Poem Collaborations

Chantal Meza and Brad Evans

I applaud you

I applaud you
You who toil in the madhouse of the world,
I see your shadows
Exposed to the viral flames
You, who were always invisible
Silently killed by unseen forces
I applaud you
I am not you
I applaud you all the same
It is you, on the margins,
Sustaining this broken time
Refugee, migrant. Your story
Always the same,
So, I applaud you, mothers and daughters
Sons of the earth, who feed us
Even as your suffering continues,
You're starvation but another day
I applaud you, now
From my balcony of refuge
Yes, we all now seek refuge too
In this locked down asylum, where
Distance is now our shield
But you now see us for what we are
Refugees without moving
Locked down, safe, depending on you
So, I applaud you, with a silent chorus
Carried across the pure infectious air,
Breathe don't breathe
And I know you don't ask
To be celebrated like others,
Simply to be recognized, not a hero in our midst
But you, the disposable, the forgotten,
the wretched of history
What you contribute, remains a mystery
Yet in that mystery, the basic truth of life
I applaud you

brad evans, 2020

Alone

Alone. Is there a more painful word?

 

Merchant ships set sail.

Plying bodies as their trade.

Bristol. Liverpool. Ports of no call.

Oceans filled with unmarked graves.

 

Alone. Is there a more savage word?

 

A cartography for the masses.

Enlightened lines on empty maps.

Abducting children, the promissory labour

Gordian bonds. A scientific Cross.

 

Alone. Is there a more violent word?

 

Soldiers marching forward.

Forever England. Where the paupers lay.

Trenches dug for eternal resting.

Pity the working class slaves.

 

Alone. Is there a more devastating word?

 

Monumental battles, still they continue.

Never again. Motoring time.

A solitary death amongst millions.

Myth of Nations. Progress divine.

 

Alone. Is there a more fearful word?

Our Enemies now amongst us.

A terrifying refrain.

Planes. Trains. Hope. All weaponised.

Imagination brutally slain.

Alone. Is there a more tragic world?

 

Cities of millions. Connected by fate.

Walking past. Invisible armies without coffins. Only the streets.

The boulevards. Continue with names.

 

Alone. Is there a more desperate word?

 

Solitary confinement. Domestic.

Abandonment.

Awaiting the next visit.

Punches. Fill the sanctuary air.

 

Alone. Is there a more sorrowful word?

 

Kind acts of betrayal.

Broken memories. Wounding now.

Grieving for a future.

Never to pass. Life in torn.

 

Alone. Is there a more shameful word?

 

Sanctifying claims of humanity.

The worldless denied.

What promise? What possibility?

Another casualty. Needlessly reminds.

 

Alone

 

 

Brad Evans, 2017 

Time

Time is nothing. Time is everything.

Time is the horizon of hope, the wound that cuts, the flight that returns, the passing of the storm.

Time is destiny unfolding, the historical placement, the world revealing, its sadness foretold.

Time takes no prisoners, the destroyer of all myths, it asks nothing of reason, penetrates the soul.

Time is the forgetting of language, the forgiving of actions, the world of feelings, feeling alone.

Time is the luxury of possessors, the richest of riches, yet forever their torment, incarcerated minds.

Time is the more than being, the event of becoming, poetic imagination, irreducible to words.

Time is the envy of tyrants, the throne that is empty, the earth that is liberated, the solitude of thought.

Time is the deadliest silence, the triumphant chorus, the shadow of remembrance, but a fleeting embrace.

Time is the fateful healer, the bringer of sorrows, the deep river of mercy, the ineffable void.  

Time demands nothing for nothing, Dante’s reflection, Heidegger’s mourning, Nietzsche’s return. 

Time is the fall into freedom, the wondrous exception, the impossible promise, keeper of dreams.

Time is the peaceful violence, the threshold of existence, the graceful performance, passing of worlds.

Time is thinking in motion, the force of expression, the affirmation of difference, the love for it all.

Time is the beautiful spirit, refusing the fateful, the endlessly possible, the colors of the earth.

Time is nothing. Time is everything.  

 

 

Brad Evans, 2016

November 11th

Every mirror has been shattered

Within a kaleidoscope of liberated hate

This world of ours is dying

Of a broken heart and lost friends

 

Landscapes of intellectual devastation

Covered by shards of sorrowful dreams

Wounded by promises of hope

For a time, the future, never that was

 

We're dying a pitiful death

Tragedy becomes us all

Casualties of organized forgetting

Mere captives, waiting to fall

 

New Tyrants with old messages

Occupy palaces in the skies

The seduction of the masses

No longer deceived, born of the lies

Sold into a solitary condition

Together, we seem alone

Cruel optimism, they called it

Chained to a suffocating embrace

 

 

Prophets of greatness now guide us

Leading into the polluted abyss

To witness the slaughter of Virgil

Weaponised ignorance sealing his fate

 

With hindsight it all seemed inevitable

Scripted by producers of despair

Another road to serfdom

Laughed at in a humorless tone

 

