate rains flooding the streets
the climate changes because of you
the climate changes in spite of you
and you sweat

as the blood-red moon
hangs in judgement
over your horizon

to the racists, sexists, homophobes et. al whom the old normal benefitted

part of freedom is non-negotiable


compound interest

part of freedom is non-negotiable

we've been borrowing
from the future
for years

the future
has come
to collect

good trouble

part of freedom is non-negotiable

two bare feet walk off an alabama porch
and into history

in your footsteps
twelve hundred church shoes step into selma
in your footsteps
two million boots trod into the capitol
in your footsteps
countless feet lift the banner worldwide

rest now
the work is not done
but thanks to you
neither are we

domestic terrorism

part of freedom is non-negotiable

silent vans in the
the long arm of the
bears a tattoo:
never forget

twenty bullets

part of freedom is non-negotiable

she was an emt
i'm told, again and again

nine shots plant in her and
one first responder watches as
one first responder can scarcely ask why

tell me, officer,
was she supposed to heal herself?

innovate or die

part of freedom is non-negotiable


a poor white mother patches her sons shoes with
linoleum tiles and

a poor asian mother turns last nights rice into
todays congee and

a poor black mother folds a twenty in the shape of
christmas morning and


silicon valley is the peak
of innovation

said the crow to the carcass
“you could fly too if only
you were clever like me”

standardized test

part of freedom is non-negotiable

how are my children
supposed to stand tall
with a bulletproof backpack
full of white history

work ethic

part of freedom is non-negotiable

it’s so funny how
a nation founded on
slave labour
thinks the solution
to every goddamn thing
is “work harder”

and you'll share this one too

part of freedom is non-negotiable

another black life extinguished
we try to get your attention

gunsmoke rises in the video
his runaway soul captured
lashed to plow an infinite feed
reaping advertisements
as if a thirty-day workout is enough
to transform my body into one
they won’t shoot

you are the medicine

part of freedom is non-negotiable



dance like the first one to
hear the depths of her own
heartbeat and call it music
liberation through rhythm reclamation

dance till the walls shake
and the ceiling caves in
and the stars hold you steady
as you scream your grief into the
endless night

dance until the sun burns itself into
your glorious crown
the heat rising with our voices
in the dawn
we summoned

dance with the humid
sweat of lovers entwined in the
sacred business of fucking
and never forget we create pleasure
before we create life

dance so when the time comes
to finish the marathon
your legs are strong enough
to carry you that one final step
to freedom

atmospheric pressure

part of freedom is non-negotiable

birds don’t defy gravity
they just know how
to play with
the weight of the world
without carrying it

internal combustion

part of freedom is non-negotiable

the flame burns in the engine still
manhattan to western shore
’neath blackened soot and orange sky
the engine cries for more

we never forget, yet scarce recall
what history’s thrown on the pyre
still bound to the engine, desperate for fuel
—and everything’s cold to the fire


part of freedom is non-negotiable

i am looking at the mountain
and wondering the grade
the trek that lies ahead of us
the waters we will wade

though beasts within the forest dark
still gnash their teeth with glee
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

the road is long and treacherous
and so far we have marched
past smoke and plague and turbulence
and men with evil hearts

and though the path ahead of us
we scarcely can foresee
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

so take we now, a moment
while uncertainty abounds
we’ll need to keep on fighting
but for now we can sit down

for when the slope ahead of us
reveals its true degree
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

united states of philadelphia

part of freedom is non-negotiable

poorest big city in america
but we rich in spirit
(and also capital)

see there’s change in these
couch cushions
if you just take time to dig

we’re just poor in the way
that sidewalk acorns
can’t grow leaves

“poor” the way that movie girl
is “ugly” before her makeover
(but we stan a bitch in glasses)

you might fuck around and
catch these hands

you might slip and fall and
find these hands catch you

cause brotherly love means we will
cuss you the fuck out
if you fuckin up
cause we love you

and brotherly love means when
these streets take one of ours
we take to these streets
cause we love you

our mascots are neon chaos
our main exports are “wish a nigga would”
our national flower is a
little black girl in beads
who saw the police think
they were above these hands
and raised her voice
to sing our national anthem:

“aight, bet”

welcome to

(try the pretzels)