(I wanted to post this writing by Vi Subversa because I am currently putting together a compilation dedicated to her. I fell in love with the Poison Girls, of which she is the lead singer, 6 years ago when she was introduced to me by this great drummer-friend of mine, The Just. I have found the music of the Poison Girls along with the life and words of Vi Subversa to be extremely inspiring and definitive of what Punk Rock should sound like: free.
The compilation will be entitled "Subversa: A Compilation For Planned Parenthood". With all of the work that Vi did to support "persons unknown" or underprivileged or unrecognized, I felt that it would be fitting to create a compilation of different people of different backgrounds and genres all to benefit Planned Parenthood, which has worked so hard to provide affordable services for womxn and trans health. This project is intended to bring us together for something we believe in: our selves. Thanks Vi, a Punk Mother to all of us.- Jessi)
2014 for the book “The Truth of Revolution, Brother” (Situation Press)
This is an obituary for the writer I was, the writer who tried too hard and too long to be grown up, to understand, to know how things are and how to change the world. I’m tired of the world of war, and war weariness, of disillusionment and child abuse. I do not choose to write as a cynic, although I am aware that cynicism is what I often feel, along with disappointment. I’ve tried to find knowledge as an adult, and to find meaning, to piece it all together, with hope as the glue. I chased after fragments of meaning, like trying to catch snowflakes, running after bits of torn up paper with the story of it all, but the bits blew away in the wind.
But I wanted to know, to have a story, a narrative to live by, to make sense, and to heal the pain of the powerlessness I had experienced, as a woman, as a citizen, as a worker, and as a mother. But I confused information with knowledge. Knowledge, they say, is power, and that’s right. But now we have information overload, plenty of evidence of how it fits together − cheating bankers, fumbling politicians, corrupt media. On and on the stories break.
But we still know little of how to make change for a better world, fit to live in for people and our children, and I need to get off that hook. I’m sick of the information sold to us by those who profess to know. I applaud the whistle blowers. Sure, I am confused and dismayed by the continuing sense of powerlessness on behalf of the children born into this abusive world, and I believe the current epidemic of obesity and easting disorders is no more than a mass expression of hunger, a craving. But for what?
I can only answer for myself. For me, I crave release. I use that word instead of freedom, because freedom is a bit used up. I crave release from the futility of phony hunger, of compulsive consumption, from the disappointment of political posturing and manipulations, from promises of fraudulent progress. What I do want and pray for is the joy of making music, the magic and freedom of poetry, the beauty of flowers and fertility, and the miracle of growth. For the instant warmth and intimacy of kittens, and the glory of wildlife. So I will write for children. I will read, out loud, wearing a funny hat and glittery clothes. I will tell them about watching wasps suck sweetness from spotty foxgloves, about mischief and mystery and magic. I will call my first collection Daisies are Fried Eggs for Teddy Bears. I will write as a child, from the child in me, to the child in you.
RIP VI SUBVERSA/ FRANCES SOKOLOV Brighton 20 June 1935; married (two children); died Brighton 20 February 2016.
I never imagined when I was in high school, that I would choose to go to school for the rest of my life. I still get up early moaning and groaning, but by the time I arrive, I take a breath, and say "I have the best job on the planet." I work at a school where I walk down the dirt driveway, passing the soccer field, smell some lavender from the little flower garden outside my classroom and enter my classroom with big windows and sky lights. Sometimes butterflies, moths, worms, and crickets get into the room. Sometimes there are deer, turkeys, elk, and other animals passing by the school yard or hanging out. The students and I have the benefit of having life interacting with our music making, and when the power went out last winter, one of my second grade students said, "We don't need power, we can light up the room with our voices." They teach me so much. I love to learn from them. I guess I never imagined that I would choose to go to school for life and actually love it!