by Eleanor Goldfield

May Day

May Day

This is crisis. Capitalism’s a virus.

May Day!


And what do you mean – when you scream

those words, does the sound – shake the crown

of the empire –

in your mind?

Can you find –

your role in this play, this sick old charade –

are you reading their lies and toeing their lines –

Can you see yourself –

in the scars of our place and time?

On this day 132 years ago, the pressure of oppression too great – we did shake –

that crown and the ground – was stained – with resolve.

a moment of silence for those lost to violence –

the lives that were burned – the pleas that were spurned,

please – a moment of silence.

May Day!

This is a crisis. Capitalism’s a virus.

May Day!

Don’t get lost – in the calm –

of a silent reflection – historic affection

these fights – aren’t over.

The Pinkerton’s beatings now cops on their beats – and the FBI files,

the hand shakes and smiles –

of those up on high who chisel away at our measly remains –

and the hard won gains…

The eight hour days –—

it’s been years –

and Their greatest weapon – is fear.

Coz for those who have little, there’s still much to lose

and we’re losing.

We’re losing poor whites to fascists coz we don’t Wanna get nasty –

when our uncle says it’s the blacks see, it’s outreach – the hard work between –

the parades and the signs that you see online.

We’re losing coz we’re staying in line – our permitted rage stays in permitted range – tween the barricades and the cops who kill when enraged, descended from white hate –

we’re losing our minds – smart isn’t cool, can’t stay in school coz it’s closed,

but the prisons are open –

we’re losing our women –

tell me how not to get raped but never tell HIM how to NOT rape –

just our fate? –

from man camps to campus – our bodies, commodities –

belong to the state –

and fuck your pussy hats and Clinton bags – a clit don’t mean you’re fit –

don’t mean you give a shit – bout people and planet

FUCK your profit –

coz we’re losing our air, our land and our water –

coz it’s the economy – our manifest destiny – our colonial imperialist right – to claim and lay waste – from the Black Hills to Baghdad and too much between.

We’re losing our lives – our rights now survive in a pantheon of “wouldn’t it be nice?”

And this isn’t a sermon – I’m not looking for converts,

the fight for our lives isn’t a damn church

what I want you to see –

is disaster on repeat

insanity’s loop – and this ride – is making us sick – and tired.

We’re dying.

But before we die, how should we live?

Huey P. newton said with hope and dignity –

and that’s enough for me.

Stand on those shoulders but know we gotta own this –

this is OUR pace, OUR time

and no one can break THESE chains – but us.

So again I say – May Day!

May Day!

This is crisis. Capitalism’s a virus.

May Day!

This IS a crisis

the cancer is late stage

this capitalist titan is digging our graves –

and we’re making shovels at minimum wage

this isn’t just memory’s kiss – a way to remember in spring’s bursting bliss –


is STILL –

a class war – a mass war –

your fight is MY fight and OUR build can only rise –

if together we cry

May Day!

May Day!

This is crisis. Capitalism’s a virus.

May Day!

Only if reactionary ways give way – to action and ways – that build past these days

alternative paradigms

that don’t fit inside the confines – made by the empire

so when you leave, will you keep –

that fight in your bones, the build in your soul

will you crescendo our hope –

will we grow –

will we leave the in-fighting, the whining, the griping –

the theoretical space – the privileged place –

and wage – our work –

Our labor

OUR labor

no more silence

this empire is violence.

May Day!

May Day!

This is crisis. Capitalism’s a virus.

May Day!