This poem is currently unpublished.
Every time I drive through Alberta I am reminded of my childhood, fields of of yellow canola (rape seed). Memories of witnessing sexual violence.
Daniel Gallant ©
This poem was published in the West Coast Line from Simon Fraser University 2012.
This poem was posted with a narrative on my blog months ago here.
I have broke up the audio into parts for you to listen to. First is the narrative intro, and the second is the actual poem.
Daniel Gallant ©
This poem and narrative are currently unpublished.
This poem is currently unpublished, but was featured prior in this blog. Here is the story that goes with this poem.
This is the narrative:
This is the poem:
This blog has featured several bands from the Black Metal scene who maintain white supremacist and neo-Nazi National Socialist values and ideology. Tonight I am pleased to offer a CBC Radio interview with two First Nations fellows I know well from northern BC. Their band name is the Salt Water Brothers. I went to post-secondary school with these lads.
Spencer Greening and Jeremy Pahl approached a few years ago in the university after seeing an article about me in a local Prince George newspaper. He told me that they played in a First Nations, T’simshian, Black Metal band. He told me how they suspected many people in their circle were white supremacists. I indicated that the presumption that Black metal bands are often white supremacist was true. I indicated I was familiar with many of the guys he was suspicious about. They asked if I would come to a concert in Prince George and see if I may know members from a band that was from Edmonton who was in town Begrime Exemious. They asked me to come because they knew I was a former racist skinhead from Edmonton.
I attended the concert and low and behold the front man in the the band was a young lad that I had recruited into the white supremacist movement many years ago. I spoke with the singer of Begrime, Brian Leland for the first time in ten years. The last time I had spoke to him he ended up retreating to another province after we had a falling out. Needless to say I was an abusive arsehole at that time in my life. Brian was a youth I recruited and who looked up to me a lot. I had no care, nor concern for him at that time. I hurt him. This still bothers me today, along with the other hundreds of violent crimes I had committed.
After the concert I de-briefed with Spencer and Jeremy. They later asked me to drive their tour bus for them. I drove their band’s tour bus for a week throughout BC on their Canadian Tour. They were on tour with the headliner band Inquisition, who are white supremacists. I featured these neo-Nazis in this past article. However, Jeremy and Spencer did not fully believe that the band the looked up to could be white supremacists or neo-Nazis. After I made it apparent and unfolded facts that the band members from inquisition were linked to the same organization I once belonged to solidified my claims.
Needless to say these events did impact Jeremy and Spencer in many negative ways, as it would for any logical person. To discover many of your peers are actually racists and white supremacists would present a challenging position for any person who did not share those values. It is unfortunate that Black Metal has gone mainstream to the point where you can buy the band BURZUM’s albums in local music stores. BURZUM are National Socialist racists, yet this bands music is sold in nearly every record store in Canada. Local music shops sell BURZUM T-shirts even. I see BURZUM T-shirts in high schools and even on UNBC campus. The bands that Jeremy and Spencer are discussing in this CBC interview are the same bands I have featured in my blog articles; along with many others I have not yet got too. Be patient…I will be featuring more bands as time comes.
Now to spotlight these brave indigenous musicians:
Jeremy Pahl, a local indigenous musician, who had written a letter for one of my blog articles about Prince George white supremacists and local hate crimes.
Spencer Greening, Jeremy’s cousin, talk about their journey from being a Black Metal band to an acoustic political activist band.
These boys have transformed from a power based metal band to cultural representation of the resiliency of indigenous cultures. They mix humour with serious political issues such as genocide, racism, and environmental issues. It is my hope that Jeremy and Spencer will continue to carry on with their impressive work.
This interview on CBC was awesome. I especially like how the make out these Black Metal bands to be foolish and ridiculous. That is because they are.
Unfortunately many people are stuck in mindsets of hate. We can look at the bands like Inquisition, Begrime Exemious, Oroborous, Godless North, and even Blasphemy.
It is nice to hear a success story about youth who have walked away from a genre of music filled with hatred and white supremacist ideologies and (neo-)Nazi symbolism.
I wrote this piece while in tears.
Someone very close to me told me about her relationship with her partner. When I think about her situation I question and wonder why it is that we people can be stuck. I reflect on my experiences and patterns of being stuck in patterns I wanted out of. Patterns that seemed to consume me. Patterns that closed off alternative ways of engaging with life. Patterns that stifled my spirit. Patterns that stifled my voice.
I am free now. At least from most of these shackling patterns. My heart wrenches daily when I think about my beautiful friend and her situation. Wishing there was a way to assist and support her to make what I believe is the ‘right’ choice. But, what I understand is that perhaps some people need to stay stuck. The pay off of being stuck can sometimes supersede priority of achieving liberation.
My path is to choose volition, meaning, purpose, and existential liberation. When I become my worst barrier, I do my best to put myself out in the open; congruent with transparency in my being that employs me to be as vulnerable as possible. I understand most people do not want to feel vulnerable. These lessons were taught to me by Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning.
