(art “Fatal State” – By NO Bonzo)
Book I: Stirring
The heroes in this passage:
Fabulous Addison lifts up their iPhone and snaps a selfie.
Blue hair killing it, eyeliner perfect. Jubilant picture.
Upload to Instagram, instantly liked by their genderqueer fan base.
Addison puts down the cell phone, puts on a face mask, ready.
Grabbing their stencils and spray paint, concrete walls are their canvas.
Jonathan lights up a molotov cocktail, hurling it into
The fray. Fire-bombing officers shielded in riot gear, armed with
Pepper-spray cannons. Black Bloc-er Jonathan traded his youth for
Battle and glory and vengeance and justice and madness and chaos.
Hardworking Olivar making a living and plugging along.
Raising a family, hopefully, joyfully, lovingly, proudly.
Watching his kids play basketball, sipping his cafe con leche.
Keeping his head down, avoiding the watchful eye of the state.
This is a typical parking lot somewhere in New England at dusk.
Gone are the hemlocks and murmuring pines which stood on this land,
Bearded with moss and in garments green, long since leveled to build up
Meaningless commercial enterprise profiting off of consumers:
Bystanders. Willfully ignorant victims of corporate hunger.
You guessed it. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot, right here.
Darkness is falling now rapidly, twilight receding as blackness
Covers the sky from horizon to horizon, but stars cannot outshine
High pressure sodium street lamps, which blanket the evening in orange.
The Calm After the Storm
Under the glow of a rather familiar corporate logo,
Two of our heroes are sitting and sharing a bottle of something.
Jonathan lights up a cigarette, offers another to his friend.
Addison graciously declines and rummages through their backpack.
Spray paint cans rattle together as Addison searches for something,
Finding a package of jerky and several candy bar minis.
After a long day fighting together as radical comrades,
These small pleasures are cherished and soon they are pleasantly basking,
Feeling the warmth of a sugar high, tipsy from alcohol, happy.
Jonathan smiles at his new found accomplice, a talented artist
Who has finished a takeover, covering billboard displays
With their own images: rioting robots hurling firebombs.
Addison smiles in return at the prize-fighter, Jonathan, warmly.
They are recalling how, earlier, Jonathan fought to the forefront,
Smashing Securitas headquarters’ windows and costing that business
Thousands of dollars in damages, chipping at profit margins.
Fleeing together through chaotic rioting, hopping a train and
Hiding from police and private security, these two are now
Free and indebted forever to each other. Comrades at arms.
Partnerships such as these, vision and bravery, grow to be legends.
Working in bold solidarity, unity, these two can topple
Giants much bigger than themselves if they are given the chance.
Darkness brings with it the cold, and our heroes are ready to return
Home to their dwellings, respectively. Addison shoulders their backpack.
Jonathan offers a fist bump, Addison obliges, of course.
Parting ways, for now, eager to see one another again soon.
Jonathan languishes briefly while walking toward his squat.
Affections for this fabulous street artist well up inside.
Suddenly, Jonathan worries he’ll mess up their pronouns. They/them.
“They are a they,” he repeats to himself as he walks home, blissful.
Crossing the street at the corner without even looking for traffic.
Olivar slams on his brakes, this pendejo just comes out of nowhere.
Liberals Recoil in Fear
News reports feature riots and looting and property damage.
Innocent bystanders who were near all the chaotic madness
Seem to recall that the riots were sparked when Securitas workers
Shot at an unarmed citizen who was in some sort of crisis.
Witnesses say that the man was crying and screaming and shouting.
He didn’t have any weapons at all and didn’t attack, either.
“It wasn’t ok, killing that poor man. But surely violence
Isn’t the answer. It’s horrifying how many people around here
Acted so brutally. Look at this place, how it looks like a war zone!”
Someone else commented: “Whatever happened to peaceful protest?”
Kaz DeWolfe is a genderqueer, mad, neurodivergent, disabled, broke single parent. They are a mad pride and neurodiversity advocate, activist, writer, and artist. Kaz lives in Brattleboro, Vermont with their kid and pet hamster.