Collectivized by trauma

Fear consumes us all

Another whitewashing of history

Burning books takes many forms

 

Still yet we find reasons to dance

Despite the cold darkness of the caves

Shadows, now tender with fury

Cast alight with a poetic flame

 

 Brad Evans, Nov 2016

 

Explosion of Fate

Red skies burn

Over Zacatecas Skies

Like the dust reaching

For the heavens

A contradiction of times

 

Giving rise to memories

Of this bitter sweet land

Where hopes and pains collide

Passing through tender hands

 

But the earth returns silent

And so the poets retreat

To gaze upon Eros

And her landscapes of wine

 

So the dust falls to earth

And the memory awakes

To the dawn of a new tomorrow

And this explosion of fate

BRAD EVANS, 2016

Never 

If I never write another word,

Be this the one that defines me

 

If I never sing another song,

Be this the one that moves me

 

If I never see another dawn,

Be this the one that awakens me

 

If I never dream another dream,

Be this the one that inspires me

 

If I never learn from another child,

Be this the one that humbles me

 

If I never read another book,

Be this the one that changes me

 

If I never climb another mountain,

Be this the one that exhausts me

 

If I never fight another day,

Be this the one that dignifies me

 

If I never rage another injustice,

Be this the one that abides me

 

If I never friend another enemy

Be this the one that honours me

If I never tell another truth,

Be this the one that forgives me

 

If I never adventure another star,

Be this the one that captivates me

 

If I never feel another emotion,

Be this the one that pains me

 

If I never slay another demon,

Be this the one that terrifies me

 

If I never think another thought,

Be this the one that destroys me

 

If I never chase another rainbow,

Be this the one that colours me

 

If I never paint another canvas

Be this the one that remembers me

 

If I never dance in another storm,

Be this the one that lightening strikes me

 

If I never connect to another soul,

Be this the one that beautifies me

 

If I never touch another hand,

Be this the one that reminds me

 

And if I never feel another love,

Be this the one that outlives me

 

Brad Evans, 2017 

Who is beast?

 

Who is beast? In the dark, the admixture, the prance. In his violent act.

The death in its body explodes the ash to disappear

An image? Beast

Bring about the shape of your image. Beast

Dance, walk, cry. Ask me to find your trace. Your face

The blood falls

You, the one, explodes, splashes. A sea of ​​blood. Dissolved bodies

A beast, embracing you. Lifetime

Leave your wounds exposed. They are necessary

Your memory? A predisposed abyss. Lapses of memory

Leave a shadow

CHANTAL MEZA, 2019

VIDEO PRODUCE BY BRAD EVANS, 2020

Fire

 

Disappear. Where?

Within the fire

Let my pain, your anger. Their fear and dementia. Burn in the flames that my body is now

Listen…

Become the fire. What does it say?

I am solemn, my tremor is intense. Savage

The sound of my flames, reaches you. You feel it, there, in the heart

The heat of my body penetrates your chest. It burns your eyes. Those eyes that do not forget

I'm there, in your hands. They are burning. Just like your feet. Yes, your feet

You want to run. you want to burn. Because I

I am already fire

The fire that consumes. And rises with the aiR. The fire that burns us

Ignited ones that disappear

CHANTAL MEZA, 2019

Air

Disappear. Where?

In the air

Be dust in the night. Be dust in the day. Be the pain and then rise. Surround us within

 Observe

Be the smoke that permeates and blurs, Becoming the shadow

in your darkness. In the midst of that darkness. We are here

You are searching. Who are you looking for?

Yes, air

Breathe

Who is it?

It's me

Wind, dance with the wind. Pour yourself into the mountains. Move the trees. Halt in there

Behold

Descend

Feel the ground I walk

Walk

Walk on my feet

 

CHANTAL MEZA, 2019

VIDEO PRODUCE BY BRAD EVANS, 2020

Earth

Disappear. Where?

On earth

Where is my body?. Fragments of Hope. Despair

The shape?. A mixture, of red and black

Touch me. I disappear. Dark mass

Let the earth be. There in the dust, I exist. I breathe within us

A wrenched life. Stained ash. Sorrows that walk. Covered in red. Muting the voice

Blood within blood

The liquid you pour

The earth absorbs me

My trail

A crimson wound, that gives life

CHANTAL MEZA, 2019

VIDEO PRODUCE BY BRAD EVANS, 2020

Water

Disappear. Where?

Be with the water

The water is painted. It has no clarity. Moans wet, with blood

Drowned screams that mutated the voice. Bodies caught. The terror submerges

I don't see the history. I don't see the fright. I discard the body

No ashes, no dust

A flotilla of absence. My voice is silenced. In a chorus that never leaves

But history returns. Cascading waves. Broken on shattered lands. Ghosted by the moment

In the weeping eyes of the world

CHANTAL MEZA, 2019

VIDEO PRODUCE BY BRAD EVANS, 2020

All images copyright of the Artist