Thursday, June 29, 2006

The INVASION of Philadelphia Worse Than Imagined 

Having a garden plot at the South & Broad community garden with poet Cathleen Miller is such a fantastic dream. For years I've been on lists for stupid lotteries to get into plots. NOW that I finally have one, it's the final year for it, as it's going to be a condominium by this time next year.

And I've JUST this morning received YET ANOTHER e-mail from South & Broad gardeners about YET ANOTHER community garden being taken over by developers who have broken promises and have court orders to start work early. At Carpenter & Grays Ferry the community garden is about to be bulldozed. There's a rather dramatic call to arms to help save the beautiful Bradford Pear Trees and the Rose of Sharon in the garden.

There is absolutely no way I can hide my disgust, my HATRED for this carnage! The vicious feeding frenzy of the real estate world on all levels of real estate right now sickens and saddens me. It's exactly what's going on in a very different way in the rural Pennsylvania I escaped from half my life ago. Trees, wheat and corn fields, everything chopped and pushed aside for Wal-Marts and housing and who the FUCK are these people anyway?

Someone said to me (who the FUCK was that!?) recently that I "just don't like change." Actually that is not true. Not true for a second. Change can be great, but WHAT KIND of change is the thing, I mean there's many opportunities to have change, many ways to have change. Destroying communities and neighborhoods is NOT a good one. And YES, THAT KIND OF CHANGE is something I "just don't like," you bet!

Dismissive statements like "you just don't like change" are built to not have to listen, because if you listen, you might agree, and then your whole ridiculous idea of "progress" might be challenged. Change can be beautiful, can nourish everyone around, can build and sustain a caring environment. Which is what the community gardens were about in the first place.

Someone who has a beautiful, healthy sense of change is Carol Mirakove. After my reading with Jen Benka and Shanna Compton in New York recently we were all hanging out, talking about such change. Carol had not long ago attended a protest which was more like a barbecue, and she was explaining how this FESTIVAL set a mood for everyone to really understand how we truly are all in this together. This festival inspired her, and was inspiring us as she told the story.

As a result of that conversation, Jen Benka sent Carol a Wikipedia link to the word CARNIVALESQUE. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning after the e-mail about yet another decade old community garden being DESTROYED in the name of "progress."

If destroying green space is progress then FUCK progress! The bulldozers come long before they're supposed to and it's so you can't do a thing about it. Wicked days this summer!


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