In my life experience vulnerability is my freedom. Liberation through vulnerability, while allowing myself to feel shame, guilt, regret, and utter sadness allows me to enjoy the moments of my life that have more meaningful impacts on my spirit than I ever thought was possible.
I am not shackled today, by choice. There is a cost for this. It intimidates many people; many people do not understand why and how I would do this; folks can sometimes pick me as a target for social attacks in their ego-based social warfare; often I am scape-goated because I leave myself vulnerable in many respects; and people often perceive me as being ego-centric, self-righteous, and a martyr because they are uncomfortable with my state of being.
This poem, is so important to my spirit. This poem is one of the few pieces I re-read time and time again. I never want to be the repeated emotional abuser against another person that I claim to love. My understanding of love for another demands that my partner would want and desire me. Never do I want to be the recipient of mechanical offerings for sexually-dominant gratification. To do so would violate my spirit, and the spirit of the one proclaimed to be loved.
Paulo Freire, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, talks about how our education system is mechanical, oppressive, and abusive. He offers a solution that offers a pathway of education that honours the spirit. A way for education to be turned into a true dialogue where the teacher and student build a humanistic bridge between one another. A bridge that is built upon the foundation of meaningful humanistic dialogue. This dynamic of education that Freire articulates can be interpreted as a metaphor for relationships.
Later on, Paulo Freire wrote a book called Pedagogy of the Heart. In this book he describes the point that if we operate in mechanical ways of being, we become close minded and close hearted. Often people attribute being closed minded as being ‘old’. Freire talks about living life with a young mind in spite of having an ‘old’ body. We do not need to be ‘old’ because we are closing in on the end of our life. He indicates that remaining young in the mind is liberation. In this point, he explains that we should always do our best to remain respectively vulnerable and open to learning from one another. Engaging in mechanical relationships, as described in this poem, is to close off the human spirit and to stifle our true intrinsic and ontological purpose: existential liberation.
I offer this poem to honour my connection to my kin-spirit. I offer this poem to those engaged and stuck in a pattern that they feel deep down in their heart and/or mind that feels like a violation. There is a way out of a pattern. It takes a willingness to become comfortable with the uncomfortableness of being vulnerable, while knowing you risk being hurt. Vulnerability can be transformed into a spiritual strength; or a moral standardized way of being.
I do my best to be as vulnerable as possible and to let people know me, as I am. I resist and falter in this action because I am human, but I am willing to repeatedly make the conscious decision to re-establish my vulnerability. I am my own worst enemy. As an adult who has achieved a degree of existential liberation, I allow myself to be free from my own fear whenever possible. especially in matters relating to the heart.
This poem is currently unpublished.
Love is a future mother.
Today I reflect on one of the most important stories I have ever heard. It offered me so many lessons. It is amazing how a place that we have never been to, can be so connected to our spirit and hearts. Merely by hearing the story through someone we understand and love.
My best friend, in this life, told me a story. I think about it nearly everyday. I consider what it must be like to be tied to a place culturally, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and functionally. i have not experienced what that is like. Sometimes I overlook the challenges that others go through because my frame of reference does not permit me to fully grasp what it means to deeply connected to family, culture, and place.
I do have some family, what is left it that is. I do have people I love. I have many people that love me. Probably more than I understand. Most people seem to access love easier than I do. I am honoured that people offer me such empathy and love, even though I am not always the easiest to love. I have deeply connected relationships that surpass any hope I ever had for connections. I believed I was utterly detached and unable to love.
In the last couple of years I have learnt what it means to truly love a friend so deeply that I would do whatever I can to honour that friendship. But still making room for my mistakes. I know that no one person can be an absolute everything, nor resolve, for another person. But I do know I have a choice in how I am in any given relationship. For some people there are deep ties to others, and often that deep connection includes a place. A place of birth. A place of childhood memories, both good and bad. A place that was mystic. A place that was safe. A place.
I can only imagine what that would be like. I think if I was tied to a particular place that I had memories of, or born in, that i would never want to leave. Especially if the people I loved were also connected to that place. I guess that what they mean when they say place has memory.
I recently wrote this poem about a place I have never been. But it is a place that I love deeply. That place is the birthplace of truth. The beginning of purity. A place that has born inspiration. A place of hope. A place of a deeply beautiful sadness. Perhaps a place of deep solace. Remorse. Regret…but definitively a place of remembrance.
A place that is loved, by love herself.
This poem is currently unpublished. I thought it was appropriate following the 16×9 show “Supremacy: Brotherhood of Hate”.
ps. I am looking for a publishing house for my biography and poetry that follows suit with the genre I write.
At least somebody is listening.
Pioneer Anti-racist/hate/violence Lawyer Richard Warman is awesome!
This story is done well in my opinion.