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Two, Three ... Many Tent Cities!!!

by John Paul Cupp

To me, Jihad is a state of mind
cousin to Humanism,
only Jihad knows that a certain percentage
of the population
always has to mess things up.
Democracy is a big open ended piece of nothing,
that's put in front of whatever mumbo jumbo catch
phrase is necessary to blow something up,
or else cut somebody's welfare benefits.
It's like Dadaism.
Dada this!
Dada that!
Tristan Tzara be rollin' in his grave,
"Democracy! Democracy! Democracy!
Ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"

Is that the "right" to own slaves,
or is that the "right" to sleep outside at night,
where you don't want to be
without feeling a kick in the head
be telling you
"It's time to move along!"?

I think liberation is a paradise of gulags,
or else a guillatine where Robespierre's head
just started rollin' away
for public amusement
in the name of
or else he's a martyr with a middle finger to
Everybody knows Mumia needs to be sleeping with his
wife tonight in Philadelphia.
The proud and feisty old lady in the wheelchair
with her fancy umbrella be talkin' about the Lakota.
She knows Leonard Peltier's mother,
who apparently lives in Portland,
and also something about lamb stew is better for you
than a breakfast of hot stimulants and cigarettes.
The idea is to not take the community politics too
serious, because we all have a job to do.
We are all out here for the same reason,
with different perspectives,
and our own individual little quirky hang-ups,
and the GOD!!! I don't believe in
knows I have my own.

So anyways, It's Saturday December 30th 2000, and
I'm in my green pop-up tent writing this poem
for the local homeless newspaper because Rasta Jack
says he needs submissions,
and I told him I'd pull something out of my ass
for publication.
We are out here hoping it doesn't rain again,
with strength in numbers
(as in three lawyers that I've never met.)
a collection of what the local media is referring to
"motley hobos"
inside the circle of old tents
talking and carrying on.
The community comes around and generously drops off
some supplies of food, or else
somebody slows down their large green minivan
to stare at the homeless who they've never seen help
themselves rather than be helped before,
We wander from site to site,
a parade of shopping carts until we have
land to stand on.
It's our job to say something cute and stupid to the
I'm always paranoid that I'm going to speak from my
and say something subversive and counterproductive.
My friend Tim,
who I met while parading downtown with a bandana over
my face demanding the unconditional release of Mumia
Abu-Jamal, and I
sit around the camp during the daytime hours
keeping our vigil while
sharing our miraculous secret dreams
for a better post-capitalist tomorrow.
Tent City is a miraculous dream put into action
in it's own right;
a modern Hooverville as the economy prepares to
The Legendary Che Guevara is famous for his battle cry
"Create Two, Three ... Many Vietnams."
Now is the time to apply science and organization to
our current situation.
It's time to say, to dream, to think, to build
"Two, Three ... Many Tent Cities!"