“We Dissent” © Vanessa Barrow

Her Death is a Call to Action
Ode to RBG

Tried closing eyelids
Nightfall sleep after newsflash
Learning of your death
Thinking of all the effort made
To undo all you have done
The brightest stars
Of the hit parade and silver screen
Will never do as much as you have done
Tho’ they may try
As they discover
All wrongs
Will never permanently be made righteous
Without vigilance
And championing the cause
Of a nation indivisible
In the pursuit
Of a prevalent freedom for all
Making the realization of your death
Both shocking and symbolic
As the U.S. is in a state of severe apathy
Subdued by devices, inundated with overlapping sources
Of what is going on
So, what is going on?
We are teetering on the edge
Of oblivion
Whereas your existence
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Was the highest measure of consciousness
And a wake-up call that we must
All challenge, question and confront
The insidious pursuit of oppression
And laws made by a new generation of oppressors
We need new champions to fill the shoes
Of fantastic heroes like Ruth Bader Ginsburg
So next time you’re rolling your shopping cart
Out the doors of a supermarket
Remember the faces of all the young canvassers
Working for civil rights
Who once stood before you
Pleading for your involvement
That you once turned away
Because you needed
To get
What’s melting
In your bag
Back home
Now, go home and give
To a civil rights cause
The same amount
You would spend to stream
And remember RBG
And know
Freedom isn’t free
And its loss is the most costly
Should not be entertainment
When it is a call to action
RBG’s death is a call to action
Start at home

Daniel Yaryan grew up in a movie theatre. Cinematic images, sci-fi books and comics have all influenced his poetry from an early age. Some of his heroes include poet William Everson, Beat novelist Jerry Kamstra and his grandfather Big Ray Yaryan who started the Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club of San Fernando in 1938. Yaryan is a former print journalist, editor and advertising executive. Throughout his life, Yaryan has organized artistic projects such as the Santa Cruz independent newspaper The Real World Press, Los Angeles poetic cabaret Bionic Beats, multimedia poetry super-show Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts and Poetry Festival Santa Cruz. The late Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman referred to Yaryan as “one of the new generation of poetry mavens.” Yaryan has created the Kamstra Sparring Archive (AKA “Sparchive”) — part interactive museum, part art gallery and entirely a sanctuary for poetry, performance and visual art. His aim is artistic preservation, documentation and promotion of all things creative. The archive honors Jerry Kamstra, author of The Frisco Kid and Weed: Adventures of a Dope Smuggler – books released in special editions by Yaryan’s Peer Amid Press imprint. His Mystic Boxing Commission will publish a major collection of poems by Michael C Ford this summer as well as the Sparring Omnibus Anthology.

Vanessa Barrow: “As a mother of two 6 year old little girls and a 10 year old little boy, I am passionate in teaching my children that they have a voice and their voice matters. It is my hope and duty that my children, my daughters and son alike will carry Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work towards equality into the next generation.
Thank you, RBG for your leadership.”