The George Oppen Memorial BBQ: [A Poem] by Eric Tyler Benick
The George Oppen Memorial BBQ could be considered a ritual, an invocation, a celebration, a protest. Its characters and landscape are an amorphous, chimeric Promised Land where retributions are real, demagogues are punished, and freedom is a call for both daiquiris and rumination. It is a network against austerity and homogeneity. It is a commune with enough space for the deepest of privacies. It is a place to destabilize the Western canon, to make cracks about Schopenhauer, to exile white messiahs, to mourn Fred Hampton, and Fela Kuti, and Federico Garcia Lorca. It is a brief rupture in time and space where possibilities are freed of their enclosures, where unrest is realized and invigorated. It is the moment when all the lights go out, right before the riot starts.